Nightmare with Golden Eagle (GeBe)

Discussion in 'Dealer Reviews' started by LPisGood, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. LPisGood

    LPisGood New Member

    Fellow bikers,

    I need to vent my frustration with this company. I'm sure there are several happy Golden Eagle customers out there. However, I'm NOT one of them, and I would definitely not recommend that anybody do business with them. Here is my story:

    I placed an order for the Robin/Subaru 4-stroke in early July. After placing the order, I talked with a sales rep over the phone about NY state laws and I expressed concern about the legality of motorizing my bike. She informed me that there were several satisfied customers in NYC so it shouldn't be a problem. My worries were somewhat assuaged. I said that I wanted to think about it some more and that I would call back within 24 hours. I also mentioned that if I didn't call back in 24 hours, GeBe should just go ahead and ship the engine. She agreed and made a note to ship the engine in 24 hours unless I called back...fairly simple.

    I decided not to call back... I really wanted that engine!

    I waited several weeks, but no engine arrived. I finally received an email asking if I still wanted it to be shipped. Apparently they placed a complete "hold" on the order. Even after the conversation and the specific note, they managed to mess it up. So I emailed back and said yes, of course I want the engine.

    It finally arrived, but I soon discovered that installation was impossible... they shipped the wrong drive ring. I had ordered the 32-spoke and they sent the 36. I consulted my invoice to make sure I ordered the right part. The invoice confirmed their mistake.

    So I contacted them; left a voicemail and sent two emails. They finally got back to me and expressed doubt, asking me to go back and count my spokes again. I reluctantly did for the umpteenth time, and my count was the same. So I contacted them again...waited again. They said they would ship out the correct drive ring... BUT, they billed me for it... 50 bucks! I had to return the wrong drive ring, and pay for shipping OUT OF POCKET, in order for them to remove the $50 balance from my account! This was to correct the mistake that THEY made.

    For my inconvenience, they offered to compensate me with an extra kevlar belt. But this, too, was contingent on me shipping the wrong drive ring back to them. What kind of customer service compensation is that? All I wanted was the correct drive ring with expedited delivery...but no deal.

    So the RIGHT drive ring finally showed up (at my expense) and I began installation again. This time I encountered new problems. It turned that out my rear axle was not long enough for installation. They don't tell you this, but for most bikes you need a longer axle to mount the engine. So I custom ordered an axle from a nearby bike shop and waited another few days for its arrival. Once I got the new axle on my bike, I discovered that I still couldn't mount the engine unless I drilled and modified the frame. Now, over the phone I had been informed that the engine mount is universal and fits just about any bike. I even made sure to mention the specifics of my bike and they assured me that the mount would fit.

    They were wrong.

    I tried to roll with the punches a little bit. I had come this far and spent a lot of money. I wasn't going to let the mistakes of one company mess up my dream of motorizing my bike.

    So I decided to forget the old bike and set my sights on a new one. I picked out a Marin Coast Trail (a nice, inexpensive ride) and had the bike shop fit it with the custom ordered longer axle that I purchased.

    ...but lo and behold, the engine STILL wouldn't mount on this bike either!

    This was the last straw. My frustration had peaked. I contacted GeBe and asked for a full refund in light of their mistakes and misinformation. It took them two days to get back to me and I was told that there is a 20% re-stocking fee. Which means if I return the engine I lose $125.80! That's before shipping and handling!

    I asked them to waive the re-stocking fee in light of their mistakes and misleading statements. Again, I waited several days for a response, so I sent another email. Finally they responded and informed me that they would not waive the fee, even though the engine is unused and in mint condition. (These delays in correspondence were a recurring theme. It was incredibly difficult to communicate with them. I would leave messages and emails, yet it would take days to receive a response.)

    So that's pretty much the long and short of it (mostly long...apologies for the rant). Because of GeBe's misleading statements, shipping errors, inadequate compensation for their mistakes, and reluctance to provide remotely decent customer service, I must advise others NOT to do business with them. I am now in the process of trying to sell this engine because I do not want to deal with them anymore and I am unwilling to lose $125.80 (plus S&H) in re-stocking fees.

