chain reaction - phones
has anyone else had any problems ordering/trying to contact chain reaction via phone (yes I know they are primarily an internet retailor - but their e-mail response is pretty slow as well)
Whilst I have not had to telephone CRC over any problems, I do agree with you regarding internet response times. In particular with their price match promise. I have done a lot of internet pruchases from CRC in the past twelve months with no problems, in fact I would describe this process as excellent. On occasions hower when I have found a product cheaper elsewhere and have given them the benefit of responding as to wether they will price match it as advertised on each occasion this has taken 3 to 4 days at which point I have simply gone to the initial retailer. For interest they have yet to price match any of the requests.
The following points are simply intended to develop the forum thread, and are not directed at the initial post.
At the end of the day as someone who has previously owned a cycle retail outlet you have to see internet retailers for what they are, a source of a wide selection of products at very reasonable prices due to bulk buying potential. Whilst I often use such online retailers I feel it is important to build a relationship with a cycle store even if this will mean paying a little more when doing so, for two reasons. The first reason is that these online retailers will never service or deal easily with mechanical problems with your bike. Secondly they are not in a very good position through e-mails to offer advice on the suitability of product in respect to individual customers, bike fit etc....
The end result of this position is that we are now seeing shop based outlets charging large sums of money for product advice and refunding this if it leads to a purchase. In many ways I feel really sorry for more traditional specialists. I am currently in the market for a top end time trial machine and am faced with how to get my dream bike. At one side of my debate is the online retailers who could offer me an enormous choice in frames / wheels / components. On the other side is a number of specialist stores who have experience of previous builds on their side and know what has and has not worked well for them and their clients in the past. Whilst I am more than capable given my previous experience of building up a bike from scratch, I will however place my trust into a specialist store which I can spend time with talking through my requirements and listening to their advice. I know in the end that this approach will cost me more, but I do not expect them to be able to match the prices of an online retailer. In a similar way I would not expect the staff at CRC or other such online retailers to know everything there is to know about their own vast product range.
At the end of the day it is always our own choice as to where we spend our own hard earned cash, but we should be fair as to what we expect as a level of service from both types of retailer.
I've dealt with CRC before by phone but it does take a while (average about 5 mins before they answer)
but they will eventually answer your call.
I was questioning why my order took about 3 days to dispatch because it's usually the next day, it turns out that one part (even though it showed it was in stock) it was out of stock.
Anyway that order just took a couple more days to complete.
couple of pointers I have had with em.
When initially emailing over advice and price matching with their own products I found them very helpful and great with pricing, even giving stuff for free if I bought the other part.
Got advice on frame sizing etc.
Thier problem is their own sucess as they are a big company and sell a lot of stuff now!!!!
I find them great when you do get through on the phone, do a lot to helpout.
My gripe with them now is, the frame I bought had to tiny cracks in which I thought were flaws in paint, they weren't and the cracks are now massive, bike is unrideable. Their response time from the warranty dept was shocking to be honest, again cos they sell so much!!! And, the people on the phones are purely sales people, not in the right dept. But hopefully frame is finaly on the way back for a full refund.