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Funky Road Bike Question Finale: showdown with the manager!

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Funky Road Bike Question Finale: showdown with the manager!

Old 01-03-12, 02:55 PM
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Charismatron
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Funky Road Bike Question Finale: showdown with the manager!

First, I'd like to thank everyone that helped me out in my first thread here (on this page with a similar title): your input informed me on making the decision to trade in my 58 cm. frame for a 56 cm. It’s my first-ever road bike, so I’m under-informed. Without your help, I wouldn’t have made the exchange.

This story, which recounts what happened with a store manager, is for your entertainment. Grab a java, kick back, and read along. Or not. But I share this as a way of saying thanks. And, yeah, it's also helping me to vent my frustration (even though there's a happy ending).

After visiting their store several times, I ordered a 2011 Trek 1.5 56 cm. Compact from what I will call the Nearby Trek Superstore. They said it was secure for pick up that day from another superstore, which I will call the Far Away Trek Superstore. I went to Nearby with my wife, where we bought a bike for her (plus Red Shield), a bunch of accessories, and a car rack. During the purchase, Far Away called to confirm they were building my bike at that time. In fact, they called twice. Later, I called Far Away, they said "we don't have your bike here, it’s not in our inventory, we’ve never heard of it". I called the local store and they promised to solve the problem. Within fifteen minutes BOTH shops called apologizing for the screw up saying "We want to make this right. We have a Trek 2012 1.5 56 cm. Compact here waiting for you at the same price." Amazed, I double-checked with both of them: "Yes,” they said, “for the same price".

The following day I went to the Far Away store, which is large and very busy. They do a lot of business and the staff are wonderful. Their bike fitter pointed out the 2012 as well as a less expensive 2011 1.5 58 cm. Triple. I rode both. A lot. The fitter felt the 58 cm. was better, adjusted the bike to my frame, and feeling good about the experience I walked out the door with it. The one misgiving I had, which I voiced several times, was I had to stretch forward a bit much to be completely comfortable. Told I had 30 days to exchange it if it didn't work out, I was pleased with the professional service and was looking forward to riding my first road bike up, down, and around my neighbourhood.

And that’s exactly what I did: my wife and I rode near and far, and up and down. It was great! But, as I feared, the 58 cm. was too large for my frame. To check, I asked here and about 85% of you agreed that for my measurements a 58's too large. Trek’s own website says always go with the smaller frame when faced with a choice. I did online sizing calculators (57 cm. is ideal). I got lots of great advice. I even went to another LBS to test their 56 and 58 Treks. They said the 56 is my size. I think this is pretty thorough work; I didn’t want to dump my current ride on a whim—I wanted information and I got it. A lot of it. So, I called the Far Away shop—and here’s where it gets ugly.

A nice young lady answered the phone, I explained the situation and she enthusiastically invited me to come on down for the exchange. At first, they couldn’t find the ‘12, but it was there on the floor having just been test-ridden. I was grateful that it was there. My wife was never properly fitted to her bike at the Nearby store. There were also some minor problems that needed to be looked at. So, while they fixed and fitted her to her bike I rode the 2012 56 cm. It fit perfectly. I switched between the 56 and 58 for almost an hour. I wanted to be positive about making the best choice. I settled on the 2012.

The store manager, whom I had never met before, signaled me to come over. With a straight face he said, “The best I can do is take $100.00 off the price of the 2012, which means you’re paying another $260.00, tax included.” I explained the situation. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “ Someone made a mistake and there’s no way I can let that bike go out the door for anything less”.

Now, the guy who had actually called me and offered me the bike exchange in the first place was standing right there. I looked at him and reminded him of our conversation. He said, “Well, I never quoted you a price. I just said we’d offer you a great deal on the ‘12”. I told him he was making me out to be a liar. He looked uncomfortable. The manager stepped in saying there were no liars, just some “miscommunications”. Of course, I was furious.

“Call [the Nearby store] and ask for ****” I said. **** was the other guy that called to apologize to me and explain Far Away’s exchange offer. The manager calls, chats, and finally asks “did you quote him any price?” He hangs up saying “He never quoted you anything”. I was feeling really quite hostile and did my best to remain calm. I was about to leave the store in a fit when my wife stepped in suggesting I at least get the stem swapped out on the 58 to make the ride more comfortable. The manager agreed and brought the 58 to the service area.

For the next 25 minutes, I followed the manager around arguing with him. Loudly. I explained, among other things, there were never any quotes because the whole thing was an exchange. There are no numbers in an exchange, just exchanges. I told him I wasn’t lying but that I was being made out to be one, etc. etc. ad nauseum. To shut me up, the manager told me that even if I had a Trek employee-written document outlining the exchange details he wouldn’t accept it because “it would have been a mistake, I’d have to make some phone calls and I wouldn’t let it [the bike] go.” My adrenaline glands released everything they had into my system—I can’t recall the last time I was so powerfully frustrated.

