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What would you do?

Old 03-19-12, 04:43 PM
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callmeclemens
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What would you do?

Most would think I'm in a pretty good spot being as I'm less than 5 miles away from Two Different Bike Shops however I cannot say anything good about either of them. The Closest one Charges about 30% more for just about everything than the other one but I'd say overall the service is better, though the group rides are terrible and if you're not averaging about 18mph you're left for dead.
The Second is Relatively inexpensive and it's where I've gotten most of my maintenance done, though they really do treat me like dirt. For example today I was dropping my rear wheel off to be trued when I decided I wanted to test ride a bike or two, (mind you I will address the fact that I am Twenty Two, bearded, with long hair and may not look like an all around good citizen, though I assure you I am, and I've done enough business with this shop that I'd hope they would understand that by now.) Any who, after the first test ride, AND giving them business by getting my wheel trued there, I was told I could test no more Bikes because "Who are we kidding, your not in the position to buy anything."

It really sort of hurt, I almost had the nerve to take my wheel and leave, but I really want to ride soon so I bit my tongue. Little did those suckers know in a month or two I'm heading to buy a new bike and they just lost my business.

I guess I wonder, how far would you be willing to go for good service and respect, and more importantly which would you choose?
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Old 03-19-12, 05:15 PM
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I do most of my own work so choose mainly based on price. I know my shop has a couple of good, part-time wrenches (one I've known for decades) so make sure they are there if I actually need something mechanical (which probably averages about once a year). That said, I'd not shop anywhere that treated me the way the second shop treated you.
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Old 03-19-12, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
I guess I wonder, how far would you be willing to go for good service and respect, and more importantly which would you choose?
A long way !! There is no excuse whatsoever for lousy customer service. And in today's economic climate where customers generally have a fair amount of choice on where to spend their dollars it's a guaranteed way to limit your growth potential as a bike shop !

I know I pay a little more at the LBS that I deal with. But they treat me with respect and have no hesitation in answering all sorts of dumb questions. All in all, the way they treat me is the reason that I have spent more than the purchase price of my bike with them on "accessories".

If it were me, that bike shop would never see another cent of my money and it's manager would be getting a polite letter explaining exactly why.
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Old 03-19-12, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
Most would think I'm in a pretty good spot being as I'm less than 5 miles away from Two Different Bike Shops however I cannot say anything good about either of them. The Closest one Charges about 30% more for just about everything than the other one but I'd say overall the service is better, though the group rides are terrible and if you're not averaging about 18mph you're left for dead.
The Second is Relatively inexpensive and it's where I've gotten most of my maintenance done, though they really do treat me like dirt. For example today I was dropping my rear wheel off to be trued when I decided I wanted to test ride a bike or two, (mind you I will address the fact that I am Twenty Two, bearded, with long hair and may not look like an all around good citizen, though I assure you I am, and I've done enough business with this shop that I'd hope they would understand that by now.) Any who, after the first test ride, AND giving them business by getting my wheel trued there, I was told I could test no more Bikes because "Who are we kidding, your not in the position to buy anything."

It really sort of hurt, I almost had the nerve to take my wheel and leave, but I really want to ride soon so I bit my tongue. Little did those suckers know in a month or two I'm heading to buy a new bike and they just lost my business.

I guess I wonder, how far would you be willing to go for good service and respect, and more importantly which would you choose?
I would ask to talk to the owner of the store, and then kindly explain what happened, then point out you are now going to buy your bike online (even if you are not) and that his store and people like his staff are the reason LBS's are dieing .

Then flash the standard wad of cash and walk out

of course if he offers you a great deal on a bike tell him you will think about it, then accept this grudging.... ride off in to the distant shaking you fist yelling " I may be back"
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Old 03-19-12, 05:46 PM
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It's sad the way some of these LBS operate. I'm lucky to have a great shop by my office, from the moment I walked in I was treated with respect. The first time I visited I let them know I was at least one month out from having the cash and they pretty much shrugged it off and walked me through a few different bikes and offered test rides on anything I was interested in.
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Old 03-19-12, 05:51 PM
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Go with the one that gives better service. Buy your materials online.
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Old 03-19-12, 06:59 PM
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The LBS that I use is not even close to the cheapest but since the first day I meandered on in I was treated awesome therefore it is the shop that I most frequent. That shop is not the closest to me and doesn't have a smaller shop feel, its a pretty big shop which has a couple shops in different cities but because of how I was treated they get a majority of my big buys, I bought my X-caliber at this shop.

