My visit to Halfords.

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
Firstly I phoned the local branch to see if they had the ebike in stock.
Unbelievable but it went to a call centre in South Africa.
I asked to be put through to the branch.....no can do.
Very efficient and confirmed there was one in stock.
So, I went to the local store WHICH IS BIG.
Conversation went (this is genuine).......
Me.. I have come to look at the ebike.
Assistant.....we only have one in and that is boxed.
Me....ok, when will it be available to see
Assistant.....it won't. We can't take it out and build it just so you can see it:wacko:
Me......so how do I get to see it.
Assistant.....you buy and pay for it, we will put it together, then if you don't like it you can have a refund.
Me... you seriously expect me to part with £2K without even seeing it ??
Assistant...... I will ask my boss but you will get the same answer.
Boss came and said that if I am genuinely interested he will get it built for me.
Me (not happy now)......let me get my head around this. Can you give me a direct phone number.
Him......afraid not, everything goes to the call centre in South Africa.

I have not totally discounted it but will make the 110 mile round trip to Ribble tomorrow.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
What did you expect from Halfords?
Some branches are fine, some are mostly awful,
 

Electric_Andy

Heavy Metal Fan
Location
Plymouth
Doesn't sound like a bike shop to me. I think for years now they have relied on TV advertising, hoping that people will just order online and return if there is a problem. It might explain the apparent lack of training and enthusiasm of staff in the stores I've visited. Saying that, I bought my Wisper e-bike online without looking at it (although there were 10 or 12 detailed, zoomable pictures).
 

Brandane

Rain magnet.
Location
Costa Clyde.
I dislike Halfords, with a vengeance. I know there are good staff and bad staff everywhere, but Halfords seem more consistent at providing the worst of service, as if they are doing us a favour by their very existence. I got a Halfords gift card at Christmas from well meaning people who were thinking it was a good gift for a cyclist. I still cannot bring myself to going into a Halfords to spend it. They have nothing of interest in their cycling accessory range. I will probably end up buying some car stuff from the AutoGlym range, just for the sake of using the gift card.
 

Mo1959

Legendary Member
Firstly I phoned the local branch to see if they had the ebike in stock.
Unbelievable but it went to a call centre in South Africa.
I asked to be put through to the branch.....no can do.
Very efficient and confirmed there was one in stock.
So, I went to the local store WHICH IS BIG.
Conversation went (this is genuine).......
Me.. I have come to look at the ebike.
Assistant.....we only have one in and that is boxed.
Me....ok, when will it be available to see
Assistant.....it won't. We can't take it out and build it just so you can see it:wacko:
Me......so how do I get to see it.
Assistant.....you buy and pay for it, we will put it together, then if you don't like it you can have a refund.
Me... you seriously expect me to part with £2K without even seeing it ??
Assistant...... I will ask my boss but you will get the same answer.
Boss came and said that if I am genuinely interested he will get it built for me.
Me (not happy now)......let me get my head around this. Can you give me a direct phone number.
Him......afraid not, everything goes to the call centre in South Africa.

I have not totally discounted it but will make the 110 mile round trip to Ribble tomorrow.
Honestly think you should stick with Ribble Dave.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
We all know about the variable service at Halfords but this sounds like a directive sent down from on high.
Very odd as the best way to sell something new and interesting is to display it. I know it’s not the same field but when I ran a hobby shop which sold large RC ARTF aircraft we were encouraged to put new models together and hang them from the ceiling. Makes you wonder about the skills of management.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
For balance, I bought a Trek last week from a very well regarded, local (but not local to me) bike shop about a hundred miles away. I couldn't view it because of the distance, but I'd done my research, knew what I wanted, they had one boxed in stock (there were only two in the country), so I paid and they booked a courier. It arrived boxed, part built, and was exactly what I expected.
So not much different really. Most retailers (including LBS) are getting boxes in, building and then selling to a waiting customer, the days of retailers having examples of everything out on the shop floor may come back one day, but they went away (at least temporarily) in 2020.

Even my 2 closest LBS have very little to view. One is a Genesis dealer and he's got 2 road bikes in, if you want to view say, a tourer, there simply aren't any to view or try. If you want to try one, the shop owner will order one and you will wait, but before he orders one he'll wish to be very confident that you are genuinely interested and very, very likely to buy it. (And he's a really nice guy!) He simply can't afford to have umpteen shop soiled bikes on his books at the moment. So it's not a Halfords thing.
 
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Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I’m thinking it might be an age thing as well. Younger people are used to buying online without ever having seen or touched the product relying instead on customer reviews or YouTube. Older folks usually like to see what they are buying especially if using a bricks and mortar store.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
You went into Hellfrauds? Did you tie a rope around your ankle first?

I have some sympathy with them. The things are shifting so quickly at the moment very little hangs around in stock. That being the case, why build one up just for the display only to risk it getting shop soiled and then reduced in value? One way or another itll be sold and out of the stock room in a day or two, so where is the inventive to muff about when they can already sell more than they can get?

These simply aren't normal times, and the normal conventions of nicety and convenience are the first to go during the biggest crisis the retail sector has seen in 8 decades. Carrera ebikes have been massive sellers (last year Halfords were proclaiming that they outsold every other make of ebike combined) during this period, and doubtless Boredman bikes gell into the same black hole, so will have been very hard hit. I do recall before Covid was invented that they did have a fair selection in thr Buke Hut at our local branch.
 
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cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
You went into Hellfrauds? Did you tie a rope around your ankle first?

I have some sympathy with them. The things are shifting so quickly at the moment very little hangs around in stock. That being the case, why build one up just for the display only to risk it getting shop soiled and then reduced in value? Ine way or another itll be sold and out of the stock room in a day or two, so why muff about?

These simply aren't normal times, and the normal conventions of nicety and convenience are the first to go during the biggest crisis the retail sector has seen in 8 decades.
boxed bike might have been sold waiting to be built up ? i know of a LBS taking orders for 2023 !
 
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