Bindings mounted incorrectly by shop

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 Big Lee 28 Jan 2021

I'm fairly new to skiing, so need some advice. I bought my first pair of touring skis last week, together with bindings. The shop mounted the bindings for free, since the skis and bindings were a joint purchase. The problem is the wrong scale was used on the jig in the process and the bindings have been set about 40mm too close together. I haven't been sort things out properly since as the shop shut soon after collecting the skis due to Covid restrictions, although they are still operating online. 

What are my typical rights in this position? The shop have vaguely talked about a discount, but personally I would just take the original price and not have a load of filled screw holes in my new skis. What is the typical protocol or customer rights in these situations? I never signed a disclaimer of responsibility, or anything like that. Thought I'd get some advice here before pressing my position.

I live in Norway for some context. 


In reply to Big Lee:

I'd ask again politely saying you don't wish to escalate things. A mass of negative social media posts would destroy their online trade pretty quickly. 

Not sure if norway has 'open shop' like sweden where you have a right to a refund regardless. In effect they sold you a 'ski packet' that isn't fit for purpose, and or damaged your skis if you go else where to shift them.

Is it a chain, or private? Some of the chains don't always have the most experienced staff. Xxl are pretty poor.

Post edited at 08:26
In reply to Big Lee:

Random thought. Do the front and rear bindings not mount separately on a single base plate?

 Big Lee 28 Jan 2021
In reply to summo:

It's a sister company of a broader fairly well-known chain. I'd rather not her mention the name as it was a genuine mistake I think due to the pressure of trying to clear jobs before being forced to closure due to covid. There's good experience in the shop, so that's not the problem. Not XXL 😉

The bindings are in two parts (Marker Alpinist 12), so presumably both the toe and heel sections need relocating in order to keep the centre of gravity in the correct place.

 Doug 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

I've changed bindings on skis before which has meant drilling a second set of holes & filling the old holes with glue/resin (opinion seems to vary on what's best). As long as the old & new holes are not too close you should be OK. But shouldn't happen with new skis & bindings so I would have thought the shop should either exchange for a new pair of correctly mounted skis or offer some compensation for a mistake. But I know nothing of Norwegian law.

 DaveHK 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

I had this with a pair of skis from Sport Conrad. After a bit of toing and froing including the offer of a paltry discount they paid for return to Germany and sent out a new set of skis with the bindings properly fitted. If a shop is going to fit bindings the expectation is that they will do it correctly and while a second set of holes isn't a disaster you've paid for new condition skis so that's what you should get.

In reply to Big Lee:

I agree, your weight could potentially be 4cm to far in either direction if only one was moved. Have you been speaking to the boss, or the workers. The boss might value their reputation and chance of repeat custom more. 

Edit. They do have 14 day open shop, but I couldn't find anything about fit for purpose. I'd be amazed if they didn't. 

Post edited at 09:50
 Sans-Plan 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

Do your boots even fit ? 40mm is a massive amount in terms of boot length

If they knew what BSL they were meant to be mounting to and didn't do that then that's their mistake, I would want a new pair of skis with the binding mounting in the right place !

 Big Lee 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Sans-Plan:

Yes they knew my boot measurement. The scale for another binding was used on the jig by mistake though, hence the positioning was massively out.

 DaveHK 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

I know of a shop that won't mount bindings unless you've bought the full package from them. Clearly not confident in their workshop staff to get it right and potentially very expensive if they get it wrong.

Post edited at 11:18
 HeMa 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

First the reality side.

Most skis can handle multiple mounts, if the holes are not too close to each other. Flimsy touring skis and big skiers require more distance between the old holes and new ones. And some skis handle it better than others (so those with a metal laminate near the top.

The being said, mounts are done in relation to boot center. So with Tech Binding like the Marker Alpinist, both front and toe need to be moved for an optimal "mount". And if the mount is 4cm off, that actually means the toe and heel are only 2cm off --> we are getting close to the rule of thumb for minimum hole spacing (generally 1.5cm, but since your big some additional reserve might be vise, unless it's a really stiff freeride ski, with metal laminates).

So it can be ok and no problems. Or you can rip out the bindings whilst yer skiing them... But since you're a big bloke, this can happen even if not problems would have happened in the mount... it depends on the construction of the ski and your skiing habbits.

Now on the business side. If you provided the correct bootsole (or better yet the boot) when the mount was made, you are in fact entitled to a new ski, their bad. The binding is naturally what can be moved.

But if it is a smaller shop, this will put a severe dent in their business... un-used ski but with pre-drilled holes is generally 50% off.

And if they don't happen to have another suitable ski on stock... well then yer hosed.

Final food for though. If it is a well built wood core, metal laminate ski. You'll prolly be ok with the 2cm difference between the hole-centers (new vs old). You could even search a bit online on where people actually like to place the boot center on those specific skis (e.g. some models of skis benefit by mounting say 1 cm forward of the mount point in the ski -> 3cm difference, you should be golden... or some skis are better if mounted 1, 2 or even 3cm back, even better). So a remount and discount (~40 to 60% of the skis value) could be reasonable.

Now if the ski is a foam filled flimsy touring ski... IMHO not good... but foam-filled cap skis are shite anyway for any real skiing... great on the up though, as they tend to be light... problem is that the core turns to mush and soon they are like wet noodles... so skiing back down sucks even more than on a flimsy woodcore-laminate ski... and why do you skin up, if not for the skiing down. In this case, I'd go for a full refund and pick a better ski (see above).


 DaveHK 28 Jan 2021
In reply to HeMa:

> un-used ski but with pre-drilled holes is generally 50% off.

