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Buyer Beware: Clubman Motorcycles, Tempe NSW

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' at netrider.net.au started by dastrix, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Steer Clear - ClubMan Motorcycles Tempe

    I've avoided posting this until I'd throughly gone through talking with these guys/clubman etc etc but it seems they just really don't give a fk about customers

    So, I send my bike (an old bike prior to the Fireblade) in for a major service on the Monday morning. I call during the week to see how its going, and wait for a call back. I hear nothing and call about 2-3 times, I hear back on the thursday and get told its ready for pickup on Friday as they were waiting on a part.

    Prior to the servicing I explained I wanted to be notified if any costs went over $700, its an old bike and I didnt want to spend a fortune on it. I was told that the chain was going to be replaced and the sprocket too as well as the valves and a major service

    Call friday arvo, no part, come back on Monday im told. The part is a gasket for the tappet cover.

    I call Monday, no part, try tuesday. I call tuesday, nothing and I told them I need the bike back by 6pm as I have tafe classes to attend to. I turn up at 615 on Tuesday and the bike isn't back together fully - I wait around and 7pm passes.. there goes my tafe class. I sit around twiddling my thumbs...

    I then get the bill, just a tad under $1000 (bout $980). I basically explained I was unhappy the bill was so high without being notified of the work. They told me they did this and that when frankly I didnt want anything done more than the cost of $700 unless it was authorised by me. I stomach the cost and the guy fills out the invoice. During the discussions he mentions the forks were adjusted/serviced...

    I get given the invoice and am told I can collect the gasket part when it comes in but really, the bike doesnt need it as he managed to clean the existing one (ok, so why did they order a $90 gasket if it DIDNT really need it?) I check the invoice and it doesnt mention anything about the forks being serviced or other work that was 'apparently' completed.

    I said to the guy, the forks arent on here (arent on the invoice)! I had already paid. Then he goes 'oh shit, we forget to charge you for that too!' im like er, ive already paid and you want to charge me even more?

    They give me the fork servicing for free (how do i know what they did? forks feel about/near the same , did they even do anything?)

    I ride away. Within moments smoke is pouring out of the engine area.. I get the bike home as its just around the corner and inspect it.. hmm cant see anything wrong.

    I call up the next day and explain its pissing out smoke when hot.. I'm explained that its just oil from around the tappet cover from the service. Fair enough.. the oil burning issue doesnt return.

    2 days later I call them and tell them to cancel the gasket. Shannon tells me he'll chat to Graham so I can get my money back and im told 'it shouldnt be a issue', I get no call. Not surprising, I dont think they ever really called me back once. I call again and get Graham, Graham tells me Shannon is dealing with it.. Errr right. I get the round around and im told they will not return my money for the gasket as I had ordered it. I didn't order it, they ordered it under the premise it needed replacing. I told them I'd be happy to take a restocking fee and they keep the gasket. I didn't want it..

    I'm told a few days later im not getting a cent back. I call Fair Trading and open a case. Clubman Motorcycles explain the same thing to Fair Trading and im basically told my Fair Trading if I want to pursue it further it will cost me $33 to get my $90 gasket money back through a tribunal.

    So, what do I do?

    Basically as a first step, I'd never recommend this shop to anyone in a million years. The level of customer service is abismal, ive never experienced anything in my entire life so incredibly unprofessional.

    Do I pay the $33 and try and get my money back or??

    BUYER BEWARE! Avoid these guys.
  2. What exactly did you tell them you wanted done?

    You can't really say 'once it gets over x amount of dollars, call me to authorise anything', but you can say 'I want this this and this done, if anything else looks like it needs work you call me first'

    That way you have a rough idea of what the work you initially wanted done will cost, and if they do more without your consent you can basically tell them to shove it

    Definately poor form on their part not keeping you in the loop and returning calls, but unless you left it out I'm thinking you should have been a lot more assertive in what you wanted done
  3. Cheers, will do. :)
  4. I would take it further. If you specified that work over $700 was to be approved before starting said work they are obliged to do so.
  5. The major work specified I wanted done, and I did specify it was cam chain/valves and oil/chain!
  6. You can't really say 'once it gets over x amount of dollars, call me to authorise anything'

    Actually, you can, and you SHOULD.

    Jax Tyres have this committment as part of their published charter of customer service, on the wall of every outlet. It's a standard expectation, and even if it's not written, you are entitled to it.
  7. Spend the money, it sounds like these people need a lesson in customer service. I realise we only have one side of the story, but it's a story we've heard before, not about these guys, but about other service centers.

    The distinctly higher than quoted bill would really piss me off, not mention refusing to refund the money for the gasket that YOU didn't order, or apparently, need.

    Let us know how you go.
  8. Don't throw good money after bad, unless you want to. By naming them here,you will probably cost them thousands.
  9. If you say to them 'call me if the cost is above x', and they reply 'okay', then that is considered an agreement in my books. If they don't do that kind of thing, then they should say so straight away!

    There is no room for error when motorcycle mechanics do their job. Being on a moving motorcycle during catastrophic engine (or any other component) failure can have fatal consequences. This kind of shitty attitude towards customers cannot be tolerated.

    Never underestimate the luxury of a reputable service centre nearby :wink:

    Take 'em to the cleaners, son.
  10. I think MV is right, ill go pickup my part. Sell it or something..

    They'll see this link eventually no doubt!
  11. If they annoy too many people this link may well become the 1st search engine page result for their name (a la, sumoto) :p
  12. You're a Netrider Member; you can sell it right here, for nothing.
  13. If you have their email address, send them a link to this forum. Regardless of the type of business, idiots like this need to be shown who pays the bills.
  14. go through with the tribunal, you never know what you get back.

