Peloton’s Rapid Rise Is Threatened by Its Slow Delivery

The company has boomed in popularity during the pandemic but getting its exercise bikes delivered has proved a struggle, one that is angering new customers.

By Sapna Maheshwari and Erin Griffith

Peloton’s relentlessly positive Instagram posts usually attract enthusiastic responses from its 1.2 million followers, who love the company’s charismatic instructors and its $1,900-plus bikes and treadmills.

But recently the company’s account has become a beacon for outrage about delayed deliveries and hours spent with customer service representatives. “I know a good Peloton goal…deliver my mom’s bike that was supposed to be here December 21st!” snapped one person in response to a post about New Year’s goals. “I could be close to 900 rides oh but that’s right I don’t have my bike!” another replied to a post about a user’s 900th ride.

After more than quadrupling in value to more than $40 billion during the coronavirus pandemic, Peloton is now experiencing some serious growing pains. Some customers who ordered bikes as far back as October in expectation of having them for the holidays or in time to begin New Year’s resolutions find themselves still waiting for deliveries.

“What we’re finding is that Peloton the idea has grown faster than Peloton the company,” said Simeon Siegel, a retail analyst at BMO Capital Markets. “All companies need to figure out how to grow into their hype. Right now, the hype surrounding Peloton is like no other.”

While shortages of everything from Clorox wipes to sofas have become a pandemic norm, the complaints about Peloton are notable given the buzz surrounding the company and the cost of its luxury exercise products.

The complaints include delivery trucks not showing up when they are scheduled. Some customers have reported getting automated emails pushing their delivery dates out by a month or more, and then receiving little clarity from customer service representatives, who sometimes blame Peloton’s shipping partners.

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