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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last Saturday I found a Black 58cm Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 at a local store, or so I thought. I went to the store and the guy said they had one in a box, ready to get built and the builder would come in on Monday. He took my name, phone number and a description of the bike on a sticky note and said he'd give it to the builder. He didn't ask for a deposit or full payment and I would have gladly paid for it in full.

I called Tuesday and was told the bike wasn't built yet because, and I quote, "We do revenue bikes first." From a business perspective I totally understand. But as a customer? It stinks. Okay, so I'm on the dirt list hoping a bunch of other "revenue bikes" don't pile on before Friday and I get the bike.

Here it is Friday and I call again. I get the run around all day and then finally one guy gets back to me. They don't have a black bike but they do have a Blue one I can look at (also in a box). Which I get to wait until Monday and hope it really does get built this time. Something inside me says they had a black one, built it, stuck it on the floor and promptly sold it to someone else but I could be wrong.

The optimist in me says go there and try to get this new relationship off to a better start. The pessimist says this is the status-quo with this shop and I can't depend on them now and in the future.

I'm heading to the store tomorrow to talk to the manager to see what we can work out. Killer deal on a black one would help assuming they can get one in a reasonable time.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

Cheers
 

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sdklein said:
The pessimist says this is the status-quo with this shop and I can't depend on them now and in the future.
That would be my bet. Find another shop
 

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Find another, they obviously didn't take you seriously.

One of the LBS I had inquired about a Fisher Mendota a spell back. I called to check availability/stock and the gal said they don't have any in my size. They would be happy to order one for me, I was under no obligation if an order was placed and the bike built. Told me the order would take about 4 days and they'd call me when ready. I weaseled out and said I wanted to think about it...in a cheerful voice, she said just let us know. :cool:
 

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perhaps the bike was described as "BL" (as in "CD SYN 3 BL 58") and the BL was mistaken as black? it's happened at my shop before.

anywho, the best way to get a shop into gear is to throw down some cash.
 

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If you found a good deal you should've paid for it. You have tons more leverage when you actually paid for something yet are awaiting the goods. Obviously cruddy customer service going on with this place, but so what, just pay and get the bike then never return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice all. If it's a communication breakdown at the store I can probably live with that.

dustin, that's what my wife guessed as well so if that's what happened then that's an honest mistake. I emailed the guy back asking if that was the case. If so, I wish the bike builder would have said something when he didn't find a black one and I could have continued my search.

19surf74, I'm guessing it's a bike already paid for.

Thanks again.
 

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Lesson learned-best to put some money down so they will hold the bike for you. However in all my years of buying bikes something like this has never happened to me. I did not put down any money with the last bike I bought. I wanted the component group and wheels swapped out and had to wait about three days. My LBS called me and I went down to pick it up.

I would find another shop. Things like this should not happen.
 

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Put down money down a bike you haven't received? You have to be kidding and any bike shop that requires it wouldn't get my business. I purchased a Cannondale Synapse 3SL last November, went in and worked out the deal and was told it would be ready in two days. I went back in two days, got fitted, paid for the bike and went home. My bike shop has never asked for a penny up front and would never ask for anything up front but they are a first class family owned shop.

I also ordered a Cannondale mountain bike about two years ago, never asked for a deposit up front either, paid for it when I picked it up. I guess it depends on the shop. I wouldn't have a problem with a deposit so much but still think it shouldn't be required unless it was a special order bike.
 

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Depends on the bike

C130 said:
Put down money down a bike you haven't received? You have to be kidding and any bike shop that requires it wouldn't get my business. I purchased a Cannondale Synapse 3SL last November, went in and worked out the deal and was told it would be ready in two days. I went back in two days, got fitted, paid for the bike and went home. My bike shop has never asked for a penny up front and would never ask for anything up front but they are a first class family owned shop.

I also ordered a Cannondale mountain bike about two years ago, never asked for a deposit up front either, paid for it when I picked it up. I guess it depends on the shop. I wouldn't have a problem with a deposit so much but still think it shouldn't be required unless it was a special order bike.

