UDC update

Dear friends:

Thank you for your honest comments about us on this forum recently. Some have come to our defense, for which we’re grateful, and some have taken us to the woodshed, deservedly so. We actually get most orders shipped correctly, but when we screw up, it tends to be spectacular. We continually monitor our progress, and I’m happy to say that as our order numbers have increased over the years, the number of errors has decreased dramatically. But any errors are bad for customers and bad for us, so we’ll keep improving our processes until there are none. There is no good excuse for errors.

We are grateful to those who have endured our growing pains with us. Please know that we clearly understand that we work for you, and we get to do something we enjoy every day because of you, and we will work hard to ensure your satisfaction with us.

This lively discussion brought to light some areas for improvement, and some misconceptions. I’d like to address a few of them. I also want to announce something new that will help us manage the ordering and fulfillment processes.
First, we obviously took a public thrashing recently at the hand of a UDC dealer. Our company policy is to work directly with anyone who is unhappy with us, by phone, by personal email, or in person. While we would love to set the record straight on this forum, we will not take a private dispute public. We won’t do that to anyone, dealer or customer.

To those who offered constructive criticism meant to help us improve, thank you. In some cases we may be unaware of problems. This forum becomes our public report card, and we learn from it. Others who criticized without specifics, please let me know what happened. If you have been treated unfairly by anyone at Unicycle.com, please tell me. My email address is amy@unicycle.com. We’ve had issues in the past that we have addressed, so if anyone has a problem going forward, I need to know. You can tell everyone on this forum too, but please tell me and be specific. Unicycle.com is still a small, family-owned business, and I care very much about our reputation.

You’ll notice when placing an order online, and when we correspond by email, that we include a link to a survey. The vast majority are positive, and some offer constructive criticism. We read every one. We always welcome feedback, good or bad.

Some complained about religious literature. World champion unicyclist Dustin Kelm, from Minnesota, is a close friend. He’s a popular performer and entertainer at churches and schools (public and private). He does faith-based shows and secular shows. He is also the teacher on our how-to-unicycle video, Introduction to Unicycling. To help promote him, we have sometimes included his flyer with our shipments. We have also included flyers from the Unicycling Society of America and from others who are promoting regional events. We do this as a service to unicyclists and unicycling organizations; these are created by them and submitted to us. They do not include our company name or logo.

Some have suggested that we have a monopoly. We don’t. Just type the word ‘unicycle’ in your search engine and you’ll find plenty of other sources for unicycles. There are also roughly 4,000 bike shops that can order unicycles from suppliers other than us. What we offer is a wide selection of products and superior customer service. When we have shipped an order incorrectly, we go to great lengths to correct the error.

Some complained about being charged for items not shipped. Here’s how the process works:

  1. When you place an online order and enter your credit card information, you are charged immediately.
  2. We ship what’s in stock within 48 hours.
  3. We notify you immediately when an item is out of stock. We ask how you want to proceed—wait for the item or request a refund.

We do not keep unearned income. We would never bill someone for an item they did not order, and we would never withhold shipment on an item that has been paid for. There’s no logical reason for it.

And to wrap this up, a bit of good news. We’ve been developing a new website for several months. We plan to have it ready by March 31, our 10th anniversary. Enhancements include a better inventory-management system, (you’ll know if an item is in stock or not before you order it), and an alternative shipping method (the US Postal Service) for small orders. We are conducting extensive tests now, and our goal is to make it error-free. Once we make it available, if you spot any problems, please let us know immediately.

We thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Amy Drummond


1-800-Unicycle

Good post. I can’t wait for the new website.

Thanks for chiming in a letting people know what is going on. I am really glad to see you are going to be offering the option on USPS, should save some people some money.

Thanks very much Amy. Good to hear about the plans for a new website and also great to hear about the USPS option. I’m assuming this feature will be available for Canadians as well…?

Excellent update. Thank you.

Hi Jeremy. If you are referring to our in-house custom wheelbuilding, these are done by Josh Torrans, our general manager, and sometimes John Kovachi. Is this what you meant?

There were reports of wheels that weren’t true and some that weren’t even tensioned. I imagine that he’s asking about those.

I’m not a customer of UDC US, but it’s good to see that you are trying to improve. I look forward to all the positive threads that should come out in the near future.

I just want to let you know that I’ve only had great service from you. I’ve made about 5 orders now, 4 of which were very big orders, and I haven’t had a problem. Shipping is quick despite being in California, and I get what I paid for. You’ve got my support.

Can’t wait to see the website, too!

Jack, we are planning on having the USPS option available for our Canadian neighbors but it is still in progress. This is a priority for us. Please let Peter, UDC Canada, know if there are any particular products you want him to stock. We supply him and he imports containers. We are really enjoying working with him.

Pseudonym, thanks for your kind words. I wish that I could say that the wheel challenges were a “previous administration” but I still have to take responsibility for that one. Now that Josh Torrans is running the shop, this should be corrected.

