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Unknown Bikes: Took my money - no bike, no contact!?

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Unknown Bikes: Took my money - no bike, no contact!?

Old 09-29-16, 02:30 PM
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Unknown Bikes: Took my money - no bike, no contact!?

Hi Everyone.. Apologies in advance this is the first post I've even made here but I wanted to reach out to anyone who's placed any sort of order with Unknown Bikes, from their us website - I wanted to get a "beater" if you can call it that, so I purchased a complete bike via their website, along with some small upgrades… $1000 later I get the order confirmation for my “beater” and that’s it.. It’s been about a month now, and they haven’t so much as answered one email of mine, and despite my disappointment they are still very politely worded. I’m seeing many comments on their social media, saying the same thing. They are very quickly moderated (deleted). Instagram some of the comments have remained and they basically come form customers and dealers all saying the same thing; no contact, no shipment – nothing. Some have been waiting months.. Then you see some new posts and these people not only get their frames, they are repping this brand like it’s the best thing on earth – so I message them and say flat out – what is the deal – this company won’t even return a message!.. They tell me they get answers within a day tops…

I want to know if anyone on here is in the same boat, or would know of any other means of contacting them. I’ve messaged a few dealers of theirs. Some have pulled all products already (Citygrounds), and some are just angry and want their 20k they just spent on orders back.

Vincent Shim Vince@unknownbikes.com is the owner, and sole point of contact. What I don’t get is that this company is all over the world, and seemingly very popular, and I didn’t even hesitate to give my credit card info to them. I know I can dispute the charge, and so yeah I can eventually get a refun, but I actually wanted the bike a bit more.

They have one company phone no. posted on their website, which is forwarded to a mobile phone, which no one ever answers.

At the very least I am just putting this out there, for people to see and be aware of, and at best, maybe someone has some helpful info, aside from de better research before handing over money… or get a better bike.. both of those were bits of common sense that I must have ignored when making this purchase..

And if anyone has any suggestions even what to get if I end up having to buy something else, that’s always an interesting topic.

Thanks for anyone’s comments or thoughts. Part of me already feels like a complete idiot for even buying such a cheap brand for so much money..topping it off with this ridiculous situation just makes me shake my head..at myself. If I ever get it I'm gonna feel even dumber riding it around ..

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Old 09-29-16, 02:37 PM
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Wow, that sucks. This is part of the reason I avoid a lot of these newer fixie-fad companies. It takes time to build trust in a brand, and irresponsible crap like this ruins it in a second.
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Old 09-29-16, 02:38 PM
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How did you pay for the bike?

File a PayPal dispute if you used PayPal. Otherwise, talk to your bank about dispute options. I think PayPal requires disputes to be filed within a month.

I bought a chainring from a small online company. I never heard a peep out of the company... ever... Phone went to some odd lawyer's voicemail box, so I just filed a dispute, got my money back, and move on.
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Old 09-29-16, 02:41 PM
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Yeah.. I can file the dispute with Visa within I think 1 year so I have time. I didn't want to be too hasty since I know delays can happen, but the fact they read the emails and I can see this with a simple gmail / google chrome plugin, and actively are deleting everyone's negative comments from Facebook... is just a bit of a red flag.
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Old 09-29-16, 02:46 PM
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Could also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The way this company seems to be acting, I wouldn't hesitate.
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Old 09-29-16, 02:46 PM
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Sorry for what appears to be a loss. You may want to cancel that card number and have a new one issued. Just saying.
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Old 09-29-16, 03:20 PM
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Yes - I may get them to issue a new card.. and Wow - the LA BBB has this complaint already filed:

The business failed to respond to the dispute. (2 complaints)
12/21/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X
Additional Notes
Complaint: I ordered bike parts from this company via their website on August 14 th 2015. As of today (11-21-15) I have yet to receive the items I purchased. I was contacted by the company once and was told the reason why I never received the items because they were out of stock on one thing I ordered. I was offered the same product in a different size which I told them it would be fine. I still havent received the product and it has been over a month since I was contacted. As of right now this company had stolen from me and that is simply unnacceptable.

Desired Settlement: At this point all I want is my money back. Im hoping since they refuse to answer me, The BBB will be able to get me a refund.

9/24/2015 Problems with Product/Service
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Old 09-29-16, 03:27 PM
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The crazy thing is, unless the posts were just staged, is that people have been receiving orders from Unknown, since this complaint. They even have a racing team, and sponsored athletes... These athletes currently post on social media..

Who would even think the company would conduct themselves this way with such activity..

I personally saw some of their races and even a youtube interview with the owner, which made me think that while the bikes are obviously mass produced, they have intentionally chosen tight track geometry, and specifically have this really short top tube, that I think is about 20mm shorter than every other close competitor.. So I just pulled the trigger based on all these good things I saw..

