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  1. #1
    Member chairmandave's Avatar
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    Shop scratched my fork and tried to hide it

    Hello,

    I'd like some advice from some professional mechanics about how to handle this. The shop that installed the lower crown race on my new Alpha-Q fork scratched it twice, used a black marker and some red touch-up paint to cover it up, and didn't bother to tell me about it. I didn't realize the fork was scratched until I got home and the shop was closed. Here are some pics:









    The mechanic said that he applied LocTite to the lower crown race, so that's what I thought the red substance was on the steerer tube.

    Beyond the fact that the fork is brand new and I wasn't the cause of the scratches, I'm concerned about the integrity of the carbon fork.

    Are my concerns valid? Should I demand a new fork?
    Last edited by chairmandave; 04-06-08 at 09:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Looks like just the paint was chipped/scratched off, I wouldn't be too worried. But I'm just looking at some photos.

    Pretty lousy cover up job, I think I could have done better with a crayon, then again I'd have let you know about the incident and perhaps made some type of restitution, even if it was to just not charge you for the work.

    I don't think you can justify a new fork but I would make a point of speaking to the shop owner about the issue.
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  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Well that sucks - i'd talk to the shop about it.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    I'd definitely talk to the shop about it. If the fork was brand new the value has been reduced significantly by their carelessness. I don't think the structural integrity has been compromised but I'd want some adjustment to the cost and/or a replacement.

    BTW, there is absolutely no valid reason to use Red Loctite to install a crown race on any fork, ever.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    If you don't have more scratches than that, you aren't riding your bike enough.
    Last edited by mike; 04-06-08 at 07:00 AM.
    Mike

  6. #6
    "this is not suck" j0e_bik3's Avatar
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    I agree, NO REASON in the known universe to use red loctite on a crown race and that red substance on the steerer tube is PAINT,..red loctite looks different,.....that looks like nail polish, or touch up paint (thin, little hiding).

    scratches happen, but only if your careless,...the shop manager might not know about it either if the mechanic is trying to hide it (and obviously someone was).

    you need to talk to the shop, it's definitely their fault, and they need to make it right.
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  7. #7
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    "The shop (Greggs Greenlake of Seattle) that installed the lower crown race on my new Alpha-Q fork scratched it twice, used a black marker and some red touch-up paint to cover it up, and didn't bother to tell me about it. I didn't realize the fork was scratched until I got home and the shop was closed." QUOTE


    IM not so HO,

    THE FACTS AS PRESENTED:

    1) The shop took it upon themselves to do the work for a consideration of money.

    2) The care and control of the item of your desire was in their hands, not yours.

    3) The item was new.

    4) Damage to the above occured whilst in their possession and operation.

    5) A 'cover-up', of sorts was initiated by the shop and/or mechanic to take your money and hurry
    you on your way.

    6) Whether or not the problem is cosmetic or structural, a loss has been incured by you.

    YOUR REMEDY:

    1) An oppology from the shop.

    2) A new fork installed free of charge by the shop.

    3) The 'old', fork to remain with the 'perpetrators'.


    'Reguards', (regards)
    J T

  8. #8
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
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    1) An oppology from the shop.
    Hmmm. I've never come across the Canadian spelling before.

    And I agree with everyone else--talk to the shop. More specifically, talk to the manager/owner directly. At the very least you need to get a refund for the cost of the work done.
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  9. #9
    Go vindicator's Avatar
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    As long as it still works as it should and since it's only cosmetic I would not recommend demanding that they replace your fork. Asking for reimbursement of the money you paid to have the work done is not unreasonable though.

    You just to give you a tip don't walk in with a lot of attitude. They did screw up but they might be more willing to rectify it if you calmly explain what the issue is. First give him the chance to correct it. If they are not willing to give you your money back you should let the owner know that you won't be coming to his shop in the future. Also let him know that you will tell everyone you know about your incident there.

    Good luck. And do post to let us know how it went.
    Punctuality is the thief of time.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    There is a customer service person at Specialized that are trained to deal with issues like this between customers and bike shops. First, I would suggest that you try to work it out with the bike shop. Tell them that you are not satisfied and you are very aware of the touch-up paint and work to cover-up their damage. Second, contact Specialized customer support and inform them of your problems and that you are trying to work it out with the shop. If the shop is unwilling to offer you a full replacement, then put in writing this to Specialized.

    Your fork has been damaged by the shop and its value significantly lessened by the shop's error. For all you know, the fork may have cracked and not just scratched since you cannot see below the epoxy and touch-up paint the bike shop put on your fork. I don't know of many people who would by a cracked carbon fork like that off of Ebay. It may still be usable now, but carbon forks are no place to screw things up. Who's to say that the damage on carbon fork doesn't develop into something more severe a year or two down the road.

