Monday, 10 May 2010

My silver bike and poor customer service

My silver bike, the hybrid I commute with, is nothing special. It is a Raleigh Pioneer with mudguards, a rack & straight bars.

It has some honest components: Shimano hubs, Shimano derailleurs (front & rear) & Shimano crankset and SKS mudguards. I do not for a moment consider it a top-of-the-range bike, but rather a bike-next-door kind of bike, if you know what I mean.

It doesn't pretend to be a Tour de France contender, but it was never intended to be. It's a hybrid & actually a fine commuter and whomever's riding it may not exactly feel extremely proud, but they'd have no reason to be embarrassed, either.

Despite this, I have had a VERY snooty response from two bike shops in Plymouth now. The 1st is Battery Cycle Works, just off Embankment road, while the 2nd is Cogs.

I popped into Cogs to buy two inner tubes, bog standard presta 700 x 38c. Except the salesman treated me as if I was contagious, before charging me £4-99 per inner tube!

Now I don't know about you, but I don't take too kindly to people looking down their noses at me. I especially have a problem with shop staff that evidently forget the fact that I'm a paying customer and treat me as if I'm a royal servant!

Now I cannot actually make them change their attitude, but there is something I can do: I can take my business elsewhere! True, losing my business won't kill off Cogs, but if more people do what I have done then they'd start realising that they're doing something wrong.

Here's my advice: when in Plymouth and looking for a decent bike shop, pop along to Natural Cycles, in Benbow street. Their expertise is only exceeded by their friendly service and I will take my bikes back there every time. And you don't even need a £ 9 000 000 bike for them to treat you with respect!