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A LBS ever rip you off?

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A LBS ever rip you off?

Old 08-12-13, 11:47 PM
  #1  
onespeedbiker
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A LBS ever rip you off?

In 1998 I bought a Bontrager Privateer Sport, while it has been 15 years it still galls me; hopefully a teachable moment to LBS employees. I wanted a Comp but they didn't have one in my size so I upgraded the drivetrain/wheels to XT. After I rode the bike for a couple of weeks, when I realized the wheels still had the STX-RC skewers, not the XT skewers that matched the upgraded hubs. When I brought this to the LBS' attention they were quick to make the matter right. Turns out the shop had been on the down slide for a while and about a year later changed ownership; it was a little thing, but I never forgot.
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Old 08-13-13, 12:03 AM
  #2  
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So through an oversight/honest mistake the guys in the back installed the wrong skewers. You brought it to their attention and "...they were quick to make the matter right." How were you ripped off? More importantly, were you paying attention to yourself when you wrote "...it was a little thing...".

Oh, and to answer your title question, "No".
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Old 08-13-13, 12:05 AM
  #3  
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They didn't rip you off, they skewered you.
I once had a LBS charge me more for a part than superextremebikebargainsdotcom!
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Old 08-13-13, 12:55 AM
  #4  
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No but I have had a few in Spokane be abrupt with me and not want to take me seriously because I'm a 350 pound older guy.

Those lose my respect.
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Old 08-13-13, 04:29 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
No but I have had a few in Spokane be abrupt with me and not want to take me seriously because I'm a 350 pound older guy.

Those lose my respect.
So far every local bike shop I have tried in Spokane have either been rude, unhelpful, or tried to rip me off. I had one shop downtown warranty a broken SRAM shifter for me (since i bought my bike from them) through SRAM who upgraded it since the model was backordered and then when the LBS replaced the broken shifter they offered to sell me a matching upgraded shifter for the left side. I called SRAM and come to find out SRAM had sent the LBS a complete set of upgraded shifters for me under warranty so they would match. I called their bluff and got them both free of charge and will never be back.

The best shop in town is the REI bike shop off Monroe. Great guys there who I trust and do good work. The locally owned shops need to step up the customer service.

Last edited by sirtirithon; 08-13-13 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 08-13-13, 06:22 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
. . . while it has been 15 years it still galls me; hopefully a teachable moment . . . it was a little thing, but I never forgot.
What a rich and meaningful life you must have led in those years. There's a teachable moment in your post, but not the one you intended.

Last edited by AnkleWork; 08-13-13 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 08-13-13, 08:11 AM
  #7  
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I was out for a ride on my old fix, and I caught a flat. I didn't have a tube, a patch kit, a pump-- just a multitool. I was about a mile from a sketchy shop, but I figured I'd go in there for a flat repair. This was ten years ago; at that point, my local shop charged $5 for a tube and $5 for a switch. So, I was expecting to pay about $10 for the repair at this other shop...

The total came to $16 and change. I paid up, smirked, and left. I stopped a couple of times that first mile to make adjustments b/c there was definitely some resistance while pedaling. I couldn't figure it out (didn't know much BITD), and I ended up walking the bike about 8 or 9 miles home.

I took it to my local shop; turned out the wrench at the other shop had tightened the cones on the rear wheel while switching the tire. Riding that first mile or so with it overtightened had fried the bearings, but my usual shop sold me replacement bearings really cheap. I never figured out if the wrench, who was a real young kid, was trying to do me a favor by tightening the bearings, or if it was a deliberate sabotage to sell me a new wheel down the line. Either way, I've never gone back, and it's the only shop I routinely tell ppl to avoid. (Not for that transgression alone; they've done some friends dirty, too.)

