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  1. #1
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    When your local Cannondale shop treats you like crap...

    I went to my local Cannondale shop today. It was raining and they were pretty busy (MS150 ride this weekend) I haven't been to this shop for a long time, and wanted to check out the new bikes. Granted, I'm broke and almost never buy anything.Guess you could say I was window shopping. But I was just wondering if they had some parts I needed. One they didn't have and the other(a shorter headshok stem) was $60! I was taken back. The mechanic said "too much for you,huh?" I answered: "well yeah. You know how it is" "yeah, I know how it is" he retorted. "I need to keep the business running and it won't be through you!" .Ouch! Now, I know I may come across as too cheap sometimes, but I'm not cheap, I'm broke! I then decided to leave, but couldn't help but feel like I was treated like crap. I realize they were busy,but did he need to be such a jerk? Don't get me wrong, I love Cannondales, but these guys are used to dealing with rich people and they seem to run out of patience with normal folk.The next closest dealer is 40 miles away, in another expensive suburb. It's in times like this when I wish I had a different bike...

  2. #2
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    Maybe he was treated like crap himself by another customer five minutes before? Who knows, we all have bad days...

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedmetal
    I went to my local Cannondale shop today. It was raining and they were pretty busy (MS150 ride this weekend) I haven't been to this shop for a long time, and wanted to check out the new bikes. Granted, I'm broke and almost never buy anything.Guess you could say I was window shopping. But I was just wondering if they had some parts I needed. One they didn't have and the other(a shorter headshok stem) was $60! I was taken back. The mechanic said "too much for you,huh?" I answered: "well yeah. You know how it is" "yeah, I know how it is" he retorted. "I need to keep the business running and it won't be through you!" .Ouch! Now, I know I may come across as too cheap sometimes, but I'm not cheap, I'm broke! I then decided to leave, but couldn't help but feel like I was treated like crap. I realize they were busy,but did he need to be such a jerk? Don't get me wrong, I love Cannondales, but these guys are used to dealing with rich people and they seem to run out of patience with normal folk.The next closest dealer is 40 miles away, in another expensive suburb. It's in times like this when I wish I had a different bike...
    I think his comment was out of line, however the stem price is market appropriate.

    You might consider reviewing some of the deals that can be had online as shipping (especially within the US) is often very reasonable.

    If you are looking to switch stem lengths perhaps you could investigate a trade with another Cannondale owner who is looking for a slightly longer stem.
    <Insert Quiver>

  4. #4
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    Remember...eBay is your friend.

  5. #5
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    Poor customer service is not a monopoly... every type of business that exists has at some point in time dished out some poor customer service.

    Sometimes I get that feeling from a LBS here. I don't go there often because it's about a 20 minute drive from my house, but when I go I get the feeling that they're too busy to even say hi to me. They're friendly, most of the time. But they cater to a higher end market, i.e. the cheapest bike they sell is $2,000. Since I'm sponsored by another LBS and have never bought anything other than small parts from them, I get the feeling that they don't want to "waste their time" on a $20 sale. Maybe it's just me over-analyzing the situation.

    But to each his own... The comment was inappropriate nonetheless.
    Last edited by Skeletor; 04-10-2008 at 04:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Maybe he was treated like crap himself by another customer five minutes before? Who knows, we all have bad days...

    Still not an excuse though.....That pretty much kept him from doing any future deals with that customer.....You never know who has the money to buy something or not unless they actually do...
    A friend of mine had a similar experience at a PORSCHE dealership...
    The sales representative wouldn't let him test drive a car because Quote:" You're not able to afford this vehicle anyways".
    Guess what...the guy was right BUT, my Buddy's dad was going to pay for it so he ended up getting a BMW M3 instead.....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the comments, guys. Yes, maybe the guy was just having a bad day. I would like to trade my stem for a shorter one. I have a 120mm and I'm really looking for a 80mm. Anybody?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedmetal
    "I need to keep the business running and it won't be through you!":
    Yeah, that's pretty rude, I'd have to admit. That said though, $60 is the going MSRP for the stems, so it's not as though they were gouging you, just more than you could afford. Ah well, customer service is tough.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedmetal
    Thanks for the comments, guys. Yes, maybe the guy was just having a bad day. I would like to trade my stem for a shorter one. I have a 120mm and I'm really looking for a 80mm. Anybody?
    Speedmetal, are you in Texas? I know the MS150 from Houston to Austin. And if you're in Houston, then there are multiple Cannondale stores in the area. Now with that said, I'm sure the guy was just having a bad day and probably were swamped with so many people needing their bikes worked on for Saturday. Let me know, I can direct you to other shops if indeed you feel slighted.

