In their programme “Marktcheck” on May 27 SWR reporters checked the quality of bicycle workshops. The workshop of VSF bicycle dealer E-Box from Künzelsau was the only workshop that convinced. The reporters brought various electric bicycles of consumers 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 (Ludwigsburg). 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 towards the customer.
The specialist shop E-Box from Künzelsau identified and repaired the defects within the announced costs. The shop operates the workshop according 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 of repairs 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 SWR editorial team, however, only showed some of his statements, but not the indicators for choosing a good specialist shop.
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.
This is Dirk Zedler’s advice for the specialist trade: In our opinion and experience, it is important and urgent for the industry to raise the topics workshops and service to a level that meets the demands of mobility. Today, specialist shops are visited by many more cyclists who are no tech nerds and don't need to be. With the bicycle they simply buy a function and not a collection of prestigious carbon qualities, titanium screws or a collection of adjustment wheels on suspension forks or rear shocks. The industry is right in the middle of a radical change: Out of the leisure area into mobility. Many actors have to get out of their comfort zone.”
See the SWR programme here.
Author: Tillmann Lambert