I love my motorcycle. I really do and I think that I’ve made that clear over the years. You’ve heard stories and seen pictures. If you’ve never been sick of my love for my motorcycle, you must never have really had a chance to get to know me.
The problem is, however, that motorcycles can be expensive to maintain. The daily costs of gas and oil changes and spark plugs is relatively low and can easily be done by even a novice mechanic (especially the gas). Since I don’t come from a motorcycle family, there are plenty of things I don’t know how to do nor have the tools to do them or mentors to teach me. This really is a shame as I’d love to be able to do most things myself because I hate having to pay for things I could be doing.
A week and a half ago, I had to take my bike in for long overdue tires and chain replacement. Since I’m still new to the area, I had no idea where to take my bike so I ended up scheduling it at the place a few miles down the road. I dropped it off and was told it should be done the following day (though I couldn’t pick it up until a day later than that because of work).
I should have known that my weekend was going to be a bad one when I got home from work the day after dropping it off to find that the painters who had painted my balcony neglected my plants and dripped paint all over them and knocked them over and it even appears that they stepped on a few. My luscious plants had taken a beating. I notified my landlady of what happened and she said she’d take care of it, but that was only the beginning of my terrible, no good, weekend from hell.
Since my buddy was out-of-town on Saturday when I wanted to pick up my bike, I had no one to give me a lift to get the bike. This didn’t bother me; I actually looked forward to the 2.5 mile trek to start a day full of riding around Southern Wisconsin (I had to go back to my parents and then over to my sister’s place to help her move). To get to the motorcycle shop, it took me a solid 40 minutes of walking. When I got there, I found out that my bike wasn’t ready. I’m a different person today than I was three years ago and I don’t take kindly to being walked all over by people who have no right to it, though I may have let me temper take control more than I should have.
The way I look at it, if I was told my bike would be done on Friday then it should be done on Friday. Their excuse for not having it done was that one of their mechanics called in sick and they couldn’t get through all the work the shop had. Also, they told me, that since I didn’t get a call I shouldn’t be expecting my bike to be ready. I can see how they thought these arguments were valid. The way I looked at it, they weren’t valid arguments for a service business. They said that the bike would be done on Friday and it wasn’t. They knew that one of their mechanics wasn’t coming in that day, so they should have either found a replacement for him so their work didn’t fall behind or they should have notified me that my bike wouldn’t be ready as promised. Neither happened and I ended up walking an hour and a half for nothing.
I asked how long it would take to finish up my bike and the desk guy went and asked the mechanic. He told me an hour. I debated waiting around to get it but I’m glad that I didn’t. It wasn’t until 2.5 hours later that I got a call saying my bike was ready to go. Terrible.
Then Monday after work, three days after my bike should have been ready, I went in to pick it up (I fortunately didn’t have to walk this time as my buddy was around). I get up to the counter and the guys turn to me and say, “We were just talking about you.” Though I never asked about what, I figured it was about how I put up such a fuss about my bike not being ready and then I didn’t come and pick it up as soon as it was. The guy, Mike, went and got my bike while the other guy rang me up. Again, I was not happy with the price that came up. It was $70 more than I was quoted.
As anyone should do, I asked for a breakdown of my charges. $14 was taxed. Fine, I said. $25 was for an inner tube for my tire. They told me it was standard practice when they replace tube tires to replace the tube. When I asked why it wasn’t included in the original quote if it wasn’t standard practice, they said the guy must not have known if I had tube tires. Ask. I know these things. Also, why was only one replaced if it was standard practice? I received no answer on this. $8 was for tire disposal. Again, I feel like this should be included in the original quote as it’s standard. $9 was for wheel weights to balance my tires. I would expect this kind of thing to be included in the charge for “Mount and Balance Tires” but again it wasn’t. And finally, $10 was for “Shop Supplies.” I really wonder what shop supplies my little bike needed for its’ rather basic work.
I was fuming and argue and piss and moan as I might, they refused to do anything to ensure me being a repeat customer. I paid my bill and hightailed it out of there. I made sure to leave a nasty review for them on Google.
In case you were curious, I ran into the painters this morning as I closed up my balcony before work and chewed them out for how the treated my plants. It felt good and I also got the feeling that they’re in cahoots with the same people who worked on my bike because they also had terrible customer service.
And now, because I know if I read through this I’ll get all pissed off again, here’s a picture of me on my bike from back in the day to cheer us all up.