Report: #1074968

Complaint Review: EagleRider

  • Submitted: Mon, August 12, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, August 12, 2013
  • Reported By: Mark — West Long Branch New Jersey
  • EagleRider
    217 Avocado St. #5
    Costa Mesa, California


Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...



They will send you out on motorcycles they claim are safe

and when it breaks down, due to a known defect,

they will leave you stranded.


Worse yet, any and all costs you incur for transportation, lodging, etc. is your problem.  Yeah, that’s in their “fine print”.

Here is my story:

Recently I was on a business trip in California and decided to rent a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  After Googling “Harley rentals in CA”, came up pretty high in the search listings.  After calling Eagle Rider in Newport Beach, CA, I reserved a 2012 Heritage Soft tail for a day ride.  I actually rented on two occasions, the first time on July 18th for the day ride.  The staff was great, the bike was a pleasure to ride and I planned to rent again for an overnight ride the following week.

I rented the same bike on Sunday, July 21st, headed North and had a great ride.  I stayed overnight and started my journey back to Newport Beach on Monday, July 22nd


And that’s when the nightmare began.


After leaving around 12:00 p.m., Monday afternoon and heading South on 101 back to the Eagle Rider, Newport Beach, CA office, 40 miles into my ride, the bike started to decelerate on its own, like the fuel filter might have been clogged.  After a few seconds, it was fine, back to normal.  Then it happened again.  I pulled over and lights were blinking on the dash.  I killed the power, and luckily, I had just passed a Shell Station. So I turned the bike around and pushed it 200 yards into the station.  I tried starting it several times and just kept getting a short, fast clicking sound, like the battery was dead.

At this point, I was in Shell Beach, CA, 4 hours from my destination.

So I called Eagle Rider in Newport Beach, CA to find out what I should do, how they wanted to handle the situation with their bike.  Adam, who was nice enough, tried troubleshooting the problem, eventually says, “You know, if we find this is your fault, and it’s a dead battery, you’re going to have to pay for the tow.”  And “Can you jump start it?”  or “Try putting it in 2nd gear, roll it and pop the clutch.”

Excuse me?

Okay, I understand, I’m sure renters do things all the time to bikes that cause problems, but that was not the case here.  Let’s just figure out how we’re going to get me and the bike back to Costa Mesa, CA and figure the rest out later.  I get it,  Adam is following procedure, doing what he was told to do. But I’m not messing with your rental bike.  What if it does start, I’m 5 miles up the road, and it dies again?  And now I’m nowhere near a gas station.  No, I’m not taking that chance, nor am I a Harley mechanic, thank you.

How about “Sorry to hear our bike broke down and you were inconvenienced”.  No, none of that.  Just more winners like, “How are you planning to get the bike back to us?”

What?!  Seriously?

Is this the first time one of your bikes ever broke down? Doubtful.  And you’re asking me what to do?  Start calling tow truck companies.  Send someone here to retrieve the bike.   So Adam calls me back a few times and says “He’s having trouble finding a company in the area that can tow motorcycles.”  So I went on my phone, googled “tow truck companies” and 2 came up within 10 miles of where I was.   He calls me back later, “I just found a company, 10 miles from there.”  Great.


By now, I was stranded for 3 hours.


Finally, around 4:00 p.m. James from Central towing shows up.  This guy was great (Eagle Rider, Newport Beach, CA should hire guys like this).  We load up the bike, get in the truck and head towards the nearest Harley dealership in Santa Maria, CA.  Adam tells me to “bring it there and put it in the parking lot” and oh, by the way, “They’re closed on Mondays, so they won’t be able to look at it today.” 


No, I’m not leaving your rental bike, in an empty parking lot overnight.  What happens if it’s stolen?  My responsibility, right?  Send me a waiver that I’m not responsible if it’s stolen and I’ll leave it on the side of the road if you want.

Eventually, Adam is not getting it done, so I get the displeasure of speaking to Jim Williams, the manager, who begins to berate me, asking me “Why are you bringing it to that Harley dealership in Santa Maria?”  (um, because Adam told me to – And I hear Jim asking Adam in the background “Why did you tell him to bring it there?!”).  Then he starts in “What did you do to the bike that would have caused this?  Did you leave the ignition switch on overnight and kill the battery?” 

Well, umm, no, because then I wouldn’t have been able to start it this morning when I left and drive it 40 miles South. Idiot.

After more interrogating from Jim, treating me like a 4th grader, we arrive at the Harley Dealership.  James, the tow truck driver, seeing how I was totally being screwed over by Eagle Rider of Newport Beach, CA finally spoke to Jim, the manager.  Jim asked him if he could jump start the bike, which he did, and his meter proved that the bike’s battery was not holding a charge.   It started up, had a low reading, and after a couple of minutes, the bike stalled out.  There was likely a problem with the charging system on the bike.

After that, Jim calmed down, told the tow truck driver James to “Bring the bike back to your yard and store it overnight”, which the tow company agreed to do.  He also said to the tow truck driver “Oh, and tell the renter, I didn’t mean all those things I said”, and get ready for it....


