My experience of trying to buy a Boardman Comp FS...

BigPancake
BigPancake Posts: 5
edited December 2009 in MTB buying advice
Hi,

This is my first post on here I have been reading the forum for a while. I just want to share with you guys my experience of trying to by a Boardman Comp FS. I now have all my money back as I paid in full in advance and I am going to start looking for a new bike.

It is now 3 weeks since I ordered the bike. When I ordered the bike the salesman in the store told me that the bike would arrive in 1 - 2 weeks and I got an expected delivery date on the receipt reflecting that. Given that the bike was going to arrive fairly soon I decided to pay in full for the bike.

1 week after I ordered the bike I called the store to see if they had got it. But the bike had not arrived yet and I was told that it was expected next week.

On the 2nd week the expected delivery date had passed with no contact from the store. If the expected delivery date passes I think the customer should be called to let them know when the bike is expected. I went to the store on that weekend and spoke to the staff there I told them that the expected delivery date had pass and asked them to find out when they expected to get the bike. I showed my receipt and made sure they had my contact and order details my enquiry was noted in the diary and I was told that someone would ring me the following week. No one called I gave it a few days towards the end of the week I called the store no one seemed to know anything. As it was a weekday and about lunchtime I asked the person that I spoke to if they would call and find out when the bike was due to arrive. They agreed and said they would call me back that afternoon. I made sure that they had my contact and order details. Once again I received no call back.

At this point I was starting to get stressed about my order. I went to the store again on the weekend and tried to sort things out and get a new expected delivery date. Again all my info went in the diary and I was told to expect a call the following week. I also tried to get some of my money back and reduce my payment to a deposit because I felt that the original delivery date had passed and a new delivery date was not coming. I was refused this by duty manager in the store at that time as he said that he needed to discuss with the bike manager as the bike may arrive soon. This made me more stressed out about the order. I did not receive the call back again I went to the store once more to try to get the new expected delivery date and some of my money back. I was told that they had been trying to contact the head office/supplier but were unable to get any response from them. Also the salesman tried to keep my receipt which I refused and told him to write down any details he needed for himself.

At this point the store manager got involved. He was also unable to get a response from the head office/supplier and escalated the problem to the regional manager. I did then get a call back from store manager as promised saying that there are no bikes available and the expected delivery date for my order had been withdrawn by the supplier and was now indefinite but maybe there will be bikes available in June but not guaranteed. He also told me that the stock system was showing 6 bikes in the UK so if he could find one of these they would ship it to me. Unfortunately these 6 bikes dont exist and are a stock system anomaly. At this point I decided to get my money back the store manager did offer me GT i-Drive with money off but I decided I would rather go elsewhere at this point.

Throughout the whole process I had to keep pushing to get answers and to be honest it was exhausting and really put me off getting a new bike. I am going to be much more careful in future I know that I am a trusting person and sometimes I know people take advantage of that. I am not the kind of person who will ask for the manager from day 1 I will always try to work it through with people.

Here is what I think are the problems:

:arrow: I think communication within the store team was not good and could be improved. The department diary should be the focus for customer service and calls should be made as promised. The job of the store team was made very difficult if not impossible by the actions of the head office/supplier.

:arrow: The actions of head office/supplier are unacceptable and I think they are the ones to take most responsibility for what has happened. Changing an expected delivery date, making a delivery date indefinite and not responding to store calls is unacceptable.

Another point I would like to raise it the responsibility of the magazines who are reviewing bikes. I know from reading computer magazines that if they review a computer system they will only publish that review and give awards if the manufacturer can guarantee supply of the product to customers for n months after the review at the review price. Why bike magazines don’t do the same? This month I see the Pro FS with award but no one can get one with any kind of certainty so it is pointless. Yes, it is great value and has great kit onboard but maybe you need to wait indefinitely for it. This is not an option for me I dont want to start riding a new unfamiliar bike in harsh winter conditions.

From my experience I have a very bad impression of the Boardman brand they are unable to supply bikes to their customers. If I could have got this bike it would have been a good advert for Boardman FS as I am riding regularly meeting many people on my travels and was told by the store manager that this would have been the 1st FS located in my area. I am going to be sending a letter reflecting the above to Halfords and Boardman if I can find their address (any help appreciated)? But I wanted to let the wider community know about my experience so someone else doesnt get a nasty surprise.

I ordered a new bike now from another shop based on a friends recommendation. I had to pay more but I should get it in 1.5 weeks. I will write my experience of my new bike when it arrives for you guys. I live in the part of the UK where riders are free to roam with good trails on my doorstep, my hybrid definitely knows about it. :D

Thank you for the time you have taken reading this, I know it is long.

