Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:10 am

Hi all...
it hurts a little to post this alert, as this is about my LBS (until today). I thought it best however for it to be brought to the attention of the local cycling community.

I recently wanted to test a Selle SMP saddle, and went to my LBS to arrange some saddles. They were very helpful, and after hearing about saddles i found comfortable in the past, they suggested a Selle SMP evolution. Following this I was a little suprised when they asked for a 100% (in this case $335) deposit to secure the saddle. No further terms or conditions were implied, and I assumed this deposit was "refundable". I went onto test the saddle, which was ok, but not for me. Each 2 weeks i tried a different SMP saddle until after 4 saddles i gave up on the SMPs... I then went on to try 4 Fizik saddles from the LBS (those ugly lime green test saddles they produce), and 2 specialized saddles from a nearby Specialized store... I finally settled on a specialized Romin as it had a cut out and was comfortable.

Soon after, there was a delay in returning the final test saddle to my LBS as I had to travel away, and forgot to return it prior to leaving. When i realised this I shot off a couple of emails to the LBS and never got any replies. This was not unusual for them as previous sales related emails in the past only had a 50/50 success rate in being responded to, and never in a timely fashion.

Upon returning from my trip I took the saddle into my LBS to inform them that i had found a comfortable saddle (which they didnt stock) and to have my deposit of $335 refunded. The saddle was returned after 2 test rides, and in the condition that it left the shop in. I was quite surprised when they appeared quite taken aback by this request, and one of the owners implied that their policy was that if u tested their saddles, then it was expected that ultimately u would buy a saddle from them. After some heated debate, which ended up involving both owners of this LBS, I had my money refunded, and left.

As u could imagine I am very disaapointed with this situation from what i thought was a decent LBS. At no point did this LBS inform me of their expectation of me purchasing a saddle from them when they asked for a 100% deposit for the initial test saddle. Nor did they offer a partial refund when i returned the final Selle SMP test saddle (deposit - $335) and exchanged it for an obviously cheaper, lime green Fizik test saddle (every other LBS i know of test fizik saddles at no cost). ( Even more disappointing is 2 weeks ago a friend went to the same LBS and spent $6500 on a new bike! Grrrrrr)

Moral of this story is, if u test a saddle from a Adelaide CBD LBS, and they ask u for a deposit, then ask for the T&Cs of this deposit. Ask if they intend to refund this deposit if u fail to find a comfortable saddle. Make sure this is clear before u part with your cash, as u may have a rude shock when u ask for it to be refunded.

Cheers
Harry
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by BNA » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:25 am

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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Crittski » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:25 am

I sympathise with your story as it sounds like they didn't tell you what their conditions were for the deal, but since when does anyone expect to have a deposit returned? (Who has a 100% deposit anyway, sounds like a sale to me with the possibility of exchange, not a deposit!)
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby human909 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:59 am

To me it sounds like the LBS was quite accommodating in allowing tests rides. I would expect that it would be fair for the LBS to keep a percentage of the deposit. The disagreement happened because you didn't ask and the bike store didn't explain the conditions of the deposit. In this respect you are both equally at fault.

Personally as the bike store owner I would be a little annoyed at your actions.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Redbull » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:27 am

with saddles

you pay your money........you take your chances.

I have never heard of a LBS letting anyone "test ride" a brand new saddle for weeks. A quick way to end up with a lot of 2nd hand saddles in stock and someone banging you online if it doesn't go their way.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Eberbachl » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:58 am

Life's too short to be angry. It sounds to me like the LBS was very accommodating in letting you test so many saddles, and that ultimately there was a lack of communication from both sides. If I were the LBS owner, and I had let you try eight different saddles over sixteen weeks for two weeks at a time:

Each 2 weeks i tried a different SMP saddle until after 4 saddles i gave up on the SMPs... I then went on to try 4 Fizik saddles from the LBS


I'd be pretty upset if you disappeared for a while:

and 2 specialized saddles from a nearby Specialized store...

(presumably another four weeks)

Soon after, there was a delay in returning the final test saddle to my LBS as I had to travel away, and forgot to return it prior to leaving.

(another couple of weeks?)

.... then returned saying "thanks, but by the way, after +/-22 weeks of you trying to accommodate me and assist me to find a new saddle, here's the saddle back - can I have a refund, I bought one elsewhere"...

