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Customers Frustrated With Endless Peloton Delivery Delays

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Brooke Lynch
01/20/2021

peloton customer

At-home fitness has triumphed since the pandemic began; with individuals stuck inside, home gym equipment and virtual workout classes have become standard in health-conscious households. These traditional gym alternatives may seem like a convenient luxury, but some are struggling to see the benefits after finding out that high wait times and constant delivery delays come attached to the steep price tag.

Peloton, the exercise equipment and subscription-based media company, was recently criticized after customers began sharing their personal delivery nightmares after ordering the popular bike. They detailed their experiences, with some standard bike deliveries being delayed up to 4 months, in the New York Times feature. The complaints mainly stem from Peloton’s continual rescheduling of customers’ delivery appointments, leading to a lack of clarity on the status of their purchase. 

Customers are taking to social media to voice their outrage with the company, with private groups on Facebook and threads on Reddit being created solely to discuss delay frustration. I personally came across a callout from Deanna Giulietti, a popular TikToker, requesting help from Peloton, or even just bike owners who have any information. She explains in the video, which now has over 900,000 views, that nobody from the company will call her sister back after she placed her order in November. She ends by cutting to a clip of her sister comically screaming that she’s so mad and wants revenge on Peloton. This obviously isn’t a great look for the company, which experienced a massive increase in demand since the pandemic began. 

What’s more frustrating to these customers that have actually waited months to receive their order, is an apparent workaround on its website that allowed some users to secure early delivery dates, potentially within the same month of purchase. This obviously seemed unfair to customers experiencing the delays because it took away prime delivery dates and reduced the already limited inventory. 

To compound this, many find it off putting that Peloton has continued to collect their payments, even when these customers feel they have no firm delivery date in sight. According to the New York Times feature, most begin paying immediately and are typically offered a 3 to 10-week delivery date. However, once the date comes Peloton swiftly reschedules or simply doesn’t show up. The company has continually placed the blame on their shipping companies, but this explanation does little to reassure customers. 

From a customer perspective, it’s easy to feel frustrated when you can’t seem to get your hands on a product you’ve spent thousands on. It also seems interesting that Peloton’s appeal is partially in its focus on building an online community, connecting riders all over the world, and sharing fitness statistics with friends and family. Customers seeking this kind of friendly environment might, then, be surprised to find its agents are unresponsive and remain confused when they can’t seem to contact anyone from the brand. 

To Peloton’s credit, the massive influx of demand stimulated by the pandemic clearly incited a fair amount of supply chain difficulties. However, according to the New York Times piece, the company continued to take orders and advertise its bikes even when the numbers escalated. This discrepancy in supply marks a lack of transparency that may have been a contributor to customers’ frustration. If customers’ expectations were adjusted from the start, and Peloton detailed the fact that their bike could arrive months later, maybe some individuals wouldn’t be voicing their complaints so publicly. Additionally, if agents were more accessible and customers were offered an increased level of support throughout the process they may have been a bit more understanding. 

The company is obviously struggling to meet the heightened demand, but this negative commentary on social media won’t help them either. This case directly illustrates the importance of customer service and its impact on public perception. When customers’ needs aren’t being met, even for a legitimate or uncontrollable reason, they have the potential to shift attention to the negative aspects of your brand. Keeping customers happy is not just a way to attract loyalty but a pivotal aspect of the entire customer experience. No matter how exceptional the product, if customer demand isn’t being met, and access to agents is limited, perception of your entire brand can suffer. 

 

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