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

  • 20 February, 2005 at 3:05 pm

    Halford’s Removal Tools Have you tried parking the car in the street? Radio’s are normally removed in minutes.

  • 21 February, 2005 at 4:45 pm

    Excellent! I didn’t think of that… but now you come to mention it… 🙂

    Thanks for the comment!

  • 5 March, 2005 at 8:25 am

    More on the 100 cheque card Yes Maplins have the same “rule” but their sales staff at least have the common sense to appear apologetic when making this demand. Getting back to Halfords – The assistant had most of the right attributes necessary to do his job: Healthy looking, clean cut, confident and a dab hand at the till. He was sadly lacking in the one thing necessary for even the most basic level of customer service – Humanity – not humility – HUMANITY!. This person was so arogant you could almost smell it. In the right job you could imagine him making the lives of thousands of honest hard working individuals miserable and worthless. Shame because the other staff who assisted me in my selection of goods were quite the oposite.

  • 5 March, 2005 at 11:24 pm

    Oh yes! I know exactly what you mean! Was this in the Bishop’s Stortford branch as well?? If not, it sounds as if it is likely to be a ‘feature’ of Halfords sales personnel… sigh.

  • 4 March, 2005 at 6:12 am

    100 cheque guarantee card and address on cheque After a rather unpleasant “discusion” in front of other customers I was informed that
    a/ There is no 100 printed on the card – Wrong!
    b/ Hafords do not accept this as cheques still “dont go through” in spite of this.
    I would of course be interested in Halfords view but would rather not get into the same level of “discussion” whith one of their staff again.

  • 4 March, 2005 at 7:05 pm

    Sounds like another pretty poor level of customer service. What amuses me is that the people employed are possibly quite alright, but they are just not empowered to do their jobs to the level of service we expect. On the scale of things, Halfords sales assistants in Bishop’s Stortford are possibly higher up the evolutionary scale than, say, KFC or McDonalds… but there is a lot more for them to do!

    Compare that to the service in HSBC in Harlow – I spoke to Raj – it was excellent. In fact, I might just blog it next!

  • 6 June, 2005 at 6:29 pm

    We’re not all unhelpful retards such as this!! I’ve worked at halfords for 5 years during my education and trust me, I and all my colleagues would have lent you those release keys. Sorry you had a bad experience, that store must be a bad egg, every area has one.

    C. Lewis, Doncaster (shame you can’t shop at ours)

  • 8 June, 2005 at 12:10 am

    I don’t mean to run down all Halfords stores or employees – just this particular one. Like you said, not all stores are equal… and clearly not all employees are – I only wish I was more local to Doncaster as you sound both more motivated to help and more articulate than the person I had dealings with in Bishop’s Stortford, too!

    In a more mellow moment I would probably think it through and realise that the guy I spoke to had probably had more than his fair share of idiots trying to rip off the store, and it was Boxing Day so he probably didn’t really want to be there… but ultimately I know that if I dealt with people in the same way he dealt with me, I’d soon be out of a job.

    But thanks for taking the time to read and respond – always good to get a comment now and again!

  • 15 February, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    I know that you’ve paid for it, but in all honesty it really isn’t too hard to fit this yourself. Personally, I’d ask for the refund and get on with doing it. The hardest part is getting the head unit out – if you can do that OK then all you do is take off the connectors on the back and add on the Dension connectors. Your original wiring then plugs back in to the new Dension sockets (it’s like you’ve add a new wiring loop to your head unit).

    After that you connect the Dension components in line with each other, routing the cable to the cradle carefully. I used a Brodit Pro Clip to mount the cradle in the car and that was it… job done, and less than ten minutes.

    You really could save that money and look at doing this on your own… unless you are really very unsure about anything to do with wires, that is!

    On the other hand, contact the Halfords head office and ask for the complaints department – it’s a hoot, and it sounds as if you’ve got every reason to complain!

