getting service on a bike not purchased at shop

niwayama

Warming-Up
May 9, 2012
3
0
0
Tokyo
#1
Hi all, I'm a relatively new member here and recently purchased a Scott CR1 team via a friend who knows the Japan distributor.

I apologize if this has been discussed before.This was a demo bike used quite a bit, so I wanted to have new tires put on the bike, so I took the rims to the closest shop, Cycle Shop Seo in Harumi. I had some tires that I purchased in the US, and they told me that they only work on bikes purchased at that shop, even though I was ready to pay for the service... Is this common at cycling shops in Japan? If so, I'm worried about getting service for the cycle I purchased directly from the Scott distributor in Japan...

Thanks,

AK
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
804
4
38
38
Tokyo
#2
You don't need a bike shop to change tires - this is a minor task, which is, probably, why they refused, having to deal with a lot of their own customers.

They should accept more complicated tasks, though. If they don't -they are douchebags (go to another shop)
 

niwayama

Warming-Up
May 9, 2012
3
0
0
Tokyo
#3
kpykc, Thanks for the quick reply. Hopefully, you're right. (On changing the tires, yes, I was lazey that day, and needed to buy a couple tubes as well...)
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#4
Their loss, find another shop, there are lots of them out there. I bet once a week a bicycle shop in the Kanto area goes out of business, and another starts up, almost as bad as restaurants.

A good shop will only worry about the make and model of your money.

Think about how stupid that is "We only work on bicycles that were purchased here" holy pooh that is just DUMB!!! If a consumer bought a bicycle at ABC shop and then was not satisfied with the service they received, and they go to XYZ shop down the road, looking for better service, but the soon to be unemployed staff at XYZ shop say, "Sorry, we only work on bicycle that were purchased here" then they just tossed out a paying customer and a customer that, if they are happy with the service at the shop would possibly buy a new bicycle. This is just simply stupid! No really, think about how stupid this is, how many of us own more than one bicycle, did you buy them all on the same day? How often do cyclists upgrade bikes as they get more into the sport, or their need change/expand.
We run a retail liquor shop, I cannot count the number of times a customer has come to our shop with a bottle of wine (usually some cheap plonk) and ask us to open it, as they broke off the corkscrew they had in the cheap POS cork in the crappy wine bottle. I have a few heavy duty ways to remove a cork that does not want to be removed. I always provide this service with a smile and almost all of these customers will come back and buy good wine from me as they like the service they got. Simple basic business 101!!

Find a new shop, sure learn how to do the basic stuff yourself, but find a better shop.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#5
This is seriously must be a Tokyo thing as I have never experienced this in Yokohama or Kanagawa prefecture.

None of my bikes were purchased in Japan and yet any work or issue I've had has been dealt with quickly, professionally and at a very good price.

My new team frame arrived last week and I needed the BB30 bearings pressed in, it’s obvious the frame didn't come from their stores as you can't buy them retail and yet they happily did the job for me and charged me 2,000 JPY for a bloody good job.

My family owns a chain of bike stores and mobility stores in the UK and we never turn anyone away that needs help - if it’s quiet they will even show you and walk the customer through the job so that they can do it themselves.

Also customers are told that because it’s a DIYFS job that they are charged a premium.

But refusing a job because the bike isn't from the store - well that is just dumb and a 1 way ticket to go out of buisness. Bike stores in the UK have survived Chain Reaction Cycles ad other large online retailers by offering something they can't face to face service and repairs.

Any compenent manager or store clerk will know that the one sure way to get a repeat customer is one who is having bike issues and fixing it in a fast, professional way with a high level of competency. It's one of the reasons why Sagami Cycles has been my one stop choice for the past 10 years.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#6
so I took the rims to the closest shop, Cycle Shop Seo in Harumi. I had some tires that I purchased in the US, and they told me that they only work on bikes purchased at that shop, even though I was ready to pay for the service... Is this common at cycling shops in Japan?

AK
Not good service but where is the money for the shop? How much would you pay them to change the tires that you bought somewhere else?
The time you spent carrying the stuff to the shop you could have done it yourself quicker.

This is normally a complimentary service at a good bike shop but certainly for customers that actually buy product from the shop. Would they bump a regular customer's (important job that needs their skill) back to do a tire change for a competent adult? No way. Do you phone the shop to fix your punctures? I think you just learnt a valuable lesson for free, don't be lazy.
 

mxs

Speeding Up
May 14, 2010
65
13
28
Tokyo, Japan
#7
I have never heard of a shop going this far, but I know Y's Road charges you extra to install any components not bought through Y's. Like everyone else has said, take it to another shop and let SEO lose out.

