Bad Service or am I too picky?

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  • Hi to all,

    Yesterday I got my bike back from my local shop.( At this point I wouldn't like to name them as I may have different expectations and be considered too needy/picky.)

    I left my bike (fixed gear) on Saturday 14 July and I was told that they are going to fix it on the day. I needed a new chain and a rear sprocket -which they claimed they had readily available. An hour before the shop closed, they called me apologising that they do not have the sprocket and they have to order one. (That is completely understandable). They said they are going to order it on Monday and the next day my bike would be ready. So far so good.

    I received a text on Friday morning that the bike is finally ready. So it took them about a week to change a chain and a sprocket on a fixed gear. Btw, they complained about limited storage space when I told them that I may not be able to pick the bike during the coming week.

    I collected my bike on Monday 23 July as I couldn't go earlier and it was visibly dirtier that I handed over to them. My frame and seat post had plenty of chain grease and they did not even remove the cable tie where they place the work order. As well, they did not even bothered to check the tire pressure prior giving the bike back to me.

    So my question is: Am I really picky? Is this something that I should anticipate from every bike repair shop?

    I always want to help the small independent shops whenever I can but I am wondering whether this is going to be the level of service that I would receive from Evans or any other big bike retailer.
    Any comments/thoughts?

  • I wouldn’t go back. Had a set of cartridge bearings changed on a wheel and the bike came back with a really really tight chain. The mechanic was like “I set the chain tension up for you too dude”. Didn’t go back. If I need anything done now I just go to seabass

  • Sounds pretty shoddy.

    If you are feeling kind, after thinking it through for a bit, pop in and explain why you will find it difficult to recommend the shop to other people based on this experience. If they have a brain, they will thank you for the feedback. If they are thick, then they will get shitty, in which case leave an accurate review on Google and the appropriate number of stars.

  • So claiming that there is stock, and then there isn't.

    That would have pissed me off.

  • Am I really picky?

    Yes and no. :)

    I think good service is about meeting a customer's reasonable expectations and it's absolutely reasonable for you to expect the job to be done on time and competently.

    I'm sure you'd have mentioned it otherwise, but I assume the actual work was done to your satisfaction? Don't lose sight of that.

    Not keeping you informed of the further delay was a basic error. The easiest way to keep your customer sweet is to let them know what's happening (and a text is not usually the best way to do this).

    It doesn't seem that it would have been too much of a problem if they'd let you know it wouldn't be ready until Friday, as you couldn't pick it up in the week. Three days later than agreed is poor and it was silly of them to gripe about storage in the circumstances, but it is an issue for small shops.

    The cable-tie and greasy frame & seatpost are sloppy, but that's all. I've seen far worse from cack-handed spanner-wranglers. They're cosmetic issues and easily remedied, ideally by them when you checked the bike over on collection.

    Did you ask them to check the tyre pressures and tell them what pressure you would like them to be? Shops don't do work you don't ask them to: a) if it goes wrong they're not insured, b) they don't have the time and c) they're not paid to.

    Unless you've got a good relationship with them: not many people do favours for customers they'll never see again.

    Everything that's gone wrong could be explained by the shop being busy. Myself, I never eat in an empty restaurant.

    I'd grab a couple of packets of biccies, or a sixer if you're feeling ballsy, and go see them. Explain that you're happy with the work, but the bike came back grubby and although it worked in both your favours this time, you'd like to know about any delays in future.

    If you get along, then try some pressure-chat!


  • I would have a chat with the owner or manager before leaving a Shit review on google.
    They might have screwed things up yes but this could help them get things better in the long run by perfecting their systems or by getting better staff members.
    Plus if it’s a decent shop you will most likely get something for free as an apology.
    Google reviews can do damage and I personally think they should only be left as a last resort.

  • All of the above is why I have ended up owning my own tools and learned how to do everything myself. I dread having to walk into places with something like an old obscure freewheel to undo and listening to and watching the complete meal they make of it even WITH the correct tool! FFS!

  • Tyre preasure on the other hand, I wouldn't expect that as part of a chain and rear cog but as part of a service..

  • Am I Too Picky?

    I suggest a whole new subforum titled: AITP?

  • Did you drop it in for a once over, they told you it needs new chain and cog? Or did you take it in just for C&C?

    If it was for a once over, they should have noticed the tyres being low.
    If it was the other, then I'm not sure they would have looked.
    Grime is unpleasant but not a big deal for me, but you may care more.

    My old LBS were shocking, every time i dropped my bike in for works it would have "a slow puncture, so we've changed the tubes for you, £8 extra" first time I let it slide, 2nd I asked for the old tubes back to repair, they said they'd binned them and just have me 2 new ones (I'm not even sure they replaced the old ones thinking about it)
    Rarely went back, unless it was dire need.

  • If it was the other, then I'm not sure they would have looked.

    We test rode everything we worked on, so unless a bike was missing a major component it would have to have been ridable when returned to the customer.

    Personally I wouldn't want to hand a fixed gear back to a customer without having put pedal torque through it then re-tightening the lock ring to spec. But that's just me. That the bike was presumably unridable makes me think that hasn't been the case here, but then again maybe it has and the bike just sat around long enough to get to low PSI.

    The story if accurate does strike me of a place that gave no shits - for this customer at least - and the store manager should be made aware that this is impression the customer has left with. It's not like the OP bought his own sprocket and chain in for the shop to fit - he paid presumably shop price and should have been treated better.

  • Email them a complaint, if they don't respond favourably then name and shame. I don't want to take any of my bikes to this place whatever it is.

    Currently in the process of making a similar complaint - got my bike serviced before going on a 400k London to Paris ride and had a bunch of mechanical problems on the ride which the service should have sorted. Will name and shame them if they don't react well to my complaint.

  • Welp, got a response to my own complaint with a refund but no explanation of what went wrong.

    Afraid I must say I can't recommend The Bike Project's corporate services.

  • Thanks so much to all who contributed on my question.
    I will overcome my anxiety and go over in the next couple of days and have a friendly chat with the guys to express my concerns.
    Again, my intention is not to do any harm to my local repair shop.

    I agree that I could probably do this maintenance on my own, however space is very very limited. Maybe someday when I will have a garden I will start maintaining my bike entirely myself.

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Bad Service or am I too picky?

Posted by Avatar for Angelos_Tso @Angelos_Tso