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  1. #1
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    Crosspost: Bikeline of Bethlehem warning......

    I recently had a really bad experience with Alan from Bikeline of Bethlehem and just wanted to get the word out. This was not my first bad experience with Alan, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. He simply does not look after my interests or believe my word, even after I have spent many thousands of dollars there. The good LBS's should be made known, but so should the bad.

    This is a buyer beware for everone and........Adios Alan!



    http://forums.mtbr.com/general-discussion/question-regarding-lbs-credit-card-overcharge%85%85-186306.html#post1803811
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I've dealt with Alan for years and have never had a problem. I've used to go to Genesis, but Bike Line is so much closer for me. Plus, I work on my own bike so I usually just go to the LBS for quick things when needed -- though I did get my EX8 from Alan.

    I think you can have a bad experience at either place. You just need to catch someone on a bad/busy day. One thing with Genesis is they have many more employees so busy days shouldn't be nearly as bad.

    Either way, I suggest learning to do your own maintenance. That way, you learn, save $$$, and you'll know the person who's working on your bike.

    - Chris

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gimpy00Wang
    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I've dealt with Alan for years and have never had a problem. I've used to go to Genesis, but Bike Line is so much closer for me. Plus, I work on my own bike so I usually just go to the LBS for quick things when needed -- though I did get my EX8 from Alan.

    I think you can have a bad experience at either place. You just need to catch someone on a bad/busy day. One thing with Genesis is they have many more employees so busy days shouldn't be nearly as bad.

    Either way, I suggest learning to do your own maintenance. That way, you learn, save $$$, and you'll know the person who's working on your bike.

    - Chris
    Fully agree about the maintenance thing, and I plan on doing more over time. That being said, from the time I called him in the morning until I got there last night, Alan did not even consider it a possibility that he was wrong, and that is what has me ticked off. This should have been resolved over the phone......what if I lived 50 minutes away? I need to drive and show him my receipt in person? I have dealt with these types of things before and they are almost always quickly resolved over the phone.

    The fact that he did not take my word for one second after I was a good customer of his for over a decade speaks volumes about his caring, or lack of, for the customer. IMO, he is an arrogant SOB.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    I recently had a really bad experience with Alan from Bikeline of Bethlehem and just wanted to get the word out. This was not my first bad experience with Alan, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. He simply does not look after my interests or believe my word, even after I have spent many thousands of dollars there. The good LBS's should be made known, but so should the bad.

    This is a buyer beware for everone and........Adios Alan!



    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1803811
    I don't get it. You yourself say that you can't remember if you did or [i]did not[i] buy anything else, yet your willing to throw the shop owner under the bus by posting here? The fact that you've spent $3k there over the years is, if anything, a testament to the fact that you must have felt comfortable dealing with the guy in the past. So, for $10, you'll write him off as a crook?

    Sorry, but I've little sympathy. If you know that you didn't buy anything else (or request some last minute service) and he deliberately overcharged you, I could see your point. Your own uncertainty leaves room for doubt, and publicly bashing the guy seems out of line, at best.

    I've been burned by shops in the past too, in far 'shadier' ways than a simple (alleged) overbilling, and it certainly sucks. Learn to do your own maintenance and LBS service woes will be a thing of the past.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  5. #5
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    Re: I don't get it. You yourself say that you can't remember if you did or did not buy anything else, yet your willing to throw the shop owner under the bus by posting here? The fact that you've spent $3k there over the years is, if anything, a testament to the fact that you must have felt comfortable dealing with the guy in the past. So, for $10, you'll write him off as a crook?

    Read the timeline. I called in the morning and did not have the receipt in front of me when I called!

    In case you did not read further, I was indeed overcharged, and showed him the receipt, so my memory was correct. HE was the one who implied I was wrong, while at the same time not lifting a finger to see if I was correct.



    Re: So, for $10, you'll write him off as a crook?

