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bike store rip off...(15 posts)

bike store rip off...zero1
Feb 20, 2002 6:51 AM
my sister has been riding a cannondale for the last 3 years..on this frame the paint started popping off and the frame developed a crack...she takes it to her lbs and the guys there said they would replace it with a CAAD5 frame...she has to make several more trips to the shop....they then start giving her the run around...my sister then threatens to throw the bike over the counter at the people there (she can get pretty upset sometimes)...they finally agree to get her the frame but what they replaced it with was a CAAD 3 frame(an entry level frame)..she is not an entry level rider by no means...they then in turn charge her $200 for the new frame that was not equivalent to what she had nor was it the frame they agreed to get her...they also charged her $73 to put it together using her old components..also they kept her carbon fork...on her first ride on this replacement frame the bars turned sideways with her...just luckily she was going up this mountain where she lives and not coming down...also they put the wrong chain on...has anyone got any suggestions for her....please no smart remarks...she really needs some advice...thanks and ride safe..
re: bike store rip off...Pack Meat
Feb 20, 2002 7:21 AM
If she's not dealing with the LBS she should be. She should also find out who the Cannondale rep is and talk to him. Finally, time to find a new LBS where is she, maybe somebody here can make a suggestion.

What store was it? This forum is really good for reporting good shops and bad.

Share the Road.
PM
re: bike store rip off...Velocipedio
Feb 20, 2002 7:25 AM
I'm sorry to say she shouldn't have taken the CAAD3 frame as a replacement. By that act, she accepted the store's settlement of a lower-end frame and makes it very difficult for her to claim that the new frame, itself, was a rip-off.

Two things she should consider:

1. Contact Cannondale customer service and tell them the whole story. Cannondale dealers are contractually obliged to observe certain customer service standards. The company can put a whole lot of pressure on the shop to resolve the issue to your sister's satosfaction. [Cannondale is also publicly traded and consequently very sensitive to public image.]

2. Talk informally with a lawyer. There could be a negligence suit in there.
suggestion #1slow-ron
Feb 20, 2002 7:31 AM
My Cannondale Super V had a crack in the rear swingarm after 1 yr. The LBS didn't know what to do and gave me the run around but the Cannondale rep. had a new frame sent to me. This frame had the paint begin to chip off after 2 months. Once again, the rep. was the one who resolved the matter with another new frame. I'd contact the local rep. and forget your LBS. Cannondale's customer service has been excellent for me.
Not really. The store was negligent in the . . .morrison
Feb 20, 2002 8:04 AM
way they assembled the bike; however, you can't collect on negligence alone. You also have to have damages resulting from the negligence. That means injury, or damage to the bike itself. Thankfully, this did not happen.

There is, however, the potential for a breach of contract suit. But, as the previous poster observed, she probably voided that by accepting the caad3. On the other hand, there is the potential for a good bait-and-switch claim, given that she was made to pay $273 for the inferior rig. The problem is that unless your state has some sort of consumer protection statute that provides for treble damages arising out of civil fraud claims, the case has little or no sex appeal for a lawyer b/c the dollar amounts are so low.

The best thing to do is contact Cannondale. They WILL fix the problem to her satisfaction, even if it means they end up eating the difference. (They also may punish the LBS, but don't count on it if moves a lot of Cannondale product.)

DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended as legal advice; consult a qualified professional in your area. :-)
read what happend when I posted about SpokesRollinFast
Feb 20, 2002 8:15 AM
You would be amazed at how many people read these boards. I had an incident in which the owner of the shop yelled at me because I told one of his customers, who is a friend of mine and I ride with, that he could save over $300 on a Dura Ace set up by using www.gearlink.com The owner yelled at me for destroying the deal. I don't think yelling at customers is ethical, especially since I bought three bikes in that store last year and sent many people in there to do business with them. I would put up a post naming the shop and the incident, and let others chime in with their stories. If they have done it to you once, they have done it to others before. The internet is a powerful tool, and a lot of people visit this board. Word will get out, and it might hurt in the short/long term.
Just curious ...pmf1
Feb 20, 2002 8:21 AM
1. Does Cannondale extend a warranty for 3 years?
2. Was the bike she had a CAAD3?

If she had a CAAD3 and it was defective and under warranty, then it should be replaced free of charge with another CAAD3 frame. If it was a CAAD4,5,6, then that should be the replacement. The wholesale cost of a CAAD3 frame is probably right around $200. There should be no charge for swapping out components. I don't know what sort of warranty Cannondale has these days. If its not under warranty (or wasn't defective), then the shop replaced the frame at cost and swapped components for a reasonable fee. Not a bad deal. If it is under warranty, then it should have been free. Before you scream at the shop, read your warranty. Used to be that Cannondale would replace any frame for $200 whatever the reason. They quit doing that several years ago. Aluminium bikes aren't forever.

