This company has no intention of dealing fairly with its dealers or customers. The overal impression we have from working with them is that they need money, and they are quite willing to scam anyone by sending inferior goods, if any.
The three bikes I ordered from them were damaged in transit and they refused to file a claim or to assist in any way with a cost assessment of the replacement parts, and they don't seem to have any replacement parts available.
Long story ~
In early May, I contacted this company about opening a dealership in September here in a college town. Affordable made in America electric motorcycles sound like a no brainer for the demographic, right? No one picks up at the 800 number. I looked up the listed manufacturing facility address and called...not there anymore. My emails were not returned.
Out of the blue in June, Benjamin Plum phoned to say if I bought bikes immediately he would waive the dealer requirements and send me three bikes with a 50% up front and 50% in September. My understanding was that they would be shipped and the balance would be due after I'd had September to show and sell them.
His part time assistant Sean called to take the credit card number - which was a whole 'nother set of problems at their end! - and I set about arranging for a dealer space, advertising, etc. while I waited for the bikes.
Then a bland note from Sean requesting $2500 for promotional materials. They said they were giving me a break on the $5000 is the mandatory promo requirement. Some discussion later, believing (as per Ben on the phone) that they would send a reduced amount of the classy items in the dealer agreement promo list, I paid it and waited excitedly to start local promos.
Also, I agreed to and paid their $850.00 shipping estimate and offer. Six weeks and several emails later, no bikes, no promo material, no shipping info...no one on the phone...Until! Sean called to collect the balance. They would not ship until it was paid in full. Hmm. I paid and waited expectantly. And waited. And waited. No bikes, no response to email queries, and Benjamin was always in another meeting when I phoned, and Sean had no idea about what was happening with the order. Weeks later Sean emailed that they'd were shipped. He had no tracking information. He had no clue about any promo material.
We were never contacted about delivery. Evolve failed to respond to my queries but I looked up the phone number for the shipper from the emailed estimate and tracked down the LTL. Apparently they'd tried to deliver but Unfortunately Evolve gave the trucker the wrong phone number for us. There was no one here so they drove off again. It was another ten days before they could re-deliver. We were now a month behind on our projected opening, a critical marketing time when students came in for the Fall semester.
Finally one rainy day the truck arrived! Sketchy skeletal 'crates with scant & torn up bubbledwrap all were bent, one completely smashed up. The driver said that's how HE'd received them. I signed the sheet to take delivery so that he could offloaded the bikes. I went to get my camera to record the damage. When I came back the driver was in his truck waving out the window that he had to rush more deliveries out and I said wait, how do I file if there's damage? He said, just send pictures to his company. I uncrated, took pictures, called Evolve, . Ben said, what did they do, drop the bikes off a cliff? And assured me he'd take action. I called the trucking company. they said they'd only deal with the shipper i.e. Evolve. I called Evolve. again to let them know & I sent pictures.
Next week, hearing nothing, I managed to contact Ben. He said he though I was the shipper, not Evolve so he'd done nothing. We cleared that up. I assumed he filed. Next I heard was a forwarded email from Ben to the shipping broker, AllPhase. He didn't initiate this contact. Their rep emailed him about overdue payments at which point he said he wasn't paying them because of a botched delivery...and that was how the shipping company first heard of it.
His idea of helping was to refuse to pay any of his shipping tab and to get hot under the collar and threaten lawsuits etc., but he did not send any pictures or fill out the claim forms! Ben had decided that since they shipped it "as a courtesy" to us, they were not really involved and it was my problem. Evolve needed to review the pictures and state the value of damages on a claim form. They failed to do so.
The ship broker, AllPhase Logistics, is a good company and their rep, Billy Stanzione, is a great guy. He made every effort to help settle the claim. Billy S. finally made a lowball guesstimate just to get the paperwork in on time.
It was denied twice since they had a signed receipt with no damages marked.
I finally hit up the head of the claims department, had the company interview the driver and get the truth. The claim was approved.
Evolve did NOTHING. Did not file a claim. Did not send replacements parts. Did not even send an estimate of the COST of replacement parts in response to emails & phone calls. Not from me, not from AllPhase.The insurance company cut a check to Evolve for the claim, and sent it to AllPhase. AllPhase won't release it until Evolve pays their multiple tabs for shipping, not just mine. Which brings us to another facet of the situation: As a last resort to resolve the problem, I opened a dispute on the recent credit card payments. THat set Ben off on a head spin again. While telling me how Evolve would support and assist me in settling the claim, he wrote to the credit card company that they believed I had file a false claim for damages in an attempt to defraud Evolve.
Meanwhile by phone he was talking on the other side of his face - he made more promises to send repair parts, and better promo materials. I agreed to release the dispute, on his word that he would make good on the damages and useless promo stuff. I release all but $1700, which may or may not cover the cost of the replacement parts. Only, there don't seem to be any available. I don't think they have any inventory at all. contrary to their website under Service: http://evolvemotorcycles.com/?page_id=5
<<need a new part? evolve motorcycles are designed with replace and go parts. an automated inventory system guarantees evolve can replace any part on any evolve motorcycle.>>
* An aside: the $2500 promo materials finally arrived - 2 badly packed tattered ripped open boxes. that held (barely) a number of out of date catalogs with only 1 current model. 100 unmailable 8x10 placards . Blue evolvebrandfed file folders. Small blue paper bags with white handles. Nothing from the list in the agreement: no bike stand, no banner, no podium, no floor mats, no mailable postcards. It was a bunch of outdated/leftover papergoods from their promotional booths. NTM much of it was damaged in transit - stucktogether pages, torn corners...yikes. Response from EVOLVE? A half hearted offer to replace the damaged paper goods.
Mr Plum feels quite aggrieved that e don't want to send the $1700 credit card balance to him until he sends our parts. Based on his past behavior, we suspect we will never see those parts anyhow.
Overall, we paid them $10,000 and have three damaged bikes and a lot of useless paperwork. Any advice?
It's really too bad. It was a good idea, and a pretty good product, and it deserved better management.