NO quote for service is that a joke

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skyhawk
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Joined: 30 May 2019, 3:00pm

NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby skyhawk » 22 Jun 2019, 4:00pm

I was a Contracts officer for Heathrow, and later for the NHS, so all my life I have been used to getting quotes or at least estimates for work. if you don't then you don't have a leg to stand on if they do what they like (such as garages) and you have not either asked for an estimate or set a price.

I wanted our four bikes serviced this week and picked a shop that would be convenient for me. I called for a quote

.................. "I don't give quotes", "ok then an estimate".............. "NO", "what about a "guestimate""........... "NO". "Why", "NO one who does can be relied on as they don't know what needs doing until they do the work"...................DUH......

"I want a service, brakes, gears etc checked, the bikes are XXXXX, can you at least give a guess at you time charges per bike just a guess". "NO"

OK no sale, you lose on this and all future work and business............

THIS week alone he has lost £500, as a 60 year old retired early person who is happy to spend on my pastimes, that is one way to not get customers and have them spread the word of poor service.

Every single other shop I called from Treds to Halfords gave an estimate. Yes, how long is a piece of string but no one in their right mind would employ a workman without a quote, your loss, glad trade is so good.
Last edited by skyhawk on 22 Jun 2019, 6:56pm, edited 1 time in total.
Both I and my son are Autistic. We have aspergers and ADHD, not stupid :). If I sound "blunt" in my posts, please be understanding : I am not perfect. Thank you. Visit https://www.asdinfowales.co.uk/ to learn more

HobbesOnTour
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby HobbesOnTour » 22 Jun 2019, 4:16pm

To be honest, he sounds like my kind of mechanic.

I don't see any reason how he could give any kind of accurate quote over the phone without seeing the bike(s).

Servicing gears might be a simple adjustment that takes less than 5 minutes, alternatively it could mean new cables, cassette etc.

As for Halfords? I'm pretty sure a quick search online will give you lots of horror stories of people given bikes that were far from roadworthy. It would seem that consistency of skill is an issue for the larger chain stores.

Since you're so quick to effectively identify the store I'm thinking the mechanic has had a lucky escape.

I think you should edit your post to remove the identifying features.

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RickH
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby RickH » 22 Jun 2019, 4:26pm

I have some sympathy with the bike shop.

4 bikes of unknown age, value & provenance could require nothing more than a few pence of oil on the chains & a cable adjustment or two (possibly not even that). On the other hand, they could be old, cheap (& not so cheerful) & poorly maintained where even a check over is potentially a nightmare (such as cheap bolts where even undoing something has a serious risk of the bolt failing or the head rounding off). That's without the potential cost of replacement parts.

Individual bike shops often run on the thinnest of margins - their trade prices for parts are often higher than Internet retail prices. (there is a joke that the best way to end up with a million pounds in the bike trade is to start with 2 million!)

Chains such as Halfords (who, incidentally, own Tredz I believe) have more scope to absorb a few losses but will probably set a standard service price that isn't really good value for a bike in good condition to cover the the cost (in time at least) of the ones that aren't.

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Spinners
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby Spinners » 22 Jun 2019, 4:47pm

Well, I've personally known the bike shop owner for 23 years and think he's a decent bloke and someone who has put back in to the sport over a few decades or so.

Personally, I wouldn't dream of taking a bike to a bike shop for a service. I don't even bother with a brand new bike when the bike shop tell me to take it back after the first six weeks or whatever.
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fausto copy
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby fausto copy » 22 Jun 2019, 5:26pm

Was that £500 your estimate then?

skyhawk
Posts: 238
Joined: 30 May 2019, 3:00pm

Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby skyhawk » 22 Jun 2019, 5:47pm

fausto copy wrote:Was that £500 your estimate then?


1. Rick H...I clearly stated above ""I want a service, brakes, gears etc checked, the bikes are XXXXX," the XXXXs being the bike details
2. I never said £500 estimate I said that is the spend I have made so far on gear during the past week he has lost, and that is a shame, I am a 100% supporter of local businesses refusing where at all possible to shop in supermarkets using butchers etc locally and farm shops.


Chain reaction and Evans also gave estimates

I wouldn't have a car serviced, work done on my house, without a quote.

Garages such as Ford, Renault, etc and others KwikFit and the like all have prices to hand, for all and most work undertaken. Every single time we have moved (7 in 18 years) I have called removers who estimate over the phone from your details then fix firmly on view, but do estimate, twice I have needed my cameras serviced, without seeing the gear Fixation and Nikon UK give "estimates", it is business

Unfortunately I also called in two years ago and it was not a warm place to visit.......... ;)

Detail removed as suggested

I don't disagree with some points but he would not give me any price until the work had BEEN done ................ no
Both I and my son are Autistic. We have aspergers and ADHD, not stupid :). If I sound "blunt" in my posts, please be understanding : I am not perfect. Thank you. Visit https://www.asdinfowales.co.uk/ to learn more

skyhawk
Posts: 238
Joined: 30 May 2019, 3:00pm

Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby skyhawk » 22 Jun 2019, 5:55pm

Spinners wrote:Personally, I wouldn't dream of taking a bike to a bike shop for a service. I don't even bother with a brand new bike when the bike shop tell me to take it back after the first six weeks or whatever.


