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The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 3:10pm
by Zimba
Leaving aside any actual shop names, what's the worst shop review you've ever read?

This one, I think takes some beating!

'A man whom I assume is the owner has an entirely odd method of interacting with the public, condescending and rude, has mistaken the concept of needs analysis with interrogation and is further mistaken in believing that his knowledge of bicycles (whatever that may be) is as impressive and interesting to others as it is to himself, it is not. I visited with the intention of purchasing a vintage bike frame and was willing to pay a decent amount for the right item but within five minutes of having been interrogated, condescended to and subjected to a variety of sarcastic facial expressions one would expect from a child, I was already planning my exit strategy. At one point I actually asked, quite literally, if it would be possible for me to exchange money in return for goods or if there was some sort of special criteria or perhaps a test which needed to be passed first. If this little business is in some way tied in with charity or community then its quite sad that this individual is the face for that, very sad.'

Phew!

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 3:37pm
by greyingbeard
go on, tell us where and who. Some locals might like to go along and take the mickey.
Or buy up his stuff in the inevitable closing down sale

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 4:15pm
by Freddie
I like these places though. The snarky, blunt, older men are wise and know their stuff and once they put you through a trial by fire, then they can actually be quite pleasant underneath. I pride myself on being able to turn the most obstreperous old crank to begrudgingly complaint and interested in my needs. You can't do it with everyone, some people are just pure gits, but often with these old boys you just have to show you're not wasting their time. Many of them haven't got long left anyway, so you can understand their point of view.

Bike shops today are so clinical and bland, like some low rent car showroom. I like the ones where some old boy spends 15 minutes emerging from behind some stack of components piled from floor to ceiling that has been there for the best part of two decades to greet you with "....yes?".

I understand I am odd and probably in the minority, but these old style bicycle (better not say bike around them) shop owners are part of British life that is fading fast and when they are gone, they are gone. OK, you get service with a smile in its place, but not a supply of NOS bottom bracket axles, fancy lugged frames and cottered cranks, let alone knowledge such things ever existed.

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 4:51pm
by reohn2
Freddie wrote:I like these places though. The snarky, blunt, older men are wise and know their stuff and once they put you through a trial by fire, then they can actually be quite pleasant underneath. I pride myself on being able to turn the most obstreperous old crank to begrudgingly complaint and interested in my needs. You can't do it with everyone, some people are just pure gits, but often with these old boys you just have to show you're not wasting their time. Many of them haven't got long left anyway, so you can understand their point of view.

I can't,I can understand why they've not got long left,it's because they know nothing about customer relations,and how to speak to people.With most people they'll not get off first base,the potential customer will about turn and go elsewhere.
I was in business 35 years,if I'd treated people like in the OP I wouldn't have lasted 35 months!
What is it that these people think they have the right to treat people in this way?
If it's because they're clever and know things about bikes that they think no one else does it's beneath contempt.
They need to learn that the person walking in to their shop has the capability to put food in their mouth and a roof over their head,or spread a word that can do the opposite.

I like the ones where some old boy spends 15 minutes emerging from behind some stack of components piled from floor to ceiling that has been there for the best part of two decades to greet you with "....yes?".

Me too but not when they're under the impression they're doing me a favour when it's the opposite way around!


I understand I am odd and probably in the minority, but these old style bicycle (better not say bike around them) shop owners are part of British life that is fading fast and when they are gone, they are gone. OK, you get service with a smile in its place, but not a supply of NOS bottom bracket axles, fancy lugged frames and cottered cranks, let alone knowledge such things ever existed.

There are specialist shops that deal in that sort of thing,but it still doesn't give them right to treat their customers in the way mentioned above.

The watch word is service,it's a word that some UK shops and businesses struggle to understand.

Story alert:-
We were in Glenridding on Ullswater a couple of weeks back and went into an art and craft shop(not hard to find as there's only one on the main A592 in the village).We saw a nice large framed photo that we both liked and had a place in mind for it.
As we were on the steamer down from Pooley Bridge,we put a deposit on it to pick it up the day after,the lady was very accommodating when I asked if she could she wrap it in something to protect it as we'd have to carry it in the car and of course didn't want to damage it in transit.
When we went to pick it up,we were told that she was sorry but had made a mistake with the price and it had gone up 30%.
I told her we had a deal and that's why I left the deposit,but she was adamant.
I asked for our deposit back and was told that she could reduce it slightly,whereupon I left her in doubt she'd offended us and demanded our deposit back.
I was seething.
The other side of the coin,but a disgraceful way to do business it'll be a short lived if that's the way she treats her customers.

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 5:16pm
by rmurphy195
I quite agree with Freddy - these characters seem to be vanishing, sadly - they grow old and either pass away or retire.

One near us, Mr X, could be a tad blunt, and on one occasion when I took a dynamo back 'cos it was left-handed instead of right-handed (or the bracket was, or some such) disappeared into the back of the shop muttering about my feet being too big! His assistant (his son I think) with a roll of his eyes simply looked at it, agreed with me, and gave me the correct bits!

