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  #1  
Old 06-23-2006, 02:31 AM
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rainperimeter rainperimeter is offline
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Default city bikes

i decided today that i can no longer suggest to friends, co-workers, acquaintances, whoever, to go to city bikes to check out this or that. for the i-don't-know-how-many-time today, a co-worker/buddy told me of going in there (either location) and having an employee treat him/her like a complete idiot.

actually, in particular it is two employees. one male, one female. both have been there forever. the female left and worked at another shop and i think is back now (that's sort of giving that one away i think). both are incredibly condescending and short. i've witnessed horrible interactions between her and my friends (or strangers to me, if i'm in looking for something) at both shops she's worked at. the guy, he's always unpleasant, even when he's a customer at another business (an ex-gf had to wait on him at the cafe she worked at). seriously. she's super patronizing and under the impression she's an authority on what you need to do and ride (and then acts like you're attacking her if you stop taking her shit). and he's grumpy and impatient (and becomes grumpier and more impatient).

somehow i've avoided this mostly. maybe it's because i used to work in a shop for quite a while, there is something i emit, a scent, a noise, a glow, that allows me to have pleasant interactions with city bikes staff, i'm in the club or something. maybe it's because i'm very much more informed than some. i don't know. acting like an asshole/elitist prick to people who want to start riding and have questions for you, bike shop employee, whose job it is to help 'em out, is no way to encourage them.

oh, years ago, in 98 i think, i bought my first burley rain jacket. i was mocked because i wasn't crazy about buying a bright f'ing yellow jacket. i wanted the red and black jacket that burley was no longer making, or city bikes couldn't get them or something like this. i was being a slave to fashion or some shit. i forget what specifically was said....there's my crap city bikes experience (and i did buy the yellow jacket).

anyways, does anyone else know of what i'm talking about? agree, disagree?
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2006, 01:19 PM
arcellus arcellus is offline
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Default agreed

have to say i agree with this one.. which is why i never go there. however, i've had mostly good experiences with staff at the 20th/alder location.

i find this to be a problem at a lot of shops, here and elsewhere. it's probably unavoidable when you've got a staff that is usually more knowledgable than the customer base, not being challenged by their work, and underpaid (at least in their own eyes).
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2006, 12:07 PM
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donnambr donnambr is offline
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I wholeheartedly agree. It's really too bad because they sell things there that no one in the area does, and some of us are really committed to supporting cooperatives.

What I expect in the way of "customer service" at a co-op isn't the same as my expectations in a retail store. (Then again, I find retail store "customer service" pretty nauseating in and of itself.) So, I'm judging by co-op standards here. I may just be learning about how to care for my bike, but I have a lot of experience in and with cooperatives. I've not encountered the grumpy man, but I have interacted with the highly patronizing woman, and I think that kind of interaction can really turn people off. It is definitely my #1 hot-button issue. After my "run-in", I have gone out of my way to make my bike purchases elsewhere whenever possible. It's not ok, even for a cooperative. What would you think if you went into People's to find some bulk herb, asked for help, and were either blown off by a really cranky person or were told in a really patronizing way that you didn't really want the herb you came in for? A few people would find someone to complain to, but most others would head to New Seasons, Limbo, Wild Oats, or some other place that might sell the same herb. They'd likely never stop in there again, even casually to pick up some beer or potato chips. Certainly no one on the People's BoD would ever know why they don't shop there anymore or that there might be a problem. They may even develop a negative impression of cooperatives that they keep for the rest of their life.

People's has the co-op customer service balance down, and it makes me proud to be a member. The worst experience I've ever had was interacting with someone who was dippy and clueless, nothing I'd feel tempted to complain about in a co-op. I've never seen anyone working there who wasn't anything but kind and polite. You can let a lot slide in the customer service world if you are simply pleasant. A good co-op should know this. Does Citybikes have a BoD structure? Anyone know someone on the BoD that they could email this thread to?
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:24 AM
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I have visited both locations (on the same day) exactly one time thus far. My experience was positive on the whole; I'd say the staff at the annex were more personable than at the repair location, but I don't really expect to be fawned over anyway. In short, no one condescended to me, no one gruffly dismissed my questions.