  10. #10
    discombobulated SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    Still not an excuse though.....That pretty much kept him from doing any future deals with that customer.....You never know who has the money to buy something or not unless they actually do...
    A friend of mine had a similar experience at a PORSCHE dealership...
    The sales representative wouldn't let him test drive a car because Quote:" You're not able to afford this vehicle anyways".
    Guess what...the guy was right BUT, my Buddy's dad was going to pay for it so he ended up getting a BMW M3 instead.....
    Your buddy NEEDS to go back to the porsche dealer to show the salesman AND his boss what he can and cannot afford...
    CDT

  11. #11
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    Yes, I'm in Houston. Come to think of it, it's not the first time this happens.I asked them one time why they didn't have any size small Rushes or Prophets to test ride, and the guy just didn't answer. I never got to try a proper fitting bike.I ended up buying a used bike from a local rider instead. I would had bought a new hardtail 'dale from this shop for the same price, but they never had a size small...
    If anybody knows of other Cannondale dealers in the area,let me know. I'm still interested on getting a 80mm headshok stem.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedmetal
    If anybody knows of other Cannondale dealers in the area,let me know. I'm still interested on getting a 80mm headshok stem.
    first of all i need to know what area of town you live in?

    if your south houston then i would suggest Webster Bicycles thats where i got my bike.

    central houston then i would suggest BikeSport.

    north houston then Bike Lane.

    all good shops and all are cannondale dealers

  13. #13
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    Maybe I'll try Bikesport. It more convenient.But not this weekend. The MS150 is happening and everybody is gonna be in a foul mood...

  14. #14
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Wink

    speedmetal:

    Well he still has the stem and he didn't get 60 bucks, so how is he going to pay bills with the money you didn't give him? I would have said "Hey pal buy the stem and I'll put it on for free! Busy or not! Like how hard is that to do! 10 minutes? The 10 minutes you would have done more window shopping and even if you didn't buy something you would have been in his store and that's what it's all about getting the customer in the store! Not walking out MAD

    I'm sure your not going back even when you have a fist full of money! At least you "could" ride the bike, not like the derailer is broken!

    So is the Mechanic the owner/manager? Might try calling the owner and taking it up with him since his mechanic is chasing the business away.

    Remember the past, ask Schwinn about Innovation through Integration! Our local Schwinn shop back in the day wouldn't sell the customer bicycle specific tools due to the owner saying you have to bring your bike to him to be fixed.

    There are a lot of other bikes/shops out there you could like also!



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdaleTony
    Your buddy NEEDS to go back to the porsche dealer to show the salesman AND his boss what he can and cannot afford...
    CDT
    Well, we thought about that too, but then it might look like he just got a rental- or maybe a friends car to show off.....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedmetal
    Maybe I'll try Bikesport. It more convenient.But not this weekend. The MS150 is happening and everybody is gonna be in a foul mood...
    trust me as of closing time this afternoon the bike shops are gonna be relieved that this MS-150 thing is over, yeah they will have some employees manning the rest stops to adjust that guys front derailleur thats been rubbing for the last 20 miles but more than likely you'll get good service.

    as always i believe there are two sides to the story and when you started yours off that you went to this shop rarely and then never buy anything kinda sets the stage for the sarcastic response you got...just sayin'.

    i know for a fact that bikesport has a bin full of old cannondale stems in all sizes and shapes or at least they used to. perhaps you could swing by and rather than fondling the merchandise for five minutes you go straight to the sales person and ask if they have a stem in the size you need. If it's $60 and you don't have all the cash don't complain and at least give them a token payment to hold the stem till you can come up with the rest.

    i just went to eBay and put in " cannondale 80mm " and it pulled up 30+ stems that would work and they have em' at buy it now $15 try that.

    by the way i'm curious what shop was it that was rude to you send me a PM

  17. #17
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    Just to play the other side because I used to work in a bike shop years ago, most people don't realize how many customers come in time after time after time and just look around and want to talk and take up hours of your time and then rarely buy anything or complain about the prices and want a discount on everything.

    They want to pick your brain for every little detail then will come back and show you what they bought on ebay for a great deal. At some point the shop is really not even interested in having these people as customers because they take up so much time and really buy so little.