When I had this with Sport Conrad they offered me about 10% off. I said 50% was more like it or replace the ski whichever they preferred. They gave me new skis. Fair play to them, it took a while but they did the right thing.

Post edited at 11:21
 Big Lee 28 Jan 2021
In reply to HeMa:

Thanks, useful information. My boots are 331cm length. It's these skis that I bought, in the 182cm length.

They're 'aluminium, carbon-glass fiber', so I presume that they would cope ok with a 2cm shift in theory, based on what you say?

In reply to Big Lee:

I would be looking for a full refund or replacement of the ski, in the OP's case. No question about anything less, in my opinion.

I also think the distances HeMa has quoted for proximity of holes are way too conservative. You can usually place them much closer than that without any issues at all, even on skis without a metal laminate, especially if you fill the holes with epoxy and fibre glass rather than the plastic hole plugs.

Post edited at 12:00
In reply to Big Lee:

Hi Big Lee,

If your not interested in a discount and your paid full price then you should expect a new set of skis. They only have to replace the ski and again at trade that's not to bad, plus they will get a bit for the other ski.

 Big Lee 28 Jan 2021
In reply to ecrinscollective:

Hi, thanks for these replies. It helps to have a bit of concensus about what is normal and expected under these circumstances. I'm going to politely insist on a new pair of skis as suggested by quite a few people, which was my preferred choice from the start.

 robhorton 28 Jan 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

Even at 50% off the skis it's only ~25% off the whole package - I'd be worried about having problems with them a few years down the line, long after any guarantee has expired.

 HeMa 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

No aluminium layer, but lightweight woodcore laminate ski. It has an aluminium insert at the tip for Dynafit skins though.

Better than foamcore-cap ski. But not a heavyweight freeride ski by all means.

2cm should be ok... I think I'd be ok to live with it... but I'm small (and lightweight) and ski like a grandma... You are a hair bigger afaik and heavier.

And with tech binders, the hole pattern and nature of the bindings do put up with more train on the mount than a nice Look P/Rossi FKS binding with a lot of elasticity.

So it might be OK, provided the discount is enough... or you get a quarentee on the mount... when you rip out the binding, new skis and proper mount .

Or not.

 HeMa 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Graham Briffett:

> I also think the distances HeMa has quoted for proximity of holes are way too conservative. You can usually place them much closer than that without any issues at all, even on skis without a metal laminate, especially if you fill the holes with epoxy and fibre glass rather than the plastic hole plugs.

Yes and now... Certainly you can do it... but once to start rippin' out binders from skis, you start to leave more reserve...

Falling at high speed when the darn toepiece rips out from the ski is not fun...

And if my whoppin' 70kg is enough to do that on a proper full metal-wood sandwich ski, then someone almost twice my weight is certainly going to put more stress on the mount.

First time this happened, I have 1.5cm clearance from hole center to hole center on Völkl Explosives (so thick wood core and aluminum or titanal as they called it then layer on top of wood). It was not nice... nor was skiing back to civilization on one ski. Oh, and only two mount holes were at 1.5cm, the rest further away.

Then onwards, I generally use 2cm center to center, and still have ripped the Dynafit Beast toepiece out of the ski (can't anymore remember what, might not have had metal laminate but they've been burly freeride skis) I've been even more conservative.

And yeah, I fill out the old holes with slowcure epoxy and either steelwool or wood.

 wbo2 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee: I have it on good authority that new skis would be considered normal, and pretty impossible to refuse.

To Dave HK.' I know of a shop that won't mount bindings unless you've bought the full package from them. '

More likely that it's a royal p.i.t.a. - it takes time, the skis take up space and the risk of f-ups is too high. Not worth the bother for what people will pay.  You'd be surprised how long it takes to mount a set, and cut skins to fit, and if you don't have someone good doing it , it soon gets messy

In reply to Big Lee:

These shops that offer packages and/or mount bindings won't accept returns on them, which is fair, since the ski becomes used as soon as the drill goes into them.

So it should work both ways - they should offer you a very hefty discount or replace the skis. Having a few filled holes is no big deal, but a bit of a downer since you are probably excited about your new skis.

As an aside, there seems to be a lot of discounting going on since places are clearly struggling to get rid of last years stuff, let alone this year. Touring gear could be a different matter, since that's exploded in countries where the lifts are closed. Definitely still bargains to be had though.

Post edited at 18:15
 wbo2 28 Jan 2021
In reply to fibonacci moose: my understanding is that they've drilled in the wrong place, so they're not a return as they've never left the shop

One point..  did you tell them a shoe size, or are your boots there too?

In reply to Big Lee:

They cocked up your order, they can sell your skis to the next bloke who wants your size. What you bought isn't fit for purpose, so they should refund or replace. 

In reply to wbo2:

my point is that if you made the mistake (e.g. gave them the wrong measurements or changed your mind about the skis), they wouldn’t accept them back if they’d been drilled  

so if it’s their fault, they should own it and give you new skis or refund you   

 Big Lee 28 Jan 2021
In reply to fibonacci moose:

Thanks, I politely but firmly stated my preference for new skis today and it all worked out fine. Picking them up tomorrow. It was much easier to discuss this sort of stuff once I knew what was considered a reasonable request. Doubt anybody will want the same ski length and original binding position, unless there's someone out there roughly 192cm tall with roughly Euro size 40 feet. 

 crayefish 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

If you bought a car and the wheels were mounted on the doors, would you keep it or take it back? 

 Jim Hamilton 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Big Lee:

As an aside, I bought the Alpinist 12, as no lightweight, but thought the medium pin hard to step into, so swapped for the soft one which felt right and no pre-release.  

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