Thursday, May 17, 2012
I just allowed someone to enter my life and let him make me someone I don't want to be. The situation filled me with anger and disappointment and just cost me a night's sleep.
Here's the Reader's Digest Condensed version. We just purchased a tandem bike: something we've talked about doing for a long time and Gloria, my wife, decided that now would be a good time - my birthdays coming up soon. We were quite excited about the idea.
First we checked out Craigs List, came up with several, but none worked out for us. Then we did a little research on line comparing brands, decided on what we thought would be a good one and called a local bike shop. They had one that had not yet been assembled. Said they'd put it together and then we could come down and be sized for it. Turned out that it had a damaged wheel and they had to order a new one. In the meantime, we found another on Ebay that just happened to be available at a locale small independent bike shop. You know, one of those working out of someone's garage. (but in business a long time). Name of the shop was Rich's Bike Shop in Wellsville, PA. Supposedly, it was new, but a floor model with a couple of blemishes. The price seemed right and he offered me a discount if I'd purchase it directly through him (without Ebay) and paid cash. Yes I know - red flags everywhere and we ignored them.
Well to make a long angry story shorter, it became obvious that the bike was not new and on our second ride, the pedals, gears, I'm not sure what, locked up and we could no longer pedal the bike. We walked it back to the truck.
Now in the Ebay description it said there was a 14 day return policy and we decided to do just that. Rich wouldn't take it back. Said we didn't buy through Ebay; that we bought it through him for cash and therefore "as is". To say the least, we weren't happy and let it be known. Didn't matter, he didn't back down.
So threats were made and we ended up spending too much of the night figuring out what action to take.
A part that hurts is that I really liked Rich when we were dealing with him. He's an older guy still making a living with his bike shop. Problem seems to be that he now lets his grandson sell bikes for him on Ebay and I'm afraid it's the grandson who is putting his grandfather in a bad spot here. Rich originally said he'd give us our money back but then called his grandson who said "no way".
Okay, now we've both lost a night's sleep discussing the many things we might do - most of them things that would at a minimum cause Rich some discomfort and at the most damage his business. In other words, we were looking for revenge.
There's a problem with Revenge - it starts to make you act like one of the bad guys. I spend a lot of energy trying to live a life that doesn't make me one of these bad guys. So now what, roll over and play dead? That doesn't sit well either.
So now I'm thinking we'll take the hit, fix the bike and sell it for less than we paid for it. Maybe trade it in? I'm not sure. At this point I'm trying to come up with something that will make us feel good, not bad.
I've got a couple of ideas.
In the meantime, I'll go back to trying to live my motto of "Life is good" and accept that not everyone out there is going to make that easy for me.