Many thanks,

Big Pancake. :D

Comments

  • adamskib
    adamskib Posts: 53
    Yup... I went to buy one testerday.. Wont be bothering now.

    Abysmal support when buying a bike... what is the aftersales going to be like?
  • Davy-g
    Davy-g Posts: 401
    welcome to the forums...


    sorry to hear about all the hassles you have been having regarding your potential new bike, there is nowt worse than having your heart set on something only to have others pull it away from you..

    try this link http://www.boardmanbikes.com/boardman/b ... ntact.html you perhaps won't get direct contact, but it's a starting point.

    and another start point... http://www.halfordscompany.com/hal/ss/contacts/ but don't hold your breath with this one....


    I wish you every success and enjoyment with the bike you have on order from your LBS when it arrives... :P :D
  • Stoo61
    Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
    Had a nightmare earlier in the year trying to get the Boardman I wanted, travelled all over the country on the pretense that the bike was in stock. On 3 occasions it wasn't. Got there in the end though.
  • RhysD
    RhysD Posts: 105
    who would have thought buying a bike from halfords would be a nightmare? surely if that was the case someone else would have posted about this before? :roll:

    Sorry mate, that really sucks. I would be livid. what a shower.

    write that letter - you can obviously put down your experiences in writing well from the post above. explain how it tarnishes the boardman "brand" and halfords as a whole.

    and then take your money and your business to that LBS
  • adamskib
    adamskib Posts: 53
    the only contact points on the boardman website are the PR company and halfords,,, neither are what i was looking for.

    I am itching to buy a bike, but nobody out there seems to give a monkeys arse!

    (sherwood pines cycles were great... but i cant afford a scott i would want)
  • BigPancake
    BigPancake Posts: 5
    Davy-g wrote:
    try this link http://www.boardmanbikes.com/boardman/b ... ntact.html you perhaps won't get direct contact, but it's a starting point.

    and another start point... http://www.halfordscompany.com/hal/ss/contacts/ but don't hold your breath with this one....

    Thanks Davy-g, this is where I was planning to start. I was told by the store manager that my concerns will just end up back at the store if I contact Halfords Customer Service which is not the main people I am trying to reach in Halfords with my concerns, as I think the root of this problem is with head office/suppliers. Although I did ask for a name and address for the regional sales manager who was eventually involved this was refused but the store manager, but he did say that he would request the regional sales manager to call me. I am going to try and get some postal addresses so I can send a recorded delivery email and phone is so deniable.

    As for Boardman Bikes they seem to be a faceless organisation hiding behind Halfords. I assume this is because they would not be able to handle the volume of enquirys that would result from their relationship with Halfords.

    Also I forgot to mention in my previous post that the delay I experienced with Halfords cost me money because many manufacturers including the one I am now buying from have put up their prices in the time I have been waiting. Just one of those things I guess.

    Anyways hopefully this will all be forgotten when I get my new ride and I am crawling up the hill back to my home with my eyes popping :shock: and tongue out like a sick cat. :lol: Hehehe... Just made it back not long on my work ride, hybrid + peaty mud = ice skate... Its so fun I will probably miss it when I get my new bike.. But my heart rate will be more stable because I wont be bricking it when I nearly wrap myself round a tree every 5 mins.... 8)

    Many thanks,

    Big Pancake.
  • tptvmbircn
    tptvmbircn Posts: 782
    Welome to the forums,

    Absolutely shocking service, personally i build my bikes from scratch and order most parts from chain reaction cycles, i think i'm a perfectionist and if someone else built my bike it constantly grinds on me if everything was over seviced haha.

    Good luck on your new purchase however, i'm sure the new company cannot fail as bad as this...
  • TubbyTJ
    TubbyTJ Posts: 1
    Sorry to hear about your woes with Halfords. I had a similar experience last year with them. I joined my company's cycle to work scheme which sadly used the Halfords only scheme!

    I thought I'd go for a Kona Dew Deluxe - but it appeared (despite being able to buy one immediately on the net myself) that they couldn't source one (even if I provided them with the url!!). Of course this was after them intially telling me it was ordered and would arrive within 14 days.

    So I thought OK - time for a compromise and deal with their "specialist" cycle to work dedicated sales team and get a Specialised Crosstrail Elite. Ordering went fine. Delivery to store fine. I did by this point phone them daily! Was going to take them three weeks until they could build my bike until I went off on one over the phone & continued to phone them daily.

    Once I got it built and picked it up - then I took it to my LBS for a check - well worth it since they had greased nothing, gears weren't indexing, brake pads rubbing on rims.

    Don't think Halfords will ever see another penny from me. My Blood pressure must have reached worryingly high levels.