    For $10, he just lost a repeat customer! If his assumption is that I am lying and he does not even look into my complaint, he does not deserve me as a customer. Perhaps you have different standards than I do. The amount of money is irrelevant.....it is the assumption that I am not telling the truth, not looking into it further after the complaint was made, and absolutely no acknowledgement of his mistake once it was proven he was wrong.


    Re: If you know that you didn't buy anything else

    I do and DID, know that. He is the one who suggested otherwise! Again, it is all in there......I was in a hurry to sign and get out as I thought I was doing him a favor so he could attend to other customers.....this is why I knew I didn't buy anything.


    Hey, the caveat emptor is out there.....heed it or don't. I am just telling you that I do not expect to be treated in such a way as a long-time customer. You may have no problem with that type of treatment; I do.
    Last edited by brianthebiker; 04-28-2006 at 10:39 AM.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Bottom line- find an LBS that you are comfortable with- build up some loyalty, and they will bend over backwards to help you out- mine rebuilt a wheel 3 times no charge when the hub I had kept blowing (3x in 5 months!!) For what its worth, if you're in the Bethlehem area, hit up Steve at Saucon Valley Bikes- he will always treat a loyal customer right!

  7. #7
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    before alan gets run over by a bus by everyone and deserts him there is always two sides and the answer is always in the middle. i've heard the story other than this thread(not alan) and it's a shame he doesn't get a voice. ALL Lehigh Valley Area shops are top notch. For what and who they deal with i would put them up against anybody.

    p.s. i'm not an Alan homer and have only bought two things from him BUT i know him and many others who support the shop.

    I sware i used to think in the end forums helped but after years of being apart of the whole thing, we'd all be better off talking face to face.

    now off to ride

  8. #8
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    now that i think of it, this one really rubs me. I looked my bike shop manager in the face 5 years ago and told him i would buy everything i could through him, no questions asked. We haven't looked back yet. Sure once in a while(less as time goes on) i could have a better deal.....but for what.....store credit on a website that may not be there(supergo?????) I know there are die hard internet buyers and that's free marketplace at it's best, BUT in the end the shop i think is the winner. I can return stuff no questions asked. Now most shops order electronically through systems like dexter and parts come the next day. My point is not to switch internet buyers over but i beleive shops in the end should have our undying support. Sure there are times when i leave pissed and there are times when i show up 10 minutes before a ride asking for a quick fix and they do it when i know they shouldn't.

    If someone can't settle a situation like this in person and resorts to bashing a shop on the forums than i wonder why they're doing it.....to keep people away? I guess you have the right, but it just doesn't seem right.

    alright, light charger is full so i'm outta here on my fully furnished bike shop light, bike shop bike, bike shop rack, bike shop helmet etc. I wish my bike shop could sell me return my body for credit

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    I recently had a really bad experience with Alan from Bikeline of Bethlehem and just wanted to get the word out. This was not my first bad experience with Alan, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. He simply does not look after my interests or believe my word, even after I have spent many thousands of dollars there. The good LBS's should be made known, but so should the bad.

    This is a buyer beware for everone and........Adios Alan!



    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1803811
    I have your back brianthebiker. I had a run in with him in the past and I know what you mean about a bad taste in your mouth. The fact that both of us felt the need to mention it on this board speaks volumes. I have never heard any other multiple complaints about the same shop before here. He does not give you the respect you deserve therefore does not get any from me in return. There are many other shops in the valley that provide better service such as; Saucon Valley Bikes, Allentown Bike Line, Action Wheels, Genesis, Broken Spoke, Nestors, etc...

    Adois Alan
    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"
    Mike Tyson

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackamo
    If someone can't settle a situation like this in person and resorts to bashing a shop on the forums than i wonder why they're doing it.....to keep people away? I guess you have the right, but it just doesn't seem right.

    First of all, I am not bashing anyone; I am stating the cold, hard facts. I will be the first to say that Allen is excellent with bikes. His disposition with customers could use dramatic improvement however.

    And he had a chance to resolve this over the phone; he chose not to. In fact, he could have hung up and simply checked his records at his own pace. Again, he chose not to. Even after being presented with the receipt (which one would think is inarguable) he still makes the claim that I must have bought something! He was given 3 chances.....how many more before I am expected to cry uncle? He lost my trust by not trusting my word, or even double checking my complaint, when I have dealt with him regularly for over 10 years.

