November 12, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Helmet Matters

Apparently, it’s against South Carolina law to return a helmet. Or, more precisely, it’s against the law for a store to accept a helmet on return. After giving me this fact, the parts guy I spoke with at Cherokee Cycles sounded a bit peeved at me before he put me on hold to “talk with the owner.” Uh, oh, I thought. What am I gonna do? Maybe eBay would get me most of my money back, since the medium Shoei Neotec was crushing my head. My salesman was no help; I guess since our sale had completed, he was done with me. I had the same feeling from my realtor after closing on the house a couple of years ago. He told me to contact the parts department to see what they could do. Well his desk is literally 20 feet from the parts department, but whatever. Let me call.

“The owner said I could send you out a replacement. But that’s it, you know.” The parts guy admonished me like an elementary school principle.

“Great,” I said, “so I should send the small one back to you?”

“No, we can’t take helmets back, as it’s against South Carolina law. I’ll send a replacement, but that will be final, are we agreed?”

“Well, sure,” I said. Now I understood that he seemed to think I was up to something. “All I want is a helmet that fits. I appreciate your working with me on this.” I tried to be as nice as I could—a difficult, unnatural posture for me. After all, I just dropped nearly $20K at your dealership on a wet November day.

He took my address, and that was it. Well, aside from the grumpy dude who helped me, I am pretty pleased with my Cherokee Cycles experience, and I will go back. They did not have to do that at all, but I’m happy they helped me out. It makes me think that helmet markup is outrageous, but that’s fine: I’m getting a quality helmet that hopefully will fit.

Maybe Autumn can use the small one?