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City Bike Depot (CBD) - Crap Customer Service!!

By Chitts - Posted on 03 March 2009

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

I managed to break 2 spokes on my Scott Spark while riding into work this morning (no idea how??). I called CBD and spoke to one of the staff (female). I asked if I could bring the bike in and wait while they fixed it, and she said sure, just make sure to come in either before or way after the peak lunch period. I went straight up there and went to the girl I had spoken to. Without a greeting or smile, she told me to go up to the workshop, which I did. The guy who runs the workshop comes over (and without a greeting or smile) asks what is up. I show him the wheel and tell him that I was told I could wait while they fix it. He then says they are full and can look at it tomorrow, and I should have spoken to the workshop, not the girl who answered the phone. How stupid of me to assume that the staff have some initiative and would check such things.

Anyway, lesson learned. I will not go back. There are a few of the guys who are frindly etc (Hugh and I think Chris?), but overall the level of customer service/friendliness that I have received over the past few years has been distinctly sub-par, and today was my last visit.

I then went to Clarence Street and was greeted 3x before I even got down to the workshop!!

Anyway.... that is the and of my whining Sad


Don't know who's manning the shop these days, but if you'd like names the 2 usual female staff are rosi (tall thin one) or celia (not so tall, not really thin). Strange though - both are usually very friendly and helpful, and I've always found the other sales staff really friendly. Take it up with hugh (the owner), he takes feedback constructively.

In any case, I can't recommend the mechanics at CBD - have had sloppy finishings which have required return re-services, although nothing that would cause major mechanical failure. Mechanics at Clarence are way better.


Totally agree with the lack of service in the city shops (most city shops). I’d like to express myself too with a particular store, however have respect for this site and the cycling industry as a whole. I’d actually rather not let those shops know who they are, as they have to learn the hard way. i.e. lose of customers or potential customers. Also not sure if its really important for this type of discussion on this site? Lets leave that for the AM radio stations!!

I don't see the problem with someone pointing it out unless it happens to be a one off bad experience. There are plenty of restaurant, movie, car reviews etc on the internet?

Jeeten, the only thing you have done incorrectly (IMO) is you haven't actually told that shop that you find their service below your standards. Otherwise I think there are no problems with posting a grievance here. You never know, they may read it and learn something. Eye-wink

....and let him know, but he was not on the floor and I had already wasted 30 minutes going there and dealing with them and still needed to get to Clarence Street and then back to work.

Also, when I had my bike serviced there before Dirtworks last year, I had to take it back twice as it was not shifting correctly (and got the "look" each time), so by the end of the episode this morning, I just decided I can't be bothered and will take my business elsewhere going forward.

I never complain about service or the lack of, I just never go back. I am sure a lot of people do this as well.

on endlessley about BA as i always find it difficult to be served...until recently when I went in there and was 'sprung' by Squidly who repeated to me the things I have written on this site and was lovely to me!
However, if we didn't have this forum I would be the same as you Brian and there are other shops I simply just don't bother going to...

They were a bit mean not fixing Chitts (yeay i got it right for once!) bike though since he is a commuter...he does need to get home!

But by the same token, often someone will post when a shop does the right thing which is nice.

..... posting the "great service" stories where people have gone out of their way to help etc.

I think everyone has mixed service there. It gets pretty busy around lunchtime and the guys in there are probably good at riding & talking about bikes but maybe not as customer focused as other stores (bike related or otherwise). If you get a chance to speak to the owner, Hugh, he's always very good at sorting issues.

I ordered a cyclocross bike off CBD last year and when it arrived and i came into pick it up i discovered that it was last years model - they tried convincing me it was the 2008 model, but it was even a different colour to the 2008 model. Hugh stepped in and let me borrow his personal cyclocross Kona till the new one arrived. Show me another bike shop owner that will do that.

When the proper one finally arrived a week later, the frame had a huge 3 inch scratch on the top tube and no one noticed until i did when i went to collect it.
The build was pretty dodgy with several parts loose and the computer mounted upside down.

I've taken it to my regular bike service place to repair it since but after not going there for a year i had some problems with the cranks, rode it there at 5:45pm and Hugh came straight over and personally did some mechanical wizardry and several minutes later i was out the door, no charge, no problems.

It's a great location if you busted some part on your commuter or need something pretty quickly. Service dept could definately be better tho.

I'm sure guys that any bike shop would appreciate constructive feedback if it's given in the correct manner. Based on the times I have been into CBD Hugh seems a decent guy and has worked hard at building his business so it's only fair too offer constructive feedback and give them the opportunity to improve your perception of their customer service. If they aren't told that some people are not satisfied with their service then how can they improve. We all have our favourite bike shops with good experiences, personally I highly rate the fella's at Bike Addiction. They have always been excellent for service, quality of advice and work. I've referred several friends to BA and their experiences have been similar.

The guys at king of the Mountain Cyclery in neutral bay are great. I am onto my third bike from their shop and i have nothing but praise for the servicing and customer care. Wazza and the team really know about bikes and how important it is to you to be back on it as quick as possible. I live in kings cross and KOM is not exactly local but i would not go anywhere else!

Hugh does his best, and really goes his extra mile in order to do right by customers. I've seen a few instances where he's just been sent dodgy stock by the supplier so Camster your experience isn't new. I think his floor staff are often good natured and try to help, but inexperienced - they (not hugh though!) aren't always up to speed on products that they don't use themselves, so I doubt their trying to convince you about the cyclox was intentional.

My gripe is with the mechanic - Chitts I've had similar experiences where something was amiss with the mech work, but the attitude was that there was nothing wrong with it and I was just making a fuss. I too decided to go somewhere else where I wouldn't *need* to make a fuss.

I know Hugh is helpful, but i always deal with Adam and Chris. These guys always give me the right advise and some good prices too.


I bought my bike at CBD.. but they have delivered excellent after sales service to me.

Hi Guys, Hugh here from CBD. Firstly thanks to all those who have given us feedback both positive and negative it’s much appreciated and better to hear it. City Bike depot is a small business that has gone through a hefty growth over the past three years and in some areas has struggled to keep up.

For the past while since Steve (previous workshop manager) went back to a real paying job we have been trying to do the same load with less people, despite trying to hire more mechanics. Things slipped and we can only apologize and fix the issues as they arise as we have tried. Often in the quantity of work done we missed the frequency of returns and the feedback here on the site is appreciated, and we do appreciate it also in person.

In order to alleviate the quality control issue and be able to complete “on demand” repairs more readily (so we do not have to turn people away), we have recently abducted a third mechanic to the team. (we had to import our last one from England on a 457 working visa such is the shortage of mechanics) We have also made sure our double check system is actually being used. In this one mechanic does the work and test rides the bike and another again test the bike before it is given to the customer. This was the bit that had been missing the last few months as the work load pilled up with only two crew on tools. We tried to use excess “downstairs” staff but they got too busy as well so the third mechanic is a welcome relief to us all.

In short thanks for the feedback both positive and negative and I hope that this new addition may go some small way to instilling any lost confidence in our workshop. The guys are good and we care enough to fix any problems we may of caused rather than denying all responsibility. We shall endeavor to continue to improve and will wear our smiley faces more often. Glad to hear that the CSC guys were able to help you out, they are a pro bunch and deserve the accolade.

Stay upright and enjoy the ride,
Hugh Flower / City Bike Depot

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