Dear LBS

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  • If getting stuff online is cheaper, why do I visit you?

    Service, stoopid. I am going in because I have a question about something that I am not sure I can do myself, or because I want something done right the first time around and it would take me more time than I care to spend on it myself.

    I don't want to ask for something to be done a certain way (like change my chainring and put a new chain with one of those easy to break links but DON'T break my old chain because it has one of those links too), to find out that your mechanic went ahead and did whatever he wanted (like break my old chain in the wrong link and install the new chain WITHOUT the easy release link).

    I also care about safety. There are certain things I can do myself but I ask a specialist to do because I do not want to find myself at eye level with the tarmac because something went terribly wrong. For instance, I do not want to notice that my wheel is so far forward on my dropout that only about half or 2/3 of the nut is biting into the metal. If I ask you about axle creep and the possibility that the whole thing might just fall off, don't tell me that it does not happen and justify it by saying that you have been a mechanic for 14 years and that it does not happen. It is bad customer service and it makes you look stupid when all it takes is a google search to show you that it does happen.

    I also go in because there are some parts and tools I don't have. So when I ask you if a half link would not be a better idea than leaving my axle hanging on or dear life from my dropout (my dear life, as it happens), and your shop specializes in fixies (a lot o which are conversions like mine) I kinda expect you to have it. It is ok if you don't, but you see, now I think that the reason why you left my axle in such a precarious position and then told me with a straight face that axle creep does not happen is because you did not have a half link to do the job properly in the first place but making a sale was more important to you than doing something right.

    The upshot is that I am spending some time to undo the hack job your mechanic did, putting my old chain and chainring back and ordering that half link you did not have from an online bike shop.

    So, dear LBS, I do hope you don't mind my not coming back. Come and think of it, Brick Lane is not even that local to me. I had heard from others that it was a bad shop, but I had no complaints myself. That was before my perfectly safe bike was put in a state where I am not comfortable riding it.

  • Alex,

    Thanks for purchasing a bucket of tar of the internet. The brush you've used on me seems to have done the trick too.

    A note of interest mind is not all IBD's* are the same or offer the same quality of work.

    So all in all thanks for you undying support of what is still a reasonably small industry making ends meet on relativly small margins.

    Love you too.

    *I do not work for BLB but another IBD.

  • beeeeef!

  • furious tiles Alex,

    Thanks for purchasing a bucket of tar of the internet. The brush you've used on me seems to have done the trick too.

    A note of interest mind is not all IBD's* are the same or offer the same quality of work.

    So all in all thanks for you undying support of what is still a reasonably small industry making ends meet on relativly small margins.

    Love you too.

    *I do not work for BLB but another IBD.

    furious has a good point.

    there are rarely complaints about his shop.

    yet BLB seem to get plenty.

    vote with your feet.

    or DIY

  • furious tiles Alex,
    Thanks for purchasing a bucket of tar of the internet. The brush you've used on me seems to have done the trick too.
    A note of interest mind is not all IBD's* are the same or offer the same quality of work.
    So all in all thanks for you undying support of what is still a reasonably small industry making ends meet on relativly small margins.
    Love you too.
    *I do not work for BLB but another IBD.

    How does this review of shoddy repair work affect you or your IBD (whatever that is)?

    If some shop is cranking out shit work then I want to know about it and I don't give a toss if it puts them out of business or anyone else for that matter.

    It should be fairly obvious that my or in this case Alex's life and health are more important than any shops profit margin.

    Thanks for the report Alex.

  • rowdy mcfist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc­9Y

    Oi! That's my clip!

  • hippy [quote]furious tiles Alex,
    Thanks for purchasing a bucket of tar of the internet. The brush you've used on me seems to have done the trick too.
    A note of interest mind is not all IBD's* are the same or offer the same quality of work.
    So all in all thanks for you undying support of what is still a reasonably small industry making ends meet on relativly small margins.
    Love you too.
    *I do not work for BLB but another IBD.

    How does this review of shoddy repair work affect you or your IBD (whatever that is)?

    If some shop is cranking out shit work then I want to know about it and I don't give a toss if it puts them out of business or anyone else for that matter.

    It should be fairly obvious that my or in this case Alex's life and health are more important than any shops profit margin.

    Thanks for the report Alex.[/quote]

    i fully agree with hippy (and alex) here: i wanna know about the bike shops that are gonna screw me over - my money or my life.

  • thing is, for every person that has a bad experience, there's usually one that pops up to defend the shop in question.

    as I say , do it yerself or take the risk

  • OT: dOcA, wayne didnt appear at bike polo so i am spoke card-less i'm afraid!

    Yeh i dont know why furious tiles is getting angry. Just because one independent shop is ripping people off doesn't mean that people are going to then assume that all independent bike shops are going to do it. It doesn't matter how tight their margins are if they're providing poor service.

  • I'm a bit on Furious's side all in.

    If there was an article by say Nigel Havers, titled "ALL cyclists are idiots", and then went on to say that although he's only been cut up by a few, they must ALL be twats. We'd feel fairly strongly on the subject. Of course Nigel "quaver" havers wouldn't do that...

    I mean Alex's post is fairly stongly against 1 shop, so why not just title it "letter to BLB"?

  • Yeah, I agree with Evilmonkey.

