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disgraceful LBS clerk(14 posts)

disgraceful LBS clerkAndy C
Jan 23, 2004 3:40 PM
Im in the market for my second road bike, so I went to the local bike shops to do some test rides. Ive been recreational riding about 15 years. The last local bike shop I went to, I met an an absolutely disgraceful salesman. He was a type who didnt really look like he rode much, tho I know that doesnt mean a lot. However, this guy was the rudest, most base LBS sales guy Ive ever talked to. He proceeded to turn me off by telling me that I really wanted to ride was a 52 cm instead of a 54 cm bike, because I looked like I should ride a 52 (actually, Im big enough for a 56). He went on. He tried to tell me how high the seat should be when Im sitting on the damn thing and telling him its good! WTF, over?!?! I said I liked my laced biking shoes (I was wearing them), he said they're no good and not comfortable. I said I wished I had the money for a TI Litespeed, he said "a dime a dozen" and "all it is is credit"....yeeeaaah, credit, suuuure..... I said I liked traditional diamond frames, he said they're outdated and ineffecient. I said Cannondales were out of my budget, he tried to put a guilt trip on me because they're "the only bike thats American made". I asked him if their bikes came with pedals (like many at other LBS), he said no bikes ever come with pedals. Maybe he wasn't mechanically inclinded, but he couldn't even check the bikes before I rode them and had to get another guy to do it. He had an attitude that was through the stratosphere and an annoying gimpy walk like he wanted me to ask him what the heck was wrong with him. I walked out of there feeling like I needed a shower. I still feel like writing to the manager and telling him he's going to lose customers. This was a supposedly "big" LBS with four branch stores in the area and lots of inventory. I mean, I go to the LBS to get good advice, not a bunch of sales BS!! Obviously, I will not give them business, but would I be off in writing to them?
re: disgraceful LBS clerkxandre
Jan 23, 2004 4:20 PM
write em, call em!!...a sales person should try and sell their product and also be supportive and informative. They should make you want to buy from them..not make you feel like an idiot! I hate pricks like that!
My experience is forget the manager and go to ownerDave Hickey
Jan 23, 2004 4:36 PM
If the manager works with this guy, he knows what he's like and still allows him to act badly. Find out who the owner of the chain is and write or call him.
My shop ownerteoteoteo
Jan 23, 2004 6:19 PM
Puts his home office number and e mail in our catlog with a satisfaction guarantee.
Jan 23, 2004 6:20 PM
We're also strictly prohibited from asking "who's calling" if someone calls the shop for him.

Qaulity comes from the top.
It shows in your shopDave Hickey
Jan 23, 2004 6:44 PM
I was in there once and was treated like a life long customer. Before your head gets too big, it was the other employees. You were too busy taking care of that hot woman from California:-)

re: disgraceful LBS clerkKeeponTrekkin
Jan 23, 2004 8:24 PM
Decide what you want and what the best use of your time is to get it. If this shop is the best you can find then go to the owner and tell him how you feel. I suggest looking harder; I wouldn't waste my time at a place like that unless I had no alternative.

My favorite bike shop has 1 employee - the owner and it's not local. I always know I'm talking to a life long bike lover who has forgotten more than I'll ever know. I go to the nearby LBS (which does not have anyone near as bad as you describe) for less serious purchases only and no technical advice.)

PS I like titanium Litespeeds and traditional diamond frames too (but I ride a Trek 5500 which I love).
re: disgraceful LBS clerkriderbobsocal
Jan 23, 2004 11:52 PM
I just finished reading your posts about LBS. I work at a LBS in Southern California and hate to say it but that isnt really that uncommon! Most of the larger bike shops, and there are only a few of them have some bad employees. Dont get frustrated, not all people are like that. Go to a different bike shop or ask a friend to recommend someone at a shop to talk with. Just like any salesman in any industry there are some real idiots out there. If the salesman is selling and moving bikes out the door, the management will look the other way on a lot of bad things.

Hopefully you will get a chance to talk with a knowlegeable salesperson that will show you what you need in your price range. These people do exist and when you find the right one, you will know it.

One good suggestion is to catch a weekend group ride and ask someone in the group where to go. Most people who love to ride will offer more information than you were probably expecting.

I hope you have better luck next time.

Hit em where it hurts the most!russw19
Jan 24, 2004 8:24 PM
First, find out if that shop's employees work on commission. If so, tell that guy you don't care for his presentation and ask for another employee's help. If they get paid to sell, he'll get the point. Otherwise, if he's not on commission, it's still a blow to his pride. Give the shop a little leeway and see if it's the shop as a whole or just this one kid. If it's the whole shop, hit them where it hurts... buy your bike elsewhere and tell everyone you know exactly where you did buy from, and where you didn't as well.

Another small piece of advice, and this comes from a longtime LBS employee... take charge of the sales presentation. When I go to help customers, I try to feel them out to see what they know.. it saves me time and lets me know what I need to tell them about, and what I don't have to talk about. If you take charge of the sale's pitch right off the bat, it lets me know you are not there to socialize or get a bike lesson, but you are there to do business. Go in and tell the shop what you are looking for. Say you want a 56cm Litespeed. Tell them that. That way no idiot will try to put you on a 52cm Cannondale. If they do, walk out. Ask them if they are trying to waste both your time and theirs. Tell them you know what you want, and ask them to help you buy it. But if you go in to look at a specific bike, they shouldn't waste your time or theirs showing you other bikes.

Good luck,

Hit em where it hurts the most!Andy C
Jan 24, 2004 9:25 PM
Russ, I couldnt agree more. And thats exactly what I did. I said "I want to test ride a 54 cm Specialized Allez Elite." and he still coped an attitude and gave me a BS sales pitch. I guess I should have left right there, but I'm too much of a nice guy.

I found a better LBS, with guys who ride, and invited me out on their weekly training rides and group rides.

Good! buy from them and send all your friends there too! nm.russw19
Jan 25, 2004 6:14 PM
another reason to buy on linerogerinbalance
Jan 25, 2004 11:02 AM
it is getting where anything can be had online at a better price than in a store. Tires, Clothing, conponents, and even bikes. So why put up with LBS attitude and pay more too?
Not really sound advice for this situation...russw19
Jan 25, 2004 6:20 PM
The poster is test riding bikes.... I would love to know how you can test ride a mail order frame? Tires, clothing, components... sure, but not bikes.... not if you really care about fit and test rides and all that. You may even be able to fit a bike you can buy online just fine by carefully studying geometry charts, but you won't know jack about how that bike handles prior to owning it. Also, what if the frame you want to buy has an alignment issue? If you test ride it at the shop, you know before you own it... if you mail order it, you know after you possibly paid someone to build it, now you have to strip it to rebox it, and ship it back and wait for a new one. Not worth it to me, not on a new bike.

Just my opinion though...

NOT WORTH $500? $700? $1000? -- how much?collectorvelo
Jan 26, 2004 10:53 AM
You say it is not worth irt to you (and you clearly work in a bike shop and pay wholesale) to order on-line
If you were a normal consumer - how much would it be worth to you?
if you could save $500 - would you buy online?
where is the break point

fit is easy - anyone can do that from geometry
ride is very close on all bikes of similar specs
mis alignment? how often does that happen? (I would guess very rare on quality bikes)

sounds like you are reaching deep to come up with reasons to pay retail at a LBS
why not just say - buy at your LBS so that he can stay in business ???