Bigger the retailer – the worse the customer services??? – now its RIBBLE!!!!!

Home Forum Bike Forum Bigger the retailer – the worse the customer services??? – now its RIBBLE!!!!!

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  • Bigger the retailer – the worse the customer services??? – now its RIBBLE!!!!!
  • thecrux
    Member

    I’ve shopped with Ribble Cycles for years, they’ve always been great! truly, but they’ve expanded recently and now as a result I see their customer service levels falter at the first hurdle. Why does this always happen!!!! Must all online retailers hide behind the fact that there is no human interaction?

    I’m slowly going back to my local bike shop more and more, the guys at 700 in Windsor appear to have it right. Perhaps it’ll go full circle with more of us going back to our local shops rather than ‘billy big time’ on the internet.

    Anyone else recently made the transition from online shopping back to the local bike shop? more expensive but worth it?

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    Anyone else recently made the transition from online shopping back to the local bike shop? more expensive but worth it?

    Not quite the same, – I always use my LBS a lot, but also, I’ve never had any dramas wih Ribble either.

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    thecrux – Member

    I’ve shopped with Ribble Cycles for years, they’ve always been great! truly, but they’ve expanded recently and now as a result I see their customer service levels falter at the first hurdle. Why does this always happen!!!! Must all online retailers hide behind the fact that there is no human interaction?

    I’m slowly going back to my local bike shop more and more, the guys at 700 in Windsor appear to have it right. Perhaps it’ll go full circle with more of us going back to our local shops rather than ‘billy big time’ on the internet.

    Anyone else recently made the transition from online shopping back to the local bike shop? more expensive but worth it?

    So what happened then? Details please.

    robdob
    Member

    I have been back to an LBS more as a result of the BikeToWork scheme where I got a bike from one. Nice to speak to people in the shops and I can afford to pay RRP for small to medium cost items.
    I avoid online shops with poor customer service PR now, some still get it right but it will certainly drive people back to proper shops as they experience its not all like Amazon.
    Evans seem to be doing a good combo of the two and I’ve used them more recently as I work near one, nice to have stuff delivered to the shop.
    LBS’s are going to be a no for me with higher price stuff, why pay £300 RRP for a Reverb when I can get the same for £200 elsewhere? I’ll take the risk with that sort of thing as distance selling regs/card protection etc give me some cover on it.

    clubber
    Member

    It’s funny because I stopped using Ribble for about 10 years because of some shocking service in 2000. I still only use them now if they’re much cheaper than anywhere else and I’m in no rush for the parts.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I don’t really think of Ribble as an online retailer quite the same as wiggle/CRC etc. I know that’s what they are now primarily but for years they were one of the big players in mail order before the internet came along. Traditional double page spread of offers in the comic every week. They just sort of drifted into the online game as the market changed (rather than being a startup company born for the internet). And they didn’t always get it right back then – they were called ‘Teribble’ for a reason! Used them plenty mind, but Parkers were always friendlier on the phone when you rang up to order. Parker’s going out of business is like loosing a bit of my youth!

    I tend to always forget that they exist now when shopping for parts, which is a shame as they sometimes have some good offers. Their winter bike package was pretty much the default club bike if you were not making your hack out of spare parts but buying new.

    thecrux
    Member

    I don’t wish to throw mud, it is no big deal I’m sure but they’ve let me down on an order. I need a saddle for Saturday, so I ordered the saddle I required on Monday. It arrived yesterday but it is the wrong one, not the one I clicked or – bought. So the offer? send it back and we’ll refund you. No attempt to solve my dilemma which is the fact I don’t have a saddle now! the customer services attempt to appease the situation was terrible. I’ve shopped with Ribble for many years, even back in the day when mail order was performed over the phone. It seems they are back to being ‘terrible’. A shame but I do feel as though their entire approach to the issue is born of the arrogance you’d expect of a large online retailer. It seems Ribble have forgotten about the very people who have made them into the shop they’ve become – but that is just my take on it.

