Ignored in a bike shop

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cycle cat
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Ignored in a bike shop

Postby cycle cat » 5 Jan 2013, 7:44pm

A bike shop local to me has moved to a larger premises.
It now appears to be a bicycle boutique with rather a lot of staff.
I went to have a look in there today out of curiosity.

I walked around the shop for about ten minutes. Not one member of staff acknowledged me.
I asked someone how much something was as it wasn't clear.
He asked a colleague who didn't know either so they let me have the items for a pound each.
I'm not sure I'd like to visit them in the future as they didn't exactly inspire me with confidence.
A great shame as I really would like to support a local business.
Thank goodness for soup.

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hondated
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby hondated » 5 Jan 2013, 8:01pm

cycle cat If you did not feel too bad after your unpleasant shopping experience I would give them one more try and if you get the same response I would try to find another shop perhaps a bit further away than this one but if you don't have one then I would use the net for anything you want.

When I lived in Croydon I use to use two cycle shops one that Paul Smith of this parish once worked in which dealt more with our type of cycling and when he was there and after I always found them to be friendly and helpful and the other that dealt with top end racing bikes but sadly they could of learnt a lot from customer service from the former one.

I think the fact that they got racing stars in on occasions and they sold top end clothing did not help either.

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661-Pete
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby 661-Pete » 5 Jan 2013, 9:35pm

I have found the staff in one of the extremely well-known retailers (no, not H****rds - but not sure whether to name the one in question :? ) to be - let's say - less than 'friendly' on occasion, and yes I've waited a long time to be served. And I recall on one occasion when I did get some service, a fast-talking assistant persuading me to - quite unnecessarly - switch my taper B/B+chainset for a Hollowtech one. Now it may well be that the newer technology is better, but I resented being patronised and pressured into the (expensive) upgrade, without it being at all clear to me why I needed it.

But the young lads in H****rds, who constantly come up to me with "can I help you sir?" when I'm merely browsing inner tubes* or whatever - yes I find that a bit irritating, too.

*(Yes I do buy some consumables from there - they have the advantage of being open evenings and Sundays. But never brake blocks.)
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hexhome
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby hexhome » 6 Jan 2013, 10:02am

Just before Christmas my wife and I entered the national chain with a Welsh sounding name. We were keen to buy cycle clothes as a Christmas present for our 14 year old son. Despite the store being empty, help eluded us. When we did manage to get some attention, it was at it's most disinterested and unhelpful best. We needed to know the dimensions of the clothing on sale as we knew the dimensions of our son. 'It's easier to bring him in' we were told. 'But it's a Christmas surprise' we answered, 'surely manufacturers issue a size chart'? After several more shrugs we left.

We obtained all the help and advice we needed at a very busy Edinburgh Cycle Coop where we parted with a 3 figure sum of money in exchange for what turned out to be a perfectly fitting outfit.

I am reluctant to blame staff for this level of service. I am sure that weak and ineffectual management and training is the key. I have been to other branches of the first store and received great service.

Mark1978
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby Mark1978 » 6 Jan 2013, 10:25am

Yes the staff at Halfords can be pushy. I just glanced at a road bike and the guy was on me. Pushing the cycle to work scheme more than anything.

byegad
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby byegad » 6 Jan 2013, 10:30am

Sadly some of the LBs's around me have this attitude, as they are not all part of one chain or another this makes me wonder how some of them make a living. The one LBS that is part of a chain and two of the independents have enthusiastic and helpful staff who see service as a way of ensuring future business.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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al_yrpal
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby al_yrpal » 6 Jan 2013, 1:29pm

In my experience the older and greyer you are, the harder it is to get attention. This is a big mistake on the part of many retailers, not only bike shops, because 'grey ones' often have the biggest spending power. My reaction to being ignored in small independent businesses is never to go back. With big chains that doesn't really hurt them so I was about to make a substantial purchase I will write a short letter of complaint telling them who ignored me and how I spent a considerable sum elsewhere, with a copy of a receipt. Best one was to Mr Richer of Richer Sounds - got a £100 voucher by return! Recently, doing some decorating I was dissatisfied with the white emulsion paint I used on my ceiling, it was supposed to be matt and I thought it was too shiny. I rang up and complained and got a voucher for 5 litres of paint. Then, my Paint Pod, which was about 5 years old refused to function so I rang up again and having explained the problem with the paint, and now the Paint Pod - I was very disappointed... Got a voucher for a new one! It pays to make your dissatisfaction known. We are too supine in this country.

Any effective salesperson knows that the answer to "can I help you" is "no thanks". Far better to make a comment like "nice day?" or anything to spark a pleasant conversation which can lead in to a sales pitch or identify a tyre kicker. Sell yourself...

Al
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thirdcrank
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Jan 2013, 2:01pm

I'd agree that the older I get, the more I find I am ignored in many shops. It's also true that I have more spending power now than I've had at any other period of my life (probably because I've never bought anything I couldn't afford without credit.) There's a balance to be struck between being pestered when you are "just looking" and being unable to get somebody to serve you, even by shouting "shop." I've suggested more than once that there should be some sort of system. eg I've heard it told that in the Army, if somebody is at their desk with their cap on, it means "DO NOT DISTURB." It's said that Archie Norman inntroduced something similar for Asda management, but what's needed is something similar for customers. There might also be a bit less customer frustration if only "customer facing" staff in shops wore uniform. People who are not their to sell stuff should be in plain clothes or the uniform should clearly indicate that they are not part of the sales staff. (In this context, management in suits who like to look important and bustle about in a self-important manner should be aware it's not very impressive to anybody but them, not least because if a customer such as me asks fortheir "help" they are often entirely out of their depth.)