After that much effort from the bike shop I would have either been fairly committed to buying a saddle from them, or at the very least, after exhausting all reasonable options in their range, going back to thank them for all their help, and explaining to them that you just can't get comfortable on any of their saddles and politely asked for a refund before buying one elsewhere. Once it was all sorted and tidy you could have then gone to the Specialized dealer to start trying their saddles.

:D
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Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:01 am

Sorry for ambiguity of my opening post by using the word "deposit". I, in no way was I buying a saddle and returning it expecting a refund.

I entered the store and asked to TEST a Selle SMP saddle from their test selection of well used, SECONDHAND testers. They asked full RRP for what I was assuming was a security deposit (ie so I didnt steal it, or if I crashed and destroyed the saddle). After 6 or 8 saddles I moved onto a brand they didn't stock, which I found suitable. If I had found a SMP or Fizik saddle suitable I wouldve then bought one in store.

Hope that makes things clearer...
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby MichaelB » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:09 am

Dr Mutley, I was going to have a go at one of those "test saddle" programs a while ago, and due to mainly the saddle that i wanted to test not being returned at the time (and the cost), I didn't go through with it.

My understanding at the time (wasn't well explained mind you), was that you were buying a saddle, but testing the ones that they had available, and at the end, would receive a new one from that range that you had selected.

My question was, "what if none of them were any good for me ?", with a bit of siilence and ummms, I know the answer.

Not good form from the LBS explaining it clearly upfront though.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:01 am

MichaelB wrote:Dr Mutley, I was going to have a go at one of those "test saddle" programs a while ago, and due to mainly the saddle that i wanted to test not being returned at the time (and the cost), I didn't go through with it.

My understanding at the time (wasn't well explained mind you), was that you were buying a saddle, but testing the ones that they had available, and at the end, would receive a new one from that range that you had selected.

My question was, "what if none of them were any good for me ?", with a bit of siilence and ummms, I know the answer.

Not good form from the LBS explaining it clearly upfront though.


Hi Michael,
I have no problems if this was explained up front, as i wouldnt have tested the SMP saddles, and wouldve gone elsewhere without such a policy.

may have been the same LBS? ;)
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Eberbachl » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:07 am

Thanks for the clarification above Dr Mutley, I didn't fully realise it was a dedicated test saddle program with second hand saddles.

... still, I think the unfortunate outcome could have been easily avoided with better communication from both sides.

;)
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby ni78ck » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:07 am

hi doc, my lbs had yellow tester smp saddles and i tested all of them. they never asked me for a deposit, but did take my details down.
i found the stratos the best fit a bought it! simple :D
sorry to hear of your experiance :shock:
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:37 am

Eberbachl wrote:Life's too short to be angry. It sounds to me like the LBS was very accommodating in letting you test so many saddles, and that ultimately there was a lack of communication from both sides. If I were the LBS owner, and I had let you try eight different saddles over sixteen weeks for two weeks at a time:

Each 2 weeks i tried a different SMP saddle until after 4 saddles i gave up on the SMPs... I then went on to try 4 Fizik saddles from the LBS


I'd be pretty upset if you disappeared for a while:

and 2 specialized saddles from a nearby Specialized store...

(presumably another four weeks)

Soon after, there was a delay in returning the final test saddle to my LBS as I had to travel away, and forgot to return it prior to leaving.

(another couple of weeks?)

.... then returned saying "thanks, but by the way, after +/-22 weeks of you trying to accommodate me and assist me to find a new saddle, here's the saddle back - can I have a refund, I bought one elsewhere"...

After that much effort from the bike shop I would have either been fairly committed to buying a saddle from them, or at the very least, after exhausting all reasonable options in their range, going back to thank them for all their help, and explaining to them that you just can't get comfortable on any of their saddles and politely asked for a refund before buying one elsewhere. Once it was all sorted and tidy you could have then gone to the Specialized dealer to start trying their saddles.

:D


All good points...

Only issue is, after unsuccessfully trying the first couple of SMPs i wasnt that interested in trying any further saddles with them, but was persuaded to give the non-cutout Fiziks a try (and they knew i rode a Fizik Arione & sufferred numbness from it).. They knew from the start i was keen to give a cut out saddle a try, to hopefully fix my numbness problems. GIven their test policy setup, I now realise why they persisted in giving me other saddles to try. Having said that all issues wouldve been easily rectified by the LBS stating their expectations and policy when I first asked to test a SMP saddle.

