NO quote for service is that a joke

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mjr
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby mjr » 23 Jun 2019, 9:41pm

peetee wrote: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.

Why not service the bike and quote for the other work needed? Or if it's critical, call to OK extras as soon as it's found? I'd love to have the equivalent of servicing to do in my work instead of nothing much between commodity tasks and bespoke projects.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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horizon
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby horizon » 23 Jun 2019, 11:34pm

From the Edinburgh Bike Coop:

https://www.edinburghbicycle.com/info/s ... om-builds/

But what the OP could have done is taken the first bike in and struck up a good relationship with the bike shop. If it worked out, then the other bikes (and years of servicing) could have followed. But I have to say, I do like the EBC approach.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

francovendee
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby francovendee » 24 Jun 2019, 8:04am

Any shop giving a quote is taking a risk. Yes, you can may an educated guess what the parts and the time to fit them would cost but although fairly simple machines bicycles can put up unexpected problems.
If the shop had given you a quote but then asked for more money you may be the type that would kick up.
As others have said on here, learn to do you're own repairs. I met a chap who'd lost an arm but still cycled and did his own maintenance. It is possible.

peetee
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby peetee » 24 Jun 2019, 8:18am

mjr wrote:
peetee wrote: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.

Why not service the bike and quote for the other work needed? Or if it's critical, call to OK extras as soon as it's found? I'd love to have the equivalent of servicing to do in my work instead of nothing much between commodity tasks and bespoke projects.


Because I believe that every bike should leave my workshop safe to ride and functioning as well as it can. Everyone uses their bike differently and to have a set service price from everything from a fixie to a 33 speed full suspension MTB is unfair. This varying usage and design impacts on the actual 'servicing' requirements so that work and materials consumed are different every time. Likewise, I would never charge for work that doesn't need doing. As I implied before, it's very unusual for customers to know of everything that needs to be done on a bike - those that do are probably capable of doing the job themselves so I never see them. Quite often the extra work is something I don't charge for like trimming a extra-long cable but nothing is ignored when I inspect and I inspect for free. If you don't like the price you can take it elsewhere and all you have lost is the journey time to my workshop.
Current status report:
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Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

Tangled Metal
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jun 2019, 8:35am

OK, one of my favourite local bike shops (actually 40 minute drive away) has a very good approach. They offer levels of service which is put up on their website. They caveat them as saying parts needed are extra, if extra work is deemed necessary for safety or good practice they will call to get instruction n before going ahead.

So the customer is given an estimate for work (the service level cost) but the shop isn't letting anything extra that's unsafe go without getting the customer to give instructions. To not even give basic estimates with the understanding that it may need more work to make safe is not completely for practise. It's giving the feeling of a blank cheque. If you have that then perhaps you can only work on walk ins that you can assess because you do need at least a starting point in cost.

BTW what is the difference between bike mechanics and car mechanics? Every garage I know gives servicing costs up front with any extra work that's determined as needed being confirmed with the customer before proceeding. Same with phoning in with a problem my garage tells me what they think it could be and approximate costs with the caveat they'll only know for sure once it's on the ramp.

It's basic way to deal with customer's expectations, give them information but get acceptance that it's only a start. I bet the op would be accepting of a bill increase because of a safety concern of the bike mechanic once receiving that call.

merseymouth
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby merseymouth » 24 Jun 2019, 9:04am

Hi all, Well said Peetee :D . One always has to bear in mind that some potential customers can be quite awkward types, know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Dear Tangled Metal the motor trade is littered with so called good practise which is anything but!
My time in the motor trade, not recent can illustrate some of the wrong doing. All franchises had a manual covering all tasks related to a particular model, how a task was to be carried out, time that the job was allotted, which ultimately was charge at the hourly rate, parts & consumables extra.
Trouble was the stated method of doing a particular job was the long & tedious way, costly. The smart mechanics always had a quicker workaround, giving a greater markup for the dealer. Rarely did the worker get the full benefit of such.
Take for instance doing a clutch swap on BMC mini, yes way back! The book said engine & gearbox out, very costly. In shop practise was detach off side engine mount, jack up the unit, release clutch cover, swap components, reverse previous parts.
Of course a lot of non franchise firms undercut the big boys, so in time even the franchise had to use the non-approved method.
Just one illustration, but even today many mechanics will have dodges to speed up tasks.
But even with knowledge of the good guys in the car trade folk still get ripped off, just ask Trading Standards?
Sadly the modern go to pedal cycles is techno laden, customers can screw things up, then play the soft soap denying all responsibility for their ill applied efforts.
So whilst I would happily fettle a friction gear system I wouldn't go near the current multi gear/brake control units, I know my limit!
Not all customers will be a delight to serve. IGICB MM

Vorpal
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby Vorpal » 24 Jun 2019, 9:28am

In general, taking something for service or repair, I would expect to leave it with, or at least take it to the shop before they could give me a quote.

If someone asked me to repair or service something, I would expect to have look before I gave an estimate. Even then, it might include, "I'm not quite sure how long ____ will take. Is it okay if we just say I'll ring if it will be over £XX?"

I *do* take my bikes to a shop for service, repair, and/or upgrades, even though I am capable of doing most things myself. Why? I have many other time commitments. Some things are easier than others to transfer to someone else. If I didn't have a shop that I trusted, I would do it myself. I have gone through periods in my life where either I did not have a shop that I trusted, or the time to do it myself was easier to come by than the money to pay someone else.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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Mike Sales
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby Mike Sales » 24 Jun 2019, 9:44am

merseymouth wrote:Not all customers will be a delight to serve. IGICB MM


There is a saying in the bike trade, and probably many others.
"This job would be fine if it weren't for the customers."

Bonefishblues
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 Jun 2019, 10:10am

You're right with the ...and many others!

peetee
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Re: NO quote for service is that a joke

Postby peetee » 24 Jun 2019, 10:57am

Mike Sales wrote:
merseymouth wrote:Not all customers will be a delight to serve. IGICB MM


There is a saying in the bike trade, and probably many others.
"This job would be fine if it weren't for the customers."


My last boss when I worked in retail had a favourite phrase when you asked what to do in a difference of opinion situation with a customer. "It's a judgement call, Pete".
In other words, do what you think is best but don't expect any help from me and it's on your head when it all goes wrong.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.