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  1. #1
    Canadian eh?
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    Experience at MEC Bike Shop

    I must say I'm surprised. I'd never gone to MEC to get some work done on my bike but I was in a pinch. I needed a couple minor things that I wasn't comfortable doing myself completed. My own bike shop, despite me having bout a $3000 bike, still had to have me wait 1 week for an appointment to get the work done (about 20 minutes of work). I won't say I deserve better service than the rest..I'm just upset is all.

    I saw on MEC's website that they advertise "most minor repairs / work done while you shop". So I tried my luck on a very busy Saturday (busy enough that they had a cop acting as security at the front).

    Took my bike to the back, said I needed a couple parts installed (which I bought else where). The mechanic started off with "wow, sweet bike dude" and we just started chit chatting etc...He invited me to the back, performed the labour with me without me even having to ask if it could be done right away...even allowed me to stay in the back so he could show me how the work that he was performing was done.

    At the end, he did not even charge me what he should have charged me...

    All in all, great experience today at the Toronto MEC.

  2. #2
    Bikesman RedWhiteandRed's Avatar
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    The trick is to go on a Saturday when the regular weekday zombies are not at work. Better yet - avoid the place like the plague when it comes to bike related issues.

  3. #3
    Senior Member graphs's Avatar
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    I haven't found the bike (or bike clothing) staff to be especially knowledgable when it comes to their products but I'm glad you had a good experience!

  4. #4
    Canadian eh?
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    Let me reiterate, I was dealing with the mechanics, not the sales personel

  5. #5
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    The trick is to go on a Saturday when the regular weekday zombies are not at work. Better yet - avoid the place like the plague when it comes to bike related issues.
    UH, i think you misread... OP said his MEC bike experience was great.

    lol

  6. #6
    weights are heavy Tober1's Avatar
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    I haven't had any work done there but their sales staff knows next to nothing about the bike parts they sell. They're super nice and will do whatever they can to get you any info they can find, but base bike knowledge is usually less than mine
    If they have it, it's usually my go to spot for parts though.
    I did buy some cable housing from the shop guys. Gave me a deal too

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
    great experience today
    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    avoid the place like the plague
    On BF, this is what we call a consensus.

  8. #8
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    On BF, this is what we call a consensus.
    That is a consensus in as much as that is not a consensus, by which i mean yes we are in total agreement.

  9. #9
    Bikesman RedWhiteandRed's Avatar
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    The MEC store in Toronto is a pustule. MEC has no business selling bikes. None at all - bikes are a thousand kilometers from the mandate of the cooperative.

    The horrid attitude and service from the weekday staff at the Toronto MEC is funny to watch: unless you need some help. That guy that walks around with his Tim Hortons' bilge and pretends to work is straight out of Fred Flintstone.

  10. #10
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    The MEC store in Toronto is a pustule. MEC has no business selling bikes. None at all - bikes are a thousand kilometers from the mandate of the cooperative.

    The horrid attitude and service from the weekday staff at the Toronto MEC is funny to watch: unless you need some help. That guy that walks around with his Tim Hortons' bilge and pretends to work is straight out of Fred Flintstone.
    Really? Nobody has cut me horrible attitude.. but then i'm used to the typical Canadian customer service.

    As per selling bikes, it has been on their todo list for a while... The co-op doesn't need permission from the bicycle selling union to start their own bicycle store. lol.. what is next throwing bottom brackets through the front window with naughty notes attached? hehe

    What i don't like is how they're moving to a Canadian REI position... Sorry but, REI sucks.

  11. #11
    Grateful Tread brawny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    The MEC store in Toronto is a pustule. MEC has no business selling bikes. None at all - bikes are a thousand kilometers from the mandate of the cooperative.

    The horrid attitude and service from the weekday staff at the Toronto MEC is funny to watch: unless you need some help. That guy that walks around with his Tim Hortons' bilge and pretends to work is straight out of Fred Flintstone.
    Wow - who peed in your cornflakes? Sounds like you need to spend some time on your bike, instead of in front of the computer...

    I've been a happy MEC member for over 10 years, and have never found any staff to be anything but helpful. I'm not sure I'd buy any of the bikes they're selling at the moment, (although the folder looks interesting) but more power to them!

    BTW - what does someone's coffee choice have to do with customer service?
    TV Sucks. Ride Your Bike!

  12. #12
    Senior Member heywood's Avatar
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    I've always had a good experience with MEC, been buying stuff from them since they opened (I think that was back in the '70's or early '80s). Sure you may run into a grumpy sales person or two but 99% of the time they're friendly and helpful even when I have no clue about what i'm talking about. I find the sales people pretty good technically too, and the mechanics are great!

    Also, what's wrong with them selling bikes?

  13. #13
    Senior Member 5cagm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    I've always had a good experience with MEC, been buying stuff from them since they opened (I think that was back in the '70's or early '80s). Sure you may run into a grumpy sales person or two but 99% of the time they're friendly and helpful even when I have no clue about what i'm talking about. I find the sales people pretty good technically too, and the mechanics are great!

    Also, what's wrong with them selling bikes?
    I'm also not sure what the problem is with them selling bike. Although none of their bikes are on my purchase list, I find their staff to be generally very friendly and helpful. I agree with some other posters that their sales staff are not all that knowledgeable when it comes to technical things. I haven't ever received any service, but when looking for some small bits of hardware (nuts, mounting bolts, etc.) they have often just given them to me when I ask how much they want for them.

