Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What to do when a custom builder takes you to the cleaners?

You place your trust in builder, you vistit, get fitted, put down your deposit with the promise of 6-8 weeks, knowing it will be more like 10.

Which becomes 12.

Which becomes 14.


16 weeks out, you still get the runaround one more time about delivery issues.....and your patience has run out. Taking delivery on the bike is now out of the question, as you have lost all trust in the builder and product.

Do I simply take the fleecing...and lose my entire deposit?
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
Joined
·
10,086 Posts
John said:
What to do when a custom builder takes you to the cleaners?

You place your trust in builder, you vistit, get fitted, put down your deposit with the promise of 6-8 weeks, knowing it will be more like 10.

Which becomes 12.

Which becomes 14.


16 weeks out, you still get the runaround one more time about delivery issues.....and your patience has run out. Taking delivery on the bike is now out of the question, as you have lost all trust in the builder and product.

Do I simply take the fleecing...and lose my entire deposit?
I never just bend over and take it. If someone has my money and has not delivered then I either want my money or an explanation followed by my order or my money. I personally work too hard for my money to just let someone have it.
 

· Registered
Escorted from the White House
Joined
·
39,051 Posts
Is the delivery time in writing anywhere? If so, he's breaking a contract with you, and you should be able to take some form of legal action.

If not, I dunno.

...
 

· Slow but not so steady
Joined
·
598 Posts
Hang in there if the builder has a good rep for quality and fit. If your new frame fits and rides like it should, you will forget the hassle with each ride. My custom builder delivered on time and it was a poor design(huge toe overlap and top tube too short). I unloaded it on eBay for 20% of my cost.
 

· Banned forever.....or not
Joined
·
24,573 Posts
Verbal or written promise?
Has production begun?
Have the tubes been ordered?
Define "runaround".
 

· Number 2 on the course.
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
There legit reasons for production delays as well as excuses. There are customers who won't listen to reason as well as flakey builders.

Not enough info here to say much.

John said:
Taking delivery on the bike is now out of the question, as you have lost all trust in the builder and product.
No offence, but you might be a bit of a crank. :skep:
 

· Decrepit Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Personally, I don't think a two month delay beyond the estimated delivery is enough to get upset about. There are lots of dependencies beyond the builder's control that could easily add that much to his original estimate. His tubing distributor could be backordered on the specific tube set he wants to use for your bike, or any number of other things could cause delays.

Everybody wants instant gratification these days.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the deal

The delivery time is on the order form, and reaffirmed verbally for 6-8 week delivery.

I left the builder alone for 4 weeks, and then called for an update...whre there was the expected couple week delay. I do understand that a small one man operation can have things get in the way.

I checked in every 2 weeks by phone or email, politely asking for an honest assessment of the situation. Honesty being the key. Each time, there was another delay, but I felt progress was being made.

Three weeks ago, I was told the tubes had been cut and were being welded. I even visited the shop to see what I thought was my frame. I was very excited.

Two weeks ago, I was told the bike went to paint.....and would be ready at the start of this week. When I called today, I was told the bike was being readied to go to the painter....what frame did I really see????

So much for an honest transaction. I don't mind delays, but I have zero tolerance for being lied to.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
Joined
·
10,086 Posts
Well if you were truly lied to, then that sucks. Did you ask, "Umm, I thought the bike was at the painters already? Should have been done by now, right?" Has nothing to do with instant gratification. People are leery when things don't go as planned for good reason. The OP didn't even mention the name of the builder which to me is a good idea. Just asked for advice. Yes, there are all sorts of reason for delays, some legit some not so legit. IMHO the best thing to do at this point is to keep the lines of communication open and be very direct in your questions. Don't beat around the bush. Q: Is the bike at the painters? A: Yes or No. If "No" then why not? Who knows what happened, illness, death in the family, hungover. Just ask.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,555 Posts
Bad advice.

rnhood said:
You should first be considerate of others, and reveal the name of the builder so others can assess the risk of getting fleeced before it happens to another prospective customer.
Not revealing the name of the builder is not inconsiderate, it's just being prudent. It wouldn't be a good idea to name the builder on this internet forum, especially with the word 'fleecing' in the non-editable thread title.
 

· eminence grease
Joined
·
18,559 Posts
I'll give you my 3 experiences.

