This was an online purchase picked up at the store. When I had made the actual transaction, in err I had selected the wrong size. Upon calling the Customer Service 800 number, I was told that nothing could be done to change the order, that I would have to wait until the bike was received by the store, return the item, then reorder. Naturally this is a ridiculous notion on a closeout sale item, so I simply placed another order for the correct size bicycle. I had contacted a manager at the receiving store, Bob, and though he was very kind and concerned he was completely bewildered by the situation. When I had received tracking numbers on both bikes, I again called the store and this time I talked to Lance. Again, Lance was very friendly and helpful. Lance also seems to be the only person on staff that is intelligent enough to understand and take care of my concerns as a customer. Lance promised me that he would watch for the correct bike and have it built as soon as it arrived. He also assured me that returning the first, incorrect bike would not be a problem. Also they would leave the pedals off because I would be bringing my own pedals. About midday on Wednesday, July 2nd, I received notification of delivery from UPS. I called the store and they confirmed that they had it, but would not be able to build it until the afternoon of the following day. Lance was not there at the time so I had to accept that they would not build it right away. This was not a problem in itself, I just needed to be able to know when to come down to the store as my schedule is extremely tight and it is more of an annoying inconvenience to have to flex things around a moving target, i.e. the date and time I had expected to pick up the bike. I arranged to be at the store by 7:00pm on Thursday. When I arrived at the store just before 7, Bob was at the counter. A young man came up to help. I did not retain his name but I should have. I will refer to him as Doofus for the rest of this account. As Bob continued to help other customers, Doo went back to find my bike. Making small talk, the young man told me he would be off the following day to attend his Grandmother's funeral. This is terrible and I feel bad for the boy, but he did not seem distraught. This just added to the weirdness and awkwardness of the events that followed. After what seemed to be a very long time he found the bike in the back area. As he wheeled it out I saw the pedals were installed. He apologized and wheeled it into the service area to take the pedals off. The right one came off easily for him but then he was struggling mightily with the left pedal. I then observed as Doofus continued to use much force to turn the pedal an additional half-turn THE WRONG DIRECTION!! I shouted out in horror for him to stop! I had to instruct him on what a left-handed thread is and that they are used on the pedals on the left side of the bike! I fear the threads on the crank arm are damaged as it was difficult for him to remove the original pedal and install the correct pedal. I then asked if he was going to fit the bike for me. He looked at me as if I were from Mars he but agreed to raise the seat. Again I was mortified as I watched him struggle with a 5mm T-wrench on the clamp. TWICE HE SLIPPED AND SMACKED THE WRENCH INTO THE BIKE CHIPPING THE PAINT!!!! By that time I had had enough and told Doofus that would be fine. Back at the front of the store Bob had several minutes of confusion trying to credit the first transaction. I have not received confirmation on the credit but I do expect to see it posted early next week. I complained about the chip in the paint to Bob but Doo protested and said it came that way because "UPS DAMAGES ALL OF OUR BIKES" I did not test ride the bike nor was I instructed to. Just then a dust storm hit and I waited inside for less than ten minutes for it to settle down a bit. When I got into my truck to leave I noted that I had been in the store a full hour and a half! By the time I got home there was not much time to ride. Just going up and down the street I noted several shifting problems and lots of noises, rubbing, rattles, grinding, etc. Friday morning after working a part day I began to detail the problems:
1) FD rubbing and grinding on the 50 cog and the two smallest on the cassette.
2) RD not shifting into the smallest, 11, on the cassette. Vibration and grinding on the cogs in the middle of the cassette.
3) Wheel reflectors loose, clunking around.
Please note these problems in addition to the stripped crank arm and the finish damage caused by your associate.
I was able to follow basic derailleur adjustment protocol and get the FD to stop rubbing, and I was able to get the RD to shift into all gears. However the RD does not align correctly in the middle of the cassette, making a rough vibration and grinding noise. I rode 13 miles this morning, got out about 6.5 and had to turn back because the middle of the cassette was almost completely unusable. I guess I will check the hanger for straightness.
Please note, in no way was any member of your staff impolite or malicious. They were all courteous and friendly. I am struck however by the complete incompetence of everyone involved from the 800 number help desk to 90% of the store employees. I do realize the sale was fantastic and I received a great bargain. The overall value however is greatly diminished as I now must repair and adjust a damaged bike, seeking out a real bicycle store as it is obvious most employees at Performance are unable follow basic instruction, unable to assemble and setup bicycles properly, and probably should not be allowed to handle tools or touch other people's property in the store.
According to the store manager my letter made it "to the top dog". Working on a resolution now. Looks like they found one identical bike in a box still, in a store in Oregon. It will be shipped to my local store and assembled there, at which point they will exchange bikes. Hopefully at that point they will also compensate me for the hassle and having to wait. I finally got everything shifting OK and staying in gear, but on the 13 and 11 of the cassette on the 50 ring over 60 rpm it starts feeling rough, getting noisy and sounding like the chain is coming off. FD not rubbing.
Well, this turned out better than I had expected. I went last night to exchange the bikes. I was helped by the store manager whom I had previously not met. I was a bit apprehensive at first, anticipating the possibility that the encounter might be confrontational, but the manager was very kind and seemed to be doing everything he could do to reverse the negativity of the events over the last three weeks.
The new Fuji Absolute 1.3 was assembled and set up perfectly. I had requested that they actually put a few miles on it to make sure everything was right, and from the much improved functionality of the bike it is obvious that they did indeed ride it enough to adjust everything and get any bugs worked out. It even feels like a different bike altogether, and I suspect even more now that the components or even the frame was tweaked on the first bike from the sales associate using excessive force on the crank arms.
I had some slight rubbing on the FD after about 12 miles last night, that was the only thing that wasn't perfect. Slight adjustment on the limit screw will fix that I think.
If my experience last night is the baseline or standard for how the Performance Bike store representatives are supposed to interact with their customers, I would give them my genuine and unreserved recommendation.
Imagine a world where you can find great online deals, pay no shipping, then receive fantastic service at the store when you pick up the item. Sounds like an immaculate business model if you have the right people at the most crucial juncture; point of contact with the customer.
The store manger was without peer in his attitude, ability and efficiency. I was in and out of the store in a fraction of the time it took for the first transaction.
For my troubles, Performance Bike gave me 10% off what I paid. With that I purchased a better saddle, a cage, and their Club Membership, through which they will rebate another 10% off the bike (as well as retaining the discount benefits for the Club card). The store manager threw in some pedals as well.
To simplify the math, that's roughly $450.00 for a NOS 2013 Fuji Absolute 1.3
To summarize, this matter has been completely resolved to my satisfaction, and I have no qualms about patronizing Performance Bike in the future.