Halfords Customer Service, car radio removal tools

Here’s a small tale of woe which I should have written about earlier, concerning Halfords in Bishop’s Stortford.

When I was fitting my Dension ICE>Link into my car, I needed some radio removal tools. I checked around and found pictures of what I needed – flat bladed tools which inserted into slots underneath the radio to release it and allow me to fit the wiring harness.

I rang Halfords in Bishop’s Stortford and spoke to a salesman there, describing my car make and model, the radio and even describing in small detail the type of tool I’d need. I pointed out that I definitely didn’t want the round tools, a bit like the wire from a coat hanger, I needed the flat blade like tools suitable for my car. He checked his stock and told me that he had five sets in and that they were suitable.

So I drove all the way to Stortford.

When I got there the person I had spoken to had gone for lunch, and I was left with some other chap. I described the phone call and he pointed me to the shelf where the tools were, and happily handed me one of the five packs of round tools that he had there. I explained that I needed the flat blade type of tool, whereupon he became vague… “erm… I don’t think we, er, stock those…”

Imagine the conversation after that –
“but your chap said…”
“ah, yes, but he’s on lunch”
“but I’ve had to drive all the way here…”
“sorry mate, not my fault…”
“Do you have a complaints department?”
“Erm… well, we do have some of our own tools you could borrow…”
“OK – sounds helpful – I’m parked behind your store, what have you got?”
“These” (showing me a similar tool to what I described over the phone)
“OK – can I borrow those for a few minutes then?”
“You’ll need to leave a deposit…”
“a deposit – we can’t lend those out to just anyone”
“so let me get this straight – I’ve driven all the way here at my expense, on the assurance of your member of staff, to find that I have been mislead and that instead of you being helpful you want to now suggest that I am untrustworthy enough to want to steal a tool that I need to use for less than two minutes, in the car park behind your store?”
“it’s company policy”
“about that complaints department… I will be sure to ring them, and to let everyone I can know about the appalling way that you have treated this situation!”

So – consider yourselves told… and be very careful if you ever feel the need to go into a Halfords store!

85 thoughts on “Halfords Customer Service, car radio removal tools

  • 13 April, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Just a quicke , i have been installing car audio , phone kits etc for a profession for 24 years and the amount i have to put right , that the people at halfords fit runs in to 100 over the years . profesionals my arse .
    But you can blame the staff they have had little or no traning on most things you can only blame halforda upper management who claim they can fit when most of their staff
    have little or no traning at all and i am soory their is lttle or no traning avalable .
    No substitue for experance sorry guys stick to selling air freshners..

  • 20 May, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Halfords are a one stop shop for everything to do with bikes and cars. Bikes and cars are specialist subjects in them selves, then there are the sub categories e.g. car audio. For one store to specialise in every area is impossible. I work for a Halfords competitor that is a specialised in car audio and installation. I do this as car audio is my hobby and I’m am proud to say that i have a good knowledge of the subject. You will NEVER find every answer about a product by going to Halfords simply because they dont know or want to know about the products they sell. This is by no means a dig at the halfords staff, they can only work with what they are given. If you want a specialist service such as bike repair or car audio, why not go to a store that specialises in this? It may cost slightly more but it is the service that you pay for! Halfords sell products in large quantities at low price whilst keeping staffing to a minimum to increase profit margins. This business model does not promote 1 on 1 customer service or great after sales service. I only use Halfords when i know exactly what i want and that it will not go wrong. This is simply because i dont expect the staff there who perhaps work 2/3 days a week whilst at college to have the indepth knowledge to help me find the right products. There are exceptions to the rule but they are few and far between.

    And for the guys with faulty items that have been waiting a while, the law is very lax in how these things are dealt with. Alot is at the stores discretion and time frames regularly exceed 10 days simply due to the fact that manufacturers are slow to repair or examine things. Granted that Halfords can probably afford to swap your stereo without checking it first but a company policy unfortunately has to be fair on all customers. Yours may have become legitimately faulty but the next guy may have damaged it through his own fault, the only way to determine this is to allow the manufacturer to decide.

  • 23 May, 2011 at 12:36 am

    This post is aimed at all the Halfords employees who have stated lack of staff for poor customer service. I stood in Halfords today for 45 minutes for a stereo I have paid in full for and waited two weeks for delivery of stock. I had to wait 10 minutes to be served whilst three staff members were stood having a chat (in store so assume not on a break) and another who walked past and ignored me. Then I was served by a young girl who went to both deputy manager and main manager who was ”in but not in because he was doing stock” for help because my order hadn’t arrived. Each time they sent her back with different fob offs. She was lovely and helpful and quite frankly made to look daft by her managers.

