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  1. #1
    Senior Member smelly's Avatar
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    bike shop clerks rude & impasiont.

    Many bike shops in my area come and go. Other have been around for 20-30 years. anyway, I notice many bike shop workers/clerks whatever you want to call them are somewhat rude and impasiont. The second you enter the store theres some old guy breathing down my neck asking over and over and over again can I help you!!! Sometimes you just wanna look around, so when you come back for the second time to buy something they're even more rude, even if you buy something. Other times even if you do spend insane amounts of cash there, they still act as if you monkeying around. I hate going to bike shops. The people who work at bike shop need to be more polite, and respect the customer. Theres this one bike shop in my area, they keep all most all there parts at the back of the store, so you cant see them, when you ask if they have lets say brake levers, they bring out the most exspensize pair w/ no sticker, and say OH those are $200, you ask if they have something less pricy, they make a face, walk back to there whatever,......you get the picture. Price dosnt seem to be an issue with these people, nothing has the price posted anyway, they just make up the price in there head. The crap they sell is so over priced, its no wonder people get there stuff from catalogs.
    1998 Speicalized HardRock FS

  2. #2
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    More reasons to shop bike nashbar or performance online. I have almost stopped even visiting bike shops thanks to the doo doo service and disrespect. There is one shop around here I trust and only one.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I think we are pretty good to our customers. Far better than they often treat us. I am a professional, I can fix your bike, size your feet for shoes and discuss the benefits of different types, sell and fit you to a bike, fit you or your screaming child to a helmet, maintain good inventory, have good knowledge of materials and their benefits as to the bicycle, be able to explain human anatomy to people who uncomfortable with having their anatomy explained to them, know every single tire, shock, frame, shift system, fork, handlebar, stem, and wheel set and explain how they work or don't work together, AND treat everyone as tho they are my bestfriend even if they come in all the time, ask a hundred questions and then use my knowledge so they can buy a tube on line and save fifty cents, wear a cologne that kicks in my sinuses, stand VERY close to me, and interupted my lunch(He probably saw the last three people interupt my lunch and thought it looked like a good time.) So maybe I am not always Mr. Charming, but I try.
    Smelly you are a car guy, me to. Let me ask you a question, when you go to an auto parts store how many of the parts are where you can just look them over?
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  4. #4
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Well, I'm sometimes not real happy with a bike shop, but mainly because when looking at a bike, they may tend to minimize the importance of something if their stock doesn't happen to include it or have it in the exact size that might be best for me.

    But overall, I have none of the complaints this thread started with. My present shop has treated me well, letting me ride bikes for pretty extensive test rides, repeatedly, The owner even had me ride a VERY expensive bike, knowing full well it was thousands of dollars more than I would ever spend, just so I could get some idea of the difference (at the time, I had never owned a road bike).

    So, buy most of my stuff there, even when I could get better deals online. Good service should be rewarded.

    Bob

  5. #5
    Chi
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    Rev.Chuck you seem to be the exception here.

    I know good shops with good employees, and bad shops with bad ones. The employees that the shop has defines the shop itself. I'd never go back to a shop that gave me a bad first (or subsequent) impression. I really like Performance because they will beat any price you find, even online, no questions asked.

  6. #6
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I try to be good, sometimes it is hard. I know I have pissed off a few customers, but it was not intentional. I am at my worst when I am trying to eat because I usually put it off until I am half starved, my bad.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Just where are you guys shopping at? I do busniess with two LBSes on a regular basis and never have any of the issues you are describing.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    Originally posted by Chi
    The employees that the shop has defines the shop itself.


    I am going to have to disagree. I work at the best shop in town, everybody there (except me and one other guy) know most everything and can handle any situation. Joe is still better than I am, but I am learning. So not every employee defines a shop, atleast I dont

  9. #9
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    When I visit a shop, and as soon as guy realizez he is not going to sell me something HE wants to sell, he is loosing interest in me as a customer and has to answer all my questions...
    Few times, by mistake I told them that bike I bought after their quotes of half a thousand, for $20, these guys just want to ignore me as soon as I walk in, like I am their worst enemy.

  10. #10
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    That is hard to believe, Inoplanetyanin, shop life is full of characters like you. The Pink Lady, The Preacher, Alice Cooper, Flash, Airborne Smoker Guy, Shakespeare, Puddin' head, Grimtani(A good customer), Richochet, Mr. hhhuh, Triguy, Seatman, and many others.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member smelly's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Inoplanetyanin
    When I visit a shop, and as soon as guy realizez he is not going to sell me something HE wants to sell, he is loosing interest in me as a customer and has to answer all my questions...
    Few times, by mistake I told them that bike I bought after their quotes of half a thousand, for $20, these guys just want to ignore me as soon as I walk in, like I am their worst enemy.
    yeah, leaving a bike shop with out buying something realy pisses them off. They have no concept of window shopping!
    1998 Speicalized HardRock FS

  12. #12
    Chi
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    Originally posted by KleinMp99
    I am going to have to disagree. I work at the best shop in town, everybody there (except me and one other guy) know most everything and can handle any situation. Joe is still better than I am, but I am learning. So not every employee defines a shop, atleast I dont
    Which is why it's so important for the shop management to monitor how their employees are doing in their customer service and relations. Like myself, many bicyclists do not work at shops, so impressions go a long way towards a loyal customer.

