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Pro-Lite Oz, Dean Attard and getting a little touchy

Latest blog posting on ProLite (Pro-Lite) can be found here.

The last few days have been most interesting at the Australian Cycling forums. It seems that a new forum member, Mr Deon Attard of Pro-Lite Oz, also known as Jacks1071 has not taken to kindly to me after I removed links from his first few postings in the forum. Links which directly linked to his business and lacked relevant context in the threads posted, i.e, spamming which is in breach of the forum guidelines.

This it seems means that if others make a point it is okay, but if I express a similar view, Mr Attard gets a touch upset. Rather amusing I thought.  Here area a couple of his most recent examples.

I gave them a call [Ay-up] this afternoon and it seemed nothing was too much trouble. With your outstanding personality I am not surpised [sic] they didn’t want to do anything outside of the square as to most likely avoid dealing with you.

I think they dodged a bullet there.

Maybe you could take them to consumer small claims for not offering to remove the case from the price for you????

Sue – do it.

Maybe you can bully them into getting what you want.

Source: Thread on Ay-Ups. Mr Attard made these comments on page 5 of the thread. The thread is quite interesting in its discussion of lights and dynamos, well for the most part anyway and by the way another respected member of the forums had also contacted Ay-Up and got quite a different response to that suggested by Mr Attard.

and in another thread on a wrong sized bike, Mr Attard had this to say:

Andrew,
You must think everyone is out to rip you off, how sad that must be for you. And how much spare time you must have on your hands because you’re ready to pick a fight with everyone you deal with?? No wonder you have to buy everything on-line. From what I hear no bike shop in WA will sell to you.

In this case, by being polite the guy had his frame swapped. If yet again he took your advice of legal action, the shop would have got their backs up and said f*&k you – I’m not doing crap for you you rude pr*ck and wouldn’t have helped. Did you learn something today???

By NOT following your advice the guy got a new frame.

The curious thing about this was that my suggestion, also made by a number of forum members was to go back and talk to the LBS and if necessary the state consumer protection department. Mr Attard’s advice was to sell the wrong sized frame on eBay and get another one. Thankfully the purchaser took the step to go back to the LBS after seeking advice from consumer affairs and is now expecting a replacement frame.

All this raises an interesting questions about Mr Attard’s business practices . At the time of writing:

  • Pro-Lite Oz did not have a returns policy or other sales policy on his website;
  • Mr Attard is big on supporting Australian business going by his posts in the Australian Cycling Forums yet his business seems not to be about Australian product but rather importing or representing Pro-Lite International Ltd, a Chinese company. Pro-Lite International is linked directly from Pro-Lite Oz via the “product information” banner.
  • Mr Attard given his postings in the Australian Cycling forums does seem to have an issue with consumer rights.

So you may say so what it is just a dummy spit and to some extent it is, but I think it also raises an interesting question about the way Australian bike shops conduct their business.  I know of others who have issues with local bikes shops such as Durx with Glen Parker Cycles and myself with Fleet Cycles and it seems to me that there is no surprise when people shop overseas for bikes, parts and accessories when we have experiences like this. Is it time for the local bike shops to understand that good service is expected? That the behaviour of the likes of Mr Attard, Glen Parker Cycles and Fleet Cycles really do the local industry no justice?

Maybe my next bike will be purchased from the UK like 700×23 has done … maybe we need to do more of that.

Update – November 3, 2009: In light of the above I found this thread in the Australian Cycling Forums started by Mr Attard rather interesting …

15 Responses to Pro-Lite Oz, Dean Attard and getting a little touchy

  1. ksteinhoff August 27, 2009 at 10:15 PM #

    I have different relationships with the bike shops in my area. I have a couple where they know me well. I have some where I’ve spent hundreds of bucks over the years and they wouldn’t know me from Adam (or, Eve, for that matter).

    One LBS owner who has always treated me right can be real testy with folks he takes a dislike to. I was in his shop the other day when a guy came in to poke around. He asked some really dumb, but newbie questions, but they must have caught the owner in a bad mood, because I thought he was going to boot the him out.

    I sort of got between them and settled everything down, but I guess the customer ISN’T always right in that LBS.

    Likewise, there’s an LBS in town that sponsors all kinds of stuff but won’t won’t give them a single electron of promotion on my blog because the P’Od me one time. My kid was riding me about it the other day and I said, I once worked for a newspaper publisher who said, “The only time I want to see X’s name in my paper is if he’d indicted for something.”

