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Name and Shame your [email protected] LBS

secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,904
edited July 2014 in Road general
I hereby open the debate on rubbish LBS', by hereby nominating Buckingham Bikes in Aylesbury, for the following reasons:
1. It's run and owned by a self-righteous, condescending twonk who thinks he's better than his customers, and is frankly rude
2. It's primarily focused on mountain bikes, with videos showing those stupid "Look Mum, no teeth!" downhill rides on all the time
3. The staff aren't particularly knowledgeable, for example a few years back I observed one of them kitting up a nice old Italian (steel?) frame. I asked what he was fitting, and in reverential tones he said "105". I made a face and mentioned Campag, but he said they "don't do Italian stuff". I asked if they were even fitting the (then) new 105 (5700?) but he had no idea what I was talking about
4. On picking up the kids' bikes from there for their birthday, one had several scratches. It was too late to get another, so I was offered the showroom bike instead, but I had to ask for a (small) discount
5. It's decorated like an upmarket DIY store (grey all over) and only stocks Giants, Treks and other bland stuff. And no Campag.
6. It's expensive.

So I will no longer buy so much as an inner tube there.

It's just a hill. Get over it.
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Posts

  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    If a shop is primary mtb-focused, isn't expecting them to stock Campag a tad unreasonable?
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    This is tempting to name one (that overprice, don't shy from selling people who don't know better the wrong thing just to take their money and are run by an arrogant w****** to boot).
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    1) Has it occurred to you that he might be right?
    2) Surely it isn't wrong for there to be specialist MTB shops? Would you complain if a LBS sold only road bikes?
    3) Plenty of Italian bikes have been fitted with 105 from new. My complaint would be more if he'd been using a modern groupset on an old frame - irrespective of where the frame came from! Old 105 looks very nice and works well - modern Shimano looks a bit rank on old bikes.
    4) If the showroom bike is in perfect condition, why should you necessarily get a discount
    5) The bland stuff sells. Maybe the owner is more focussed on making a business work than romance....
    6) Compared to what? Internet suppliers or other LBS's?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,360
    If they don't sell the sort of bikes you're interested in, go somewhere else. Simple.

    And it's already been pointed out that Campag don't do MTB transmissions, so no real surprise that an MTB shop won't sell much Campag.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • sungodsungod Posts: 14,361
    if service is bad, it may be because they're saving money up to sue for libel

    :D
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,729
    SecretSam wrote:
    I hereby open the debate on rubbish LBS', by hereby nominating Buckingham Bikes in Aylesbury, for the following reasons:
    1. It's run and owned by a self-righteous, condescending twonk who thinks he's better than his customers, and is frankly rude
    2. It's primarily focused on mountain bikes, with videos showing those stupid "Look Mum, no teeth!" downhill rides on all the time
    3. The staff aren't particularly knowledgeable, for example a few years back I observed one of them kitting up a nice old Italian (steel?) frame. I asked what he was fitting, and in reverential tones he said "105". I made a face and mentioned Campag, but he said they "don't do Italian stuff". I asked if they were even fitting the (then) new 105 (5700?) but he had no idea what I was talking about
    4. On picking up the kids' bikes from there for their birthday, one had several scratches. It was too late to get another, so I was offered the showroom bike instead, but I had to ask for a (small) discount
    5. It's decorated like an upmarket DIY store (grey all over) and only stocks Giants, Treks and other bland stuff. And no Campag.
    6. It's expensive.

    So I will no longer buy so much as an inner tube there.

    I hope Buckingham Bikes names and shames you after posting that load of tosh.
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    That's a pretty objective critique of an LBS I must say. Secret Sam I think you need to find an lbs that is perhaps more road focused than MTB, one that might perhaps be more suited to your needs.

    As for being shocked at fitting 105 to an Italian (steel?) frame. I'm surprised you could wait long enough to complain to the internet instead of shooting the mechanics there and then. I mean this happened a couple of years ago, and you've been waiting this long to tell us? How does it feel to finally get that one off your chest?
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    would it not be more productive to have a thread for good LBSs?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • sigorman85sigorman85 Posts: 2,536
    Tell him not us it might get you somewhere .......or not
    When i die I just hope the wife doesn't sell my stuff for what I told her I paid for it other wise someone will be getting a mega deal!!!