    I have finally cooled off from the frustration of this whole escapade and this post is not out of anger. I post here to save you the time of dealing with the poor business ethics of Golden Eagle Bike Engines. Their product might be worthwhile, but I would never know. I was unable to ever use it.

    Best of luck, and all responses are welcome.

  2. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    The axle is problematic. Most axles nowadays are quick-release. Solid axles are found mostly on dept. store bikes and often aren't long enough to accomodate the engine mount brackets.

    GEBE sells solid axles, but not the cones, bearings, or spacers. I wish they would, as the small parts that are needed are hard to find. Bike shops lie and tell me they don't make parts for 10mm axles anymore.

    Someone here made some mount adapters that bolt onto the mickey-mouse tabs (fender mount holes) so that you can mount the engine brackets there.

    On a right-sized bicycle, the GEBE system is the best.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  3. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    Which is why they say - check and check again before you order.

    1 1/4 inch clearance for the sheave on the rear wheel and a solid axle.

    On both my bikes I've not had a problem - the first needed a solid axle - It was just a matter of sliding it through where the skewer used to be. The second I have to be a little careful with because of the limited space on the axle with a U-stand as well..

    As to everything else - they've been so swamped with orders they closed their online ordering site - you might cut them a little slack when it comes to stuff like that. For the US again 32 is standard, 36 is not. When they've brought people in to process orders who dont know the system as well, you are bound to get problems as the sheaves look identical.

    I have worked with alot of IT companies and other suppliers in my time, and alot of them will ask for a re-stocking fee thats 20% or so. In the case of GEBE I suspect its because their product is in a new market - and more to the point, if someones attempted to mount the kit up and such, they wont be able to sell it as new.

    GEBE specifically states that you check the bike using their dimensions first - to be honest it doesnt sound like you did. What was the problem with the Marin bike? there are alot of people on here, myself included, who could help you get it running. I am very surprised that the bike needs drilling to fit up the motor - the frame mounts that people have done on here tend to be for convenience, not necessity.

    Jemma xx
  4. softride

    softride Member

    I had a similar problem when I ordered an extra motor gear and they said i ordered a belt even though I have the e mails to prove that I could buy the extra gear with my kit order before it shipped.
    however neither a gear or a belt arrived and I am out $30.00
  5. RogerS

    RogerS Member

    Wow. I was on the fence between GEBE and Staton, man am I glad I chose Staton. I ordered it yesterday.
  6. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I've been self-employed with several small businesses most of my life, as I currently am now.

    I am empathetic to a point, but find little room in the way to apologize or 'cut slack' if a business can't handle success while most guard against failure.

    Being swamped is a good problem to have, sure beats the alternative.
  7. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    IMO, you did the right thing and would be surprised if you are disappointed.
  8. Honda50

    Honda50 Member

    Staton...I like Staton. :smile:
  9. sabala

    sabala Guest

    Hmmmm, first off I'd never confirm an order by "not calling back", that's just asking for trouble.

    I'm surprised you didn't order the pre built wheel from GEBE, it makes installation a lot simpler. On the website they tell you exactly what measurements to look for in a bike. I cut an 8 1/2" piece of string and brought it with me on my Craig's list bike searches to measure from the rear axel. Then at that mark I take a credit card or drivers license and see if it fits between the chain stays, (all info from GEBE website). Found a fit on the second bike and picked it up.

    Sux about the wrong drive ring though. I'd think you just send the wrong one back and they send you the right one?? I'd have to side with you on that one.

    I imagine if you try re selling it you'll still take a bit of a financial hit. Maybe see if you can find a bike to mount the kit on using the string/credit card measuring tricks before giving up 100%.

    I bought my kit the first week in May and I'm just now ready to finally put oil and gas in it. I might've been overly cautious in preparation but I think it was better in the long run.

    If you still stay GEBE be ready for possible belt tracking issues, (mentioned on their site, not too hard to fix) and the clips for kill switch and throttle kinda DON"T fit. I just picked up a couple hose clamps yesterday-works like a charm.

