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Proportionate response to LBS screw up?

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Proportionate response to LBS screw up?

Old 04-27-17, 07:59 PM
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MinnMan
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Proportionate response to LBS screw up?

OK, I'm asking for opinions here. in advance, I expect I'll get more snark than earnest content, but here it goes anyway.

This is not the worst LBS shop story ever, but I'm curious how people here think I should respond to a minor mishap.

I just got a wheel back from the LBS, after they fixed a broken spoke and trued the wheel.

(in case anybody pays attention to these things, this was not the A23 wheel I was posting about a few days ago - it's a different bike and different wheels).

On my first ride on the repaired wheel, 15 miles out, I got a flat.

Taking the tire off, I find that the rim tape has been put on haphazardly and a little loose. In several places, it has moved to the side, exposing the edges of some spoke holes. The tube had been pierced by one of these edges.

Lacking any other means, I put band aids over the two most-exposed spoke holes, replaced the tube and rode home.

So, my choices are:

a) shrug, people make mistakes. I can replace the rim tape and be done with it.

b) go back to the LBS and ask them to put the rim tape on correctly, possibly bringing along the tube with the hole right in the middle of the deformed impression of the spoke hole.

c) (a) or (b), but also find another shop for my repair needs.

(d) buy a truing stand and learn how to repair wheels myself. Self-reliance guarantees that others won't let me down.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:10 PM
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I wouldn't go back with the wheel (just shrug it off) but I would keep the incident in mind when deciding what shop to go to in the future.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:13 PM
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I'd go for A. Flats happen.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:14 PM
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I wouldnt go back to complain either. I'll admit it is an annoying mistake, but if I liked the shop otherwise I'd forget about it.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:20 PM
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OK, I appreciate your measured responses, but to add just one consideration.

I don't actually have any rim tape at the moment. I have to go to an LBS to buy some. I could go to another LBS and buy some or order some from Amazon. I could go to the same LBS and buy some without explaining why, or....
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Old 04-27-17, 08:20 PM
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Learn to do your own work. Shop mechanics cover a very broad range of competence. You will be lucky if the wheel hasn't been screwed up in ways you can't see. Badly mismatched tensions and such.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:22 PM
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D, except you don't need a truing stand. I just use the bike.
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Old 04-27-17, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Seizedpost View Post
D, except you don't need a truing stand...
unless you want to do it right. In fact, if you want to half-ass it, just let the shop it. But wait, that's where this whole thing started.

You don't need a truing stand unless you want a precise truing and a centered rim.
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Old 04-27-17, 09:37 PM
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B.

If the LBS is any good, they will gladly own up to the snafu and appreciate the 2nd chance.

fwiw ... the one time (over the past 5+ years) the barista at my favorite coffee shop messed up my cappuccino, she appreciated the feedback.
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Old 04-27-17, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
OK, I appreciate your measured responses, but to add just one consideration.

I don't actually have any rim tape at the moment. I have to go to an LBS to buy some. I could go to another LBS and buy some or order some from Amazon. I could go to the same LBS and buy some without explaining why, or....
Lolz. Where would you normally buy rim tape? If it's at that shop I'd just buy it there, you could mention the screw-up too. I wouldnt go out of my way to buy from somewhere else, besides ordering online to save a few bucks.
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Old 04-27-17, 09:55 PM
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I'd go back, not as much to complain as to inform. I'd immediately make it clear that the most they me is a new tube, and maybe a beer by way of apology, or thank you for letting them know, whatever suits them.

Then I'd let the owner or manager take it from there, and see what they're like when the chips are down.

If they respond positively, you've validated that they're a shop to stay with. If they get defensive, you know that they don't like to take responsibility when/if things go sour.

The fact is that stuff happens even to the best of people, it's what they do about it that defines them.

When I was in retail, back in the Bronze Age, we were around the corner from De Robertis, an Italian pastry store. When we screwed up, we'd try to address it on the spot. That meant the customer would have to kill some time. To help we'd send around the corner to have an espresso and pastry on us. It's hard to stay mad while eating a Sfogliatella and sipping good espresso, and people saw that we were sincere in our mia culpas, and went away satisfied.

BTW - we'd do this even when we weren't wrong, and knew we weren't going to be able to totally smooth things over. But here too, it was possible to deliver bad news without people getting upset or angry, as long as we showed that we cared.

Of course, not everyone left happy, but at least the bad cases were few and far between.
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Old 04-27-17, 10:10 PM
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I'm friends with the guy who owns my LBS and does whatever mechanic work I need that my husband doesn't do.

If something like that happened to me, I'd 100% tell him about it. And he'd 100% tell me to just bring the wheel back & he'd redo the rim tape.

No way would he charge me for that.

If it occurred to him to throw in a free tube, I'd be appreciative. If it didn't occur to him to do that, I wouldn't give it a second thought. I value the relationship way more than the cost of a tube.

$hit happens and life is short.
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Old 04-27-17, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
Lolz. Where would you normally buy rim tape? If it's at that shop I'd just buy it there, you could mention the screw-up too. I wouldnt go out of my way to buy from somewhere else, besides ordering online to save a few bucks.
That store is the most convenient place for me. It's where I have most of my shop work done and where I buy most basic consumables. Their stock of accessories and clothes isn't so great, so I tend to shop elsewhere when i need a new jersey or, say, a new bike light.

