Nightmare: An impossible customer? Or is it the LBS's fault?

Discussion in 'Bike Shop Reviews' started by calzone, Oct 27, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Draheim18

    Draheim18 Tow Master

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student, Lacrosse Coach
    Location:
    Coto de Caza
    I don't care what type of business it is but they should always call the customer before putting on a substitute part. It doesn't matter if it is an upgrade, downgrade, or same grade as the part they want to substitute.

    The bottom line is you're the customer and you should have the final say in these type situations.
     
  2. calzone

    calzone Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Web Whiz Looking for Work
    Location:
    Orange County: NPB
    That is exactly how I feel about it!

    If I ever get annoyed because a vendor is 'over-communicating' and I want to delegate something to them, then I'll let them know. Otherwise,I want to be in the loop all the way!

    I was hoping, based on this thread we could come up with an LBS customer's 'bill of rights' that could possibly provide a foundation for putting customers and shops alike on the same page as far as what should be standard practice.
     
  3. madridg

    madridg Ride Therapy Patient

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Medical Device Engineer
    Location:
    Dana Point
    Home Page:
    not cool.

    It started shady and seems to continue being shady. It sucks when you can't trust the bike sho you're giving your hard earned money to, it ruins the exciting new bike experience. I now try to run when I see these up front signals (bs, changes, excuses), however, good deals are tough to run from.

    Get resolution on your bike, and take nothing less. Unfortunately, this will mean a lot of work for you and the shop, include legal action if necessary.

    Then ride your awesome bike and share your experiences (like you are), so others riders don't fall into this trap.
     
  4. ryanzilla

    ryanzilla Racer in Training

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Home Page:

    I know you dont want to disclose the name of the shop, and hope everything works out for you in the end. But either way, even if they do provide you with the result you are looking for in the end, I would wager that most everyone here wouldnt want to go through everything you have to get a result other LBS' would provide without all the hassles. Hopefully in the end, you will let everyone know which shop it was in the end regardless of the outcome. :)
     
  5. calzone

    calzone Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Web Whiz Looking for Work
    Location:
    Orange County: NPB
    I have a feeling they found out about this thread and have seen it. I hope they take the initiative to post here to name themselves, and present their side of the story.

    Yeah, I'm anal, demanding, and less forgiving of imperfection from my vendors than most people I know. The Apple Stores at Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza could probably attest to that. So, I posted here to gather opinion, find out what is considered standard practice, and see if I should be more temperate about this.

    Based on other's replies, I'm comfortable my position is not totally unreasonable.

    So, before naming them, and to avoid sinking into any kind of flame-fest between supporters and detractors, I wanted to give one more try for this whole thing to be fixed and fixed right. Done right, this could be flipped from a potential negative to positive PR.

    Their position seems to be that misunderstanding and things outside their control are to blame for many elements to this ordeal. That plus the fact that margins in the industry are too slim to allow them to go to the sorts of lengths that vendors from other industries might go to ensure their customers smile, return, and recommend, even when mistakes happen.

    I should also say on their behalf that they have explicitly stated they want me to be happy with my purchase.

    To which I can only say: me too.
     
  6. tortoise

    tortoise Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Trabuco Canyon
    This thread is not for people with ADHD..........goodluck
     
  7. calzone

    calzone Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Web Whiz Looking for Work
    Location:
    Orange County: NPB
    Update

    So at this point, the proposed resolution goes like this:

    1. The Albert Select cartridge in the 2008 Wotan fork is to be replaced by a 2009 cartridge. The shop spoke with Magura and determined this cartridge is the only fork component that got updated between 2008 and 2009.
    2. The fork is to be serviced to find the cause of the problems and to get it as plush as it should be.
    3. The gouged chainstays are to be replaced with brand new chainstays.
    4. The headset is to be upgraded so I can once again have a red sealed bearings headset.
    5. A body work paint guy is to take care of the paint chip on the fork and on the top tube.
    6. The rear derailleur is to be replaced by a brand new, boxed, 2009 derailleur.
    This resolution is basically a bit of a compromise. I'm not getting the actual 2009 fork that I ordered, even though the end result is basically the same. It's also a compromise because I wanted to start off from a clean slate with a new bike in perfect condition; instead, it's a bike that was new but got damaged and now has replacement parts and work done to it. Otoh, the headset would represent an upgrade over what I originally ordered and paid for.


    In other news: I hate the DHX Air.
    Maybe I'll make a new thread on here seeking help for that, but I can't for the life of me get it dialed in to work right for me.
     