    The measure of a good online retailer is when it goes wrong for whatever reason is how easy is it to sort and with Ribble and a few others that’s invariably where they start to fail.

    andyrm
    Member

    send it back and we’ll refund you.

    Sounds fair. Do you really expect a business (run for profit, the primary reason for any business existing) to give money back on trust that a customer will return goods?

    I can’t see the problem here other than a shipping error which will inevitably happen time to time.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    A shame but I do feel as though their entire approach to the issue is born of the arrogance you’d expect of a large online retailer.

    I would imagine the ‘return it before we send a replacement out’ policy is largely dictated by the increasing amount of people prepared to try and scam big (and small) companies out of money.

    andyrm
    Member

    I would imagine the ‘return it before we send an replacement out’ policy is largely dictated by the increasing amount of people prepared to try and scam big (and small) companies out of money.

    We see loads of this. Online purchase fraud attempts are very much on the rise.

    Sounds fair. Do you really expect a business (run for profit, the primary reason for any business existing) to give money back on trust that a customer will return goods?

    I can’t see the problem here other than a shipping error which will inevitably happen time to time.

    +1 mistakes happen, its a shame but this could happen anywhere. They offered to refund you. A lot of places will give you a lot of hassle to give you money back. Did you ask them to sort it? or just take what they said?

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Just seemed weird that someone who hardly posts mentions problems with another on-line retailer probably knowing the PX/On One are getting a bit of a bashing at the moment.. While mentioning a shop in Windsor…

    thecrux
    Member

    No, you’re quite right. I understand that on the surface of it nothing looks untoward however I have omitted certain details in the interest of the retailer at fault. When I reported the issue to Ribble I explained that I needed the saddle urgently. But they don’t have the saddle they have on their website – the picture isn’t correct, the only one like it is £30 more expensive. I was offered a discount of 12% but this discount is open to every customer so it wasn’t a goodwill gesture tailored to the situation. I underlined my prime concern; I need a saddle by Saturday. “We can refund you but that is the only solution we can offer you unless you pay more money for the more expensive version” they explained, followed up by “You’ll be refunded once we receive the item you return to us”. It wasn’t much to make up for the inconvenience. As it is said above; a good retailer is not one who gets everything right but it’s a retailer who makes efforts to get things right when a transaction goes wrong. Ribble failed in this regard.

    thecrux
    Member

    Re. ChunkyMTB, I don’t contribute often as I don’t have much to contribute. There is no ulterior motive nor any hidden agenda. I use this forum rarely, but when I do it is used merely as a portal to feedback to other cyclists. Nothing else.

    lemonysam
    Member

    As it is said above; a good retailer is not one who gets everything right but it’s a retailer who makes efforts to get things right when a transaction goes wrong. Ribble failed in this regard.

    But they didn’t have a course of action which didn’t expose them to risk of being defrauded. If you were a really high value customer or plead a very good case they might have been prepared to go out on a limb for you. As it is you’re not and you apparently didn’t.

    I would have offered you exactly what they offered you if it had happened through one of the companies I’ve worked for.

    Edit: I might have offered you a little more discount but not necessarily.

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    You think they’re bad as an online store, try going in the shop. I needed some forks cutting for a national that i was doing up in Dalby. I broke my forks pre-riding the course on saturday but bizarely had a spare pair with me, drove over to Ribble and offered to pay a premium if they could cut the steerer. They couldn’t have cared less, to the point of being rude. I even offered to buy the tools as I was desperate and they pretty much told me to get out the shop. Local place in harrogate did them for free and fed me coffee while I was there.