    Needless to say, when I actually got to speak to the deputy manager he took my number, gave me a speech about the warehouse being rubbish with no word of apology about my wait etc. Doesnt suprise me since he was the employee who walked past me earlier! He then told me online orders have no collection date, more the customer has to call to check stock arrival. Lucky for me, I had the email on my phone stating delivery date and collection times to suggest otherwise.

    I did call customer service to be advised it’s the stores job to call customers and advise orders have not arrived. I made a complaint that will be passed to the store manager, same guy who was in store but not in store because he was doing stock. Basically couldn’t be bothered to deliver customer service. So I guess sod all will be done.

    Now to all the Halfords staff ranting on here. Don’t take it out on the customers because you hate your job and you have crap managers. Whether you get paid min wage or not, you get paid to deliver a service. I have not once witnessed staff shortage at this particular store. I have witnessed three lads so bored, they decide its a good idea to look at their phones and call each other C==K suckers. lovely.

    And to all the Halfords staff who actually want their job. I feel sorry for you and good on you for being better than your colleagues.

    To date, still out of pocket £109.99 and no stereo to show for it. Wonder if I’ll actually get a call tomorrow?

  • 23 May, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Humm u appear to be blind!! If you have never noticed staff shortages in Halfords. You must either be thick or not understand retail !!! I admit that if there were three assistant stood around that you shouldn’t have had to wait and that is something that does sadly happen in some stores as Halfords employ people who couldn’t give a f***. But surley if you were getting that annoyed and had been waiting long enough you could have walked over to them?!?!? Managers in Halfords are worse than the staff as they do consistently make random decisions and make us ( the guys on the shop floor) look stupid, but that’s not our fault, it’s the managers and head office! Rung up customer services and demand to soeak to a manager there, demand some sort of compensation for the troubles encountered but stop taking it out at store level as we have no control over deliveries. Again that is head office being s***, the other day I opened a box of newly delivered bulbs to find most of them were smashed! Just another example of how crap ho are!!!!

  • 23 May, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Me. If you read my post you will see.
    I called customer services, made a complaint. They advised me its store job to call customers and advise on failed deliveries. I have worked in retail, for three years in fact. I then moved on to better paid and treated jobs. So yes, I do understand retail. I understand it’s busy tiring and underpaid. Which is why when in store I am very patient and never rant or rave even in these situations. I have been rated and raved at in the past from rude customers who expect the red carpet treatment. Having said that, you still have to provide a service to all customers whether rude or not.

    As for walking over to the chatting staff members. I was waiting at the parts desk, someone is working that desk I assume? therefore whats the point me walking over to staff members having a grand old time on the shop floor? They would just say oh yeah he’ll be with you in a minute. Secondly staff members job to attend customers not customers job to seek you out for service!! Also once the helpful young girl came over and was dealing with me, wouldnt it have made her feel even more stupid if I went to a different member of staff and undermined her?

    I think you will find ”me” people can be reasonable, if you make an effort and attempt to help them whether your fault or not you’ll get less angry customers slagging off halfords staff on these forums. AND less having a go at you in store.

    For example and back to my purpose for returning here. I had a call from deputy manager today. He has tracked stock from a different store for all three customers in the same situation. As i don’t want to wait, I have suggested to have a different model. He agreed and said they can transfer payment over in store and I will get my unti today. YAY. Now, if I had received a call advising my item hadnt arrived but not to worry I can have a different model or wait until it comes in. Even though I have waited two weeks, this whole situation could have been avoided could it not?

    So I would say, instead of blaming everyone and calling them thick or blind, put yourself in the customers position and do your best to help. You will get treated much better for it. Another example if you want? They young girl who tried her best to help, I was very patient and calm with her. It wasnt her fault afterall and I could see her trying and getting nowhere with management. When I did complain and speak to customers services, I made a point to state how helpful she was and they assured me it had been noted as a compliment for her. I will be calling customer services again to advise the assisant manager came through (in the end after complaining) the situation is rectified and I am now satisfied with the outcome.

    I’m not going to get into a back in forth with you, as your attitude is a shining example of why customers are unhappy with certain staff at halfords. I would only suggest, if you hate it and cant be bothered, get another job. Customer of halfords everywhere would be better of if the bad staff were replaced with people who wanted the job.

  • 23 May, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Did I ever say that I didn’t want or like my job? I have been reconised as one of the best employees in my area. I have a degree in automotive engineering from one of the best universities in England. I have never once had a complait made against me and very rarely do I have a customer complaining to me that I have not provided a level of customer service that is acceptable. I am disgusted by Halfords as a company as they give no help/ support/ training to their staff. If I didn’t have the background that I do I wouldn’t have a clue there, there just lucky to have me!! So before you Sartre saying that I suggest u think !!