  1. Builder lost his painter. Called me, offered a refund gave me a specific revised date which I accepted. Frame arrived on time.
  2. Builder got overloaded. Asked for some flexibility which was fine with me. I was a return customer and so we had some trust built up. Frame arrived pretty close to revised date.
  3. Builder promised 8 weeks. I asked for an update at 10. Lots of excuses. I waited a bit more, more excuses. I asked for pictures, more excuses. Checked in at 12 weeks, more excuses. Ditto 18, 20, 22, 24. At this point I cancelled the order and began the fight to get my deposit back. Filed a complaint with the state consumer protection commission. Had many arguments on the phone. More via email. I finally gave up and walked away from $1000.

You have very little recourse when it comes to deposits. You can get an attorney, you can go to small claims court, you can trash his reputation on the web. But in the words of another builder whose opinion I trust, the money is gone, most of these guys have no bank roll and you can fight forever for nothing.

It all depends on how much time you have on your hands and how much the money means to you.

At 16 weeks though I doubt I would be too upset. Things happen and deliveries get missed. He's only doubled his original estimate, it's still within a reasonable period of doubt.

At 6 months, I'd get ugly.

Curious about the builder though, he sounds just like the one that stole my $1000. PM me with the name if you like, we can compare notes.
 

· S-Works Tarmac SL3
Joined
·
827 Posts
wim said:
Not revealing the name of the builder is not inconsiderate, it's just being prudent. It wouldn't be a good idea to name the builder on this internet forum, especially with the word 'fleecing' in the non-editable thread title.
Yea, good point. On threads like this I just always wonder who we are talking about. Its most irritating to be given one excuse after another - in addition to being unethical. But you're more right than wrong, its not appropriate for the reasons stated.



terry b said:
I'll give you my 3 experiences.

  1. Builder lost his painter. Called me, offered a refund gave me a specific revised date which I accepted. Frame arrived on time.
  2. Builder got overloaded. Asked for some flexibility which was fine with me. I was a return customer and so we had some trust built up. Frame arrived pretty close to revised date.
  3. Builder promised 8 weeks. I asked for an update at 10. Lots of excuses. I waited a bit more, more excuses. I asked for pictures, more excuses. Checked in at 12 weeks, more excuses. Ditto 18, 20, 22, 24. At this point I cancelled the order and began the fight to get my deposit back. Filed a complaint with the state consumer protection commission. Had many arguments on the phone. More via email. I finally gave up and walked away from $1000.

You have very little recourse when it comes to deposits. You can get an attorney, you can go to small claims court, you can trash his reputation on the web. But in the words of another builder whose opinion I trust, the money is gone, most of these guys have no bank roll and you can fight forever for nothing.

It all depends on how much time you have on your hands and how much the money means to you.

At 16 weeks though I doubt I would be too upset. Things happen and deliveries get missed. He's only doubled his original estimate, it's still within a reasonable period of doubt.

At 6 months, I'd get ugly.

Curious about the builder though, he sounds just like the one that stole my $1000. PM me with the name if you like, we can compare notes.

Good post and one that anyone considering a custom bike from a small or boutique builder should read.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,164 Posts
From another thread started by the OP

Quote:
Originally Posted by John
Can someone give me a good reason to NOT get a custom steel frame?????

Two reasons not to go custom:

Stock sizes will fit you just fine.
You're an impatient person.

I don't know any reasons not to go steel, though.

Give it a bit longer and then review the frame, mention the wait in the min uses.
 

· Adventure Seeker
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
Dear John,
(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
If you paid for the deposit with a credit card, all you need to do is call the bank and have it refunded to you. You will need proof in writing that the retailer broke the contract, but it sounds as if you do have it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,555 Posts
kiwisimon said:
From another thread started by the OP

Quote:
Originally Posted by John
Can someone give me a good reason to NOT get a custom steel frame?????

Two reasons not to go custom:

Stock sizes will fit you just fine.
You're an impatient person.

I don't know any reasons not to go steel, though.

Give it a bit longer and then review the frame, mention the wait in the min uses.
Lol, I think I wrote that.

Yeah, have patience. I would assume anyone going custom has another bike to ride... It's nice to go with a builder who is local, though, cause you can always "pop in."
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top