    The shop is fully at fault here. If you still want to use the fork and accept a refund on service for the shop's error, that is totally your call. However, you are fully within your rights to have a replacement fork provided to you by your local bike shop (Greggs Greenlake of Seattle).
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  11. #11
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    Go in, and state the facts in a matter of fact way, and see what they propose. It's possible the mechanic did the touching up and meant to write a quick note or tell the front of shop guys, and the info about the touch-up never made its way from the workstand part of the shop to you. Or, it's possible they're trying to put one over on you.

    I've found in situations like this, you state what you see, then give them the opportunity to make things right or hang themselves.

  12. #12
    cab horn
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    I'd like to see how this turns out, keep us updated.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    I agree with the other guys to see if you can work it out with the bike shop before escalating matters. I would, however, talk to the bike shop owner first and not the mechanic. Try to keep your emotions out of it and stay with the facts. Start documenting dates of service, times you spoke to different people, etc. I wouldn't go to the shop though. Call them first and ask to speak to the owner. Explain your situation and ask if you can send him some pics through email. This way you avoid confrontation and you can also send the same picture evidence to Specialized if need be. So in summary. Try the path of least resistance first and give the bike shop the opportunity to rectify their error.
    Livestrong. The personal fundmaker of Lance Armstrong. The company who are in business to not donate to cancer research, but only to inform people that cancer is bad.

    Armstrong. The man without integrity, no care for the sport, and no problem with testing positive for EPO and making donations to cover it up.

    01101010101010001010

  14. #14
    Rev. Wrench
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    Wow.....you win the prize for most awful story this week about a bad bikeshop experience. I have had the awful privelege of having mechanics screw things up and even inherited a problem once from a former employee who got fired over a screw-up and trying to cover it up. In my shop here's how we would handle it.

    1. You'd get a new fork -same exact thing if possible or as close as possible (your choice but comparable $ value) if said fork was no longer available

    2. We'd refund the $ for the work and do the new install for free (i'd do it myself to make sure it was beyond reproach)

    3. We'd end up giving you a gift certificate to the store for a decent $ value $50 -100 for your time and inconvenience and our acknowledgement of trying to keep you as a customer.

    Some might question why I would give a new fork. Simple, liability and negliegence. It's truly impossible unless in a destructive testing environment to tell whether that fork has been compromised structurally. It LOOKs like it is simply cosmetic but if you rode that thing for a day, a week, or even a year and it failed your lawyer could easily show that a shoddy and negligent install lead or contributed to the premature failure. Poof, you own my bikeshop.....

    I like to run a tight ship, mistakes can and do happen but I never, ever try to cover them up....bad for business and I value my customers both for the $ they represent and also the fact that I don't want to kill any of them.

    Bottom line, go back to the shop, speak directly to the manager and the owner and explain the situation in a well thought out, articulate manner and give them a chance to rectify the situation. If they fail to do so than consider other avenues.....from what I've seen on the web, they're a "best-of" Seattle and top-100 retailer. They'll prob. set things right given the chance.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Are these metal or carbon forks? If it's carbon I'd be worried a lot more about the depth of the damage.
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  16. #16
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I hate to hear stuff like this. It shouldnt go un-discussed with the shop.
    Id want another fork. They can put the old one up during a Scratch & Dent sale.
    Also Id worry about the integrity of the work on the inside if this is the outside.
    when my 250.00 commuter unit arrived dented I was little angry but its a
    commuter/beater bike....Im going to assume the bike you would put a carbon
    fork on is a somewhat hi-end unit that you apply different personal standards to ?
    Ie: your 'good' bike.....?? You will always be bothered by that ding on this bike.
    They are pros(?) and took money to do the job. It wasnt dinged when you took it in,
    it shouldnt be when you picked it up.

  17. #17
    B-b-b-b-b-b-bicicle Rider orange leader's Avatar
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    I am not a cosmetically concerned person. All my bikes are dinged and scratched from use. Yoiur scratches don't look like much more than cosmetic scratches, but then, i'm only looking at pictures. There should have been NO need for any locktite blue or red. The compression from the headset or stem clamping will hold the headset races in place. Heck the pressure of the frame (and your weight) will hold that race in place.

    But If this is the damage caused by simply installing a crown race, then i'd be concerned about having them do anything on my bikes. All they had to do was slide the race over the steerer tube, and then gently tap it into place, using another piece of tubing (of the next size up). I can't figure out how they scratched your fork on those other places.

    If they had to remove a crown race, that can sometimes get difficult because they are often siezed on if they weren't installed with any grease between them and the steerer tube, so banging and prying somethimes is necessary. But in this case you gave them a clean fork, and a race. It should have been a simple job.

    I'd ask them to replace your fork, and give you your money back so you can pay for a good shop to do the work. They can do what they want with your old fork. You can scratch your fork as you please with use.
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  18. #18
    B-b-b-b-b-b-bicicle Rider orange leader's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, I forgot. Call the child protection authorities, because that shop hired some 6 year olds to fix and repaint your fork.
    Rudimentum mendum menda
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    Judicium per erratum
    Judicium et erratum!