I use another shop that is even further away from me because its got that small shop feel and is more personal, decent prices but still not the cheapest, again the service that I get there is what keeps me coming back in.

There is a shop that is literally just off of the trail that I ride on most frequently and I get the fat guy treatment whenever I have walked in so needless to say I do not shop there, at all even though they are cheaper then the other 2 shops that I use. I have test rode bikes at this shop and literally knew more about the bikes that I was test riding than the sales kid who was rolling his eyes at the fat guy..... I did talk to the shop owner and he didn't seem all too concerned about it, little did he know that I was that close >l l< to buying the Specialized Carve that he had in the back room unbuilt....

I would talk to the shop owner if I were you, especially if you spend your hard earned cash there, if he does not seem to care? take your money elsewhere.
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Old 03-19-12, 07:49 PM
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There are 4 shops in town; I've been in 3. While they do have things I occasionally have use for, I sure am glad I do my own work. I have NEVER had to use their svc depts., and have had both good and bad salespeople experiences.
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Old 03-19-12, 07:50 PM
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I live one mile away from "the biggest bike shop in Ohio", but my LBS is 13 miles away from my house. I will go farther for good customer service with a friendly and respectful staff.
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Old 03-19-12, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
It really sort of hurt, I almost had the nerve to take my wheel and leave, but I really want to ride soon so I bit my tongue. Little did those suckers know in a month or two I'm heading to buy a new bike and they just lost my business.

I guess I wonder, how far would you be willing to go for good service and respect, and more importantly which would you choose?
I know it seems that you feel all alone in this, however, it happens to people from every walk of life every day all over the globe. Not that it makes it easier, it's just the way the world is and the good news is you are only 22 and have so many great years ahead of you.

The bottom line is, don't let this type of thing get you down.

The others have given some great advice, expand your list of LBS, shop online and if you really like biking then consider building up your own "diy" stock of tools and know how.

Good service and respect is subjective so only you can answer that question.

Patronize the shops you feel the best in. If that means going outside your normal trading area, then so be it.

Good luck
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Old 03-19-12, 08:32 PM
  #11  
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I drive about 8 miles further than I have to. Theres a shop that I can walk to right down the road from me. but the owner treats everybody like there stupid and his buisness practices leave a lot to be desired. so I drive about 9 miles to another shop
that treats people great have reasonble prices and really try to satisfy a customer.
There are about 6 shops in a 20 mile radius of me. but this 1 shop probably gets at
least 75% percent of all the bike customers around me
and they deserve to
My money is green and I like to spend it but I only spend it where I am treated right
everybody can have an off day but more than once and me and my money go elsewhere whether Im spending $10.00 or a $1000.00
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Old 03-19-12, 08:50 PM
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I suppose I come from the business owners side vs the customer side, but I think both sides need to be heard. I have no first hand knowledge of the specifics of this event, but have a bit of insight into running a business.

With the depressed state of the economy, and increasing pressure from competition, many companies have had to reduce staff. In addition, their margins have been almost cut in half from a few years ago. With this in mind many business have half as many people trying to sell the same volume of work for half as much profit. In effect the people who are left are being asked to work twice as hard / efficient as before and not seeing any benefit other than job retention.

I do not offer this as a reason anyone should be treated poorly, or as any sort of excuse, but rather that by your own admission you were simply kicking tires and had no intention of buying on the given day or for perhaps months into the future. Also perhaps there were customers who needed attention, or service work that needed to be done at the time.

