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Am I a dick? Long...(20 posts)

Am I a dick? Long...Ernesto Montagnaro
May 10, 2002 11:25 AM
My aluminum Trek frame crack after doing a somersault at 70mph on a 3 lane highway. (I have since gotten a thule rack). So, I got a great deal on a used frame. Went to my lbs to see if they could match some prices for me. I spent about $1000 on cranks, CK wheelset, deraileur, and a dura ace chain. They didn't beat the internet price I could've gotten, but they came pretty close and I paid them to put the bike together.

I didn't realize it at first when I was making the deal with one of the owners of the shop, but to price match he had to do a side deal with me cutting out the shop. This made things very awkward for me because I could only deal with the one guy. (Even had one of the other owners yell at me when I asked a question about my bike, saying "that's not how you do business") That's when I found out it was some sort of side deal.

When the bike was finished, I looked it over. The chain looked a little dirty and upon further inspection realized it was my old chain (there was a spot where I added a connector pin, they were about three links apart). We all know that new chains don't come with two connector pins. They swore up and down that it was a new chain. So I asked for the old one. "We threw it out." Well why would you throw it out? Thats what we do... I argued a bit until one guy came back with a chain and said that they found my old chain. Okay, fine, whatever. I go home.

I open the bag the chain is in only to find out that it is not a dura ace chain. Not only that, it is a 7 speed chain. I live about 30 miles away from this shop so I was furious that I had to go back for this.

I go back in a few weeks and I explain what happened to the owner I dealt with and he has amnesia. Doesn't remember a thing about what happened.

So I casually asked one of the mechanics to install a new chain and left without paying. The mechanic came outside when he realized I was driving away and asked if I was going to pay for it. I said nope!
no idea...but that is THE title of the week!!! :-) nmSpirito
May 10, 2002 11:27 AM
LOL - nice topic...I was afraid to open itKristin
May 10, 2002 11:40 AM
But I thought it couldn't be worse than what I've read (written) the past two days. I'd say that this shop takes dickdom to a new level. It sounds like they really screwed you over. Too boot, they gave you attitude after you called them out on a obvious lie. Bravo that you had the courage to walk out without paying. You didn't let them take advantage of you. Nothing at all wrong with that. Sometimes I wish I had the courage to stand up to stuff like that. I wonder how people who do business like that can sleep at night?
re: HaHaHa..shortRusty Coggs
May 10, 2002 11:40 AM
Moral: the REAL dick gets the dick!
I beg to Dicker...AverageMrCelloBoy
May 10, 2002 12:05 PM
Couldn't resist. I think your approach was the perfect match for theirs. And I hope there are other local shops for you to deal with in the future. If not, I hope at least you and they can get along in the future.
How I feel about screwing the snake...tronracer
May 10, 2002 12:14 PM
There was always that shadow of a doubt in the back of my mind. I felt a little bad to bitch over a chain when I got a CK wheelset for $500 with 517 rims. But, after all I did pay for the chain on top of everything else. At least I screwed them to their face and not in a sneaky way, like they tried to do. So I'm comfortable with it, but I can never go back there now. Good thin there are plenty of bike shops in Philly...
We are one...tronracer
May 10, 2002 12:17 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to confuse anyone. Me and Ernesto are one and the same.
More balls than dick (nm)Crankist
May 10, 2002 12:11 PM
No way are you a dickmwood
May 10, 2002 12:14 PM
They got at least part of what was coming. Operations like that are what keeps the BBB and other consumer watch dog groups in "business"
I think I bought my used car from these guys.AllisonHayes
May 10, 2002 12:17 PM
But you don't want to hear the full story. Suffice it to say that the engine blew up after 600 miles. They said the warranty only covered 500 miles. Anyway, I was so mad I nearly burst.

The next day, I read in the local paper that the place had burned down. (Honestly, I had nothing to do with it.) But I did smile when I read it and I had a feeling of satisfaction that, just perhaps, there is some justice in this world after all.