Too bad they go and delete all of the bad comments..
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Old 09-29-16, 03:48 PM
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Yeah, you definitely got screwed. Had you posted here first to ask about Unknown before placing an order, you could have avoided all this grief. Ask @Scrodzilla what he thinks of Vincent Shim. I buy all my frames through a reputable shop like Retrogression, and Scrod could have hooked you up with a better bike for the same $1K that you paid for the Unknown.
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Old 09-29-16, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by msa1082 View Post
I know I can dispute the charge, and so yeah I can eventually get a refun, but I actually wanted the bike a bit more.
Why would you even want it after being treated so poorly? Dispute the charge and buy something else. For $1,000.00 you can do a hell of a lot better.
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Old 09-29-16, 08:27 PM
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The unknownbikes.com domain registration expires 2016-10-25. I guess we will know if anyone is at the helm a few days before All Hallows Eve.

I'm with @SquidPuppet here. $1000 isn't chump change and there are lots of companies willing to treat the customer right for that kind of sale.


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Old 09-29-16, 11:04 PM
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^ I know eh.. I've paid way less and got way better service for.. Basically everything lol.

What a shame to build a brand and a company and then let the name slowly become tarnished like this.
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Old 09-29-16, 11:28 PM
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You might try to find out whether they're still in business at their registered address 10144 Artesia, in Bell flower. I tried to search the company there without success. However when searching only the street address, came to what appears to be a multi tenant commercial/industrial building or complex.

There was a huge now leasing sign in front. That doesn't mean anything since there may be other space within the building, but you might try calling the real estate at the toll free number shown (I won't publish someone's number on a public site) and try to sweet talk someone into giving you any info about Unknown Bike at that address.

Good luck, but IMO failure to respond to multiple emails after taking someones dough is about as bad a sign as there is. It also puts them in violation of trade laws that mandate prompt shipping of paid orders, or an explanation for the delay (actually the explanation is supposed to come before they take your money).

In the OP's shoes I'd file a fraud claim with the CC company immediately. These demand an immediate response, and can be cancelled or put on hold based on that response, if the buyer is willing. Otherwise the rules are clear, -- If the seller cannot document shipment (and delivery) his account is charged back.

The reason for the immediacy is to be fair to your credit card company who is obligated under the terms of your agreement to cover you, yet can be left holding the bag if they act to charge back after the company had disappeared. In the event that the company cannot deliver, and their cash is gone to pay for overhead, then delay only serves to increase the damage hey can do to other parties.
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Old 09-29-16, 11:41 PM
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One of the reasons people cite to buy new vs used is continuing service.

Does your bike/frame come with a warranty? Do you actually expect the company will exist & be responsive for a warranty claim should it occur?

Delays aren't unexpected for small companies. But communication is expected.
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Old 09-30-16, 07:22 AM
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Wow thank you for this amazing advice. I've followed up with Visa already and explained the situation. They are sending Unknown a letter and Unknown has 60 days to respond to them, until they refund me. Also @FBinNY good ideas - I will do this and post the outcome. At least I feel a bit better having a plan now.

..I wish I had known about this Retrogression site beforehand!
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Old 09-30-16, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by msa1082 View Post
..I wish I had known about this Retrogression site beforehand!
Thing is, Retrogression is a real physical brick and mortar full service bicycle shop run by a real bicycle mechanic owner that knows his **** and will take care of his customers when there's a problem. Also, RG is totally about track/fixed gear/singlespeed bikes and is always the first to know about the latest cool stuff. As a bonus, their prices are very competitive with discount online retailers, and they offer modestly priced economy products that are not junk.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:26 AM
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That is really good to know.. I mean I was intending for this bike to be a "beater" and I kind of splurged a bit already. I have some other bikes which I didn't want to leave chained up outside since I have had 2 stolen now.. I have a Jamis Sonik which I treat like a newborn baby and a few mountain bikes that just seem to attract so much attention for some reason - they're not even high end by any means, one is a Jamis Komodo but the thing is bright orange with almost fatbike tires and it's like I can't even turn around and someone's touching it.. so my love of flashy bikes really just took over and encouraged me to get a cheap and flashy bike all the same.. Silly me. I was looking at this frame:
https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...-low-pro-frame
This is absolutely beautiful and I would really like to build this up.. Not as a beater at all. Who needs that lol.
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Old 10-05-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by msa1082 View Post


What do you guys think of the Sanik I cannot wait to ride it - I've been wanting one for so long and just got it home..haven't even touched it yet:


As someone who works at a Jamis dealer and who personally loves Jamis, I can say the Sonik is odd. If you are looking for aero looking frames they make one that is just fine but the components have left me and our rep scratching our heads. F. Giamondi cranks on some aero craze fixed gear just doesn't make sense. The FSA Crabon cranks would have made more sense and I would have also added deeper section crabon or aluminum wheels.

