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Discussion Starter #1
A few years ago I ricocheted a bee off a mirror and onto my forearm to die. Before he went onto meet his maker he left me a reminder of his visit and stung me just below the inside of my elbow.

Over the years I've been stung more times than I can count and without exception they've all been while on the bike. Up until this one a few years ago a bee sting was nothing more than an annoyance but that one changed everything. Now I react very badly to bee stings and carry the obligatory epi pen and really hope never to have to use it. At this point I only get what is referred to as a "Large Localized Reaction". Basically anything within about three feet of the sting sight will swell up and I'm pretty much miserable for anywhere from three to ten days depending upon how quickly I start medicating with Benedryl. A couple of weeks ago when my brother-in-law was in town we headed up over the Beartooth. On the way back I asked him if he wanted to ride a Vic and of course he took me up on it. Since his Heritage only had a window on it I decided to roll my sleeves down and button them to keep "things" from flying up places they didn't belong. Unfortunately it didn't work and within five miles I had managed to suck a bee right up the slit behind the cuff button on my right arm and he of course let me know in no uncertain terms that he was pissed.

A little over two weeks down range now and the swelling is gone but the sting still hasn't healed and I'm still putting cortizone on the arm to dull the itching. Given that for many years now I've been wearing full coverage helmets or half helmets (real ones) I figured that I had better bite the bullet and start wearing full face helmets before I get stung on the face or stuff one in my helmet. My doc has told me that a sting to my face or anywhere near my sinuses or my neck could earn me a visit to a hospital for a few days to keep my airway open from the swelling.

So Now That You've Got The Back Story:
A couple of days ago I called Yellowstone Polaris the Victory dealership in Billings MT (110 miles from me) and inquired about a Victory full face modular helmet. They told me they don't carry any but would be happy to order one, so far so good. They'd also sent it down to their Polaris dealership in Powell WY (20 miles from me) so I didn't have to drive over 200 miles just to pick up a helmet. Since my current Victory helmet is an XL I tend to assume that the full face version will also need to be an XL but as we all know, helmet sizes are pretty arbitrary. The Victory dealership in Billings informed me that if they order the helmet for me it will be a no return item. In other words if it doesn't fit I own a $200 paper weight. I did my best to remind the parts guy that they're only a couple of hundred miles from Sturgis and in three weeks time anything that isn't welded to the floor is going to sell but he wouldn't budge. I also reminded him that I wasn't having him order a helmet that said Suzuki or Kawasaki on it for crying out loud, it says Victory on it and they're a Victory dealership!! Still no luck soooo... I told the parts guy that their decision had just cost them a customer and bid them adios.

My next call was to Arizona West Victory in Lake Havasu City, AZ where I purchased the bike. After explaining the reason for me needing a full face helmet to Nick in parts we struck a deal. They're sending me a Victory modular full face helmet in XL. I pay the AZ sales tax (over 8%) and shipping. If for some chance it doesn't fit I pay return shipping and probably a restock fee which is fine by me.

I honestly don't think what I was asking Yellowstone Polaris to do was unreasonable. Who would buy shoes without trying them on? Their attitude was pretty much we don't care what you do so piss on them. I'll go to a dealership that appreciates my business even if I'm over a thousand miles away.

If you're in the Lake Havasu City area make sure you stop into Arizona West Victory and let 'em know you appreciate dealerships who care about their customers.
 

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I haven't been too impressed with the Victory helmets on their website and at my dealer. Revzilla has free shipping and try on before you buy with most of their stuff. I am looking into a modular as well. Let us know how it works out Boss. If it's like their jackets, you will probably need a 4XL.
 

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It sounds like a typical dealer policy on special order items. Just don't do business with them if you dont like it. No need to blast them because you get stung by bees a lot.

You should probably stick to shopping for apparel at walmart then since you can return anything even without receipts for 90 days.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was kinda surprised a year ago when I bought my first Victory helmet and it was an XL, apparently Vic uses Little People to put the size stickers on their products.

As far as the item being a specialty order, yes and no. It's a Victory inventory item that the shop chooses not to sell which is their right as a business but... What I'm saying (as a business owner for two decades) is that their decision is incorrect and it cost them a customer. If on the off chance the helmet didn't fit then they'd have a Victory branded item on their shelf as Sturgis rolls up on them which would eventually sell. They could easily have charged me a re-stocking fee and I'd have paid it so they could have potentially profited twice on the same item. Instead they chose through their policy to alienate a customer which will prove much more expensive in the long run than having to sit on a $135 (their cost) helmet for a few months. You see this is where I would have gotten my oil change kits and tires but that won't happen now.

Having been a business owner for so many years gave me a little insight into how to retain my customer base. Sometimes you have to compromise because there's a lot of customers out there that will spend more just to NOT do business with you when you piss them off. I'm one of them.
 

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When the difference in the cost of an item is so small between retailers, the only thing that will keep a customer coming back is the customer service offered. When I was riding my Shadow, I DID NOT frequent the local honda dealership because the service was marginal at best. I chose to get parts and accessories from the local powersports shop instead. Did I pay more or less for those parts and such? Probably not. Did I enjoy going in there and doing business with them? Yes.
One of the very first things that impressed me about the local polaris/vic shop here in the valley is the service. After the first time I stopped by to look at their bikes they knew my name. They would set up any bike they had in the shop for me to test ride. I finally bought my xc here in town, even though I could have saved a few bucks by going to the other polaris/vic shop down south. Why? Because I was looking forward to conducting business with these guys.
Really? Walmart? There is nothing wrong with expecting more from a local business, and taking your business elsewhere if you don't get what you want. I doubt walmart would really be the answer.
 
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