Having said that I rode past the shop almost every Saturday visiting relatives, and if Mr X was outside loading bikes onto his car or whatever would always give a wave and a smile. Sadly he died, I hear, of a heart attack while out on a ride. Sadly missed.

What does annoy me are the ones who are lacking in knowledge but look at me as if I was mad when asking things like "Do you have a dynamo bracket" ("Dynamo, nobody uses these these days") or a conversation I've had that goes like this

    "What is the range of gears on this bike please"
    "As you can see, 21 gears mate"
    "No, I mean what's it's lowest and highest gear"
    "11 - 28 mate",
    "No I mean lowest gear in inches and highest gear in inches"
    "What's inches mate?"
    (I left)

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 5:53pm
by greyingbeard
a shop near me - lad asked me if he could help - yes please tell me about the bike fit service - lad said,, I kid you not,
"he fits you to the bike"
some people are too thick to work in a bike shop.
So go in, take the mick, its Kinetic in Hitchin. They think themselves high end and have some expensive stuff hanging from the walls.

Just wondering, I dont like one of my saddles, can they make my bum fit it ? Or stretch my legs slightly so I can reach the pedals on the latest carbon must have ? Someones pulling something and it isnt polite enough for this forum.

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 5:58pm
by Freddie
greyingbeard wrote:"he fits you to the bike"
I wonder if they have a medieval rack out back...

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 6:03pm
by Brucey
Freddie wrote:I like these places though. The snarky, blunt, older men are wise and know their stuff and once they put you through a trial by fire, then they can actually be quite pleasant underneath. I pride myself on being able to turn the most obstreperous old crank to begrudgingly complaint and interested in my needs. You can't do it with everyone...


I had to read that twice... there's a significant difference between 'complaint' and 'compliant'.... Freudian slip? :mrgreen:

cheers

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 6:07pm
by Freddie
There I was hoping to amend it before anyone noticed :roll:

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 6:14pm
by greyingbeard
Freddie wrote:
greyingbeard wrote:"he fits you to the bike"
I wonder if they have a medieval rack out back...



theyve got brand new brooks saddles, close enough

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 6:50pm
by Tacascarow
I'd far rather have an honest miserable old git than a sycophantic 'have a nice day' but that probably says more about me than them.

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 7:18pm
by drossall
greyingbeard wrote:So go in, take the mick, its Kinetic in Hitchin.

I've always found them perfectly friendly. Don't buy much there, you're right about the high-end stuff and I've got enough bikes already, but I've always been made welcome. They did struggle to get me a few spokes a bit back, but they were trying :D

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 7:25pm
by drossall
Freddie wrote:I like these places though. The snarky, blunt, older men are wise and know their stuff and once they put you through a trial by fire, then they can actually be quite pleasant underneath.

+1. When I started riding, it was Meadows Cycles in Cheadle (Cheshire, not Staffordshire). To be honest, we teenagers felt as though you had to pass a test before he'd talk to you properly. However, once you did, he provided a wealth of advice in a way that you rarely get these days. And it was a proper bike shop - small, dingy, and when you asked for a part for something made fifteen years ago he simply brought out a drawer, stirred it with his fingers and produced just the thing. No modern, shiny boutique shop with its own coffee bar comes within a mile of what shops like that used to be; asked questions like that, they just look pityingly at you and suggest buying a complete new bike.

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 7:59pm
by Zimba
I've actually been in this shop. For sure buying things is a bit of a challenge, but I usually come away with exactly what I want, at the price I want most of the time. The challenge is the reward, sometimes!

It's an awful review though (wasn't me! ).

Re: The Worst Bike Shop Review Ever

Posted: 7 Nov 2015, 8:42pm
by Graham
Sorry if you have heard this one from me before . . . . . .

After a terrifying high-speed wobble, down a long, steep hill I determined that headset was a likely major factor.
H/S races heavily brinneled with Bars-straight-ahead-position sitting between equilibrium points on either side !

Unfortunately it was an early 90s shimano 600, with a very low stack height.

A trawl around bike shops near and far drew a lot of shaking heads. Appropriate replacements were no longer available.
Eventually I found a NOS Tange one which seemed to fit. Average quality, but It was good enough, so I fitted it.

Unfortunately, I did not stop there, wanting something a bit better quality.

Some time later I went into a newish LBS not far from where I lived in Woking. The owner listened to my requirement and was absolutely sure he could find a headset to suite.
I left him with my fully operational bike and returned a week later.

He handed over the bike. He had fitted, what looked like a headset off a child's bike ( cheap rubbish ) and it did not even fit properly.
I expressed my displeasure ( firmly but politely ).
He withdrew into the room behind the counter, hid behind the door and refused to come out. :shock:
He had already asked for some money, but he didn't get any.

I left in disgust.

Follow Up
Eventually I tracked down a Rudelli Misura high-quality replacement, which is still on the bike 15 years later.

His bike shop only lasted a few years and word got around about his general incompetence. Not just to me.