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Ribble Cycles hit by delayed deliveries again as customers complain of poor service

Several customers have had their delivery dates pushed without notifications and complained about poor customer service, with problems when ordering under Cycle to Work scheme also reported

British bicycle manufacturer Ribble has been under fire lately as a result of delayed deliveries, with many customers complaining of postponed delivery dates, poor customer service, and even orders completely disappearing, with a lot of those complaints coming from those who placed orders under the Cycle to Work scheme.

The news of Ribble having bike delivery issues comes 15 months after we reported in December 2021 that customers were left disgruntled and annoyed with the supply chain problems causing companies around the world, including Ribble struggling to fulfil orders on time.

Pete Scott, a buyer from Lincoln wrote: “Come on Ribble Cycles customer service chat is dreadful, it's taking 30mins to get a response to a question. Also thanks for pushing my delivery date back again!! Regretting buying from Ribble.”

He had already been waiting for his bike for a month after ordering under the Cycle to Work scheme, however, customer service at Ribble told him that they didn’t have the desired frame and couldn’t make the delivery without changing the model or frame size, after keeping Scott waiting for 30 minutes.

After waiting for an hour and a half more, he was informed that he could cancel the order if he wanted to, which Scott said he was thinking of doing.

Another customer said: “I ordered a month ago, also on C2W & estimated dispatch end of this month. I noticed today that the entire estimated delivery and order progress box has disappeared from the order page.”

David Edwards, a customer wrote: “My bike is delayed again this time a week added when will this stop as I just want my bike when you say it will be delivered - would be nice to be given a specific reason other than "awaiting stock”.

Ribble replied to another customer who had “emailed, called, chatted and just got broken promises” after 25 days of ordering, saying that “a sale had caused higher volumes of orders than anticipated, unfortunately causing delays in dispatching orders”, and that Ribble was “working hard to have orders dispatched as quickly as possible”.

> Ribble responds to customer concerns over bike delivery delays

One Australian customer, Andy Wood-Rich, said he was left waiting more than a year for his bike to be delivered. He received his bike this month, after ordering it April with the delivery scheduled for November. Ribble representatives cited missing parts and quality checks as the reasons causing delays.

“When I complained there seemed to be a lot of promises given but no action was taken. One time on live chat the Ribble representative said they would look into my issues but then ended the chat when I didn't respond in time,” he said.

When he did get the bike delivered this month, he said that his bike arrived “haphazardly packed in bubble wrap and brown tape.” However, he did get £399 refunded for the inconvenience.

In 2021, factory closures and supply chain issues since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the surge in demand for bicycles, combined with the complication of the Brexit deal meant added difficulties for British bike manufacturers.

> When will Britain’s bike shortage end?

People had complained about postponed deliveries and poor communication from Ribble on social media as well as the our forum. One road.cc reader said: “The optimistic timescales are one thing — it's the waiting till the day before each dispatch date to bump them down the road each time which gets me — it's obvious Ribble know they can't honour the dispatch date long before it arrives, so they could (should) be honest with their customers who have, in many cases paid upfront in full for their new bike.”

“If Ribble are unable/unwilling to predict when a certain bike will actually be available then they should simply remove it from their listings as being available to order.”

At the time, Ribble got back to us with a reply to the delivery delay concerns, the message concluding with: “We sympathise with and apologise to customers who experience and are disappointed with build delays and rest assured we are doing everything we can to improve the situation and remedy their journey with us.”

road.cc has contacted Ribble for a reply and we will provide an update as soon as we have it.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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16 comments

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transilluminate | 9 months ago
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I have a similar story with severe delays, and poor customer service:

I originally ordered a bike in January '23, on a promotional offer, with a cycle scheme voucher.

There was months of severe delays from Ribble, with minimal and slow communications. Getting a response from their customer services was usually met with silence... 

During this time I needed to change jobs, and as a result I had to cancel my original cyclescheme voucher, and have a new one re-issued. The Ribble customer service representative gave me the option to “hold or cancel” the order until a new voucher was in place, and I requested to hold it.

Subsequently, Ribble customer service representative decided to cancel the order (not hold it, as I requested), leading to further delays in communications, and ultimately Ribble refusing to honour the promotional offer made 5 months beforehand!

The pre-sales experience was amazing, but they don't seem to be able to follow through and deliver.

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Adam Sutton | 9 months ago
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Bought my CGR AL back in September 2019 before it all went to shit. My experience with their customer service was pretty good, after the derailleur hanger screws came loose (a common problem). I wanted to replace them and couldn't find any, messaged Ribble and they sent a new hanger out with the screws. I had seem some bad experiences on their facebook group, but they were helpful and responsive there. Although admittedly a lot of the staff who were active seem to have left.

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hackneyjohn | 9 months ago
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Still experiencing delays which is frustrating. I'm a bit more concerned about their future as they've just closed their Nottingham store as well, so i don't know if i'll get my bike.

