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WARNING- DO NOT USE HALFORDS FOR BIKE REPAIRS!!!! (Or anything else actually)

(27 Posts)
smartiejake Thu 09-Jul-09 23:45:35

We took my DD's bike into Halfords (Basildon branch before you ask me to name and shame)last Sunday to get a tyre changed as she was doing a "Bike-ability" cycling proficiency course (starting on Monday)and we noticed the back tyre was cracked.

When we got home the gears didn't work and the nuts on the back wheel were so loose the wheel could have fallen off. angry By this time the store had closed.

Luckily she only rode around the drive way before realising the gears were buggered and my DH discovered the loose nuts whilst looking at the gears. I shudder to think what could have happened if she had ridden it elsewhere and the wheel had fallen off. angry

Although DH did his best he couldn't really work out the gears and the next day the cycling proficiency instructors said it wasn't safe. Luckily she managed to borrow a bike from her friend or she would not have been allowed to do the course (which was excellent BTW should any of your DCs be offered the chance to do it.)

I have sent Halfords a very snotty e-mail and am waiting for a reply (but would not set foot in their stores again even if they paid me- I would rather a trained monkey serviced her bike- I'm sure they can be trained to tighten nuts at the very least!)

The cycling instructor said he had heard of endless horror stories about Halfords' cycle repair service and that it was referred to as the "H" word in the cycling world (in the manner of the "F" word I presume.

Both our DDs need new bikes very soon. Guess where I will not be buying them.


Let's have an MN boycott!

LaurieFairyCake Thu 09-Jul-09 23:48:01

I think you should give them a chance to set the matter to rights before speaking of boycotts.

Tis a bit harsh.

Washersaurus Thu 09-Jul-09 23:48:13

I hate Halfords too, thank you for giving me a good reason

Northernlurker Fri 10-Jul-09 00:02:48

I've had excellent service from Halfords actually, they were prepared to fix punctures for me on at least two occasions when the independant bike shops (located closer to my work) have said they were too busy. You've had a bad experience but it doesn't reflect on the whole chain and I think you should wind your neck in a bit.

smartiejake Fri 10-Jul-09 00:04:50

Sorry Lauriefairycakes but I just don't trust them to fix it safely (the instructor advised this as well)and have spoken to quite a few other people in the last few days who have come up with similar horror stories.

Northernlurker Fri 10-Jul-09 00:10:30

smartie - try applying a bit of rational thinking here.

Do you think the Halfords repair person was trying to harm your child by not tightening the bolts?


Right so the fact that they were loose indicates that either they didn't have time to finish the job and check it or they made a mistake. People do make mistakes - you and I do, everybody does. What you should do is take it back and complain, get it fixed and tested in front of you and give Halfords the chance to refine their procedures so they don't mess up again. Just flapping around saying you don't trust them is just silly imo. Doesn't get your bike or their skill levels fixed does it?

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 10-Jul-09 00:11:35

The other incidents are just hearsay, sorry, I think YABU

Which does not take away from the fact that you have had a bad experience

lal123 Sun 12-Jul-09 19:06:05

Halfords are useless. When they were fitting a light in DHs car the bloke dropped it into the engine. They took it "round the back" to take off the front spoiler bit to get access to the engine and couldn't find it. Told me it much have dropped out on way "round the back", I didn't believe them - took car to propoer garage where they retrieved and fitted the lightbulb. Apparently (!!) it wasn't particularly safe to be driving about with a halogen bulb floating around in the engine. I took garage bill to Halfords (wasn't a big amount - less than £20) - they disputed that it was their fault. It wasn't til I made a huge fuss with the manager at the tills that they eventually stumped up. tits

Washersaurus Sun 12-Jul-09 20:36:03

DH once left his car at a Halfords for some reason or other, and it was reportedly used by staff for joyriding around the car park hmm (although he did know one of them I suppose)

Our Halfords bike trailer is falling apart after 3 uses (to be returned as faulty) - amongst other things one of the safety harness clips has snapped.

I just don't think they offer the service/quality they once did....and don't seem to care.

halfordsuck Sat 16-Jul-11 20:39:55

I spent £480 on a halfords voodoo hybrid cycle,They put it together and after 2 miles the pedal fell off,It was put on wrong,So i took it back and it took them 2 weeks to get a new part so i was without my new bike for 2 weeks.
They eventually asked me to collect on the friday,I thought best to try it out in the car park,Pedal fine but now the gears would not change,They messed about for 30 mins and asked me to return the next day,I live 20 miles away so i was not happy.
I returned and although the gears not fixed properly i took the bike with the intention of a proper bike shop tuning the gears,I had gears 1-18 but 19-27 the chain was rubbing.
I got my bike home and went for a ride,A hilly road cycle of about 10 miles round trip,While i was going down a very steep hill at pace the handle bars twisted forward nearly causing me to go over the top,They had not tightened them back on properly,I cycled home very slowly as the handle bars were so loose,This caused scratches to the paintwork on the handle bars,I will never ever use them for anything bike related,Their Incompetence and neglect to the safety of customers is unbelievable.

queenie53 Thu 21-Jul-11 10:08:30

Reading this has reminded me of an occasion a few years ago at Christmas when my son was testing his brother's new bike, bought at and assembled by Halfords. He rode it over a bmx ramp, the handlebars folded forward and he went flying over the top onto the pavement. Luckily he wasn't hurt badly. His brothers found the scene absolutely hilarious, but it could have been different and I wish now I had complained to Halfords. They do employ young school leavers/college students as bike mechanics, my daughter has several friends who have worked there doing just that on their days off. I don't know how much training they are given.

