Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I Meant Was...

I feel as though I left a few things unsaid in yesterday’s post. To elaborate on the premise of planned obsolescence, it is no secret that the bicycles described in said post do not meet the physical demand under which they find themselves burdened. Secondly, they are often mislabeled in a way that makes them appear (to the consumer) to be something they are not. To wit, bikes labeled “BMX,” bearing components such as pegs for grinding on shit, or generic labeled “Gyros” meant for bar spins, or “tricks.” A “Mountain Bike” that would most certainly get a rider killed who was hapless enough to use it as such. 
The list goes on but here are the facts: These bicycles are sold in the toy aisle. They are assembled by under qualified personnel, and sold to the unsuspecting consumer with no one being able to demonstrate knowledge of the product, proper fitting, or physical limitations of the equipment. They are clearly labeled in a way that makes them appealing to the eye, yet not so clearly (hidden under the bike) as to display a sticker in a prominent fashion, containing a disclaimer stating that they are not to be used in such a way. Judgment being clouded by confusing labels, they are immediately consumed by the public, unaware that they will quickly fail in an epic fashion when used as advertised, and that the cost of repairs will immediately exceed the original investment.

-This is where I reserve my overall diatribe regarding the horrifically sad state of the bikes after “assembly” i.e., Handle bars upside down, fork installed backwards,

brake levers and pads left unsecured so as to rotate rather than work when needed. Plus the always prevalent pedal that did not get tightened enough as to not come half way out before destroying the threads.-

Don't be fooled. This happens every damn day.

It is not as if the retailer has no knowledge of this type of shit, I mean, at the end of the day they keep selling bikes. They have even gone so far as to force another pedal into, and RE SELL the returned bikes that failed when used by their customers at a DISCOUNT! They know that it is a low price, high turn around item that will keep the customer in their stores. The consumer however holds said retailer to such a low standard it becomes impossible to reason with them in a bicycle service environment. Meaning, if I (a legitimate bike shop) sold them a bike that fell apart like that, they would NEVER return. On top of that they would indeed, demand some kind of recompense. That is mind-blowing to me. How can you spend money on something and not be furious with the seller when it turns out to be junk?! If I then tell them they should take it back to Walmart and let them fix it, suddenly, I'm the ass hole. Well let me tell you here and now...

Rather than directing your anger at me for your own foolish purchasing decisions, how about placing the blame on those who deserve it. Direct it towards those who continually take advantage of you by dangling the proverbial carrot in front of you.

"Look over here! It's a yummy carrot! It's orange and delicious, plus it will cost you nothing"

Of course by nothing they mean at first. Then the staggering cost of repairs kick in.
I mean, have you ever repaired a carrot before?! Let me tell you, it's not cheap ;)

Consider again the GMC branded “Denali” road bike. GMC (General Motors), among the other brands that suffered the slings and afflictions of the economic down turn, revised their line of cars in preparation for a comeback. They eliminated models that did not meet the quality standards they were known for and sold their stock in companies that had products that did not sell. All in an effort to reduce operating costs and keep their doors open. Yet, a bull shit bike, which I maintain they had no business putting their name on, is still being marketed after the fact as a "Genuine GM Product." This idea, to me, is ludicrous. Eliminate waste, yet continue to provide a sub-par product for mass consumption. 

Where’s my “bail out?” you might ask? I’ll tell you where it is, in the fucking toy aisle at Walmart.