I had to make a deposit 7 years ago when I ordered my Colnago Master X-Light frame, then had it built up. They had to order the frame from the Colnago distributor (another story) and wanted a deposit, I think it was $1000 (can't remember). Some shops will want a deposit on built up bikes so they can put a "sold" tag on it and it won't be sold to another customer. When I special ordered a Klein in 1999, they wanted a deposit. I would imagine it has a lot to do about store policy.
 

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When I bought the Kuota, I didn't put $$ down. Told the guy "I'll take it." He put a hang tag with my contact info on it and took it off the main floor. Came back 2 days later and opened the wallet.

When serious, define what is needed to get your name to the bike so instances like this don't happen. Fortunately, there are plenty of bikes around so if you don't feel comfortable, another shop is a drive away. Any special order I've made has been a PIF. In stock, sometimes 50% or no $$ depending on shop practice.
 

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Dinosaur said:
I had to make a deposit 7 years ago when I ordered my Colnago Master X-Light frame, then had it built up.
That's a little different, and I think the LBS needs to do that (how many Colnago frames can they stock?). Same deal for me with my Gunnar and I would have been very surprised if they didn't want some money up front.

But if they had the bike already in their inventory, I can't understand why they wouldn't just build it up in the next couple of days for what probably was an easy sale (ignoring the blue/black mixup). If I was asked to put money down in a case like this I'd leave.
 

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19surf74 "I have to ask, what is a revenue bike?"

I believe that refers to a bike that the Federal Revenue Agents used to chase illegal bootleggers during prohibition. Apparently the name stuck. :))
 

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The whole revenue bike thing would have turned me off. If I buy a bike, its a bike. It moves their stock whether they are making a boat load off of it or just trying to recoup cost on old stock. Guess what, if its old stock and you don't buy it, even at a steal, they are still loseing money, so they're not doing you any favors. Any ways, I have a good relationship with my LBS, after dealing with poor or so so service from other places, I won't shop anywhere else, except occasionally online.
Any ways, I hope you get what you want. I personally would bring up the "revenue" comment and tell them that isn't good customer service, but thats me.
 

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-dustin said:
perhaps the bike was described as "BL" (as in "CD SYN 3 BL 58") and the BL was mistaken as black? it's happened at my shop before.

anywho, the best way to get a shop into gear is to throw down some cash.
I have a feeling this is what happened. I also have a feeling that the guy you talked to first probably didn't communicate the message properly. Also, these are all Cannondale spec'd bikes coming in wrapped and take a short time to setup. It is not as if the components were unique in any particular way. It would be one thing if this was a LBS that did a lot of custom bikes and you found something in the back that you wanted that wasn't finished yet.

I don't see why the LBS would be hesitant to ordering you the bike you wanted. All they have to do is contact their C'Dale Rep and hope they have enough in stock back at the factory. If they don't make you feel comfortable about going in and talking to them about what you want and working with you to get that they obviously don't care about your interests and only want the sale, and I would say find another LBS. I have experienced too often LBS employees who try pushing a sale on you and assume you don't care about the components, setup, etc. The trick is go to the person who knows the deal and befriend them and show them you want to put some time and thought into this process.
 

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Find a new shop. In this economy its hard to believe they wouldnt be motivated by your initial contact. Who dosn't need to make a sale right now? Seriously. Chances are that the sales person dropped the ball. You could always go in and ask for the floor or store manager and calmly explain the deal and see what they say. I was in the same situation 2 yrs back when I sold off the ride I had at the time for a new bike. The LBS here in town that I had purchased the bike I d sold off gave me the run around for 3 weeks. Double booked TWO fitting sessions, then never built up the bike I d wanted to test. I drove an hour and a half away to another store. Walked in picked out 3 models to test ride, rode them got fitted and test rode again. Purchased the bike CASH money and was out the door in less then 3 hrs.

If your store dosnt at least put in a little effort why should you? You dont work for them, while being a friendly and patient customer is one thing, why should you have to do all the work for them and then pay them?
 

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19surf74 said:
I have to ask, what is a revenue bike?
A revenue bike sounds like what I refer to as a PIF (paid in full ) bike. In most shops PIF bikes go to the front of the build line but in good shops the whole thing is seamless and you'd still get your bike soon enough.

I used to order cannondale bikes often and I seem to recall there color code for blue was BL and Black was BK, most companies use BLU and BLK.
 
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