    As for customer services all I was suggesting was that u should ring them to demad compensation. U would have probably got a voucher to spend to make up for the trouble you have had, because as I said it is not acceptable. I was not blaming everyone, I was saying that if you have never noticed under staffing in your local Halfords then either they are the only store in the country that doesn’t have the problem or…….

    Not all Halfords employees are like the ones u describe, many in my store are working towards automotive qualification at their local college ( not through Halfords may I add) we have two parts guys who have been garage managers for well known car manufactures so before you go blaming every staff member just consider that there are some good guys out there!!!

  • 5 June, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    So two years back im at college learning to drive could do with some cash to pay for insurance tax ect. My local halfords has an opening in bikehut .Minimum wage but still im only 16 its enough to live on. Job interview. we strive for excellent customer service and offer full training so every member of staff has a good amount of knowledge in the department . im thinking great as a keen cyclist i would like to have a certificate in a cytech ( cycle mechanics qualification ) which would expand my knowledge of bikes and repairs. I was told i would be on a 2week training and review to see if i was good enough to been an employer at one of the best retail chains in the country. i got the job success i was absolutley chuffed . So first day arrives im doing a 3 hour shift in the evening …. hi there im your sales manager all the usual about being top of sales.. great customer service. all the ”BS” …. so half an hour later i have been shown how to kinda use the till . sales manager -ok then you seem fine … im off home WTF!!!!!! what about my training….we will continue in the morning…. ( which happened to be saturday bank holiday )……. THIS IS WERE IT STARTED GOING DOWN F_HILL…………. two and a half years later i still work at halfords the BH i work in is only run by two of us,we are both only contracted to do seven hours a week getting paid only 5.24 p/h and on average work around 42 hours a week….we have spoken to deputy and store managers and they basically refuse to do anything about it ,both just say talk to the other one about it and aparently we are both not good enough to be given a full time contract.Oh yes my full on training YEAH RIGHT! . during the two years i have recieved no training what so ever just the occasional 5 min breif on how to use till system…everything about bikes i know i have had to learn through internet videos and magazines and practice on my own bike.There was an opening in department a few months back for cycle mechanic which was 5 days a week better pay and the hours suited me to the ground i asked if i could to a 2 week cytech course and they said no its pointless and cost company money ! FFS. Before any says why dont you leave if your unhappy… i already have a notice written but has anyone else tryed getting a new job in these current economical times… its harder than you think … so im sorry to anyone that has recieved poor customer service from me at my local store but try to understand that i havent had any management training so dont know how to deal with customer complaints ect.Im busting my balls everyday to try and serve everyone but when there’s only one of me try to run a fricken department you can understand that i get pissed off and rude…its none of the employee’s in my situations fault . its all the money grabbing suits at the head office that only care about making money and dont give a S#@t about there employees.In my honest opinion i think halfords is a terrible company and i feel for all the employee’s that are in the same situation, also to customers that have recieved poor customer service from HO and Branches. We try are best but when your promised all this training of course im going to look at you blankley when i dont know something. I have also tried to phone human resources on a number of times to explain situation . “SURPRISE SUPRISE” there either busy or dont answer the phone …… FML ….. Bring on my P45.

  • 5 June, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I just wish there was a button to ‘like’ what fml just wrote as it is true for the parts and in car technology sections aswell, after 3 years working there I’ve have 1 four hour training course……

    ” that’s helpful thats Halfords ”

    Humm I look forward to seeing the day when this motto can be truly lived up to … Lol

  • 15 June, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    just enjoyed reading complaints, ha ha abusive customers they make my day, treat me like shit then i will treat you like shit simple as that. Sadly there are not enough hours in the day to train you to perfection, manager does his best but he has a work load to do and does not have enough time to train you. every one has some thing to do. Customers are meant to be our number one priorty but we cannot be in two places at once.reguardless of what people may think i love my job and helping customers. i put my hand up, i do not know every thing, but will find some one that does, i work long over my payed hours but this is because i like to finish what i started. For all of you that mock halfords staff, remember this, we dont make the rules, please make your complaints to head office because i would love for them all in their armarmi suits to come and live in the real world and do the job we do for the pay that we get. Remember this without us little people you wouldnt have the suits on your back, or the expensive payroll

  • 5 July, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Having just endured a complete lack of manners and good grace from the two youths lounging behind the fitting counter in the TELFORD (yes, that is TELFORD) branch, I can fully endorse earlier comment to the same effect.
    Being told in as few, brusque words as possible that the company have BANNED them from doing this particular job is no consolation. (It was to simply change a battery in a car key fob – yes I did explain that I was aware that the codes could be lost, but I would deal with that myself) And the oik in question having a broad grin on his face at the time hardly helped.
    Use Halfords again ? Not until hell freezes over, ta very much.

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