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  • Tubeless tyre fitting; have I been overcharged by LBS?
  • DezB
    Free Member

    People moan about the cost of pretty much any service these days

    Internets innit. Everything can be shopped around for on the cheap. Cheap bits can be had on ebay for pennies from China, if you don’t mind waiting for delivery… but then when someone wants a service from a real person using toil and their actual hands … hey? Why can’t I get this for pennies?! Sad really. But try sending your wheel and tyre to someone online and getting it sorted for less than £28.50. (I’ll do it for £27, but you’d pay the return postage)

    kerley
    Free Member

    Good point. And what you really need to be able to do is send your wheel to China, India etc,. and get it fixed there. The labour would be 50 pence.

    philjunior
    Free Member

    Is the answer to “Have I been overcharged for this work by my LBS” ever yes? (I think I might remember once when it was.

    My best job ever was working saturdays as a mechanic/salesman in the LBS. Part of me would love to do it again, but even if I started my own business to do it I can’t see how I’d pay the bills let alone go home in the Lambo.

    When everyone (myself included tbh) moans at the lack of expertise/service in the majority of bike shops, but then refuses to pay for the service, wtf are we meant to do? The rates need to double if you’re going to get a good mechanic to stay at the job when they get to having a partner and kids. And you still get people who can’t do the job themselves complaining about the “ridiculous cost”.

    6 pints of beer on a night out is what you’re questioning here. FFS.

    bigjim
    Full Member

    a shop who should be doing things professionally shouldn’t use it

    wrong, wrong, wrong.

    daveylad
    Free Member

    Having spent 3 days so far trying to unsuccessfully to install a set of tubeless tyres after years of no issues what so ever, I would happily pay this. I would be pissed if they used gorilla tape though rather than the proper stuff.

    threerock44
    Full Member

    Slight thread diversion here. Set up tyres tubeless over the weekend. Used my new Bontrager floor pump/airshot combo, worked great. I ended up using black 25m gorilla tape, when I couldn’t get the blue rim tape that came with my 2 year old Trance to stick to the rim at all. (I had alcohol cleaned it etc etc…) I’m fully aware of future ball-ache gorilla sticky ramifications. I couldn’t find clear Gorilla tape anywhere other than 50mm wide? – name the source of narrower clear tape please!

    joebristol
    Full Member

    When you’ve alcohol cleaned the rim I’ve found you then need to wipe it down with a clean / dry cloth to completely remove any residue.

    If you used gorilla tape with fibres in it, you’ll find it gradually absorbs the sealant and gets less sticky – but still makes a mess of your rim. I personally wouldn’t go out to find more gorilla tape.

    I’ve found the wtb branded stuff works well – better than the DT Swiss stuff from my experience. Just make sure the rim is clean, and get it in a size a couple of my wider than the internal width of your rim. One wrap round with an overlap either side of the valve.

    DezB
    Free Member

    I would be pissed if they used gorilla tape though rather than the proper stuff.

    Take a bit more than that to drive me to drink.

    mboy
    Free Member

    TLDR!

    But in answer… The prevalence of people who have got hours to spend posting long drawn out posts on an internet forum, asking have they been overcharged, then investing huge amounts of time/effort themselves to do it all themselves (whilst slagging off said LBS) in the future is a huge part of why I have closed my shop down!

    As for costs… I used to charge…

    £5 labour for swapping a tyre
    £5 for slug of sealant (yes from 1L workshop bottle, but it’s always more than you think, and there’s always some spill which needs clearing up too, even if its just on your tyre sidewalls)
    £5 for rim tape (usually 2 wraps of Stans type yellow tape, but sometimes different rims required all sorts of crazy solutions and Gorilla Tape was often the only answer, but usually after finding out that Yellow Tape just wasn’t up to the job, all my own costs I couldn’t pass on of course)
    £7 for the valve… Cos that’s the Stan’s RRP, and in the last 3 years they’d not only increased the price quite a bit, but usually not available to buy in bulk boxes so I had to stop selling them for £5 as I wasn’t making any money!

    So £22 all in… But the £5 labour is assuming it’s a very quick job, and often they aren’t!

