French LBS Customer Service

bernithebiker
bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
edited March 2013 in Road general
I had to return my fork to Specialized recently for a recall - it came back OK, and I got 100 Euros of vouchers to spend. Quite fancy the new Specialized Expert jersey, pricey, £90, but hey, it's a freebie;



So 2 weeks ago I ask my LBS if they can get one for me.

Them: 'OK, just got a big box of 2013 Specialized stuff in, give us a few days and we'll see if we have it'

Me : OK cool

5 days later, Me : Any luck?

Them : No, busy, haven't opened the box yet.

Me : OK, I'll come back next Tuesday then?

Them : Maybe make it Wednesday.

(They don't open on Mondays)

5 days later, Me : So is this special box open yet?

Them : No.

Me : OK look, can I just order one then, 'cos not sure it's in the box anyway

Them : Well I won't order one until we've opened the box as it might be in there.

Me : er, OK, when's that then?

Them : Give us another week...............

Holy sh8t!
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Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    edited March 2013
    So are you telling me that you have 100 Euros to spend and they wont open a box or order the item?
    You have a lot more patience than I would!

    I avoid France these days after lady at customer services in the Pompidou Centre started shouting at my wife and made her cry :shock:
    Love that Mr Rude in the Mr Man Show is French :lol: My favourite line was "It tastes like cat sic"

    Went across to Italy. Much nicer and their toilets do not smell French!
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    did you say all this in French or English?
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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I hope you did not say it in English but with a Mr Rude/Alo Alo style French accent like that silly footballer did recently :lol:
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    goonz wrote:
    did you say all this in French or English?

    In French, fortunately I speak the lingo, worked for Total in Geneva for 10 years.

    It really amazes me; times are hard, people buying 100 Euros cycle tops can't pop along every 5 minutes, there are 7 bike shops in a city the size of Bath, and one goes bust every year.......

    I've had this sort of thing, many, many times before, which is why I buy all my stuff from Wiggle, etc. (and BR!)

    French unemployment just hit a fresh peak - der.....
  • verylonglegs
    verylonglegs Posts: 3,954
    You could remove the LBS bit from the title really, it's just France.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Its not just France though. Have a 'North's' bakery that has no hot food left at lunchtime :?: . I have been in there at 10.06am and they have run out of bacon rolls :shock:
    A Jaynes Pantry has just opened a few doors down.........Am looking forward to seeing what shop takes over the old Norths site 8)

    A lot of shops seem to have real problems with the concept of supply and demand :roll:

    My memory of the cinema in Putney/London years ago is an old guy walking up and down the long que shouting "no more hot dogs" Why? If he needs to do that he knows loads of the people want them. They cost 10p to make and prolly sold for £2.50. Duh

    Why is it always the sh1t sizes/colours left in a sale? If they stocked more of the popular ones they would have sold at full price and not have to have been discounted by 70% in a sale at all. If there were still so much stock that they went in the sale, then at least they would sell quicker than the crap ones!
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Managed a ski shop in the Alps for many years. The other shops couldn't come to terms with the amount of repeat business we had as well as the loyalty of our customer base. How did we achieve this? We knew our sh!t and we weren't assholes. Love the French, but you have to know how to work them.
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  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    Grill wrote:
    We knew our sh!t and we weren't assholes.

    This is indeed all you need to succeed in France......

    (Did you know that if a 'fonctionnaire'* does a stint in Martinique or Guadeloupe, (oh the suffering!), they get to retire 5 years early?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (True).


    *public sector worker
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Be fantastic if they had to retire to Moutiers. Wouldn't have to pay out on the pension very long..
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  • curium
    curium Posts: 815
    I'm always slightly perplexed by this reputation the French have acquired. Initially I put it down to the people who visit Paris, I live in London and I know that people in big cities can be rude and staff in big chain stores impatient but I hear similar experiences from people who have visited other parts of France.

    Me and my family regularly holiday in a campsite in Provence and the owners of the campsite couldn't be more attentive, once you're able to converse in French. There are some quirks, like the time I fell asleep by the pool and awoke after lunch and couldn't get a bite to eat anywhere in town or the next town! But I find these aspects quite endearing compared to the open all hours (and the requirement for workers to work all hours) culture in the UK as it speaks to a culture that values family and eating together.

