or Connect
Cycling Forums › Forums › Other Stuff › Archives › rec.bicycles.marketplace › Bad Bike Shop Manners??
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Bad Bike Shop Manners??

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 
Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer?

Actually, I've never known one myself, but somehow I get the feeling
that these guys are at least supposed to care where you spend your
money.

I contacted Peter Stull, "The Bicycleman," and though I found him
friendly at first, after a long ten or thirteen-minute telephone
conversation he hangs up on me 'cause a customer suddenly walked in the
door. He never answered 90% of my questions -- very basic ones like
"how much does it cost?" -- though it was an interesting enough
conversation otherwise where he told me about his bike races, his
customer from Australia, the guy who works for him that specializes in
recumbents....

Before he excused himself with the near-equivalent of French Leave, I
asked him whether I might wrap things up via e-mail. I could almost
see him shrug casually -- "sure," he said.

Three weeks now and no response.

So I get in touch with another dealer, Northeast Recumbents. E-mailed,
phoned, left messages...nothing. Finally got through to him last
weekend, set up a look-see tomorrow. But there's rain in the forecast,
and now this dealer is incommunicado.

WTF?!

Are my expectations out of order?

The LBS on the next block from me where I got my Trek 1000c, the Bike
Stop in Astoria, was another crazy place. The owner himself insisted
on selling me the display model. It was in good condition, far as I
can tell (though by the time I'd noticed some marks and scratches, a
week had gone by and I couldn't be totally sure they weren't caused by
me somehow), but apparently all bike shops insist you pay "new" prices
for "good as new" bikes.

Small matter that, sure enough -- but then the headset wasn't quite
right. Turned out to be defective. But Gus, the owner, tried to
convince me that its being loose was nothing to worry about! And
indeed, I could ride the bike fine...but it just didn't feel right that
I had a moving part where things are tight on other bikes.

Or another LBS, in Manhattan, the Pedal Pushers...Evan over there is a
nutcase. He's very charming and talkative like Peter Stull, but he's
got a weird switch which somehow gets flipped and he'll go schizo on
you with his passive-agressive act. One day I came in for a flat fix.
While he was ringing up the sale, I noticed that my tire cap was gone
and asked him where it was. He told me he put it outside the shop --
??? I asked him what he meant. He nodded incredulously at me and
repeated that he left my tire cap outside. Not only was it a bizzare
enough thing if true, but doubly strange was the fact that it wasn't
true, he never touched my bike until I brought it in. So I asked him
how could that be...he responded that, duh, how? I used my hands, you
know, hands, and unscrewed it and gently placed it on the sidewalk. So
I'm just really mystified at what's going on -- him swiping my card and
all all this time -- and I ask him why would he do that.

He goes, well, where do you put your TV in your place? I'm like, what?
Where do you put your TV, he repeated. I asked him why. He said that
just as I have my reasons for placing things in my apartment, so he has
his reasons for organizing his shop the way he does (actually, it's
owned by a sour old fart, Roger, who's absent half the time -- another
neurotic cat).

Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what?

What's even more bizzare is that there was a line of customers behind
me, every one non-plussed by the brief conversation.

Tell me, is there some bike shop etiquette I didn't observe? Is there
some kind of secret bike shop salute or handshake I should have
employed? Did I bother them somehow by smiling?

Honestly, I don't get it. Now I'll have to contact the fella over in
State College, PA, for the Velotechnik SMGTe. I am not awarding ~$3K
(maybe even more, if I don't contain my newfound lust of Rohloff
gearboxes and other exotica) to folks who don't care enough for it to
return a goddamned phone call or e-mail!
post #2 of 111
Thread Starter 

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Rich wrote:
>
>
> Maybe he went out of business talking to people that weren't buying stuff.


LOL -- he obviously went out of business 'cause he didn't know how to
sell to people he was already talking to!

> How much of his time did you expect?


As much time as it takes to answer my questions, 90% of which he
didn't.

> He's in business, and his first
> priority should be the people that made the effort to get to his store.


Oh, the world's supposed to beat a path to his door, even when they
call first to make arrangements for a visit?

> He sounds friendly enough to me.


Of course. You're not very friendly yourself.

> They're running a business, not a chat room.


So why talk my ear off about his life?

> I think so.


Tell me which bike shop you own, etc. -- I'll be sure not to patronize.

