The Internet and Norse Mythology Collide

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 But I’ve purchased many things on clearance, and been very happy to receive a slightly out-of-date, high-quality product.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.

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Love to ride my bikes!
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12 Responses to The Internet and Norse Mythology Collide

  1. While I understand your decision, I think it would have been cool to take them up on their offer, review the new bike, and let the whole saga be a recorded testimony to the highs and lows of trying to buy a modern bicycle. But it’s your call, and I can see how the tone of their email may make you feel like you just want to be done with the whole thing. Whatever. You are getting most of your money back, and you met the Viva as the silver lining.

    Oh and IMO… The only unusual thing about your bikeforums experience is that it did not happen sooner. I have my theories about that, but they are best saved for a private correspondence.

  2. rideblog says:

    I’d love to hear them. I’ll email. I’m so fussy with them right now. Boys!

  3. adventure! says:

    Jeez, thanks for pointing out the BikeForums thread. Just took like 20 minutes of my life away! 😉
    If it makes you feel any better, I think I got a worse thrashing on bikeforums last year. Seriously, I’m sort of scared of posting on there after that. It’s amazing how folks can somehow judge your character from one post. (Sarcasm.)

    As for yer Raleigh, I think it’s just how those old Raleigh calipers are made. It’s one reason why I got more modern center-pulls fitted onto the Wayfarer.

    And happy to hear there’s a somewhat amenable resolution to the Creme disaster. I’d type something witty at this point, but it’s too late in the evening for that.

  4. Amesja says:

    I think you made the right decision and do not have anything to be ashamed of in the whole timeline of events.

    In the same circumstances I think I would have done nearly the same thing with Creme although I wouldn’t have been so nice on my own blog or held back nearly as much as you did.

    As for Bikeforums, it is a strange place. On one hand it is a heavily-moderated community with mods who can rule with an iron fist On the other there is a seething current of discontent and anger just below the surface because of that, which can turn on someone very quickly -so quickly that the mods can never be 100% on top of it in an instant manner so when a gasket does blow it is often a few hours before it is contained. I have my theories on that. Some folks were just being silly (myself included) while others took the window of opportunity to get in some nasty jabs. Then there was that one pig-farmer from Eastern Elbonia. Lord knows what was his problem. Maybe his mother is a welder for Creme or something?

    That’s BikeForums…

    As for the Raleigh, it does sound like you have a problem with either your caliper or the cable. Does the bike have the original cable housing? They tended to rust at the bottom where water sits and this can have a really strange effect on braking. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to lock the rear wheel up at will with the CR18 even in the wet. A used Weinmann side-pull shouldn’t cost very much and should solve the problem if it isn’t the housing or the lever.

  5. Erin B says:

    As a Bike forum follower, (dec1st) I have to say sorry. Things get out of hand on there every once in a while. I also wanted to apologize on the thread for misunderstanding, but it has been closed.

    I hadn’t read your blog post yet, but some how got the impression, from talk of trying to “buy” a good review, that Creme had offered a refund and a new bike to review. It would be smart for them to do so, since when you search their brand on BikeForums all you get is your bad experiences.

    I’m glad you found a bike you love.

  6. Doug says:

    I have not been to BF in about a month, but I know there are lots of opinions there. A public forum attracts all types, and unfortunately, there are those that have an opinion and aren’t afraid to use it. Could have been worse, though, you might have posted in SSFG; some of those folk will tear each other to shreds.

    I looked at your photos, and you have every right to demand satisfaction. Whatever you paid, you should have received what was advertised, without any post weaseling or snarkiness on the part of the seller. I had better welds on my $100 MTB from Canadian Tire.

  7. w1gfh says:

    Re: “when you search their brand on BikeForums all you get is your bad experiences” I agree. If Creme really wants a “second chance” with you, tell them they can send a suitable bike to Dutch Bike Co. on consignment (where it will remain until sold to someone else or returned to the factory). When it arrives on site, you will deign to test ride it, and submit your review to bikeforums. Can’t be fairer than that.

  8. rideblog says:

    That’s true, w1gfh, I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll email them and see what they say.

  9. rideblog says:

    Thanks Doug, Erin and Amesja. Sometimes, I just get over-sensitive, which is funny, as I’ve actually been working on or around the internet longer than Al Gore :).

    Amesja, I’ll post on BF in a day or two and ask about the lever. I bet someone will have a long-reach lever lying around I can beg/borrow/steal.

  10. Pumpguy says:

    I am sorry to see you are unhappy with the folks on BF. I agree, it is usually a nice place; at least in C&V. I hope you don’t judge the whole by a few and I hope to see you there again soon. The bottom line is you had 2 offers on how to deal with this POS. I don’t think you should be criticized either way. Enjoy your new Viva and please tell us about it on BF. 🙂

  11. Matt says:

    Yet another turns from Bikeforums. I was once a member there as well, but after several bad experiences and seeing the snobbery of many members, I walked away with a few email addresses of those that I trust and consider as friends.

    More importantly, congrats on the current bike. It is great to find a nice bike that perfectly fits your riding style.

  12. Pingback: July 7 2011 Ride: Embracing Change | rideblog

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