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RANT! Connecticut Ski Shop Rip-off

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
WARNING: THIS IS A RANT!!!!!
$35 to have a ski binding heel piece adjusted forward, not redrilled, just moved on its rail forward?????? Arrggggh!!! I feel like I really got burned today. I went today to Alpine Haus in Wethersfield (south of Hartford) to have the heel piece of a ski binding moved forward. I also brought a web coupon for a "free basic tuning" which Alpine Haus offers, and my wife's skis, which needed a very minor tweak. I understood that staff's reason for not doing the tuning on the spot -- it's a busy week. Of course, winter is usually fairly predictable since it is one of four major seasons in Connecticut and has been for many decades, I hear. But being prepared for a busy week doesn't seem to have occurred to the shop. Anyway, fine, I was willing to put off the tuning. But I had travelled across the state because of the tuning coupon and needed my binding adjusted in any case. So the shop agreed to do the work -- it will take a few days however, they said. Their "service guy" had gone home for the day, they said -- I was there at 3pm. Nice hours, I thought, I need a job like that. So anyway, the shop says they'll do the work but it will cost me their fee ($20 !!) plus an extra $15 for an "instant adjustment." What jerks! I felt I needed the work done and in the end stupidly paid for it. Sure, I should have had all this work done by now and not looked for a quick fix, but $35 to have a binding heel piece moved forward is a rip-off and I am stupid for not doing it myself. I'll never go there again! It's just this kind of thing that makes me grateful for this forum. I'm all for ski shop expertise and everything, but I want to learn how to do more of this minor stuff myself. Luckily, there was some poetic justice in all this -- I stopped at Marshall's Megastore and picked up some superb, top-line Kombi gloves for $13, a silk undershirt for $12, and a bundle of wicking performance base layers for a few bucks.
post #2 of 21
I'm not sure what that shop's deal is. I heard that the owners might have been owners of the former defunked Alpine Haus - they were big in CT in the 80s and then went out of business. I remember vividly because I got boots at 50% off in their going out of business sale.

Sorry they did that to you - it sucks.
post #3 of 21
Big question, once they moved the heel piece, did they test the binding to make sure the DIN number was correct? For that price I'd think they'd test, clean, polish, and wax them for you.
post #4 of 21
I recently paid $15 to have bindings mounted and adjusted. Yep, you got the shaft.
post #5 of 21
I think I paid a similar price, a little less, here in MA to have that job done(It was supposed to have included a binding test and annual maintainance). I couldn't tell that they did anything at all to them, though they said that they did. I trusted them though and their reputation and didn't question it.

I had new boots. As it turns out, they are the same sole size as my old boots. I didn't have my "rock" skis done, I figured I could do them. When I tried my boots they fit in perfectly.
post #6 of 21
On a rail, and you PAID someone? :

Anyhoo...

MTBChk, lol, I'm sure you meant defunct. :
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I actually parted with money. Dumb! They did do their stupid little high-tech test as part of the price -- I usually just figure if I take a fall and I hear my femur snap, I probably need to adjust my bindings.

But my larger point is that ski shops are all too ready to take money, a lot of money, for things that any skier with an IQ higher than their binding's DIN setting ought to be able to do. I mean, my dad used to build airplane parts. Can't I adjust a binding myself? I realized today that I want to know my gear better; I want to be able to service it myself as much as possible. I mean, what's the point of having a so-called pro do the work if you have to sign a gazillion forms that indemnify the shop anyway.
post #8 of 21
Dude, you need to meet jjdow for beers someday:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...502#post236502
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni
Dude, you need to meet jjdow for beers someday:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...502#post236502
Yikes, I hope not! And not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm not complaining about a $20 binding adjustment. I'm not "anti-ski shop," which is kind of a ridiculous idea, about as bizarre as being "pro ski-shop." It's the $15 surcharge and ease of the job that bothered me. I just think it's silly to be overly in awe of every single thing that a ski shop service department does. An oil change on a car is a good comparison. Few people want to change their own car oil and filter these days, and some disastrous things can happen if you screw it up (engine blow up, etc.). But it's something that anyone who wants to ought to be able to learn. And if you need an oil change on the spot, you shouldn't be asked to pay nearly double for it.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachskiljp
I had new boots. As it turns out, they are the same sole size as my old boots. I didn't have my "rock" skis done, I figured I could do them. When I tried my boots they fit in perfectly.
If the boots are the same size outside, then I'm not surprised that they fit in perfectly. However, Just to be safe, I would check that the forward pressure indicator is at the right spot. There is usually a notch and an indicator that moves back and forth as the ski boot is clamped down and released. The boot drives the heel piece back and presses on a spring. If the forward pressure is not at the right point, you could get too much friction or not enough friction messing with how much force it takes to release your foot with any given DIN setting on the binding.
post #11 of 21
Devils advocate...

Did you know what the price would be before they did the work?

It sounds like their regular price was $20.00 (a fair price) and an express job added another $15.00, is that right?

