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SAZbike 11/2021
Reading time 4 minutes

Workshops checked with hidden camera

The German broadcasting corporation SWR has checked bicycle workshops with hidden camera in their programme “Marktcheck”. As a reaction to the poor results in the test, expert Dirk Zedler recommends standardised acceptance for repair.


The “Marktcheck” programme “E-bike workshop test reveals shocking results” was published on May 25. It is available on the website at menu point “Marktcheck”. The report lasts eleven minutes.

In the programme SWR reporters examined the quality of bicycle workshops. The workshop of VSF member E-Box from Künzelsau was the only workshop that convinced.
The reporters brought various electric bicycles with different defects to three bicycle workshops for repair and documented this with a hidden camera. Beforehand, all bicycles had been checked by Dirk Zedler, managing director of the test institute Zedler. In addition to the repair, the reporters placed particular emphasis on the quality of the acceptance for repair as well as on a comprehensible and reliable cost calculation for the customer.

The specialist shop E-Box identified and repaired the defects within the announced costs. The shop operates the workshop according to the VSF All-ride concept, i.e. with standardised acceptance for repair, which includes elements of a sales talk. For branch manager Patrick Kühn this is the key for success: “The workflow helps us to ensure a consistently high quality and the best possible (price) transparency. From my point of view, the acceptance for repair together with the customers has proven itself in practice. As a result, this means significantly less time expenditure in the follow-up.“

It is confirmed by Dirk Zedler that only the performance of this workshop was satisfactory. The programme, however, shows only part of his advice. Indicators for the selection of a good shop are missing.

Zedler recommends the following acceptance for repair towards SAZbike:

• The e-bike is inspected together with the customer.
• The most important safety checks are carried out at once (brake pressure point, handlebar fixing, true run of the wheels, etc.).
• Evident defects (brittle tyres, worn chain, severely worn rims, etc.) are communicated directly.
• The customer is inquired on his findings during riding and on repairs he has made on his part.
• Services to be performed that are not evident (such as software updates) are pointed out.
• A first cost estimate is made.
• A maximum cost limit is agreed upon; additional costs arising above the limit are communicated to the customer.
• The customer receives a copy of the workshop order listing the points discussed.

As a result, the acceptance of order follows a standardised procedure. It is not necessary to be a member of an association to carry out repairs; even dealers who are not members of an association attach great importance to a standardised acceptance for repair.

Author: Tillman Lambert