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Old 05-08-07, 08:26 AM   #1
jm01
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Ignored by your lbs?

Took my commuter to my lbs for a new drive train a couple of weeks ago and was told that they needed a 48T chain ring...all other parts were in stock, so they would place an order and we made an appointment for a week later.

I kept the appointment, left the bike, and received a call several hours later that they needed to order a chain ring...apparently it's their policy not to order parts until the bike is there. They promise to have it within 24 hours so I take the bike back and return it the next day...

...no part. Come back the next day, still no part...several days later, still no part

Yesterday, they received a large order, but refused to look for my part and told me that it would be at least 5 days before they received and logged the receipts into their inventory...Jeez

The sad thing is that I've had a long relationship here, they do (did) lots of wrenching on my bikes, I bought my Ellsworth and Santa Cruz there...just about to buy a Nomad...

So today I'm buying a new hybrid, and making the old one a donor bike...a new drive train is about $200.00...an new hybrid with a so-so build is $299.00

Anyone else getting the run around?...a first for me at this place...you would think they'd be honest, especially with three other shops within walking distance

live and learn

Last edited by jm01; 05-08-07 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:30 AM   #2
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I did, and there are a lot of bike shops around. After about 3 or 4 I found one that I think is great. Keep looking and good luck.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jm01
Anyone else getting the run around?...a first for me at this place...you would think they'd be honest, especially with three other shops withing walking distance
I would visit those other shops. You may very well find one that takes care of it's customers.

... Brad
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Old 05-08-07, 08:35 AM   #4
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I have two LBS's on my "do not patronize" list. One is within walking distance of where I live.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:37 AM   #5
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I did, and there are a lot of bike shops around. After about 3 or 4 I found one that I think is great. Keep looking and good luck.
There's a great one at the cottage...a small town north of Toronto...great work & prices...problem is that they're 120km north of Toronto so they only get my road and XC bikes

www.kamikazebikes.com

are great
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Old 05-08-07, 08:43 AM   #6
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I am blessed with several good local bike shops, which I do patronize, but I do my own work and buy my vintage and "obsolete" parts online.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:56 AM   #7
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I hate that!

As one that has worked in three local shops over the years and just went back to work as a Part-timer after 7 years, all I can say is that I hope I don't turn anyone off. It is a busy time of the year to be sure, but thisis also when a LBS makes their money also. To turn off ONE customer, you also turn off those that come into contact with this one customer.

I hate it that I don't know my new shop well enough to know the inventory and what parts we may or may not have. When it is slow, I go though the drawers and learn where it's all kept, and when new stuff comes in I try and make a mental note as to what we got.
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Old 05-08-07, 09:03 AM   #8
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I might be looking for another LBS if I received that type of service. Have they gave you any feed back on the delays?

I've been very pleased with mine. They've always had repairs completed on schedule and have done several on-the-spot repairs when I walked in with a minor problem. They loaned me the 175mm crank to try for a couple weeks before I bought it. They also give some nice discounts to repeat customers and local cycling club members. It probably helps that I've bought 4 bikes from them in the last 3 years
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Old 05-08-07, 09:09 AM   #9
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I do not have a LBS in this small town so hve to go into the 'big city' to find one... I am not sure if there is a subtle or easy way to let them know that you are looking around. Maybe you have already done that. Even though it is the busy season, I would think that they would want to keep a loyal customer by at least letting you know that details of the delay...... . ... ... .. .. ... . peace
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Old 05-08-07, 09:19 AM   #10
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I think if you find a Shop that you really like and you have repeat business there, you need to talk with someone that can make a difference when you have a problem. The Owner or Manager would be the first one's to talk with. If you get no satisfaction through those means, I would gather it's time to find another shop if possible.

EDIT:

I just looked at my list of bikes, and looking them over, I have not bought more than two bikes from one shop in over 30 years. Even factoring in my childrens bikes that came from a variety of stores the same holds true.

