Why I DIDN’T Buy a Bike at Wheel and Sprocket Today and Will Never Go In One of Their Stores Again

My 7-year old daughter, Syd, is clamoring for a new bike. Her old bike is really too small so we went a hunting. I kind of had an idea where we’d end up buying it but we made a few other stops to look at styles and check fit. One of those places was Wheel and Sprocket., Milwaukee’s largest bikes shop(s), with several locations. One happens to be near our house. Nice big place, lots of bikes, several that would fit the bill, and several staff members who seemed oblivious to our presence. Two service wonks were helping some Lance Armstrong wanna be with his carbon wonder bike (Nice, when you weigh 220 plus) and didn’t even give us a cursory glance, No big surprise there. One dude was coming in the door for his shift so, since he wasn’t on the clock yet, why bother with a “hi”. What really got me was the two women at the front desk. In this store, the row of girls bikes is right in front of the service desk so they saw us, for at least 10 minutes, looking over the girls bikes. I pulled a couple out to have Syd try them on for size. Not a peep from the counter. Not even a “hi”. I made a point of looking at them to be sure they saw us, looked for someone working the floor but there was no one else around. Did I mention that we were the only other potential customers in the store besides Lance? Well, we were. Finally, one of the women came out from behind the counter, with a couple of boxes and proceeded to walk right past us, again, not a word, and went into the back room, came back got another box, went back to the room again and returned to the counter where she picked up the phone. Not one word from her. Oh, yeah, in the meantime Syd was making her presence known by trying on helmets, listening to bell sounds etc. Just so someone knew we were there. No one noticed.

After about 15 minutes one of the women did actually come out and say “CanIhelpyou” or something like that.

“Sure, we are here looking at bikes for my 7-year old daughter here”, I said.

“Whichoneshewant?” said the lady.

“Well, they all look pretty similar” I said, “Are these the right size?”

Don’t you think she’d suggest trying one out? Nope, I had to start doing her job for her. I pulled a bike out again, and asked Syd to step over

“Can you reach the brake lever, hon? I asked.

“Nope”

To the lady, “Can this be adjusted so she can reach it?” I said.

“No” she said whereupon I showed her how to adjust it.

The icing on the cake was when I asked her if this was the entire selection of girls bikes because I’d seen a different brand that I was curious about on their website. She said “Thisisallwehave”.

I asked if maybe one of their other stores would have the bike I saw on their website.

“Mby” she said.

Did she offer to call and check? No. Good thing they promote Eco-friendly, low-impact biking because after I pried the other locations out of here instead of did she use their fancy, many, many thousand dollar computer inventory system to check the other stores or warehouse? No. Apparently she expected me to drive 30-40 miles to one location, discover they did not have the bike I wanted to see, drive another 30-40 to the other store, all at $3.17 a gallon. Sweet, NOT!

I said “thanks” and bye. No point wasting more time here.

It is called service people. Badabing, If you don’t give it, ya get nothing! Badabye! In fact we got better help at Target!! The dude working the “bike” area was courteous and helpful. Even informed us that his Target sold more bikes than any other Target in the state. Main reason we didn’t buy there was that the bikes suck, the assembly sucks and because when I asked if he could get us a pump to fill the flat back tire he said no “that guy only comes in on Tuesdays”. Guess what, there were over 50 pumps right there on the rack but no joy so away we went.

One Comment

Wendy  on July 12th, 2006

Last year I experienced the same type of service at the same location of Wheel and Sprocket. I was looking for one of those tag along bikes that you attach to your bike so your kid can accompany you on longer bike trips. I don’t remember the whole situation, but I do remember feeling invisible. I don’t like Wheel and Sprocket.

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