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Need some advice regarding FX Powersports

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' at netrider.net.au started by Ndrw, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Hi Guys,
    I'm relatively new to these forums, but would like your advice.

    During the motorcycle expo in November, I took interest in the Benelli motorcycle stand.
    In December I was contacted by FX powersports regarding the TNT Century 899. I put down a $1000 deposit on the understanding that it was "100% fully refundable", which I double confirmed. At the time I was told that a shipment of the bikes would arrive in mid-late January.
    In early January they flew me down to take the bike for a test ride (as they didn't have a dealership in Sydney at the time). I took the bike for a test ride and expressed some concerns. They told me that the engine had been detuned for some journalist rides for reviews which would be appearing in AMCN and Australian Road Rider magazine in the "next few editions". I was also told that the bike I would be getting was a 2012 model with different engine, and would look different with styling changes. They stated that the new delivery date for the shipment of bikes would be mid February. I requested they send me a link to the existing reviews, and also photos of what the new edition of the bike would look like, while I waited for the reviews to appear in the magazines.

    Fast forward to the end of February, I haven't heard anything from FX powersports at all, even though the delivery date had already passed.
    I emailed 29 February requesting a status update on the bike, and also requesting again the reviews and photos of the bike.
    They responded by sending me a link to a press release (not a review!), and also a photo of the Cafe Racer (not the Century 899).
    When I pointed this out, they emailed me a link to a review of the TNT R160, which is a different bike, and wrote "Pics will follow in coming weeks". The statement about the pictures coming in weeks indicated to me that the bike was not at all anywhere near ready (who wouldn't have access to photos of a bike that was already in production?).
    In this entire time there has not been one review in AMCN or road rider of any Benelli motorcycle, let alone the Century 899.

    On the 14th of March I emailed to cancel my order, as it had been 1 month past the date I was told they were to receive their shipment. I hadn't heard anything about any ETA on delivery, and they could not even supply a photo of my bike. I followed this up with a phone call on the 16th of March, and was told that "Alan had just stepped out of the office, and would call me back".
    The following Monday 19th of March at 7pm I received a phone call to say that my bike was coming in about 3 weeks time (3 weeks time was the same ETA as I had heard in December).

    I said no, I would like to cancel my order, as I had been waiting for so long and had not had any confirmation about anything. Their new suggested date would have been 3 months after I had expected the delivery.

    At this point they told me my deposit was not refundable. When I reminded them that the deposit had been "100% refundable" they stated that it was my fault for not cancelling the order earlier, despite never telling me when that date was. At no point was I told that my deposit would be changed from 100% refundable to non-refundable until I tried to cancel and get a refund (which kind of defeats the purpose of a refundable deposit).

    Followed up with a call on 20th March, was told Alan was "with a customer" and would call me back. I never received a return call.
    I called again on the 22nd of March, and was told that I would definitely not be geting a refund.
    I emailed them back on the 23rd of March, and followed up on the 28th of March and have received no response at all.

    My question is, is this normal behaviour for Motorcycle sellers?

    My main gripe is the deposit changed from "100% refundable" to non-refundable without me being informed. Is this even legal?
    Also when a delivery date passes, shouldn't a motorcycle shop tell a customer there is a delay and give a new ETA. Or is it normal to just wait without saying anything to the customer?

    Who can I escalate this to?

    Thanks for your patience in reading this long post.
  2. Hi Andrew, just responding to your post, this is Chris from FX in regards to your special order 2012 Benelli 899 century racer that was custom built to a gold cafe racer 899 colour by the factory at your request.

    As I understand it, that was explained to you that the custom build would take more time ofcourse from Italy. The Century Racer was available earlier however you specifically requested the custom gold build.

    I do remember you being flown down from interstate to ride the Benelli range where you seemed to enjoy the experience and our hospitality, in order make your exact decision and finalise the exact details of your motorcycle order, and be satisfied with your purchase to your exact specifications.

    Your Benelli 899 was a special order from the factory in a gold has Arrived in Australia, at which stage you have advised that you now have purchased another bike and wish to cancel this special order.

    At this point your special order 899 in gold built to your exact specifications has been allocated to you as per your request when we had flown you down to Melbourne and transported you to and from the fx showroom enjoyed great experience and our hospitality.

    All along the way Andrew we have held up our end and even gone above and beyond in an attempt to keep our customers happy.

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!
  3. Thank you for your prompt response Chris. It is a shame that your office does not respond to emails as quickly; as on 2 separate occasions there has been an email from me which remained unanswered for 5+ days despite my having followed up both times (14 March - 19 March, 22 March - Ongoing). Please check your mailbox when you get to work.

    In response to your post, I did not make a special order for a custom built gold bike. I merely asked if it came in gold and was told it could be done.

