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  1. #1
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Avoid Brands Cycle and Fitness

    Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to re-post here what I have on the Dahon forums. It's tempting to purchase a bike at a discount from a non-local dealer, but I learned my lesson the hard way. Brands Cycle offers the Mu SL for $899. I went and bought one, and had a terrible experience. First, the store is an hour outside of NY City where I live and ride, so I meant business when I found a Mu (they are hard to find) and at a discount. The purchase transaction took 2 hours, and other sundry problems with the purchase. But the front office staff were very helpful and nice, so I don't want to complain about that.

    A while after returning home, I noticed that there was a ding in the fork. The derailleur was also difficult to adjust. I think it took a hit to the side while in the box because there are no evident scratches. I tried to call, and they said the manager would call back, but that something like this could have been my fault, so they probably won't replace it. Called again, they assured me a manager would call back. It's now been 8 days, and no word from any manager.

    Folks, I would gladly now pay the $100 to have bought it locally. Think of it as an insurance policy. Get to know the folks in your bike store and make sure you can trust them!

    Looking for problems with Brands Cycle: Key words: Consumer complaints, problems, bad experiences.
    Last edited by pm124; 09-09-06 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    It seem that this is the same business as ebay id bikestuffguy.

  4. #4
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    Contact Dahon direct and explain the situation. Maybe they think better of their customers.
    kenal0

  5. #5
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    I live on Long Island and find Brands to be a very reputable place. Although I have never had to "call" then on something that may of been defective or their problem. Firstly I purchased a bike from BikesDirect which I would assume would piss off any LBS. But I have brought in the bike for minor adjustments which they have done on the spot, because I told them I needed to ride. (They have about a dozen mechanics during the busy season) I have also brought the bike in a couple of times for a quick touch up on a wheel which they did right away. I purchased a pair of shorts which I tried on in the store but when I took them home decided I didnt like how they fit. They no questions asked let me exchange them for a less expensive pair and gave me the difference. I always find the sales people helpful when I am looking for items like gels, tubes, or CO2 cartridges. In the past I have purchased inexpensive mountain type ($300) bikes for my wife and two kids and they came perfectly adjusted, although I had to come back in a few days for them to assemble the bikes. They also offer like most LBS free adjustments for 6 months. Again I have never had a "grey area" situation where it might be hard to determine who actually was at fault.

  6. #6
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.
    Last edited by pm124; 09-11-06 at 07:03 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jobtraklite's Avatar
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    I'm glad I didn't

    On Jine 5 I was ready to purchase a Dahon Mu p8 from Brands Cycle and Fitness, so I Googled it to find their website. A link to this thread appeared at the top of the Google results. I'am thankful that I ignored pm124's advice.

    The price was the lowest I could find anywhere, they answered my phone question immediately, the transaction was a no brainer, shipping was free, UPS picked up the bike within a few hours, and I received it within two business days in perfect condition. I couldn't even find anything to adjust.

    It is June 9; and if you Google "brands cycle and fitness coupon" this post still comes out on top. If you drop "coupon", it falls to number 3. I wonder if my post will Google to the top.

  8. #8
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    Did you pay for it with a credit card. Dispute the charge.

    I bought a Dahon Speed TR at a bike shop in Arizona to have shipped to Japan. I was under the impression that it was shipped priority mail and it didn't show up for many many weeks. About 7 weeks in I disputed the charge, and immediately got my money credited back.

    I got ahold of the shop, told them what I did and told them I wasn't a deadbeat and that if the bike showed up I'd immediately make sure they got paid. Told them I wasn't paying interest on something for two months I didn't have but did it nicely.

    About 3 weeks later the bike showed up and I called the credit card company and got them paid.

    My bike showed up with a scratched up, beat up seatpost loose in the box. It's been months since they promised to get me another seat post but ultimately I think I'm getting retribution for disputing the charge, etc. even though I was up front with them and they with me.

    In the end it's not that big a deal because I put a Thudbuster on it, but still.

    Dispute the charge if you think you're being wronged if you bought with a credit card.

    John

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    LOL! I guess some manager from Brands did a Google search and found out first hand the power of this web site. Much to his/her surprise, it was not a positive one!

    Trust me, PM124's comment will remain on the intenet forever and it will always be associated with Brands Cycle. I suspect his comment was read by hundreds and will probably cost Brands cycle thousands of dollars over the next ten years. Google will make sure of it!

    You treat customers like gold or expect to lose a lot of gold.

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    Expect to wait at least 1 hour for them to set up your bike after your purchase, especially a folding bike. Also ask for a brand new in box one not the display model. Once I called to check if they had a particular model and they say yes and that a brand new one was going to be ready for me. Picked it up and they gave me a used one from the display with faulty parts. Had to drive another hour and wait for 2 hours to get everything sorted out. Bought 5 Dahon bikes from there and never ever got any discount or freebie (eg at least a tube or a bell will be good) like other bike shops. They have good prices, but make sure to inspect your bike thoroughly as I got one with a few scratches and a dent on the frame, and yes, I had to go to the store to have them "inspect" it and replace it. What a waste of time. If you live in NY save your time and a headache by supporting your local bike shop.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    LOL! I guess some manager from Brands did a Google search and found out first hand the power of this web site. Much to his/her surprise, it was not a positive one!