My problem is that the current shop I work for sells many lines of bikes and I have favorites in each.
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Old 05-08-07, 09:20 AM   #11
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no feedback...I'm beginning to wonder if they ever placed the order

They've done a lot of work for me in the past...did a quick fix on my broken chain which brought the need for a drive train fix to my attention (just call me skippy), but then the fun started

on top of this hassle, they wrote me up for a "deluxe tune-up" ($89.99), and when I asked what "deluxe" meant, they told me that they would do a complete drive train cleaning...sounds odd when we're replacing the entire drive train...then they wanted to replace the brake pads, new cables, rear derailleur wheels (new derailleur 4 weeks ago which they insatalled with a new cable and cover)

its' like having an alligator in my wallet

Last edited by jm01; 05-08-07 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 05-08-07, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ang1sgt
I think if you find a Shop that you really like and you have repeat business there, you need to talk with someone that can make a difference when you have a problem. The Owner or Manager would be the first one's to talk with. If you get no satisfaction through those means, I would gather it's time to find another shop if possible.
I know the owner here, but he's in his 70's and not in the shop very often

I think that part of the problem is that this shop has a very rigid internal structure...sales and service don't talk to each other, and most people here have very clearly defined responsibilities...even in service you have to talk to the "appointment guy"...no one else is allowed to answer questions in his area, the person that orders the parts is the only one allowed to answer questions in this area...the techs aren't allowed to talk to customers...well...you get the idea
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Old 05-08-07, 10:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jm01
I know the owner here, but he's in his 70's and not in the shop very often

I think that part of the problem is that this shop has a very rigid internal structure...sales and service don't talk to each other, and most people here have very clearly defined responsibilities...even in service you have to talk to the "appointment guy"...no one else is allowed to answer questions in his area, the person that orders the parts is the only one allowed to answer questions in this area...the techs aren't allowed to talk to customers...well...you get the idea
I would find another shop. That's just screwy. I can talk to any of my LBS's people about any bike topic. They all know me as a regular customer. I've never had cause to complain about their service, and I highly recommend them to anyone in the Tulsa area looking for a bike shop.
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Old 05-08-07, 10:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jm01
I think that part of the problem is that this shop has a very rigid internal structure...sales and service don't talk to each other, and most people here have very clearly defined responsibilities...even in service you have to talk to the "appointment guy"...no one else is allowed to answer questions in his area, the person that orders the parts is the only one allowed to answer questions in this area...the techs aren't allowed to talk to customers...well...you get the idea

Man, this says it all! I work with many organizatons, large and small, around building a culture for service, quality, and customer and employee satisfaction. What you've describes is about as far away form the ideal as you can get. If you get a chance, and are so inclinded you might want to have a heart to heart talk with the 70 year old owner to let him know why you've taken your business somewhere else. But take it elsewhere is just what I'd do. Personally, I always mourn the loss of what was once a good relationship. Sounds like that's what has happened to you.
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Old 05-08-07, 10:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
no feedback...I'm beginning to wonder if they ever placed the order

They've done a lot of work for me in the past...did a quick fix on my broken chain which brought the need for a drive train fix to my attention (just call me skippy), but then the fun started

on top of this hassle, they wrote me up for a "deluxe tune-up" ($89.99), and when I asked what "deluxe" meant, they told me that they would do a complete drive train cleaning...sounds odd when we're replacing the entire drive train...then they wanted to replace the brake pads, new cables, rear derailleur wheels (new derailleur 4 weeks ago which they insatalled with a new cable and cover)

its' like having an alligator in my wallet
I don't see any reason I would want to do business with this shop. I might give them a chance to win my business back (if it mattered to them), but for now I'd be spending my money elsewhere. But then, I'd be doing most of this stuff myself anyway.
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Old 05-08-07, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
no feedback...I'm beginning to wonder if they ever placed the order

They've done a lot of work for me in the past...did a quick fix on my broken chain which brought the need for a drive train fix to my attention (just call me skippy), but then the fun started

on top of this hassle, they wrote me up for a "deluxe tune-up" ($89.99), and when I asked what "deluxe" meant, they told me that they would do a complete drive train cleaning...sounds odd when we're replacing the entire drive train...then they wanted to replace the brake pads, new cables, rear derailleur wheels (new derailleur 4 weeks ago which they insatalled with a new cable and cover)

