Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm Winning and Why I Look Like Steve Zissou in a Wet Suit

No, I do not have tiger blood, Adonis DNA, nor am I jacked up on cocaine or some other drug, but I did win one of the second prizes in the BMW MOA Superstakes. 18 people won the second prize, which is a $1000 gift card to Bike Bandit. I have never won anything in my life and it was a complete surprise. Of course there were 6 first prizes (6 motorcycle tours in Europe) and 2 grand prizes (2 R1200GSAs), but I guess I should be happy none the less.

But as everything in life, nothing is perfect. I found it odd that Bike Bandit really does not have a big selection of stuff for BMW. I did peruse the fiche in search of factory accessories, but it was fairly limited. On the other hand, I did need new gear. Unlike the anorexic Sheen, I am not a small person. At 6'5 I once weighed slightly north of 400lbs. I wore a 64 Tall leather jacket. 80 lbs later, that jacket is like a double-breasted suit, although my jacket size is still in the 54-56 range and I need tall as my torso is longer than average and my sleeve length is 38-39. Unfortunately there was not much there in selection for someone my size. I did find a First Gear Scout Jacket in 4XLT. It really is a nice jacket, as I got it just yesterday, but I have one question: Who the hell sizes these damn things?! According to First Gear's sizing charts, the jacket should be a 58-60. Believe me, it's not even close. My guess it's more like 52-54. Putting it on and wearing it reminded me of wearing a wet suit.The arms were snug too. I am not working out right now and I could flex my bicep through the jacket (If I was, I doubt I would get my arms in the jacket, as my forearms can get to be 15-15.5" and biceps 19-19.5"). It really is a well made jacket and very nice (it should be for $550), but they need to use American sizing, not some far east calculation.

The more upsetting thing is the lack of communication or responsiveness on the part of Bike Bandit and even First Gear. I contacted both by email with questions about sizing, returns and I have been ignored so far. Talk about the lack of customer service. It isn't their fault I am big or that I own a BMW. Ok, they have what they have. But for the money being spent and the cost of their products respectively, I would expect a lot more. It surely would have been more fruitful had the gift cards been for Beemer Bone Yard or A&S BMW. I am sure my RT would have found goodies at either place. I hope I fair better with the Icon gloves and Sidi boots I ordered which should be here Tuesday.

Now that I have probably given the impression that I have sour grapes, I want to say I do not. It's always nice if not incredible to win something, but it's also nice to have things work out if you know what I mean. Somewhere lost with today's society is customer service. This doesn't mean that companies offering service should take abuse or unreasonable behavior from customers, but every effort should be made that the customer walks away with a positive impression such that they would come back and they would recommend the business to friends. There is an old saying, good news travels fast, bad news travels faster. At the very least a customers inquiry is an opportunity to foment good will and good feelings. It never ceases to amaze me when such opportunities are lost.

What does this mean? One, be careful what you ask for, you may get it. Always know what you want before the opportunity presents itself that way there is no doubt, regret or indecision. It also means if you deal with people in a customer service capacity, it behooves you to make sure you do your due diligence. I am for one, tired of hearing the old saw, "I don't have enough time" or "I am too busy". These are the same folks that never have enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it two or three times. What are your experiences with customer service folks? I'd like to hear your stories.

Thank you for reading this blog.