Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Encounter - Unibicycles, Melbourne University

The RackThis is gonna be a long story. It's about a bicycle, its recurrently punctured front tire, and someone in the Melbourne University's unibicycles. First let me relate some background about this bike. Or if you are not too keen on it, just jump straight to the conversation further down this post.

My girlfriend has a bike, and I have been using it for the past year. Being a poor international student, the bike of course wasn't one from the top range, but it's not the cheapest either. She got it for about 300 dollars, two to three years ago.

Throughout the years, the bike has had a good deal of problems. There have been three occasions where one of the spokes in the front wheel was snapped. Each repair cost about 20 dollars. We have been repairing the bike in the shop we bought the bike from, but it's very far away from my house so we no longer go there.

In May this year, the front tire punctured for no reason. One day, as I was about to ride to the hospital, I noticed the front tire was totally flat. My girlfriend sent the bike to the uni bike shop to repair it, and they changed the inner tube which cost something like 20 dollars. She said the shop keepers were fierce and hostile, but she didn't elaborate much on it.

A few days after that, the tire punctured again. The SAME, REPAIRED tire.

During that time we were totally preoccupied with meeting our research deadline, so we didn't send the bike for repair again. The busy period had since passed, but I kind of forgot about the bike (didn't use it during the holidays), and only today I thought of sending it for repair, as she's gonna use it once we start our semester.

So I dragged this bike to the shop. In all possibility, it could have been the bike shop's fault that their replaced inner tube punctured in just a few days. However, I thought it's quite hard to argue as I am now sending it in after two months. Hence I just let it pass and didn't even mention that.

This is what ensued in the bicycle shop. Not verbatim but the gist is there. And the last sentence IS accurate.

Me: This tire went flat since one month ago and how can I fix it?
Shop Guy: One month ago? *with what I think is a contempt look* *check the tire*
Me: Oh have been back in Malaysia.. *to do away with stupid judgmental attitude*
Me: What do you think is the problem?
Shop Guy: Just a puncture.
Me: How would you fix it, and how much would that cost?
Shop Guy: I am gonna change the inner tube, 25 bucks.
Me: When can I get it back?
Shop Guy: You will have to wait until after lunch tomorrow

*With that he carried the bike to his storage area, and came back in. But he didn't give me any receipt or anything*

Me: Should I get a receipt or something?
Shop Guy: It's a piece of shit, what am I gonna do with it?

WTF? Okay the bike is not terribly well maintained, and it's only 300; but it's not very rusty or cracked or squeaky either. Calling it a piece of shit is just plain rude, and even if it's true, saying it simply shows just how much an arse he is.

So I am gonna boycott this shop from now on. Your mileage may vary, you may have a bike worthy of more courtesy, or this guy probably just had a bad day. Regardless, have a second thought when you choose your bike shop the next time, especially if you have "a piece of shit". And this shop just lost some business.


day-dreamer said...

Wow that was really, really rude of him. Big taboo for the service industry. Go on, BOYCOTT!

Raymond Chan said...

I'd lose my temper and probably get into a verbal argument with him. Good on you for being so cool headed.

Anonymous said...

Seriously! Such a condescending biatch! If i were you, i would scold him on the spot and take my bike out from the shop. He is so retarded for not realizing that you are his customer.

I did that to one of the hawkers in my school not long ago. Well, she was an elder and i know we were taught since young that we should always respect the elders. Well, not at all. Respect is earned, not obtained just because of your age.


Xon said...

rude. second your option to boycott that shop. do business cannot like this lar...

Ai Ling said...

Boycotting the shop isn't a good thing if the person is just an employee of the shop and not the boss.

But yes, he is indeed rude and he shouldn't have done that. I would have probably scolded him too, depending on my mood on that day. Hah.

Jyue Loh said...

Another consumer rights issue......

changyang1230 said...

day-dreamer: Haha I hope I don't have to visit bicycle shop in the near future.

raymond: Eerm I wasn't expecting any sort of remark like that, so I guess I just lost myself at that particular moment. If I was having a bad day and if I was mentally prepared for his rude remark, I might have retorted too.

WK: Wah you scolded an Ama? What did she do to you?

xon: Ya loh ya loh.

Ai Ling: Hah yea but I can't go back to that shop again just for fairness' sake... And speaking of the boss, I would say it's partly the boss' loss for having hired someone with a rude attitude towards customers.

Jyue: Indeed. Some shopkeepers here have unbelievably horrible attitude.