AP NEWS

Bike Shop Gift Card Holder Left Feeling ‘betrayed’

March 28, 2019

KINGSTON — When Wendy Narcum visited Main Bike World on March 9, the inventory of bikes looked very low and she asked the owner if the place was closing.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, where are the bikes? It looks dead in here. Are you going to close?’ He said, ‘No, I have a shipment of bikes coming in,’” the Shavertown woman recalled.

Days later, Main Bike World at Kingston Corners abruptly closed, leaving Narcum with $700 in unused gift cards that might now be useless. Many others are in the same situation.

“I feel kind of betrayed he lied to me,” Narcum, 47, said Wednesday, noting she had been patronizing the shop for nearly 20 years.

Main Bike World abruptly shuttered to the public on March 13 with dozens of customer bikes in the store for repairs.

Court records show a months-long effort to evict the bike store owner, Rich Rosa, finally took effect on that day, indicating he would have known the closure was imminent after judges had temporarily pushed back several prior eviction dates.

Rosa, who had a lease to pay $2,000 per month, owed at least $42,000 in rent as of December, plus $5,000 in attorney fees, according to court records.

 

Asked how people could get their bikes back, Rosa on Wednesday responded to a message sent to him online. He said to call his former landlord at 570-331-3427. He did not respond when asked what people with gift cards should do.

Main Bike World opened at 200 Wyoming Ave. in 1997, becoming the anchor tenant of Kingston Corners, one of the area’s busiest and best-known intersections.

Narcum said she got her gift cards from a friend she gave her used car to and also from her sons as a Christmas present. She was planning on buying a new bike this month.

“It makes me feel sad. People did a kind deed for me and look what happened. They could have spent the money on something else,” Narcum said. “I don’t want to have to throw $700 in the garbage.”

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis suggested customers with gift cards to Main Bike World should contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.

Corine Tresler, co-owner of Kingston Corners, said one of the bike companies Rosa dealt with, Trek, came to take back the inventory of new items they had in the store.

She said she’s been working hard to try to return bikes to customers who had them in the shop for repairs. Tresler said she returned about six bikes so far and still has about 15 more in her possession.

One of them belongs to Gus Panagakos, 52, of Dallas.

Panagakos said he had the bike, a Trek 8500, in storage for two years because a part needed to be repaired or replaced.

A few weeks ago, he took it out of storage and brought it to Main Bike World on March 13 — hours before Rosa was evicted.

Like Narcum, Panagakos was surprised that the inventory of bikes was so slim.

“I asked the guy when I went in there, ‘What, are you guys closing?’ He said, ‘No, I’m just waiting to get inventory in.’ I figured that makes sense to me, it’s almost spring,” Panagakos said. “That was it. I dropped it off and then I left,”

Panagakos said he had good experiences with Rosa in the past and he usually got the job done within a day. After not hearing from Rosa for days, he called the store, but got no answer. He then visited and saw the store wasn’t open when it should have been. A few days later, Panagakos read a report in The Citizens’ Voice that the shop was shuttered for good.

Panagakos wonders why Rosa accepted his bike if he knew eviction was imminent.

“If you would be closing, why would you take my bike?” Panagakos said.

Contact the writer:

bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2055, @cvbobkal

 

 

GOT GIFT CARDS?

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis suggested customers with gift cards to Main Bike World should contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.

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