Bit of a disaster

ride_whenever
ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
edited January 2011 in Workshop
Tale from the workshop today...

Customer comes in, and one thing leads to another resulting in a full frame strip and a lot of new parts... :wink:

Removing the downtube barrel adjusters one snaps, this isn't a huge issue considering the state of the frame however on attempting to easy-out the remnants of the stop the easyout snaps. :roll:

During an expedition to our tame engineers to try and solve the issue the boss is sheared off the frame completely. :shock:

What would you expect as a customer?

Comments

  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    steel or alloy?
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Fix it or a replacement frame (something of comparable value to the old frame in its current state).
    More problems but still living....
  • c0ugars
    c0ugars Posts: 202
    I would say fix it and a respray, but if that happend to me i think i would like the workshop guys to talk to me about what happend and just talk me through what can be done, if they are buying alot of new part and you offer then a new frame/bike at a discount they might be up for that.
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    Discuss it with the customer, offering a repair and respray at your cost or a shared cost depending on the state of the frame when he brought it in or offer a new frame at shared cost on the basis that he will have a better bike overall. This assumes that a repair and respray is cheaper than the equivalent frame.

    Are you replacing enough bits to merit a new bike purchase given the frame condition now?
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    You have to fix or replace to the customers satisfaction surely?
    you guys under took the re build job and would have been happy to make a profit on the job, so you ve gotta be up for the loss as well dont you?

    i feel for you ! Better hope she/he s the understanding type :lol:
  • Wappygixer
    Wappygixer Posts: 1,396
    If the bike was in a poor state then I would say it lies with the customer.
    You have tried to resolve a problem caused by lack of maintenance.
    If you easyouts snapped it could be due to poor quality, so buying top quality Dorma ones in future could be a good invetment.
    At the end I would offer the customer a repair at cost.If the bikes was in such a poor state they may not be bothered about a respray.
    Good luck
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Anyway, customer wasn't interested in a respray and simply wanted the work done and the bike rideable for the weekend. It currently is, although obviously we're not happy with our work :(

    The problem was certainly caused by neglect on their part, and our engineer stated that the piece was stuck in there to the point that no easy-out would have removed it.



    As for the profit comment, we're not actually one of those hugely mercenary bike shops who want to gouge everyone for every penny, we do far too much work for free and offer way too many discount but somehow we still keep our heads above water. We were actually passing on savings that we'd made on the parts directly to the customer in order to help them as he was in preparation for an ironman and the bike was hanging... Please don't be so quick to judge us :oops:
  • Customer's faultt unless frame is under warrantee still? frame suppliers should ream the stops out and properly grease threads before inserting adjusters and selling - a permanent fix.
  • Smokin Joe
    Smokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    You should have pulled the old car repairer's trick, swear blind it was like that when the customer brought it in.
  • richh
    richh Posts: 187
    As for the profit comment, we're not actually one of those hugely mercenary bike shops who want to gouge everyone for every penny, we do far too much work for free and offer way too many discount but somehow we still keep our heads above water. We were actually passing on savings that we'd made on the parts directly to the customer in order to help them as he was in preparation for an ironman and the bike was hanging... Please don't be so quick to judge us :oops:
    I don't think anyone one was judging you on this. It's good business practice to set prices at a level where you hope to make a profit (to some extent) at the end of the year but it also give you some room to cover unexpected things like this by accepting a lower profit. Nothing wrong with that approach at all and no one would expect otherwise. It everyone purely ran at cost and didn't factor in some additional margin on every job, a single event like this would put the company into liquidation. Read back the original comment with that in mind and I think you'll see it wasn't meant how you've taken it. Margin on each job is there for that purpose (and to be converted to profit if all goes well).
  • ynyswen24
    ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    Repair and respray at cost would be the first option but if the customer is a valued one (or might become one) then the option of a new frame might be worth taking a short trem hit on. Being prepared to do that might cost money in the short run but think of it as part of an effective marketing budget to reach everyone the customer rides with.

    Sounds like you're handling it well already.
  • Valy
    Valy Posts: 1,321
    Wait, I don't get it? How is the bike ridable if one of the cable bosses snapped of? What am I missing here? Is not a boss critical to holding tension in a cable?
    :?
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    We're very very good 8)

    Full outer to the rear mech...
  • Valy
    Valy Posts: 1,321
    :P

    I see. Have you just cello-taped/zip-tied/attached it to the frame to keep it in place? Also how long is it if you don't mind?