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Rik Mayals unde... | 11 months ago
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Word is that Ribble are in the shit. There appears to be a new owner, they appear to be trying to cover up their huge losses and they have let go some of their bike mechanics.

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wookierookie | 11 months ago
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4 months and no end in sight on my build. It seems very patchy. Some bikes are straight through where others are delayed week after week. The worse thing is the week by week creep which just feel so infurating. How can anyone plan a race season with such poor leadtime planning.

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DustyBadger | 11 months ago
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I ordered a CGR Ti on c2w back in October and recived in December. I was kept up to date along the way and didn't really feel like I had bad service at any point. The bike is awesome and aftersales have also been good - lost a fork bung and sent one foc after an email. I'll definitely look at Ribble for my next purchase. Maybe I've been fortunate but I can only go on that so far.

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zeeridesbikes | 11 months ago
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My mate ordered a ribble cgr al on my recommendation through c2w in early April. Thankfully it arrived a week early (3 week total) so maybe he got lucky with the spec. 

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Steve K | 11 months ago
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I got a new Ribble bike back in 2021 and have told my story on here before.  Compared with some, the delay wasn't massive, but it felt like I had to complain publicly (a poor review on Trustpilot) to get decent service.  The fact that some people get their bikes early, whilst others get delayed over and over does suggest something majorly wrong with their systems.

Having said all that, I love the bike (Endurance Ti) and have done more than 15,000km on it in less than 22 months.

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Veloism | 11 months ago
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It won't be long until Ribble goes under. The numbers aren't looking good, and all that investment they received is going to catch up with them. Sad, really as back in the day they were a great affordable and accesible brand for many.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to Veloism | 11 months ago
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They have always been pretty piss poor. The previous owner publicly declared years ago that if he wasn't cheaper than everyone else, nobody would shop there because of their reputation. A mate bought a new Ribble bike back in the late 1980s from their shop as it was back then on Watery lane. A week after he took delivery he tried to raise the seatpost. It was seized solid. Eventually he got it out but damaged the frame. Ribble were not at all interested as they had got his money. It turned out that the seat tube hadn't been reamed to remove the paint, they hadn't even used any grease, they had just hammered the seatpost in. 

They didn't give a fuck then, and, by and large, they don't now. Most people who live local to Ribble don't ride Ribble, that speaks volumes.

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Tacheonabike | 11 months ago
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two years ago ordered one with a 6 month delivery , however it came after 3 months ,yesterday did 41 miles and 4000ft of climbing also arround the River Ribble area with three others who had had various lenghty delivery times , all had great fun. Just  after Black Friday ordered another that came within a week. So i've had great service from Ribble hopefully once the waiting is over everyone can have great fun on their bikes , just to set the record straight i dont work for Ribble

 

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Kestevan | 11 months ago
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Poor customer service from Ribble...... not exactly a shock.

Excellent products at a decent price, let down by non-existent customer service. This is not a recent development, Ribble have been shockingly bad whenever anything goes wrong for years.

I learned my lesson years ago and vowed never to bother buying from them again.

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OnYerBike | 11 months ago
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15 months ago, Ribble were blaming suppliers changing their delivery dates at the last minute. I could understand that to some extent - if Ribble have planned based on the delivery dates they've been told, and then those dates change without warning, Ribble were stuck in a difficult position.

But over a year later, and with many of the supply chain issues (as far as I can tell) becoming less significant, I would have hoped Ribble would have improved their approach and built in more resilience. They would have had numerous options - simply building in more contingency to timelines; increasing stockpiles of parts to hand; better and earlier communication about "estimated" dispatch dates. Whilst I appreciate each option comes with business costs, I would certainly think those costs are insignificant compared to the reputational cost Ribble are facing from having failed to address these issues. 

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IanMSpencer | 11 months ago
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I still think they have an unfit for purpose software planning system fighting over parts, or they simply don't know how to use it. At some point you have to lock down parts to planned builds. The late cancellations point to a failure to allocate parts to a build in a reasonable window. With free supply of parts you can get away with unallocated parts, but not in an environment of continuous shortages. When I ordered my Ribble 10 or so years ago, I think it was based on all parts in stock and the lead time was constrained only by build capacity.

I did think that the pandemic might have been an excuse for pushing a system over the edge, but now it's be having a serious look at their IT system and management.

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mark1a replied to IanMSpencer | 11 months ago
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It looks like they use Aptean Elucid. More focus on multi-channel retail sales, less on component forecasting and assembly builds IMO. 

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Ian603207 | 11 months ago
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Ended up cancelling my order. Due two months after order, delayed for another two months with 3 days notice. The reason for the delay?? No frames!  The only thing they have direct control over. 
Shame really as bikes are great, pre sale experience is good, but if they can't deliver, what's the point ?  Customer service 'chat' lines are a joke, and they don't answer emails. Strange thing is, after cancelling an 'account manager' was in contact within hours, so there are people there. 

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