  19. #19
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    I don't think it was fair to mention the bike shop here before you gave them a chance to make it right. But now that you have, I think you have an obligation to edit your original post with the details if they make it right for you. If they don't make it right, you can make that clear as well. You can't leave this accusation hanging.

    Eric

  20. #20
    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricJ View Post
    I don't think it was fair to mention the bike shop here before you gave them a chance to make it right. But now that you have, I think you have an obligation to edit your original post with the details if they make it right for you. If they don't make it right, you can make that clear as well. You can't leave this accusation hanging.

    Eric
    X2 on that. I used to work across the lake from Gregg's, and raced against Stan himself BITD, and I am as disappointed in you naming names before working with them as I am in them hiring clumsy gorillas.

    I thoroughly believe they (management) want to make you happy in this, no matter how much the "mechanic" tried to get it by you.

    Mel

  21. #21
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by melville View Post
    X2 on that. I used to work across the lake from Gregg's, and raced against Stan himself BITD, and I am as disappointed in you naming names before working with them as I am in them hiring clumsy gorillas.

    I thoroughly believe they (management) want to make you happy in this, no matter how much the "mechanic" tried to get it by you.

    Mel
    +1

    Naming bike stores is only used as a last resort.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chairmandave View Post
    Hello,

    I'd like some advice from......









    Are my concerns valid? Should I demand a new fork?


    can you _prove_ that the fork was in new condition when you took it in?

    notice i didn't ask you if it was new. i didn't ask if it had any dings. i didn't even ask if you bought it there.

    can you _prove_ it wasn't dinged when you took it in? if you can not. you have no case against the shop. they don't owe you anything aside from a receipt for the work.

    now. once they are aware of the "problem", they should work it out internally if they find it reallyis teh shop's fault.

    posting on here to get the _opinions_ of those who are not involved is as pointless as any of the suggestions mentioned.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=8=- View Post
    can you _prove_ that the fork was in new condition when you took it in?

    notice i didn't ask you if it was new. i didn't ask if it had any dings. i didn't even ask if you bought it there.

    can you _prove_ it wasn't dinged when you took it in? if you can not. you have no case against the shop. they don't owe you anything aside from a receipt for the work.
    How is "proof" to that extent possible? Or, for that matter, necessary? This isn't a court case the OP is trying to build, this is a careless act on the part of a shop employee that he is entitled to have made right. Sure, it's a "he said, she said" conflict but I expect the shop owner will respond properly.

  24. #24
    Member chairmandave's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Thanks for all of your opinions. I talked to a supervisor today and made some progress.

    The mechanic who did the install was not working today, so the supervisor called him on the phone- the mechanic said he didn't cause the scratches or do the cover-up. The supervisor vouched for the mechanic's character, so he doesn't know what happened during the 2 hours they possessed the fork. He said he would talk to the mechanic personally and other managers in two days to get more details. In the meantime, I was refunded the cost of labor. No one has claimed responsibility or apologized for the damage, so I'm still a tad miffed.

    Sorry for calling the shop out by name so early- I didn't know it was bad form. I've edited my original post but it doesn't change the fact that I let the cat out of the bag.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chairmandave View Post
    No one has claimed responsibility or apologized for the damage, so I'm still a tad miffed.

    Sorry for calling the shop out by name so early- I didn't know it was bad form. I've edited my original post but it doesn't change the fact that I let the cat out of the bag.

    It's not a big deal that you named the shop. Don't worry about it. **** happens. You were honest. The shop did an unethical act by hiding their error. If the bike shop in Seattle fixes your issue, I would be more impressed with them than any other. If they don't, then I wouldn't go there. It is good though that you tried to work it out with the shop before elevating the matter. Remember to document everything and send the info w/pics to Specialized. They may be able to intervene on your behalf if the shop doesn't make ammends.

    About your fork... The loctite on the fork is concerning, and you shouldn't take it lightly and assume all is ok. You really can't tell how deep structurally the damage is since it is covered up by the epoxy and touch-up paint. Run your finger over the damage. A large bump might indicate something more severe than a blemish. If the scratch was quite deep, then you would have to guess that the loctite may have been used in a manner that was more than just to cover up a cosmetic blemish. Do a search on Google. There are tons of pics of carbon fork failures from things as minor as a crack that later developed into a full-blown fork failure.

    As an example, Kestrel warrants their forks for, I think, one year. They highly suggest to owners to not ride their carbon fork if any cracks develop in them. In fact, even after the warranty is expired they offer a pretty substantial discount on a new carbon fork if the owner sends in their old cracked fork. Pretty good company. Call them and ask for an opinion. I'm sure they would tell you the same.
    Livestrong. The personal fundmaker of Lance Armstrong. The company who are in business to not donate to cancer research, but only to inform people that cancer is bad.

    Armstrong. The man without integrity, no care for the sport, and no problem with testing positive for EPO and making donations to cover it up.

    01101010101010001010

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