    Here ya go – from their website:

    “If you are still not satisfied our Customer Service department is at hand to assist.
    You can contact us by:

    Email: customer.services@halfords.co.uk

    Phone: 0870 870 8810 (Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00. With the exception of Wednesday 10:00 – 17:00. National rate applies

    Fax: 01527 513529

    Post: Customer Services Department
    Halfords Plc
    B98 0DE “

  • 18 January, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Heres another Halfords classic, bought a bike for my son (14) described as a “dirt jump”. Constantly went wrong, when the pedal fell off yet again they refused to repair it (only 6 months old) as:-
    (QUote) “its obviously been used off-road so the warranty is invalid”
    This from the bike sales supervisor who then went on to tell me that “these bikes aint built to be used for dirt riding and I know what I’m talking abart cos I’m a trials bike user”.
    So, why do they sell a bike implying that it can be used as a dirt jump bike but the minute it gets a bit muddy etc say that its obviously not!!!!!!!!!!!

    As an earlier post says “Halfrauds”

  • 15 February, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    I bought my Dension Ice Link for my car between Christmas and New Year from Halfords and it still hasn’t been fitted. I waited 4 weeks for the dashboard cradle to arrive and then after I had done all the phoning with no customer service from Halfords I was given a fitting appointment of 15th Feb at 1.15pm when I left the car today the fitter wasn’t there(why book me in at 1.15 if hes at lunch until 1.30) he was out for lunch and I came back at 2.30pm and the fitter didn’t know the car was waiting for the fitting so needing to come back to work the job still hasn’t been done. 100, 7 weeks, no courtesy call, nothing, anger has encapsulated me. Can anyone give me advice on how to complain to Halfords please? SHAMBLES SHAMBLES!!

  • 10 April, 2006 at 12:16 am

    i cant believe all the trouble most of you have had with service at halfords! i have been a employee in 3 different stores over a 4 year period, never had a complaint about my attitude, so why cant others be polite? i have alot of personal problems in mind, and still i give a lot of service with no arrogant attitude i just keep my head up high! All it takes to knock someone else with little confidence is a customer with a sour attitude about something that probably was not our fault! i bet if i called/visited all you non halfords employees (depending on your jobs) ill have some kind of poor customer service! all the stores i have worked in have never had a complaint!

  • 28 October, 2005 at 11:35 pm

    I’m pleased to hear it… which branch are you at? I ought to go to you rather than the ones near me.

    So why is it called ‘Halfrauds’ by lots of folk, then?


  • 19 October, 2005 at 10:08 pm

    as said in the top comment not all us people that work for halfords are such retards i have worked for halfords for over a year now and i agree with the first person any one of are staff would lend you the tool no quivels asked. and i can quite happly say some staff at halfords(very small minorty) dont now wot there on about but most of us do and if you came to my store (gravesend, kent ) albeit a trek you would recive good customer service !!

  • 19 October, 2005 at 10:13 pm

    i agree with you tottaly mate i work at gravesend branch for a year and a half now and we would do exactly the same as wot u said even gone and pulled out fpr them without charge wee cant help it if we get some crap staff who dont now one end of a spanner from another
    thats all i can say i now i know wot im on about im a aqualfied bike mechanic and some of our fitters in our store are sh*t hot it sreally f**ks me off wen people take a stab at us like this when we have some many good staff actually in the company T.Arnold’ garvesend Store

  • 19 October, 2005 at 10:16 pm

    1 thing to say not all us halfords staff are like that
    a halfords employee who knows wot hes on about and a qualfied bike mechanic!!!

  • 6 April, 2006 at 12:08 am

    Uh oh – sounds to me as if the whole organisation needs to look more closely at it’s customer service levels.

    Simply apalling, IMO.

  • 9 March, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    I wasn’t going to point that out, but you are right!

    has anyone noticed the general quality of written notices in shops these days? I regularly point out to clueless sales staff their blatant errors… sometimes to very blank looks.

    It feels like a one-man-mission to change things, but there surely must be more folk out there like me who absolutely detest shop notices with bad use of apostrophes, incorrect spelling and so on? OK – the occasional typo or lax spelling is OK, but possessive apostrophes… ? C’mon, it’s basic stuff!

  • 23 April, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    I have shopped at halfords for a few years now and have found all the staff helpfull,freindly and very proffesional in there attitude to customer care.
    Alpine head unit and changer, ��499 fitted in one week out side where i work.
    Mondeo exhaust arrived 2 days early, branch phoned me.
    Spokey joe child trailer, bent wheel, whole trailer replaced.
    I won’t go on and bore you all.