    Perhaps we should have a recommended bike shop thread, that isn't allowed include any of the big shops like Condor, Brixton Cycles and BLB. Places that focus on service, and don't have to stock every single fixie part under the sun (let's face it, people like Will at hubjub can get anything fixed-related). I went to Putney Cycles today, they were nice and friendly :)

    Out of interest, what shop does furious work for?

  • RPM thing is, for every person that has a bad experience, there's usually one that pops up to defend the shop in question.

    as I say , do it yerself or take the risk

    take the risk of not doing it yourself and having a bike shop do it for you?
    if i'm reading this correctly, i'm going to have to disagree completely. going to a bike shop to get them to repair something should NEVER be a risk. the idea is that you're going to them because they're professionals and the job they do should be close to foolproof.

  • absolutely.

    except that's clearly not the reality.

    otherwise there wouldn't be threads like this.

    ^^^^

  • eeehhhh Yeah, I agree with Evilmonkey.

    Perhaps we should have a recommended bike shop thread, that isn't allowed include any of the big shops like Condor, Brixton Cycles and BLB. Places that focus on service, and don't have to stock every single fixie part under the sun (let's face it, people like Will at hubjub can get anything fixed-related). I went to Putney Cycles today, they were nice and friendly :)

    Out of interest, what shop does furious work for?

    Just wondering, why would you put Brixton Cycles alongside the other 2?

  • I thought Brixton was already in the suggest a bike shop thread (it exists already, search for it). Come to think of it BLB is probably in that thread too, so not much chop, eh?

    rpm: DIY is great, to a point. But, I don't want to take my bike to a shop to have something done, that I don't have the tools to do, with the knowledge that the same shop can't even sort out basic issues.
    If they don't take care with the driveline of a fix, why the fsck would they correctly measure my carbon steerer before chopping it or take care cold setting my frame, etc. As said before, BLB need to sort their sh1t out!

  • so that's really what this thread is about then.

    don't shoot the fakenger.

    yes of course bike shops should be able to do all these things, but some have obviously been found wanting.

    I'm simply stating reality.

  • some time ago i bought a new bike from possibly the most well known LBS for over a grand. the bike seemed a bit too skittish and jerky. after a few rides i began to feel it was a problem with the bike and not my brittle bones. i took it all apart, had a look and realised the headset and steerer were not aligned with the frame itself. the lovely new paint had chipped away as a result of the stresses. it took me two seconds to pop it in properly. moral: even the big hitters make schoolboy errors. people are fallible.

  • [quote]RPM don't shoot the fakenger.

    Great line.

  • peejay78 moral: even the big hitters make schoolboy errors. people are fallible.

    And this is where we get into the territory that separates a good bike ship from a bad one. How many mistakes do they make and more importantly, how do they rectify those mistakes? The original posters feeling is that the bike shop cocked up, but then just tried to cover it.

    Thats what engenders bad faith in a bike shop. Mistakes do happen, but BS'ing your way out of it doesn't win you customers - its just the shop trying to take advantage of their position of power.

  • can't say it better than you, pip

  • furious tiles Alex,

    Thanks for purchasing a bucket of tar of the internet. The brush you've used on me seems to have done the trick too.

    A note of interest mind is not all IBD's* are the same or offer the same quality of work.

    So all in all thanks for you undying support of what is still a reasonably small industry making ends meet on relativly small margins.

    Love you too.

    *I do not work for BLB but another IBD.

    Re-read.

    I think it is pretty clear that the specific complaints are directed at BLB.

    The comments about LBSs needing to focus on service are neutral - it is my opinion as a customer of what counts for me (and for the record, anyone's low margins are not really what matter for me - incidentally, perhaps a way to fatten those margins is to provide premium service, i.e. more than just good service). I don't mean to paint them all with the same brush and let it be known that the shoddy service I got was at BLB. If it in any way reflected on any other LBS, then I apologize. Given that BLB is so poor, I will surely go the extra distance to check your shop (post a link, please).

    Heck, do you guys sell half links? I found them on the internet, but I would rather buy them locally because it is a good thing that people keep inventories of such things and I want to support that.

  • BRM666 [quote][quote]RPM don't shoot the fakenger.

    Great line.[/quote][/quote]

    T-shirt! Spoke cards!

  • pip [quote]peejay78 moral: even the big hitters make schoolboy errors. people are fallible.

    And this is where we get into the territory that separates a good bike ship from a bad one. How many mistakes do they make and more importantly, how do they rectify those mistakes? The original posters feeling is that the bike shop cocked up, but then just tried to cover it.

    Thats what engenders bad faith in a bike shop. Mistakes do happen, but BS'ing your way out of it doesn't win you customers - its just the shop trying to take advantage of their position of power.[/quote]

    I stripped a crank arm riding once, and took the bike to the shop that sold me the bike. Left it there for over 6 weeks and nothing. Then one say someone complained on a board, others had similar complaints and it turned out to be so bad that if you googled crappy bike shop and the name of the city, they would come up. They called me and the others and made it right. After that I never took my bike anywhere else. People muck up, but I agree that if you own up to a mistake and fix it you get repeat business.

  • Maybe you should go into the shop and tell them?? It's one thing to argue a point anon. online, but another to do it in person. You never know, it might work and you'll have no problems....

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Dear LBS

Posted by Avatar for Alex @Alex

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