  13. #13
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by smelly
    The crap they sell is so over priced, its no wonder people get there stuff from catalogs.
    Is it the LBS' fault that catalogs are able to procure and sell many things at or below our cost? Nobody's getting rich at an LBS.
    Seriously, if you come into my shop I'm going to treat the guy getting a $5 tube exactly the same as the guy getting a $5k Ghisallo. The guys in my shop darn well better do the same, too. To expand upon Chuck's points, we've got a knowledge base and services to provide that mail order cannot provide. The shops that fail to fully understand this are those that are going under.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by smelly
    yeah, leaving a bike shop with out buying something realy pisses them off. They have no concept of window shopping!
    Yeah, but it's explanable. They spend their time answering questions, showing merchandise. This time could be used in the back room for repairing/ making money, while it is wasted for someone who doesn't bring any profit.
    I try not to take their time, as they are there to MAKE money, but if I need to know something or look at certain parts, I am going to have to insist, as it is their job to work with customers, after all...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Waldo

    Seriously, if you come into my shop I'm going to treat the guy getting a $5 tube exactly the same as the guy getting a $5k Ghisallo.
    Now, this is VERY hard to believe, as it is simply against HUMAN nature and against even principles of business.

    If guy who is ready to spend 5 K, doesn't get enough attention and leaves, while you were acomodating the 5 $ seat post buyer, the business of this shop will go up slowly...

    Idea is good, but it's not going to work.
    Real life brings unexpected corrections, same as Communism Doctrine that never worked...

  16. #16
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rev.Chuck
    That is hard to believe, Inoplanetyanin, shop life is full of characters like you. The Pink Lady, The Preacher, Alice Cooper, Flash, Airborne Smoker Guy, Shakespeare, Puddin' head, Grimtani(A good customer), Richochet, Mr. hhhuh, Triguy, Seatman, and many others.
    I'm sure we'd all love to hear a bit more about these characters. How did they get their names etc.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Communication is a two-way street If you want to see brake levers in the $50 range, instead of the $200 range, it will help to say so up front

    If they ask if they can help you, don't just give the canned "just looking" answer. Say "hey, payday's coming up and I'm checking out what you guys carry, just getting some ideas what I might want to buy for my bike," and they are going to have a better picture of why you are scoping everything out.

    Also, I think most shops have been burned by shoplifters to some extent, so the standing orders will be "watch the customers." If you want to peruse the whole store at your leisure, that could tie up one "watcher" for long enough that they lost their opportunity to get most of the way through a 30-day tune-up, or calling in an order, or some other task they've got on their plate. If you've taken Economics, this is what's called "opportunity cost."

    My how-to-be-a-bad-customer diatribe could help open your eyes to some of the things a shop clerk/mechanic goes through, and why they may be grumpy at customers in general. Not saying you are a bad customer, of course, but there are plenty enough of them to put the LBS personnel on a short fuse sometimes

    Incidentally, the word you're wanting is "impatient," not "impasiont."

  18. #18
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    I'm with DieselDan. For a while I spread my purchases around several bike shops. After awhile I settled on the one that just happened to be closest to where I live. They are not the cheapest bike shop around but the have a good selection of stuff, have a good service department, and the owner hired a couple of guys to work the floor who were older than teenagers (I'm not knocking teenagers. I've got two of them. But sometimes they are not the most knowledgeable bike people) and seem to know their stuff. I've gotten to know them, and the owner, pretty well so that they all know me by name. Sometimes I buy stuff, sometimes I don't. At first I didn't spend a whole lot of money: tires, tubes, water bottles, socks, gloves, etc. Later on I bought some shoes, then a new set of wheels. Since I was comfortable with them, I decided when it was time to buy a bike I would use them since they were convenient and I could easily drop by if I had any problems.

    When I was looking for a new bike (first new road bike in 20+ years), the owner let me test ride his Serotta Ottrott. When I asked if he wanted me to leave him a license number or something, he just said he knew me and wasn't worried. So I just went out and rode for an hour or so.

