We’ve all heard it: “Supply chain issues”. This is one of the main reasons for the disruption in so many industries across the spectrum. And in an age when micromobility products like e-bikes and electric scooters are taking off like wildfire, many companies are coming under fire for slower shipping and slower responses to customer complaints. But while several companies have battled consumer anger, one has drawn more anger than anyone: GoTrax.
Things got so bad that the Better Business Bureau issued a rare public warning last month notifying consumers that it was reporting GoTrax and giving the company an “F” rating.
The complaints weren’t just about slow shipping which affected much of the industry, but also about defective products and warranty issues.
To be fair, GoTrax is known as a low budget company, and therefore their e-bikes and scooters favor affordable prices over better build. But even for a business on a low budget, complaints were piling up far more than anywhere else.
The BBB said it began investigating GoTrax “after receiving hundreds of complaints from customers in 41 states in the United States and Canada.”
It is…. not good.
To figure out what was wrong and find out what they were planning to do about it, I spoke directly with the company.
And to their credit, they laid it all bare.
GoTrax Marketing Director Jeff Lawrence discussed the issues in detail with me. He explained that they were monitoring their declining ratings, but did not realize the BBB score had dropped to an “F” rating until the office issued its public warning.
As Jeff continued:
As we planned for 2022, it was evident to our management that in order to continue to separate GoTrax from other brands of electric scooters, we needed to improve our service.
We have categorized our BBB complaints and here are the main issues:
1. Problem with the product – especially outside the 90 day warranty period
2. Slow or unreachable customer service issue
3. The Future – What GoTrax Customers Can Expect
He then discussed the plan the company has developed to address each of the concerns.
Product reliability issues
Starting with the product reliability and warranty issues, GoTrax decided to increase its warranty period from 90 to 180 days.
Quality standards are also increasing, which the company says is evidenced by its recent drop in product return rate of over 50%.
Jeff said this can be attributed to two things. First, GoTrax has strived to improve its manufacturing process, from using higher quality components such as battery connectors, hardware, and wiring, to implementing third-party QC. who inspects the factory work on site. Second, GoTrax started selling less of its entry-level models and more of its more expensive but better quality models, such as the GMax and G4. These scooters range from $ 599 to $ 799, compared to GoTrax’s cheaper scooters at $ 349.
Our G4 and GMAX ultra are extremely popular with the lowest return rate. In our Facebook group (not run by GoTrax, but run by real runners) you can find posts from people resetting the odometer two or three times. It resets at 1000 miles. This is extremely impressive for an electric scooter from $ 599 to $ 799.
Jeff explained that GoTrax will also have a new series of electric scooters, which will debut in February, which have been developed using customer feedback to further improve the design.
Improve customer service
For many GoTrax scooter owners, customer service has become the number one complaint against the company. And Jeff says GoTrax is now keenly aware of this shortcoming.
“This is the problem that we definitely see as a failure on our part, and we have taken the most steps to correct it in order to have the best year ever for GoTrax and its pilots.”
Jeff explained that one of the biggest issues for the business during the pandemic was personnel.
To help, GoTrax now complements its internal customer service team with an additional third-party support service that is trained by GoTrax staff and works directly with the team. By January 2021, the GoTrax support team had fallen to a low of just four people. A year later that team grew to 29. Jeff says this has helped them reduce their average ticket response time to less than 12 hours.
The company is also transitioning its top customer service agents to phone support this week, which Jeff explains took a longer training period for the product knowledge needed to cope with the wide range of scooters and scooters. electric bikes offered by GoTrax.
GoTrax is now actively monitoring its BBB complaints and has been able to contact customers on all complaints filed in 2021, although Jeff explained that this is difficult because the BBB sometimes provides very little contact information. This can make it difficult for GoTrax to match complaints to their customer database. A quick check of the BBB page shows that many of these complaints have now been marked as resolved by customers. GoTrax says it is still working to resolve the rest of the complaints.
Jeff explained that GoTrax hired a new customer service manager who previously led an Apple remote service team, and hired a new team leader for the phone support team that previously handled phone support at Dyson. . Jeff suggested that if anyone has a complaint that has not been resolved, they can contact the GoTrax Customer Service Manager directly at [email protected]
GoTrax previously earned a one-star rating based on reviews posted on its BBB page, but has since fallen to just under 4 stars with a current rating of 3.94 / 5. The BBB’s “F” rating is still valid, but Jeff says GoTrax is committed to achieving an “A” rating and a 4.5 / 5 rating by the end of 2022.
Improve the customer experience
Going forward, GoTrax is now working hard to ensure that customers have a much better experience than in the past.
Jeff explained what customers can expect right now:
- 14 days to test a new scooter or return it if not satisfied.
- 6 months free warranty coverage, optional 1 to 2 year warranty plan from Mulberry.
- Lifetime of troubleshooting and help with parts, plus constantly updated product guides.
Going forward, GoTrax will implement these features by May 2022:
- Opened a service center in Dallas, TX to repair warranty scooters and provide affordable repairs for out-of-warranty scooters. The team is apparently already hired and working on the preparation of the new service center.
- Increased effort to source parts and keep them well stocked despite current supply chain issues. The company also sends more spare parts in advance with new models so that owners already have parts if they are needed.
- A potential increase in the warranty to 1 year on high-end models and new 2022 models.
As Jeff continued:
From ownership to employees, our biggest focus this year is to deliver more value to our customers. We want every GoTrax customer to be sure that 1) you will get a 100% working scooter, 2) if you have any issues you can always reach us Monday through Friday, and 3) that it is new, within 6 months or after the warranty, we always have a solution for our customers to start driving again.
Bad reviews are ultimately part of running a business. You can’t please everyone. Every week my inbox is flooded with people telling me why Company X is the worst in the world because Y happened and the e-bike / e-scooter brand has to implode because it didn’t give them Z. I don’t think i’ve heard of a single micromobility company that doesn’t have support complaints floating around the internet. And it’s worse than ever now due to increased demand combined with tight supply. It’s a perfect storm.
But GoTrax was in a league of its own when it comes to bad reviews. While I used to receive email pretty much equally for most businesses, GoTrax complaints started pouring in faster and more fervently than ever before. There was obviously something going on and I knew it was time to get the company to ask for an explanation.
In fact, I was impressed with the way GoTrax took its responsibility and said, “We screwed up. Here’s how we try to get current customers to have issues, and here’s how we try to prevent it from happening again in the future.
This does not exempt them from bad practices. And that kind of insight certainly sheds light on what happened. Four people in customer service? Wow. Big companies like Rad Power Bikes have literally hundreds of people working on phone lines and email / chat support.
But I’m happy to see that GoTrax is making real improvements where it counts – including product reliability and support. The best solution is to make your business break less. But since some things always break, efficient service is a must.
So I am cautiously optimistic that GoTrax will be able to meet its goals and take care of its commitments to customers. But time will tell. Just like their BBB rating.
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