its' like having an alligator in my wallet
This sounds like the car dealership I no longer patronize. I took the van in for new tires, fix third seat mechanism and some front suspension problem. They called me at work to tell me the part was in to fix the third seat on my van and did I want to make an appointment to bring it in. I said you might want to look around your shop for my van since you've had it for 2 days. When I was checking the bill I discovered they charged me for 5 new tires. I told the service manager I thought my van only came with four wheels and where had they installed the fifth one? I changed dealerships after that little fiasco.
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Old 05-08-07, 11:21 AM   #17
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In my area we have all sorts of Shops. A few of them are the cast in concrete Service vs Sales Mind set like you mention. They CAN BE okay because these shops have been in business for a long time and they may have the only source of oddball parts that you can't find anywhere else. While I would not bring any of my bikes there, I do shop them for the bits and pieces I need for some of the old bikes I work on for family and friends. Where else can you find a Maillard derailleur for a 78 Peugeot PX10?

My last shop we worked as a team and tried to do things with as few people as possible. While this gave us good product knowledge on the floor and good experience in the Back Shop, running the shop with as few people as we did caused problems with making the repairs happen and many times things fell through the cracks. We were able to keep up with it for a few years before the whole thing imploded.

My current shop (as of 2 weeks ago!) we try and get everyone involved in all aspects of the business. Shoot, last Saturday morning I was sweeping the driveways and the sidewalks! Beautiful day to do it too! The dynamics of any shop are interesting and this one is no different. The thing I like is that we have one main Shop area downstairs with two stands for adjustments and quick fixes on the main floor. There have been many a time where we have offered up a cup of Coffee to a customer and let them finish it off while watching us fix their bike. A few sets of Park Tools Stools up at the Bar overlooking the Stand is a great idea.

I am not saying that this new Shop is the be all end all, but they are filling a space in the market and the Customers are responding to it. What is surprising is that it is in the inner part of the City and not in the best neighborhood, but people still come there. As an Employee, I could not be happier. I am so impressed with everyone that works there and how they all get along together. It's a very eclectic group. I wondered how I would fit in as the oldest person in the shop, and I have been the one that needed to make the adjustments. Dang...I wish I could do this full-time!

Chris
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Old 05-08-07, 11:35 AM   #18
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"LBS" has certainly taken on new meaning in this day and age. Many of them in the more populated areas of the country are bike superstores/chains themselves. Pretty much any bike store (of any size) that doesn't fall into the category of a WallMart, Kmart or sporting goods store seems to be called an LBS. That's all well and good of course, but its a far cry from the personalized service of the sole proprietor LBS's of days gone by.

What's nice, is that in just about any geographic area of the country, you can find someone who enjoys working on bicycles as a past-time, or full-time as retirement. They usually have a very clean, well-equipped bike repair section of their home, garage or barn -- and spend many enjoyable hours fixing or restoring bicycles with care, craftspersonship and pride. Finding one is another matter, but they're more common that one would believe.

I imagine that we'll see more and more of these folks as the years go on (there's one close to me, but I have my own shop). They're really what's left of the true LBS in this country . . .
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Old 05-08-07, 11:44 AM   #19
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This sounds like the car dealership I no longer patronize.
A quick update

Just got back from a tour of our local shops...no inexpensive hybrids to be had in my size, and it makes little sense to spend over $500.00 on a new bike as it will cost less to fix the old one

so, at one lbs we costed out the parts he had in stock...chain: $37.99, bottom bracket: $50.00, cog set: $129.99, chain rings/crank: $279.99 (LX, more for the Race Face)+ labour
hahahaha

next, at a place where they use used parts for repairs. Used crank/chain rings $45.00, chain: $5.00, cog set N/A (He will install if I supply one)...forget the BB and learn to live with the "thump"

So...back to the original lbs...still no part

Jeez
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Old 05-08-07, 11:52 AM   #20
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I live 70 miles from the nearest bike shop. If I need something done I always call ahead and, if they can, they fix it while I wait. I have purchased one bike there, and they know me by name as the guy from out of town. It is not unusual for me to spend $100 everytime I wander in. Two weeks ago I called and took two wheels in to have the bearings checked and the wheels trued. I arrived shortly after lunch, as requested, and they took the wheels and promptly started on them. There were two mechanics there.

