ramblings of a chaotic mind

why I sold my van Moof bike

on 2021-11-05 by Gertjan Assies reading time 0 min, viewed 9 times, read 0 times, liked 0 times

why I sold my van Moof bike

But don’t get me wrong, I love Van Moof bikes.

They are an absolute joy to behold and ride, from speeding away when the traffic light goes green holding the power-boost button to cruising at around 30 km/h by cycling to the maximum and then just peddling a bit slower, so it’s hardly any effort.

I first got the Electrified S at the end of 2018 which I used for my daily commute (~20km there and 20km back) and after riding it for almost 10.000km with half-yearly maintenance check-up’s it was well worth the 3000 euro price tag. I manage to sell it with some old-age issues for a couple of hundred and the buyer paid a few more for repairs but then he still had a nice bike for a third of the price of a new one.

Then I bought an S3, besides having to wait 4 months for it to get delivered, there were problems with it from the start, specifically with the automatic gears and the “kicker” (the button on the rear axle that locks the bike and turns on the alarm), great feature, if it works.

At that point in time you could still reach Van Moof by phone but getting your bike repaired means:

  • Call them and be on hold for at least half an hour
  • getting a drop-off appointment around a week later
  • turning the steer 90 degrees so it would fit in my car, driving 45 min. through the centre of Amsterdam to get to the store, turn the steer back and drop it off.
  • Pick it up ‘4- 5 workdays later’
  • Within a week discovering the problem wasn’t fixed
  • rinse and repeat, again not able to use the bike for another 2 weeks

After the third time this happened in as many months. I told them that I wasn’t convinced doing this exercise a fourth time would yield a different result, they then offered to replace the bike with a new one.

Which again, great service, but having to wait 6 weeks again to pick up the new bike. The kicker on the new bike only worked like 50% of the time, but I couldn’t be bothered to have it repaired anymore as I rarely left the bike in public.

So for about half a year I could enjoying cycling to and from work and some longer distances in the weekend. (around 2000 km) and then something broke again, different errorcodes in the screen all indicating a problem with the battery. so here we go again.

Van Moof no longer has a phone number to call, only a chat option in the website. and after a while somebody answered, and said after hearing the issue, to bring it into the store for repair, only now the first option is in 2 weeks, and then the 5 working days, so I’m out of a bike again for 3 weeks.

A month later, same problem, errorcodes indicating battery issues. again 3 weeks without a bike. I found out after the second repair they put a second hand refurbished battery in. which seemed odd for a bike that is still under warranty.

But at that point I had already made the decision to sell the bike once I got it back.
Luckily the bikes are so popular, people were overbidding each other so I could sell it close to the buying price.

I now ride a bike that has similar performance for a similar price, but it’s a more established brand with better proven technology.
I do miss the power-boost button though.

I think the lesson to learn here is that you can have a great brand, great market strategy and a friendly costumer service but if the quality is not there, in the end that doesn’t matter anymore as you would have lost those customers.

Although I still love the brand. It’s going to take some hard convincing on van Moof’s part to get me to buy a new one but I have to say that seeing the new V got me hesitating again..

UPDATE 12 July 2023

In the news today, vanMoof had to request to deferral of payments, usually the last step before they declare bankruptcy, unfortunately they didn’t get the quality up to par, but they kept selling bikes, I see them everywhere in Amsterdam and Amstelveen. I do feel sorry, as the bike was unique with some great innovative technology. hopefully someone will invest for a restart, getting service and maintenance costs down should be prio one then.

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This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. © 2023 by Gertjan Assies