    I think with these online retailers, if they have the exact part you want and you’re willing to stand the delay if they send you the wrong bit then all well and good. Whilst I can see why you find it frustrating, you can’t expect an online retailer to match the service of an LBS with regard to returns, thats the downside. In fairness to Ribble, how do they know you’ll send the part back? You pays your money….

    i was doing up in Dalby. I broke my forks pre-riding the course on saturday but bizarely had a spare pair with me, drove over to Ribble

    😯 Drove to ribble from dalby to get some forks cut? is there another Dalby other than Dalby Forest?

    thecrux
    Member

    Fair enough, I’m not going to dispute what is essentially down to opinion. I have provided feedback of my experience. My personal view is that Ribble should have made an attempt to appease me the customer as the issue was a result of their error. they had a similar but more expensive item in stock, this could have been subject to a little more discount than the normal everyday discount, I’d happily pay for the item and send them their incorrect saddle back and wait for a refund. I don’t think that is expecting too much. I understand the thoughts others have on this – which appear to be shared by Ribble themselves, they’ve lost just me as a customer, no big deal I’m sure.

    lemonysam
    Member

    no big deal I’m sure.

    Exactly why it’s not worth their going out on a limb for you.

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    Drove to ribble from dalby to get some forks cut? is there another Dalby other than Dalby Forest?

    long story but involved picking up a set of wheels because the crash that broke my forks wrecked the wheels too. Not a great weekend…

    Specialist
    Member

    …and the next customer they lose will be ‘no big deal’, and the one after that.

    Many years ago I used to ride with the guys at Ribble so I’ve read this with interest but I’ll chip in with a non bias perspective. The truth is that we could each write a tale of woe regarding customer services and the lack of. For the record I use to shop with Ribble in the olden days but I am sorry to say I shared an experience similar to yours, they are not unique though, many of the online retailers take the same approach – we are but a number. It must be difficult for the shops who become ‘online retailers’ to remind themselves what it used to be like when every customer mattered, its all so automated now this is just one of those things. Take your business elsewhere, there’s enough choice out there. Many here will use Ribble and rate them highly, we can only go on our own experiences.

    thecrux
    Member

    I was just giving my feedback while also opening a discussion point regarding the return of business to the good old local bike shop. Its been interesting to see the thoughts on this, perhaps the online retailers have got it right, maybe my expectations are too high, I remain a little frustrated by the way Ribble make no attempt to put things right but that’s the sign of the times I guess.

    nikxl
    Member

    So mail order company gives shocking service by replying promptly to communication and offering refund on receipt of goods? Wow thats harsh.
    As for the “shop” being rubbish regarding workshop service its pretty clear on their website its reserve and collect only.

    And as for not going back… you will because when you can get something for less than your LBS pays for it trade from ribble you’d be a fool not to.
    I know of 2 bike shops that have bought groupsets for customers bikes retail from ribble recently

    lemonysam
    Member

    …and the next customer they lose will be ‘no big deal’, and the one after that.

    And so long as their error rate is remotely low enough it will make absolutely no difference to their bottom line.

    I’ve not shopped with Ribble for a while, but sometimes things go wrong and it doesn’t always work out the way you want. I recently had a problem with a CRC purchase and the customer service response was ok, but not great. Not what I’ve personally come to expect from CRC.

    Now if we’re talking about bad customer service two little words come to mind “Dave” and “Hinde”.

    matther01
    Member

    Bought a pair of wheels from them yesyerday only to realise I may not be able to convert the front hub and they couldnt advise exactly which year they were. The did however say that if I didnt like them or couldnt convert them they would arrange collection free of charge…so not bad IMO.

    thecrux
    Member

    Re. lemonysam – I think that’s the summary.

    Re. nikxl – a refund is required by law, the difference between retailers is just what steps they take beyond that minimum.

    ndthornton
    Member

    Bigger the retailer –

    ….the larger the customer base
    ….the greater the number of cases of poor customer service
    ….the more frequently we are likely to hear about such cases
    ….the worse our perception of customer service becomes

    ….without any need for an increase in the frequency of poor customer service

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    So mail order company gives shocking service by replying promptly to communication and offering refund on receipt of goods? Wow thats harsh.

