Originally Posted by beyond
She's just trying to keep her shop's effort level as low as possible. Color coding means the shop doesn't want to go to the trouble of the extra step or two to fit your own gear to their bindings.
The employee helping you was either lazy, incompetent or both. It is true that at some high volume rental locations (day hop, non-resort) they might have a zillion pairs of a single ski in every length - so the color coding scheme cuts out half the job and arguably increases throughput. That said, they still have to adjust DIN settings (the spring tension on the binding) which is calibrated to the skier (height, weight, age, level), not the ski. And they should always check forward pressure before sending anyone out. So a minimum of a few screws must be turned to do it right.
The work that you were asking for (set the rental track to your boot sole) literally takes less than 30 seconds total. Your boots would have fit any ski in that shop. There is no increase in liability for the shop nor any other rational reason that you had to use the shop's lousy rental boots. Your boots would have performed better, been more comfortable and the whole package would have been safer (assuming a proper adjustment of the binding).
As for buying used skis, any alpine binding (provided that the DIN range is appropriate) will work. If it is not a rental track, it may need to be re-mounted, but that is not a big deal.
As for your wasted ski day on crappy, ill-fitting rental boots when you had a perfectly fine pair sitting in the car, I'd send a letter to the manager of the shop asking for a refund or a voucher for a new lift ticket.
It is a bummer that you had an early ski experience where you were given bad information and received less than optimal treatment. Perfect example of how the industry is failing newbies.
Keep at it, but rather than buying your first pair of skis on eBay, at this stage of your ski life, it might be smarter to find a reputable shop where you can be confident that you will get good advice, and that you will walk out with a ski that fits your size and ability level (with your boots mounted properly). There are tons of deals this time of year and nothing is a good deal if it is cheap but ultimately wrong.