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Correspondence with MEC
(Mountain Equipment Coop)

R.I.P. MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop).
R.I.P. MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop).

Table of contents

1) "VeloHobo": Planting A Piton Into The Slippery Slope Of Fashion (2007-January-10)
2) Alex G. (2017-April-23)
3) S. Jetchick (2017-April-24)
4) Post-Scriptum, or Post-Mortem actually (2021-March-22)

1) "VeloHobo": Planting A Piton Into The Slippery Slope Of Fashion (2007-January-10)

I'm sorry, but I did not keep a copy of the e-mail I sent to the MEC many years ago. I do remember never getting an answer, except a threat of lawsuit because I was using the MEC logo "illegally" on the web page with that article. So I took my camera and went to the store and took a picture of their store, with their logo, and posted that instead.

The e-mail was mostly a link to this article:

"VeloHobo": Planting A Piton Into The Slippery Slope Of Fashion

2) Alex G. (2017-April-23)

Pair of MEC Chinook urban bicycles.
Pair of MEC Chinook urban bicycles.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Your MEC review {064f0d65-286f-11e7-80e5-005056ae19b8}
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:51:18 -0700
From: MEC Service Centre/Centre de Service info (add the at sign here) mec.ca
To: inquisition.ca (add the at sign here) gmail.com

Hi Stefan,

Thank you for submitting your review of the Chinook Bicycle.

I've taken the review down for now because we cannot
have any revealing personal information on reviews.
Please consider resubmitting your review without
putting your full name on it.

I've pasted it here so you can just change that last bit:

(2 stars given out of 5 possible stars)

Yes, I just bought 2 MEC Chinooks. One for each of Quebec City's two seasons: Winter and Construction. Already has had two problems: had to replace pedals with MEC GnT (it came with MEC Moss pedals which become slippery as banana peels when cold and wet);
also will have to replace saddles (no "anatomical relief" on the cheap model of Selle Royal; I am in pain in the unmentionable area after a few days of cycling. Even more bizarre since MEC has **several** inexpensive saddles that have much better anatomical shaping).

My review is not worth much now. You will need to contact me one year from now, when I've beaten them hard in the ice, road salt, road abrasives and slush of the Capital of Soviet Quebekistan. Just google my name, Stefan Jetchick.

Thank you!

How did I do with my reply to your email?
Please provide feedback here

Alex G.
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Service Centre
1077 Great Northern Way
Vancouver, BC V5T 1E1

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Telephone 888 847 0770
Fax 800 722 1960

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Telephone 604 876 6221
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3) S. Jetchick (2017-April-24)

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: Your MEC review {064f0d65-286f-11e7-80e5-005056ae19b8}
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:31:29 -0400
From: Stefan Jetchick @inquisition.ca
To: MEC Service Centre/Centre de Service

Hello Mr. Alex G.,

Thanks for getting back to me, and thanks for giving
me a heads up about taking down my review.

I know you're just a lowly employee at the bottom of
the totem pole, so please forward this e-mail to
whoever bosses you around (it contains three criticisms
of the MEC).

First, I'm happy to see you're still allowed to use the
first letter of your family name! When the MEC will get
even bigger and faceless, and when the legal disclaimer at
the bottom of e-mails sent by the MEC will get even
longer, you will just be "Alex". Then maybe even that will
disappear, and you'll become just "Mister MEC Service

(That was an irony, of course!)

Second, says who we cannot "have any revealing personal
information on reviews"? Why would the MEC want reviews
for the products to have zero credibility?

Currenly, any moron with many e-mail accounts can "bomb"
the MEC web site with garbage reviews. When I posted my
review (the first review I've ever posted for the MEC,
and I've been a member for many, many years, and I've
purchased many, many products), all I was asked for was
a **nickname** and an e-mail address. And my review appeared
on your site, even though the e-mail address was never
sent anything (in other words, I might have been able
to just use "SpongeBob@SquarePants.com" or some other
fictional e-mail).

What is wrong with **requiring** the reviewer's MEC
Member Number? Wouldn't that help certifiy that the
review doesn't come from some student intern working
for a manufacturer and tasked with creating "fake news"
about a product?

Not only did MEC **not** ask me for my Member Number
before accepting my review, but now they have REMOVED
it because my name is on it?

Wow... That is so 1984 Thought Police...

Third, isn't it a bit strange that my review was taken
down, and "coincidentally", my review was rather negative?
I gave 2 stars out of 5 for this product.

I almost fell off that bike when jumping over a curb
because the pedals were the "slipperiest" pedals I had
ever seen on any bicycle I've ever used (MEC Moss). I
had to purchase two other sets of pedals, and just
gave the bad ones to the lady at the MEC return
counter, since I felt bad throwing away two brand-new
pairs of pedals.

The pain in the unmentionable male parts caused by the
amazingly cheap saddle (Selle Royal Freccia) is serious
and debilitating. Fortunately, many years ago that
had happened to me, and I remember sitting in the doctor's
office, after having explained my horrible pains, and
the doctor just giving me a blank stare, then BINGO!,
I almost screamed out: "My saddle! I recently changed the
saddle on my bicycle! That must be it!" Thank God I
self-diagnosed my problem, because the doctor had no
clue! So this time around I did not have to go to the
doctor just because the MEC cheaped out on the saddles.

In my review, I had not mentioned two other problems. One
minor (MEC currently does not carry the Tecktro Novela
brake pads necessary for that bike), one less minor:
the freewheel is so cheap (i.e. ball bearing race is "press-fit"
not screwed) it cannot be disassembled. This means it's
very hard to re-grease it with low-temperature grease
(i.e. "skidoo grease"). This means the freewheel pawls
will probably stick in the open position when the temperature
drops, which has the same effect as a broken chain (i.e.
you pedal, but nothing happens). Been There. Done That.

Anyway, is there really an "all reviews must be anonymous"
official MEC Policy? If so, where is it? Who came up
with that bone-headed idea? Does a majority of the members
of this Coop (we are still a coop, aren't we?) agree
with this policy? Do MEC members **want** a product
review system that is totally vulnerable to "fake news"?

Anyway, thanks for listening, Mr. Alex G., and please
don't take this personally. I'm sure you're just obeying
orders and trying to pay the bills. But (if that
doesn't threaten your job) please forward this e-mail
to the powers-that-be.

Thank you!

Stefan Jetchick
MEC #0263841-9

[Usual contact information]

P.S. View this e-mail in your browser:

4) Post-Scriptum, or Post-Mortem actually (2021-March-22)

A few days ago, I went to the MEC (I had not been there for quite some time), and was so shocked by the prices that I walked out without buying anything. The next day, after telling this to my cousin Nicolas, he laughed a bit and told me to wake up and smell the coffee: the MEC recently went bankrupt, and were sold to somebody. So it's not even a cooperative anymore. They just kept the name because Canadians once loved the Mountain Equipment Coop...

So, another death in my family... After my Marie-Claude, my Church and my two Countries, now my favorite outdoor store is dead...

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