Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Veloce Bicycles. Located on the famous Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Veloce Bicycles is one of Portland’s many small bike shops. They’ve got an attractive website and a cool-looking retail store.

Sadly, that’s all I can say for Veloce bicycles. It’s that type of small business in which the owner works there pretty well all of the time. This wouldn’t be so bad if that owner weren’t a complete asshole. Arrogant, self-centered jerk.

Yes, many people have gotten what seemed to be friendly, good service from Veloce, and for good reason: these middle-aged, upper-income types are willing to shell out the big bucks and not ask too many questions. I watched as the owner pulled on his sappy-salesman mode, all syrupy nice-guy, to help a couple of older recreational riders on the $4,000 road bikes they’d bought.

For those not so privileged, though, they don’t want much to do with you. I’ve been to over a dozen bike shops in the Portland area, and I’ve never had such insensitive, poor service. I don’t want to go there again, and I don’t think you should, either. There are plenty of great options for cycle retailers in the area, and nothing particularly sets Veloce apart. If you’re a small shop selling higher-end stuff at retail – that is, you’re not trying to compete on price – you’d better have uncompromising good service, even if it means going out of your way or being friendlier than might want to be.

“Speed” in Italian?

I’m not buying it.

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