It is common to rant about the incompetence or lack of customer skills displayed by many LBS. Since I have no shop within 25 miles of home, I catch my needs at shops when I am travelling for work in my 8 county territory. This is a summary of my ratings of the shops in my part of the world.
Shop C: The big Kahuna. This bunch is not at all interested in the bald, grey-haired buy when he comes in. They have eyes only on the racers, be they road or trail. I do not use them for much.
Shop H: These folks are family owned and the staff is very friendly. They also have problems with many simple requests like a few spokes of the correct length. They've sold kids bikes for so long, they seem to have forgotten how to deal with a more serious rider. A shame.
Shop P: Most of the help is totally ignorant and arrogant. They have the best bike mechanic in the city, however. I ignore most of the help (some I will tolerate) and see the head wrench.
Shop F: These folks are friendly and seem to want to help. They never, ever seem to have what I need on hand and they have no concept of the term ETA. A small inventory and limited selection keep me out of this shop most of the time.
Shop U: The area's tandem and recumbent shop. They seem to be more in tune with what I need, but, they are a long way from home and never have the bits I need in stock.
Shop P2: The parent of Shop P above. The owner and his son run this one. The difference between night and day. This is a well run shop with helpful and competent people. A pleasure to do business with, but they are over 50 miles from my home.
Shop B: I visted once. They were not busy. I was ignored for 30 minutes. I won't be back.
Shop P3: A very average, more BMX oriented shop.
Shop B: In the same family since 1923. They take time to listen and try to help. They are reasonable. They don't always have the best prices, but I do business with them because they act like they want my business.
Shop S: The family that runs this shop has a family attitude: rude.
Shop K: In business since 1930 and I don't have a clue how or why. No discernable bicycle knowledge, no interest in serving the customer, no effort at decent display. Wally-World in a small building.
Shop C: A one man operation in a college town. The owner is willing to talk, willing to help and has a decent stock. This is one of the places I try to do business with.
I guess the purpose here is to point out that there is a real lack of total effort in most shops. Perhaps it is the long hours and the limited income. Perhaps it is the fact that most of the people who work in bike shops have too much of a love of the iron and not enough love of the customer, but I've visted a lot of bike shops once. I have been back to very few and only a couple I really like to patronize.
I do wish Reverend Chuck was a wee bit closer as I've visited his place of employment and found a really good bike shop.