> Rich
post #3 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

In article <1137810500.881951.235570@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
jack_foreigner@yahoo.com says...
>
> Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer?
>
> Actually, I've never known one myself, but somehow I get the feeling
> that these guys are at least supposed to care where you spend your
> money.
>
> I contacted Peter Stull, "The Bicycleman," and though I found him
> friendly at first, after a long ten or thirteen-minute telephone
> conversation he hangs up on me 'cause a customer suddenly walked in the
> door. He never answered 90% of my questions -- very basic ones like
> "how much does it cost?" -- though it was an interesting enough
> conversation otherwise where he told me about his bike races, his
> customer from Australia, the guy who works for him that specializes in
> recumbents....
>
> Before he excused himself with the near-equivalent of French Leave, I
> asked him whether I might wrap things up via e-mail. I could almost
> see him shrug casually -- "sure," he said.
>
> Three weeks now and no response.
>
> So I get in touch with another dealer, Northeast Recumbents. E-mailed,
> phoned, left messages...nothing. Finally got through to him last
> weekend, set up a look-see tomorrow. But there's rain in the forecast,
> and now this dealer is incommunicado.
>
> WTF?!
>
> Are my expectations out of order?
>
> The LBS on the next block from me where I got my Trek 1000c, the Bike
> Stop in Astoria, was another crazy place. The owner himself insisted
> on selling me the display model. It was in good condition, far as I
> can tell (though by the time I'd noticed some marks and scratches, a
> week had gone by and I couldn't be totally sure they weren't caused by
> me somehow), but apparently all bike shops insist you pay "new" prices
> for "good as new" bikes.
>
> Small matter that, sure enough -- but then the headset wasn't quite
> right. Turned out to be defective. But Gus, the owner, tried to
> convince me that its being loose was nothing to worry about! And
> indeed, I could ride the bike fine...but it just didn't feel right that
> I had a moving part where things are tight on other bikes.
>
> Or another LBS, in Manhattan, the Pedal Pushers...Evan over there is a
> nutcase. He's very charming and talkative like Peter Stull, but he's
> got a weird switch which somehow gets flipped and he'll go schizo on
> you with his passive-agressive act. One day I came in for a flat fix.
> While he was ringing up the sale, I noticed that my tire cap was gone


--
So, who or what is the common denominator in all these stories?

Mark Scardiglia

conscious@mindless.com
post #4 of 111
Thread Starter 

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Mark wrote:
>
>
> --
> So, who or what is the common denominator in all these stories?
>
> Mark Scardiglia
>
> conscious@mindless.com



War of 1812...Mexican-American War...Spanish-American War...Phillipine
Insurrection...Boxer Rebellion...The Great War...The Big
One...Korea...Vietnam...Dominican Republic...Grenada...Gulf I and
II....

Who's the common denominator?

Just stick to the facts. It's easy to stick your tongue out and close
your eyes, but unless you have any suggestions as to what I could have
done differently, try not to feel so smug.

You won't look good with egg all over your face.
post #5 of 111
Thread Starter 

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Capri wrote:
>
>
>
> You gotta take your bike into a bike shop to fix a flat? No wonder no
> one wants to spend much time with you.



But I'm not asking them to spend time with me.

And what's wrong with having a bike shop fix flats?

Do you think it's unmanly to use a map, too?
post #6 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

In article <1137816355.023991.27710@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
jack_foreigner@yahoo.com says...
>
> Mark wrote:
> >
> >
> > --
> > So, who or what is the common denominator in all these stories?
> >
> > Mark Scardiglia
> >
> > conscious@mindless.com

>
>
> War of 1812...Mexican-American War...Spanish-American War...Phillipine
> Insurrection...Boxer Rebellion...The Great War...The Big
> One...Korea...Vietnam...Dominican Republic...Grenada...Gulf I and
> II....
>
> Who's the common denominator?
>
> Just stick to the facts. It's easy to stick your tongue out and close
> your eyes, but unless you have any suggestions as to what I could have
> done differently, try not to feel so smug.
>
> You won't look good with egg all over your face.
>
>

OK. The facts, then. You spent probably 600 or 700 words lamenting about
how four or five or six bike shops in a row either treated you badly or
wouldn't do business with you or behaved bizarrely.

You're right, it's not the norm.

I could have pointed it out more gently, but the bottom line is that
these interactions are two way affairs and there's no secret handshake,
as you put it.

Sunny side up, dry toast on the side.
--
Mark Scardiglia

conscious@mindless.com
post #7 of 111
Thread Starter 

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Mark wrote:
>
> OK. The facts, then. You spent probably 600 or 700 words lamenting about
> how four or five or six bike shops in a row either treated you badly or
> wouldn't do business with you or behaved bizarrely.