    Does make me wonder what people expect from a retailer, online or otherwise.

    But they don’t have the saddle they have on their website – the picture isn’t correct, the only one like it is £30 more expensive

    Hmm did they actually send out the wrong item, or was it just that the picture didn’t match the description and you ordered the wrong item? Are you toymotor?

    thecrux
    Member

    I don’t think my expectations are excessive. It’s quite straight forward, the item sent to me is not as per the item purchased. I’m not unreasonable, to be fair to Ribble they did offer a refund which is fine. I don’t dispute that this is good service (to a point) but this is governed by the distance selling act so there isn’t much they can do about it thankfully. The issue which I am trying (unsuccessfully it would appear) to raise is that retailers should not feel compelled to do only the minimum, they should step up to the plate when they make an error. I need the saddle for Saturday, they should therefore offer a replacement item discounted as to ensure I am not inconvenienced. Sure, I’ll send the first item back and await my refund but in the meantime, I’d really like either the saddle I wanted or the closest match.

    To rewind a little though, my initial question is whether or not people here on this forum value their LBS enough to pay a little extra rather than use online retailers who appear to be losing the basic skills of customer service which they once possessed.

    I presented an example, some will agree and of course, some will not, but the fact remains that LBS tend to consider the guy in the shop as their future more than the online retailers think about the contents of my basket and the following mouse click.

    I think shops like Moonglu, Mountain Trax and 700 are all a fine models of just what a LBS can become with the support of the locals. Sure things cost a little more but the customer service you receive makes it worth it.
    I’ll sign off and leave this one.

    thecrux
    Member

    Note:

    Re. mrblobby – the website had a plain black saddle with magnesium rails, the description was that of a plain black saddle with magnesium rails, the item received was not a plain black saddle with magnesium rails.

    lemonysam
    Member

    I need the saddle for Saturday, they should therefore offer a replacement item discounted as to ensure I am not inconvenienced.

    A discount wouldn’t actually lessen your inconvenience, it would just make you feel better. It’s a fine gesture that, as I said above, I may well have offered but not at the expense of making a loss or opening us up to fraud.

    thecrux
    Member

    Re. lemonysam – how can it be fraudulent? I’d be paying for the new saddle and I’d be waiting for my refund from the first saddle purchased therefore for a small period of a few days I’d have paid twice.

    In summary, I won’t shop with Ribble any more. There are several other options available including my LBS who until recently I hadn’t considered, so if anything today has only cemented my view that just as buying British meat from my butcher makes me feel better than buying New Zealand Lamb from Asda, some things are not simply down to money (there’s another topic).

    I’m done now.

    cynic-al
    Member

    send it back and we’ll refund you.

    WTF else do you expect?

    thecrux
    Member

    A saddle for Saturday which closely resembles the one I bought on Monday.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    If you’d ordered the right saddle and sent back the other one yesterday, you’d probably have the new one and a refund by now 🙂

    online retailers who appear to be losing the basic skills of customer service which they once possessed.

    Did they really ever possess it? You go to online retailers because they are cheap and/or convenient, not for excellent customer service.

    Regularly shop at my LBS and am happy to pay a bit more to support them. I get great service from them but then I know and ride with the chaps who work there.

    lemonysam
    Member

    Did they really ever possess it?

    Many do, many don’t – just as it is on the high street. I can point at specialist retailers online who are far better than any local shop in their field. I’m sure that thinking about it you can too.

    The thing is, this isn’t a really customer service issue – that’s been resolved – it’s an expectation of compensation for an honest mistake. That expectation has proven to be ungrounded in this case and therefore the OP is upset.

    When I worked in Edinburgh the bike chain were superb loved going in. The New occupiers of the shop have always, in my experience, been awful and so avoid. High street and webshops get it wrong. You decide what to do.

    thecrux
    Member

    I’m not sure my expectation of a retailer differs to most of the users of this forum but I appreciate we share a different view in this regard.

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