    I have had my own LBS nightmare in the UK which led me to take my custom online.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I love France and the French. I thin the quirky way they often do things is so endearing. They like you to at least attempt to speak in French and it can be a pain that the country stops every Sunday and Monday but that's ok with me...
  • There was one bike shop in the town I lived in in Austria that had absolutely amazing customer service, and one at the other end of the spectrum. I went to the one at the other end of the spectrum to buy a new MTB helmet as they were the only stockists of POC helmets in town, and I always try before I buy when it comes to clothes. They had stock in the back, and I could see the extra helmets from where I was standing. He asked if I liked the helmet after trying it on (after waiting over 10 minutes to be spoken to, but I don't mind as I have a look around). I said yes and I would love to get one, if they could grab one from the back I would much appreciate it. Bear in mind I can still see it from where I am standing. So the guy goes off, get's distracted by another customer and proceeds to spend 10 minutes again talking to them as if they were friends. I approach and say, very politely, could you maybe grab my helmet from the back as I am finished browsing and would like to pay. This was met with a "yeah yeah give me a minute for christ sake" attitude, to which I told him I no longer wanted the helmet as his buddy was more important than someone buying a 175 euro helmet. I told him he should see how his customer service stacks up to other shops, and re-think his approaches to customers to which I was kicked out of the store for.


    Anyways, come a year later the shop had shut down, and I saw the owner walking in town. He approached me and apologised for his actions the day I was there, and just seemed to want to make amends. I told him it was fine since i'm not one to hold grudges, but if I got service like I did, it's no wonder why they shut down. He explained the customer he was speaking to buys new bikes twice a year, and the money was desperately needed as they were losing customers. I told him he was probably losing customers because of the service, 20 minutes for a flippin helmet when all he had to do was walk 5 metres and pick it off the shelf, and he agreed.

    Anyways, long story short, they always realise terrible service when it is TOOOOOOOOO late.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    edited March 2013
    Don't get me wrong, there are lots of things that I like about France and French people, and I could not agree more about shops being shut (being a good thing) and that visitors should try speaking a little French etc.

    At the end of the day though, when I compare France with Italy, Belgium, Netherlands Germany and Denmark, despite all their oddities (Denmark was very odd lol), it is only France that I am now actively avoiding.
    I actually admire some aspects of French rudeness, but it's just 'unnecessarily' rude too often for me ;-)
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Carbonator wrote:
    I avoid France these days after lady at customer services in the Pompidou Centre started shouting at my wife and made her cry :shock:

    OK, can I get this straight? You are avoiding a country because you have personal evidence that there is at least one unpleasant person in it? Ohhh kayyyyyyy............. :lol:

    I think France is terrific. I like the people, I love the cities and the culture, I like the scenery and I like the weather. I struggle to find anything not to like - including that nothing is open on Sundays. That's civilised.
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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Did you not read what I wrote? (actually I may have edited the last line in after you read it to be fair :oops: ) Why do you think it was one rude person? That was the hair that broke the camels back :lol:
    The French are renowned for being rude.
    There's no smoke without fire ;-)
    If you like France so much jump across to Italy next time, chalk and cheese IMO.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Carbonator wrote:
    Did you not read what I wrote? (actually I may have edited the last line in after you read it to be fair :oops: ) Why do you think it was one rude person? That was the hair that broke the camels back :lol:
    The French are renowned for being rude.
    There's no smoke without fire ;-)
    If you like France so much jump across to Italy next time, chalk and cheese IMO.

    Well, it's the quote I quoted - "I avoid France after I found a rude Frenchman in the Pompidou"! Actually, that doesn't sound quite right!

    Besides, maybe the Frenchmans rudeness to your wife was because he was upset about beautiful Paris being despoiled by a hideous glass box that was designed by an Englishman. In that respect, he was at least partly justified!

    Cultural stereotypes are interesting - I also tend to think they are justified but, tbh, I don't recall any experience of the French being rude to me! And that's despite my more or less non existent French! And I only recall one brash, rude American at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. But I do still go to the States!

    PS - I love Italy too!
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  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Carbonator wrote:
    Did you not read what I wrote? (actually I may have edited the last line in after you read it to be fair :oops: ) Why do you think it was one rude person? That was the hair that broke the camels back :lol:
    The French are renowned for being rude.
    There's no smoke without fire ;-)
    If you like France so much jump across to Italy next time, chalk and cheese IMO.

