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May 3, 2021, 7:14 a.m. -  Pete Roggeman

I think that sounds unreasonably harsh. Of course, you're coming at it from the shop perspective, and it's easy to understand your viewpoint, but it's not fair nor realistic to hold our dear Mr Poopie and friends accountable for upholding a 'bro shop'* code that - due to present conditions - could be unduly punitive. He's in a tight spot and realizes there's an ethical dilemma, so he seeks advice. The asshole, in my mind, wouldn't give the dilemma a moment of thought - he'd just tear his way through the options until the moment he decides he found the right one and pulls the trigger. It doesn't sound like the deposit in question is ironclad, which makes one wonder why that shop presented it as an option. I've put deposits down on bikes, tennis rackets, golf clubs and cars, and each time there was paperwork involved that protected both sides. If the shop chooses not to go that route, they have to suffer the consequences of it.  In any case, it's not the customer that is responsible for the life and death of a shop, it's the shop itself. It's probably the case in all retail environments, but I never understood the attitude that saddles the customer with a responsibility to ensure a shop's well-being. Sure, there's a symbiotic relationship there that can be a beautiful thing, but business and the market changes, and shops have to adapt and survive, or go out of business...just like yours did, when the owner clearly decided that going the corporate route would be beneficial. Even more confusing for the customer if there are different 'rules' for a bro shop vs a corporate shop. *I know we're all trying to get away from 'bro' esp because it's tied to gender, but I couldn't find a proper substitute at 7 in the morning.

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