Thanks for the great update!

I can’t wait for the new website :slight_smile:

Wow, I’m quite impressed, I’ve been on your site daily but haven’t ordered yet because my free Uni is sufficient for the moment.
I’ve only been riding for just over 2 weeks.
You have sealed the deal with me and I will deff be ordering from you as soon as I decide which Uni I want.

Cheers to a stand up company :slight_smile:

Same for me as well. I’ve order numerous times from UDC and have never once had a problem. Keep up the good work.

I have always had great service from UDC and am thankful that they exist, I just wish the products of today were availiable 20yrs ago.
I will say in my business every once in a while we get one customer that is just cursed, if anything at all was to go wrong it would always be that one customer. I would personally pull there part and even put it in a box with the paperwork and someone in shipping will print shipping labels and mix up the two labels and ship the parts to the wrong person, heck we even had a order that our outside sales person was bringing home with him in the delivery van to deliver for an important job with the said customer the next morning and just like he has always done he handed our warehouse person a couple of invoices and said " Put this stuff in the van for me" welllllll the warehouse person who normally loads the van off the invoices nightly for some reason took things literally this time and only put the invoices in the van so when our salesperson got to the jobsite and opened the back doors of the van and it was empty… we pride ourselves on premium customer service with zero mistakes and as long as the cursed customer doesnt call and order anything we are fine. I dont know why it works this way, the said customer had a curse for about 2years and I can definitely say it was no doing of his. I dont know if this is the case or not, it just reminded me of an experience in my business and I thought I would share it.
Plus I dont think a public forum was the right place to vent

The Canadian UDC all ready ships via Canada post… Got ya covered Levi…

It is great to have UDC-USA opinion

This is a very interesting debate. I do not wish to imply that UDC- USA has been dishonest, or ow’s me any money, after several deals and 1000ish $ happily changing hands.

My sharp criticism is why did UDC- USA charge my card 65 $ for pedals, then not send them or list them on the manifest in the box I got. As an email response, I was told they were back ordered. A month later I was told they were discontinued and you would refund my money. A month later, I noticed , looking at my bank statement, UDC-USA had forgotten to refund my 65 $. After emailing you again and pointing out how you should credit my account after you tell me you will, 4 months after UDC took my 65 $ for pedals, and after much correspondence, I got my 65 $ back. I am still pissed somehow and a UDC basher on the forum.:wink:

Will UDC- USA state here now on the forum that they will not hit my card for items before they are shipped ? If not , why not ? when that is normal internet business practice ?

I dont think that is normal. Every internet shop I order from will process the order before shipping anything. So the first thing they do is charge my card. Once they get what they want, they send me what I want.

Woot, Newegg, TigerDirect, Walmart, K-Mart, Ebay, using Paypal, and I can continue the list of all the sites I have bought things from using a card. Point being, all of them charge the card and process the order first, and after that I get shipped.

Heck, I just ordered some mic stands from Guitar Center a week ago (Sweet deal on a rigid set with telescoping boom not available in stores), and within a few hours they charged the card, but it wasnt until yesterday they finally said anything about it and shipped it. I just hope it not shipped FedEX, cause that takes days longer than UPS and Im eager to mic up my cabinets and do a few overheads on the drumset and get some recording done.

I would be upset too if this happened to me. Please accept my apology. Could you please send a private email message to amy@unicycle.com and tell me your name and address, so I can research the order and read our notes, and find out why we erred so badly? I’m grateful that you’re giving us a chance to redeem ourselves.

Please understand that the online order process has been automated for efficiency. Most online retailers work this way–when you place an online order, your card is charged the moment you submit the order. That represents about 95% of our orders. Our process requires that we send you an email message if any of the items you ordered are out of stock, along with an estimated restocking date. Then you can choose to wait for the item or request a refund. It’s up to you.

The other 5% are phone orders. Let’s say you order three items and one of those is out of stock. Since we are processing the order by hand, we will charge you only for the items that will ship immediately. The other item will be charged only when it’s ready to ship.

The exception is on custom orders. We require full payment up front, even though it may take a couple of weeks to order, receive and assemble all the parts.

Our process is in place to prevent situations such as your pedal order. I’m anxious to find out why it didn’t.

Hey Jerrick you might want to be careful when ordering from Guitar Center.

http://consumerist.com/5152196/guitar-center-ships-broken-guitar-from-another-stores-inventory-says-too-bad-now-its-yours?skyline=true&s=i

Ouch. This is my first time buying online at guitarcenter. All my bigger purchases I like going to the actual store, talk with the guys, setup in their store to test out items, then go home broke and smiling. Warranties on everything that cover full replacement by just walking into the store with the item in hand.

Im doubting that anything goes wrong with my mic stands, but if so, I know the guys at my store will fix it. Or ill make them fix it. =p

So far my only gripe is that its taking a bit long to ship and get to me. Im too used to thing even from the east coast getting to me within 3 days.