Join Date: Nov 2005
Bikes: Univega Via Montega, Nashbar Aluminum frame/105 roadbike
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Expecting rapid service from any bike store during the peak of tune-up season is, well, unrealistic at best.
This is not excusing the poor service you got. It's just endemic of the bike industry as a whole, from my experience.
As for paying for a part which isn't in hand, I wouldn't do that, ever. Maybe placing a deposit on a big ticket item (ordering in a complete bike, or groupset?) but a freehub? No way I'd do that.
I find even in one bike shop, the service level you get always seem to depend on who you talk to.