    De rosa superking 888 di2
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    I once bought a bike from Buckingham Bikes when they had a branch in errr.... Buckingham, and found them friendly, knowledgeable and everything you'd want from a bike shop selling you a bike. All of your points bar one are your subjective opnion, which doesn't make the shop censored ; the point about the kids bike with scratches is more than likely out of their control, but you ended up with a new bike and a bit off anyway.
  • mallorcajeffmallorcajeff Posts: 1,489
    Sorry but pointless thread? There is a useless bike shop here in mallorca around the corner but i fail to see the point of naming and shaming them? I just choose to go to a shop i know is very good instead. As said before better to tell them not us.
  • clickrumbleclickrumble Posts: 304
    I think the OP is on to something here.
    I went to my LBS and had the temerity to ask about buying a road bike. To my absolute disgust they told me to wait until after I’d tried one rather than buy one straight away, but that they could deign to lend me one to try if I liked. Then, to add insult to injury they told me I could only try the bike out if the roads were dry as they didn’t want to get it shop soiled if I wasn’t going to buy.
    After that they then insisted that they waste more time by spending an hour or so with me sitting on the bike in the shop trying to get it adjusted to fit me. Once they finished with that they only gave me a measly £150 discount on a £1,000 bike, which I had to take in the form of shop credit with 10% off the ticket prices, so I just had to buy kit, accessories etc. I tried to get them to throw in a second bike free but they wouldn’t have any of it, even after I pointed out the superb service I had been offered by all the internet suppliers I know of.
    Also, I experienced very poor warranty service after they refused to change the white bar tape which had gone a nasty grey colour after only 3 months use.
  • zaneladzanelad Posts: 269
    Buckingham Bikes is my LBS. I've found them helpful and if they don't have what I want in stock then they'll get it in quite quickly. They've got a decent website so you can see if what you want is available off the shelf or not if you want to. As It's around the corner from the office I tend to pop in and ask.

    Sure they're dearer than the internet and seem to charge RRP but that seems par for the course these days. I will buy off the net but I try to use the LBS unless the saving is substantial.

    I bought my current bike (and the one before that) from them. I read a review of the bike in Cycling Plus (where else) and only popped in to take a look at it in the flesh. The owner was more than helpful. Spent time with me and although they didn't have my size in stock, he got me the bike in a few days.

    I'm sure I could've got it slightly cheaper off the net, but as I said I prefer to buy from somewhere I can go to in the event of a problem.

    The workshop has always done right by me. Usually I'll work on the bike myself, but when I've had work I cannot (or prefer not to) do they been quick and thorough.

    Use them or loose them.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    SecretSam wrote:
    I hereby open the debate on rubbish LBS', by hereby nominating Buckingham Bikes in Aylesbury, for the following reasons:
    1. It's run and owned by a self-righteous, condescending twonk who thinks he's better than his customers, and is frankly rude
    2. It's primarily focused on mountain bikes, with videos showing those stupid "Look Mum, no teeth!" downhill rides on all the time
    3. The staff aren't particularly knowledgeable, for example a few years back I observed one of them kitting up a nice old Italian (steel?) frame. I asked what he was fitting, and in reverential tones he said "105". I made a face and mentioned Campag, but he said they "don't do Italian stuff". I asked if they were even fitting the (then) new 105 (5700?) but he had no idea what I was talking about
    4. On picking up the kids' bikes from there for their birthday, one had several scratches. It was too late to get another, so I was offered the showroom bike instead, but I had to ask for a (small) discount
    5. It's decorated like an upmarket DIY store (grey all over) and only stocks Giants, Treks and other bland stuff. And no Campag.
    6. It's expensive.

    So I will no longer buy so much as an inner tube there.

    dear oh dear....
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,704
    SecretSam wrote:
    I hereby open the debate on rubbish LBS', by hereby nominating Buckingham Bikes in Aylesbury, for the following reasons:
    1. It's run and owned by a self-righteous, condescending twonk who thinks he's better than his customers, and is frankly rude
    2. It's primarily focused on mountain bikes, with videos showing those stupid "Look Mum, no teeth!" downhill rides on all the time
    3. The staff aren't particularly knowledgeable, for example a few years back I observed one of them kitting up a nice old Italian (steel?) frame. I asked what he was fitting, and in reverential tones he said "105". I made a face and mentioned Campag, but he said they "don't do Italian stuff". I asked if they were even fitting the (then) new 105 (5700?) but he had no idea what I was talking about
    4. On picking up the kids' bikes from there for their birthday, one had several scratches. It was too late to get another, so I was offered the showroom bike instead, but I had to ask for a (small) discount
    5. It's decorated like an upmarket DIY store (grey all over) and only stocks Giants, Treks and other bland stuff. And no Campag.
    6. It's expensive.

    So I will no longer buy so much as an inner tube there.

    I doubt they will miss you. You sound like you are a RRPITA customer.
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    WHERE DO I START:

    I usually wouldn't agree with these things because the shop/other person isn't present to defend themselves, however in this case I will point out bad service, because quite frankly - it's disgusting.

    Way too many in London.

    North London:
    Archway Cycles - These dudes quoted me for a repair (groupset fitting). Main reason I went down there was because I needed BB fitting because I couldn't do it myself (expensive pressfit tool). So I just took the group down and asked for it all to be done. Came back and BB wasn't fitted (They didn't have the tool) and gears were rubbish (They blamed the shifters). Didn't even offer reduced price, still tried to charge me same amount. Went to Condor next day, then made them pay for it.

