Published on January 27th, 20210
Amid increased demand for its stationary bike, Peloton seems to be struggling to fulfill all orders on time and deliver them as scheduled, a TINA.org review has found. TINA.org’s review was prompted by a tip from a reader who said he ordered a Peloton bike on Nov. 9 and was given a delivery date of Jan. 6, which is within the 8- to 10-week window Peloton estimates for “most” bike deliveries, according to fine print in a pop-up message that appears when consumers scroll down to the bottom of the Peloton bike webpage. But four days before the bike was scheduled to arrive, he said he was notified that the delivery had been “shifted” and the bike would now come on Jan. 30, four weeks after the initial delivery date.
Our reader said he likely would have purchased a different product if he knew it was going to take nearly three months for the bike to get to him. This feeling of regret may be shared by many others: Several consumers have filed complaints with the BBB in recent weeks after Peloton failed to meet an original delivery date, including those who paid upfront and in full for the bike, which starts at $1,895. (Once the bike arrives, customers are also required to pay a $39 monthly membership fee that gives them access to classes.)
Peloton has experienced Zoom-like growth during the pandemic. In fact, looking solely at stock prices, Peloton has outperformed the video-conferencing company. Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020, Zoom’s stock price has increased around 350 percent, while Peloton’s has soared 700 percent. The company seems to be struggling to keep up.
In a “COVID-19 UPDATE” on its website, Peloton warns: “Due to increased demand … delivery times are longer than normal. You can see the most up-to-date delivery estimates when you go to checkout on onepeloton.com.”
A spokeswoman for Peloton provided some more details in response to an inquiry by TINA.org:
At checkout, most customers can choose a delivery date. We give them an expected delivery based on their location, but unfortunately, that can change based on factors, such as port closures, which impact our inventory availability. When that changes, we and our delivery partners give customers as much notice as possible.
Yet several consumers who’ve complained to the BBB this month say they weren’t given any advanced notice at all. Wrote one consumer who like our reader ordered a bike in early November and was given a delivery date in early January:
I had expected a call as promised the day before delivery, but after receiving no such call, reached out to the company for information. The customer service person was very good and did her best to explain that inventory was poor and that the delivery date would have to be delayed by an additional 6 weeks to late February.
Another consumer who took the day the bike was scheduled to arrive off from work said:
There was no apology, no compensation, nothing for a problem they created by not communicating about the supposed delays … Overall, I paid for a product that was not delivered when it was promised to be and I have not been given a solution that is even remotely acceptable.
Yet another consumer complained to the BBB that they received an email “a half hour into my delivery window” informing them that a December delivery had been moved to February. It was the second time the delivery had been delayed since the customer purchased the bike in October:
I called customer service and was told extenuating circumstances had arisen but they would prioritize my delivery and hopefully it would be sooner than February. Four weeks and numerous emails I have been unable to receive an earlier date.
The Peloton spokeswoman did not respond to a question about whether the company should continue selling bikes and promising delivery on certain dates or giving delivery estimates if it doesn’t have the inventory to meet current demand.
“If we have to reschedule a delivery, we notify the customer that, if they would prefer not to wait, they can cancel their order for a full refund,” she said.
In fact, this is required by law. But explaining a customer’s right to cancel and get a full and prompt refund is only one component of the Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule. The rule also says companies must have “a reasonable basis to expect that it will be able to ship” within the stated time.
Violations of the rule can have real consequences: In April 2020, the FTC announced a $9.3 million settlement with fast fashion brand Fashion Nova after it failed to ship merchandise in a timely manner.
Find more of our coverage on shipping promises that failed to deliver here.