    It was indeed explained to me that it would take more time to arrive. However this was 2 weeks AFTER I emailed to cancel my order, and 2 months after I was originally told the shipment of bikes would arrive. So the timeliness of that information was quite useless to me.

    I did not make an exact decision or finalise the exact details. When I left I remember clearly asking for a picture of the bike (as I was told it would look different, and would have a different engine), and also a link to the review. Neither of which were ever provided.

    Your deposit was promised to me to be 100% refundable, and at no stage was I ever notified that that had changed.
    So if your definition of "held up our end" was to not refund a "100% refundable deposit" then I will have to disagree with you on that matter.
  4. Andrew just to understand that you placed an order for a Benelli motorcycle and asked for some changes/upgrades to your exact preferences, you were flown across the country by Fx and made an informed decision on the model you did ride the Benelli 899 and saw it in the flesh. Based on that experience, you selected a custom colour that is definately a custom build in gold for 2012 model from the factory, this was built and sent from Pesaro, Italy, that does take time as you would appreciate, and was explaine to you, it then arrives into Australia and you would like to cancel.

    I also would like to note you have been called numerous times Andrew from notes recorded, with a welcome letter and congratulations on your purchase mailed to your home and emailed to you, read it carefully and it does state "your Benelli has been ordered from the factory in Italy and is being built to your specifications". If you didn't want this purchase anymore, why did you not notify us at this stage Andrew, not once it has arrived into Australia, as we have made your custom order bike priority and has incurred extra costs to organise the motorcycle from the factory and for you sooner as was explained.

    I do hope you still proceed with your purchase Andrew, but this is your decision as a customer, to be fair, you cannot expect a dealership to wear all costs incurred when they have done the right thing all along the way. And in this case Fx has gone above and beyond, do you know of any other dealership that fly in customers with complete vallet service from airport to showroom and return as well as enjoy a meal and discuss their purchase, so they can make a detailed and informed decision and experience? We are trying to keep a service to all customers by doing it a little different Andrew, and try and provide to all the needs of our clients, be well and ride safe Andrew.

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!
  5. wow...

    you ordered a bike.. they built it for you.. and now you don't want it and you're mad that the deposit is non refundable?


    Gorgeous looking bike though, congrats on your purchase! hope you pay them for the bike and enjoy it.
  6. That is not correct. I was told a shipment was coming in, never that there was a custom order.

    Can I get a response from anyone other than FX Powersports employees?
    And yes, I am mad that a 100% fully refundable deposit is not being refunded. At no stage was I informed that the deposit was not refundable (well until 6 days after I asked for a refund).

    I did not cancel "after it arrived in Australia", what exact date did it arrive by the way? I cancelled this order on the 14th of March. 6 days later I received a call that couldn't even confirm the delivery date.
    Please be more truthful in your responses.

    What date was the letter sent, and what date did you expect me to have cancelled the order? Please be specific with the dates, and you will see what the problem is here.
  7. Since all your staff are on the forums rather than answering any emails, can you please respond to the email below:
    (Note the original was sent 23 March, and follow up 28 March. Have not received a response).
    Please respond with dates rather than vague generalisations.

    From: Me
    To: fxpowersports
    Subject: RE: Update on the Benelli Century 899
    Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 12:51:49 +1100

    Hi FX Powersports,
    In Alan's absence, can anyone else please answer the questions below:

    1.) Confirming that at the time of placing the deposit, it was "100% refundable". (Yes/No)
    2.) Wanted to know the date at which the deposit then became non-refundable.


    From: Me
    To: fxpowersports
    Subject: RE: Update on the Benelli Century 899
    Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 13:57:18 +1100

    Hi Alan,
    Just for my confirmation, at the time of my placing the deposit, you did confirm that the deposit was 100% fully refundable, is that correct?

    At what exact date did you deem the deposit to be non-refundable?

  8. Andrew your bike has arrived from Italy and it is built to your exact specifications as indicated when in our Melbourne showroom as requested by yourself, much expense was undertaken to fly you down and ride and test this motorcycle to make sure you were happy with your purchase. Yes you have advised you now no longer want what you exactly ordered, as the bike is now here you have changed your mind.
    Your response to this is that is your problem as a dealership that has gone above and beyond, and refund my special order deposit. Also when communicating with you Andrew, you seem to continue mentioning bad communication and now you don't wish for us to comment anymore on the matter yet want a response?

    I hope you move forward and purchase your motorcycle that ha arrived especially for you, however again this is your choice as a customer. Hope you keep well Andrew.

    Best Regards FX Team

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!
  9. Lol, I want you to respond to my email, not to a forum post. Also I wanted the response last week when the email was actually sent.
    You have great communication and response skills on the forums, sadly not via email and phone. I apologise if you have 2 separate teams, and 1 is solely dedicated to forum responses, but you may want to reallocate some resources to actually answering phone and email enquiries, as that is how traditional businesses tend to operate.