    I appreciate it is very "in" to bash Halfords on these forums - but the number of instances that are posted of outrageously poor service from them is really quite scary. Luckily I live just outside Edinburgh & therefore have Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op to rely on - who are like the anti-Halfords - know what they're doing, fall over themselves to help you out and tell you exactly what is going on at every stage in the process.
  • tptvmbircn
    tptvmbircn Posts: 782
    TubbyTJ wrote:
    Once I got it built and picked it up - then I took it to my LBS for a check - well worth it since they had greased nothing, gears weren't indexing, brake pads rubbing on rims.

    My point exactly, think thats bad my local halfords had all the cables twisted as well as the above problems on a relatives bike, basically built it again and i even considered getting a job there and saving peoples lives haha
  • Sorry to hear of your problems - shocking service from Halfords! I have bought my last 2 bikes from Merlin cycles, I can highly recommend them, excellent service and faultless bikes!
  • clarkson
    clarkson Posts: 1,641
    sorry to hear of your bad service!!

    out of interest, what is your replacement steed?
    I said hit the brakes not the tree!!

    2006 Specialized Enduro Expert
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    2008 Custom Merlin Malt 4
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    2008 GT Avalanche Expert
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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    welcome to the BR forums.

    ditto,, I had the exact same problem (see my first posts) about the boardman comp hardtail, got real poor service from them.. however I bypassed the store after store manager didn't want to know. and got my work to complain to their head office. (went through cycle2work) and they sorted it out, with a few phone calls from me. I settled for a different bike.

    You've done the right thing, complain to them as much as you can.

    If you can goto a decent LBS and speak with the staff in there, they usually know what they are talking about.

    stick at it as once you get the bug it's ace!
  • soy_sauce
    soy_sauce Posts: 987
    i been throught something similar myself with halford and their bike2work scheme last July. i was after a Boardman Comp and they only have a few remaining in the whole UK. forturnally, the halfords i was dealing with the order was fine. I got the head guy's name from the bike department and only call and deal with him as i find most of the other staffs are useless. at the end, he couldn't source me one (found a display bike from Dundee but the guy don't think it built properly so refuse to get it send up which is very good of him) and ask me if i wanna wait for the 09 model to come out.

    so went to the other Halfords and saw the RockHopper PRO sitting there, asked one of the staff if i can use the 15% discount on it (i only had £800 C2C voucher and the bike was £900) but he said NO. the next day i went into the same shop and ask a different staff, he said it shouldn't be a problem and got a comfirmation from the store manager so i end up getting the bike for £765. bargain!!! :lol:

    so i guess its all depending on the store you go to and the person you speak to and make sure you contact them to get update of the order instead.

    p.s. my bike was setup properly too
    "It is not impossible, its just improbable"

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • Chip \'oyler
    Chip \'oyler Posts: 2,323
    I would never ever pay in full for anything that needs to be ordered or built. Pay a minimum deposit then see what happens.
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

    http://vineristi.wordpress.com - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • keirtristan
    keirtristan Posts: 296
    BigPancake wrote:
    Davy-g wrote:
    try this link http://www.boardmanbikes.com/boardman/b ... ntact.html you perhaps won't get direct contact, but it's a starting point.

    and another start point... http://www.halfordscompany.com/hal/ss/contacts/ but don't hold your breath with this one....

    Thanks Davy-g, this is where I was planning to start. I was told by the store manager that my concerns will just end up back at the store if I contact Halfords Customer Service which is not the main people I am trying to reach in Halfords with my concerns, as I think the root of this problem is with head office/suppliers. Although I did ask for a name and address for the regional sales manager who was eventually involved this was refused but the store manager, but he did say that he would request the regional sales manager to call me. I am going to try and get some postal addresses so I can send a recorded delivery email and phone is so deniable.

    As for Boardman Bikes they seem to be a faceless organisation hiding behind Halfords. I assume this is because they would not be able to handle the volume of enquirys that would result from their relationship with Halfords.

    Also I forgot to mention in my previous post that the delay I experienced with Halfords cost me money because many manufacturers including the one I am now buying from have put up their prices in the time I have been waiting. Just one of those things I guess.

    Anyways hopefully this will all be forgotten when I get my new ride and I am crawling up the hill back to my home with my eyes popping :shock: and tongue out like a sick cat. :lol: Hehehe... Just made it back not long on my work ride, hybrid + peaty mud = ice skate... Its so fun I will probably miss it when I get my new bike.. But my heart rate will be more stable because I wont be bricking it when I nearly wrap myself round a tree every 5 mins.... 8)

    Many thanks,

    Big Pancake.

    If you're in and around the Nottingham area I would recommend the following 3 shops:
    Evans in Nottingham City Centre
    Freewheel in Nottingham City Centre
    Leisure Lakes in Breaston 5 mins from J25 of the M1

    I am on the verge of buying a bike and have found all 3 store very attentive and have given great advice.
  • keirtristan
    keirtristan Posts: 296
    adamskib wrote:
    the only contact points on the boardman website are the PR company and halfords,,, neither are what i was looking for.