    Parallel lines will never meet. The facts in this case do not support his argument for one second. If I scanned the receipt and posted it, you would see in one second that he has absolutely no leg to stand on.
    Last edited by brianthebiker; 04-28-2006 at 08:11 PM.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    Bottom line- find an LBS that you are comfortable with- build up some loyalty, and they will bend over backwards to help you out- mine rebuilt a wheel 3 times no charge when the hub I had kept blowing (3x in 5 months!!) For what its worth, if you're in the Bethlehem area, hit up Steve at Saucon Valley Bikes- he will always treat a loyal customer right!
    I will probably be using South Mountain Cycles since I will be over in that area more in the future. Though I will probably need to use cycledrome if I want to buy a Gary Fisher, as I don't believe SMC carries that line.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Ro
    I have your back brianthebiker. I had a run in with him in the past and I know what you mean about a bad taste in your mouth. The fact that both of us felt the need to mention it on this board speaks volumes. I have never heard any other multiple complaints about the same shop before here. He does not give you the respect you deserve therefore does not get any from me in return. There are many other shops in the valley that provide better service such as; Saucon Valley Bikes, Allentown Bike Line, Action Wheels, Genesis, Broken Spoke, Nestors, etc...

    Adois Alan

    Glad to hear I am not alone I guess......in a weird sort of way;-)
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  13. #13
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    You're cracking me up... they might as well close up shop now. I've seen it before... a reputable bike shop may or may not have shorted some dude $10, he posts it on mtbr.com and BAM... no more customers!

    If I'm not mistaken when you charge something, you have to sign a receipt that confirms I made this purchase for this amount, all spelled out in black and white.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbaSS
    You're cracking me up... they might as well close up shop now. I've seen it before... a reputable bike shop may or may not have shorted some dude $10, he posts it on mtbr.com and BAM... no more customers!

    If I'm not mistaken when you charge something, you have to sign a receipt that confirms I made this purchase for this amount, all spelled out in black and white.

    Are you telling me you never went back to a store because of an overcharge you recognized later? If not, you are one of the few on earth I am sure.

    Yes, I admit I signed it because there was a shop full of people and I felt compelled to move quickly. But an overcharge is still an overcharge.....there is no way around that. And none of these posts would be here if in fact Allen had even allowed for the possibility in his mind that possibly he typed it up wrong.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackamo
    before alan gets run over by a bus by everyone and deserts him there is always two sides and the answer is always in the middle.
    Let's cut the equivocating nonsense......the answer is not always in the middle. That would be statistically impossible even if it was indeed a possibility in this world.

    If you want to see a copy of the receipt you can for yourself and make your own judgement......I am quite sure you will not still believe that the "answer lies in the middle."
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  16. #16
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    My days of fanning the flames are over... and this just isn't worth the energy.

    So good luck with your campaign.

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    No campaign here......

    Quote Originally Posted by dumbaSS
    My days of fanning the flames are over... and this just isn't worth the energy.

    So good luck with your campaign.

    I just needed to vent and felt I also needed to get the word out. I trusted him for over 10 years, and the first time I come forward with a real compaint he basically calls me a liar by not looking into my complaint.

    I am not out to "get" Allen........so this will be my last post on the subject and I am going to unsubscribe to this thread.

    It is too nice for this nonsense anyway.....time to get out and ride;-)
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianthebiker
    I will probably be using South Mountain Cycles since I will be over in that area more in the future. Though I will probably need to use cycledrome if I want to buy a Gary Fisher, as I don't believe SMC carries that line.

    If you're in the SMC area- I hit the shop almost every morning for my morning jolt on my commute to work...usually around 8-ish....Taylor is definitely one of the best wrenches in a 60 mile radius...

