Below is my letter to the owner/manager of the LBS i have been using for three years. The story is in the complaint so I wont bore you anymore as it is a long post- sorry.
What do you think, too hard, too soft on them or what?
First I would like to apologize for not speaking to you sooner and in person. I had hoped to stop by the shop and talk to you personally, but time has escaped me and now we are 3 weeks removed from my visit to the shop and I still havenít had the chance to make it into the shop.
Iíll start by saying I have always received at least satisfactory service and work from your shop. I have had my bike in for a tune-up and suspension fork replacement in the past and was happy with the results and cost of the service. We purchased my wifeís bike from you and had a pleasant experience as well. But unfortunately this time I was disappointed following my tune-up last month.
I had dropped of my bike for a yearly tune-up and decided to get the overhaul this year since I planned on giving my bike to a friend and upgrade my ride at the same time. I didnít want to give a friend a bike that needed anything so I figured the overhaul would be worth the extra cost. When I came in to pick up the bike after being called saying it was done I realized there must have been a miscommunication. The bike still had the rear tire and rim removed awaiting a new one. The voicemail I had received the day earlier said the bike was ready for pick-up but that during the inspection the rear tire was found to be separating, and to give a call if I wanted the shop to go ahead and replace it. I did not call because by the sounds of it the bike was ready other than if I wanted you to replace the tire. This really was not a big deal to me at all; I just figured I misunderstood the message. After getting the tire back on the bike I paid and wheeled it out to my truck. I did notice while walking it out that both tires were still flat. Not a problem, I knew the rear tire was just put back on and needed to be replaced anyways so I would fill them both up then. It did cross my mind, though, that one of the items listed on the tune-up checks was inflating both tires. I thought at least the front would be filled.
About two days later I wanted to give the bike to my friend and had him come to my house. Unfortunately right after telling I had the bike tuned up and it was all ready for him to take we discovered the bike wasnít ready at all. We changed the tire out in my garage and filled both with air then reinstalled them in the quick releases. Gave them a quick spin and they both were rubbing the brakes very noticeably. I hadnít noticed the rub previously because the tires were flat and I figured the friction was from that. I lifted the bike off the ground and ensured the quick releases were seated correctly and gave them another whirl, still rubbing badly. So I took about 10 minutes and re-adjusted both sets of brakes.
Then it was time for him to take it for his first ride around the block. He came back and asked if he was doing something wrong. He said it wasnít shifting from the middle ring to the big ring. Sure enough, a click of the shifter moved the derailleur just far enough to rub the chain but not enough to move up to the big ring. By holding the shifter past the click all the way to its end it would grab the chain after about 3 strokes. Not what I expect from an STX/LX equipped bike. We spent a few more minutes adjusting that.
By this time I was quite aggravated and was wondering if anything had been done at all. Shifting and brakes are probably the two most noticeable tune-up items and neither left the shop in operating order. This is not the quality I have been accustomed to receiving, especially for $105. Which brings me to asking what the extra ten dollars for ďmisc partsĒ was for. Maybe thatís standard for a shop to do and I just didnít realize it. Kind of seems like a shady car shop type thing though. The cost of standard supplies, grease etc for a tune up should be included in the advertised price. If however there was something like spokes or a brake cable replaced I donít have a problem paying for it but I never received an itemized list so I donít know.
I did do a quick look over the hubs and bottom bracket and they looked clean and looked like they had fresh grease but after the previously noted workmanship it made my wonder what was done and what wasnít.
Any response is up to you, I am not asking for anything. I at least wanted you to know about my experience. If you have split work crew completing tune-ups and a junior mechanic missed some stuff that the experienced mech thought was already done I could see something like this slipping through. However I am still disappointed.