Goodness, I'm glad you don't design bicycles for a living the way your
brain works.

> You're right, it's not the norm.


You're wrong, I wasn't talking about that.

Why do you pick and choose what you wish to ignore?

> I could have pointed it out more gently, but the bottom line is that
> these interactions are two way affairs and there's no secret handshake,
> as you put it.


You still haven't pointed out a single instance of what I'd done wrong.

> Sunny side up, dry toast on the side.


Your brain is toast.

> --
> Mark Scardiglia
>
> conscious@mindless.com
post #8 of 111
Thread Starter 

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

LOL -- and of course they needed you to tell them that!



Frank wrote:
> IGNORE THE TROLL
post #9 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

NYC XYZ wrote in news:1137823301.949815.67280@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

>
> Mark wrote:
>>
>> OK. The facts, then. You spent probably 600 or 700 words lamenting about
>> how four or five or six bike shops in a row either treated you badly or
>> wouldn't do business with you or behaved bizarrely.

>
> Goodness, I'm glad you don't design bicycles for a living the way your
> brain works.
>
>> You're right, it's not the norm.

>
> You're wrong, I wasn't talking about that.
>
> Why do you pick and choose what you wish to ignore?
>
>> I could have pointed it out more gently, but the bottom line is that
>> these interactions are two way affairs and there's no secret handshake,
>> as you put it.

>
> You still haven't pointed out a single instance of what I'd done wrong.
>
>> Sunny side up, dry toast on the side.

>
> Your brain is toast.
>
>> --
>> Mark Scardiglia
>>
>> conscious@mindless.com

>


You are correct. The problem is with them, not you. Those non-plussed
customers must also have something wrong with them. They are not as
perceptive as you, so they are unable to recognize when they are not
receiving adequate service. Unfortunately, a shopper with your level
of sophistication will rarely encounter a shop that is adequate.
post #10 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

>> Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what?
>
> These dealers you've been dealing with are all recumbent people?


I was thinking that myself. Peter Stull is definitely into recumbents, as
well as the other shop he mentioned (with recumbent in their name). The
place he got the Trek 1000 sounded pretty normal; there really aren't such
things as "floor models" in bike shops... because you can't properly build a
bike on the spot, you need to have your inventory built up ahead of time.
And the guy "stealing" valve caps? A common inside-joke at shops is the way
customers believe there's some big black market for valve caps, and the
reason we leave them off (which happens accidentally more often than it
should) is so we can score big bucks selling them.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Tom Keats" <tkeats2005@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:9dnsqd.l5f.ln@vcn.bc.ca...
> In article <1137810500.881951.235570@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "NYC XYZ" <jack_foreigner@yahoo.com> writes:
>
>> Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what?

>
> These dealers you've been dealing with are all recumbent people?
>
>
> cheers,
> Tom
>
> --
> -- Nothing is safe from me.
> Above address is just a spam midden.
> I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
post #11 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

NYC XYZ wrote:
> Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer?
>

If you could see yourself as these folks see you, then you'd understand
that they are all there, but you won't find them without a serious
change in attitude.

I like the valve cap story - very illustrative.
post #12 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

