Need advice on bicycle store behavior

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by saxguy, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. saxguy

    saxguy New Member

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    Hi. I encountered a car last weekend. This resulted in a necessary wheel and fork replacement for my 2004 Coda Comp.:eek: Fortunately enough, i walked away with a few scrapes and one big bruise but nothing else

    So, I took it on Tuesday to the store I bought it from less than a year ago, where i felt like we had a good relationship. The owner initially told me that the similar quality fork was on backorder, but he could replace it with a moderate quality fork (Surly)and I could get the bike in a couple of days. He said that the Coda frames have some sort of mount on them that make them hard to replace with other brands. He also said that I'd likely not notice a difference. The wheel was in stock. I agreed to the proposed repair.

    Today (Thursday) I called the store. I talked to a tech that said that the Surly didn't fit and they didn't know when they could get in a similar quality fork to the Surly nor did they have a delivery date on the replacement quality fork. They said that they could put on a standard steel fork at a cost of around $55 plus labor and I could bring the bike back when the replacement fork is ready, if I ordered it.

    I kept talking with the tech and I could tell he was getting impatient with me, because I wasn't doing what he wanted. I told him that putting a cheap fork on an expensive (for me, at least) bicycle didn't make a lot of sense. He said something about getting me back on the road in a hurry. When I said that I had another bike and I was prepared to wait, I found the real issue which was that the store didn't want to store the bike until the replacement fork came in. I told the guy I'd make a decision and call back.

    I thought about it a while and called back for the manager (apparently not the owner). I said that it didn't make sense to me to put a cheap fork on an expensive bike, nor did it make sense for me to make 2-hour round trips to pick up the bike then bring it back when whatever fork I order gets in. He said(correctly) that they weren't responsible for my accident. Then he said they weren't responsible for the hassles I incur (trip time) to be their customer. There was no profit in storing a bicycle that wasn't going to be fixed right away. I told him that there was plenty of profit when I bought the bicycle less than a year ago and I wasn't happy about it. We had words and I said that, if I have to pull the bike out, that's the last they've seen of me. I didn't hear what words he said when I hung up on him, but I'm sure he wasn't real pleased.:mad:

    This store is a high volume store, but I liked the vibe when I bought the bike to begin with. There was another dealer closer to where I live, but this store had the model in stock and seemed easier to work with than the other dealer.

    Also, on Tuesday, I heard the owner offer to split the tuneup cost on a bicycle that had been bought from them but was a couple of months after the one-year period for a free tune up.

    I called the other dealer who said that the stores deal with the same distributors for the most part and that he'd look at the bike and store it until done if I wanted, but he'd prefer not to store it. That dealer is generally a 35-45 minute round trip from and to my home.

    So, I'm steamed. It seems like the manager and tech regarded my purchase of the bicycle less than a year ago as "that was then, this is now". Yes, I'm saxguy, but my day job is as a CPA and I find this to be rather bad customer service. Still, I don't have tremendous experience with bicycles more expensive than a couple of hundred dollars. Maybe this is the way high volume dealers work.

    I'm thinking of faxxing the owner tomorrow and asking him what he can do to resolve this, but first, I'd like some comments from experienced bicyclists on:

    1. Is this reasonable shop behavior?

    2. Should I get the cheap fork?

    3. How would a typical urban high-volume store handle this?

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    1. Is this reasonable shop behavior?
    Not if they want to keep you a repeat customer.

    2. Should I get the cheap fork?
    No way, you have another bike. Why settle for less?

    3. How would a typical urban high-volume store handle this?
    Depends on the shop's focus. Sounds like they are more interested in selling bikes than servicing them.

    I'd go to the closer shop. This place has no concept of customer service, Why should you give them any more of your business?
     
  3. Jim R

    Jim R New Member

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    "the store didn't want to store the bike until the replacement fork came in"


    That is bizarre. How much room does a bike take? I could understand if we were talking about a car. There must be enough profit margin in a expensive fork to pay for a little space in a shop. Seems unreasonable to me.
     
  4. friedmikey

    friedmikey New Member

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    Saxguy, I feel your frustration, but I'm going to have to say that you are in the wrong for expecting the shop to store your bike free of charge. Shop service departments tend to get slammed this time of year and space is a premium. If we're talking something like a week to get the new part, okay, yes the shop should hold on to your bike. But you make it sound as if the bike could be there indefinitely and it should somehow be the shop's responsibility to hold the bike until whenever, simply because you bought the bike there a while back and their distributor is backordered. I don't think that's a fair expectation.
     
  5. saxguy

    saxguy New Member

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    If that's the case, then I suppose I should deal with a store that is more convenient to get back and forth from.:rolleyes:

    I'm going to send a fax to the owner and see what, if anything he is willing to do. Maybe I'll get lucky.
     