    If I was a store owner and I had to choose between two potential customers, one of whom I knew never bought anything and another that I thought might really be interested in purchasing a bike, I think I would focus on the person I thought would spend their money. If I'm talking to one of the guys in the shop and someone walks in the door, I certainly understand when they stop talking to me, excuse themselves, and greet the new arrival. The shop isn't going to survive if people don't spend money there.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  19. #19
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Maybe I will start a character thread.
    One quick one, Airborne smoker guy is this dude that spent a bunch of time with us picking out a bike and then Ebayed rather than buy from us. He still comes in with a ton of questions about items he never buys from us and expects us to work on his bike free because it is a brand we sell and we offer a year of free adjustment, remember, we did not sell him the bike nor did he even buy it new. He also would go outside for a smoke in the middle of a questionathon and then come back in and tell us about this "long" ride he was going to do.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    And where istheconnection with me?...
    Not acurate comparison,nottosaytheleaset

  21. #21
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rev.Chuck
    Maybe I will start a character thread.
    One quick one, Airborne smoker guy is this dude that spent a bunch of time with us picking out a bike and then Ebayed rather than buy from us. He still comes in with a ton of questions about items he never buys from us and expects us to work on his bike free because it is a brand we sell and we offer a year of free adjustment, remember, we did not sell him the bike nor did he even buy it new. He also would go outside for a smoke in the middle of a questionathon and then come back in and tell us about this "long" ride he was going to do.
    Very entertaining.

    Can't wait for the next installment.

    Maybe, as you suggested, you should start a character thread. I'm sure we'd get details on characters from other stores too.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    There's a character we called "Ping-Pong" who would buy an item, then exchange it, and exchange again, and again, and again, and again. And this was what he did. Always. In my how-to-be-a-bad-customer rant, he's the guy who finished off one buy/exchange cycle by requesting a cash refund so he could take his dog to the vet.

    If it had been my shop, I would've gritted my teeth and told him point-blank: "Sorry, Ping-Pong, I know you have a complusion to exchange/return stuff, and maybe it's not your fault that you do, but we can't go on like this. Please take your business elsewhere."

  23. #23
    SeŮor Member Tom_The_Bikeman's Avatar
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    Oh yeah...back when I was wrenching, we had characters too...my favorite was "Mr. Speed"

    He wasn't particularly fast or anything, but his last name was "Speed" We always liked calling out "Bike for Mr. Speed!" when he came by.

    As far as bike shop's personnel being rude & impasiont (impatient?) depends. When I got stopped suddenly by a car and therefore lost my ride, I looked around in some Seattle shops when I was visiting back home. Had one guy tell me what a mondo wrench he was and blah blah blah. This guy really loved himself.

    When I was up in Bellingham, WA, I was just looking (really only looking) in a shop, and saw some interesting things. I'd been in for about 20 min or so, and was squatting down near some product. A bike droid came over, squatted down and asked if he could be of assistance. I explained what I was about, and asked just to shoot the breeze if he *rode*. After sniffing each other's butts (figuratively) I asked about Trek's carbon fiber and if it was any good. The next thing I knew we were on a test ride, and then in a week I had purchased the ride, and a complete set of Burley rain gear.

    Later I found out that he was a math teacher on summer break, and also in my mother's church. I wonder who was the better worker? "Mr. I-Am-The-Man" or "How are you doing, anything I can help you with?" I bet that the owners of that shop are happy to let the math teacher do the figuring. Sad to say, the other shop is probably happy to have the other guy too.

    Of course, your mileage may vary.

    happy shopping!
    Tom

  24. #24
    Senior Member Revenig's Avatar
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    Personally, I frequent four local bike shops and have never once had a bad experience. If I say Iím just looking, then they allow me to look. If I have questions, they are always helpful and courteous. I have never experience the sales pressure that others have spoken about.

    While on a ride my back wheel started to wobble badly, so I rode right to the lbs where I purchased the bike. Even though they were busy they fit me in and trued both wheels for free.

    On another occasion I was out riding and had another problem with the back wheel on another one of my bikes. Nothing I tried corrected the problem. I rode it into a different lbs (I didnít even purchase the bike from them) and they fixed the problem, did some other needed adjustments and replaced a part for $7. The bike rode better than it had in years.

    And lastly, the chainstay on my Raleigh Technium broke while on a ride. Even though the bike was 15 years old the lbs gave me full credit for the bike since Raleigh no longer made that frame.

    A lbs has not just been a place where I purchased my bikes and accessories, itís been a place that has helped enhanced my biking experience.
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  25. #25
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by smelly
    yeah, leaving a bike shop with out buying something realy pisses them off. They have no concept of window shopping!
    I think you'll find that to be the case with just about any store of any kind you visit. Spend an hour browsing and not buying anything will piss any of them off.

    As far as the original topic goes, it's just a matter of finding the right shop. There are good ones and bad ones. I've visited a few around here, but now I've settled on one I particularly like, so I get everything there. I still admire the speed with which they came up with the perfect replacement when my bike got stolen a couple of weeks back.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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