Don’t make empty promises

I’ve recently had an experience with Cycle Lab in Bryanston.

Background

End of last year I noticed that my rear wheel (Rolf Elan) was moving laterally on the hub. Suspecting the bearings, I took it in to Cycle Lab for them to fix it. The mechanic took it apart immediately and noticed that it was just a missing spacer, which they didn’t have in stock. So I left the wheel for them to order the part and get back to me.

My Problem

2 months later, having heard nothing, I went in to enquire, and they knew nothing of my job card, luckily I kept my copy, and luckily I could point out my wheel in the pile of wheels lying in the workshop.

Nothing had been done, so they redid the documentation with more promises to phone me once done.

Fast forward to September. Because I have another set of wheels I haven’t really followed up on this, but at some point I would like my racing wheel back, they’re half the weight of my training set. So I walk in and start asking questions, and eventually have to go point out my wheel in the pile in the workshop again. After a heated discussion between a few people in the workshop the lady comes out and says their supplier have lost the complete insides of the wheel’s hub, and they’ll be happy to replace the wheel for me with a new bontrager one (emphasis hers).  I’m happy with that, and even enquire to the price of the front wheel so that I can buy that to complete the set.

As promised she phones me the Tuesday after, saying she’s still waiting for stock, but will let me know as soon as it arrives.  And then…NOTHING!

So, 2 weeks later I walk in to enquire about the wheel, and now the story has changed…She promptly tells me that she’s still waiting for another customer to return the promised wheel, which he’s borrowing. WTF?

I didn’t lose the insides of that wheel, and it was part of a set.  So what would make me happy is for them to replace it with an equivalent set, I’ll happily hand you the front-wheel I have to go into your collection of loaners.

Another 2 weeks go by with no news, so I walk in again yesterday, and this time I can actually see the loathing on the woman’s face.  So she tells me she’s going to fetch the wheel for me.  And re-appears about 20 minutes with a bottom of the range Shimano wheel, weighing about double what my set of training wheel weigh.  I took the wheel, and walked out, but will never support this shop again, ever.  I vote with my wallet, and tell the world about my experience.

Lesson from this

If you really want to make you customers happy, take notes when you make a promise, and deliver on that, or even over-deliver.  This will ensure that they tell the world about their experience, and that they come back for more.  But never make an empty promise and then deliver half-assed when the customer calls you on it.

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