Posting this here as an FYI for a buddie on a Yamaha forum. This guy is really wanting to buy a Vic but got so turned off when he went to a demo ride that he's now thinking looking elsewhere. I've done what I can to hopefully dissuade him.
In any event, here's his post on the Yamaha forum if anyone here is interested.
My friend and I had a pretty bad experience at the Victory Demo Ride a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to share my letter to the Polaris management with you guys. I wanted to email them but there's no email on their website - just a customer service phone number and a physical address. The lady at the Customer Service was nice but she can't do much except to "understand" and "apologize" for the inconvenience and I understand that. I appreciate the fact that she was nice and professional over the phone.
I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with my opinion expressed in the letter but that was my (our) experience that day... I thought you might want to take it into consideration when thinking about your next bike. I know I'm not spending my hard-earned money there...
Here it is, for what it's worth:
My name is Sinisa and I’m your ideal customer. I’m a 47 year old male, professional, married, two kids in college, homeowner, with a steady income. Motorcycles have been my passion for years and I presently own two of them. I have a shed built just for my motorcycles. I am a member of several motorcycle forums, receiving a couple of motorcycle magazines, attending an International Motorcycle Show in DC every year, I’ve attended the California Superbike School and I’m spending quite of bit of money for the accessories. My wife and I are using every available weekend to go for a ride, that’s “our time”, our “therapy” and we love it. Yes, I’m your guy….I’m the one you cater to, the one that will spend money to buy a motorcycle he wants.
During this year I’ve been researching which bike will replace my 15 year old touring bike, the one we use for a two-up riding. And I found one – Cross Country Tour fits the bill!... For a 6’3”, 250lb guy this bike fits like a glove right off the showroom. So, I started researching for a demo ride close by. The closest and soonest was the one at the Commonwealth Powersports in Prince George, Virginia. So my friend, a die-hard Harley guy, and I decided to go. I was ready to “convert” him into a Victory guy…
The demo ride was a complete disaster. Your employees were rude, condescending, and with a horrible customer service. From a 45 min delay (one of them were late 45 min and they couldn’t start without him, apparently), to complete lack of organization system (no sign-up sheet, some kind of “cards” system that they “invented” on the spot after first ride was a mess), to associates wearing unsafe gear (novelty helmets, unzipped jackets),…And finally, to RUDE Victory employee arguing with me after I pointed out a rattle in one CCT fairing and maybe a lack of power on the same bike. I did it in best intentions, expecting they will check that out. Instead, I’ve received an earful of insults how I need to learn how to ride and when to shift, that those are his bikes and they are perfectly fine and that I probably need to find something else on the market(!!!).
I couldn’t not believe it – is THAT the person who is the “first impression” of the company such is Victory? Does he represent how the Victory is taking care of their potential customers? I’ve expected a simple: “Hey, thanks for letting me know. I’ll check what’s going on with that bike a little later. Why don’t you try this one instead? You might like it better.”. Instead, I got a piece of his mind.
The bullying continued later with some “smart” comments about my riding style that were absolutely unnecessary and unprofessional. … After the third ride both of us decided we had enough humiliations and left. While buying some accessories at the dealership, the sales associate asked us how was the demo ride. After telling him about my experience he told me I’m the third rider who had the same experience and left early.
Needless to say, after this interaction with your employee I really couldn’t be objective about the bike(s). Suddenly, everything was wrong – the engine was underpowered, the plastic was thin and rattling, the gear shifter was loud,…. Or was I just looking for a “bad stuff”, overlooking a great handling, comfort, excellent design, nice breaks,….? At this point it’s irrelevant – I know I have to look elsewhere for my next bike. I guess your employee was right – there are so many bikes on the market and I need to find one that works for me. In the meantime, I will make sure that my riding buddies (both in my area and on the forums that I’m associated with) learn about my experience with your company.
I’m sure you are aware of the fact that you are not selling the motorcycles – you are selling a lifestyle. Motorcycles are a passion, not a necessity. We can live without them. We chose to spend money on them. And I can guarantee you one thing – whoever is ready to spend $20,000+ on a motorcycle do not want to be a part of the lifestyle your company promoted last weekend at the demo ride.
I still cannot understand one thing, though – why would a company who prides itself in customer service (“Ride one and you’ll own one”, remember?) let people like THOSE representing them on the “first front line”, where all the potential buyers are coming to try the product and make a final decision about the purchase? That’s too bad….