  • 4 April, 2006 at 8:41 pm

    And it is not just radio removal tools…..

    Purchase a cycle lamp from Halfords and prepare to receive no customer service when you need replacement bulbs….

    To quote a letter from Head Office:

    “Unfortunately we are unable to re-order the bulbs and send them to your home…..this is Halfords final view on this matter.”

    Thanks Halfords, we know where not to shop in future.

  • 24 April, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    Brilliant tale of woe! I am constantly amazed by the variety of ways that some Halfords’ staff find to be obtuse or rude. Sounds to me as if you got a real peach of an employee… and as for the customer service department, you’d have thought they would offer to organise the fitting at least, or even perhaps (dare to think it) offer a small discount on the work, given the trouble you had to go through.

    Yep – the more I think about it the more I say that Halfords as an organisation has a very great deal to put right. Some staff are real diamonds, but they are few and far between. Perhaps I should start a google map of the location of Halfords stores worth visiting – it’d be quicker than making a map of those not worth a light, it seems!

    Keep those stories coming in – let’s see if we can get Halfords to acknowledge their situation and address the very real (and very reasonable) needs of their customers.

    Of course, in the interests of fairness, I’d be happy to hear any good experiences customers have had. Let’s list them side by side and see which gets most… 😉

  • 24 April, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    I must agree with some of the negative feedbacks left on this site! Halfords is one of the last shops that I will ever visit after going to Guildford branch to get set of alloy wheels.
    Called the store before going there to ask if they definitaly had the corrent fittings for my car (MK3 Golf) been told that it is a very popular car and thare will be no problem with the fittings for Golf as it is such a popular car.
    Purchased the wheels for very good price and waited at the counter for my fitting to be told that unfortunately they do not have them in stock(this being after I have paid for it)I have been advised that I can go to other Halfords store to pick them up, so I spend all Sunday driving around Surrey, calling branches to see if anyone had this fitting to be told that my car is not a polular car and that this fitting has to be specially ordered!
    So I called the Guildford deputy manager who told me that he will order them on Monday morning and will call me to let me know when they will be in the store.
    By 11 on Monday I still did not hear back from them so I called the store, to be told by the deputy manager that I am not the only customer that he has to make order for and he will call lme when he does! I found that pretty rude after all the running that GUILDFORD Haldfords created for me, so I called their customer service and complaint about the Guildford and the deputy managers attitude. I have been told that either C. service or the deputy manager will call me back regarding the order.
    Unfortunately the deputy manager did not have the courage to call me so he got one of his people to call me back to inquire what type of car I had! At that point I had enough! Called the customer services to complain again.
    This time the call handler asked me: “and what do you actually want us to do?”
    I was speechless I must say. I guess that the customer service at Guildford store is next to nothing! And the complaints department at Haldfords is in serious need of customer service training!
    I guess that I will have to get a refund on the wheels and visit a reputable dealer!

  • 13 April, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    I have to say that I am delighted to hear it, but I have a nagging suspicion that you are the exception that proves the rule…

    When you say ‘something that probably was not our fault’, do you think that people come in to Halfords looking to start a row? In my case, I went hoping to be sold the very thing I was told was in stock… it wasn’t in stock and the person I spoke to had clearly mislead me. I think at that point I had a right to raise a protest, don’t you? Adding insult to injury by telling me I couldn’t borrow a cheap set of removal tools without paying a deposit was ridiculous and if I had treated a customer in that way, with suspicion and no desire to help them, then I would certainly expect to be given a hard time.

    And that’s what this blog entry was set up to do…. it looks as if much of what people get in terms of customer service is falling squarely at the feet of the employees of Halfords, not the customer.

  • 9 March, 2006 at 11:42 am

    I gave up using any branch of Halfords a long time ago. You have only to look at the grammar and spelling in the letters from Halfords employees, to realise the quality of staff that they employ.

