Our little girl was over the moon to receive her first bike. We’d decided to use The Bike Club, because we were supporting a ‘reuse’ economy, where the company sends out reconditioned bikes. Then, when you need an upgrade – pretty much a given due to the normal process of children needing bigger everything – you send back your bike, and get one of the correct size.

We paid our monthly fee happily for more than a year, and our daughter loved the bike. Not ‘girly’. A lovely design, and fully suitable for her needs.

Then – after Christmas – we saw that she needed a new set of wheels. She’d outgrown her bike, and we decided to take up on the stated offer of a replacement (bigger) bike. As advertised, and as confirmed via an email from one of the customer service representatives.

Except we didn’t get the bike. With no explanation, we were told that no bikes were available – contradicting earlier assurances. Lengthy periods went without any contact, despite our repeated requests for information. Our daughter’s birthday came and went – with no bike forthcoming.

Eventually, when we were utterly frustrated with the company, we asked whether it would be cheaper for us to cancel the contract and pay the £30 bike return fee, or wait until a total of 18 months had elapsed, in which case we’d have been eligible for a replacement with shipping paid for. No response.

In the end we just cancelled the contract. My complaints on Twitter resulted in them blocking me. Likewise on Linkedin. My polite response to the Founder and a request to connect to discuss our issues, was ignored.

If you examine the company profile, The Bike Club is listed as a Financial Services Company. They’re currently extolling the virtues of their product as an investment. Not a values-based organisation, but one highly focused on profit.

Picture of the Bike Club's LinkedIn page

My advice is to steer clear. Their claims of customer service – in our experience – can’t be supported. They have chosen to do the exact opposite of good practice in terms of public relations, which is to ignore complaints, instead of engaging with a genuine grievance.

Don’t use their service. Don’t invest. And advise your friends against.