Why I hate H*lfrauds.


Senior Member
Ipswich, Suffolk
Hi everyone, I'm very new here... have just bought my first ever road bike a few months ago on the Cycle 2 Work scheme run through Halfrauds. I love the bike, it's great. a Claud Butler San Remo. I know it's not a fancy dan bike, it only has 14 gears and it's quite heavy. but i have done many hundreds of miles in the few months I've had it, and every one was ejoyable... except for when I got lost and ended up doing about 20 miles more than I had planned....

Last Sunday (28/10/07) while out on a long run, the rear freewheel (yes, freewheel, not cassette) broke., somehow. and I was stranded, managed to get my old man to come and give me a lift home.

Since then it has been at Halfords, awaiting the new freewheel to be put on the bike. I took it in and was told, "oh yeah, that'll be fine maet, got some coming in on wednesday, standard stock so we'll pop another one on for you" wednesday comes and goes, so does thursday and I havent had a call from them to tell me what's happening. so i call them on friday and chase them up. apparently they didnt get the part in on their order... but didn't have the decency to tell me! they still haven't fixed the bloody thing, 10 days after i took it in! they also have never once phoned me to give me an update. I have called them and ben promised dates 3 times.

Now, is it unreasonable of me to think theyre useless tw@ts? do repairs take this long at half decent places?

The jarring thing is that it has cost me nearly £20 in bus fares to get to work so far... I could have taken the £20 to my LBS and got it fixed. but it was on warantee so I took it to them...

The latest update is that there is a company wide shortage of these "standard parts". which is rubbish, as I know they have them at the other halfords store in Ipswich...

I'm very sorry for the length of this post. but i am very annoyed.


I think its safe to say that you've learnt your lesson dudi!!


Senior Member
Ipswich, Suffolk
well I presumed I had to take it back to halfordsas that's where I bought it...
Both my local small bike shops ae CB dealers and would do the repair for me in an afternoon.

I'll give one of them a call in the morning and see what they say.

thanks for the suggestion.



New Member
Any other Halfords branch will do the job. The trick with Halfords branches is to ask around and chat to the staff and get a feel for the good ones. Some *are* good (I was great) but some are utter monkeys.

The same random factor applies to independent bike shops. Late repairs are, alas, an industry standard. And they wonder why we go to Wiggle for our upgrades...


LBS every time for me. Minor repairs like that should take no more than three days, even being out of parts. Major repairs, maximum two weeks. I suspect being under warranty that insufficient time is being devoted to it since it doesn't generate any revenue. Find out who the area manager is and send them a complaint letter and copy in the shop manager. It'll get fixed pronto.
If they have the same bike in stock they could remove the freewheel and fit it to yours.

Shocking service. I would have had a word with the manager long before now. I would have made it clear that if my issue wasnt resolved instantly by whatever means necessary I would be taking the complaint higher up the food chain.


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
I'll have to do and bang my head against the wall for saying this, but bonj had the right idea. He wrote a letter detailing poor customer service and finished it with "What are you going to do to entice me ever to set foot in one of your stores again?" They sent him a £10 voucher apparently. Might be worth a strongly worded letter of complaint, detailing your extra travel expenses. Not saying you'd get it all, but you might be lucky.


nothing in moderation
if the other branches of halfords hold the part, why don't they get them to send it over?


Started young, and still going.
Would it not be a standard 7 speed Shimano freewheel? I take it that the chainset is one of their cheaper ones fitted to MTB's normally. Either take your bike to another H*******s or go to your LBS. Just had a look at a San Remo in Evans and your gearing should be Shimano Sora? If so any bike shop should have the parts in stock. Noticed that only the shifters are sora, but they should still have the freewheels in stock.


Über Member
A small lesson that will stand you in good stead for many other areas of life is that; in order to make someone do something for you that they do not want to do, you have to make it more unpleasant for them to not do it than to just get on and do it.

Unfortunately I have to spend most of my working day, every day, chasing various teams and departments to get on with requests and so am quite good at it now. The best way is just to be constantly on the phone, asking for their manager, turn up in person and so on. Just make sure that are in their face the whole time so they don't get the opportunity to 'forget'. Email is good for keeping an audit trail but always make sure that you talk face to face if you need to exert some pressure as email is too easy to ignore. Good luck!


Senior Member
Ipswich, Suffolk
well, to give you all an update.

I phoned today and spoke to the manager, as far as I could make out. Lo and behold the bike is fixed now.

I had previously been told that they would get someone to bring me the part from the other store, but that didn't happen..

I am still without the bike, however. as when I inspected the work, i found a bigger problem. The faulty freewheel had moved so much that it had worn down a groove in the frame where the hanger fastens, and worn the hanger down quite a lot... I have demanded that they get me a replacement frame now... they've sent it off to CB, awaiting their response.

I've also borrowed my brother's bike for the time being... but it's not the same.

I'll let you all know how I get on... but it does prove the point that if you want something done you've got to talk to the puppeteer, not the marrionette. the organ grinder, rather than the monkey.

Elmer Fudd

Miserable Old Bar Steward
Do as I said and contact head office (I've done this as my step-daughter was having problems with one of their bikes and she now lives 400+ miles away and was getting fecked about). Tell them about your issues, tell them you are not happy with their customer relations, tell them the bike was not sold to you as 'fit for purpose', tell them you will probably never shop there again (a.k.a. bonj).
The frame is now damaged, not the nice shiny thingy you paid for and it is not your fault so demand a replacement / upgrade.
Why should you pay for the inability of their bike mechanics ?
Do you have any names ? Mention them to Head Office (that moves things a bit !).
But do not accept the frame back as it could (?) be weakened now, have you got the frame number in case they try to bodge it up and pass it off ?

Do this as soon as you are back online !!
Elmer Fudd said:

P.S. When you say CB do you mean Claud Butler ? Didn't know Halfrauds dealt with them ?

(BTW, Head Office is 1m from my Moms house, for a small fee when I go down to visit, I can firebomb them for you !!!! :biggrin:)
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