    Trust me, PM124's comment will remain on the intenet forever and it will always be associated with Brands Cycle. I suspect his comment was read by hundreds and will probably cost Brands cycle thousands of dollars over the next ten years. Google will make sure of it!

    You treat customers like gold or expect to lose a lot of gold.
    Ha. It does appear that way.

    But I still like brands because I have never been able to find a local bike shop I could trust as suggested by pm124 and at least I get a discount at brands. YMMV.

  12. #12
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    FWIW I recently went to this shop looking for some spoke reflectors and they gave them to me free of charge.

  13. #13
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    In 2006 I purchaced a Dahon Flo from Brands at what I thought was a good price. 2 weeks later the same bike was $ 200 less on their web site, I called and asked if they would credit the difference. They didn't have to, but they did. I give them my vote of confidence as a good place to do business.

  14. #14
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    the dent on the fork dont look too bad. I guess I would be annoyed that an expensive bike was damaged.
    Also you say the mech was difficult to adjust. Was it physically damaged? Or just badly set up?

    As for Herb getting a $200 back as they had changed there prices. That was really good of the shop. But does that mean they will never be changing the prices again. As people might contend with the price change.
    The price of fuel goes up and down dailly. Same with prices of food in the stores. No one gets the money refunded from them.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gringo_gus's Avatar
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    the op was in 2006..... jobtraklite bumped it quite reasonably, but some subsequent posts refer to the op's op. Just flagging. And if that is all there has been bad about the store since 2006, well, pretty good actually...
    it aint the size of your wheels, its the rhythm of you cadence. And I got powergrips too.

  16. #16
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    I've only heard good things about Brands Cycles from the locals who've actually shopped at their B&M retail store.
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  17. #17
    Bicycling Gnome
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    One problem about the Internet is that awkward, argumentative customers with unreasonable expectations can denounce a perfectly good company and blacken their name far and wide.

    I have to say, if I was buying a bike at a shop or anywhere else, I would go over it with a fine toothed comb. How a man can buy a bike with a dent in it when he was there to inspect it at the time I do not know. I am not surprised that Brands were sceptical about whether the 'ding' was there when he took the bike away. He was there; he saw the bike; he accepted it. I'm pretty glad I don't have to deal with customers like that, who then go on to slag off the company. Other customers have nothing bad to say. I think we can probably draw our own conclusions.
    Last edited by EvilV; 09-10-09 at 01:10 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  18. #18
    Senior Member jpmac55's Avatar
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    It's an unfortunate situation and not sure anything is more frustrating than someone not calling back or replying to an email.

    My views have nothing to do with your course of action but I'd hate to be a bike/business owner and subject myself to a thread like this. I'd probably inquire here first and find out if a company historically does bad or if my case is one-off. I'd surely take the bike back to the shop, just to show them the damage. Still, you didn't notice the damage at first and perhaps neither did they. A classic he said, she said. Anyway, hopefully everything works out.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jobtraklite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jobtraklite View Post
    The price was the lowest I could find anywhere, they answered my phone question immediately, the transaction was a no brainer, shipping was free, UPS picked up the bike within a few hours, and I received it within two business days in perfect condition. I couldn't even find anything to adjust.
    I spoke too soon. After about 200 miles I had to toe the rear break shoes in slightly to stop a squeak. And at about 500 miles while on a 400 mile tour, I had to tighten the frame hinge. Brands did me wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    One problem about the Internet is that awkward, argumentative customers with unreasonable expectations can denounce a perfectly good company and blacken their name far and wide.
    I'm beginning to think that if I paid attention to even a small fraction of internet blabber, I'd wouldn't get out of bed in the morning.

  20. #20
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    I mean Brands didnt hit the frame on purpose .....they probably never saw it ... and than it was to late ... BUT I can understand PM frustation, our bikes are not really jumpchange, and if somebody paid a lot of money than its nice if you do the scratch or dent yourself later on ....
    The dent is cosmetic only .... it would been a solution to split the cost for a new fork ( shipping, labour to put it in etc etc ) and usually Dahon participate in situation like that as well , as they will sell the dealer a fork at their cost ....

    But is that really all worth the hassle ?
    ( Obviusly this thread wouldnt be here , so I think it would be worth while, and more importantly than this thread : it would be worth to have the customer happy)

    But if you have to deal with some folks and complete unrealistic expectations living in a dream world than sometimes a real one falls through the cracks .... ( pm = real )
    I try hard ( very hard) but I have some folks who are not happy with me either.
    Thor

  21. #21
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jobtraklite View Post
    I spoke too soon. After about 200 miles I had to toe the rear break shoes in slightly to stop a squeak. And at about 500 miles while on a 400 mile tour, I had to tighten the frame hinge. Brands did me wrong

    I'm beginning to think that if I paid attention to even a small fraction of internet blabber, I'd wouldn't get out of bed in the morning.
    Come on. I hope I'm not discrediting a legitimate post from a legitimate customer, but you have some brass to post back here after DahonSteve called you on being staff from Brands. You do work at Brands right?