We have a large branch of Currys within walking distance which is handy for a lot of stuff but it can be very hard to get served. I've tried the online reserve and collect service and then when I've gone to pick it up, I've still had to find an assistant to get the stuff because nothing has been done about it.

I'm now a regular customer of Amazon and I'm not bothered about the tax situation.

byegad
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby byegad » 6 Jan 2013, 2:12pm

Yes Amazon may well be avoiding UK tax, hence making prices lower, but their service is first class. I bought a camera which failed in minutes after first switching it on and the replacement arrived 1 hr before they collected the failed camera, the day after I requested the return. I now pay a fee for Amazon Prime, as that gives me free next day delivery. This morning Mrs Byegad mentioned that she didn't get one of the DVDs she had on her Xmas list, as nobody bought it. It arrives tomorrow, it cost virtually half the price of the same item in the 'local' (Well 10 miles away.) shop! No petrol costs and no £2.50 parking fee.
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axel_knutt
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby axel_knutt » 6 Jan 2013, 4:22pm

As long as I can catch someones eye when I need to, I'm happy being ignored. I don't much like salesmen of any kind, but particularly not pushy ones. I tend to avoid small independent shops as much as possible, because I don't like browsing round in the deafening silence with the feeling of the assistants eyes on my back as they think "go on, buy something". It's a pity most bike shops are small and independent. If I need something I tend to do a tour of all the shops to find what's available, and then go back to buy if and when I've made a decision. So if there are 6 shops, that means each of them see my face six times more often than they see my wallet. I'm sure most of them recognise me as "that time waster who never buys anything".

I once had a snipe from a shopkeeper in Colchester about buying on the internet, so I had a pick through my accounts just out of curiosity. At that time I'd spent 68% of all my cycling money on the High St, and the total sum I'd spent with him was nearly twice the median.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Jan 2013, 6:26pm

Just to add to what I said about Amazon (childcare duties interrupted my rant) there was an interview with Martin Sorrell, the brand promotion guru, in the business news the other day and he seemed to be saying that companies can pick from a range of tax regimes "perfectly legally," so they pay only as much tax as they want. If they want to promote their brand by appearing to be good guys, they may choose a regime where they pay a bit more, otherwise, they needn't pay much at all.

It seems to me that if the goivt don't like that arrangement, legislation is the way forward rather than futile showboating by individual politicians.

byegad
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby byegad » 6 Jan 2013, 6:32pm

thirdcrank wrote:It seems to me that if the goivt don't like that arrangement, legislation is the way forward rather than futile showboating by individual politicians.


Totally agree. The bottom line is to pass a law that says, in effect, 'Trading here? Taxed here.' Then close down the first firm, no matter which one, that you catch avoiding that law. The rest have a choice, pay up or leave.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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Mark1978
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby Mark1978 » 6 Jan 2013, 6:36pm

The worst I've experienced is Pets at Home. Went it at 5pm (open until 8). And literally took 30 minutes to talk to someone. It seems the cashier was the only one on the shop floor and she wasn't allowed to leave the till to find someone for some reason despite me and her being the only ones there.

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jan19
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby jan19 » 6 Jan 2013, 7:00pm

In my experience the older and greyer you are, the harder it is to get attention


You can add female and short to that. I always have to approach someone in my LBS to get any sort of attention - its ok if I know what I want and can ask for it, or I am clutching something in my hand that I clearly want to buy, but otherwise they just ignore me. They know unless I'm just asking for inner tubes etc, they won't have anything which will fit me. The worst time was when I was thinking about a new bike, and had hardly opened my mouth before the owner pointed at a mountain bike and said "that would fit you". As I neither needed nor wanted a mountain bike, I left the shop and sourced a new bike out for myself (although I did ask LBS to get it in for me).

Having said that, the young assistants, if approached are ok. I went in once for some gloves, but funnily enough they didn't stock the small size. The assistant helpfully suggested Millets, and even rang the local branch for me to see they had what I wanted in stock (they did).

My former line manager, a nice standard size couldn't praise them enough.

Jan

hexhome
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Re: Ignored in a bike shop

Postby hexhome » 6 Jan 2013, 7:31pm

thirdcrank wrote:Just to add to what I said about Amazon (childcare duties interrupted my rant) there was an interview with Martin Sorrell, the brand promotion guru, in the business news the other day and he seemed to be saying that companies can pick from a range of tax regimes "perfectly legally," so they pay only as much tax as they want. If they want to promote their brand by appearing to be good guys, they may choose a regime where they pay a bit more, otherwise, they needn't pay much at all.

It seems to me that if the goivt don't like that arrangement, legislation is the way forward rather than futile showboating by individual politicians.


The only difficulty I have as a fully paid up Amazon customer, is the effect on my local area. By which I mean that we start living in dormitories rather than communities. If I wander down to my local shops, I invariably meet and interact with people. If we all shop from Amazon, there will be nothing to wander down to! If Amazon were persuaded to pay more UK tax by customer pressure (even if generated by politicians) in the same way Starbucks have been, I would probably be a happier customer, even though it is unlikely to help my local area.

As I get older, I have learnt the value of community. I know that there is much more to it than local commerce, but it does liven the area up a bit.