  19. #19
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    Sorry, I have nothing but the best to say about Alan. He builds strong wheels, always digs out some part I need and charges little or nothing for it (stems, shifters nuts, bolts, etc.). It's the little things like hooking me up with ferrules and end caps when I buy cables., or switching cassettes while I wait that keep me comming back (I wrench on my own bike but there are those certain things...). There are times he is busy, so I avoid those times when I need some service. I do buy online but I do go to see him first, I feel it's justified to spend $5-$10 dollars more for something if I can have it now, avoid the hastles of shipment and put a little money in his pocket. He once sold me Spynergy spox front wheel for $50!

    Bottom line: his attitude, his willlingness to float me some small freebies, and his wheelbuilding skills keep me comming back. We've been through this before, I guess to be fair he's more of a roadie than a MTBRer

  20. #20
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    joe mamma. you seem to have put it in good perspective. Some shops are bmx, road mtn oriented. It's hard to secialize in one area. People will always buy off the internet. The other side of the coin and what i meant by the answer is always in the middle is not someone's ten dollars but the other side is i saw a guy completely whittle down the shop for a deal on bikes for a team and when the shop finally agreed the guy bought another brand at a bike show. To me that's the other side of this and makes ten dollars look silly. Sure bike shops arent' perfect and sometimes can't compete with OEM parts from 04 that are on sale online, but again.....your dealing with a human and if you show consistency they will return the favor as a free market place should.


    sooooooooo..........if people are on here complaining do i get to dime out the guy who bought another bike after working all the shops in the area against eachother. Do i get to dimeout the people who promise to do trailwork and never do. Do i dimeout PA mtn bikers who for some reason are drunk with abundance of access and don't feel the need to organize(those who are organize and you know who you are are excluded). I like bike shops aren't perfect(which is consistently pointed out on the forums) but we all keep pressing on.

    I digress. After a night out talking about cycling i'm tired to "get into the ring" at this moment but time will tell.

    I'll see you at the races or on the trail on my trek which has been perfect through all kinds of conditions

  21. #21
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    Hey Joe...you're right on about Alan's wheelbuilding skills. After rave reviews, I gave him the parts to build a wheelset for me and they turned out perfect. He charged a very small amount of $$$...especially considering I didn't buy the parts from him.

    The freebies...which I didn't want to mention before since I don't want him to get a ton of beggers. He doesn't do it for everyone, but the people he gets to know a little get great hook-ups. He's got boxes filled with all kinds of goodies and I've gotten a few of 'em for nothing or just a couple $$$. Even after building a relationship with Genesis way back..I never had that kind of service there. They were good in their own way though. Genesis did teach me how to overhaul a HeadShok the correct way and got me the needed castle tool, etc..

    Anywho...Alan all the way for me. Genesis is great too. The Tighlman St Bike Line is also good -- I have a few buds that go there. Basically...stick with whomever is closest and build a relationship. Spokes in Hamburg is great too, but it's a heck of a drive for me.

    - Chris

  22. #22
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    Hey,thanks it's good to know I'm not alone here! I'll be in to see Alan soon for another "custom" wheel build. -- Joe

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Ro
    The fact that both of us felt the need to mention it on this board speaks volumes. I have never heard any other multiple complaints about the same shop before here.
    I realize I'm late to this thread, and at the risk of beating a dead horse here...

    two = multiple? Well, I guess you could say that. What "volumes" it says to me is that of the thousands of customers the shop has, 2 of you feel you have a problem. File that under "you can't please everybody".

    Enough people have jumped in here to defend Alan and the shop that I don't need to add much except to say in my 15 years of doing business there, I have had nothing but good experiences.

    Brian - one question you never answered: Did you get your $10 back or not?

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=GT_guy]I realize I'm late to this thread, and at the risk of beating a dead horse here...

    two = multiple? Well, I guess you could say that. What "volumes" it says to me is that of the thousands of customers the shop has, 2 of you feel you have a problem. File that under "you can't please everybody".

    What other shops is there a thread dedicated to their poor customer service?
    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"
    Mike Tyson

  25. #25
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    File that under "you can't please everybody".

    The customer is ALWAYS right.
    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"
    Mike Tyson

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