    And if the customer is okay with it... dono - maybe a discount on next purchase or a freebie?
  • mamba80 wrote:
    You have to fix or replace to the customers satisfaction surely?
    you guys under took the re build job and would have been happy to make a profit on the job, so you ve gotta be up for the loss as well dont you?

    i feel for you ! Better hope she/he s the understanding type :lol:

    Can only see this being the option for a good shop to take / offer to the customer. Unless the customer was advised the there might be a problem due to neglect at the time they took the bike in.

    Good luck.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    The outer is very long... it's cable tied in place but isn't really noticeable as i've managed to keep it fairly well out of sight.

    I did discuss all the options with the customer. I'm not entirely sure what entirely is the right course, having never been cleaned in 4 years it is certainly neglect, although one adjuster came out fine. I need to speak to my boss as to just how pissed the customer was in the end...
  • Valy
    Valy Posts: 1,321
    The outer is very long... it's cable tied in place but isn't really noticeable as i've managed to keep it fairly well out of sight.

    I did discuss all the options with the customer. I'm not entirely sure what entirely is the right course, having never been cleaned in 4 years it is certainly neglect, although one adjuster came out fine. I need to speak to my boss as to just how pissed the customer was in the end...

    Yeah... this is one of them things. Had it been in the hands of the owner that would have been it. But the "time bomb" went off at you and indeed - not sure what can be done here as it was not really your fault (unless you took out a stubbed toe or something on it! :P) but then again not doing anything does not seem too cool either... then... again you have fixed the problems to the extent that there is no effect from the break.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    This is why I came on here! Usually I've got a pretty good idea of the right thing to do, but in this circumstance I had no idea.

    It's an interesting thought that rich raised, it would be lovely to live by 'good business practices' but unfortunately then people don't spend money in this age of online shopping vs. bricks and mortar. If we were charging retail prices then I think it would have changed things, however we'd knocked £200 off the rrp for the gruppo and a chunk off the wheels leaving us with an insignificant markup and the labour.
  • Valy
    Valy Posts: 1,321
    Yeah in that case it's best to see what the "baaaws" says. Was the customer indifferent or unhappy?
  • boblo
    boblo Posts: 360
    Question for the OP. If the frame/kit etc was in such a poor state when it came in, shouldn't you have forseen some problems and caveated your work?

    You know, 'this looks like there could be a few rusty/stuck bits and we can't guarantee how they'll behave when we try and remove them. This means that....'.
  • Dirk1978
    Dirk1978 Posts: 148
    Did I miss something, did the guy state he was training for an Ironman and he doesn't look after his bike........ I think he may need more than good luck to get through it!

    You would like to think if he is taking part in something as big as an Ironman he would look after his kit, it is what will get him through it. That is unless he has another bike he was planning on using for the ride.
  • Steve2020
    Steve2020 Posts: 133
    It's a conundrum!

    As someone said it was just unlucky that the time bomb went off in your hands but it doesn't seem fair for you to bear the whole cost, notwithstanding any profit you might have made from the job.

    If you borrowed a bike and the rim wore through while you were riding, you wouldn't feel morally obliged to buy him a new rim, and I don't see why this is any different.
  • ADIHEAD
    ADIHEAD Posts: 575
    When things like that happen on my 8 year old car, I get told it's due to natural corrosion on a vehicle that age and it's my problem. Used to be involved in running an LGV workshop and was the same situation on older vehicle. I think you've got a great conscience, which is to be applauded but I reckon you've already done the right thing :wink:
  • "Easy-out"....probably the worst-named tool I've ever come across. It fulfils neither of its names in my experience. And here's somebody else confirming my theory.

    Rotten luck to have it happen in this case, though.

    On my current ancient alloy frame, the barrels for the adjusters were cunningly welded on the head tube so as to give the RH gear cable maximum interference with the front brake cable - it was in totally the wrong place. I drilled and tapped my down tube M5 (in roughly the position DT levers would be) and screwed an Ultegra adjuster to the frame direct with a longer screw. Yes, I know my previous steel frames both broke their down tubes at the point where the lever bosses were brazed on, but the aluminium frame hasn't bust yet - 32000 miles and counting.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Customer picked it up, didn't recognise the bike it was so clean!!!

    More than happy with the job and the work, so it seems like we've got away with it. 8)
  • ynyswen24
    ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    Customer picked it up, didn't recognise the bike it was so clean!!!

    More than happy with the job and the work, so it seems like we've got away with it. 8)

    Doesn't sound like getting away with it - more like handling the situation well.