Halfords complaints continue

My dispute with Halfords looks set to run and run, as my previous complaint against Halfords, dated July 7th, has only just been responded to. Last week I took the day off to wait for delivery of a CD player for the car, only for it to fail to turn up. I complained to Halfords with this email, and in the meantime the item did arrive (on July 8th, when I was in London for the A-Team screening) so I missed delivery.

Anyhow, the item has now been collected and installed in the car, despite my having to pay another £4.99 for a connector that I wasn’t informed about when I ordered the item from Halfords website.

I awaited their response from my last complaint before replying again, and it has just arrived. Here is what they said, count the excuses:

From: David Willis [mailto:David.Willis@halfords.co.uk] On Behalf Of Customer Services
Sent: 13 July 2010 16:05
To: Darren Jamieson
Subject: Re: FW: halfords.com – Order Received (ref ********)

Dear Darren Jamieson,

Thank you for your email. Please accept my apologies for the delay in our response, this has been due to an unusually high volume of written correspondence in recent weeks.

I am sorry to read that you have experienced issues with your online order. We regret to inform you that Halfords are undergoing a major warehouse relocation, consolidating 3 warehouses into 1. At this present time stock is being transferred from its original location to the new Distribution Centre and is being booked into to the correct location of picking and despatch. I apologise that due to this relocation your items were delayed within our system and we were unable to meet the advised delivery schedule.

This issue has been rectified and from your order information and DHL tracking information all items have now been delivered to your address.
As previously advised, Halfords have removed all delivery charges in relation to your order due to the inconvenience caused during your online transaction with Halfords. I can also confirm that the 5% discount was also honoured and actioned as per your correspondence with Customer Services. I will however escalate the order details to the correct team member to investigate why a call back was not given by the advisor in the time scale provided to advise you that this had indeed been actioned. The outcome of this action will be dealt with internally.

I would like to assure you that it is never our intention to cause distress or inconvenience to any of our customers and although mistakes do happen, we recognise that it is how they are dealt with which is important. I thank you for your patience in relation to this matter.

In reference to your compensation request, Halfords only compensate for actual losses and cannot consider your request for compensation reference a late delivery. As a company, we feel that it more productive and beneficial to address the issue and deal with the matter internally.

I appreciate this may not be the outcome you were expecting, however, please be assured that this matter has received my full attention and consideration. . It is only through feedback from our customers that we are able to identify areas where we are falling short of our customers’ expectations and can redress them.

Please accept my sincere apologies once again.

Yours sincerely

David Willis
Customer Contact Centre Supervisor
Halfords Ltd

Customer Services: 0845 057 9000
Web: www.halfords.com
Halfords Limited, Washford West, Redditch, Worcestershire. B98 0DE

Naturally, the fact they are moving warehouses doesn’t really concern me. It doesn’t explain why they failed to call me back or even notify me of the delay to delivery so I could cancel my day off, and it doesn’t explain why I had to pay more money again when I had the item installed at Halfords in Cheadle. So, here is my repost again.

Hi David

Thanks for your email, although again it was almost a week before I received a reply.

The items not arriving on the date I had specified was indeed inconvenient as I had taken a day off to wait in for them, and the day that they did arrive (July 8th) I was in London all day – hence why I selected July 7th for a delivery date. I was not advised that the delivery date would change (otherwise I could have cancelled my day off), and it seems a strange coincidence that the items were shipped hours after I emailed to complain. Perhaps the order was forgotten, or lost, until I reminded you?

However, they have arrived now and I have finally had the item installed at Halfords in Cheadle, Manchester. The staff were very helpful, and indeed quick at installing the item.

On the downside, I had to pay another £4.99 for a connector plug which I was not advised about when I placed the order on your website, despite running the ‘will this work with my car’ check. The fitter in the store mentioned that many customers are angry about this when they go in for fitting because the website never tells them about this connector, or even warns them that it may be necessary.

Perhaps your website should be updated to show this as you’re clearly angering a great many people by trapping them into another £5 purchase at the point of install after they have ordered from your website?

I’m sorry to hear that Halfords has suffered problems with moving its warehouse, but fail to see how that should affect customer orders, delivery dates or the inability to return phone calls. This seems to be nothing more than an excuse on your part.

I should also point out that the 5% reduction and the ‘free delivery’ were not added ‘due to the inconvenience caused’ as you put it. I originally had the 5% discount, plus the free delivery, when I placed the order several weeks ago on 22nd June, and have a text message confirmation to prove this (two messages actually). The failure of your website to process the order meant I was forced to try again, and again, and again, receiving a variety of unhelpful error messages before phoning up to place the order – where the original order price was finally honoured.

So, as you can see I haven’t received anything for my ‘inconvenience’, and have indeed had to pay more again due to the non disclosure of the website with regards to parts required. Perhaps you could look at this again… I’ll await your response.

Let’s see what they say next time.

Darren Jamieson

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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