All things considered, if that's the worst they did me, I'm still doing OK. I don't really like paying a 45% or more premium to order parts via a lbs versus ordering online, but that's not actual shadiness/rip-offs. It's just suicidal price-gouging.
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Old 08-13-13, 08:43 AM
  #8  
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One time I bought a Flight Deck computer... retail price was $90... they charged me $90. But when I got home, I saw that there was a sticker on the box that said $80. I went back and showed them the receipt and the box and they gave me $10 plus tax in cash. Bastards.
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Old 08-13-13, 08:51 AM
  #9  
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Wages below the cost of living count?
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Old 08-13-13, 09:02 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
In 1998 I bought a Bontrager Privateer Sport, while it has been 15 years it still galls me; hopefully a teachable moment to LBS employees. I wanted a Comp but they didn't have one in my size so I upgraded the drivetrain/wheels to XT. After I rode the bike for a couple of weeks, when I realized the wheels still had the STX-RC skewers, not the XT skewers that matched the upgraded hubs. When I brought this to the LBS' attention they were quick to make the matter right. Turns out the shop had been on the down slide for a while and about a year later changed ownership; it was a little thing, but I never forgot.
That was 1998. It is now 2013. Sounds like you should work on letting that go and live in the present. Repeating it here only burns it in your brain deeper. Let's just go out and take a bike ride!
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Old 08-13-13, 09:05 AM
  #11  
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I bought an older Trek mountain bike at a police auction for $12. Turns out it had a stripped derailleur hanger. Went to a local shop for a thread insert and the guy said it was $8. He casually asks " want me to put that in for you?". "Why not" I say. He comes back 10 minutes later, "That'll be $50". I say, "$40 to drill a hole for 10 minutes?" Him: "Oh, I had to precision ream it". I look at the thread insert and the threads inside are all messed up. Of course he didn't have another thread insert. I gave him the $50 and never looked back.
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Old 08-13-13, 09:13 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Wages below the cost of living count?
Socialist!

I hit a local shop in brooklyn once to have them true up my rims on a new bike a while back (I never loved doing it myself, i was just lazy) got the bike back seemed good. a few days later my front rim made a tink tink tink I stopped and checked and I found a spoke completely loose and bouncing around in the rim and I checked both wheels and there were a bunch of spokes barely tight but the wheel spun mostly true. I was pissed but I never went back I just wrote off going to shops in general and continued to do my own work. I have since found a good place I go to on occasion for parts and to assemble wheels that I trust.
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Old 08-13-13, 09:15 AM
  #13  
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My Local Bike Shop, Whitey's in Boston, has gone far beyond simple parts swapping.
Extortion, murder & running a criminal conspiracy is only the tip of their iceberg of evil, that and the fact that they overprice inner tubes.

-Bandera
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Old 08-13-13, 09:20 AM
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Most shops around here will try to sell you everything you don't need.
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Old 08-13-13, 09:20 AM
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Thought Whitey Bulger had different rackets , not enough money in bike shops.. for the mafia ..
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Old 08-13-13, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Wages below the cost of living count?
How true.
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Old 08-13-13, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Thought Whitey Bulger had different rackets , not enough money in bike shops.. for the mafia ..

Most major criminals start their careers of evil as mechanics in Local Bike Shops; soon it's sales then armed robbery, extortion, murder and substituting QR skewers.

-Bandera
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Old 08-13-13, 09:34 AM
  #18  
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My LBS is a small one man shop... the service is always immediate and prompt and the rates are fair.

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Old 08-13-13, 09:52 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
My LBS is a small one man shop... the service is always immediate and prompt and the rates are fair.

Hmmm, mine too. We must frequent the same shop.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:06 AM
  #20  
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I was so pi$$ed off, I wrote the below Yelp review... Pardon the terminology but I just started riding after a 15 year hiatus and didn't know the terminology at the time. Being 100% pedal powered, it also cost me $20 to take a taxi to their place...


The Service Dept. are a bunch of crooks and they lied to my face.


Wow, it's been a long time since someone at a business lied to my face and totally ripped me off, even after I called them on it. Very sad...

My bicycle rear gearset (cassette) lock nut came loose and the ball bearings fell out. I was only a block from home, so I went back home, removed the wheel and found that it only needed a few ball bearings (about $2.00 worth) but, I couldn't just buy the bearings as I needed a special chain wrench and a special 2 prong socket/wrench which would cost me about $20 for the tools and I'd probably never use them again, so I decided to bring the bike down to SafetyCycle and let them do the work. I called them twice and both times they quoted me $15-20 labor and $2.50-5.00 for the bearings and they had the ball bearings in stock. Fine, I bring in the bike and they tell me the gearset is broken and needs to be replaced. I remove the gearset from the rear wheel and ask them to show me where it is broken. They can't... cause it's not broken... So then they refuse to sell me the bearings telling me I have to pay $25 for a new gearset which I absolutely don't need, plus $5 labor or $30 total. I had accepted I'd have to pay $25 ($20 labor & $5 parts) so at the end of the day, the shop makes about $2 extra profit and I have to pay them an extra $5 so I just bend over and take it. You know what? If they just told me they would charge me $20 labor and $5 parts and an extra $5 for making the repair while I waited, I'd have been very happy to pay them the extra $5.00!!! It's just the principal that they'd lie to my face in order to cheat me out of $5.00. Bad business for that pocket change.

