A warranty tale – aka the long wait

So, there you have it… the Error-30-of-doom struck me. It’s not the ‘usual Error 30‘ (i.e. Battery overload protection) but actually something more serious. Warranty time…

Once upon a time…

Old knight Axel was riding his noble 2017 NIU N1s horse, it was well fed (88%) and riding along happily through ye olde towne… after a short rest, the knight decided to return to his castle but the (until now) trustful steed gave signs of illness 🙁

Here’s a video what happened (and keeps that way since then):
When powered on the battery shows 0%(!) charge, whatever mode (aka gear) is selected, it drops to 1… still, you can drive. Actually you can drive a lot… in the 1st gear (<=17km/h). And I had to ride it back home for 7km at that speed being overtaken by 6 years on a kids-bike. Very humiliating.

The princess

So I went to my friendly, official local NIU dealer who checked the battery inside another 2017 N1s showing the same (mis)behavior, ergo it’s not the scooter or ECU.
Next, out came the cool NIU dealer diagnose tool. All battery cells are fine and healthy. Phew, good news! So it’s the BMS which is broken… he said that’s not unusual with the 2017 models.

…and the stepmother

Then he explained “Well, I can’t open a warranty case at the distributor ’cause you didn’t buy it from me. You have to have that dealer to open the case” – Erm, you must be joking? As you might have read in one of my first posts, I’ve bought my N1S online… not because I wanted to save a mere 10,99€ but simply because this very dealer was completely sold out and expected the next delivery in about 6 months. Normally I always try to support local dealers, but that was an emergency case 😉
The normal procedure would be: You dealer ships the battery to the European distributor (KSR), they fix the battery/BMS and ship it back to your dealer.

In my case it’s like this:

  • The dealer where I bought my N1S is 450km away from where I live. I mailed them (including the video above explaining what’s the case)… no reaction.
  • Because batteries are considered ‘dangerous goods’ so you can’t just ship them around. You’ll need a special packaging, marking and of course they’re heavy, so shipping is expensive. Normally this is all handled by you dealer… did I mention 450km?
  • During the wait, I had a bit of conversation with my contacts at NIU… and oh-wonder, the ‘remote’ dealer came out of the dark. The tale started to develop…

And they all lived happily everafter?

I made first contact with my (official) dealer on June 3rd. After calling them and leaving a message on the answering machine the next day, they mailed back, concluded that they have to send in the battery and asked for the VIN and serial-# of my battery which I answered immediately.
On June 7th I asked for a status-update. No reply. Then it has been , No mail, no call, no nothing.
So after 8 days of silence, June 12th I left a message on their answering machine again, which seems to have a 24/7 job at their “hotline”. Some hours later I got a mail from the same guy I mailed 8 days ago saying “It seems that we have to send in your battery… can you send me your battery serial number?” (even quoting my request for a status-update).
WTF?! So they just overlooked my mail, ignored the the other mail and did… nothing. Send a very pissed mail I won’t quote…
Sorry, I was on vacation and your mail drowned in my inbox. I will clarify everything with KSR until tomorrow
June 13th…  (i.e. ‘tomorrow’)  “We are eligible to send in the battery, need to clarify pick-up in your city, should be done by tomorrow
Yeah, indeed, the next day I got a mail, that my battery can be picked-up at my local dealer… brought it in immediately.
Because my local-dealer has not open on Monday, I guess that on June 18th my battery had been picked up from there! Woohoo…
28th… silence. Approaching the 1st month since the BMS broke down.

4th of Julya brand new battery arrived at “my” dealer (the local one). Yay! My personal independence day… Finally independent from public transportation.

Conclusion:
So it’s been 1 month and 1 day after my battery/BMS went stubborn. And looking at the comments below, it can be even worse than that. This is definitely not the way you expect to be taken care of by a “Mobility Enabler”. Because of this, I’ve written an open letter to NIU.

In the meantime

You might ask “what did NIU say to all this”? Good question.
First of all, I stated that moving around i.e. from one city to another or even changing countries isn’t so uncommon in Europe (well at least pre-Brexit), so there must be a convenient way of “roaming support”.
The answer was surprising: “Every dealer is entitled to open a warranty case for any NIU product, even it’s not bought there. Your local dealer needs to be re-trained.” – I’ll gonna check this immediately if my remote-dealer keep on acting funny…

Finally, as said, this is a blog post about my personal experience…your milage may vary.

So how were your warranty experiences so far? Share them in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “A warranty tale – aka the long wait

  1. Okay so we got the Niu M+ (reserved back in November) knowing according to what is stated on the website/the blog news of their official website/the live video from back in June 2018 that charging this battery would take 3.5hrs + that was what I have been told in the store as well. I picked up the scooter in February 2019. Fast forward 5 months later I found out during another visit to the store that they stated charging this scooter would take 8hrs?! If I knew this before I would have not bought this scooter at all. They told me it has to do with different types of chargers and they last minute decided to change (which they did NOT inform me about even though I reserved it back in November and they say changes were made in December). Have been in contact with Niu since and they refuse to let me return the product, compensate or solve this problem!

    And besides.. I can’t find anything about these changes were made officially online or anywhere..

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