I've read quite a lot of topics posted on here relating to peoples bad experiences with Evans Cycles and whilst I may every now and then add a comment to some threads I read, I rarely start a new topic unless I think it important enough, so here's another one to add to the list, you can judge for yourself how serious you think it is, personally I find it alarming how you can pay a company to do something that could end in your death!
So I pop into my local Evans Cycles Store and ask to speak to one of the mechanics regarding a leaking brake valve, a guy comes out and I discuss the problem with him, he suggests bringing my bike in and he will personally look at the problem and see what he can do. Oh he also adds that he was the most experienced of all the mechanics there, so I was happy to wait to bring it in 2 days later when he was next working, besides I couldn't wait weeks to get my bike fixed elsewhere.
So I get a phone call saying he couldn't fix the brake and it had to be replaced, so did the brake pads on the front (which had allegedly been contaminated with brake fluid) and the rear brake pads (which I knew about and had ordered some from Evans.com but still hadn't arrived a whole week after ordering, I later called to find out where they were and found out they hadn't even been dispatched yet, complaint number 1, how does it take a week to dispatch something that's in-stock).
He also said my cassette and chain were too worn and also needed to be replaced (I've since taken my bike to the local bike store for a 2nd opinion and they disagreed saying they didn't need replacing any time soon, perhaps it's a matter of opinion but definitely seems Evans likes to pad out servicing revenue with unnecessary parts and labour costs, taking advantage of peoples lack of knowledge in bike maintenance - complaint number 2).
Anyway, I agreed for him to do the work needed to ensure my brakes were fully working including replacing both front & rear disc brake pads, I don't know anyone who would want to ride around with any issues with their brakes..... I later go to collect my bike and notice that there was what I assumed to be mineral oil covering the reservoir case and other parts & the gear levers were sitting loose on the handle bar, I had to clean it up and ask for an allen key to secure the levers myself, not a huge deal but pretty sloppy I think (complaint number 3).
I then rode a short distance back to the house thinking that once the brake pads had bedded in, my brakes would be as good as new..... I was WRONG.....
The next day I was out on my bike, I took it fairly easy speed wise knowing that the brakes weren't fully bedded in yet and after almost 30mins of cycling I came off a dual carriageway onto a cycle path, a few minutes later I'm cycling downhill and go over a small bump in the path, I hear a clang of metal hitting the ground, apply my brakes quite hard and look back to see what it was. Thinking I was applying equal braking to both front and back wheels, my rear wheel skids to the right almost throwing me off the bike and the front brake has failed and isn't working at all. I couldn't find the piece of metal I heard fall off but later find out it must have been a brake pad (given it was no-longer present). When I take my bike back into the store later that day, it transpires that this so called "best mechanic in the store" had forgotten to replace the pins through not just the front brake pads, but also the rear pads too. I was effectively cycling a bike that could have lost all braking capacity at any time. I was lucky I was riding on a cycle path when the brake pad fell out, had it been a few minutes earlier I could have been surrounded by cars and been involved in a proper incident, even more so had both brakes failed.
In retrospect, I should have checked to make sure that the pins had been replaced, I just in a million years would not expect not just a fully trained mechanic, but the "best mechanic in the store" to make such a basic and fundamental mistake. I thought about this a lot afterwards, wondering whether or not I was being over dramatic about the whole incident - both the mistakes made by Evans Cycles and the experience of finding my brake failing. But you know what, I don't think I am, the only people I ever see cycling bikes that don't have brakes are BMX riders, its basically suicide to cycle without brakes which is why we all have them. And when an individual or company is called upon and agree's to provide a service
then they are obliged under the law to owe us a duty of care. Thankfully nothing serious happened as a result, I didn't suffer any injury but if this happened to someone else, at another time, in another place, its a real possibility that they could crash into something at high speed or get hit by a car because they couldn't stop. If they were unlucky enough to get killed then it is quite possible and likely that the mechanic would be charged with Gross Negligence Manslaughter, owing to the fact that he had a duty of care towards the customer and his negligence directly contributed to the death of that person. All things being equal, he would therefore be much more responsible for the death than say the person driving a car who kills the cyclist (assuming the driver wasn't driving dangerously or recklessly) and rightly so I say. Cycling's dangerous enough without paying companies like Evans to increase the danger levels.
I wrote a complaint to Evan's directly to the store manager 3 weeks ago now, I have yet to receive a response or even an acknowledgement or apology. I also more recently after not hearing anything from the store manager, written to Evan's Head Office. Seems they have both poor mechanics and poor customer care, they can't even be bothered to respond to such a serious complaint. Well I think I've given them enough time to respond, it's time for the public to hear about it and draw their own conclusions. I for one won't be spending anymore money with them, especially if they can't even admit to and apologies for their mistakes.