You may even try going back and asking to speak to the head boss/manager and say how offended, dissatisfied you are.
 

Jayves

Speeding Up
Nov 20, 2009
115
3
38
Yokohama
jayves-rando.blogspot.jp
#8
I have never heard either, but I had the similar interesting experience (although not related to a bike bought in the shop) with the shop at the intersection of R246 and Tama River. The shop charges "mochikomi-ryokin" (in english, something like additional fee if you bring you own parts). I was busy at that time and I didn't have the time to build a wheel but I had the parts (except the spokes). They wanted that extra fee in addition to the labor cost. The extra fee is almost same as the labor cost. Obviously, the shop can waived the extra fee if I buy the parts from their shop!

There could be a bunch of reasons why you didn't buy the parts in the shop like, you have a used parts, bought from cheaper sources, received as a gift, bought from auction, etc... but I feel it is unreasonable to milk your customer that way. Labor is labor and profit from sales are two different $$ sources for a shop and should not depend on each other. But again, this practice is not limited to a bike shop. There are restaurants that charges you extra if you bring your own wine and some folks doesn't care to pay extra as they like the atmosphere of the restaurant and can drink their favourite wine :) Not sure if the restaurants will charge you another extra if you bring your own ingredients... Probably, they refuse to give you a seat!

For "Mochikomi-Ryokin", do you feel it encourages or discourage a customer buying parts in the shop or even coming back for non-routine services?

For me, it a discouragement...
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#9
Different pricing based on whether parts are from the shop or elsewhere does make some sense to me.

No shop doing work on your bike or car will sell you the parts used at cost. Their calculation always involves some margin for the business from the parts and some from labour. If you shop for those parts yourself (say at the cheapest mail order online shop), they still need the same amount of revenue to pay their staff and rent. So what are they to do?

To turn away a potential customer just because he got parts from elsewhere is not smart business, but neither are high labour rates across the board just because you can't compete with online retailers on parts sales.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
Thee are many factors at play here:

1) The shop immediately takes a risk for using parts that are not sold by them. Like it or not. Anything could happen from just the parts being bad and having to deal with it - or even safety issues. It's not so simple. And actually , most shop insurance has different rates if you use parts not sold by approved vendors - so, imagine the person got killed and was investigated. Then they found out the part was not purchased from the shop so the work did not fall under the shop's liability insurance? See where I'm going?

2) Every shop needs to hit a revenue goal every day. Revenue is based on combined profit of both sales and service. If you're installing non-sold parts, the effective labor cost is higher which means your gross revenue projection is lower. Not good business sense if your depending on using your staff to install / service stuff sold (and profitted) by your shop.

3) It was a bit rude of them to turn you away - but perhaps there were communication issues as well?? Most Japanese shops do not have staff fluent in English and will defer to turning a customer away than risk poor communication which can often lead to other issues. In short, if you cannot communicate fluently in Japanese to them, then they'd prefer you went somewhere else.

By the way - alot of shops have a simple '1 coin' service campaign going on. Basically you pay 500yen for up to 10min service. Things like that. Check it out when you go to the shop. I know the ProTeck shops do this - and a few others as well.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#11
Tim - I think you might have your wires crossed with the insurance thing. As what happens when you take a bike in that wasn't bought at the shop for a service or the bike has wheels, bar taps and other additional things purchased from a wide variety of LBS or Online retailers as I’m sure even the most loyal of customers has inner tubes or parts that they got elsewhere.

Basically what it all comes down to is the strange sense of protectionism, I’ve asked and it’s a mix between the distributors putting pressure on the shops and the shops believing that if they refuse to install parts bought elsewhere the customers will ultimately be forced in to purchasing the parts from the shop if they want them installed.

What’s basically happening is that some shops are now cutting out the distributors, such as Sagami Cycles or customers are realising they don’t actually need the bike store to do the work for them and finally learning how to wrench for themselves.

As for 3rd party liability insurance any work they do on the bike is covered, there is no middle ground regarding if the parts where purchased at the store or not – you either have it or you don’t and ultimately there is absolutely no way for a store or insurance company to know exactly who bought what, think about it the store would need to write down every serial number of every item bought and then link it to the person purchasing it – most stores don’t even know what they have in stock!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
Actually most shops are aware of the liability issues and really don't want to install other parts that may have more risk. I do know this because, well, we are on both sides as a mfg AND a dealer. All components I sell to bike shop carry liability insurance and it's even mandated in the dealer contract we carry with the shops. And, on the shop side, our insurance, while, protecting almost anything covering service on a customer's bike, does carry clauses regarding installation of used or otherwise non-purchased parts.