For me, the difference between the bikes was not monumental. After all, it took me an hour to get to the significant differences between the bikes—which were handling and some minor comfort issues that I could have lived with either way. But Trek had made an offer—an offer I didn’t ask for. And this manager was wiping out all previous arrangements for the simple fact that he didn’t like them. He knew it was wrong, but he didn’t care. He knew I was right—and about this he especially didn’t care. I thought he was being extremely unprincipled, to say the least. At this point, I no longer wanted my Trek bike even though I love the Trek brand.

At last, the service guy found a stem for the 58 and we were called to have a look. The manger smiled and said, “Let me show you what we’re going to do for you.” Depleted, frustrated, and depressed, I felt like I was being led to witness the final nail being hammered into the coffin of my defeat at which point I stopped and said “before we do that, let me talk to **** at the [Nearby] store”.

The manager called the store, got **** on the phone, and handed me the receiver. “*****,” I said, “when you called me the other night, what did you say to me exactly?”
“That we were really sorry that we screwed up your order and that we wanted to do the right thing. So, we offered to exchange the 2012 bike to compensate for our error—and your trouble—at no additional cost.”
“So, it’s an exchange?” I asked.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Please tell the manager—word for word—what you just told me.”
After taking the phone, the manager listened, nodded, asked a couple of questions, and hung up. He told the service guy to stop whatever it was he was doing and to prep the 2012 bike for me.

He turned and said, “You’ve got your bike”.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:02 PM
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Yeah... so what was all the other crap about then? I'd be happy I got the bike, but DONE with both stores completely. If someone calls me a liar, thats it.

Seriuosly, I don't get it. You kept getting a no, no, no, they talked to the other shop, still no, they talk to the shop again, and suddenly yes? Screw 'em.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by garciawork View Post
Yeah... so what was all the other crap about then? I'd be happy I got the bike, but DONE with both stores completely. If someone calls me a liar, thats it.

Seriuosly, I don't get it. You kept getting a no, no, no, they talked to the other shop, still no, they talk to the shop again, and suddenly yes? Screw 'em.
ya, I'm pretty sure I'd never set foot in that store again.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:13 PM
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Glad you got your bike, but I'd have been asking for a refund and walked out long before it got that far. You have more patience than I do.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:20 PM
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Should have bought a Cannondale
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Old 01-03-12, 03:29 PM
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ah, the LBS Experience.
hopefully you've learned your lesson.

look on the bright side. you now know your size. so from now on you buy online and avoid all this silly haggling.
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Old 01-03-12, 03:44 PM
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thats all very unfortunate...I've had a bad experience with one of our LBS and the other treats me like family...It's the sort of business that needs to be handled with more courtesy..there is NO NEED to buy a bike...it's a want item. Therefore none of us really NEED their business. They should be more appreciative of you and your dollar
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Old 01-03-12, 06:52 PM
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More power to you for staying that long and putting up with that kind of crap. I consider myself a man of patience, but there is a point where I draw the line. There's just too many bike brands that are available to have to put up with that nonsense. I would think that this is the type of issues one would have when dealing with two super stores, regardless of the bike brand.

I'm just lucky that two of the three stores within 10 miles of me are excellent. One is a Schwinn/Giant dealer, the other is multi-brand dealer (just started carrying Colnago, YES!) and the one that isn't as good as the other two just happens to be a Trek dealer. I have never had any issues with the employees of the Trek shop but the GM is a PITA. I dread having to deal with him when I go into that shop. On the other hand, I have a ridding buddy, who is also a BF member, that had a terrible experience with the multi-brand shop and said he would never go there again.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:02 PM
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God, I'd love to know the store you are talking about.

glad you got what you wanted. You said there was little difference in feel between the two bikes and your fit is somewhere in the middle so you would have been ok with the 58. I can tell you from experience, id would have gnawed at you.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:24 PM
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I have to give you props on keeping your head, sticking to your guns, and leaving the store with what you were promised. The whole issue, and likely the experience of the manager, has been that if they made it mildly difficult for you most folks would have griped, paid the extra and been gone.
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Old 01-03-12, 07:37 PM
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I had a bad experience with a bike shop and vowed never to darken their door again for anything, tube, tire or whatever. I also like the kind of service a good shop can give so I searched around and found a great shop that entertained my questions on several occasions and over six or eight months built a relationship prior to spending a dime. I think that any one can sell a bike but the service side of the bike shop is what makes or breaks them. Unlike you I would let everyone know how crappy the bike shop is and give the name and location so people would know how lousy they are. When they are just in it to get rid of inventory that bugs me, have some pride in what you sell and meet the customers needs. It should be a win win for everybody.
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Old 01-04-12, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
Should have bought a Cannondale
Should have bought anything else from any other bike shop.
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Old 01-04-12, 04:44 AM
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Wow... This makes me very happy to have a LBS that I trust.
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Old 01-04-12, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
Should have bought a Cannondale
Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Should have bought anything else from any other bike shop.
Originally Posted by Trek760 View Post
Wow... This makes me very happy to have a LBS that I trust.
Me as well! I have two great LBSs here, one of which I purchased from, the other I didn't. Nothing but positives from either and I may end up getting my commuter and my daughter's roadie from the 2nd shop unless I decide to be Mr Cannondale fanboy and have an all Cannondale bike garage...
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Old 01-04-12, 01:20 PM
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The comments here are great and I hope my experience helps someone somehow.