    At the time I cancelled my order the bike was not here, and I was not even given a delivery date. I did NOT cancel after it had arrived.
  10. Andrew, FWIW, deposits are usually refundable up until the point of committing to the purchase. A deposit is an expression of a willingness to enter a contract subject to some condition/s. What were those conditions?

    At some point either you said, wrote or implied something that committed you to the order, OR, fxpowersports assumed, misinterpretted or understood that the order had been committed too. At some point fxpowersport placed an order on the factory. That's the point that needs to be understood. WHAT triggered that action?

    If that point can be defined, it will define whether a contract exists or not. i.e., did you, Andrew, do something to committ to the order, or did fxpowersports make a mistake. If a contract properly exists, fxsports could sue for the remainder of the purchase price. If one doesn't exist, you could sue them for the return of the deposit.

    How this moves forward from here is either going to help resolve or help widen the mess.

    Personally, I'd be annoyed too about a company promising a certain delivery and then not keeping me updated about the progress, even if it's only to report further delays. I mean, the company most likely can't be held accountable for the delays, but they can be held accountable for the loss of focus on customer support. ...seems like there might be a bit of right/wrong on both sides of this.
  11. FFS, just take it as a misunderstanding, buy the bike, ride it, and enjoy it. Move on.
  12. lol Spoken like a pup.
  13. Thank you. That is EXACTLY my point. The fact that I am unaware of when this point occurred, and FX powersports cannot confirm when that date occurred is precisely what I am getting at. The only notification I received was that the deposit was 100% refundable. If at some point I was told "hey this deposit is not refundable anymore, and you need to commit to this order" I could have made an informed decision. This point did not exist.
  14. If there WAS an expiry time on the deposit, then that should have been explained to you as part of the deposit conditions. i.e., "If you don't retract the deposit by date X, it will be assumed you're going forward with the contract". Did you sign a document when you gave your deposit? Did you receive a receipt? Is there an expiry small print on either document?

    Assuming there was no expiry period, then what exists is an intent for a contract. That means there needs to be some kind of confirmation to proceed, i.e., close the contract.

    So we're back to what was the basis that triggered the order to the factory. That is the point that in the minds of fxps that the contract was legitimate and they in good faith placed the order on the factory for you.

    If they were mistaken then the costs rest with them and you're entitled to your deposit back - however they will be inclined to recover their hospitality costs so you'll have to sue them.

    If you were mistaken then you're potentially liable for the purchase costs and they'll have to sue you.

    Messy situation, easily avoided IMO.
  15. Thankyou gentlemen all good points.

    A letter was emailed and sent to you on receipt of your order Andrew, we do not order bikes unless the customer is 100% sure and satisfied on what they are receiving hence the confirmation tax invoice reflecting deposit paid, balance and all the particulars chooses by the customer.

    Just to be clear and fair to all it states "your Benelli motorcycle has been ordered from the factory in Pesaro Italy to your exact specifications as discussed with your purchase, the details supplied with your deposit and balance are on the attached tax invoice. We will be in contact nearer the delivery time to finalise necessary arrangements including national service centres, insurance and any road side assistance"

    I don't know how to make it any clearer or what to say, I really do hope you continue with what I believe is a good purchase Andrew, we wish you well.

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!
  16. FX, what triggered the sending of the letter?

    You might not want to tell us, but you HAVE to tell Andrew.
  17. Thanks for the response. There was no expiry period mentioned, the initial transaction was completed over the phone, and no contract was ever signed. As can be seen from my email on the 23rd of March, I tried to confirm these details, and determine why exactly they decided to place an order without any signing of contracts, but have not received a response for 7 days (and counting).
  18. This is normal in congratulating the customer on their purchase of a prestige motorcycle and confirming all particulars as we have discussed i.e colours, accessories and any other specifications a customer may have, so that all parties are aware and happy and it is clear, the tax invoice shows this breakdown clearly also.

    Also the customers weight and height are sometimes noted as to setup suspension prior to collection and T shirt size noted and an exclusive Benelli shirt also mailed out to them as a thankyou for their patronage on handover.

    Ride safe gentlemen and be well

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!
  19. Due to privacy we cannot ofcourse show these customer details, or letters, however I did check our systems and the customer has an email as well as a hard copy that was mailed to their home address confirming a purchase. The customer again was flown down to Melbourne to our Fx showroom to finalise the purchase and confirm all particulars as to proceed.

    All was good, weeks later with the bike arriving or about to arrive into Aust customer wanting to cancel as they have purchased another bike.

    Gentlemen I do wish Andrew well.

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!