    If you specifically asked them to call you if the bill will exceed $700 and you received no call can I assume its possible you might get a refund for the excess through the tribunal.

    Make some noise about it, tell them you are a student living on a pittance and the extra $300 you weren't willing to spend has made it difficult for you to meet other financial obligations rent, bills etc. Doesn't matter if its true or not.
  15. every time that I have taken the car / bike to the mechanics I always state that I want x server and can fix anything they find unless it goes over x amount all up. Then I want them to call me so I know what I am up for all up.

    For the main part I normally add about 10% to the quote just in case
  16. Did you pay by Credit Card? You may have an option to dispute the itemised Gasket from the invoice if you never received it. Talk to your bank and see what they advise.
  17. Old thread yes… but I feel the following relevant.

    I recently moved to St Peters. I decided that my old mechanic in northern Sydney was now just that-bit-too-far away and decided to Google a St Peters / Tempe mechanic and establish a new "relationship".

    Up came Clubman motorcycles, I called and was quoted $800 for my H9's 45,000km service (valve clearances, air filter, plugs, the usual). This is $100 more than what my old mechanic quoted me. I thought, yeah a bit more, but it's a fair 6 hours work and if it doesn't work out I’ll try another guy next time ‘round.

    I drop it off Friday morning and am told to come back Monday afternoon. Fair enough.

    I pop in on Saturday unannounced to talk about fitting a new clutch cable and what do I find in the workshop? H9 is up on the trolley and the guy is cleaning the rear wheel assembly for me (it's a commuter bike ~ so lots of chain lube and filth build up). I didn't ask him to do it for me... My previous mechanic certainly NEVER cleaned my bike for me....

    I speak to him about the clutch cable. He agrees that it needs replacing along with the lever due to the bike being dropped at standstill multiple times (people like to reverse into my bike). He points out a few others things that I should be aware of, like my suspension setup being too hard for my weight. The current position of my handlebars etc. He works hard to build a rapport, in the style of 'take better care of your bike, you are doing xyz wrong'. He is putting the needs of the bike first and isn't necessarily trying to "be my mate". He shows me photos of my bike's valves on his phone.... perhaps this is a reactive measure stemming from an earlier bad customer experience (it's easy to see that the oil filter has been changed.... but the valves)??

    He rounds off the conversation confirming the price of the job. Six hours labour plus clutch cable and lever parts (ie. no charge for fitting them).

    I come around to pick up the bike 4 days later. The bike is clean, the new cable and lever fitted properly and the engine feels strong and fires/breathes well.

    From what I can see, Clubman is predominately a one man shop with the proprietor acting as mechanic, no agency theory here.

    I pay a bit over $850. No complaints.

    I Google Clubman today to give the guy some positive PR via NR (good mechanics are hard to find). I enter "Clubman Tempe" into Google, and all I get is this post (& discussed in another forum). I think, perhaps I’ve dodged a bullet here?

    The criticism from the OP is valid and appears a fair representation of what they experienced. I certainly have also experienced "bad" customer service thus don't discount the need to vent and alert others.

    I guess I resolve that no mechanic will be perfect all the time.

    I have pleased many clients over the years as a service professional and I have also pissed some off too who have left me to seek help elsewhere. When something needs to be "fixed" whether it be a bike or not, service expectations can be broken, there can be miscommunication, perhaps someone was having a bad day and wasn't "switched on".

    I'm glad I went to Clubman Motorcycles in Tempe, and I’m also glad I didn't share the same experience as the OP. Perhaps Clubman saw the bad publicity and took action.... So... thanks....
  18. Do you really think the power of netrider is that strong?
  19. The power of "Google" is that strong. A Google search will return this thread within the results.... whether someone bothers to read it is another things....
  20. #20 maxwellsdemon, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
    Did they do a good job on the bike? There are very few mechanics in Sydney who are (A) willing and (B\) competent to work on anything more than 10 to 15 years old, and some who are willing but do more damage than good.

    If you are so outraged at wasting $90 on a gasket you didn't need and getting a more thorough repair job than you wanted to pay for, then I wish I had your problem. You must lead a charmed life.

    In another place that I will not name, I had the paint stripped from the top of the fuel tank of my 1991 FJ1200 because the mechanic placed the tank upside down and the fuel leaked through the cap pressure valve and all over the paint. In another place I had a crash repair only just good enough to ride it home but no more than that - apparently the mechanic didn't believe I really wanted it fixed and was willing to pay for it. I have had repairs to the clutch slave cylinder which left it full of black crud inside, carburettor services that only jammed the float needles, front fork seals with the wrong fork oil ... I can't begin to add up all the money I've wasted on repair jobs that I had to take somewhere else to redo it properly. I never take it back because a place that does a bad job the first time might do irreparable or dangerous damage the second time.

    And you're complaining that the business in question did a good repair but took a bit longer and cost a bit more than you expected, and didn't have a good bedside manner? Wow, I want your problems.

    I have learned that good mechanics are often rude or uncommunicative to people but tender and loving to bikes. Their quotes and timetables are sometimes very approximate but they won't let you ride away with a half-fixed bike. If you have an old (20+ years) bike and you find a mechanic like that, my advice is take care of him and clarify expectations next time.

    I do not have any connection to Clubman but since my best mechanics have all left town (maybe looking for more appreciative customers who pay on time) I am going to give Clubman a go for my next repair. If this is the worst anyone can say about them, they could be the right kind of repairer for me.