  • 10 November, 2006 at 2:34 am

    I worked for Halfords Winton store from mid 1955 to early 1957. We had quality staff at that store. In those days, we would go out of our way to help customers, including loaning tools that they required, if they parked in the car park at the rear of the shop(a different shop to that which now exists opposite). However I guess most of our customers were from the local(reasonably) area, but a telephone call from anyone would get total help from staff. I started out as a bicycle mechanic, but ended up behind the counter. We had our choice customers who wanted to split hairs, but I believe they all got good service, as I recall the same people coming back again and again. By the way, I Still cannot respoke a bicycle wheel lol. I always had to get someone else to do that job hahaha. I now live in Australia where service can be very lacking at times. I think it is a sign of the times. People just can’t be bothered, if they have to do something manually to assist. Pity

  • 10 November, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Many thanks for that – I really wish there were more folk with your attitude and approach in these times. I am lamenting the demise of a common sense approach in all of these (now) formulaic retailers.

    I went around the country over the summer, working in different locations across the UK. All of the town centres I visited could have been the same place. Where have all the unique shops gone? Why have we let the same shops dominate our high streets?

    I feel another rant coming on, but this time not aimed squarely at Halfords!

  • 15 November, 2006 at 7:50 pm

    Having had my car cd player stolen from my car and the wires leading to the cd player cut in the process I was given a new cd player as a present…. the cd player was from my boyfriend with “free fitting” at Halfords where the item was purchased….
    I contacted halfords and was advised by a female member of staff that it would cost me £15 to put new plugs on the wires but the fitting of the player would be free…. I then called back to book my car in and was advised by a different member of staff, this time male, that the “free fitting” was simply on the conditions of a 5 minute job eg out with the old and in with the new….. he advised me that I would need to pay £39.99 fitting costs and £15 plug costs plus vat…. I informed him that I had previously been told otherwise earlier that day, the gentleman stated that when my cd player was stolen and the wires were cut the job had become a 30 minute procedure for the halfords fitter which meant i was no longer entitled to free fitting…..
    I am thoroughly disgusted in the service which I received and the manner in which the second member of staff told me why I would get these costs as I am not a child and understand that my misfortune at the hands of petty thieves has left my car wires in need of more than 5 minutes attention.

  • 15 November, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Lisa – I am sorry that you have had to have the double indignity of being robbed, and then being insulted by those who should be more helpful.

    I’m pleased you came here to let us all know – I only wish I could find a member of the Halfords senior management who is brave enough to come here and respond to some of these criticisms.

    Despite some rare cases of care and attention to the customer’s needs, it seems as if Halfords really are a bunch of no hope crooks who just want to take your money. If there is anyone out there who can offer some examples of really good and consistent customer service I would be delighted to hear from them. Otherwise we can only conclude that Halfords have deservedly earned their nickname and that they employ vast numbers of people barely able to communicate, let alone empathise.

    I am hoping against hope that there is at least one Halfords employee educated and articulate enough to put an alternative point of view across…

  • 15 March, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    I had an equally dismal experience with halfords in St. Albans trying to get them to finish fitting an iPod mount – they started the job at the beginning of July and finally finished it in December – I had to go all the way to the chief executive to get a response. Really really hopeless. they did give me an iPod for my trouble but I’d rather they’d done it right in the first place and not wasted hours of my and their time.

  • 10 April, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Hi all,
    another Halfords employee so bias im afraid but saying that i completely understand where some of you are coming from, i know are customer service isn’t great sometimes but too many people dont give us much of a chance, they have one bad experience in one store and then are put off by the comany as a whole and think that it must be crap through and through, ok some of the people halfords employ are dimwits but your not going to get huge enthusiasts working there when all you get payed is bout five pund forty an hour. And sorry but ok sometimes we are in the wrong but we are only human like you, some customers think we should know everything but we dont unfortuantely, and the people that come in screaming blue murder because we dont just give peoples money back willy nilly and then saying “i know my rights” well im sorry alot of the time you dont and thats why i politely say that actually no because all our policies fully comply with the sale of goods act 1979, we are not here to rip you off honest. Another example the gentleman that complained in one the above threads about a bike he bought in the “jump bike” category and then we refused to fix it under warranty well sorry but you could buy a 2000 pound pro downhill bike and it will still say somewhere not designed for it because the manufactuers have to cover themselves sorry guys its a harsh world out there but please next time you want to shout at a sales assistant think….he’s probably on shit money doesnt really want to be there and most importantly he is just doing a job, hes not responsible if he cant do something hes just following the rules…the rules that he didnt make himself!
    Ripspeed and parts sales assistant Halfords Weston-super-Mare

  • 18 April, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    I work within a Bikehut department. I have noticed a few of you have had concerns with so-called “Dirt Jump” bikes.
    The reason why damage to these cycles are not covered under the warranty are explained within your handbook, which, you will have recieved when you collected your cycle. I believe its section 12.
    The cycle is a “Dirt-Jump Style” and damage caused through crashes or landing incorrectly is not covered.