  6. baj32161

    baj32161 New Member

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    Good point here. The shop I use has very little storage place, so (epsecially) at this time of year they rarely hold a bike for more than a week or so. I think this is reasonable enough, unless they are the cause of the problem. There are many shops that do go above and beyond (my shop does for me) but I don't ever expect them to. If they do it is still a nice surprise when it happens.
    This shop is in Philadelphia PA and I live in Trenton NJ so it is a good 40 miles from me, and since I don't own a car I have to put my bike on the train or borrow my friend's Jeep to get it there. This is also a chain with a mgr as opposed to an owner.

    Good luck to you.
     
  7. RSSrsvp

    RSSrsvp New Member

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    Anyone that is in sales would know how to politely address this issue and not alienate the customer. The original LBS should had stated from the very beginning that they really do not have the storage space, asked for his understanding in the matter and apologized to the customer for not being able to accomodate his total needs. Feathers would not have been ruffled and most likely any customer would still have a favorable attitude and be predisposed to still doing business with the LBS.
     
  8. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    Bike shops don't piss off customers for no reason. If they tell you they can't store your bike then they must really be pushed for space. There is no reason, though, why you shouldn't do business with the other store as well if that is more convenient.
     
  9. gubaguba

    gubaguba New Member

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    You have to remember that this is peak repair season and so most bike shops are pushed to keep ahead of the demand. That said I don't think thay you were treated very well. You already know that you were not treated well so what are you going to do about it. I might suggest you talk to the owner and not the manager and explain your situation. Try to do so without emotional attachment and listen to what they say. Some shops are just more interested in the sale of a bike than a repair so you might be better of taking you business elsewhere. I found some shop owners really resentful of me doing things differently then what they would like and that in some cases I am unwilling to compromise quality. Lucky for me there are other shops that I can go to.
     
  10. waxbytes

    waxbytes New Member

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    My only comment is it sounds like the LBS thinks it's going to be a long time to get the correct fork. If ever. They were very vague on delivery time and don't want to hold the bicycle, not a good sign.
     
  11. saxguy

    saxguy New Member

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    If they had done that, it's possible that I would bring the bike back to be fixed when the fork arrived, despite the distance. The store called today at home but I didn't check the caller ID until after they closed. I'll call tomorrow before I go over there. Perhaps they've been able to expedite an acceptble fork.

    If not, I think I'll go to the Coda dealer that's much closer to my house, ask them to order the parts and have them fix it when the parts arrive.
     
  12. jessmcph

    jessmcph New Member

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    My friend was in a similar situation and i'ld like a little input as what she should expect. My friend and I went to a LBS (not my favorite but she was buying not me) to buy a new bike andof course after buyuing the bike we went for a ride. About ten miles out on the ride we went down a hill when she hit the breaks her rear wheel wasn't true which caused the breaks to lock and her wheel to be shaped like an S (to the point that we had to take turns carrying the bike back to the car because it wouldn't roll). She was lucky to not end up hospitalized honestly and currently the bike shop is taking no responsiblity. Any idea on how to persue this? They even want her to pay for new wheels.
     
  13. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    Don't go there again.
     
  14. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

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    Dude, that behavior is bunk. Post the name of the shop and let everyone know what to expect should they encounter a problem. Of course storage space is at a premium but they could have handled that conversation better. You went out of your way and appreciated the vibe when you bought it. It sounds like they are unwilling to return the favor when the waters got rough. I support two LBSs and neither would do something like that. Kharma will take care of the surly manager. Cut your losses and do what's right. Get that bike repaired - safely and with the parts you're comfortable with. There is no sense in cutting corners. A bad fit or the wrong parts are nothing but a safety issue. DO NOT compromise!

    Chris
     
  15. saxguy

    saxguy New Member

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    Actually, I sent a fax to the owner. They managed to expedite a good quality fork. I'll be back on the road Tuesday night. Until then, there's my bent.
     
  16. gubaguba

    gubaguba New Member

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    If what you say is true I would start by mentioning the bike shop by name so none of us will ever think of going there. That is total [email protected] in my opinion. Tell them they can deal with you or small claims court which ever they prefer. Be prepare to follow through and file a claim.
     
  17. saxguy

    saxguy New Member

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    Ok, we're talking about the other person's issue with the rear wheel. I'd contact the manufacturer's warranty and dealer services department, THEN the nearest better business bureau.

    For me, I think things are gonna work out.
     
  18. jessmcph

    jessmcph New Member

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    \

    the name of the shop is "Eddy's bike shop" and it is the largest bike shop in my area.
     
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