Poor customer service indeed!

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Poor customer service indeed!

Postby amca01 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:52 pm

Recently, bikeexchange.com.au had a bike for sale - a 2011 Apollo Alfa, on sale for $329 from $649 by B***F**** Essendon. As I don't like buying anything - even at such a steal price - without seeing it first, I rang the shop yesterday and asked for it to be put aside so I could look at it the next day. No worries, I was told, as long as I got in before 6pm (when they shut). So in I went this afternoon, all excited to check out (and probably buy) this bike. Oh no, I was told, we've sold it - somebody bought it online, and we couldn't block the sale. I asked if they could they do me another deal. Oh no - not at that price. They could do me an entry level machine for $325 instead of $350, or a better bike for $550 instead of $600. So I left.

Interestingly enough, several hours after the bike was apparently sold online, the ad was still up.

I don't know whether this is standard practice in the cycling world, but I was extremely disappointed, both in losing the bike, and in the shop's cavalier attitude. I shall not be having any deals with them again.

-Al
Last edited by Mulger bill on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:17 pm

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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby lump_a_charcoal » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:17 pm

I think unless you left a deposit, the shop was well within their rights to sell it.

What if they refuse to sell it to someone else, then you decide later that you don't want it after all? They lose 2 sales.

The early bird catches worms, or something like that. :wink:
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby Stepr » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:18 pm

hi Al, would sort of agree on the one hand as they said no worries. however they probably don't know you from a bar of soap - too many people these days say one thing and do another (as they did) - for all they know you may never have been good to your word and come in and even bought it- not saying you are not good to your word, but they dont know that and they deal with the 'great unwashed' every day.

Can understand the disapointment though.

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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby maestro » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:39 pm

lump_a_charcoal wrote:I think unless you left a deposit, the shop was well within their rights to sell it.

That's right, and they also apparently have the right to tell you that they will hold it for you when they actually have no intention of doing so.
Just as we have the right to dislike being treated in this manner and letting others know of the poor service.

If they weren't able to keep it for him, then they should have just said so. At least then you would understand that it could be sold earlier and make arrangements to view it sooner.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:28 pm

Working in retail i can understand both sides of the argument, but as a retailer, if you tell someone you will do something, you do it. As a consumer, if a shop tells you they will do something and they don't, you walk (as amca01 has).
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:29 pm

I understand the frustration but would have to side with the shop on this one. If someone else purchased it first and they didn't provide a guarantee that you have the first right to purchase then it is fair enough - first come first serve. They certainly have no obligation to offer you a better price on another model though perhaps their super attractive pricing aimed to get attention rather than clear exisiting stock in which case it is not "poor customer service" however to get customer satisfaction the following would help the shop:

- On the first phone call, inform you that if someone else purchases first then they can't repeat the offer
- If they have your phone number, call back an inform you that the bike has been sold (would you be interested in another bike)
- Offer a small discount (Sorry we can't do $50, but lets do $15 - or instead "throw in a cheap bike lock")

I understand margins and when people are only buying on price, it is a tough business and retailers have to pick and choose as well. For you, it is also reasonable to walk out and keep shopping.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby GreyhoundCycle » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:40 pm

Also had very unsatisfactory customer service experience with BxkxFxrcx, went to their Dockland store and none of the special event or product is available as seen on the website.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby rkelsen » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:53 pm

The old "bait and switch" trick.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:01 pm

rkelsen wrote:The old "bait and switch" trick.

Sounds a lot like it to me.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby winstonw » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:11 pm

yeah classic bait and switch. a LBS concerned about its rep wouldn't have told you 'no worries, as long as you are in before 6'.
They'd have polished processes and systems, in all aspects of running a retail outlet, including sales enquiries....and they'd make sure every staff member is well versed in those....especially if they were a multistore group, where the actions of one store tarnish the name of all others.

It fascinates me retailers who answer the same questions day in/day out, cannot refine their sales spiels and processes, nor bring their staff up to speed on product knowledge. Every time I walk into a LBS, there's staff just hanging out, killing time, rather than getting up to speed on understanding the products they sell.

One of our group doing a 200k 3500m ride on Sat had a major bike service done the week prior. It was a serious inconvenience when her front braze on derailleur came loose from the seat tube. A good mechanic would follow a process. It would have taken 20 seconds to put a torque wrench on that bolt...and the bolt most likely wouldn't have come loose if fit with loctite and torqued to spec in the first place.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby macca33 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:23 pm

maestro wrote:
lump_a_charcoal wrote:I think unless you left a deposit, the shop was well within their rights to sell it.