    Eventually these customers will walk into the shop on a very busy day( ie day before MS150) when the shop is very busy with customers and and will again want to waste your time and in the end will not get treated very well. Many days when the shop is slow they will probably tolerate this time wasting just to keep themselves entertained but on a very busy day probably not.

    Just to be clear I do not know who the shop is or who the original poster is but I am just posting from my experience from working in a bike shop and can see both sides of this story as this was a very common scenario.

  18. #18
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    Bikesport is a good shop. My girlfriend bought her F4 from there. It is very convenient to me, since I live less than a mile away. As the the others stated you may be better served with eBay for savings as long as you feel comfortable doing the install.

    And yes, this weekend will be quiet since all those riders will be heading to Austin by then.

  19. #19
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    Bad day or not, that mechanic's rude comment possibly cost his shop thousands of dollars worth of potential business from the OP. Sometimes being an ass is expensive.

  20. #20
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    Hey Speed,

    What size bar do you run? I think I have an 80mm for Oversize (31.6?) I'll have to check when I get home. I'd be happy to trade for the 120mm. Send me a PM and I can send you photos (It's never been used, but it's a pretty heavy, solid C'Dale stem). Other details, we could work out.

  21. #21
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    I'm not a fan of my local dale dealer. I asked if they carried Scalpels (I was in the market) and I got a chuckle followed by "there's not much use for a cross country bike around here", which is the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.

    I went to a different dale dealer 350 miles away* and came out with a discounted price on a special order Taurine.


    *When a person lives in Montana, this is not terribly far.

  22. #22
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    i learned another word

    CRAP

    hihihhihihi

    i will use tomorrow with my bike friends

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gk02
    Just to play the other side because I used to work in a bike shop years ago, most people don't realize how many customers come in time after time after time and just look around and want to talk and take up hours of your time and then rarely buy anything or complain about the prices and want a discount on everything...
    I'd have to agree having worked in a shop, sometimes you've got to make an assumption with a customer and see if they're worth your time Vs. $$$ from a that customer- especially when the shop's full of customers. It's never something that you want to do. There are better ways to walk away from a customer, but his way sounds like a bad joke. If you are planning to buy a bike in the future and want to talk. Sounds like this guy was peed off or making a bad joke.
    I always found that if a customer was up-front saying they weren't going to buy it today/diddn't have the money for a few months- I'd actually spend time with them ensuring that we got that future sale.
    Last edited by majura; 04-13-2008 at 12:25 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    Still not an excuse though.....That pretty much kept him from doing any future deals with that customer.....You never know who has the money to buy something or not unless they actually do...
    A friend of mine had a similar experience at a PORSCHE dealership...
    The sales representative wouldn't let him test drive a car because Quote:" You're not able to afford this vehicle anyways".
    Guess what...the guy was right BUT, my Buddy's dad was going to pay for it so he ended up getting a BMW M3 instead.....
    Thats very true, this one lady in Hermes was being very rude to my sister and wouldnt show her a Hermes kelly cause she thought my sister was just anohter college girl window shopping, but guess what next time my sister came in they had a Hermes birkin in the window and another sales lady which was so kind was willing to show it to my sis and she ended up buying it. That lady lost alot of commission that day cause of what she said.

  25. #25
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    Long story short people can be real di**s. No one ever deserves to be talked down to and I'm a firm believer in the old "people might not remember what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel". Because of this I'd never set foot in that store again full stop.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletor
    Poor customer service is not a monopoly... every type of business that exists has at some point in time dished out some poor customer service.

    Sometimes I get that feeling from a LBS here. I don't go there often because it's about a 20 minute drive from my house, but when I go I get the feeling that they're too busy to even say hi to me. They're friendly, most of the time. But they cater to a higher end market, i.e. the cheapest bike they sell is $2,000. Since I'm sponsored by another LBS and have never bought anything other than small parts from them, I get the feeling that they don't want to "waste their time" on a $20 sale. Maybe it's just me over-analyzing the situation.

    But to each his own... The comment was inappropriate nonetheless.
    Maybe they know you're sponsored by another shop. In that case, I wouldn't give you much time either. It's just how it is.

    To the OP, the shot rats comment was wrong, but it gets really old having people balk at a fair price. That's what headshock stems go for.
    Disclaimer: I fix bikes for a living.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by majura
    I always found that if a customer was up-front saying they weren't going to buy it today/diddn't have the money for a few months- I'd actually spend time with them ensuring that we got that future sale.
    To true.