    The common damage caused to these cycles are: –
    1: A Failure of the rear wheel bearing or spindle.
    These cannot just snap, requires a tremendous amount of force.

    2: Rear Gear Mechanism entering the spokes: –
    Normally caused through a previous crash bending the securing mount. Enter top gear and presto, crunch.

    3: Bent handlebars caused through bike landing upside down.

    4: Forks bent: –
    caused through hitting top of jump.

    Just thought i would clear this up.

  • 21 April, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I agree, as Bikehut employee of five years i hear this all the time.

    We will ALWAYS replace or repair any genuine manufacturing defect. However it is a sad fact that a lot of customers cannot see reason.

    Would you buy a Vauxhall Astra from Network Q, crash it and return to the store expecting it to be fixed under warranty?

    Would you buy a DVD player from Currys, drop it on the floor, then call them all the names under the sun because they wouldnt give you a new one?

    The same goes for bicycles. Some of our bikes are designed for dirt jumping. However, we as a company cannot assure you that if the bike is being thrown around a lot that things wont break.
    The same is true if the bike hasnt been maintained. You cannot expect to leave a bike outside for 10 months, get on it in the 11th and bring it back to us complaining about the rust.
    No manufacturer will guarantee a bicycle against abuse.
    Kona, Specialized, Norco and Giant are some of the big names in downhill MTBing today. With some of their bikes costing upwards of £3,000. However none of these guys will replace parts broken as a result of downhill MTBing.

    It’s just the way it is throughout the industry.

  • 2 July, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Bikehut employees – you may feel that you are different in some way, and that the customer’s expectations are wrong (and in that last one you are probably right), but the fact remains that Halfords are not able to provide competent, polite and well informed customer service people at all of their stores. The result is a shambles of user experiences, ranging from the plain rude to the ignorant and arrogant attitudes we are receiving as customers.

    As for expectations being wrong, it seems that we expect better than we get. Repeatedly, as this thread is showing, Halfords departments are letting people down.

    Of course, we have to balance that with the tens of thousands of happy and satisfied Halfords customers who every day go through similar experiences and do not see it as a bad thing. There is at least some hope for Halfords then, that they do not have to do anything too radical to improve their image. However, they really ought to do something.

    A single rotten apple can ruin a whole barrel. Halfords have a lot of decomposing apples in their stores, it seems! Now, over two years later I still won’t go in to a Halfords store. I need some reassurance that things are better, that staff training is above average, that I won’t get fobbed off, poorly informed, avoided by sales staff in-store (yes, they actually seem to disappear when customers arrive) and generally dealt with in a courteous and accommodating manner.

    Still, paying peanuts, you are bound to attract more than one monkey, I suppose.

  • 6 July, 2007 at 6:43 am

    We have all had bad days at work. How many of you guys go into work with an attitude of an ass and cant be bothered? For some of you this may involve sitting at a computer, or in a factory ect. The only people that see you in a bad mood are the people who are closest to you. Your friends and collegues.
    If a shop assistant has a bad day, he/she is on the front line. The public see them in a bad mood. If a customer has a dicky fit at them through no fault of there own what are they suppost to do? Do what i do when i enter a shop. Be kind, if things arnt going your way explain the issues calmly. They are most likly to help you then. Shouting at them just makes them even more depressed and they will think “what an ass”.
    Remember, next time your in a bad mood at work, you try puting on a happy face all day and dance around singing la la la la.

