Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Me v. Bike Tech

I got my shot at justice today and I thought I nailed it. Actually, I thought I took it to the rim strong, and should have got the basket and a foul. Unfortunately, the judge saw it differently. She gave me a foul and one free throw. Now I know how Calvin Johnson felt Sunday after they took his touchdown away. Calvin, stay away from Bike Tech, or you could really end up getting done wrong.

I took the owner of Bike Tech on East Warren Ave. in Detroit to Court last month because he sold my bike without telling me. You see, I took it there last fall for repairs, and didn't pick it up in a timely manner, which I readily admit. I was naive. After doing business there for eight years, buying an expensive road bike from the guy, getting all of my bikes serviced there (including, several times, the one he sold), spending (I estimate) nearly two grand there, and referring anyone who asked me about bikes or bike repair to his shop, I thought I was a loyal enough customer to be owed a little slack. Because I couldn't pick it up before winter, I left it at his shop until spring. I went to the shop and December and told one of the longtime clerks that I would pick it up when I could. So, to my amazement, when I went to pick it up the owner told me it was gone ... that he had sold it. And I was livid!

Not once when he called me about picking up the bike did he say "come pick up your bike or I'm going to sell it." Not once. Yet in court today, he claimed he did so twice. That upset me, because the only reason I took him to court was because he sold the bike without telling me. So, I repeat, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH BIKE TECH ON EAST WARREN.

Last month, a small claims court magistrate ruled in my favor and awarded me enough to replace the Raleigh mountain bike I took to the shop for repairs. Rather than just admit what he did was wrong, the owner of the bike shop (yes, I do refuse to mention his name), decided to immediately appeal. That led us back to court today.

His argument was that he had the right to dispose of my property after 30 days. I learned after I came to pick up my bike that there was a disclaimer on the receipt that said "Not responsible for property left more than 30 days." My argument was that it did not indicate that property can be sold after 30 days. I think it is a valid argument, and I believe the judge did as well, because she told him he should consider adding it in the future.

The judge reduced the amount I won in court last month considerably, but at least I got something. That's where the moral victory comes in. He was hoping I'd end up paying him for the repair he did or the storage fee he claims I owe him. I am glad I got something, although I would have preferred to take it to the rim and slam dunk!

I'm really beginning to feel that I place waayy more on loyalty, -- be it customer loyalty or otherwise, than others around me. Eight years worth of patronage should have been worth more.


Ursula said...

Judge Alex would have ruled for you! And you would have had a free trip!

Ashley said...

I don't blame him at all for selling your bike. This a bicycle repair business not a bicycle storage business. You were contacted and asked to pick up your property but did not do so. How long should he have held on to it for you? And now, since he didn't grant you a special favor, you're telling people to let another small businees in Detroit shut down. The world does not revolve around you, sir.

Anonymous said...

the guy is a real pos. He tried to lowball and steal my fathers 37 schwinn. We sold the bike for 6 times his chicken shit offer on e-bay.

Dan said...

The owner is an arrogant scumbag and a rip off artist. I've had nothing but bad experiences with that place. I've just started working on my bike on my own, or I will take my business to B3 on Cadieux and Mack. Bike Tech is a joke.