Refund policy experience with a recent bike purchase.

I thought my experience with a recent bicycle purchase might benefit someone who might not have considered their rights on a request for a refund. I don't think it is necessarily beneficial to name the store involved, and my main point is that if a bicycle store does not have a Returns Policy section on their website, it might be worth requesting one prior to making a purchase.

I spoke with the manager of a bicycle store in Sydney over a bicycle which was being promoted as a Track Bike. I've wanted a fast track bike for the road for some time, the idea of being in total contact with the road appeals to me, and after finding a good price on the Jamis Sonik, I spoke with the manager and was informed that it is a perfectly suitable bicycle for the road.

It's a lovely bike and I do not want to part with it, however there is no way that I can possibly ride this bicycle on the road -- clearly it's not designed for it, it's just far too stiff and the aluminium frame sends every shock up through the frame and into the rider. With an 80kg rider on the pedals, it is one pothole away from a catastrophic frame failure, IMHO. I realized this in short time and I was back at the store within 15 hours requesting a refund, even suggesting a reasonable restocking fee of 5%, since I was willing to accept some responsibility in not realizing the problem in my test ride over the smooth car park surface out the back of the store prior to the purchase.

I was informed that I could only get back 70% of the purchase price as 30% would have to be put towards tyres! Whoa!? $150 for each tyre!? When that question didn't work, or didn't sit comfortably, the manager quickly jumped on some other excuse about him losing money on the bike, even though the bike hadn't been ridden and still had the rubber mould nodules on the tyres.

So, a word of warning to others, if the bike shop's website doesn't have a RETURN POLICY section it's because they have a policy which will make you feel cheated if you want to make a return. This has sadly been my experience. If they don't have one, they certainly don't have a fair one, so request this information in advance. No one wants to return a bike, but we all make mistakes and it is just unfair to be improperly informed so the manager can rack up a sale.

Most reputable stores have this information on their site, and it is a lesson I have now learned at significant hassle through researching their policies in reflection over the absence of one in this instance, and travelling out to the store which is not local.

I fully expect to get my refund through NCAT, since I was sold a bicycle which is not reasonably fit for the purpose I bought it for. It is a true track bike, light and stiff and fast, and riding it on the road is not only unsafe for the rider but other road users.

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That's certainly another perspective noelbike, however that they didn't bother to attend the hearing on both occasions just shows that they suspected their case was weak. It was also quite rude.


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