    The Bicycle Maintenance CompanyMuswell Hill
    These guys have recently changed owner. Same thing again, needed BB change so I could fit new Rotor chainset + Power meter. They damaged the power meter battery cover and threaded the left crank arm bolt...tried to say it was like that when I came in. They didn't care and shifted all the blame to me. They even said that I could try and sue them for it...WOW. Yeah...that only cost me a grand.

    Evans Chalk Farm
    They have new staff in there every week, no offense to the staff but they don't know how to run the tills so you have to wait for the ONE guy who's probably serving someone else. Also they know ef all....I asked for a replacement seat clamp and the person was fiddling with the stem spacers until I had to guide them to the clamps.

    CycleSurgery Camden
    Understaffed. There was one little girl who looked drugged (or very tired). Was really moody and lack of interaction. When I entered there were like 3 people waiting and it was just her serving. At times the entire shop would be left unstaffed for several minutes...she didn't know anything either about seatpost clamps as I had to go to the workshop and talk to the mechanic to get the correct thing. (Evans were out of stock).

    Bike & Run
    East Finchley:
    Was just setting out for a ride and since I was going by, asked if they had a crankset end cap (Standard Shimano) because I was missing one on my training bike. Chap there didn't even look at me just looked at the bike and hardly said a word. He tried fitting several different ones on, he failed and said you don't need one anyway. Once he managed to get one on he then overtightened the crank arm bolts by putting his entire body weight onto the allen and then just said "£5 please"...I didn't complain, I just said I'd never go there again.

    Central:
    Evans London Bridge
    Rudest Manager EVER. Disgusting attitude, very condescending, doesn't care about customers and this is just from me overlooking a situation which he was dealing with.

    ++
    Condor are probably the only half decent store I've been to. Although they do occasionally slip up in the workshop, they do sort things out promptly.
  • TakeTurns - given that you work in one of the aforementioned shops, I'm not sure I understand why you're taking your bike elsewhere when you've got an entire workshop at your disposal and a mechanic if the job takes 10 minutes like a BB change? The Spanish (?) mechanic in your branch seems like a decent enough bloke!
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    edited June 2014
    TakeTurns - given that you work in one of the aforementioned shops, I'm not sure I understand why you're taking your bike elsewhere when you've got an entire workshop at your disposal and a mechanic if the job takes 10 minutes like a BB change? The Spanish (?) mechanic in your branch seems like a decent enough bloke!

    Yeah most of this was during uni term when I wasn't working. I've left that store already believe it or not. Only worked 5 weeks. Second Evans I've worked in and both store managers were corrupt. Mechanics are decent, but the manager wouldn't allow them to lay a finger on anything that wouldn't make the store money. Same goes for the tools, I wasn't allowed to use them because I wasn't 'qualified'.

    They make you walk around with an allen key, but the only purpose is to adjust stuff on bikes you're trying to sell. If you attempt to help someone with their bike (brought from outside) you'll get told to STOP in front of the customer and then later get a grilling in the office about how they should book their bike in and get it serviced otherwise you're making the store loose money and all this BS. When all you wanted to do was to tighten some brake cable slack so the person could ride home safely.

    It's a shame, because at the core Evans is decent, but inevitably after getting so big it has become corrupt in some places.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    TakeTurns wrote:
    WHERE DO I START:

    I usually wouldn't agree with these things because the shop/other person isn't present to defend themselves, however in this case I will point out bad service, because quite frankly - it's disgusting.

    Way too many in London.

    North London:
    Archway Cycles - These dudes quoted me for a repair (groupset fitting). Main reason I went down there was because I needed BB fitting because I couldn't do it myself (expensive pressfit tool). So I just took the group down and asked for it all to be done. Came back and BB wasn't fitted (They didn't have the tool) and gears were rubbish (They blamed the shifters). Didn't even offer reduced price, still tried to charge me same amount. Went to Condor next day, then made them pay for it.

    The Bicycle Maintenance CompanyMuswell Hill
    These guys have recently changed owner. Same thing again, needed BB change so I could fit new Rotor chainset + Power meter. They damaged the power meter battery cover and threaded the left crank arm bolt...tried to say it was like that when I came in. They didn't care and shifted all the blame to me. They even said that I could try and sue them for it...WOW. Yeah...that only cost me a grand.

    Evans Chalk Farm
    They have new staff in there every week, no offense to the staff but they don't know how to run the tills so you have to wait for the ONE guy who's probably serving someone else. Also they know ef all....I asked for a replacement seat clamp and the person was fiddling with the stem spacers until I had to guide them to the clamps.