Still, co-op or not, a business really should bear in mind that whereas a customer's purchase of a lock or pair of gloves may not impact the bottom line to any great extent, goodwill on the street definitely can. Case in point: Sellwood Cycle Repair. I've bought some tires there and was treated well, and I've learned from others of good experiences while shopping there. And yet they see fit to hawk t-shirts bearing their logo and a negative quote from an online review! Since learning of that, I've been leery of going there again even though their location on Milwaukie Ave. is very convenient.

My best experiences have always been at Bike Gallery's Hollywood location. Sure, there's not much of a 'granola vibe' there, but the staff are unfailingly polite and knowledgeable, and have even steered me toward less expensive alternatives to the items for which I was shopping. Wish I could say the same for their Woodstock location but...well, I can't.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2006, 09:54 PM
sbcohen sbcohen is offline
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i am no bike geek and i've always had great interactions with city bikes staff. now, they are not super cheery or anything, but they've never made me feel like an idiot. quite the contrary actually...
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2006, 11:24 AM
ephany ephany is offline
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Default bike shops

"My best experiences have always been at Bike Gallery's Hollywood location. Sure, there's not much of a 'granola vibe' there, but the staff are unfailingly polite and knowledgeable, and have even steered me toward less expensive alternatives to the items for which I was shopping. Wish I could say the same for their Woodstock location but...well, I can't."

Wow, that is the complete opposite experience I have of the Hollywood BG. As a community organization, I think they rock and do a TON of good stuff for the cycling community and I love the people there esp. Mgrs Amy and Linda. But as a shop, I find them to be expensive and a little too quick to upsell.

Had I been able to find a bike that fit me at Rivercity, I would have happily bought from them and enjoyed the discount on accessories and lifetime minor adjustments that come with a bike purchase. No such amenities at BG.

If you want unbeatable friendly service, visit Cory at 7 Corners on 23rd & Division. I heart him. He will make your day brighter, your ride smoother, and if you bring him baked goods, he'll be your best friend for life. :)
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2006, 04:12 PM
half pint half pint is offline
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I've gone back and forth on the whole city bikes thing.
Overall my experiences have been positive (or at least neutral).
Although Peter has always been amazing, along with a few others (i just don't know their names).
I've also had a couple horrible ones.
A couple years ago I had a couple guys be snooty to me, and explain to me
that they didn't have to be nice because they have no boss.
And of course, it seems there's always someone working that seems very unhappy about being there.
I stopped shopping there for about a year.
I found coventry(on hawthorne and 20th) to be amazing,
they just don't have everything i need.
So i go back to city bikes when i need to,
but I still tell people about my experiences.
And while they have only lost a couple hundred bucks or so from me,
they have probably lost more from the people i have told to not go there.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2006, 06:48 PM
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donnambr donnambr is offline
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Half Pint brings up an interesting point about what can happen when someone in a store is rude to a potential customer, even just once. You'll never know how much business you lost because of that one potential customer telling their family, friends & acquaintenances not to shop there because they're mean or whatever. A pattern of such incidents? That's a lot of business to lose.

We'd all like to think that we're unbiased and make up our own minds, but the truth is we all are influenced by the opinions of people we respect to some degree.
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2006, 01:09 AM
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rainperimeter rainperimeter is offline
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the guys who work at coventry are ridiculously friendly and helpful.

just a slight bit of clarification to my initial post: i'm not looking to be pampered when i go anywhere...at all...ever. i was a server/barista/bike shop guy all through my twenties. i know how annoying someone is who does expect to be pampered when they go out to eat, or go looking for new tires for their bike. plus that's not the type of person i am. and i'm quite certain that my friends who've i've told to go there aren't looking for any special treatment either.

i'm bummed out to see others chiming in with their bad city bike experiences.

on a side note: i bought some sylvan touring pedals, toe clips and straps the other day at n.pdx bike works. really good price and the lady working was really nice. yea for them.
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2006, 11:39 AM
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RobCat RobCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephany View Post
If you want unbeatable friendly service, visit Cory at 7 Corners on 23rd & Division. I heart him. He will make your day brighter, your ride smoother, and if you bring him baked goods, he'll be your best friend for life.
Excellent. Thanks for the recommendation.
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