  • 5 October, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Almost every other car accessory dealer on the internet is much cheaper than Halfords. Halfords have ALWAYS been expensive.
    I did a stupid thing and bought a car radio from Halfords on a whim. I later found out it was £30 cheaper at ALL other internet dealers most with free fitting in their stores. Halfords charged me a further £19.95 to fit the radio. It took them 10 minutes.
    I know, it serves me right for buying from them knowing they’re pricey, but even so be warned. Go elsewhere for your car parts.

  • 29 April, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Ok, so where is the problem?

    I work for a Halfords store in Manchester and i fail to see the problem.

    So you have drove a long way, and you havent even asked for the name of the person you spoke to. meaning if you do get there and you have problems you cant speak to the person who first dealt with you.

    Secondly, Halfords Audio Employees often have to buy there own tools to become able to fit into certain cars because the tools on offer are not available instore.

    If you asked me to borrow my tools round the back of the store i would of told you no straight away. You might be a trust worthy person, but not everyone is. and whilst your outside using this gentlemens tools he is instore working in a highly understaffed enviornment so he would not of even been able to come outside and check on you.

    You would not of borrowed my tools as they can cost up to £25, so i think the way you have been treated by this person serving you was very generously.

    AND, just because you drive from futher away does not mean you have a special priority, in that store you went to they clearly have a system for borrowing tools. And you can have the money back if you want to borrow them.

    I do fail to see your complaint and also, you must try to understand working in halfords is not like working at comet or curries we have a much more hands on approach and get more involved with the customer as they require certain products, im 18 and have worked there for two years and id like to think that i offer a good service to all customers but at the same time i cant do everything at once.

    I hope this helps to portray how halfords try to help but sometimes cant always.

    Cheers Nile

  • 29 April, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks for your perspective NIle – Always useful.

    The point in all of this isn’t that I drove a long way, it is that I was clearly told that the tools I required were in stock by someone who is assumed to be as knowledgeable as yourself, yet lo and behold when I get there the person is not available, the other staff are unhelpful, there is no trust, no respect no understanding and no sign of helpfulness. Call me old fashioned, but these are things that go a long way to determining the measure of a person. And it was Christmas. Hardly being treated in a generous way, as you contend.

    Additionally, my complaint is not a one off occasion, as the many comments on this post verify. This is not the first time I have been treated in an off-hand way by Halfords’ staff and when I wrote the post I clearly felt that enough was enough.

    To redress the balance slightly, I was in need of a rear bulb for my car recently and the only available place to get one was Halfords in Brentwood, Essex. The service in that shop was light years ahead of Bishops Stortford or Harlow, and many of the branches mentioned here. It seems there are some staff at some stores who are able to string more than a couple of sentences together and have more than a basic level of English. Sadly, this is not a common trait, in my experience.

    You may fail to see the complaint, and I sincerely hope you apply the same level of reasoning the next time you are greatly inconvenienced, mislead and left in the lurch by a shop assistant. I suspect that like most other people though, you too will find fault, and be tempted to tear into someone because of their appalling level of customer service.

    I note both your age and your length of experience in the store, and I commend you for putting your comment together in a comprehensible way.

    However, you have clearly chosen to work for Halfords, and as such are the human face of the company. Your inability to do everyting at once is irrelevant – no-one expects you to do that. What they do expect is clarity, sincerity, acknowedlgement of the issues, and a genuine effort to try to put things right in a way that is not condescending, arrogant, dismissive or plain rude.

    I am pleased to hear that you are able to be helpful, and I understand that tools cost you money. Manners, on the other hand, cost nothing, and being able to empathise with a fellow human, communicate clearly and take an interest in someone else’s needs are also fairly easy to come by. Having worked in retail myself, as well as many public facing roles over the last twenty years, I can say with some certainty that these are the values that will earn you greatest respect over time.

  • 19 May, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Halfords Letchworth. Friendly 100% helpful staff. very good advice. Fitted my top box perfectly. Would recomend this store!!!

  • 20 May, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I am very sorry to hear that you recieved such poor customer service from that retard. I myself work for Halfords and I am shocked that someone could be so useless. Please dont let people like that ruin Halfords. What the guy should have done was get the chap off his lunch to begin with. In relation to the tool situation someone should have gone out with you and given you a hand in actually taking the stereo out for all your troubles. thats what i would have done any way. and every halfords stock those tools and we have at least 20 of each every week so im sure he was just being lazy.