    Oh, and the cost of keeping HUGE numbers of different rim tapes in different widths and constructions in stock, to be able to cater for any rim that just so happens to come into the shop… And the compressor I’ve invested in. And the 16+ years of running tubeless myself and trying just about every combo you can imagine and the experience gained from that of what will and won’t work, and how to get the tyres to stay up (just because it says “tubeless” doesn’t necessarily mean it will just work for everyone!)…

    I think the OP is being quite unreasonable myself, but then that’s the biggest problem with the bike industry… Customers expectations of “it’s just a bike, how can it cost that much” when the reality is it’s a fairly complex piece of equipment that requires a lot of specialist tools, knowledge and maintenance to keep it going!

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    As a business owner (not a bike shop tho, I’m not daft 😃), I love it when people come in and itemise a list of materials that I’ll be using, adding on a small amount “for my time”, and presenting the total as the price they believe it is fair to pay. Of course neglecting to factor in rent/rates/electricity/tools/staff/admin/etc, years of experience & the ability to do a job they can’t do themselves (“it only took you 10 minutes!” yes but that 10 mins took 10 years of practice 😂) and the fact I have the temerity to want to put food on my table and even tuck a bit away for my eventual retirement. I say “people” not “customers” as they are quickly shown the door 😂 Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often as most people aren’t really that clueless.

    mboy
    Free Member

    I would be pissed if they used gorilla tape though rather than the proper stuff.

    Gorilla Tape is increasingly the “go to” rim tape of choice I’m afraid… Yes, it’s a pain to clean up after you remove it, but it just works more often than not! Stans Yellow tapes and their ilk are often very unforgiving of many rim shapes, and they’re very brittle and tear easily if you’re not careful. So…

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    LBS near me just advertised tubeless set up – rim tape, valves, sealant and fitting for £59 a pair. Might try and wangle club discount off that….

    reeksy
    Full Member

    Fact is, if a business agrees a fixed price and then renegs without explanation I wouldn’t have faith in using them again, be it plumber, mechanic, whatever.

    They could have taken a small hit, explained the issue that meant they needed the extra tape and valve and had a customer for life

    Wish them luck in their venture, trot on to the next LBS.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Fact is, if a business agrees a fixed price

    Then you take in a much more involved job, but could be described the same way? (‘Set it up tubeless’) esp if the op had said he had done most of it himself.

    Should they always quote worst case? ‘£30 to add sealant, RIP OFF!!!111one’ etc

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Businesses should do everything they can to avoid even the appearance of a bait and switch.

    So yes, that means that if a customer calls you up and says, ‘I’ve done three quarters of the job already, how much will it be to finish it?’ then the answer is, ‘We charge £30 to set up tubeless tyres, if we find that there is less work then we can reduce that price but we’re not promising anything.’

    The LBS should have taken the £20 hit and considered it the price they paid to learn the lesson not to under-quote.

    Instead, they chose not to pay for the lesson, probably won’t learn anything, continue to leave customers unhappy, and then complain about ‘stupid customers’ when they go out of business.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Didn’t they quote the job without any parts, as the OP said he had fitted them? Admittedly they probably should have told him he needed new tape etc when it became apparent, but would he then have said ‘nah I’ll leave it then’? Of course not.

    If he had just gone in and said ‘ I’m struggling, can you set it up tubeless?’ then I would have thought they’d have just got the desired outcome.

    dodgyknees
    Free Member

    Been running tubeless for years, ultimately I’ve found that bog standard insulating tape is the best rim tape there is! It takes at least 3 or four wraps to get it right but the fact that you can stretch it as you apply it ensures a good seal every time, and any width of rim is ok as the multiple wraps will go edge to edge. Oh and of course it’s super cost effective.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    So many arm chair experts on this post.

    You’ve paid for a convenient service at a price that’s not unreasonable.

    DIY it next time if you don’t like it.

    Keva
    Free Member

    LBS here charged me £32.50 to do mine last month, I took it round there because I couldn’t get the new tyre on the rim. I thought it was worth it, new rim tape which it needed and two new stans valves. Plus I watched him put the tyre on the rim so hopefully I can do it myself next time.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Didn’t they quote the job without any parts, as the OP said he had fitted them? Admittedly they probably should have told him he needed new tape etc when it became apparent, but would he then have said ‘nah I’ll leave it then’? Of course not.

    So yes, that means that if a customer calls you up and says, ‘I’ve done three quarters of the job already, how much will it be to finish it?’ then the answer is, ‘We charge £30 to set up tubeless tyres, if we find that there is less work then we can reduce that price but we’re not promising anything.’

    Like I said, even a whiff of bait and switch leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. The LBS should have learned from this encounter but it sounds like they haven’t and will continue to act in the same way. But of course, it is always the ‘stupid customer’s’ fault.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    But of course, it is always the ‘stupid customer’s’ fault.