  14. #14
    Bikesman RedWhiteandRed's Avatar
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    Selling bikes is not part of the co-op mandate of mec. There are a hundred better paces to buy a better bike.

    All that aside - the horrid midweek antics at the Toronto MEC store ought to stop.

  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    Selling bikes is not part of the co-op mandate of mec.
    MEC can sell whatever it's membership wants it to sell. You don't like it, run for board membership.

  16. #16
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    Selling bikes is not part of the co-op mandate of mec. There are a hundred better paces to buy a better bike.

    All that aside - the horrid midweek antics at the Toronto MEC store ought to stop.
    Lol, horrid midweek antics? Please explain, i'm sure it's very startling and unsettling. I always wondered what went on on that "green roof".

    There are a few other places to buy a bike, but a lot of them aren't any better and some are worse.

  17. #17
    Grateful Tread brawny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    Selling bikes is not part of the co-op mandate of mec. There are a hundred better paces to buy a better bike.

    All that aside - the horrid midweek antics at the Toronto MEC store ought to stop.
    From the MEC website:

    Our Purpose

    Directed by the members, MEC fulfills its core purpose to help people enjoy the benefits of self-propelled wilderness-oriented recreation. We do that by selling outdoor gear, clothing, and services.
    Wouldn't bikes fall under self-propelled recreation? You may prefer to buy your bike somewhere else, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't sell them.

    Not sure what sort of horrid mid-week antics you're talking about...

    You sound angry. Perhaps you should get out on your bike for a ride.
    TV Sucks. Ride Your Bike!

  18. #18
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    the people that rant on forums are just as likely to be angry on the road as well. there are some that are wound too tight for just about everything.

  19. #19
    Bikesman RedWhiteandRed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    MEC can sell whatever it's membership wants it to sell. You don't like it, run for board membership.

    Yes and no - the current Wal-martized MEC is disturbing to people who were in on the grass roots. One day we will get our beer and smokes there as well.

    I have been a member since a good while - shopped at most stores. The Toronto location midweek is beyond the pale.

    This is not a rant - this is a dispassionate observation based on many many experiences and interviews with staffmembers - downright scientific.

  20. #20
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
    Yes and no - the current Wal-martized MEC is disturbing to people who were in on the grass roots. One day we will get our beer and smokes there as well.
    It often happens that people who were in early on some venture have a sense of ownership and community and can feel pushed aside or resent the changes and crowds that new people bring. You can even see it on BF where some oldtimers of my vintage might see you as some noob interloper. Not that I feel that way - I'm just giving an example.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by badrad View Post
    the people that rant on forums are just as likely to be angry on the road as well. there are some that are wound too tight for just about everything.
    excess tone can cause anal fissures.


    MEC has consistently given me the best customer service in the city. Most staff are fairly knowledgable throughout the store, and if not, they go out of their way to help you in whatever way they can. Never seen anything else give that kind of time and commitment to customers. These guys spend buttloads of time with customers to help them decide on purchases, and most of the customer's that go there are completely clueless.

    That said, I usually don't ask them too many questions as I do usually know more depth and breadth on bike issues, but the sales staff know their own products pretty well.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ijgrant's Avatar
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    I think the biggest thing that MEC is doing right is customer service and bang for your buck.
    I've noticed that so many local bike shops have become clique-ish. Catering only to road/bmx/mountain or whatever riders. Sales staff can range from helpful to uninterested to downright rude.
    I haven't once had a rude or unhelpful staff experience at MEC. Their gear isn't top of the line, but it's usually durable and affordable, and they have a stellar return and replacement policy.

    Their prices are pretty good as well. Distributors in Canada generally overcharge, and if MEC can jiggle the system, maybe it might spur other shops to lower their prices, and stock better gear.

    I think the key point we have to remember is that all this appeals to people who don't want to drop huge amounts on bikes and bike parts, and need guidance.

  23. #23
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ijgrant View Post
    I think the biggest thing that MEC is doing right is customer service and bang for your buck.
    ...
    Their gear isn't top of the line, but it's usually durable and affordable, and they have a stellar return and replacement policy.

    Their prices are pretty good as well. Distributors in Canada generally overcharge, and if MEC can jiggle the system, maybe it might spur other shops to lower their prices, and stock better gear.

    I think the key point we have to remember is that all this appeals to people who don't want to drop huge amounts on bikes and bike parts, and need guidance.
    Yup, some of the MEC stuff isn't that trendy and cutting edge, but generally it fits the bill using proven technology. MEC's in-house gear has a good ROI, particularly if you aren't out there to drop dough on the big names - which is a bit of a diminishing return IMO.

  24. #24
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    MEC Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Tober1 View Post
    I haven't had any work done there but their sales staff knows next to nothing about the bike parts they sell. They're super nice and will do whatever they can to get you any info they can find, but base bike knowledge is usually less than mine
    If they have it, it's usually my go to spot for parts though.
    I did buy some cable housing from the shop guys. Gave me a deal too
    I have had work done on two touring bikes at MEC in Burlington. Work done within a day each time, this as compared to the my regular LBS where I where I have to wait a week plus for work to be done
    Bob

  25. #25
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    I LOVE MEC!
    MEC Burlington is where it is at! I was in a pinch and walked in with my bike on a Sunday and it was put up on the stand and the install was done as I waited.

    Now I am able to ride on a holiday Monday! Go MEC Go.

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