    Just as a side Note, MS150 or any other big ride weekend is miserable for shops. Everyone shows up on Friday and says "I have a big race tomorrow and need a tune up." They all expect you to be able to turn their bike around in an hour when you have 65 other Jackarses who knew they needed tune ups two months ago but waited until the day before their big "race" to get it done.
    Disclaimer: I fix bikes for a living.

  28. #28
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    www.jensonusa.com

    Learn it.
    Use it.
    Love it.

    You didn't deserve that comment from the shop wrench; so the answer is simple. Take your money elsewhere!

  29. #29
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    Sadly I am not at all surprised... Of the C'Dale shops in my local are, only one is what I would consider well liked and customer focused, and they are nearly 40 miles away. The rest are all only ever interested in that guy with $2000 burning a hole in their pocket. It's why I use an Iron Horse shop for any maintenance and non C'Dale specific parts I need. For the C'Dale stuff I make that long'ish trip or I reach out to Craig (MendonCycles here on MTBR) because instead of trying to bully me into spending the money I need to feed my baby they work with me to make what I can spend fit my needs. I recently converted my old Super V to an Uber V... the reactions I got at most shops were anything from mockingly humoring to flat out obnoxiously rude because I had the audacity to not want to by a new bike... I got the parts I needed through the above mentioned sources and went over what I had and what I still needed with the owner and the Mechanic at the Iron Horse shop, they jumped right on board and helped me pick out the remainder of what I needed. Some things they had and were able to help me with and some things the owner was totally up front with admitting I was going to get a far better deal online than he could do for me. Once all the parts were in they built it up for me and taught me how to use the new shocks, neither of which were sold by them... now THATS customer service! C'DALE, if you are reading this, you NEED to talk to your dealers on Long Island NY because most of em are getting it VERY wrong. Feel free to PM me for particulars on the good ones and the bad ones... and the VERY bad one.

  30. #30
    USED2COULD
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwnhlldav
    To true.

    Just as a side Note, MS150 or any other big ride weekend is miserable for shops. Everyone shows up on Friday and says "I have a big race tomorrow and need a tune up." They all expect you to be able to turn their bike around in an hour when you have 65 other Jackarses who knew they needed tune ups two months ago but waited until the day before their big "race" to get it done.
    I worked in a store once too and I can't disagree more.
    As a service provider a store is there to provide services when the customer base requires it.

    This can be approached in a couple of ways:

    > Build relationships and identify the benefits of better maintenance planning.
    > Determine how to service as many customers, as well as possible, during these boom opportunities.
    <Insert Quiver>

  31. #31
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    Originally Posted by dwnhlldav
    To true.

    Just as a side Note, MS150 or any other big ride weekend is miserable for shops. Everyone shows up on Friday and says "I have a big race tomorrow and need a tune up." They all expect you to be able to turn their bike around in an hour when you have 65 other Jackarses who knew they needed tune ups two months ago but waited until the day before their big "race" to get it done.


    Quote Originally Posted by NS2000X
    > Determine how to service as many customers, as well as possible, during these boom opportunities.
    I couldn't agree more, I find it very strange that some bike shops have the mentality that people wanting to spend money there are "jackarses". Are Bike shop dudes there to be cool?, or are they there to make a living! I'd be over the moon if I owned a shop that was bursting at the seems with customers, my only concern would be on how to make sure I could help them ALL! Cha Ching! And I'll tell you what if my mechanics attitude on customer service, when that's what I'm in the business of, is that bad, he'd be dropped.

    We have some really shitty LBS here in Sydney, and it always comes down to lousy attitude and the guys working there generally thinking they are better than the customer! That's why I will always try to support a shop an hour and a half away in a small town, the owner there and all his staff kill themselves to give you the best customer service they can, any brand, any bike they just do their best to sort you out! now that's a bike store, and guess what, his biggest problem is dealing with the massively increasing customer base! he's run off his feet, but not a bad problem to have. Maybe the others are just lazy.

  32. #32
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    As a former retailer, it never cease to amaze me how the people who get into retail just aren't suited to it. Generally most shops go through the motions without considering why they're really there. They all generally set them selves up the same way.
    If someone wants to pay for me to do a PHD I reckon I could find that the true 'reward' for most owners comes from the fact that they have employees (to do the dirty work).
    The there are the good stores, where people are selling stuff they would actually want to buy themselves, and the difference is night and day.
    the the next problem is that retail can be a pretty poor business investment, with low returns.
    I know everyone raves about having a job they love, but if you take one of the things you're really passionate about in life and then turn it in to a chore - you'd be a depressed retailer (or employee) too.

    sp3000 - what's the shop you speak of?

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