    Publishers have some privileges.

  2. ksteinhoff August 28, 2009 at 7:15 AM #

    I have different relationships with the bike shops in my area. I have a couple where they know me well. I have some where I’ve spent hundreds of bucks over the years and they wouldn’t know me from Adam (or, Eve, for that matter).

    One LBS owner who has always treated me right can be real testy with folks he takes a dislike to. I was in his shop the other day when a guy came in to poke around. He asked some really dumb, but newbie questions, but they must have caught the owner in a bad mood, because I thought he was going to boot the him out.

    I sort of got between them and settled everything down, but I guess the customer ISN’T always right in that LBS.

    Likewise, there’s an LBS in town that sponsors all kinds of stuff but won’t won’t give them a single electron of promotion on my blog because the P’Od me one time. My kid was riding me about it the other day and I said, I once worked for a newspaper publisher who said, “The only time I want to see X’s name in my paper is if he’d indicted for something.”

    Publishers have some privileges.

  3. Fairy August 28, 2009 at 1:04 AM #

    Aushiker,
    The local vs OS/online purchase of bike “stuff” has been high on the topic of conversation of late and you raise some valid points.
    It seems when it comes to pricing many of the LBS are held to ransom by the distributor, you can understand a customer going online to purchase to save some money.
    This is where i feel the LBS needs to make a bit of effort to standout, while they can’t easily do something about the price, they can definately control the service and experience felt by a customer. I have experienced many LBS around Australia in my travels and the level of service can vary greatly.
    Maybe if some of the problem stores focussed more on customer service and value adding products, customers would be keener to shop there and not go online.
    Basic business says the customer is always right (within reason) so if a customer is happy its good publicity. Remember word of mouth is the best form of advertising, it costs you nothing but a bit courtousy and customer satisfaction.
    But sometimes you have to go online, when you can’t justify the ridiculous price differences and delivery times it is just common sence and smart buying (i think even some LBS would make more money & get items to us quicker if they got it online).
    Having said that I try to support the LBS as much as possible as many of them will support us with race sponsership and local events etc,
    So speak with your feet (shop around) and support the LBS that supports you.

    Thanks for giving this topic some more airing Aushiker, the industry realy needs a bit of a shake-up.

  4. Fairy August 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM #

    Aushiker,
    The local vs OS/online purchase of bike “stuff” has been high on the topic of conversation of late and you raise some valid points.
    It seems when it comes to pricing many of the LBS are held to ransom by the distributor, you can understand a customer going online to purchase to save some money.
    This is where i feel the LBS needs to make a bit of effort to standout, while they can’t easily do something about the price, they can definately control the service and experience felt by a customer. I have experienced many LBS around Australia in my travels and the level of service can vary greatly.
    Maybe if some of the problem stores focussed more on customer service and value adding products, customers would be keener to shop there and not go online.
    Basic business says the customer is always right (within reason) so if a customer is happy its good publicity. Remember word of mouth is the best form of advertising, it costs you nothing but a bit courtousy and customer satisfaction.
    But sometimes you have to go online, when you can’t justify the ridiculous price differences and delivery times it is just common sence and smart buying (i think even some LBS would make more money & get items to us quicker if they got it online).
    Having said that I try to support the LBS as much as possible as many of them will support us with race sponsership and local events etc,
    So speak with your feet (shop around) and support the LBS that supports you.

    Thanks for giving this topic some more airing Aushiker, the industry realy needs a bit of a shake-up.

  5. Greg August 28, 2009 at 1:34 AM #

    Global retailing is in a period of transition with the rise of the internet store. It is now so easy to jump online and buy bike parts or even a whole bike. While there will always be some people who will be reluctant to purchase online, many with move their business overseas. Perhaps it is time for the LBS to change their business model? The old model of supplier-distributor-retailer is no longer relevant with distributors taking a cut but adding no value.

    One emerging business model is one the ‘mobile bike mechanic’. They offer bike servicing, parts fitting and bike rebuilds. So if I secured a new frame they could come to my house and move all my running gear from my old bike to my new frame. Without the overheads of rent for a retail presence, prices may be more competitive (can’t confirm this til I get a quote). It is more convenient for me to have a mechanic come to my house, rather than take my bike to a shop. It will be interesting to see how successful this model is in the new marketplace.