Obviously most shops are going to let alot of this slide. And at the end of the day it just comes down to the hassle factor and money. If you want to keep customers happy and get new ones, then it's clear to offer better support. Personally I think the Tokyo shops are way too anal about their service policies in general. However there are some good ones around, like the Outdoor Adventure BMX/MTB/Road shop on Meji Dori. The guys there are really cool, prices good and service with a smile. Now then, I can't say the same for the Bridgestone Bike Nazi Shop across the street from my house who reams the big one from every oba-san getting a punc fixed.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#13
Wait a minute Tim, are you saying if I bought a Conti Gator Skin Tyre from Wiggle for my rear wheel, and a Conti Gator Skin Tyre for my front wheel from said bike shop and they installed both, if something happend and I crashed if it was the front wheel they would be covered, but if it was the rear wheel they would be SOL?

Sounds like lawyer speak to me :D
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#14
@Stu -

1) The shop has no recourse to the vendors they don't deal with. Yet the customer will likely hassle the shop for ANYTHING that happens.

2) A shop's insurance policy covers ONLY parts sold BY the SHOP and Installed on the customer's bike. At least our policy is written like this. So, if you install something provided BY the customer, then it does not fall under the shop's liability insurance, yet the customer is welcome to make a claim to the shop for any issues. So - we are advised that if a customer brings in their own parts to be installed, then we should ask them to sign a release form. In fact, this is already printed on most major dealer's service invoices as small print.

The shop has a right to deny service for just about any reason. The most common in Japan right now is customers bringing in bikes without proper equipement (mainly fixed gear brakeless). As these are considered 'illegal' , it's actually 'illegal' for the shop to work on them. Much the same could be said - if you split hairs - about any bike that does not meet ALL the stds of Japan Road Law. But the case here relates to incidents that a bike shop had worked on a brakeless bike, then the rider went out and hit someone. Claims went back to the shop because they did not repair the bike properly (i.e. fit brakes, as required by law). So, now, most shops just deny ALL service to fixed gear bikes without brakes.

From business perspective, shops WILL install parts supplied by riders at their discretion, and generally double their std service rates. But they will usually pick and choose who they do this for and be careful about assuming any risks as a result (business or otherwise).
 

niwayama

Warming-Up
May 9, 2012
3
0
0
Tokyo
#15
Thanks to all who have commented on this thread. I haven't checked in since last week so I appreciate the feedback. I do speak Japanese, (look it to as I'm Japanese American), so it wasn't a language issue. The shop ended up changing the tubes and tires for an additional fee. Their initial reason for declining was the liability issue, claining that the gator tire I was having them put on, (even though they sell the same item), could be defective... The lesson, as posted above, is don't be lazy with the easy stuff like a tire change!

Thanks again all!
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#17
they will usually pick and choose who they do this for
I think this is probably the key point in all of this, and definitely my experience in all my dealings with bike shops all over the world.

All depends on how you walk into the shop!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#18
Yes - but Japan bike shops are a bit of a Galapagos evolution. And the strange 'risk' management overindulgence is personally quite bizarre. If the US will sue for any little thing (and they do), the Japanese just prefer to deny doing anything. Two sides of the same coin. I was really surprised at some of the clauses in our PL insurance. And, at the end of the day, almost ANYTHING in Japan can be settled by 1m Yen 'apology' money.

I think this is probably the key point in all of this, and definitely my experience in all my dealings with bike shops all over the world.

All depends on how you walk into the shop!
 

kubatyszko

Speeding Up
Jul 29, 2012
79
24
38
Shinagawa, Tokyo
#20
My experience with 2 shops (protech in shirokane-takanawa and protech in roppongi (across from tsutaya),
3 years ago when I was assembling my bike, I got the frame shipped from abroad, I bought the wheels (mavic crossride) locally, and to my surprise, the rim was at the same height as the pivots.
The problem was me - I assume the frame was for 26inch, while it was a 700C, but to make sure of that, I took it with me to the shop (shirokane), and asked them to tell me if it's really 700C, (put a 700c wheel or whatever), they said they can't do that (it would literally take a minute and they would have earned a customer)...
I went to the same chain in roppongi, there were no problems at all - the guy took the wheel off some new 700C bike, showed me it would match, and everything was just fine...
Same chain, one has cool guys and another douche's working for them...

I resolved the problem by selling the frame and buying a 26inch model.

Cheers