The problems started last year. We went to the shop as total novices, and were quite rightly advised to buy boots first. The guys were very friendly and helpful, and sold me and my wife each a pair of entry-level boots, maybe $200 each on sale. They also tried to sell us skis. but we didn't feel ready.
My wife had endless problems with the fit, very painful, and when she went back to the shop they sold her a slightly more expensive boot that fit better. Since then, we have gone to an excellent boot fitter (Bootworks in Park City) who told me that my boots were at least two sizes too big. Ernie fit me into a new pair of boots that I love. So strike one, I trusted my local guys and they put me into a boot that was way too big.
But strike two is much worse. My wife had been having increasing pain in her new expensive boots, and couldn't understand why. Her big toes both turned black, and were painful even without the boots on. Ernie in Park City found out that the liners in her boots were swapped left-to-right! That was done by the local shop when she had asked them to look at her boots. So huge strike two, the local guys were careless and it caused my wife a lot of pain. We installed the boot liners correctly and now all is well.
The local shop had also sold us a pair of used skis and boots for our (then) 4 year-old son. They charged us to adjust and test the bindings, then asked us to pick up the skis a week later. When we went back, a young man claimed he couldn't find the skis after "looking everywhere." He insisted my wife had already collected them. After about 45 minutes of this, young man "looking", a shop manager came over, found the skis in 2 minutes in the store room, and handed them to us.
Our son hadn't skied much, but progressed quickly. Last week at Butternut mountain one of the instructors looked at his bindings and advised that we have the repair shop see them. I took the skis in yesterday, and the tech told me that the bindings were barely holding onto the boots, and that there was no way they had been tested properly. Another $20 to adjust them, and my cute little kids skied like he had totally new equipment. I can't believe that we've made him skis with loose bindings for so long! My guess is that the local shop never adjusted or tested the bindings, that they forgot to do the job because they misplaced the skis. So huge, huge strike three, they put my son in discomfort and maybe danger.
We are novices at this sport, so we end up having to trust the professionals. Our local shop has a very good reputation, but this seems to me a consistent pattern of carelessness. I have a tendancy to get really irritated by this kind of thing, and maybe unfairly so. i don't want to judge without knowledge. But these people have been cavalier with my wife's and my son's safety, so I'm pretty steamed. I'd love to hear any thoughts on this, maybe there is an angle i'm not considering.
And more practically, can anyone recommend a good professional shop within some reasonable distance of New Haven, Connecticut?