What happens when things go wrong - Customers maintaining vehicles

Like any professional we tried to keep our bikes in the best condition. Things can go wrong at any time with a bike - but the cautionary tales that follow were a nightmare for both for the customers and for me:

Tale 1: Bald (?) Tires
I had a 650GS go out in June 2008 - 2 months after Michelin tire fitters had fitted a set of Anakees on all my bikes. Anakees last at least more than 25% more than most other bikes so there was no way these tires were anywhere close to the end of their life. The bike was due to go out for a fortnight so I checked chain tension and tire wear before it went out. It was fine. The bike went out signed for and absolutely fine.
Three days later I got a call to the effect that the general opinion 'of about 10 bikers' was that the tires were beyond their active life. Clearly this was a load of rubbish. We agreed she would take a picture of the tires with her mobile phone - and if they were off I would organise their replacement. No photos received so I figured she had had a look and there were no problems - after all I had the rest of the business to run.
She then extended about 8 days into her hire - and kept the bike for an extra few days. As we were arranging all this I asked her how she was getting on with the tires and she told me she had changed them at a cost of about 300€. Boy! Was I pissed off - although I said nothing on the phone.
I figured it cost me about 100€ all in all for her to do that - as I had a set of tires that would last 30% less - and would need to replace them with Anakees. Anyway - I bit my tongue and picked the bike up from Toulouse airport.
Here I made a mistake - and spent as much time talking to her about her trip - as checking the bike out. It all seemed in order and off I went with the bike. The first corner I noticed a slight vibration from the rear - but carried on anyway till about 80KM down the road for my first ciggie break.
I always check the bike - and as I walked round I saw this.

From Blogger Pictures

Needless to say - I was completely bloody incensed at this point. Not only had the bozos in Andorra ripped off a customer BUT they had neglected to give a final tighten to the chain tensioner plates on the 650GS - which is absolutely mandatory - and anyone who works on them knows this.

The repair bill was about 500€ for a new swing arm and the customer paid - as well as for the new tires - a very expensive lesson.
In my contract as in most - there is a clause to say no unauthorized repairs - so the answer is don't do any unauthorized repairs - you may not get your money back and you may well pay extra!

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