Well, I have received two emails this morning, one expected and one… not so expected.
The first one, from Chain Reaction, offered to pick the Creme up at the spot of my choice and have it shipped back to them for free (of course, I have to pay to have it repacked) for a full refund. This is probably a reasonable offer, though I have pressed for them to cover the cost of the bike box and repacking.
The second one was from Creme. I have pondered just posting the whole email from them, but that seems morally suspect somehow. So I’ll just say it was a somewhat nicely-offered, but condescending email offering to send me the bike I originally thought I’d ordered, for free, as long as I’d send back what I have (packed at my own expense, of course). While I think this was a genuine attempt to satisfy me, there were some pretty back-handed insults in there, too. Along the lines of… well, what did you expect for a bike at that price?
I guess I just expected to receive what they said I would get.
Some folks will say: it was on the internet, so you should have known better. But that strikes me as making an excuse for anyone to sell anything in any condition they please. Some would say: didn’t you notice it was the 2010 model you were buying? Well, with the company being just 18 months old, I guess I didn’t realize there would be significant differences in quality between the 2010 and 2011 models. Some would say: it was on clearance, so you should have realized it would be poorly made. But I’ve purchased many things on clearance, and been very happy to receive a slightly out-of-date, high-quality product.
And some would say: that’s just how business is done these days, especially on the internet. But I think that’s bullshit, frankly. Lots of places sell good-quality items for honest prices on the internet. I refuse to buy into the “everything is shit these days, so you might as well accept it and give in” mentality. Notice there are two swear words in that last paragraph. This means I’m pissed.
So I shall decline the offer. First impressions are important. I just got a doozy of a bad one. I won’t say anything more about the content of their email. Perhaps the new model is wonderful. I’m just not going to be the guinea pig and find out if this time, the description they gave me actually matches the product.
When I posted about this on Bike Forums, I attracted a veritable Niflheim of trolls. So now I’m feeling burned there, too, and it’s normally a nice place. I’m always astonished how, on the internet, perfectly nice people who have been supportive to you in the past can be induced, through the pure pressure of group-think, to mock you openly. And how easily someone can call their rudeness, “being open” about something. I guess, like the trolls in my old childhood book on the subject, their eyes are filled with “troll splinters,” that distort their view of the universe until something ugly becomes beautiful, and vice versa.
Well, screw you, trolls. I can, and do, believe that most people are good, most companies are honest, and most folks do the best they can with what they have available at the time. That this wasn’t true this time is unfortunate, but it doesn’t make me stupid for believing it.
Hmph. To top off my day, I picked up The Raleigh at the Dutch Bike Co. The new rims are nice, but they didn’t solve my rear brake problem, unfortunately. I will need a new caliper. Which will cost more money. It took 2.5 hours of waiting while the poor mechanic did everything short of levitating to solve this problem, and it still didn’t get solved. Thank heaven they have a cafe, where I could get a lemonade and a brownie. And the Viva, due to what was referred to in Cool Hand Luke as a “failure to communicate,” is not yet cleaned up for sale. So I will have to drive back to Ballard in a couple days to retrieve it.
I was going to post on Bike Forums and ask for help finding a rear caliper for cheap, but I don’t feel much like posting there right now.
Maybe I should go see “Thor,” but I suspect that the movie’s take on Norse mythology would just offend me more.
In other internet news, my 78 year-old father just acquired his first internet device: an iPad. So now someone, somewhere, can ruin his day too. Pleh.