My experience with Trek was completely unexpected, both the excellent offer of the bike and then the awful manager trying to get out of it and treating me like crap. A friend in the big-wig corporate world has convinced me clarity is of value and stores should be given proper credit for great and/or lousy service. The two shops I was dealing with were the La Mesa, CA Trek Superstore and the Vista, CA Trek Outlet Store. The staff at both are fine, the manager at the Vista was the one jerking me me around.
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Old 01-04-12, 01:45 PM
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Glad things worked out for you. If it didn't work out, I would have called my CC company most likely if I were in your shoes. Also, calling TREK itself to lodge formal complain. Now that it worked out, I wouldn't go to that store anymore unless you have no options. (and it sounds like you do)
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Old 01-04-12, 04:07 PM
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Glad you got your bike. Too bad about the hassle.

I think you copy and paste what you wrote above and send it to Trek. I'd mail it to the CEO but you can send it to Customer Service. See what happens then.
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Old 01-04-12, 04:11 PM
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Um, any cliffnotes?
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Old 01-05-12, 12:19 AM
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Twentysomething, after taking the time to type everything out I do plan on passing it along to Trek. Whatever reply I get from them, if any, will be posted and shared here.

Thanks again to all the forum members that shared their comments about frame sizes, etc. as it gave me a firm foundation to take a stand. As a new road bike type, and without the comments of everyone here to go on I would not have had the confidence to really put up a fight. You all provide an excellent service to the community--new and old members alike.

Edited to add: Bored117, what's a CC company?

Last edited by Charismatron; 01-05-12 at 12:23 AM. Reason: additional text
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Old 01-05-12, 03:03 AM
  #20  
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it sux you were treated that way, but you also have to see the reasoning of that one manager

you bought a 2011 model bike and then wanted a 2012 upgrade (for free) which in any other service sector would be rediculous.

seems like the other guys you talked to were the cause of the miscommunication and all the problems.
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Old 01-05-12, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
Glad things worked out for you. If it didn't work out, I would have called my CC company most likely if I were in your shoes. Also, calling TREK itself to lodge formal complain. Now that it worked out, I wouldn't go to that store anymore unless you have no options. (and it sounds like you do)
Just an idea here OP: Call Trek corporate, explain your story to them. Lay it on thick that you were VERY disappointed w/the "jerk mgr" @ the store...yadda yadda. Tell them you wont set foot into one of their stores & youre going to tell all your friends(who are about to buy new bikes btw) &theyre going to shop elsewhere......watch how fast TREK takes care of you. Id be willing to wager, the folks @Trek will send you some cool Trek stuff for FREE? Couldnt hurt to atleast try. Give us a report back.
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Old 01-05-12, 04:15 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by LemondFanForeve View Post
the folks @Trek will send you some cool Trek stuff for FREE?
Wait... Trek have cool stuff? When did this happen?
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Old 01-05-12, 04:57 AM
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You gave in too easily.

I'd have made them do the swap AND give you an additional 100 bucks off the 12, for your troubles.
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Old 01-05-12, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Wait... Trek have cool stuff? When did this happen?
Lol, sometimes they do. Might get some swag from them, like I said, couldnt hurt right?
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Old 01-11-12, 11:04 PM
  #25  
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I know exactly who this manager is. I have the inside track on him as my girlfriend used to work for him but got so fed up she transfered stores. He treats customers poorly but the sad fact is he won't get fired as he puts up numbers. You think that with my girlfriend working for that shop I would get treated better but it is quite the opposite. I got a 2011 Trek Rig frameset and it showed up damaged from Trek. Well this manager who's name rhymes with mason took his sweet time and was just going to put some touch up paint on the frame. I had to contact Trek corporate to get me an undamaged frame and it took 3 weeks. Honestly he is so bad that multiple employees have left or plan on leaving the shop. The sad fact is this manager is giving all the Trek superstores a bad name as you will likely get better customer service at anyone besides Trek north county. I could tell millions of stories about how this manager is a Jerk and a tool...
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