  8. leondelmonte

    leondelmonte Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    The O.C.
    Wow,
    I am pretty anal about my stuff too, I mean, If Im paying a price, whether its cheap or expensive (which I alway try to avoid) for a part, I expect to get what I am paying for. Period.

    In this case $3000 For a bike is a good chunk of change, for Any one. Pretty much any bike over $500 is a decent bike already

    Your bike should have been built as it should have been from the start, no doubt.

    Im really pissed off for you, man, seriously, I would have demanded my money back already!!

    Thats too many issues, it sounds like this shop is trying to rip you off from every angle possible.


    Put the name out already, we need to know who it is, so that we look out for it
     
  9. dirtmistress

    dirtmistress AKA Roadiemistress

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,727
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    FedEx Courier
    Location:
    MDR adjacent
    They sound like they like to sit in back with their feet up and cringe whenever a customer walks in! They sound lazy and uncaring.
    You sound angry and burned out. You also sound like you're settling. It's tiring being confused and ticked off all the time!
    I feel bad for you for sure. Your post is something many of us have gone through at one time or another.
    Be it with cars, bikes, computers or a new washer/dryer.
    I went to my local shop the other day with my new scratched Oakley lenses. I had them less than a week and I fell on my face and scratched the hell out of them.
    I went in to replace them and I asked him for a sympathy discount(with a smile on my face) and he said sure.
    When I checked the receipt, he'd charged me 35.99 for the lenses. Normally priced 49.99!!
    Good customer service keeps people coming back!
    You got bad customer service!
    I wish you luck for sure!
    Maybe you should sell the bike on E-Bay! It's got bad ju-ju now!
     
  10. 1080P

    1080P Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dotting "i's" & crossing "t's" while balancing
    Location:
    The 818 curtain
    Too much wrong, too many substitutes for it to be coincidence, versus profit driven. Not one error was in your favor, cost or benefit wise.

    Return it for full credit and shop somewhere else. Heck, with what you know now, source the parts out and build the bike you really want instead of settling for a hodge podge of mix and match parts. At least you'll then know it's not been built from cannibalized, used or last years left overs. Peace of mind on a new bike is worth a lot, knowing everything is what you wanted and right, especially if you know you are anal or particular about your wants and needs, and have the budget to support it.
     
  11. calzone

    calzone Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Web Whiz Looking for Work
    Location:
    Orange County: NPB
    Yup. I specced it out. Including shipping and taxes, I could have about the same bike (a different color, different but comparable wheels, an upgraded derailleur, upgraded headset (Chris King), upgraded cassette, upgraded handlebars) with all brand new parts, boxed for retail for about $200 more than I paid. Of course I'd have to build it myself, which is fun and a good thing™, but still a time-sink I'm not sure I can afford for the next several months.

    So, the jury's still out. I should know by the end of this week, since their final word on what's up on their end is due on Tue or so.
     
  12. dudevf1

    dudevf1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    SD, CA
    If it's still possible to get your money back and walk away then I'd pursue that option. I don't think that you are an impossible to please customer, but you have refined preferences and many of them are totally reasonable. There may have been enough signals early on in this process that this wasn't going to work out smoothly and although it's subjective I think it's better to recognize that and move on. Although you appear to be getting a reasonable second best resolution, keep in mind that all of this work still has to executed to your level of satisfaction. Given what you have described I have little confidence that this LBS will be able to do that. I still think the best resolution is refund and go somewhere else, but I am impressed with your patience. BTW, I am not implying that you have to go Ape$#!+ and rage on the LBS to get a refund, I think that given what has transpired and how complicated the resolution is that it's better for you to walk away and they owe it to you as well, it's a much simpler solution for both. If the LBS doesn't care about a simple, quick and clean resolution to this then beware...you still have to be satisfied with all of the promised work.
     
  13. pasadenamtber

    pasadenamtber New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i put 100% of this on the customer. if it wasn't what wanted you should have never payed for it and taken the bike home. i don't care how bad a shop is, if they can't give you what you want, go somewhere else.
     
  14. hookup

    hookup New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    You should get a total refund.....period. They either provide you with everything you want and paid for or refund the money. Servicing and repainting stuff that should be delivered new is ridiculous.
     
  15. calzone

    calzone Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Web Whiz Looking for Work
    Location:
    Orange County: NPB
    Thank you for the sympathy and kind words :) However, angry and burned out as I may be, I strongly believe in honesty and fairness --and it would be unfair to allow such a perception of their staff to stand. They are nothing if not very attentive, very personable and outgoing, and very hard working. No laziness or uncaring there.