    Much prefer the French to Italians. The Italians I dealt with (and it was a lot) were mostly douche nozzles. For me spikiness wins out over douchebaggery 10 times out of 10.
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  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,820
    My only experience of LBSs in France was wholly positive: cycling across France last year, halfway though my 730-mile trek, my bottom bracket (BB30) sounded like it was about to give up the ghost. At 9am I called at the most LBS, who apologised as he wasn't up to repairing it, but he directed me to the local Intersport. They opened at 9.30, and when I asked one of the blokes opening up the doors if anyone could help (this was a Friday in August), he ushered me through to his workshop area, where he proceeded to strip, clean and grease my bottom bracket while I waited. About 15 minutes later he had it all reassembled and working fine. He wouldn't charge anything at all.

    That's better than anything I would expect in this country. (If you are passing, it's the Intersport in Chateauroux.)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Everyone is going to have their own experiences, good and bad. The French are known for being rude at the end of the day and I have just had enough of it.
  • Grill wrote:
    Carbonator wrote:
    Did you not read what I wrote? (actually I may have edited the last line in after you read it to be fair :oops: ) Why do you think it was one rude person? That was the hair that broke the camels back :lol:
    The French are renowned for being rude.
    There's no smoke without fire ;-)
    If you like France so much jump across to Italy next time, chalk and cheese IMO.

    Much prefer the French to Italians. The Italians I dealt with (and it was a lot) were mostly douche nozzles. For me spikiness wins out over douchebaggery 10 times out of 10.

    Douche nozzle! That is one I havn't heard before, I like it!
  • FoldingJoe
    FoldingJoe Posts: 1,327
    I got £100 voucher!! :)

    Unfortunately spend £45 already in getting them to remove the pedals from the old cranks and fit them to the new one and generally give it a once over whilst they had it.

    Mat of mine who got the same bike at the same time took his into the Covent Garden Specialized store, and got nothing!! :)
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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    FoldingJoe wrote:

    Mat of mine who got the same bike at the same time took his into the Covent Garden Specialized store, and got nothing!! :)

    If he is your mate, shouldn't the :) be a :( ?

    :lol:
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    Never had a bad experience in France myself. Last year when I taco'd a front wheel and needed a cheap spare to last the remainder of the holiday, I went into the LBS jsut as they were closing. He ushered me into his workshop, found a nice ambrosio wheel for €50. In the UK it would have probably ended there, but before he gave it to me, he put it on the truing stand and spent 5 minutes checking spoke tension, alignment, etc,. I also had someone stop their car on the descent of Pla d'adet and offer me a lift home as my crank arm had worked loose and come off on my way up.
  • FoldingJoe
    FoldingJoe Posts: 1,327
    Carbonator wrote:
    FoldingJoe wrote:

    Mat of mine who got the same bike at the same time took his into the Covent Garden Specialized store, and got nothing!! :)

    If he is your mate, shouldn't the :) be a :( ?

    :lol:

    Meh!! ;)
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  • Omar Little
    Omar Little Posts: 2,010
    I've always found the French to be pretty friendly - even the Parisians despite their reputation.
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    It's not so much unfriendly or rude - on the whole I find that part's generally OK.

    When the guy said it would take him a week to open the box he said it with a big smile and was quite friendly... :D

    It's just a bit exasperating sometimes to come up against this very SLOW, don't give a crap, way of thinking.

    The French have had it pretty cushy for the last 20+ years, and it's a lifestyle they can no longer afford; it's going to bite them hard, and quite soon.....

    (To balance my first story, I also had an bike shop near Nice sort out a dodgy BB for me for free, immediately, and they were very nice).
  • When the guy said it would take him a week to open the box he said it with a big smile and was quite friendly... :D

    It's just a bit exasperating sometimes to come up against this very SLOW, don't give a crap, way of thinking.

    Hehe! Sounds like when I lived in Cyprus! :D
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  • Brakeless
    Brakeless Posts: 865
    I just hate everyone, saves having to think about what country I'm in :twisted:
  • hipshot
    hipshot Posts: 371
    I know the OP doesnt do this but It amuses me when some people breezily write off entire nationalities as being rude or lazy.

    It usually says more about the complainant and their personality than anything about the population of the country in question.

    And what's this rubbish about the French having had it too cushy for 20+ years? Perhaps we could do with a bit of cushiness here for a change instead of 30 years of increased working hours for reduced pay and conditions and worsening public services. They certainly aren't perfect, but at least the French can get the basics right like a functioning road and rail system.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Can't be any worse than Cornish folks who do everything dreckly...

    I'm retired enough now to appreciate this endearing quality that everything doesn't need to be achieved by running around like a headless chicken