supadupapupascupa Fri 22-Jul-11 22:05:09

a very good friend of mine is an excellent repair man for halfords and has had his own business doctoring bikes. He is fabby and therefore I think you have just had a bad experience.

coffeecake Sun 24-Jul-11 15:44:05

My husband has just had a bad experience with Halfords too, they were meant to refill our air conditionning and they told him that for an extra £10 they could put this special dye that can detect any leak in the air conditionning system, DH said "no it's fine just do the refill" and when he came to pick up the car they'd already done it and charged him the extra £10.
He was furious, also originally he was quoted £65, and on the final bill it said "original quote £89.99, £24.99 manager discount, new price £65, £10 extra for detector dye" or something like that.
He will never set foot in that shop/garage again. They are scroungers.

zoe88 Sun 24-Jul-11 15:53:53

My local Halfords (perth) are fab. Have used bike hut and garage on many occasions can't fault them. Don't run them all by the same stick

carrickkey Mon 13-Jul-15 09:15:35

Have had my bike serviced at Halfords in Glasgow and it is like a new bike. The staff were brilliant and really went the extra mile for me. The manager helped me out to my car and helped me get the bike safely on the bike rack as well. He even gave me some tips on ensuring my bike rack was secure on my car. I will definitely use them again.

jordanlt11 Tue 03-Nov-15 13:38:54

i understand your frustration, things like this do happen unfortunately.
as other people have mentions mistakes do get made and i think the comments made were a bit hasty.
I am the cycle mechanic at a Halfords in the midlands i find that we are over run with on the spot repairs so we may find less experienced colleagues carrying out the work on customers bikes, i have mentioned to a few regular customers that the colleagues are more than capable but if you have any concerns ask the bike hut manager or the cycle mechanic to check over it for you.
so do apologise on behalf of the company but mistakes do happen.
i hope the problem was resolved for you.

c4productions Sun 07-Feb-16 20:13:03

How can you brand the whole of halfords for this mistake they must be around 500 stores in the uk. It's like mcdonalds screwing your order up and saying the same sort of thing about them!

Helnbac Thu 06-Oct-16 17:19:47

Customer service experience @ Watford Store.
I was wondering if anybody has experienced the Cycle Team in the Watford store. I brought a bike approx 10 months ago for my son, it was returned within 3 months due to a fault with the gear lever, they took the bike off of me and said they would ring me, no paperwork nothing, next day bike was repaired, approx 3 months later both gear shifts broke, again returned the bike, again they said leave it with us again no paperwork, this time on collection I asked why do these keep failing, got some response thin oil and plastic components. a couple of months later hey presto one of them broke again. This time when I took the bike in, the bike was inspected and I was given paperwork. So got a phonecall the next day saying that the bike had been poorly maintained and it would cost £232 to resolve, so advised me to write it off and buy a new one!. Was a bit suspicious of this so asked him how my bike had deteriorated so fast considering it was returned 2 times previously and nobody had given me an advisories on it, at which point he turned round and said I could not comment I have not seen your bike before, he also stipulated that he was the only mechanic in the cycle shop and had been with Halfords for 9 years. So I asked can you not do the warranty repair on the bike and I will consider the rest, he said no I cannot return an un-roadworthy bike, so all or nothing, at which point I challenged him and the Manager that if he was the only mechanic and you stipulate all bikes are checked who had repaired my bike previously and released it back to me, which seems to contradict your statement about un-roadworthy bikes etc, as you can imagine no answer was given
So I thought I should report this along with the bike being a write off in 10 months, which my son is using as I have had it checked over by a competitor and it is fine except for some re-greasing due to the inferior quality oil Halfords use on the bikes. So the executive complaints department have requested the information from the Watford branch who have stipulated that the bike was not able to be repaired etc, etc. But my issue is that because they never gave me paperwork for the 2 previous vists and I cannot give them the exact dates and times they have implied I am lying.
So buyer beware, unless you can take a copy of that days paper and ask the shop assistant to hold it up with his/ her name badge and then photo graph them with the other hand holding the bike, good luck.

Yoarchie Thu 06-Oct-16 17:29:50

Go to a local recommended bike shop, not Halfords. I bought ds a bike at Halfords and used their assembly service. They assembled it incorrectly which I found out once ds rode it for a while and it was crackling as he was riding. Never again. Get an islabike or something like that and get it fixed in a good bike shop. They retain their value for eBay.

MewlingQuim Thu 06-Oct-16 17:30:01

My friend bought a new bike from Halfords, she said it felt weird to ride and showed it to me - the forks were obviously fitted back to front confused

I wouldn't get any servicing etc. done there, find a proper bike shop.

malehere Sat 22-Jul-17 01:30:57


Lifegavemelemons Sat 22-Jul-17 02:18:14

My local Halfords is fab, I use them all the time for small car issues, like lights to be replaced. Dd got a rather expensive bike from them that they have serviced over the years (she took it on planes and boats as she cycled through Europe ) it's still a great bike.

I live in a small town with a VERY active local FB page - no trader would survive if they got a bad reputation. You've had bad luck, but the incompetence of your local Halfords staff has no effect on the competence of mine.

BiscayTrafalgarFitzroy Sat 22-Jul-17 02:49:57

I was having problems with my battery/alternator. Halfords tested them both and said they were fine. I broke down on the motorway the next day because my alternator died. It worries me that Halford's staff give out advice when they're obviously not qualified to do so. It put me in a really dangerous position.

crabb Sat 22-Jul-17 06:00:12

What is it with the crazy zombie threads tonight? This is the second one I've read - this one's 8 years old and the other one's 10 angry

leafv Sat 22-Jul-17 06:05:25

It looks like malehere as got so angry about Halfords he has searched old threads about them so he can write long posts in ANGRY CAPITALS! hmm

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