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  1. #1
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    LBS trip, a sad story

    I went to a "new" LBS yesterday, a shop with a
    very good reputation, but not one that I have used before.

    I'm talking to a sales guy who has asked me if he can assist.
    I reply I'm looking for non adhesive bar tape.
    His response "gee, I can never get the tape to stay in
    place if it doesn't have glue or some type of adhesive on it".
    Now this wasn't some young kid who I'd expect to never have
    seen Tresoplast, or other cloth tapes, but someone who I'd
    estimate mid to late 30's.
    I don't get it, wrapping a handle bar is not Rocket science. . .

    Scene 2:
    Talking to wrench who also happens to sell all rims.
    me: I'm looking for Tubular rims
    Wrench: "I know we have some somewhere",
    pulls out 15yo campy rim.
    "we don't get much call for these".
    me: do you have any mavic tubular rims?"
    wrench: "nobody uses tubulars anymore, they're too
    much trouble, and who wants the hassle fixing flats on the
    road?"
    me: I explain how easy putting on a new tubular is
    wrench: "I can change a tube in less than a minute, why
    bother with tubulars?"

    Now the sales guy said they have been trying to get rid
    of their tubular rims and this wrench is arguing with me?
    what ever happened to "The customer is always right"?
    needless to say, I won't be using that LBS again.

    Marty
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  2. #2
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    omg bet u wanted to get outta there faster than u got in!!! well saying that i went into a local bike shop by me never been in there before saying that I won't be going in again for reasons that I am yet to describe!!! I got a flat and just went in for a tube he said I 'll put it in for u so I said ok!! 45 mins later and I was getting a bit peeved off I can do this myself in 15 mins as it was the back tyre so....... he comes back with my bike I saw an egg right by the valve and I was so annoyed I said "Christ if U can't change a god damn tube what can u do?" ended up going home with a refund and doing it again!!!! there is only one really good store by me who I can trust I am never going ne where else!!!
    Since I discovered Giant I won't get on anything else!

  3. #3
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    Wow, sounds like the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing in there. However, I don't necessarily agree with the belief that the customer is always right (this is in no way a slam to you). I've had to work in retail before, and some cutomers come into places and throw fits, curse, become demanding, etc for no apparent reason exept they have an attitude problem. In these cases (which seem to be increasing), I think that if stores would set their foot down and tell these people to act decent or get out, it would prevent places from having to deal with it over and over again. My brother actually worked at a place where the store owner told them that they didn't have to serve people who were rude, and they could tell them to get out. They put that liberty to use several times too. The customer is always right policy only pacifies people like this, and makes them think they can be punks to whomever and get whatever they want. But yeah, I'm way off topic here.

  4. #4
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    I worked in a major supermarket once and people just seem to think that if they are nice to you this can somehow reduce their bill lol!! they seem to think that you are actually a robot and not a human being!!! I started about Christmas time too to make matters worse but guess I know one of the things I know I don't want to be :-)
    Since I discovered Giant I won't get on anything else!

  5. #5
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    I always count on having to explain everything to my LBS. I'm not even sure the sales guys would know what a tubular is... they had a lot of trouble with the concept of "track cog" when I went in there last time. I like 'em fine, they're very nice and all, generally can at least order what I'm looking for, but I wouldn't take their advice on bicycles.
    As to folks being nasty to retail employees, that's all too true. As if someone earning minimum wage is going to be inspired to learn much, if anything, about their job. And if they do choose to learn something about the job, chance are they're not going to last at it-- because they'll find a better gig.
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  6. #6
    Duct tape won't fix that slotibartfast's Avatar
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    Getting off topic here, too. I've worked in retail for 28 years and it's a very tough gig. It's almost impossible to keep good help because they're smart enough to get a better job that pays better somewhere else. And, yes, we often get in demanding customers with a chip on their shoulder who know that you can't fight back with out getting in trouble or fired so they lay it on thick. Now, as to Giant Racer's experience, he had every right to be angry if the LBS couldn't fix a simple flat correctly. It's THE basic repair and they should be experts and fast at it. They were also correct to give him a refund and he should have gotten an apology from the owner.
    It's no matter, no distance, it's the ride.....Stephen Stills...Throughfare Gap

  7. #7
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    It's not uncommon to find a rotten spud in a shop but you found two on one trip.

    I find it hard to buy anything more than an occaisional tube or bottle of lube from a place like this out of shear conveinience only.

    Usually I'll drive the extra five miles to a place that deserves my patronage. Even if it's a two dollar purchase.

    A place like this will blame the economy or a car friendly world when they go belly up.