On the track I am sure the bike is just fine and dandy but if you are buying a bike for street use get something more practical and comfortable. Looks are cute and all but functionality and safety on the road is paramount. However if you are stuck on "air-o fixie gears" then Jamis isn't a bad deal.
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Old 10-05-16, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
As someone who works at a Jamis dealer and who personally loves Jamis, I can say the Sonik is odd. If you are looking for aero looking frames they make one that is just fine but the components have left me and our rep scratching our heads. F. Giamondi cranks on some aero craze fixed gear just doesn't make sense. The FSA Crabon cranks would have made more sense and I would have also added deeper section crabon or aluminum wheels. .
You know...going back a few years, '09-10-11(?) the Sonik was built-up really nice -it had the FSA crabon crank you want & American Classic 420 wheels. I was actually pretty hot for one but decided to stick with my old school steely. Since then they have been progressively cheapening the poor thing, maybe to meet a price point?
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Old 10-05-16, 04:40 PM
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Yeah the cranks dont look too robust.. And I'm a bit short but weight wise let's say I've bent and broken my share of crank arms.. I consciously try to maintain even pedal strokes and not just mash them when the bike is all sideways so I am careful.

I will definitely be upgrading some parts I just wanted to put some miles on before I decide what needs to be done first..

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
As someone who works at a Jamis dealer and who personally loves Jamis, I can say the Sonik is odd. If you are looking for aero looking frames they make one that is just fine but the components have left me and our rep scratching our heads. F. Giamondi cranks on some aero craze fixed gear just doesn't make sense. The FSA Crabon cranks would have made more sense and I would have also added deeper section crabon or aluminum wheels.

On the track I am sure the bike is just fine and dandy but if you are buying a bike for street use get something more practical and comfortable. Looks are cute and all but functionality and safety on the road is paramount. However if you are stuck on "air-o fixie gears" then Jamis isn't a bad deal.
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Old 10-05-16, 04:55 PM
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@IAmSam those were the days...they also did a Sputnik in 631 steel which they should still do because that would be money. Alas I think the fixed craze they were jumping onto in their minds has ended, so cheaper makes more sense.

I think cheapening bikes has been in the industry mind for a while. Some of the bikes that these companies build are just disgusting. I know some are just trying to "compete" with Wally Mart Doral specials but fricken' they need to stop. Don't use Tourney and loose ball bearing headsets and stuff like that use your abilities and resources to get nicer stuff at a much cheaper price and use it. Give customers a better value for money.
@msa1082
The cranks aren't a bad crank it is just the fact they are vintage looking cranks which are stupid on a bike like that. I am a fat ass and don't break cranks. Try Sugino, they seem to work just fine and dandy. Cheap-o stuff will break but good stuff usually doesn't unless subjected to extremes.
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Old 10-05-16, 05:03 PM
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Yeah.. The only thing that almost makes them ok is that they are black and not silver.. It was specd really well for what I paid. I only spent $999 Canadian.. I also wanted a really stiff frame.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
@IAmSam those were the days...they also did a Sputnik in 631 steel which they should still do because that would be money. Alas I think the fixed craze they were jumping onto in their minds has ended, so cheaper makes more sense.

I think cheapening bikes has been in the industry mind for a while. Some of the bikes that these companies build are just disgusting. I know some are just trying to "compete" with Wally Mart Doral specials but fricken' they need to stop. Don't use Tourney and loose ball bearing headsets and stuff like that use your abilities and resources to get nicer stuff at a much cheaper price and use it. Give customers a better value for money.
@msa1082
The cranks aren't a bad crank it is just the fact they are vintage looking cranks which are stupid on a bike like that. I am a fat ass and don't break cranks. Try Sugino, they seem to work just fine and dandy. Cheap-o stuff will break but good stuff usually doesn't unless subjected to extremes.
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Old 10-05-16, 08:51 PM
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So what happened with that bastard Vincent Shim and Unknown? Did you ever hear back from him?
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Old 10-05-16, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
So what happened with that bastard Vincent Shim and Unknown? Did you ever hear back from him?
I don't think there is cellphone service in hell.
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 10-05-16, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by msa1082 View Post
I was looking at this frame:
https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...-low-pro-frame
This is absolutely beautiful and I would really like to build this up.. Not as a beater at all. Who needs that lol.
Do you ride a 57cm frame by any chance? They have one of those BB17 Lo-pro frames in a 57 on clearance. A few paint chips on the head tube drives the price down to 300 bucks--a bargain!

I've been very tempted to pick it up myself. The size is perfect for me, and I love that color. I'd go with one of their Columbus carbon forks, and then move most of the little parts over from one of my other bikes. I'll probably pass, though, because I have too many other irons in the fire right now.
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