Then a few of the locals showed up for the afternoon ride..then a few more. They needed this and that checked on their bikes. Before it was all over both mechanics were working on one bike, trying to make a set of SRAM double taps work correctly. After an hour I had steam coming out of my ears. The owner finally shows up, calls me by first name, and the mechanic finishes the work, all the time lecturing me about how "these aren't exactly new wheels, you know" and "nobody rides anything but 9 or 10 speed" and he'd be glad to show me a new bike. It was over two hours to check two wheels.

I had them price me a set of wheels and hubs. ("No, you can't buy those hubs for 36 spoke wheels anymore"). They try to sell me a set of 24 spoke wheels for a touring bike. I bought some new wheels elsewhere. It will probably be a long time before I darken their door again.
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Old 05-08-07, 12:07 PM   #21
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sounds like my lbs at the cottage, but its not a bad thing...he's located at some of the best downhill and XC trails in Ontario as well as our best road rides along the Niagara Escarpment. He always honours the appointments but has a policy of looking after problems if you're riding...I've come in with leaking brakes, broken wheels, and a cog set where the lock ring had come undone, and he's looked after these without delay to get me back on the bike ASAP.

Most of his customers have taken advantage of this service so they don't mind waiting if its an emergency...of course, if there's a lot of these, then its a different story

Overall, he's great, but I've bought 6 bikes from him, sold a lot for him while waiting for my bikes, and he does a lot of wrenching for me, so perhaps he likes me more
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Old 05-08-07, 12:49 PM   #22
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Not that I use the facility but trying to get a bike booked in for work at my LBS can take up to two weeks. They are that busy. But you book a bike in and they take most bikes in on Saturdays as that is the day that most people can drop them off. They rarely let people down but if you say you want the bike back by Tuesday and don't collect it till 3 weeks later- they get annoyed.

I have them retrue and tension my wheels and last time I did it- I dropped them off on a Thursday and I got the phone call on Friday. Two bearing on the rear wheel needed replacing and new pawls required in the Hope Freehub. Do I want to go ahead at 50? and as two bearings had gone- that price includes the other two bearing aswell. I was there at 10 am on saturday and picked them up. Along with plenty of other people picking up their bikes.

They carry a large range of spares but my Tandem does often take things out of the ordinary. I needed a new set of Front rings last year and for My crankset they gave me a choice. Blackburn rings- which are top grade and what I like to use but the outer ring would be in blue- Or they could order one in silver, be in next wednesday- Or for the same price I could have genuine shimano rings that are not as good but that is what everyone wants. I took the Blue one. Same on The Expensive lamp I wanted last year. Be in Tuesday. And it was.

My LBS is struggling up against the Big Bike stores. I do not know how long they will stay in business but for me they are perfect. They carry the stock I want- If they don't have it- it will be in the following week-OR they carry alternatives. And that has been the case for everyone that I have recommended them to.

I must be just plain lucky. Or it is a shop that others should model themselves on.
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Old 05-08-07, 01:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jm01
Took my commuter to my lbs for a new drive train a couple of weeks ago and was told that they needed a 48T chain ring...all other parts were in stock, so they would place an order and we made an appointment for a week later.....Anyone else getting the run around?...a first for me at this place...you would think they'd be honest, especially with three other shops within walking distance. live and learn
All the more reason to buy your parts online, or wherever you get the best deal in terms of price, delivery and customer service. Spend some change on the required special tools required, such as crank extractor, chain whip, cassettes removers, ect, and do the work yourself.

Once you've done a major repair such as swapping out a drivetrain, you will never look back.

It's not rocket science. Take a shot at it.
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Old 05-08-07, 01:25 PM   #24
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yes, I do most of my work myself, just missing a few tools that I would need to do the drive train, and with 12 bikes at 2 locations, I'd need two sets and different sizes for the various parts...perhaps its time to complete the home worksop, but how often would I replace a drive train (this is my third in 8 years)?
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Old 05-08-07, 01:29 PM   #25
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yes, I do most of my work myself, just missing a few tools that I would need to do the drive train, and with 12 bikes at 2 locations, I'd need two sets and different sizes for the various parts...perhaps its time to complete the home worksop, but how often would I replace a drive train (this is my third in 8 years)?
Only 12 bikes? What's holding you back?

Just kidding, but all the more reason to buy the tools.
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