True story
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I could understand a side dealbill
May 10, 2002 12:47 PM
with a mechanic, who might buy your parts with his employee discount (or maybe use some "found" parts, or "samples," or "stuff that fell off the truck," or whatever), charge a little for labor, and cut out the shop, but what benefit is there to a shop OWNER to do the same thing? He doesn't need to cut out the shop, because he IS the shop. In order for this to work for him, he would had to have stolen -- from himself. Somebody (i.e., the business; i.e., him) paid for the parts, presumably. I can't believe that, in full view of his partners, he would (1) steal from his own shop or (2), if he didn't steal the parts outright (from himself), he would do a cash deal to cut his own business out for a little bit more margin instead of just a little bit of margin. It doesn't make sense.
There has to be more to this story. Either the entire store was in on making you think that some old parts were some sort of incredible deal, or the partners are gratuitously sticking it to each other over pennies, or . . . or . . . or there just is more to the story.
sometimes being a dick is the only way to not get hosedMSA
May 10, 2002 12:49 PM
I have had more than my share of similar run-ins with some of the lbs's in my area...what is it with these guys!!!??? I have come to the conclusion that one of the most challenging aspects of this sport is to figure out who you can trust in the retail marketplace...I am not sure there is an answer to that question.
re: Am I a dick? Long...curlybike
May 10, 2002 12:57 PM
Have you dealt with Cycle Sport in Media?
You can bet they won't have amnesia if you go back. (nm)brider
May 10, 2002 1:58 PM
Takes Two to Tango.grzy
May 10, 2002 2:29 PM
Well, if you beat them down on price to match the internet you have to realize that the cost structures of the two businesses are very different. One operates a wharehouse out of Reno, NV with some flunkies while the other guy has some skilled employees and expensive retail space. Your LBS absolutely despises having to compete with internet prices for this reason. And they hate the people coming in expecting price matching. The LBS offers a whole lot more convienience and service than the e-tailer. You kinda got what you paid for, though not really since you were paying for them to do the install. A better way to do it is to order the parts from the 'net (avoid the sales tax, but get soaked on the shipping) then pay the shop for their services. This way you get your new parts at the low price and pay the shop for their skills and labor. OR you could learn to do the work yourself, but you run the chance of screwing something up and you won't save a dime after buying all the special tools. If you're going to use a LBS, at least respect them for what they do and hoefully they'll offer you a 10% discount. Realize that none of the independent LBS owners are getting rich and driving Porsches. I had a buddy who tried to run a bike shop in Philly with the best of intentions and an MBA - he wound up shutting down the business after a couple years.

The guy shouldn't have taken the deal if it meant screwing you and his partners. Like others have pointed out there is more going on than meets the eye. If the place lacks integrity then avoid them. They probably won't let you in the door anyways.
It takes two dicks to tango??Ahimsa
May 10, 2002 3:24 PM
Sorry bro, I stay out of those kinda bars.


Three's a crowd!?!?tronracer
May 10, 2002 4:40 PM
Actually, he only gave me a deal on the wheelset. $500 for CK hubs and 517 rims alloy nips. The rest of the stuff, I bought at whatever he charged everyone else. So I spent over $1000 and he tried to dick me for a $20 chain?!?! I am all about supporting the local bike shop, but I'm not going to spend $200 more than what I could've gotten it for elsewhere. So they might have broke even on the wheels, but I paid retail for everything else. Besides, after about 40 hours on the wheels, I noticed the spoke tension was all screwed up. I had to have another bike shop retension them. They asked me..."who the hell built these wheels?!?!?"
you are totally in the right...merckx56
May 10, 2002 6:10 PM
about 50 percent of bike shops have the "skilled" labor that was eluded to in the earlier post, and will treat you with respect and try to give you a similar deal to the 'net. if they can't, they'll kill you with service. the other 50% are run by bozos who employ hourly workers who know little to nothing about bikes and/or cycling. the local "pro" shop here in town used to be staffed by cyclists and racers who were hand-picked because of their knowledge and attitudes (not all racers are dicks!). we had three uscf mechanics, and three floor staff who had a combined 50+ years of cycling experience, not including time on the bike. the owner, in his finite wisdom, decided to clean house and ran off all of his employees and replaced them with college kids who don't know their collective asses from a hole in the ground. granted, his payroll dropped to zero, but c'mon! i went in for some carbon headset spacers and the new "mechanic" asked me what I needed them for!!!!!! are you serious? i wasn't gonna use 'em as a c*%kring, you dumbass! the new manager has been in the industry for 6 months. she's got attitude like she learned at the feet of coppi. it's just too bad she doesn't know who he was!
F 'em!1 go to another store and badmouth the first store. odds are they'll give you a deal on stuff because of it!
CK/517's for $500 = "Deal"??? (nm)B2
May 11, 2002 6:44 AM
You know where to get them cheaper????(nm)tronracer
May 11, 2002 7:34 PM