Stayclassy has grown rapidly in recent years. At the same time, the number of dissatisfied customers is also growing. Why do so many of them experience broken products and lousy customer service? And why has Trustpilot chosen to punish the company?
In TV 2 helps you, Thomas Holstad, the man behind the company, has to answer some of the customers who have had problems with the electric scooters they bought from Stayclassy.
Doubling in consumer complaints
There are many dissatisfied customers. Both TV 2 helps you and the Consumer Council has experienced a storm of complaints against the company in the last year. The latter received almost 200 inquiries last year.
– We had a doubling in the number of inquiries from 2020 to 2021. The review melody is that the products that are delivered break down very quickly, and that customers do not get in touch with the company when there is a problem, says senior adviser Thomas Iversen in the Consumer Council.
– There are often expensive products, and many times it is children who have used their savings. Then it becomes very frustrating, both for parents and children, he continues.
See how general manager Thomas Holstad in Stayclassy responds to the criticism further down in the case.
– Sharpen up!
In Andebu outside Tønsberg, we visit Hanne Rasmussen and her son Leon (10), who spent their savings on an electric scooter in the autumn of 2020. When spring came, the rear fender, which also acts as a brake, cracked. Hanne and Leon ordered a new part from Stayclassy. After seven months, they were still waiting.
– I have probably sent emails every month, and become more and more frustrated and annoyed. There have been many promises that the part has been just around the corner – without it appearing, Hanne says.
– It’s bad that I have not been allowed to drive it all summer, while my friends have been able to drive. Stayclassy, sharpen up! Leon concludes.
– Hair travelers
Several dissatisfied Stayclassy customers meet TV 2 helps you in Horten, where Yasin Khan and Catherine Inglingstad were told that their electric scooter had a cell fault in the battery, and that they had to pay for the repair themselves – otherwise the company threatened to destroy or resell the bike.
– It is hair-raising that a Norwegian company can operate like that. I do not think it is right that I am held responsible and have to pay extra to make the product work, says Yasin, and receives support from the Consumer Council.
– A cell fault sounds like a manufacturing fault, and then it is the company itself that must be responsible for repairing this. Here they hold the bicycle hostage and demand money from the customer, says Thomas Iversen.
Error upon error
Also in Sarpsborg, we meet customers who regret the purchase at Stayclassy.
Elin Halvorsen and her daughter Martine (9) suffered a number of injuries to not just one, but two electric scooters. They were also sent a used part and discovered cable breakage when they opened the bike. But the company blamed user errors.
– I was met with an attitude that this may be something we have caused ourselves. After several months, I finally met a customer advisor who promised to sort it out no later than the next day. But that was the last I heard from Stayclassy, says Elin.
Punished by Trustpilot
Despite the large number of dissatisfied customers, Stayclassy still has a good score at Trustpilot, a leading website for consumer reviews. Many consumers have notified Trustpilot that the company compensates for reviews, and that they believe they can prove that Stayclassy employees themselves have submitted positive reviews.
When TV 2 helps you contact Trustpilot’s head office in Copenhagen about this, they have already had time to take action.
– We have received a number of inquiries about Stayclassy, and when we have looked at it, we have found a breach of our guidelines. They use incentives to encourage reviews, which is not allowed, says communications director Annmiek Mohr Wilson in Trustpilot.
– Now we have sent the company a lawyer’s letter, where we ask them to stop this immediately. We have also posted a warning on their Trustpilot profile, in which we inform the consumer that they have tried to manipulate reviews, she continues.
TV 2 helps you get an interview appointment with Stayclassy founder and general manager Thomas Holstad. In the meantime, he finally settles the case for Hanne and Leon, who finally get their share, in addition to a brand new scooter.
Blame it on the customers
Yasin and Elin join us at Stayclassy’s store in Sandvika to meet Holstad, who still believes customers must take their share of the blame for the many complaints.
– We experience that there are many customers who are unable to handle their products in a good way. There are many cases where customers themselves have damaged their products, where we have to reject a complaint and refer them to the Consumer Council, says Holstad, and maintains that the company operates within the regulations.
– But we acknowledge that in the last year we have had a lot of problems with, among other things, weakness in customer service, that we have not been fast enough on the ball, and that communication has not been good enough. There has also been a pandemic, and we have been reorganizing the company.
Grants gift cards
Holstad does not know that employees have posted positive reviews on Trustpilot, but admits that the company has distributed gift cards to customers who have submitted reviews.
– But this has been without any guidance on the character or the content of the review, he emphasizes.
Sorry for the customer handling
Along the way, Holstad apologizes to the customer service to Elin and Yasin. Both get their electric scooter back without having to pay for repairs, in addition to their own brand new bike.
– We should be able to deliver better than this. We have now implemented measures and moved the main warehouse, so that everyone is under the same roof. I’ll make sure we do this here.
– We live off satisfied customers, and I hope that people will generally be satisfied with both products and the service we provide in the future, says Holstad.