Many businesses are faced with tough choices each day about how to allocate their resources. I am simply saying there are always two sides to any story, and we need to be open to both. Often I find the truth lies in the middle.
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Old 03-19-12, 09:02 PM
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They could be like the bike shop near me - they don't do test rides because then they'd have to clean the bikes. If you get to the point where you're actually handing them money then MAYBE they'll let you test ride a bike. I bought both my kid's bikes there and then said screw that when it came time to buy my wife's bike and went much further away.

Vesteroid, you bring up an interesting yet irrelevant point. Business conditions are the same for all those LBS and the ones that can balance making a buck without treating customers poorly will continue to exist. It doesn't matter if your milk was curdled in your cereal this morning, every time you interact with a customer you are making an impression. In MY business owning experience, a happy customer will tell one or two people he's happy. A disgruntled customer will tell 16 people.
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Old 03-19-12, 09:19 PM
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Bah. My family used to have a medium sized sporting goods store, along with a ski/skate/bike sales and repair shop. The customer deserves to be treated with respect and courtesy no matter what they look like. They are the ones who keep the place in business. Who do those people think they are, driving away customers by being so rude? Bad business practice. Morons... sorry, just a rant. Do they have a place online for local businesses where you can rate them and leave a comment? I suppose if enough people were unhappy with the way they've been treated, the business owner will crack down on the employees to be more congenial.
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Old 03-19-12, 09:24 PM
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Hahaha! I had this happen to me when I was shopping for our tandem. $2500 in my pocket I went into a shop asking lots of questions about the tandem. I had done my homework so I was asking good questions IMO.

I was actually asking about sizing (captain vs stoker) when the dude told me to come back when I got serious.

I ended up buying a Burley a couple of days later from some dude that took the time to explain some factors.

I don't know but $2300 was plenty back in 96 when I paid cash for the tandem. Next day I took it to the loser dude and asked if he had tires suitable for our new tandem. Of course I didn't buy the tires, I just wanted him to know that I was "serious".

15 years old and still purty!


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Old 03-19-12, 09:59 PM
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I take a 100+ mile round trip to get my recumbent trike worked on. The cycle shops I've found here in town are down-right rude, telling me to buy a real bike or clueless. My husband got a tip from a co-worker who's a hard-core racing cyclist about a shop in Stockholm. I was a little wary they might be even more snobby than some of the shops here, catering to the high racer types as they do, but they're great! They often do the work in less than a day even in the busy season and didn't bat a lash when we brought my ride in. Gave us a puzzled look when we asked if they could do the work, responding with 'Why couldn't we?'. They are nice as can be, even to a plump, gray-haired woman in glasses.
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Old 03-19-12, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken_onabike View Post
A long way !! There is no excuse whatsoever for lousy customer service. And in today's economic climate where customers generally have a fair amount of choice on where to spend their dollars it's a guaranteed way to limit your growth potential as a bike shop !

I know I pay a little more at the LBS that I deal with. But they treat me with respect and have no hesitation in answering all sorts of dumb questions. All in all, the way they treat me is the reason that I have spent more than the purchase price of my bike with them on "accessories".

If it were me, that bike shop would never see another cent of my money and it's manager would be getting a polite letter explaining exactly why.
admit it Ken you go there for the same reason i do ..... they have coffee and cake
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Old 03-19-12, 10:21 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
I guess I wonder, how far would you be willing to go for good service and respect, and more importantly which would you choose?
I wouldn't go to either of them! Working on bikes is easy and everything you might possibly need is available online. I buy bikes locally, because you pretty much have to, but other than that I enjoy sticking it to my lousy local shops...
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Old 03-20-12, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
Little did those suckers know in a month or two I'm heading to buy a new bike and they just lost my business.
What I would have done was tell them "Thanks. I will keep that in mind when deciding where to buy a new bike, which I am going to do in a month or two."
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Old 03-20-12, 08:36 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
"Who are we kidding, your not in the position to buy anything."
If they really said that to you, I'd ask to speak to the owner. Explain to that person (very calmly) how customer service is really all they have to offer and how they treat customers will sink or support that business.

Explain that you're not sure how the staff there are able to make such an assumption on your ability to buy anything, let alone a bicycle as they've never taken the time to treat you with respect let alone get to know you at all. Heck....you could be some rich dude's kid or an internet millionaire or have a rich auntie that just left you a bag of gold.