    I think the problem has more to do with what some bike techies think is common and acceptable (i.e.:
    "this part is identical to that part" or "this part is actually better for this bike/person" or "mountain bikes get dirty and scratched or worn in different places especially when they get work done") compared to what a mass-market consumer thinks should be common and acceptable ("I am going to get exactly what I see in the picture and it is going to be sealed in shrink wrap and have that new car smell and it is going to work perfectly out of the box").

    And part of the problem may also have something to do with communication. I never imagined one should have to spell out on paper what their expectations from a new bike purchase are and perhaps they never imagined a customer would inspect every component and should be informed ahead of time of what to expect.

    This is sooooo true.

    One of my favorite restaurants is Cafe R+D at Fashion Island. Once when I went there, about a year ago, I found a piece of cardboard in my salad. I told the waitress about it who was just stopping by to ask how everything was, and she was extremely apologetic and shocked. She immediately got the manager, who was equally shocked and apologetic. And I was looking at it -- it was from the lettuce box. I pointed that out to them, to show them "it's not that bad". I thought it was kind of funny actually.

    Well, the manager said there was no excuse for it. She withdrew all our dishes and put in a fresh order for us, with highest priority. And then she comped the whole meal, including the wine.

    Needless to say, that kind of customer service has made me a life-long devotee of the place. Their food is excellent, their prices very fair, and that kind of service is unbeatable.
     
  16. dudevf1

    dudevf1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    SD, CA
    I think this is a good example of the kind of service this LBS should provide you. Have they offered or have you requested a replacement bike for yours? If the shop has no problem pulling parts from other bikes and different years then your bike is effectively new, except for the rides. Trading yours for a brand new one off the floor is another simple and reasonable resolution. At the worst the LBS can Ebay your bike.
     
  17. calzone

    calzone Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Web Whiz Looking for Work
    Location:
    Orange County: NPB
    So in an effort to bring closure to this thread, a quick update to what is going on, with hopefully a final post or two to follow later this week.

    To begin with, after extensive communication with the LBS in question, I have come to learn that they were honestly not aware the fork was not 2009 as the distributor, BTI, was selling it as a current model fork. Due to the cost and drawn out aggravation that it would entail to pursue the matter with BTI, and even then, with no likely chance of an outcome any more satisfactory than them simply taking the fork back and putting me in the position of having to buy a new one elsewhere, we have agreed the best course of action is to go with the LBS original suggestion, which is to upgrade the only part on the fork that has changed between 2008 and 2009. In addition, I met with their suspension specialist who is working on the fork and apparently found some warrantyable issues. They ordered some more parts to take care of it and it will be freshly and fully lubed. I'm looking forward to seeing how this 'new' fork ends up behaving. +1

    With regard to the rear shock, there was a misunderstanding between several parties involved, which I did not understand nor was privy to when I took delivery. They ultimately did the right thing, which was to give me the shock I believed I was paying for --they thought they were comping it and I didn't because I had expected it all along, and it was due to some miscommunication up front and misunderstanding of what is spec vs. not. After further clarification, I have come to understand and accept their position on this and appreciate their handling of the matter. +2

    They have also replaced the gouged chainstays with brand new chainstays, and the gouged derailleur with a brand new derailleur.

    And there's the matter of the paint chips, which I am not exactly sure how it will turn out, but I've been assured that the touch up work is being completed by a well-experienced professional.

    So the the bike has been with them for the past week and three days. It is nearing completion I've been told. When I get it back, I'll test drive and evaluate it, and post my final (hopefully) report on this saga. So far, they seem to be doing pretty much all the right things.

    I may be won over yet.
     
  18. Fewinhibitions

    Fewinhibitions Always be a moving target

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,957
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Creative Arts, Community Service, Politics
    Location:
    Da 808
    I would walk away and get exactly what you want somewhere else.

    Especially given the price. Totally unacceptable.

    For them to go this much hassle instead of just getting a new bike is absurd.

    I would never feel confident, or trust the bike, when I was riding it.

    In the back of my mind would always be "...is this the ride that something on goes wrong?"
     
  19. hookup

    hookup New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Wow....you are way more tolerant/patient than I would be. New is new....not revamped, repainted, tweaked. A real, honest shop would give you what you paid for, not put you through a mind maze. Hope you get an acceptable ending.
     
  20. 29SSer

    29SSer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Anaheim
    Lets see pics of your bike!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Help keep STR alive, please click the donation button below