How to be a bad customer (satire)
I hope everyone realizes this is satire, intended to give some perspective from the "other side of the counter." ;) If you've ever worked at a shop, you know most of them already. If the content offends you, tell a moderator and I'll delete it on request. So here we go, my first thread: how to be a cad to your LBS.
- Make a habit of hanging around and tell the LBS employee (more than one, if possible) every possible detail of your last race or event. This is a great way to keep the employee(s) from attending to their other duties or helping other customers. Ignore any fidgeting or repeated monotone responses of “wow,” “yeah,” and “riiight.”
- Ask the service department to hold a repair slot for you so you can drop your bicycle off the day of the repair, instead of leaving it... then miss the appointment. This technique is particularly effective in the busy season, when it will cause the service department to lose money because they saved you a spot instead of selling that labor to someone more patient.
- Take a brand-new bike on a test ride for an hour and bring it back dirty. Bonus points for crash damage, which should be blamed on the bike or the assembly work. Ask to try several more.
- Come in ten minutes before closing and ask for an on-the-spot repair, a test ride, or any other service that will keep the employees from going home on time.
- Book your bike in for a repair and tell the mechanic “do whatever it needs,” and hurry off so he/she cannot give you a detailed analysis and estimate. If he/she calls you, repeat your instructions to "just do whatever it needs." Upon pickup, raise a fuss because the mechanic did what it needed and you “didn’t realize it would cost more than the bike’s worth.”
- Have a small repair done at the LBS, then blame all subsequent problems on them, related or not. You will need to practice this technique, which requires resolutely ignoring any rational thought while repeating the mantra, “You worked on it last! It must be something you did!” If necessary, resort to accusations of deliberate sabotage in order to get a free repair.
- Special-order parts from the LBS, then refuse them when they arrive. Bonus points for casually adding, “oh, I found it on the Internet for less.” Alternately, buy an item, then begin an endless chain of exchanges, returns and refunds. Finish by asking for a refund because you need money to take your dog to the veterinarian (yes, this DID happen to me!).
- Ask the LBS to match a price you saw on the Internet, or in a mail-order catalog. Bonus points for bringing in the catalog or a printout of the site. Ignore their silly explaination about how they have to make 30% margins just to meet overhead, before the shop owner has anything to put in his/her pocket.
- Variant of the above, #1: Pick the brains of the LBS employee until he/she has helped you decide what to buy. Then order it from the Internet/mail-order house and bring it in to the same LBS employee, asking for pointers on how to install it.
- Variant of the above, #2: Go into the LBS and try on their shoes, helmets, gloves or clothing so you can determine what size fits you, then order it via the Internet or mail-order because "I found a better price on it." Alternately, order first, and if you get the wrong size, ask if they'll swap with you for the one you need.
Hope that was worth a few chuckles... :) For some of the lesser offenses, the penance is to treat the shop to a fresh, hot pizza or two. ;)