Mention that if the staff is treating you this way, how many others have they done it to and how many of those people simply left the store never to return...and of those how many talked to their friends who ride and told them how badly they were treated...how many of those friends also decided to avoid that store due to this?

Remind them that you and people like you are the future buyers of $3000 bicycles, bikes for kids and girlfriends and wives and a myriad of gear as you advance through your career and your income increases and that treating you like this now will cause you to do what so many others are doing....buy online thus putting shops like theirs out of business.

Also remind them that today's business world isn't like it was 20 years ago...Social networking now causes every little quibble to be broadcast to millions of people in seconds. Is that the type of thing they want for their business?

Be respectful, speak within your ability and be genuine. Don't dangle a carrot like suggested above as they're expecting that. Be different.


The reaction you get to this will make your decision abundantly clear.

I wish you luck. I've had this conversation with a few places over the years and I'm often surprised (good and bad) at the response.


On a similar note...I recently bought a new bicycle for my wife. We have 4 shops in town and 2 are very rider oriented while the other 2 have the doors open, maintain good inventory, but don't offer much in the way of product knowledge. They're not rude, they're just shops that have been around for 30-40 years and they're working as they always have. We stock bikes so you should come buy them.

The Trek dealer took my wife and showed her bikes (I had done many pre-visits and we settled on the FX WSD line for her) They picked out one, put it on a trainer and proceeded to fit the bike to her taking 45 minutes or more. My wife became very comfortable with the staff and with the bike. This was October. 2 weeks ago she decided this was the time for her to get her bike. She said she didn't want to go anywhere other than the Trek dealer as they had treated her so well. We went in, the bike was still there (2011 7.3 FX WSD). They set it up on the trainer again, made sure the fit was good and made the sale. My wife's confidence in the bike is so high that even though she hasn't ridden in 30+ years she is out every night with me (I'm riding my mountain bike with 25 pounds of air in the tires) and has put over 30 miles on the bike in a week. She's sure she can do this and is determined to make it happen. If these poorly run shops could just see how easy it is, they could turn it around, but in most cases they won't. Humans don't like change.
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Old 03-20-12, 04:11 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by tergal View Post
admit it Ken you go there for the same reason i do ..... they have coffee and cake
They have cake ????

Actually the coffee is great and the customer service is just as great which is why I spend my money there. It's got to be tough staying in business these days running a bike shop, so as far as I'm concerned, the people who look after me get my dollars if they can provide what I'm looking for.
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Old 03-20-12, 05:26 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Ken_onabike View Post
They have cake ????

Actually the coffee is great and the customer service is just as great which is why I spend my money there. It's got to be tough staying in business these days running a bike shop, so as far as I'm concerned, the people who look after me get my dollars if they can provide what I'm looking for.
I thought they did, dam i hope they did or where the hell did i get that cake from
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Old 03-20-12, 05:59 PM
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I have a situation like that...I don't go there anymore, and loathe that I may have to get my new commuter from there...

Stupid concept dealerships...here's a concept, don't hire smug people and be finished with the bike's repairs when promised...stupid specialized stores...

My local Performance service shop just sucks, they always have a waiting list for repairs. I have a secret one that I refuse to name I go to now! So HA HA!
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Old 03-20-12, 06:13 PM
  #24  
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Call: Sorry to hear that. Try Danzien and Quigly in Cherry Hill. Outstanding place. Good prices and wonderful help. They could of laughed at me and sent my fat @ S S out of their store but they did not. Great people. For example, Brian Mack has been great fitting two different bikes for me. Spent over two hours helping me. Stan, the mechanic, met me at my work and we rode a possible route for me to commute to work. Ian, a sales guy, helped me map out a safe route to a meeting I had in Mt. Laurel. Great place bro. Solid! Locally owned.
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Old 03-20-12, 08:08 PM
  #25  
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I'm lucky. I have three LBS' in town and have had great experiences with all 3. I almost feel guilty I could only buy a bike from one of them
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