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Well, I've seen it all with some of the shops here on the Gold Coast. Unfortunately the quality at many retail outlets (not just bike shops) has suffered as a result of a tourism-based economy, where repeat business isn't all that important. Customer service in many places has gone completely out the window in favour of the "get 'em in and get their money off them" mentality. Don't walk into a shop around here with your wallet in your hands unless you want to find a salesperson snatching it off you and rummaging through for the money for the sale they "assumed".

    Generally there are two types: either the ultra-spanky smooth talking salesperson who will try to sell you everything you didn't ask for. Then there's the other kind who simply can't be bothered. If you want something from this guy, better be able to find it yourself.

    Luckily, I've found myself a shop that does make the effort and does things properly. It's the only place I frequent around here for bicycle-related purchases. Unfortunately, if I want to get any repair work done, I've usually got to book ahead because they're pretty busy. Although they make exceptions to this rule for emergency things.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  9. #9
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    It seems that I find more and more an attitude from sales people that they have an overwhelming desire to prove to me that they are smarter and know more than I.

    If I wanted to hang around "smart" people and would go back to those idiots at MENZA.

    WHAT I WANT from a sales person is respect and service. If I ask for a lefthand swizel nut attachment tool, either sell me one, get out your tool catalog and help me find the one that I want and order it, or suggest where else I might find one.

    WHAT I DO NOT WANT from a sales person is an arguement on do I really need a lefthanded swivel nut attachment tool, or which tool would be better than what I asked for.

    I thank all you kind people for allowing me to vent.
    I can't ride and Frown!

  10. #10
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    The Giant Bike Shop, Moreton, Wirral, Merseyside, England roxxx!!!! can't get better!!!!!
    Since I discovered Giant I won't get on anything else!

  11. #11
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    One of the liabilities of being a knowledgeable and experienced cyclist is that you're more and more likely to have to deal with salespeople who know less than you (but typically are sure they know more). In any case, it sounds to me like these guys had an agenda... move stock.

    I remember a trip to a bike shop where I told the guy I wanted a bike with a steel frame. He sniffs snobbishly and sez "bike frames aren't made of steel anymore, except the bikes at Wal-Mart." And I'm thinking well, who the h*ll calls it Cr-Mo Steel? They lost a potential sale.

    I figure I can learn something from everybody, but pul-leeze don't assume I'm an idiot.

    PS: How bad would the 15yo Campy have been? Especially if you could get it for '80s prices?

  12. #12
    Senior Member druhl's Avatar
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    I think the LBS is a reflection of the service industry in general. I'm not sure I understand why, but there seems to be less 'serving' in service these days.

    I willingly, somewhat gladly I guess, drive 75 miles (!) to my 'local' shop - Hite's in Butler PA. They've always been straight with me, down to earth and enthusiastic. In addition to the services you'd expect from your LBS they've taken the time to teach a lot of maintenance 'how to's". While they may lose a little maintenance business they reason I'll be a better rider and they can count on me for the sale of tools and related items. Maybe more importantly I've encouraged many cycling friends to give them a try - despite the distance. At a time when most LBS are not getting a 'good grade', your reputation and word of mouth are invaluable.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by roadbuzz
    In any case, it sounds to me like these guys had an agenda... move stock...

    PS: How bad would the 15yo Campy have been? Especially if you could get it for '80s prices?
    If they wanted to move stock (like the 6 pairs of matrix tubular
    rims I noticed hanging on the wall) they sure went about it
    in a strange way.
    they only had one campy rim, and I'm not even sure
    what model it was, semi aero. it wasn't marked 80's prices.
    (well maybe, $40 for a new rim?).

    1oldroadie, I agree.

    Marty
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    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  14. #14
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    "I think the LBS is a reflection of the service industry in general. I'm not sure I understand why, but there seems to be less 'serving' in service these days"
    I think you hit the nail on the head there. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for this phenomena and if we want to place blame I'm not sure where to put it. The terms "consumerism" and "Wal-Mart", would probably come into play somewhere.

    My favorite response from uninformed sales staff in any retail store are that the such and such, "are not made anymore" or "don't exist".

    However, I don't think it's right to blame the LBS's. In my profession I know that it's true that you just can't hire good help. When I go to a new LBS or any store for that matter, I make it a mission to find the ONE person there that can relate to my question. Sometimes you just have to know who to talk to.

  15. #15
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    On the other hand I went to my regular LBS today.
    No, they don't have adhesive free cork tape, seems
    no one makes it anymore.
    The wrench/sales guy when asked about tubular rims
    brings me to the back of the store, give me a stick and
    says "there they are, have fun"
    I start browsing, and he comes back with a pair
    of Campy Victory rims, no hubs (been cut out), half spokes
    and virtually NOS Clement Paris Roubaix tires.
    he says "I can give you these for $75." I said done.
    He said. let me air them up, come back monday and if they
    still hold air, its a deal. . .
    now thats what I'm talking about.

    Marty
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    Odio la gente, tutti.

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