We’ll be covering a multi-part series that sheds some light into some shady LBS Service Manager practices that we’ve seen. In this expose we’ll be giving you a few tips and tricks to take with you the next time you bring your bike in for service.
*Editorial: Don’t get us wrong, there are tons of great bike shops out there with exceptional service. But what we’re piecing together is from our own experiences dealing with lack luster Service Managers who are motivated by dollars and not about getting people back on their bikes.*
For our first article, we’ll talk about the Service Manager that likes to take advantage of people by charging them for every little thing they did on a bike.
“That’s an extra fee.”
Let’s say you bring your bike in to have the wheel trued. Once he’s done truing the wheel he/she mounts it back onto the bike. But then your V-brakes(my favorite) are rubbing more on side than the other. A good honest Service Manager or Tech will simply take his Phillips screw driver and turn it a few times to adjust the tension on your brakes. But I’ve come across Managers that will charge an extra $5.00 to “adjust the brakes.”
Stuff like that drive me nuts! I mean, its a twist of a screw. But why not make the effort to turn it, and don’t even charge for it…something like that will help a customer feel like the shop took care of them and probably come back again.
Another thing that I can’t stand is charging labor to fix flats. Some shops will have a flat rate to fix a flat. Usually its anywhere from $4-$8 plus the cost of the tube. What’s dumb is Service Managers will sometimes charge as high as $10 labor PER TIRE! Oh that doesn’t even include the cost of the tube. Just to give you an idea, most shops will pay wholesale on tubes about $1.00-$2.00 per unit. But what’s crazy is that they jack up the prices to $6.00 per tube! To me it doesn’t make sense to pay over $4.00 for a tube. Even at that price, the shop already made 100% mark up.
So rather than spending an additional $20 on labor for two flat tires, spend some of that money and get some tire levers. Changing tires is super easy, in fact there’s a great video on it HERE. Going back to the crazy labor charges, so if you think about it, a set of tubes at $5.00 a piece, that’s $10 for the set, and $20 for labor on both wheels, that’s already $30! Aye that’s crazy!!!!!!
Watch that video I mentioned, save your money and don’t get ripped off again by paying someone else to change your tubes…
Our next article will talk about something that some shops may call “chem and lube.” We’ll go into detail what that’s all about and how you don’t really need it.