Im not here to slag the LBS, as I have my money back (albeit in an unsavoury exchange/expperience), but this is just a reminder/warning to those who present to bike shops with test saddle programs, to understand their expectations prior to leaving the store. An amount of $335 is significant to most people, and to risk losing that for no gain wouldnt be appealing to most people. As previously stated, if I hadve known this up front, I wouldve walked away from the LBS without testing the saddle, and gone to the LBS up the road that does SMP test saddles without obligation. I just thought i would give the LBS i usually use for servicing and purchasing of bikes my custom, and never expected this to happen.

Furthermore, over the years I have tested many saddles, from many bike shops, and never has there been such a test policy experienced. Usually, you walk walk into a bike shop and choose a saddle from their test range, without charge or security, and at most a photocopy of your drivers licence. You return the saddle in a couple of weeks and, if u liked it u buy it. If u dont like it u can choose another saddle, or walk away without any further liability or expectations. Recently, a friend returned a lime green Fizik test saddle (to a different LBS) after she crashed and significantly damaged the saddle. Expecting to have to pay for it she was surprised when she was told not to worry about it, as the Fizik test saddles were freebies from FIzik, and would be replaced by them free of charge (now thats service). If this is the case why is the above mentioned LBS charging to test Fizik saddles?

Thanks all for reading....
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:50 am

ni78ck wrote:hi doc, my lbs had yellow tester smp saddles and i tested all of them. they never asked me for a deposit, but did take my details down.
i found the stratos the best fit a bought it! simple :D
sorry to hear of your experiance :shock:


Thanks for the post ni78ck,
Thats how i thought it would work, but didnt end up like that... glad u found the holy grail!
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby MichaelB » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:13 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote: .......

may have been the same LBS? ;)


No, they don't exist now - was South Rd Cycles.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:02 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Dr_Mutley wrote: .......

may have been the same LBS? ;)


No, they don't exist now - was South Rd Cycles.



maybe so, but run by the same people maybe? U know what bikes i ride... ;)
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:12 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
Dr_Mutley wrote: .......

may have been the same LBS? ;)


No, they don't exist now - was South Rd Cycles.



maybe so, but run by the same people maybe? U know what bikes i ride... ;)


Corsa???
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:19 pm

I could have saved you all that grief in advance by telling you SMP saddles should live in S&M dens and no where else :twisted: .
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:55 pm

toolonglegs wrote:I could have saved you all that grief in advance by telling you SMP saddles should live in S&M dens and no where else :twisted: .


I actually don't mind them, it's not 100% comfortable but it's the closest i've managed so far. Slightly OT but does anyone know if there are any shops in SE Qld who test SMP? I reckon the shape of mine is reasonably close (bought it 2nd hand on the net) but needs a little more padding or to be slightly wider, which is where testing the different models comes in.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby ni78ck » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:44 pm

The lite 209 is wider with more padding. That may suit you.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:40 pm

thanks for the tip, just need to find a shop in Qld where i can try out a few and compare (once i've sold all my internal organs on the black market to pay for one lol).
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:26 pm

ldrcycles wrote:thanks for the tip, just need to find a shop in Qld where i can try out a few and compare (once i've sold all my internal organs on the black market to pay for one lol).


italiatech are the distributors for SelleSMP.... a list of who they distribute to in QLD and what products is here:
http://www.italiatech.com.au/stockists/ ... egory/qld/
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:00 pm

Thanks a bunch for that mate, coolum cycles is only a short ride from my gf's place so i can just go round there the next time i have my Scott with me and compare saddles. Time to start fundraising lol.
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby MichaelB » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:15 am

toolonglegs wrote:I could have saved you all that grief in advance by telling you SMP saddles should live in S&M dens and no where else :twisted: .


Agree 100% there TLL - Brooks all the way for me :D
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Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:29 pm

Just ordered a new Cervelo R3 with SRAM red today from another dealer... What goes around comes around I guess ;-)
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Drunkmonkey » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:20 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:I could have saved you all that grief in advance by telling you SMP saddles should live in S&M dens and no where else :twisted: .


Slightly OT but does anyone know if there are any shops in SE Qld who test SMP? .


MB Cycles at Milton :mrgreen:
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Re: Dodgy Test Saddle Policy at CBD LBS

Postby Richard.L » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:37 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:Just ordered a new Cervelo R3 with SRAM red today from another dealer... What goes around comes around I guess ;-)


There is two dealers in Adelaide (that im aware of) and one closed down last month.... :roll: or is there another dealer in Adelaide?
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