When last I wrote on the continuing saga of the $80 bike, the sequence had been the following:
1) I ordered the bike at Walmart.com.
2) I contacted the store to find out what I had to do to have it assembled at the store; I was told that that request had to be made at the time of pickup, which of course would inevitably add one or more days to the process.
3) Tamara stopped by to make that request when we received notice the bike had arrived. She was told there would be a phone call when the bike was assembled. Several days later, I finally called the store to find out when it would be done. Oh! It's been assembled for a while now, didn't anyone call you?
4) Waited at the site-to-store desk for close to half an hour for someone to get there with a key so I could FINALLY get the bike. With nearly flat tires. Guy assured me that they couldn't be aired up any more or they would explode. When I got them to a nearby gas station air pump, the front tire had 14 pounds of air and the rear tire had 24. They were rated for 50. By this time it was dark and I had to stop at a dollar store to find lights so I could ride the bike home.
Interlude: Nice bike. Love this bike. Really nice bike. Lots of bike for $80. Huzzah.
Back to business:
5) Bike starts displaying defect after less than 100 miles -- left crank arm keeps loosening.
6) I call to invoke the extended protection plan I bought (if I even need that -- I've had the bike for a couple of weeks). I'm told to return the bike directly to the store for repair.
7) I return the bike directly to the store for repair. I'm told they'll call in a couple of days when it's fixed. After a couple of days, I do call. No word. The next day I am in Wal-Mart anyway so I stop at the service desk to ask about it. No word.
8) SIX DAYS after I dropped the bike off, Wal-Mart finally calls. Not to tell me the bike is fixed. To tell me they can't fix it.
9) So today I go in to get things straight. The easiest way through this is just to refund my money, which gets done after about half an hour of people trying to figure out what to do (my impression was that this was not their fault -- it's a new Wal-Mart with lots of new people and they just don't have their interdepartmental communications shit together yet).
10) I come home with the Wal-Mart gift card representing the refund and re-order the same bike and the same extended protection plan.
And according to WalMart.com it's going to take two weeks for the bike to get to the store. After which, if things go as they've been going, another 2-5 days to get it assembled.
I don't want to wait 2-3 weeks for a bike I have now bought twice. Just sayin', I'm not getting any younger here ...