Come to think of it, I also need to replace the tube that was in my saddle bag.
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Old 04-27-17, 10:31 PM
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i've had quite a number of flats due to shifted rim tape. below 80psi tire pressure on 23mm tires and narrow rims can be contributing factors.

have built 40-50 wheels without any tools other than a spoke wrench. and have been able to easily get inside of one millimeter trueness by holding my thumb against the fork tine, on the front, or against the seatstay in the back, assuming i have a true rim. there's nothing to it really.
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Old 04-27-17, 11:48 PM
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I like FB's comments. Along those lines, you could go in to the shop bringing your wheel (perhaps setting it somewhere while you shop), buy a tube and rim tape, then ask to speak to the manager. Show him the rim and tell him your story, simply as a clean "for your information".

The shop should know. Another cyclist not as creative as you could suffer a lot worse. The shop might have a worker that isn't up to the job. Maybe the poster above is right about narrow rims and low pressures but I have been riding a long time, done most of the "don't"s and have never seen that.

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Old 04-27-17, 11:55 PM
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Send them an email informing them of what happened. Add that you believe the tape shifted during their work. Think nothing more of the incident but pay attention to any response or non-response.
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Old 04-27-17, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ReneV View Post
Send them an email informing them of what happened. Add that you believe the tape shifted during their work. Think nothing more of the incident but pay attention to any response or non-response.
Emails get lost, go the wrong people, get ignored. No response tells you nothing other than they might have office issues.

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Old 04-28-17, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SWorksRoubaix View Post
B.

If the LBS is any good, they will gladly own up to the snafu and appreciate the 2nd chance.

fwiw ... the one time (over the past 5+ years) the barista at my favorite coffee shop messed up my cappuccino, she appreciated the feedback.

I'd appreciate it if some of my ex-girlfriends explained why the first chance got blown...and speaking of blown, step back and breathe, then talk nicely to the shop guy. Yes, stuff occurs. You buy a bad used car...the other dude wins the election. Namaste and all that jazz. Shops tend to have a WARRANTY on labor you know.


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Old 04-28-17, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SWorksRoubaix View Post
B.

If the LBS is any good, they will gladly own up to the snafu and appreciate the 2nd chance.

fwiw ... the one time (over the past 5+ years) the barista at my favorite coffee shop messed up my cappuccino, she appreciated the feedback.
But, how you approach them counts for a lot. I too go to the barista after an under par shot so he/she knows his/her pulls are off. I don't ask for or expect a second shot, just offer it as an FYI.

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Old 04-28-17, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Emails get lost, go the wrong people, get ignored. No response tells you nothing other than they might have office issues.
As I said, pay attention ... (or, perhaps, take note).

That said, emails are considered a reliable means of communication where I live, incl. with LBSs.
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Old 04-28-17, 12:20 AM
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It's hard to convey tone in an email.

Nothing will replace face to face, and going in with a positive attitude saying "you muffed it" and telling the story without anger is right for everyone. It gives the shop manager information he should have, and it tells you how they handle things when they make a mistake.
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Old 04-28-17, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I'd go back, not as much to complain as to inform. I'd immediately make it clear that the most they me is a new tube, and maybe a beer by way of apology, or thank you for letting them know, whatever suits them.

Then I'd let the owner or manager take it from there, and see what they're like when the chips are down.

If they respond positively, you've validated that they're a shop to stay with. If they get defensive, you know that they don't like to take responsibility when/if things go sour.

The fact is that stuff happens even to the best of people, it's what they do about it that defines them.

When I was in retail, back in the Bronze Age, we were around the corner from De Robertis, an Italian pastry store. When we screwed up, we'd try to address it on the spot. That meant the customer would have to kill some time. To help we'd send around the corner to have an espresso and pastry on us. It's hard to stay mad while eating a Sfogliatella and sipping good espresso, and people saw that we were sincere in our mia culpas, and went away satisfied.

BTW - we'd do this even when we weren't wrong, and knew we weren't going to be able to totally smooth things over.
+1.
It was a simple mistake by the mechanic. Politely informing the owner/manager of the problem will likely prevent a future problem, and more than likely the person in charge will make this an opportunity to show you that customer service is important to them.

I would expect them to replace the rim strip/tape, and tube free of charge immediately.
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Old 04-28-17, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It's hard to convey tone in an email.
Exactly: you don't want tone, of any kind. You want to depersonalize the situation as much possible, letting the shop respond as professionally as they actually do their business. If you get them to concede anything they wouldn't normally do, you will pay later.
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Old 04-28-17, 12:51 AM
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Before you place any blame on the mechanic, you need to know what kind of a repair they carried out and charged for. If the spoke was replaced without removing the tire (which is often possible and desired by the customer to save money), then I would say the blame can in no way be placed upon the shop. If you are using rubber rim tapes as appears to be the case here, you can expect flats sooner or later. Get a proper rim tape that will not move no matter what.

If they charged full rate for the repair, then they should in part share the blame. I would however still let it slide.
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Old 04-28-17, 02:27 AM
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Did you buy new rim tape when the spoke was replaced? Or re-use the old?

If you bought new, and it wasn't installed right, I'd probably ask for a new roll. If they re-used what was on the bike, then it is time for you to buy new, and do it right.

What type of tape are using? That rubber stuff? Velox? Some plastic stuff?

Replacing your own spokes isn't that difficult.
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