    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    I mean Brands didnt hit the frame on purpose .....they probably never saw it ... and than it was to late ... BUT I can understand PM frustation, our bikes are not really jumpchange, and if somebody paid a lot of money than its nice if you do the scratch or dent yourself later on ....
    The dent is cosmetic only .... it would been a solution to split the cost for a new fork ( shipping, labour to put it in etc etc ) and usually Dahon participate in situation like that as well , as they will sell the dealer a fork at their cost ....

    But is that really all worth the hassle ?
    ( Obviusly this thread wouldnt be here , so I think it would be worth while, and more importantly than this thread : it would be worth to have the customer happy)

    But if you have to deal with some folks and complete unrealistic expectations living in a dream world than sometimes a real one falls through the cracks .... ( pm = real )
    I try hard ( very hard) but I have some folks who are not happy with me either.
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    Don't order a hamburger and expect to get filet mignon.

    When you seek out the cheapest rock bottom dealer on the internet you have to inspect things closely, but if you want better service you have to pay for it by buying from someone like brakemeister. How else do you think a place like Brands can offer such low prices? IMO both are perfectly good businesses, just different business models.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bontrager's Avatar
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    So does it mean that if you get something at a really good discount, you should expect it to be not as quality as the non-discounted unit? If so then are you really receiving a discount or buying something for what it's really (now) worth since it's blemished, dinged up, bent, used, etc?

    I don't think the OP was unreasonable in expecting a call in an reasonable time frame. I'm sure if you called and wanted to speak to the manager about ordering 10 bikes he'd call you back pretty quickly. It's amazing how after someone gets your money, they lose the impetus to serve you as well as before they received your money.
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  23. #23
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bontrager View Post
    So does it mean that if you get something at a really good discount, you should expect it to be not as quality as the non-discounted unit? If so then are you really receiving a discount or buying something for what it's really (now) worth since it's blemished, dinged up, bent, used, etc?
    No, it means that if you get something at a really good discount you shouldn't expect to have the business spend a lot of time doting on you. It has nothing to do with the quality of the product, but Dahon obviously depends on their dealers to perform a certain degree of quality control and if you're purposely seeking out the dealers which cut their profit margins down in order to give you a discount then what would you expect to happen? Someone has to inspect the product when it comes from the factory and if the store laid that guy off in order to offer you a better price then it means that you now must perform that job for yourself or suffer the consequences.

    I'm a big fan of buying things at a discount because I generally subscribe to the philosophy that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself, but it's not for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bontrager View Post
    I don't think the OP was unreasonable in expecting a call in an reasonable time frame. I'm sure if you called and wanted to speak to the manager about ordering 10 bikes he'd call you back pretty quickly. It's amazing how after someone gets your money, they lose the impetus to serve you as well as before they received your money.
    I don't think so. I've been to this shop many times for test rides and I don't think they treat customers any differently before or after a sale. I don't go there because of the service, but because it's cheap, although I was pleasantly surprised the other day as noted above.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jobtraklite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    Come on. I hope I'm not discrediting a legitimate post from a legitimate customer, but you have some brass to post back here after DahonSteve called you on being staff from Brands. You do work at Brands right?
    NO!

    This is wierd. I went back and checked DahonSteve's post; and I didn't see any claim I work for Brands.

    I've said this before; but conventional wisdom here seems to be that when you order a folding bike, you get a bag of parts that require an expert mechanic to reassemble, tighten, adjust, etc. I was a statistician in a former incarnation; so I understand randomness, some get a gem and others get a lemon. But is getting a bike ready to ride right out of the box so rare that it automatically causes suspicion that it can't be true?

    FWIW, I just ordered another from Brands, making a statistical sample of two; and I will report the outcome.

    Do you also question where I live? People around here never even seen a folding bike, much less work for a company in New York that sells them.
    Last edited by jobtraklite; 09-10-09 at 10:58 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
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    Some of you have heard my story before, but I went thru 4 Dahon Speed D7, then a Vitesse D7 shipped by the good folks at Performance two years back before I had one worth keeping. I did offer to put together a perfect bike from parts (I had three boxes in my front hall at one point), but the vendor insisted on shipping fresh each time rather than allowing me to swap parts.

    In my case I blame poor crating coupled with rough handling by the carrier for the numerous dents and scratches. I'll bet that some of the more responsible vendors (albeit more expensive) probably double box or at least re-pad the OEM box. Sometimes it is worth it to pay more - there might be something tangible.

    Frankly the level of protection in stock box form was minimal, and in 4 of the 5 cases, the hing assembly pierced the cardboard and suffered damage, along with the front fork, wheel & brake. Even the one I kept had minor hinge scratches, but at that point I felt it was good enough to keep.

    I grew up in Massapequa, so Brands in nearby Wantagh has been one of my destinations since the 1960's. Overall, they have a good rep. But even if they are 99.9%, somebody is going to walk away disappointed. I feel the same way about Performance. No hard feelings, but a bit hurt that I had to work so hard to get a good, solid bike.

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