    I've had ZERO problems with GEBE customer service so far. Still, sorry to hear about your experiences. Hope you get motored soon!
  10. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    Yours seems like a pretty isolated case but in all fairness if it's NOT your mistake the vendor should bend over backwards to make sure your happy,completely happy.
    Since yours isn't a warranty claim so i see no reason why u should be out-of-pocket when u were given the wrong parts in the first place.
    Word of mouth( + MBc forum) is extremely important so this can do nothing but undermine GEBE's reputation & loose potential customers.
    Sorry for your time/$$$ loss.................everyone looses. :cry:
  11. LPisGood

    LPisGood New Member

    >>Hmmmm, first off I'd never confirm an order by "not calling back", that's just asking for trouble.

    I agree. It was an awkward way of doing it. But I was assured that it was okay, that they understood, and that they made a note to ship it unless they heard back. Unusual maybe...but complicated? No.

    >>I've had ZERO problems with GEBE customer service so far.
    I was surprised too, because I hadn't heard anything that bad about the company. But I'm a small business man, and they way you treat one customer is a microcosm of the company as a whole. And this incident definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

    Anyway, sabala, thanks for your reply.

  12. Accender

    Accender Member

    Things happen,
    In the original post LPisgood mentioned putting the order on hold with stipulations.
    That is a recipe for problems of which you share some complicity.
    No comment on the other problems.

  13. astring

    astring Member

    I read a couple of hundred of posts on this board and every word on the GEBE website before ordering so I knew that I had to get the 12 g spoke pre-built wheel with the long axle. I am really glad I did, I totally love my GEBE bike. To me the biggest tragedy here is that you will end up with an inferior ride. Julia and Dennis (and Augidog) have been very service oriented with me, they helped me through a number of glitches with patients.

    That being said, if I ever feel jerked around by a company I remind them that each state that they do business in has different consumer laws and I can fill out complaints in all 50 of them in less than two hours over the internet. This has NEVER failed to get me the cooperation I need (even with, which some of you may know is a big deal). Also credit card companies are pretty effective.
    (this is a general comment not really directed to GEBE who are great).
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  14. LPisGood

    LPisGood New Member

    Thanks for your thoughts, Accender.

    I understand your effort to relieve GeBe of complete responsibility, and I'm certain that some people are going to rush to the defense of GeBe. In fact, I'm surprised that no GeBe representatives have responded to this post in their own defense. But it was a very simple arrangement.

    Imagine you have plans with a friend. He calls you and says, "I'm gonna come over tomorrow." You reply, "Well, I might be busy, but plan on coming by. If you don't hear back from me tomorrow, just come on over...and we'll ride our motorized bikes." ;)

    That's a fairly easy arrangement to comprehend. And I was assured over the phone that it wasn't a problem.

    Anyway, that was just the beginning. But thanks for your reply, Accender.
  15. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Get a staton. They're systems are made the way a bike SHOULD be motorized. Staton is a little difficult to communicate with as well however their systems will fit on just about any bike with few exceptions.

    RATRODER Guest

    Not that I'm taking any sides but
    Some times the best response is no response at all
  17. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    Ok, as far as a vendor response goes, Augi is the only GEBE rep that visits this board. As most of you know he is tied up right now totally with the rally that will end today. I am a staunch lover of GEBE and just now stumbled on this thread myself.

    I'm sure there will be some vendor response soon.
  18. augidog

    augidog New Member

  19. Eco Speeder

    Eco Speeder Member

    I feel the same way. I love the GEBE system and did not mind having to engineer out a few of the flaws myself. But they seem to be intoxicated by the $sales boost and show no signs of wanting to sober up and go back being the customer service oriented company that they used to be.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  20. augidog

    augidog New Member seemed i was expected to make an appearance here, so i figured to make my (individual) position clear.

    since i'm here again:, (summa)yathink the gebe-guys are all rich now and that's that, eh? well, in truth they've been trying to figure out how exactly to make the best use of the recent "stimulus" to their business. an office-helper for juls, more automation for more efficient shipping and related info, a full-time assembler for den in the shop, which is going to be physically's gonna take a bit of time but things are moving forward. methinks you're selling these (completely cool) folks short...but i guess time will be the best witness.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008