  • 10 June, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Date – 11/06/2008

    Branch – Winchester Road, Southampton

    Products – Kenwood Stereo + Fitting
    Fusion Sub + Fitting

    I have already spoken to the manager of the branch but he was not willing to rectify the situation and sent me away with my problem.

    I purchased the stereo in July 2007 and had it fitted by Halfords. In October 2007, I decided that I would like a Sub in the car. The technician checked my stereo and my car and agreed that I may have one fitted. Halfords fitted this for me and I was happy with the service. The sound was good for two months until I started losing bass from the sub.

    I took the car in and the technician stated that the wiring was not done properly and rewired the back of the stereo. The sounds worked again for a further two months. I took the car back and forwards and the problem was blamed on wiring.

    I had the car checked again on 09/06/08 and was told by the technician that my stereo is not giving enough power to the sub. This is due to the fact that my stereo does not have a pre-out connection. The sub is wired directly to the spare channels which should only be used for small speakers.

    If I was told at the time that my stereo is not designed for a sub and that I would have problems with power-loss, I would not have purchased a sub until I upgraded my stereo.

    I have been told that nothing can be done for me and it is my own fault for having this type of stereo. Now, I have a Halfords fitted system that does not me a customers’ expectations in terms of quality and professional service. I have a completely useless system for which I paid a large sum of money for.

    My system is still under warranty and I am still told that it is my fault even though the technician at the time failed to divulge extremely important and factual information.

    Whats a crappy service. Soon, they will be shedding jobs again and losing valauble customers!!!!

  • 6 August, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if Halford’s could send an employee from a different store (or better still, from Head office) to meet and accompany a dissatified customer and witness how shop staff deal with customers. To be impartial, they should not take part in any discussion, simply observe. The feedback to head office would be truly invaluable and this could form part of an in-house escalation process for customer services. Naturally the store and the staff in question should remain unaware of this action. But we may see pigs fly before then!

  • 15 August, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Hi all,
    Just had bad experience with Halfords Newport South Wales. Purchased a Parrot. Whilst being fitted the fitter scratched the front of the cd player….not once but many times in the attempt to remove. Think he must have been using a fork! He also lost my radio code. The manager is dealing with the problem……….in his own time. No apology received……….As for Halfords head office customer services….?????? Total lack of service. If not resolved to my satisfaction…..next stop my local press.

  • 21 August, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    If you had spoke to me like that I wouldn’t have even let you borrow them !.

  • 2 October, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Just Another Member Of Halfords Here =) Just Wanted To Say Something …. People That Have A Bad Experience Complain Straight Away Post It All Over The Internet And Tell Everyone, Now I Say That For Every 1000 Customers That Walk Through That Door About 2% Will Have A Bad Experience But Everyone Will Hear About It. The Othe 98% Of Customers That Have A Good Shopping Experience Dont Type It Up All Over The Internet. So To Be Honest Where Not All That Bad, Next Time Anyone Gets Good Service Write It All Over The Internet!!! Seeing As You All Have Time To Complain, Cheer Up For Once And Write Something Nice About Someone!

  • 25 October, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Sounds like you are a pratt


    Let’s keep it impersonal as much as possible! Hal

  • 18 February, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Having worked for Halfords for nearly 6 years,i enjoy it,and can honestly say,that in these years i have had 1 customer complaint-reason being: customer had bought a bought a parrot handsfree kit to go into a new 3series bmw, on the friday before christmas.i had to order up a sot lead,to convert the wiring. i explained to the gentleman that it ‘was likely the part wouldn’t be here until the new year’,he said thats ok. Boxing day arrives,here this man arrives in looking to get the kit fitted,i told him again that the part wouldn’t be here until the new year. ‘you never told me that!’, he went on and on shouting,he wouldn’t calm down so we had to call the police. This gentleman,once released,decided to phone customer services and complain,and of course I was wrong. So 1 complaint in nearly 6 years,and essentially not my fault.

