How does one respond to this?
See, we will, from time to time, point out certain inequities and questionable practices that some of the other local bike shops may employ. Sure, I'll admit, serves to make us look good (hee,hee!) But, it's born of frustration, because as a fellow cyclists, we feel such blatant oportunism is just plain wrong. It shouldn't be a scary proposition to keep your ride rolling! But, I have one rule, unless I'm praising the shop for honesty or altruism, I don't mention them by name. Even in the cases where folks have come in and asked me who I was talking about, I politely decline to answer. I believe in honesty not mud slinging. Unfortunately...most of the other shops in town don't share that opinion. I realize it has long been a tendency of American businesses to tout ones own service while denegrading the competition, and if you have a superior product or service, there's no shame in pointing that out. However, when that tendency leans towards the personal attack and slander with no basis on facts, merely an effort to look better by decimating the competition? Not so good. We suffered such tactics when we first opened, but eventually our detractors begrudgingly excepted our existance, some eventually going so far as to occassionaly refer customers to us, looking for the used or inexpensive repair. Those that steadfastly held to dogging us? Well, eventually folks will see through the reprehensible practice and stop patronizing them, and they closed up shop. Well, maybe not just for that reason, as the tendancy for diversion was an attempt to gloss over their own short comings. The old saying "put your own house in order" comes to mind. But, now it seems we have a new/old player on the field, dealing in new and higher end used, who seems to think the old slander bit is the way to increase business for themselves. Sigh. We've even heard through the grapevine (oh, bike shops can be worse then a sewing circle when it comes to gossip!) that they have gone as far as circulating flyers lambasting us and others by name! Not to mention a supposed regularity of ritualistic slander of most other shops in the area when they talk to their customers. Hmmm... that will definitely come back to haunt them. The real funny thing is, a few weeks back, we hired a young gentleman to help out in the afternoon, but quickly, for a variety of reason, found that choice proved disastrous and had to let him go. And as fate would have it, he now works for them? If I was a conspiracy minded person, I'd ponder thosr circumstances more, but I've heard in the short time he's been there, there have been problems, and more than a couple failed repairs to boot. Karma, anyone?
So, even as I've been writting this, I'm wrestling with my conscience as to whether or not I should do a name drop, but even though they have no qualms about such tactics, we do. I cannot justify throwing my hat into THAT ring! No, I'll simply say, they are North of us, and leave it at that. Anyone having been there, probably already knows who I'm talking about anyway. We've suffered the slings and arrows of this kind of tactical attacks before, and survived, we'll weather it by keeping our heads proudly above the bovine fecal matter.
In the end, the customer will decide who and where the best deals and services are.
That's why we're stl standing.