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Old 08-22-05, 01:47 AM   #1
Ziemas
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A non-cyclist friend of mine rented a bike from a bike/camping shop and got a flat tire. She was charged $9 extra for the flat. To me this seems out of control. It wasn't abuse of the bike that caused the flat, it was normal wear. A patch to fix the problem costs something like 10 cents.

Do you think this is reasonable? Keep in mind that this is Latvia where the minimum monthly wage is $150, so $9 is a bit more money to us in real terms. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-05, 02:42 AM   #2
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$9 sounds very reasonable, cyclist or non-cyclist you have to consider labor cost
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Old 08-22-05, 02:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by oaxacarider
$9 sounds very reasonable, cyclist or non-cyclist you have to consider labor cost
Labor costs here are cheap. The going rate for a FULL bike build, frame up, is less than $20. I think she was screwed because she is a foreigner. They probably thought she was a tourist and wouldn't be back. Didn't want to give her a receipt either. Nor did they want to sign off that she returned the bike.
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Old 08-22-05, 05:12 AM   #4
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Hm. And if she had her "tip top" patch kit with her, she'd have been able to fix the flat herself right? OK, I've being mean.....
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Old 08-22-05, 05:13 AM   #5
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Oh, and "soak the traveler" happens in the US too, I've paid the most $$ for the shytittiest hotels in my time...... in one state, just getting a hotel room in another part of that state......
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Old 08-22-05, 07:20 AM   #6
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I don't think that is reasonable at all. I would ask to see an itemized bill before paying for it.

Apples to Apples comparison would be roughly $25 for the flat repair in Michigan. That seems outrageous.
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Old 08-22-05, 09:50 AM   #7
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Who charged her $9.00 to fix the flat? I worked at a shop that did a good deal of bike rental business. We not only would not have charged her for repairing the flat, we wouldn't have charged her the daily rental fee for the bike either.
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Old 08-22-05, 09:54 AM   #8
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yeah, that's quite a bit considering where you are. it sounds like they are trying to take advantage of her.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Who charged her $9.00 to fix the flat? I worked at a shop that did a good deal of bike rental business. We not only would not have charged her for repairing the flat, we wouldn't have charged her the daily rental fee for the bike either.
EDITED: The mechanic/rental guy. She protested and the guy called the owner or manager who came on over. He also charged her. It took a lot of aruging for her to get a reciept from the manager guy.

I looked up some LBS service prices here in Lativa. For the same price she could have had a front fork with shocks changed. Or she could have changed a hub or rim AND had a deraliurer changed...

Last edited by Ziemas; 08-22-05 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilHinault
OK, I've being mean.....
You seem to have been doing this alot lately.
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Old 08-22-05, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas
A non-cyclist friend of mine rented a bike from a bike/camping shop and got a flat tire. She was charged $9 extra for the flat. To me this seems out of control. It wasn't abuse of the bike that caused the flat, it was normal wear. A patch to fix the problem costs something like 10 cents.

Do you think this is reasonable? Keep in mind that this is Latvia where the minimum monthly wage is $150, so $9 is a bit more money to us in real terms. Thanks.
Applying US perspective, perhaps--

1) What does a rental charge include if it doesn't cover normal anticipated repair and maintenance? Fixing flats is one of the most-frequently recurring costs. Especially if it was during normal use. (How much would they charge for cleaning if it got muddy?)

2) Was there a written agreement/contract/rental terms that provided who was to pay for such costs?

3) Did your friend have an alternative but to take it back to the renting LBS to get it fixed, or could she have had it done by a friend or cheaper shop? (By the way: did the charge cover a new tube, or a patch?)

4) This situation strikes me as bad as Avis or Hertz charging for repairing an auto tire puncture. I haven't read the fine print lately, but last car rental problem I had that required repair got me a refund to cover my out of pocket costs.
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Old 08-22-05, 11:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamless
Applying US perspective, perhaps--

1) What does a rental charge include if it doesn't cover normal anticipated repair and maintenance? Fixing flats is one of the most-frequently recurring costs. Especially if it was during normal use. (How much would they charge for cleaning if it got muddy?)

2) Was there a written agreement/contract/rental terms that provided who was to pay for such costs?

3) Did your friend have an alternative but to take it back to the renting LBS to get it fixed, or could she have had it done by a friend or cheaper shop? (By the way: did the charge cover a new tube, or a patch?)