  • 15 April, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    hey buddy, really sorry you’ve had such a clear case of poor customer service, but why let a few bad apple spoil a harvest? i work in a halfords, managing a busy bikehut mez, my number one priority is customer service, but if it was at your expense, why didnt you wait what was obviously under an hour to talk to your sales adsivor? if it was that big an issue surley it wouldnt have been too hard to wait around for a little while, im not saying its your fault but if you want to talk to the specailist, you could have arranging visiting him on the phone at his store at a time when hes not going to be on lunch, i see little recourse in your complaint expect this;

    ‘i wanted a tool to remove my wheel’s i spoke to the specailist on the phone, i didnt bother to check when he was going for lunch, i figured i’d just turn up and everyone would know what im talking about. i arrived and to my suprise the guy was on lunch! so i thought instead of waiting an hour because i didnt bother to check when he was going lunch, i decided to kick up a piss because a sales assisant didnt know what to say.’

    doesnt sound fair does it? i think nile really hit the nail on the head, i think you are one of a percentage of people who think’s because halfords is a retail company you should be treated as a king and the staff are below human and dont deserve to be treated as human beings.

  • 15 April, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    “Heres another Halfords classic, bought a bike for my son (14) described as a “dirt jump”. Constantly went wrong, when the pedal fell off yet again they refused to repair it (only 6 months old) as:-
    (Quote) “its obviously been used off-road so the warranty is invalid”
    This from the bike sales supervisor who then went on to tell me that “these bikes aint built to be used for dirt riding and I know what I’m talking abart cos I’m a trials bike user”.
    So, why do they sell a bike implying that it can be used as a dirt jump bike but the minute it gets a bit muddy etc say that its obviously not!!!!!!!!!!!”

    you are such a retard. i would tell you to jog on too mate, its a dirtjump STYLE bike, unless your spending a grand on a dirtjump bike you aint gonna get something bomb proof, i could buy a BMW m3 and drive it into a wall, ask for warrenty and point out it doesnt say i shouldnt drive it into a wall because it isnt designed to drive into wall’s.

  • 19 April, 2009 at 7:41 am

    hi i work for halfords in havant and i agree shocking service i run the parts department and i do audio fitting as well if you had come in to my store i would of gone out and removed it for you free of charge as only takes a few seconds number 1 priority customer service i have 3 other stores within 15 miles of ours and i am getting customers come all the time complaining about thhere service needless to say they all ways come back to me even if they live nearer the other stores

  • 19 April, 2009 at 8:17 am

    this is the service you get in our store this is a genuine email to our customer services department about his visit to our store.

    dear sir or madam
    i was driving through havant on tuesday 13.01.08 at about 18.30 when i saw a halfords store. i’d recently had my screw in car areil stolen i had been driving around for a week with a very poor signal and having spotted the store, thought id pull in on the off chance that they may sell a replacment.
    as i walked into the store i spotted a member of staff talking to a customer,
    it sounded as though he were giving advise. when he had finished i enquired the areial. he advised me thatyou did sell your own brand replacments and took me to the shelf. he took two different types in stock and walked with me to the car park to check if either of them fitted, one did so he fitted it i returned to the store where he left the packet with the cash desk for me
    as a result of this exellent service i took a wander round the store and relised i needed some screen wash. i picked up a carton and out of the blue the same member staff asked me if i would prefer the pre mixed screen wash opposed to the mix yourself carton i was carrying. unbeknown to him i had picked up the wrong carton i allways use the pre mixwash. when i told this he advised me they were on offer 3 for 2. he then went out back to get me some as they never had any left on the display. he then carried all 3 to the cash desk for me.
    the reason for this email is to make you aware of the great service i recived at that store from that person. it was fantastic. it wasnt as if i was spending hundreds, i just called in on the off chance and brought a £9.99 areial.
    however as a result of the service recived i went on to buy other goods.
    somthing that should be applauded in the currant cllimate. as a result i wont hesitate in calling in there if i need anything in the future.
    people are allways qwick to complain but rarely feedback on the good things that people do. if you could pass this message on to the store manager or area manager on my behalf please do so as service like this desereves to be recognised.
    i asked the girl at the cash desk for his name i think she said frank but i cant be sure, but i know he had a few tattoos if it helps my receipt shows the time as 19.07 and ‘tran’ number of 161586
    kind regards
    tony ******

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