after commuting for a year, i booked my bike in for a much needed silver service at £80. i though i'd upgrade the brakes & grips at the same time.
to cut a long story short - i revisited the shop a few times before deciding not to go back.
visit 1: arrived for the service at 9am and left the bike. had a phone call to say the brakes hadn't arrived. disappointed, i returned to the shop after work and to see they'd fitted the wrong grips (old ones tossed) - i couldn't reach the brake lever or change gear. an interesting ride home. (i'd paid for the grips already). i mentioned already that these we're probably going to be returned.
visit 2: back to the shop again the next morning. the grips were worse than useless, dangerous even. the mechanic agreed, but the old grips were long gone. so he fitted temporary grips until the correct ones that he'd order, arrived. returning to the shop to be told they couldn't actually get grips for my nexus shifter (despite ordering them, they're not an after-sales item, so don't exist). mechanic told me that i'd be refunded at the final payment stage. in the meantime i had to splash out £30 on ergons (v good btw) from amazon. the new service date was 2 weeks time.
visit 3: i returned the 2 weeks later for the new brakes & service. later that day, another phone call to me to say say the callipers don't fit my bike and couldn't be fitted. at all. nothing could be.
i collected the bike. serviced at least, with a new chain. i'd asked them to upgrade the brake pads to koolstop salmon brake pads - which i'd ordered in advance. looking at the brakes, the same housing had been used, but shimano pads had been fitted. i spoke to them to clarify. didn't really get an explanation except for trying to save me a few quid on fitting new housing. no mention of the koolstops.
i was so miffed at the whole experience that i didn't notice the refund for the grips hadn't been done. yet another phone call to specialized to sort that out.
perhaps this was just bad luck. maybe in a year when my next service is due, things will be different. not sure i'll be back to find out though. overall a very disappointing experience from such a big name. should probably have gone independent.
excellent product range, great website - easy to find stuff, very well priced. easy returns, very quick turnaround. i returned an item for replacement (smaller sleeping bag) which arrived a couple of days later. superb! no quibbles. good packaging.
great service - will be getting more kit from them in the future.
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