NYC XYZ wrote:
> Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer?
>
> Actually, I've never known one myself, but somehow I get the feeling
> that these guys are at least supposed to care where you spend your
> money.
>
> I contacted Peter Stull, "The Bicycleman," and though I found him
> friendly at first, after a long ten or thirteen-minute telephone
> conversation he hangs up on me 'cause a customer suddenly walked in the
> door. He never answered 90% of my questions -- very basic ones like
> "how much does it cost?" -- though it was an interesting enough
> conversation otherwise where he told me about his bike races, his
> customer from Australia, the guy who works for him that specializes in
> recumbents....
>
> Before he excused himself with the near-equivalent of French Leave, I
> asked him whether I might wrap things up via e-mail. I could almost
> see him shrug casually -- "sure," he said.
>
> Three weeks now and no response.
>
> So I get in touch with another dealer, Northeast Recumbents. E-mailed,
> phoned, left messages...nothing. Finally got through to him last
> weekend, set up a look-see tomorrow. But there's rain in the forecast,
> and now this dealer is incommunicado.
>
> WTF?!
>
> Are my expectations out of order?
>
> The LBS on the next block from me where I got my Trek 1000c, the Bike
> Stop in Astoria, was another crazy place. The owner himself insisted
> on selling me the display model. It was in good condition, far as I
> can tell (though by the time I'd noticed some marks and scratches, a
> week had gone by and I couldn't be totally sure they weren't caused by
> me somehow), but apparently all bike shops insist you pay "new" prices
> for "good as new" bikes.
>
> Small matter that, sure enough -- but then the headset wasn't quite
> right. Turned out to be defective. But Gus, the owner, tried to
> convince me that its being loose was nothing to worry about! And
> indeed, I could ride the bike fine...but it just didn't feel right that
> I had a moving part where things are tight on other bikes.
>
> Or another LBS, in Manhattan, the Pedal Pushers...Evan over there is a
> nutcase. He's very charming and talkative like Peter Stull, but he's
> got a weird switch which somehow gets flipped and he'll go schizo on
> you with his passive-agressive act. One day I came in for a flat fix.
> While he was ringing up the sale, I noticed that my tire cap was gone
> and asked him where it was. He told me he put it outside the shop --
> ??? I asked him what he meant. He nodded incredulously at me and
> repeated that he left my tire cap outside. Not only was it a bizzare
> enough thing if true, but doubly strange was the fact that it wasn't
> true, he never touched my bike until I brought it in. So I asked him
> how could that be...he responded that, duh, how? I used my hands, you
> know, hands, and unscrewed it and gently placed it on the sidewalk. So
> I'm just really mystified at what's going on -- him swiping my card and
> all all this time -- and I ask him why would he do that.
>
> He goes, well, where do you put your TV in your place? I'm like, what?
> Where do you put your TV, he repeated. I asked him why. He said that
> just as I have my reasons for placing things in my apartment, so he has
> his reasons for organizing his shop the way he does (actually, it's
> owned by a sour old fart, Roger, who's absent half the time -- another
> neurotic cat).
>
> Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what?
>
> What's even more bizzare is that there was a line of customers behind
> me, every one non-plussed by the brief conversation.
>
> Tell me, is there some bike shop etiquette I didn't observe? Is there
> some kind of secret bike shop salute or handshake I should have
> employed? Did I bother them somehow by smiling?


No. It does seem that most bike shops are filled with either dolts or
surly putzes that are there to prove something...some sort of a power
trip about the 'knowledgeable vs the not' or something.
Even in Boulder we hear stories about some shops, and why they'll never
go in 'there' again. I think great bike shops or stores, kinda by
definition, don't do well in 'talking', I think sometimes from pressure
to sell, sell, sell.




>
> Honestly, I don't get it. Now I'll have to contact the fella over in
> State College, PA, for the Velotechnik SMGTe. I am not awarding ~$3K
> (maybe even more, if I don't contain my newfound lust of Rohloff
> gearboxes and other exotica) to folks who don't care enough for it to
> return a goddamned phone call or e-mail!
post #13 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Rich wrote:
> NYC XYZ wrote:
>
> > Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer?

>
> Maybe he went out of business talking to people that weren't buying stuff.
>
>
> > I contacted Peter Stull, "The Bicycleman," and though I found him
> > friendly at first, after a long ten or thirteen-minute telephone
> > conversation he hangs up on me 'cause a customer suddenly walked in the
> > door.

>
> How much of his time did you expect? He's in business, and his first
> priority should be the people that made the effort to get to his store.
> He sounds friendly enough to me.


The converstion in a retail place should in ALL cases be ended by the
'customer', not the employee. A bike shop is supposed to be the expert,
the person that listens and then, perhaps, sells. Sometimes it IS a
chat room, and that's how you grow your biz. If a person is comfy just
talking, then he will be comfy later giving you money. Pretty simple.
NOTHING is so important in a toy store, that the employee shuts a
person down, in order to talk to another, even if they have a $20 bill
stuck in their nose, waiting to buy. The surly attitude displayed by
some in this thread is WHY many bike shops go under. They commit
suicide, they don't go outta biz.

>
> > So I get in touch with another dealer, Northeast Recumbents. E-mailed,
> > phoned, left messages...nothing. Finally got through to him last
> > weekend, set up a look-see tomorrow. But there's rain in the forecast,
> > and now this dealer is incommunicado.
> >
> > WTF?!

>
> They're running a business, not a chat room.
>
> > Are my expectations out of order?

>
> I think so.
>
> Rich
post #14 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

NYC XYZ wrote:
> ...
> War of 1812...Mexican-American War...Spanish-American War...Phillipine
> Insurrection...Boxer Rebellion...The Great War...The Big
> One...Korea...Vietnam...Dominican Republic...Grenada...Gulf I and
> II....