If you think you do have a case, write a nice, concise letter to Cannondale explaining what happened. Send a copy to the shop as well. I've found that being reasonable and writing a letter can go a long way. Screaming at some kid in a bike shop usually doesn't.
Just curious ...Truth
Feb 20, 2002 9:05 AM
Right, I remember C'dale used to offer lifetime warranty and then shortened that to maybe 2 years and then extended that back to lifetime later. Don't know what the status is now, but it might be a good idea to take a look at this stuff first.
and did she ask nicelydiggler
Feb 20, 2002 9:21 AM
or go in guns blazing?
and did she ask nicelyzero1
Feb 20, 2002 9:27 AM
she acted nice at first but when they kept putting her off she threatened to throw the bike over the counter....
Sexist pigs ...pmf1
Feb 20, 2002 9:33 AM
I hate to say it, but a lot of guys who work in bike shops don't take women riders very seriously. My wife refuses to deal with Colorado Cyclist on the phone. I asked her to drop by the LBS once and get some White Lightening lube (for use traveling with our bikes -- it stays clean) and the guy kept pushing Pro Link on her when she knew exactly what to get and why.
Sexist pigs ...RollinFast
Feb 20, 2002 9:59 AM
I have found this problem too. I always take my girlfriends bike in for her, so that way things get done right. She feels like the whole bike situation is an exclusive mens club.

Sometimes you can only be nice for so long. I am having the same problems with my ISP.
re: bike store rip off...Ian
Feb 20, 2002 4:59 PM
You need to be a liitle more specific, but I'll try to give you an idea of how thing should have went.

1) What frame cracked on her? Was it a CADD 3 or CADD 5? As long as it was replaced with an equivalent frame, that is all that matters, not what the LBS told her they thought they could get for her.

2) Did she give up the fork with the cracked frame? If yes, them I assume the LBS supplied another with the new frame. If so, then that other fork does not belong to your sister. It was warrantied and belongs to Cannondale.

3) The charges; $200, I don't know waht that is for. $73 for swapping over the parts is reasonable. The manufacturer does not pay the LBS for this labor. Should the LBS eat this cost? Maybe. The shop I worked at would eat it most of the time, but if a customer is a pain in the ass (i.e. threatens to throw a frame) there is a real good chance we wouldn't do them any favors.

And here is a general overview of the warranty process;

Day 1 - John Biker walks into a shop with ABC brand bike. John tells LBS employee how the frame has cracked. LBS takes John's contact information and tells John he will be in contact. LBS calls ABC brand bicycle company and notifies them of the problem. ABC will need to receive the bicycle back. ABC issues a "call tag" which UPS will use to pick up the bike and ship back to ABC.

Day 2 - LBS tears down bike to a frame or frame / fork.

Day 3 to 4 - Frame is picked up by UPS.

Day 7 to 10 - Frame is received at ABC bicycle. It may be checked out briefly and an order for replacement will be generated.

Day 8 to 12 - Frame is shipped out.

Day 11 to 18 - Frame is received by LBS.

Day 12 to 19 - Bike is re-built with old parts.

And these are business days. So best case, you will get your bike in 2 1/2 weeks. Worst case, the LBS is slow, the manufacturer is out of stock and it could drag for months.
re: bike store rip off...zero1
Feb 21, 2002 4:45 AM
they did not replace it with a carbon fork....
re: bike store rip off...Ian
Feb 21, 2002 6:28 AM
So she had a carbon fork on her on her original bike, but they replaced it with steel or aluminum? Then I would say she certainly has a beef. Who has she been talking to? Owner, manager? She needs to find out who is in charge, and it may not be an owner, it may be a manager. Many owners are just money guys who never set foot in the shop and give the managers complete control. Anyway, talk to whoever is in charge and she needs to voice her displeasure with the service. She also needs to do it in calm, polite, but firm manner. Ask why she was charged $200? Where is an equivalent fork? Hopefully, some answers can be arrived at.

Some of the other posts recommend contacting the local outside rep. That is easier said than done. Most outside reps will not deal with the end consumer, only with the shop. The shop will generally not give out the contact info for the rep and the company (Cannondale or any other bike manufacturer) generally will not either. So the first problem would be finding out who the outside rep is and how to contact him, the next problem would be getting him to work with you. But I would recommend contacting the company, they will have a consumer division, and telling them the story and how you are unhappy with the service.

Good luck.