That's right, and they also apparently have the right to tell you that they will hold it for you when they actually have no intention of doing so.
Just as we have the right to dislike being treated in this manner and letting others know of the poor service.

If they weren't able to keep it for him, then they should have just said so. At least then you would understand that it could be sold earlier and make arrangements to view it sooner.



Agree wholeheartedly, particularly the portion that I've emphasised.

They ought to have stated no, we won't put it aside; or, yes we can, but pay us a deposit. Poor customer service as the title suggests - in my humble opinion.

cheers
'dale CAAD10 Berzerker Ult6800 & CAAD10 Team Ult6800

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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:30 pm

winstonw wrote:One of our group doing a 200k 3500m ride on Sat had a major bike service done the week prior. It was a serious inconvenience when her front braze on derailleur came loose from the seat tube. A good mechanic would follow a process. It would have taken 20 seconds to put a torque wrench on that bolt...and the bolt most likely wouldn't have come loose if fit with loctite and torqued to spec in the first place.


I was a ride mechanic on the 'Gong ride. You'd be surprised at how many broken down people said "I had it at the LBS this week and they did/said..." My favourite one was replacing a tube in a brand new tyre that looked as if a blind monkey had put it on and taken it off a hundred times with a set of pliers. The wire bead was through the rubber and that's what caused the explosive puncture. The woman who owned the bike was NOT amused. Then she saw her LBS owner ride past and sent her husband after him! I didn't wait around for the aftermath, but I reckon it would have been classic.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby Philipthelam » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:02 pm

Maybe there was a bit of mis communication. What did you mean by "put it aside" and "to look at". Maybe they thought you just wanted to have a look at the bike and didn't know that you were actually going to buy the bike. They might have put the bike aside but not actually put it on hold, which you might have wanted them to.

Anyway it is understandable why you would be angry (I would be too)
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby DentedHead » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:49 am

On a similar note, I was considering the Aldi panniers advertised recently. On going in for a look, every Aldi in Ballarat was apparently sold out. While the "one-off" special mentioned in the OP doesn't count, Aldi is certainly guilty of "bait advertising" (advertising a "special" to get customer attention, but being unable to supply the advertised item). This is illegal, and the ACCC can impose some hefty penalties if you can prove it. I forget the legalese covering it, but basically, if you advertise a special price on something you must have a "reasonable amount of the item to meet the expected demand". "Reasonable amount" is of course subjective, but every store in Ballarat sold out, on the Monday following the special starting on the Saturday? Who could call that reasonable? Of course, being a typically apathetic Aussie, I've chosen to vent here, and ignore Aldi rather than put in any effort and actually do anything about it ;)

Besides which, the store manager did put in a decent effort to find one for me. No point being a prick to the guy trying to do the right thing. Oddly enough, they had a massive surplus of the bike stands, and unicycles.

Dent.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby birdbrain » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:25 am

AUbicycles wrote:
- On the first phone call, inform you that if someone else purchases first then they can't repeat the offer
- If they have your phone number, call back an inform you that the bike has been sold (would you be interested in another bike)


Sounds like the logical and businesslike thing to do.
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby Ross » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:44 am

I experienced a similar bait and switch thing from the same bike chain (can't recall which branch, not important now). I saw a Malvern Star Oppy runout special on BE website and emailed them to confirm pricing, size and componentry. About 30 mins later I received and email saying sorry it was sold but they had a similar bike for nearly 3 times the price if I was interested!
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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby Mike Ayling » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:29 pm

My experience of Aldi is they have some great bargains but they do have limited quantities.

if you see a catalogue item that you like be waiting outside the door on the day that they come on sale and beware of the feral senior citizen cyclists who will fight to get to the bargains before you do!

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Re: Poor customer service indeed!

Postby open roader » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:34 pm

Bait and switch or not, the store still has every right to sell the bike if no deposit has been tendered.

In my experience, Bike Exchange vendors are notoroius at leaving listings/adverts online way after the items sell, in one case over 18 months after stocks of this one item were sold off. Even my former LBS proprietor who is a good friend of mine, admits readily he was reluctant to spend time on the computer updating his own Bike Exchange listings when there were bikes to be repaired and customers to be attended to. Listing shop stock on Bike Exchange and editing / updating listings takes considerable labour hours to perform regularly hence many stores simply do not devote the necessary time to meticulously updating their Bike Exchange listings - very frustrating, very poor business practice and another reason why bricks and mortar retailers are failing miserably to gain a foothold online.
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