    He’s not a stupid customer, he’s over-optimistic and a little bit Rainman though.

    I couldn’t disagree with your more on this, the LBS did absolutely nothing wrong. They’re there to earn a wage, that’s all… You or I wouldn’t work for £10 an hour, why should they ?

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I couldn’t disagree with your more on this, the LBS did absolutely nothing wrong. They’re there to earn a wage, that’s all… You or I wouldn’t work for £10 an hour, why should they ?

    Please point out where I said the price was unreasonable. Did you read all my post or just every third word?

    LBSs are closing all the time. You can try to learn something when you have a customer who seems unhappy (and yes, sometimes you have to pay for your lessons) or you can get huffy and say things like, ‘people expect you to work for nothing.’

    The ones that will stay open are the ones that are learning from each negative encounter and alter how they deal with customers accordingly.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    That was my perception of your comment, i apologise if that’s incorrect.. Of course the customer is unhappy, as will another 10 others today as society has dictated that everyone wants something for nothing, as per the OPs first post. Where do you draw the line ? How many lessons do you learn day after day after day from ‘public’ before you think “Sod it, i need to make a living too”

    I totally get the customer service thing, but there’s limits and i’m not seeing anything the LBS did here as even slightly wrong.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    You don’t even detect a whiff of bait and switch?

    I used to run a workshop for a large bike shop. I learned early on that it’s OK to charge less than the quoted price but charging more, regardless of the circumstances, is always going to lead to unhappy customers, even if it’s 100% justified.

    Sometimes it’s unavoidable but in those cases it’s important to call the customer and let them know before you do the work what the new price is going to be.

    Ultimately I decided that working in a bike shop wasn’t for me. I’m one of those people who, if I have 19 great encounters with customers and one bad one, I’ll be thinking about the bad one for the rest of the week. It did make me really focused on not giving customers anything to be unhappy about though.

    big_scot_nanny
    Full Member

    Argh, I usually don’t comment once a thread goes argy-bargy, but I must admit I also struggle to understand the point of BruceWee’s post.

    If your point was that the shop could have done a better job of communicating with the OP before and after the work, then yes, I agree.

    Should you be in the business owners position, I’m not sure your pricing policy would be a sustainable approach.

    But, yes, its all about communication.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    You don’t even detect a whiff of bait and switch?

    No, i’m missing it… From what i can see, they did the job, but it needed re-taping… I guess we’ll never actually know if it did, but we can assume possibly so…. Why would you un-tape and re-tape a wheel if it didn’t need it ? It’s not like a Kwik Fit job of fitting new pads and discs etc, that actually brings a decent profit. If they’ve fitted new tape and fluid that wasn’t needed tehy’re still only making about an extra Fiver…

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I would venture that most of the people on here are the ‘in crowd’ type customers at LBSs. It’s not really surprising then that many would leap to the defense of a LBS against a customer seemingly wanting something for nothing.

    However, a lot of bike shops are not providing good customer service:

    https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a27496999/bike-shops-need-change/

    In the case of the OP they initially quoted £10. Once the customer was in the door they changed the scope of work but didn’t tell the customer about the new price. When the manager was questioned about it he got defensive and shouty.

    The prices were fair, presumably the work was done to a high standard, but the customer service was shit. Now they’ve lost at least one customer and their reputation has suffered as the OP won’t be recommending the shop to anyone.

    It’s good to support LBSs but it’s not good to tell them they are 100% in the right when they are not. If you want to continue defending shit customer service then don’t come crying to me when your LBS shuts down because of ‘stupid customers’.

    Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    Can you (weeksy) not see that the whole issue of the OP is not paying £30 for the job? It’s having to pay £30 with the expectation that it would be £10. Laughing at the idea that everyone on here (some of whom are from Yorkshire) would be all smiles and taking a wide perspective on the matter, if it happened to them.

    Of course the price sounds fair, given what was involved, but why quote a ridiculous low price that is only going to cause bad feeling when you can’t deliver it? [And it was ridiculous in this case – you can sometimes set up tubeless from scratch very quick, but fixing a setup that isn’t holding air will almost always need a retape to sort out].

