In a ethical retail environment, being refunded unused money when cancelling is a given. For example, if you order a product, then pay either a down payment or in full, you should be entitled to a refund if the product gets back ordered for a longer time than expected.
It’s not like a lay away where the retailer sets aside a sellable item for you to purchase when you get all your funds together. When the retailer puts an item on layaway they are being paid to not sell an item until you can buy it. If you break that contract then the retailer has an ethical right to keep the layaway because they lost potential sales profits. Not so when a backordered product is cancelled.
Although Denton Bicycle Center is an Authorized Trek Dealer, they do not follow Treks cancellation policy, and they are not required to. Once you hand money to Denton Bicycle Center then it is gone.
On 9/5/20 I decided to purchase a 2021 Top Fuel XTR. At the time the expected lead time was 61 days, with estimated ship date of 11/10/20. I was willing to wait two months for this bike so I ordered it and paid in full, like I have done with four other Trek bikes through this shop over the last 12 years.
The First Push Back
I was optimistic, looking forward to a new bike when on Friday 11/6/20, I learned that the ship date had been changed from 11/10 to 12/4. People in Trek user groups were reporting that bikes they had ordered were also pushed back mutiple times, some that had ordered before me were reporting that they had their orders get pushed back multiple times, all the way till summer of 2021! There was no way I was going on this ride, so I requested a cancellation.
This did not set well with the Joe Holland III, the owner of Denton Bicycle Center. Joe begged for me to give him a day to see what he could do. Come Monday, 11/9/20, I had not received any resolution from Joe so I started reaching out to @Trekbikes on Twitter about wanting to cancel and the authorized dealer not honoring my request. I received a call from the community manager at Trek, who explained that my bike was the next in line to be built, they were only waiting on the Shimano shipment that was coming later that month. I was assured that the bike would ship on 12/4/20.
The Second Pushback
On 11/26/20 I learned that the shipment date was pushed back from 12/4/20 to 12/17/20, this time with no explanation. My heart sank because even if they could ship on this date the increased load of holiday mail would mean I probably would not see the bike until January. But that is IF they ship on 12/17/20, as of 11/30/20 my gut tells me it will get moved back again.
Request to Find Alternate Ignored
Requests were made to both Denton Bicycle Center and Treks community outreach manager to find another Trek Top Fuel, 9.8 or above in a large frame. Certainly some shop in the country had one. I also suggested building out the bike using SRAM instead of Shimano. Neither of those options were agreeable.
At this same time I took my Trek Stache to Trek Bikes of Flowermound, formerly Bicycles Plus, to have the derailleur hanger changed. While there I noticed they had TWO Trek Top Fuel 9.8 with SRAM GX build. They also had a 2020 Top Fuel 9.9 Project One that was being discounted.
Three bikes that were suitable replacements for the Top Fuel order that Trek had to keep pushing back do to unavailable parts. One of these bikes was a 2020 project one which the shop is in dire need to sell, so much that they are discounting it. You would think that Trek would be thrilled to have me take this off of their hands. But I cannot, because I am being forced to wait on an order I placed that Denton Bicycle Center will not let me out of.
At the time of this writing I predict that come January I will still be waiting the 2021 Top Fuel and the 2020 Project one bike will still be sitting at the Trek Dealer. Denton Bicycle center doesn’t care either way because they received full payment and are refusing to cancel and give my money back.
One thing is for certain, I will never spend another dime with Denton Bicycle Center. From this point forward I will be doing all my business with Trek Bicycles of Flowermound, which is an excellent shop that I highly recommend.
UPDATE 11/30/20 at 5pm
Received the following email from Trek
So according to Mitchell, Joe will be able to return the deposit. So Joe is telling Mitchell, with Trek, that I will be getting refunded. Joe was not at DBC, his mechanic Steve was. Steve told me I would be getting a cashiers check tomorrow.
Update 12/1/2020 5:27pm
Didn’t sleep well, kept remembering Joe saying he wouldn’t give me a refund last Saturday when I told him my desire to cancel. What if he didn’t issue the refund, then what? Go to small claims court where the Justice of Peace is his father?
Fortunately, when I arrived at Denton Bicycle Center, I was greeted by Steve who told me Joe was at the Bank. When Joe arrived from the bank he handed a cashiers check for the full amount I had paid, minus some recent repairs on a wheel I was picking up. He then said Thank you for your business, please never come back.
I laughed and said “I wasn’t ever planning to”
New Bike Time
After cashing the check I headed to Trek Bicycles of Flower mound and picked up the 2020 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 with Project one paint and Fox Shocks
No more waiting and wondering when my bike will arrive.