I was livid, but I needed my bike fixed and at the end of the day, we are only talking $5 more... I'm just pissed off that they have the gall to lie to my face to only make a couple extra bucks profit and lose a 40+ year customer as I've been going there since I was in elementary school. 3-4 employees got involved with my discussion, so they all knew they were feeding me a huge pile of bull****. A couple of customers overheard my complaining and one nodded to me in support. In my youth, I was a motorcycle service manager for 8+ years and a professional AMA/FIM Expert MotoGP roadracer. I have rebuild dozens of engines, transmissions, a few crankshafts and have R&R hundreds of m/c tires and wheels. The bicycle repair of replacing the missing ball bearings and tightening the locknut is child's play and about a 10 minute job if I have the special tools which I didn't. I told them I'm not some stupid tourist, but they just continued to lie to me. Then they changed their story telling me that they don't sell the ball bearings after two people at the store told me they have them in stock over the phone. Their new lie was that the only way to get the ball bearings is to buy the $25 gearset. Shame on you SafetyCycle... If you'd have just stuck to your word, you'd have made about $2 less profit but gotten a 5 star review.

The store parts and accessory prices are about double or triple the prices online. But if you are in a rush for parts, they do have a decent inventory of parts and the parts sales person I dealt with seemed pretty knowledgeable.

Unfortunately they are the closest shop to me and I'll probably get stuck buying stuff from them in an emergency, but UGH, NOT RECOMMENDED!

UPDATE 10-30-11: After letting them touch my bike, I started getting rear flats like crazy... like about 1 per week so about 6-8 flats that required replacing the tire about 5x and tubes, so about 7 weeks and $150 later (including a few taxi rides when the tire was un-rideable), I finally took a close look at the wheel and rear brake and saw that the rear brake pad would rub the tire when the brakes are applied, cutting the tire and causing the flat. So, not only are they crooks... but they are incompetent crooks as well. I recall it was odd that they loosened the brake pad as I just disconnect the brake wire and never touch the brake pad adjustment screws when dismounting the rear tire.

UPDATE 8-13-2013 ~ After reading this review I wrote about them.. I realized that they'd have made a lot more profit replacing the ball bearings and charging the labor rather than replacing the expensive freewheel and charging the nominal labor. I'm now a bicycle addict... two years later... with over a dozen bikes in the garage now... and a full complement of tools...
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Old 08-13-13, 10:14 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by sirtirithon View Post
So far every local bike shop I have tried in Spokane have either been rude, unhelpful, or tried to rip me off. I had one shop downtown warranty a broken SRAM shifter for me (since i bought my bike from them) through SRAM who upgraded it since the model was backordered and then when the LBS replaced the broken shifter they offered to sell me a matching upgraded shifter for the left side. I called SRAM and come to find out SRAM had sent the LBS a complete set of upgraded shifters for me under warranty so they would match. I called their bluff and got them both free of charge and will never be back.

The best shop in town is the REI bike shop off Monroe. Great guys there who I trust and do good work. The locally owned shops need to step up the customer service.
I am one of the lead techs at the bike co-op that I work at so I have never had to bring my bike to a shop to have it worked on so i can't comment on that aspect but I understand where you are coming from. I have a female friend who took her bike (older Trek) to a shop downtown to see about having it fitted better to her. The owner totally ignored what she said/asked about her bike and walked her over to a new bike and said "This is what you need" in a very patronizing manner. She was livid at how he treated her like a "stupid little woman" and walked out with her bike.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:21 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
In 1998 I bought a Bontrager Privateer Sport, while it has been 15 years it still galls me; hopefully a teachable moment to LBS employees. I wanted a Comp but they didn't have one in my size so I upgraded the drivetrain/wheels to XT. After I rode the bike for a couple of weeks, when I realized the wheels still had the STX-RC skewers, not the XT skewers that matched the upgraded hubs. When I brought this to the LBS' attention they were quick to make the matter right. Turns out the shop had been on the down slide for a while and about a year later changed ownership; it was a little thing, but I never forgot.
Is this a joke?

The shop made a mistake, corrected it when you brought it to their attention, and you're holding a grudge a decade and a half later?

If making a mistake and then correcting it counts as "ripping someone off" then just about every business out there is a ripoff merchant.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:21 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
I don't really like paying a 45% or more premium to order parts via a lbs versus ordering online, but that's not actual shadiness/rip-offs. It's just suicidal price-gouging.
Dont ever open your own shop!!!
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Old 08-13-13, 10:23 AM
  #24  
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The name Safety Cycle brings back some memories--not all pleasant. Back when I went High School they just about the only game in town (or at least that part of town). They were generally rude, obnoxious and condescending. It because of them that I finally decided to learn how to fix my own bike.

FWIW, there is one one those "bike kitchens" not too far from Safety Cycle. It is licated near LA City College. you can borrow their tools for a small donation and do your own wrenching.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:27 AM
  #25  
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If anything, I rip off my LBS. They're okay with it though.
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