Things that drive bike shops crazy…
10 true stories from most local bike shops.
First time biker/prospective buyer comes accompanied by a know-it-all mate who talks rubbish and the salesperson cannot tell him his talking crap because he doesn’t want to offend the first time buyer. I surreptitiously slip the first-time biker a business card as I shake his hand goodbye. Written on the back: Come alone next time and get a big discount!
Saturday morning Dads spending ‘quality’ time with the little ones who (running, screaming, touching, crying, hiding and seeking) in turn chase the regulars and new customers away and convert the shop staff into kindergarten minders. I hide away in the toilet and fret about becoming a grandparent.
Customer brings his bike in for repair without making a booking and confidently declares that ‘the repair is pretty simple, won’t take long and shouldn’t cost much’. I advise him to repair it himself as I am sure he’ll manage, he’ll have the time and it will be much cheaper than our fee.
It’s an always-busy Saturday and the phone rings. The stranger on the other side says he is buying a second-hand bike (a cheap brand we don’t sell) from his mate and he proceeds to discuss the bike, his aspirations, his high school bike, his finances, his weight problem, his difficult wife and finally what do I think of the bike and how much is it worth and will I check the bike out for him first thing on Monday morning. Sure… I arrive at work at 11am on Monday.
Guy phones in and asks the price on a Super Duper 26 Trail bike. I tell him it’s R13 000 on special from R26 000 thinking he is gonna love this deal. He tells me he has phoned around and already has a price of R12 500 including tubeless from Budget Cycles. I tell him to go to said bike shop before they go bankrupt.
It’s Friday around 4 pm and a stranger brings his wheel in for a new tubeless tyre and he urgently needs it at 5 pm. We do it. Five o’clock comes and goes. A month comes and goes. Six months come and go. We sell the wheel and the tyre. We suspect the customer is in jail or has left the country. Or he has converted his bike to a unicycle!
Mr Tight buys a tube, complains about the R50 price, turns his bike upside down, borrows tyre levers and floor pump, blocks the passageway and proceeds to fit the tube which takes him half and hour. Next day he is back as he has pinched the tube and starts the process all over again. I send him outside to do the tube fitting. Happily, for me, it’s raining. Hard.
Sexy Mom buys a spare tube for the Argus. Finishes Argus. Sexy Mom brings tube back and asks for refund. ‘Why should I refund you’ I ask incredulously. ‘I didn’t use it’ says she. I tell her to take it to Woolworths for a refund.
Mr Rich buys his Super Dooper 29’er in the States: ‘cheaper, you know?’. Has it serviced at Paddy O’Toole’s Cycles: ‘More convenient, you see’. Breaks his frame. Comes to us for the warranty claim: ‘You’re the Super Duper dealer, I understand’. I give him a form to complete, ask him for his proof of purchase, tell him to bring back the frame only and to pay for the courier fees. ‘Why? ‘ he asks indignantly : ‘Oh’ I answer ‘because its cheaper and more convenient for me, you understand!’
And our number 1 favourite is…
Phone caller: How much is your Super Dooper Comp?
Me: The RRP is R30 000, actually R29 999.
Phone caller: I know that, but what is the best price for me?
Me: Have we met before?
Phone caller: No
Me: Well I don’t do ‘phone sex.
Phone caller: silent then some heavy breathing
Me: If you want to screw me I suggest you come into the shop for some foreplay first.
Phone: dialing tone
Me: Off to help a live customer while smiling from ear to ear