    With regards to the comments by Jacks1071, lets just say that I would not like to be a customer of his and then have something go wrong with my product. Based on his behavior I would have no confidence in the matter being resolved amicably.

  6. Greg August 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM #

    Global retailing is in a period of transition with the rise of the internet store. It is now so easy to jump online and buy bike parts or even a whole bike. While there will always be some people who will be reluctant to purchase online, many with move their business overseas. Perhaps it is time for the LBS to change their business model? The old model of supplier-distributor-retailer is no longer relevant with distributors taking a cut but adding no value.

    One emerging business model is one the ‘mobile bike mechanic’. They offer bike servicing, parts fitting and bike rebuilds. So if I secured a new frame they could come to my house and move all my running gear from my old bike to my new frame. Without the overheads of rent for a retail presence, prices may be more competitive (can’t confirm this til I get a quote). It is more convenient for me to have a mechanic come to my house, rather than take my bike to a shop. It will be interesting to see how successful this model is in the new marketplace.

    With regards to the comments by Jacks1071, lets just say that I would not like to be a customer of his and then have something go wrong with my product. Based on his behavior I would have no confidence in the matter being resolved amicably.

  7. Matt August 28, 2009 at 6:06 AM #

    I guess Deon’s plan was to promote his business with the hyperlink in his signature on BNA… All I know is that I hadn’t heard of Pro-Lite Oz previously, but based on his posts on BNA I now wouldn’t go near them with a barge pole! I think it’s only fair to allow him to keep the link, just to give other potential customers fair warning 😉

  8. Aushiker August 28, 2009 at 3:19 PM #

    Hi Matt. Deon’s signature link has been allowed. The original first few posts where on topic, but he included links to products on his website. This was outside the guidelines and the links where removed. He had/has the option to do the right thing by the forums and become a good member. It would have have probably done his business good. There are other business members who play nice; one even offers a discount to forum members. Regards, Andrew

  9. craig August 28, 2009 at 3:40 PM #

    Hi Andrew. I have looked at this pro-lite website and pardon the French its SHITE.
    There is nothing of any interest on the website for most people. Just look at the “complete bike” section to confirm this, a kids size bike and 1 track bike. Hardly a great range.

    I feel that your comments about lbs having to stand out are so so true. I have had great service from many bike stores, namely of late when I purchased my Surly LHT. Micky down at Bikeforce in South Perth rocked. I have also had some shocking service, namely Glen Parker. However my argument still stands at what point do you cut your losses locally and buy OS. For me it was Glen Parker who put the final nail in the coffin. Not just for them but for every bike store. I personally, unless there is a big shake up with pricing and service will only use local stores for emergency’s. This being said I have also got plenty of tubes, etc from Wiggle to last me a while.

    You also mentioned today on twitter you are looking for a fixie or SS. I wonder where your money will be going on this bike. I think it will be going OS.

    Another great post mate always enjoy reading.

    Cheers

    Craig

  10. paulo May 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM #

    hey is this a stress free site , because i get the feeling everyone need a good walk and cycle, breath deep boys and girls. cheers, give the guy a break just wants to give you guys a good deal. chhers.,

    • Aushiker June 5, 2012 at 9:15 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your views. I do hope you appreciate the opportunity afforded to you to do so.

  11. nicksweb September 27, 2013 at 8:35 AM #

    I’ve just brought some rims from Pro-Lite Oz and hadn’t found this post previously. So I’m hoping that the reviews I’ve read on the wheels are true and correct as I’ve heard they are good for heavier riders. However I received my recommendation for the rims from BNA (Bicycle Network Australia) — Fingers crossed all goes well.

    • Andrew Priest September 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM #

      I think the wheels are probably okay overall. There have been some reports of bearing failures despite the claims to the contrary by ProLite Oz about their quality but I think they are on the minority. All the best with them.

      • nicksweb September 27, 2013 at 9:06 AM #

        Thanks I’ll keep you posted with my experience so far I’ve found my interactions have been fine (but I’m the consumer so they need to be nice to make a sale) However I came across this post after realising I was charged for postage for an order over $500 when it should of been free.

        • Andrew Priest September 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM #

          Sorry to hear that. Are you getting a refund?

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