You forgot Panama - George H. W. Bush turning on his old CIA "asset"
Manuel Noriega.

--
Tom Sherman - Fox River Valley
post #15 of 111

Re: Bad Bike Shop Manners??

NYC XYZ wrote:
> Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer?
>
> Actually, I've never known one myself, but somehow I get the feeling
> that these guys are at least supposed to care where you spend your
> money.
>
> I contacted Peter Stull, "The Bicycleman," and though I found him
> friendly at first, after a long ten or thirteen-minute telephone
> conversation he hangs up on me 'cause a customer suddenly walked in the
> door. He never answered 90% of my questions -- very basic ones like
> "how much does it cost?" -- though it was an interesting enough
> conversation otherwise where he told me about his bike races, his
> customer from Australia, the guy who works for him that specializes in
> recumbents....
>
> Before he excused himself with the near-equivalent of French Leave, I
> asked him whether I might wrap things up via e-mail. I could almost
> see him shrug casually -- "sure," he said.
>
> Three weeks now and no response.
>
> So I get in touch with another dealer, Northeast Recumbents. E-mailed,
> phoned, left messages...nothing. Finally got through to him last
> weekend, set up a look-see tomorrow. But there's rain in the forecast,
> and now this dealer is incommunicado.
>
> WTF?!
>
> Are my expectations out of order?
>
> The LBS on the next block from me where I got my Trek 1000c, the Bike
> Stop in Astoria, was another crazy place. The owner himself insisted
> on selling me the display model. It was in good condition, far as I
> can tell (though by the time I'd noticed some marks and scratches, a
> week had gone by and I couldn't be totally sure they weren't caused by
> me somehow), but apparently all bike shops insist you pay "new" prices
> for "good as new" bikes.
>
> Small matter that, sure enough -- but then the headset wasn't quite
> right. Turned out to be defective. But Gus, the owner, tried to
> convince me that its being loose was nothing to worry about! And
> indeed, I could ride the bike fine...but it just didn't feel right that
> I had a moving part where things are tight on other bikes.
>
> Or another LBS, in Manhattan, the Pedal Pushers...Evan over there is a
> nutcase. He's very charming and talkative like Peter Stull, but he's
> got a weird switch which somehow gets flipped and he'll go schizo on
> you with his passive-agressive act. One day I came in for a flat fix.
> While he was ringing up the sale, I noticed that my tire cap was gone
> and asked him where it was. He told me he put it outside the shop --
> ??? I asked him what he meant. He nodded incredulously at me and
> repeated that he left my tire cap outside. Not only was it a bizzare
> enough thing if true, but doubly strange was the fact that it wasn't
> true, he never touched my bike until I brought it in. So I asked him
> how could that be...he responded that, duh, how? I used my hands, you
> know, hands, and unscrewed it and gently placed it on the sidewalk. So
> I'm just really mystified at what's going on -- him swiping my card and
> all all this time -- and I ask him why would he do that.
>
> He goes, well, where do you put your TV in your place? I'm like, what?
> Where do you put your TV, he repeated. I asked him why. He said that
> just as I have my reasons for placing things in my apartment, so he has
> his reasons for organizing his shop the way he does (actually, it's
> owned by a sour old fart, Roger, who's absent half the time -- another
> neurotic cat).
>
> Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what?
>
> What's even more bizzare is that there was a line of customers behind
> me, every one non-plussed by the brief conversation.
>
> Tell me, is there some bike shop etiquette I didn't observe? Is there
> some kind of secret bike shop salute or handshake I should have
> employed? Did I bother them somehow by smiling?
>
> Honestly, I don't get it. Now I'll have to contact the fella over in
> State College, PA, for the Velotechnik SMGTe. I am not awarding ~$3K
> (maybe even more, if I don't contain my newfound lust of Rohloff
> gearboxes and other exotica) to folks who don't care enough for it to
> return a goddamned phone call or e-mail!
>

For anyone who can manage the travel, if required, there is no one like
Kelvin Clark of Angletech in Woodland Park, CO
http://www.angletechcycles.com/index.html
I have purchased 2 bents from him. I have spent many hours--more than
12--at his shop riding and talking, dozens of phone conversations and
dozens of emails. Satisfaction guaranteed. Highest quality. No churning.
Always alternative suggestions for highest end components when
suggested. I could go on and on but 'nuff said.' And I live 400 miles
from him.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: rec.bicycles.marketplace
Cycling Forums › Forums › Other Stuff › Archives › rec.bicycles.marketplace › Bad Bike Shop Manners??