You admitted that you should have had it done before..all I can say is..."Poor planning on your part, does not make an emergency on theirs"

You have nothing to complain about, other than your ablilty to get to the shop when you should have instead of when you wanted to.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Devils advocate...

Did you know what the price would be before they did the work?

It sounds like their regular price was $20.00 (a fair price) and an express job added another $15.00, is that right?

You admitted that you should have had it done before..all I can say is..."Poor planning on your part, does not make an emergency on theirs"

You have nothing to complain about, other than your ablilty to get to the shop when you should have instead of when you wanted to.
You're right, I know ... but it sure feels good to unload!
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdog1
On a rail, and you PAID someone? :

Anyhoo...

MTBChk, lol, I'm sure you meant defunct. :
Apparently you have a Vermont Calibrator at home? :

35 bucks is completely and utterly reasonable. Above average, perhaps, but so are most prices in CT.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Apparently you have a Vermont Calibrator at home? :

35 bucks is completely and utterly reasonable. Above average, perhaps, but so are most prices in CT.
It's the ethics of the whole "rush charge" thing that seems dubious to me. First of all, the rush charge was not advertised anywhere, neither on the shop's website nor on the price board in the store. That's just sneaky. But I paid it and could have avoided getting myself into that position, so as Phil said, I have nothing to complain about. Of course, a certain amount of grousing about service standards is utterly healthy for the industry, one would think.
post #15 of 21
Hey Phil, Very Very well put. Thanks!
post #16 of 21
I've not been particularly enamored of Alpine House since they opened, replacing Action Sports (another CT chain, based in Branford). They seem to cater to the board and blade set, with their focus on skiing being less than stellar. I'm not sure how well the shop is doing, but I'm sure the extra fees are in place to ensure their fiscal survival.

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. When I'm back in CT (in-laws live there), I head to Competitive Edge in East Longmeadow, MA. Granted, the in-laws' place is in Somers, not too far from the MA border. Elite Ski & Sport in Avon is good, too.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta
When I'm back in CT (in-laws live there), I head to Competitive Edge in East Longmeadow, MA. Granted, the in-laws' place is in Somers, not too far from the MA border. Elite Ski & Sport in Avon is good, too.
I'll definitely check those out!
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdog1

MTBChk, lol, I'm sure you meant defunct. :

lol - I'm sure I did too.

and to add to songfta I hear GREAT things about competitive edge.
post #19 of 21
Yep, Competitive edge is a good shop. There is another shop near U. Mass in Amherst and I think, one more too.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
WARNING: THIS IS A RANT!!!!!
$35 to have a ski binding heel piece adjusted forward, not redrilled, just moved on its rail forward?????? Arrggggh!!! I feel like I really got burned today. I went today to Alpine Haus in Wethersfield (south of Hartford) to have the heel piece of a ski binding moved forward. I also brought a web coupon for a "free basic tuning" which Alpine Haus offers, and my wife's skis, which needed a very minor tweak. I understood that staff's reason for not doing the tuning on the spot -- it's a busy week. Of course, winter is usually fairly predictable since it is one of four major seasons in Connecticut and has been for many decades, I hear. But being prepared for a busy week doesn't seem to have occurred to the shop. Anyway, fine, I was willing to put off the tuning. But I had travelled across the state because of the tuning coupon and needed my binding adjusted in any case. So the shop agreed to do the work -- it will take a few days however, they said. Their "service guy" had gone home for the day, they said -- I was there at 3pm. Nice hours, I thought, I need a job like that. So anyway, the shop says they'll do the work but it will cost me their fee ($20 !!) plus an extra $15 for an "instant adjustment." What jerks! I felt I needed the work done and in the end stupidly paid for it. Sure, I should have had all this work done by now and not looked for a quick fix, but $35 to have a binding heel piece moved forward is a rip-off and I am stupid for not doing it myself. I'll never go there again! It's just this kind of thing that makes me grateful for this forum. I'm all for ski shop expertise and everything, but I want to learn how to do more of this minor stuff myself. Luckily, there was some poetic justice in all this -- I stopped at Marshall's Megastore and picked up some superb, top-line Kombi gloves for $13, a silk undershirt for $12, and a bundle of wicking performance base layers for a few bucks.
It occured to me to check and see the tenor of your other posts---cuz that response I posted was was not really worthy of such a snide retort.

I see 12 posts all of which seem to be complaints of one sort or another.

see ya bye!! go have a beer with ole jj.
__________________
Whee!

To keep up with the tenor of previous posts, trying not to be considered snide even though comments made concerning my son's leg were drastic, to say the least...why didn't you mount the bindings yourself...



Where is ole jj when ya need him?
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_ep
It occured to me to check and see the tenor of your other posts---cuz that response I posted was was not really worthy of such a snide retort.

I see 12 posts all of which seem to be complaints of one sort or another.

see ya bye!! go have a beer with ole jj.
__________________
Whee!

To keep up with the tenor of previous posts, trying not to be considered snide even though comments made concerning my son's leg were drastic, to say the least...why didn't you mount the bindings yourself...



Where is ole jj when ya need him?


What is this? Creative editing?
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