4) This situation strikes me as bad as Avis or Hertz charging for repairing an auto tire puncture. I haven't read the fine print lately, but last car rental problem I had that required repair got me a refund to cover my out of pocket costs.
1) Nothing. She had to pay extra for the helmet. Although a partner website listed a lock and repair kit as provided with the rental.

2) Not listed in the contract. (Which the rental place was hesitant to sign off on.)

3) She look it back. It was near the end of their ride and they were not in the city.

I'm not going to buy the Ortleib panniers that I was going to buy from this place. This situation just burns me. I spoke to my friend and she described the person. I know exactly who he is. He's the type that always has an obnixious sly grin when he is talking to an uneducated customer. Bastard.
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Old 08-22-05, 11:10 PM   #13
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I would have written them a cheque for the full ammount, and it would have bounced.... Ofcourse if they are in Latvia and I'm back home they may struggle to do much about it. I would eventually pay them their $9 after they've spend a good deal more than that chasing me for it.

If they charged a fair price to begin with I would gladly pay it in cash and say thankyou..... Ofcourse, it wouldn't happen because I'd fix it myself anyhow.
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Old 08-22-05, 11:15 PM   #14
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How much does it cost to rent these bikes compared to their value? get a few friends together, knock up some fake ID's rent the whole fleet and sell it in bits on ebay to recoup your cost.

Send him a few photos of all the bits in the mail a couple of months later.... just to rub his sly smirk in it.
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Old 08-23-05, 07:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaxacarider
$9 sounds very reasonable, cyclist or non-cyclist you have to consider labor cost
$9 would be reasonable if you brought your personal bike in to have one fixed, but I would expect a rental place to fix it for free. We have a shop in town here that will rent about any style bike you might want, but the price is really up there for a good bike.

I wonder what would happen if you dropped one and scratched it up.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:01 AM   #16
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Should have just rode it on the flat tire.
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Old 08-23-05, 11:29 AM   #17
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I would have told them I didn't have the money in dollars, but I could pay in either Thai baht or Vietnamese dong. Then paid them about 2 bucks with the foreign money.

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Old 08-23-05, 07:47 PM   #18
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I run a bike rental concession, and I don't charge for a flat tire, but I don't give refunds for flats either. Flats happen 98% of time due to road debris, 1% pinch flat, 1% poor installation. However, we will delivar another bike to a customer if they need us to.
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Old 08-23-05, 11:57 PM   #19
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I rented a roadie in Breckenridge, CO, got a flat, and they charged me $5 - no labor, just the tube. Pretty good deal...
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Old 08-24-05, 08:51 AM   #20
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My shop charges $15 for a flat repair. $10 for labor, $5 for a tube. I dunno what we would do If someone flatted on a rental though.
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Old 08-24-05, 01:04 PM   #21
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That's freakin' expensive! I thought the shops in NYC were charging a lot (usually $10... $5 for the tube and $5 for labor).

Anyway as to the OP's post... your friend should have read the agreement first before renting. Usually the renter is responsible for ANYTHING that happens to the bike while they are renting it. So $9.00 sounds understandable.


Quote:
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My shop charges $15 for a flat repair. $10 for labor, $5 for a tube. I dunno what we would do If someone flatted on a rental though.
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Old 08-24-05, 01:07 PM   #22
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One time when I was working at Gotham Bikes this guy came in to get a flat fixed. He got mad that the shop charge $10.00 and was all angry and said he'd fix it himself... anyway... he was outside for almost 2 hours, couldn't get his wheel back on, got his chain all tangled up and finally came in and had to pay the shop to get if fixed after all... what a moron!
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Old 08-24-05, 01:16 PM   #23
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With my LBS, it ~$5 for the tube, and then $3 labor, per wheel, if its off the bike, if its on the bike its $5 per wheel.

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Old 08-24-05, 09:09 PM   #24
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Yeah, that sounds like a crappy deal, especially for a rental, but it's not like there's anything that can be done about it. That's life. Teach her how to change a tire herself and she'll be really grateful if it ever happens again.
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Old 08-24-05, 09:40 PM   #25
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In the US this would be considered a bad business trying to rip off unsuspecting customers. When renting a bike the cost of fixing flats should already be included in the rental costs. Flats happen. Last time I rented bikes, the rental place would even drive out and repair you anywhere in town.
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