“We’ll take care of him.”



After the tow truck driver was nice enough to drop me off at an Enterprise car rental near his shop, it’s almost 5:00 p.m. now.  Then more great news, I come to find out that a one-way care rental is not available.  And there is no mass transportation from this area.  Buses only run locally and the rail transit stopped running South at 3:00 p.m. 


To top it all off, my cell phone battery, just like the Harley, is dying.  And I can’t find anyplace to plug it in to charge it.  Even the 7-11 where I walked to, had all of the outside outlets locked shut.  I guess there’s a problem with people stealing electricity in the area.  Maybe they’ll steal the piece of s**t Harley that Eagle Rider of Newport Beach, CA rented to me.

So now my wife back in NJ is calling everywhere, trying to find a one-way car rental for me to get back to my hotel in Costa Mesa, 4 hours away.  At this hour, many places are closing or all of their cars are out already.  Finally, she locates a one-way rental with Avis at San Luis Obispo Airport, but it’s not available until the next morning.  I’ll have to stay overnight and go there at 8 a.m., Tuesday morning.


So a $65 taxi ride later, I’m at my $189 hotel in San Luis Obispo.  I get up the next morning, take a $25 taxi to the airport, rent the car from Avis for $105 and drive back to my hotel in Costa Mesa.  I arrive just in time to check out, leave the airport, and make my flight home.

Cost of being inconvenienced by Eagle Rider, Newport Beach, CA - $384.  Cost of losing 10 hours of my life because of their defective bike.  Priceless.

When I arrive back home to NJ, I send an email to Jim on the July 26th, recapping the situation and seeing if he is willing to “take care of me.”  The emails start nice enough from Jim.  He tells me to send him receipts, and asks what I had in mind, etc. 

So I send him an email with my expenses, and he comes back with this on Wednesday 7/31:


Thank you for your quick response. A couple of things…first of all I apologize for the breakdown of the Harley. I know it causes problems, but with Harley Davidson it is part of our business. My issue is not with the breakdown, but where it occurred. It is my firm belief that after driving from Pismo Beach to Newport Beach through the 5:00 Santa Barbara and Los Angeles parking lot, there is no way you would have made it back to the shop anywhere near our closing time. The far distance from our shop also made it impossible to send a truck through the LA and Santa Barbara traffic in order to get you back at a reasonable time. So I think there is an issue on both sides of our story. In addition, $189 for a hotel room on a Sunday night exceeds what would be considered a normal room; I just checked online just a few minutes ago and nice hotel room averages around $100.

Having said that, I wish to try to accommodate you without pissing off the owner!

Here is proposal:

I will not charge you for the additional day of rental at $206.89 per day. I am willing to give you $100 toward your hotel and $100 toward your transportation by refunding you the $206.89 you paid for the rental.

Let me know what you want to do.

Thank you. 

Jim Williams


What a HUGE fail.  Instead of saying no problem, we value you as a present (and future – NOT) customer, he tells me he’s not going to charge me for the next day because I wouldn’t have had the bike back on time.  And he found a room for a $100 that I could have stayed in.  Like after being stranded on the road for 7 hours, I’m going to price shop a hotel to save $89.  And the ONLY reason I’m staying there in the first place is because you rented me a piece of s**t bike! 


An issue that I later come to find that Harley-Davidson

has had recalls for exactly this issue.


After expressing my disappointment, and how I thought Eagle Rider of Newport Beach, CA would have at least offered to cover my out-of-pocket expenses, I get this email the following week on Wednesday 8/7



Sorry I did not get back to you yesterday, I was waiting for a consensus on my reply.

After speaking with both the owner and EagleRider corporate as to their response, we are

prepared to refund you $75 per the EVIP Breakdown Protection clause on the Insurance Damage

Waiver Addendum you agreed to prior to renting the Harley Davidson motorcycle. We regret any

inconvenience you experienced, but as with any mechanical vehicle it is a necessary risk we take.

I have attached the Waiver Addendum for your review.

Jim Williams


WOW.  The geniuses at Eagle Rider are willing to let a customer go away pissed off, possibly (DEFINITELY) write bad reviews about your experience and NEVER rent from Eagle Rider again.  Ever. Even if I rented from them just once a year, over the next 20 years, that would have been close to $4,000 in revenue.  And that starts to add up when all the people I tell about my bad experience choose not to rent from them too. 

Bad move.

It’s a shame the Eagle Rider “Concensus” doesn’t have enough business sense to know the damage that making a stupid customer relations mistake like this can have on their business.  It’s said that a company can salvage a bad customer experience by acknowledging the mistake, apologizing immediately and doing the right thing by the customer – then you can convert them to a customer for life 

Don’t hide behind your fine print.

Good Luck Eagle Rider!  With business policies like this, you won’t be around much longer to give many renters a bad experience.

Your most dissatisfied customer,

Mark Elia


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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/12/2013 06:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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