    CycleSurgery Camden
    Understaffed. There was one little girl who looked drugged (or very tired). Was really moody and lack of interaction. When I entered there were like 3 people waiting and it was just her serving. At times the entire shop would be left unstaffed for several minutes...she didn't know anything either about seatpost clamps as I had to go to the workshop and talk to the mechanic to get the correct thing. (Evans were out of stock).

    Bike & Run
    East Finchley:
    Was just setting out for a ride and since I was going by, asked if they had a crankset end cap (Standard Shimano) because I was missing one on my training bike. Chap there didn't even look at me just looked at the bike and hardly said a word. He tried fitting several different ones on, he failed and said you don't need one anyway. Once he managed to get one on he then overtightened the crank arm bolts by putting his entire body weight onto the allen and then just said "£5 please"...I didn't complain, I just said I'd never go there again.

    Central:
    Evans London Bridge
    Rudest Manager EVER. Disgusting attitude, very condescending, doesn't care about customers and this is just from me overlooking a situation which he was dealing with.

    ++
    Condor are probably the only half decent store I've been to. Although they do occasionally slip up in the workshop, they do sort things out promptly.

    Do you think with a list that long maybe it's you that's wrong?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    edited June 2014
    Chris Bass wrote:
    Do you think with a list that long maybe it's you that's wrong?

    Yes, I was wrong to ever go to those stores.
    For purchasing parts and the like I will still go to Evans because I can price match from online and get it quicker. But unless I really have to, I will never use a workshop service, EVER. Because I've worked in stores and I know how they treat bikes.
  • Philly8mtPhilly8mt Posts: 552
    Tell ya something .... As bad as you make out all those shops to be ....

    There are many, many far worse customers!

    Pity the shops can't tell stories about what they have to put up/deal with as well :(
    Still thinking of something clever to say!
  • DownwardDownward Posts: 179
    The customer is always right.
  • Philly8mtPhilly8mt Posts: 552
    Downward wrote:
    The customer is always right.


    If you've ever been even remotely involved in retail ... You'll know that's the biggest load of cobblers ever!
    Still thinking of something clever to say!
  • I find this a hard topic.
    I agree sadly with take turns with his list as I've been to two of those shops and service was awful.



    I think about it like this ; people here complain about canyon cycles or a specialized bike. Or we name and shame shops like next or carpets direct.

    Why not same for lbs?
    I do think that this is a culture of review sites and rating websites like TripAdvisor ect.

    Issue we have to think about is who's writing review and what they complaining about.

    Is there a review site for bike shops? Maybe their should be where the shops can defend themselves and customers voice their concerns.

    There's no escaping this culture so better deal with it or suffer consequences ( customers keep concerns quiet but tell everyone else... Loss of business as result with no understanding why)
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    I've not spent long in the Evans my mate manages but it wouldn't take me long before I was punching every other customer in the face for starting the conversation with.... 'I read on the internet...'

    Do not envy.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    The bike industry seems like the IT industry. Tons of people with no idea how the gear works are suddenly buying it to use. The opportunities for shop owners/staff to treat such clueless people with contempt or rip them off is massive. I suspect that the cycling boom could well have led to a decline in service standards in LBSs.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    I think most decent bikeshops don’t do this. I think some have staff that geek out at the best products and try to move the customer towards them, but really it’s a question of understanding what the shop can offer and is capable of. Can’t be that difficult. For example I’d never go back to sigma for a service on the bike as they cocked up my rather difficult to set up v brakes on my timemachine... and I had to rebuild the brakes myself ( I’ve since learnt to service bikes myself) That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t go to them to buy some bits and bobs.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,904
    Glad I've started some debate :D

    FWIW, the incident with the kid's bike meant he still had to accept a bike with scratches, etc. The attitude of the manager was not good.

    They are not a MTB shop, BTW - they sell all sorts, but seem to have a major focus on MTB.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • HellsCyclistHellsCyclist Posts: 122
    Schmoos of Swansea. Cant remember what I needed done but I remember the fat censored refused to work on my bike because of dirty sprockets. Seems a bit incongruous for a bike techie.

    Another time I called out a mobile bike techie for a new chain and cassette on my MTB. Once he installed them he test rode the bike in front of me and it made a clunking sound. I assumed this was made by awkward gear changing at low speed. As it turned out, the chain was wrapping itself around the small front sprocket which was something I was hoping I would get away with. He just carried on riding on the middle sprocket without saying anything. My point is why test ride my bike and then not bother pointing out any issues? Cant remember his business name tho.

    In any case I do most work myself these days. I just leave wheel truing and bearings to bike shops such as Tredz or something.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I would like to name and shame Brenda's Fish and Chip Shop in Chester-le-Street. I went in there and asked them to change my chain and fit a new cassette. Brenda asked if I was having a laugh. Terrible bike service and I'll never buy even an inner tube from them again. However their Cod+Chips is to die for.
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