100%

I am going to do this from now on, I am going to learn to do the work myself, you have the right idea, that way I can perhaps support the smaller shop with just purchases.
Both I and my son are Autistic. We have aspergers and ADHD, not stupid :). If I sound "blunt" in my posts, please be understanding : I am not perfect. Thank you. Visit https://www.asdinfowales.co.uk/ to learn more

slowster
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby slowster » 22 Jun 2019, 6:09pm

skyhawk wrote:I was a Contracts officer for Heathrow, and later for the NHS, so all my life I have been used to getting quotes or at least estimates for work.

And in those roles how did you know when the contractor had properly fufilled the contract? Do you yourself have specialist expertise which enabled you to assess the quality of the contractors' work, or did you rely on others to tell you that the work was satisfactory?

Having seen your recent posts and the condition of your bikes, I doubt that you could judge the difference in quality between a service done by that shop vs. one done by Halfords. It's not hard to find comments on the internet about the variable quality of work by Halfords' mechanics. Some are doubtless very good, but it's not unusual to find others complaining of new bikes being badly assembled by Halfords and having to take them to a local bike shop instead to fix resulting faults.

I too have some professional knowledge of the process of getting quotes for work from contractors. Someone who was willing to give a quotation over the phone for work, the extent of which simply could not be quantified in advance without at least a basic inspection in person, would be automatically crossed off my list as very likely incompetent or a cowboy. Whereas a contractor who wants to understand in advance precisely what the customer is asking for and needs, and how much work is likely to be involved, before providing a quotation, would be the sort that I would have more confidence in.

I agree with other posters that the shop has probably dodged a bullet in not getting your custom, and your attempt to damage their reputation by making them identifiable in this thread has probably been counter productive. I suspect when you spread word of their poor service, that people who know you will ignore your opinion as being worthless.
Last edited by slowster on 22 Jun 2019, 6:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

brynpoeth
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby brynpoeth » 22 Jun 2019, 6:26pm

Best to do maintenance oneself as far as possible, saves cash, reduces economic activity, +2
An amateur can do many tasks as well as an LBS, better maybe if the bike is too big or too small for the mechanic to test-ride, an amateur can 'afford' more time to get it just right
Had my car fixed once, the bill was lower than the estimate :), perhaps the mechanic had studied psychology
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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philvantwo
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby philvantwo » 22 Jun 2019, 7:02pm

<SNIP>
I went to look at a job last week, chap wanted a price for a wardrobe building in an alcove, it was at the end of his hall upstairs and there was an existing bodge of a job to take out. Said it would have to done as 'day work' which he refused to accept as he wanted a price!! Phoned me up a week later asking me when I could start, told him I was too busy!!
[color=#FF0000][/color]

mercalia
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Location: london South

Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby mercalia » 23 Jun 2019, 8:33am

The only job I dont feel capable of doing is replacing the head-steering bearings as it involves inserting the races ( which I know I would not get right)

merseymouth
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Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby merseymouth » 23 Jun 2019, 9:01am

Hi there, A personal face to face with a machine in view is always the way to go. Unless a concern has a policy of automatically replacing all "Consumable" elements , chain, cassette, cables, brake components et al they can't quote blind! Chain lubrication alone causes me concern, as I don't think chains come as new in a red rusty model?
The only reason to even consider asking professional advice over would be the obsessively required overly complicated indexed combined gear/brake lever set-ups, which I won't even bother to have on any machine of mine! Too much tech ruins the proper viability of the beautiful pedal cycle.
Someone mentioned being fearful of changing a head-set? Only three must have tools needed, worth buying for most committed cyclists.
The practise of contract procurement has made life a right/wrong mess! Paper shufflers don't appear to see the big picture, KISS. TTFN MM

rfryer
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby rfryer » 23 Jun 2019, 10:38am

I agree with skyhawk. A mechanic should know more than absolutely nothing about how long a job will take. There's no harm in sharing that, even if it's to say, "it sounds from your description it'll cost around X; if you bring it in I'll give you a better idea, though I don't have a policy of working to a fixed price quote".

That's what my local mechanic (a good one, not Halfords) would say. And that's useful, I can decide whether it's good value for me, or whether for that money I could buy all the necessary tools and DIY, with change for a few beers.

PH
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby PH » 23 Jun 2019, 11:38am

Bike shops round this way offer various levels of servicing at a fixed price + parts. They'll ring you if there's a lot of parts needed to warn you, or go through the options and make sure you want them to proceed, if it's just a couple of minor items you might not know until you pick it up. I doubt many bikes that are in need of a service are not also in need of some parts, so there won't be many customers that only pay the fixed cost.
If you're going to find a mechanic or shop for your servicing (If it's not something you're comfortable with doing yourself it's probably a good idea) you need to find one you trust. The chances are that if you trust them to do a good job you can also trust them to charge a reasonable price for it. A business that's built up a good reputation won't have done so by overcharging or under preforming.
With four bikes in need of a service, you have a good opportunity to try out up to four different businesses. The good ones need to not only be competent at the spannering, but also at communicating and explaining so you can get the best both from them and your bike. But you also need to be a good customer, if you're just looking for the best price, or arguing about how they run their business, you're unlikely to get satisfaction.
The only shop I've used that I' really trusted closed some years ago, they would do a good job but they couldn't make it pay, people would expect an hours work, some chat in the shop, a bit of admin, the facilities and then be shocked if the bill was more than £20.

peetee
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby peetee » 23 Jun 2019, 12:09pm

I don't quote over the phone. To me that's a bit like a scenario where someone walks in to a garage and says his car has broken down 1/2 a mile away and asks how much it will cost to fix.
Not once in 8 years have I had a bike in that only needed what the owner thought it needed. I insist on seeing the bike, assessing, then giving a firm price which I always stick to regardless of what might crop up on the job.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.