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Am I getting the custom builder run-around ?? HELP!!(9 posts)

Am I getting the custom builder run-around ?? HELP!!Skidoo
Nov 14, 2002 4:02 PM
I placed my order for a custom built bike in September from a reputable builder who has several favorable reviews on this and other sites. I dealt directly with the builder and not a bike shop. The builder said 4-6 weeks to build the bike & ship it. After waiting 6 weeks, I called them and they recommited delivery for "another week or two." It's now 10 weeks later and I'm still walking to places instead of riding to them :-(

Last week they said they would ship the bike and expected it to take about 4 days to deliver.

Today I call to get a UPS tracking number and they provide one, but UPS has no record of this package being picked-up, although the bike company owner claims he shipped it last week and even initiated a tracer on the package through UPS customer service. (UPS provides pre-assigned tracking numbers to shippers, so it is possible to have a tracking number before the package ever gets picked-up.)

Bottom line is: I believe the bike builder is stalling for more time and has not dealt honestly with me. Do I deserve some consideration for remaining patient (i.e. a break on some of the cost for shipping) or am I a spaz who should give him the benefit of the doubt?
re: Am I getting the custom builder run-around ?? HELP!!gtx
Nov 14, 2002 6:08 PM
This is pretty normal with many small builders. At least you didn't get the "it's at the painters" excuse (which is actually often a legitimate excuse). I'd be patient and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I'm assumuming you have another bike to ride and I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.
re: Am I getting the custom builder run-around ?? HELP!!gtx
Nov 14, 2002 6:13 PM
I love this shirt that Eisentraut sells. Some builders like Seven have introduced a new level of butt kissing and hand-holding to the process, but you have to pay for it.
re: Am I getting the custom builder run-around ?? HELP!!SantaCruz
Nov 14, 2002 8:13 PM
10 weeks for a custom bike is not unusual, but you want a company, large or small, to be honest with you. I would wait for the bike and judge the builder on the quality of the construction, paint and assembly.

You should not be shy in identifying the builder, whether the bike is to your satisfaction or falls short of expectation. Let us know!!
I was told four months...DMoore
Nov 14, 2002 9:56 PM
and it actually took seven for me to get my custom frame 4 years ago. My builder didn't give me any runaround - he just said "it's not done yet - sorry." When it finally was finished he knocked the price down on some accessories to make up for the aggravation. I was pretty aggravated, but it all went away when I took my first ride. I recommend him to everyone, with the warning that "it takes as long as it takes."

With that said, there's no excuse for BS'ing a customer. If it's not done, he should admit it. Of course it IS actually possible that there's a foulup with UPS, it certainly wouldn't be the first. I wouldn't send the goon squad after your builder just yet. But if this lasts more than another two weeks or so, then I'd say he's lying to you and it's time to fight back.

Good luck. If the builder is someone who's been well spoken of on this board, I suspect you'll eventually conclude as I did that it was worth the wait.
you're not dealing with...._rt_
Nov 15, 2002 6:04 AM
Dean are you?? they've been screwing around with my custom frame for 3 months now. every time i call them i get a different story and it's always "definately" going to be ready to ship tomorrow/beginning of next week/end of next week/etc. if they don't provide me with a UPS tracking number on monday (when it's "definately going to be shipped".....again) i'm going to threaten not to pay them.

more than likely if you feel you are getting the run-around you probably are....& like you, i would rather be told straight out that it will take X number of months before my frame will be shipped insteady of getting the run-around.

are you entitled to consideration? IMHO, yes, but it's not our decision. that will be up to the frame maker. however, i would suggest that you deal nicely with them since you are more likely to receive consideration if you kill them with kindness than if you call up and scream bloody murder at them.

re: Am I getting the custom builder run-around ?? HELP!!StewK
Nov 15, 2002 6:31 AM
My last custom order took about a month longer than promised, but the builder always came clean when I asked him what was going on.
welcome to custom landtrekkie1
Nov 15, 2002 7:09 AM
My dear boy. (big smug grin) Enter the land of custom builders. A local custom guy here can take a year. Yes, an entire year. You are dealing with artists, not factory workers. They work at their own pace. After all, why do you think they are in this business? They probably had a bunch of good days to ride. Just keep bugging them.

It is sort of weird to get a tracking number. However, all that means is that they have some package label with a number on it, and they gave you the number. Does not mean they actually shipped.

Bottom line: 3-4 months is still fairly quick for a true custom. Don't like it? Get a Trek.
Thanks everyone!Skidoo
Nov 15, 2002 1:11 PM
Great feedback!
I feel my level of frustration is justified given the broken promises on the delivery schedule, but I'll give 'em another chance and hold off on judging the builder until I actually get to ride the dream bike he has made for me.

In all other aspects I have been very happy with the builder. Very knowledgable about proper sizing & material selection, etc. It just seems that with what this is actually costing me, I should be able to expect a reasonably straight-forward delivery date. But like other posters have said, the custom bike builder is as much of an artist as s/he is a business owner.

I'll keep on enjoying my current ride for another week or two. But dammit, it feels like I'm a little kid waiting on X-mas, and the calendar on the wall says June. Sheesh!