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    with the expectation that it would be £10

    you need to re-read the OP. He literally says that when he took to wheel in, more was required than when explained over the phone (which was when the original ESTIMATE of £10 was given), and “I didn’t ask how much that would cost”

    Tracey
    Full Member

    I thought from the first thread that he was not happy that the shop were charging too much for the parts when they could be bought in bulk cheaper.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    OP is on another planet though. According to his calcs the shop owner has to buy things at the cheapest possible internet price, sell them on for the exact same price, then charge a pittance for labour. How much of that £10 do you think is left for the shop owner once he’s paid all his overheads/staff and then the VAT & tax men have taken their share?!

    Tracey
    Full Member

    That’s the bit I don’t get. I don’t need to use bike workshops and when I do its usually that I don’t have time to sort it myself. However when I do I expect to pay the going rate for what I’ve had done and have never thought I was been ripped off or overcharged.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    The OP was initially quoted £10.

    Once he was in the door they changed the scope of work but didn’t tell him the new price.

    When the manager was questioned about it he got defensive and shouty.

    The OP came on here and everyone put him right (I didn’t notice anyone agreeing that he’d been ripped off).

    The shop **** up by not informing him about the new price before starting and then getting shouty instead of explaining/apologising for not informing him beforehand. But apparently it’s 100% the OPs fault and he’s the reason LBSs are closing all the time. Stupid customers.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Not even the OP agrees with you there. He specifically said he didn’t ask the price as he knew it would be reasonable – which it was 😂

    DezB
    Free Member

    “Arm chair experts” Lolz 😆 (I’m in an office chair I’ll have you know)

    Pierre
    Full Member

    As an LBS owner, this thread is a heartening read. Thanks (mostly) all! We’re not opportunistic scum preying on vulnerable cyclists, mostly we’re trying to give the best we can to the most cyclists while also paying skilled staff as fairly as possible.

    Yes, you are paying for the shop’s time, skills, tools, resources, experience and convenience. And, in the case of tubeless, sometimes for someone else to clean up the mess as well.

    The OP’s shop should have communicated better – “it’s normally £10 to fit a tubeless tyre” should have been “it costs from £10 to fit a tubeless tyre”, or “it can be up to £30 to fit a tubeless tyre if lots of stuff needs removing and / or you need new tape / valve / sealant”.

    So no, OP I don’t think you’ve been overcharged at all. The LBS did the job you wanted them to do and I think under £30 is a pretty reasonable price including parts. However, I think the LBS should have better managed your expectations, and been better at explaining themselves when you queried it.

    I also don’t think Gorilla tape is particularly great, but each to their own on that one… 😉

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    The thing to remember about the people on this thread is that this is the ‘in crowd’, ie, knowledgeable customers and probably isn’t representative of your average punter. It’s not your customer’s responsibility to understand the inner workings of a bike shop’s finances. From the article I linked above:

    “Customers, when they come in, they don’t really care if you’re profitable or what your inventory turn is or your payroll. They want great customer service, they want a great inventory, they want a well-stocked service department…

    If you’re a manager/owner and a customer questioning your pricing causes you to get ‘defensive and shouty’ like in the OP’s shop then this probably isn’t the right job for you.

    If this manager had managed to explain things to the OP in the first place there would have been no need for this thread.

    kerley
    Free Member

    It’s not your customer’s responsibility to understand the inner workings of a bike shop’s finances.

    It is if they want to make a claim that they have been ripped off. Otherwise what are they basing the price on and how are they determining it was a ripoff?

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    If I was given a quote, then ended up paying three times that, and then got shouted at when I questioned the bill that would be enough for me to suspect I’d been ripped off.

    My point is that this place is an echo-chamber of in-crowd customers. Bike shops are not going to survive if they rely on the in-crowd.

    By all means, if you’re an LBS owner, then read this thread, assume that all your customers understand the value of your services, don’t try to learn anything from your negative encounters, and let us know how you’re getting on two years down the line.

    kerley
    Free Member

    My point is that this place is an echo-chamber of in-crowd customers. Bike shops are not going to survive if they rely on the in-crowd.

    I for one am not an ‘in-crowd customer’. I never go to bike shops as they generally know less than I do (I ride specific bikes) and never stock what I am after (I ride specific bikes).

    If I was given a quote, then ended up paying three times that, and then got shouted at when I questioned the bill that would be enough for me to suspect I’d been ripped off.

    When they told me more work was required than initially thought I would have asked “how much extra will that be”. If I felt the price was too high I would have told them not to do it.

    As for the customer service part, yes the shop seemed shit and I wouldn’t use them again if I had that experience in a shop.

Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 126 total)

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