    I am itching to buy a bike, but nobody out there seems to give a monkeys ars*!

    (sherwood pines cycles were great... but i cant afford a scott i would want)

    Sorry, wrong quote bloody touch paddy thing on laptop!!

    See above post for decent bikes shops in and around Nottingha,
  • blablablacksheep
    blablablacksheep Posts: 1,377
    i got my bike from evans and i must say they were VERY VERY GOOD!!

    went to shop /phoned before hand to check they had a rockhopper in stock they said they did.

    got to shop turned out they didnt have the disc one but only the v break one, i didnt mind, i asked to test ride it they said it was still in box but would build it for me to test ride.

    came back to shop test rode it, everything was great, bought the bike.

    heres where evans came into their own i feel//

    i was unable to fit it into car they said they can deliv it but would have to send it to head office then from there to me, max 10 days..

    10 days go past, no bike:(

    they said at head office they never got bike :shock:

    phoned evans... guy was like "sorry computers crashed must of misplaced order"..(ow know i heard this all before from other companys..... guess il be waiting another 10+days)

    guess what they did..

    no worries, we will deliv today......

    2 hours later some guy from evans and his little POLO with my bike on the roof rack turns up, here you go, your new bike sorry for delay.

    THATS CUSTOMER SERVICE!

    halfords would never send starff out to deliv a bike, and they only 10 mins from my house. lol
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • Captain Turok
    Captain Turok Posts: 686
    [quote="As for Boardman Bikes they seem to be a faceless organisation hiding behind Halfords. I assume this is because they would not be able to handle the volume of enquirys that would result from their relationship with Halfords.[/quote]

    Is'nt the Boardman name just on licence, as such?
    I was under the impression these bikes were built for Halfords (just like the carreras etc) and the implication was that Mr B had a hand in speccy them? :roll:
    *Rock Lobster Team Tig SL (22lb 14oz)
    *C. Late 1950's Fixed Gear
    *1940 Raleigh Dawn Tourist with rod brakes
  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Why not try to contact Mr. Boardman himself somehow...blog, twitter, team site, etc. After all it's his name on the bike and he certainly is collecting a few quid off the deal. He may or may not give a shite but he won't be able to claim ignorance of the problem if enough people contact him. Not good for public image you know! If you do contact him please post up the info here.
  • BigPancake
    BigPancake Posts: 5
    Hi,

    Today I received a call from Halfords Area Sales Manager. He apologised to me for the service I received and I managed to get his name and address so that I can send my letter. He told me that they have now found a bike in one of the stores and that they would courier it to me and I could have it with money off as well after all the hassle. I told the guy that this is all too little too late, because on Saturday I was told there were none of these bikes in the UK and there would be none until June at the earliest and I have now ordered my bike elsewhere and I am not going to mess people about just because Halfords have now woken up even though it is going to cost me more. To be honest I think this is even more annoying and frustrating but I guess the guy is just trying to do his job.

    The bike on order is a Cube AMS Comp. I wanted the electric blue but there are no frames left with this color, so I am going for black and white instead. I rode a few Cubes at the shop as well as some Giants but I liked the position and feel of the Cube best. I am already planning my 1st rides with my new bike now. I am going to go for a ride along the canal track first just to break things in and then maybe start on some bits of the 7 Lochs

    http://www.southlochnessaccess.org.uk/index.asp?pageid=17340

    which not far from my home after a long ascent that I have been getting some serious work out on lately. Yes, thats me on the side of the road layed flat out in the hedge. :lol: I was up that way yesterday and a guy living up the hill said hi to me I just managed to catch my breath to say hi back we both had a bit of a laugh :lol: I hope to join some cycling groups up here as well once I get myself going a bit better.

    Many thanks,

    Big Pancake.
  • jenine
    jenine Posts: 22
    umm all i can say is to avoid that place... dont buy any thing in ther its a joke!!!
  • pjt1966
    pjt1966 Posts: 1
    Hi, This is my first post on this great forum. Too bad it's a moaning one. :(

    I too am experiencing difficulties getting a bike from Halfords. I have to go through them as I am getting a bike through CTW scheme and my company have gone for the Halfords’ scheme (I will let my head office know how poor Halfords are.)

    I first visited Halfords to do some “research” I wanted a bike that would be good on the tow path and good on roads and the Boardman Hybrid looked excellent. I was in a deserted bike department for 45 minutes without seeing a member of staff.

    I did my research and ended up going for a Kona Jake. I tried to ring Halfords’ dedicated CTW team, both times I was on the phone on hold for 20 minutes before the line went dead. Went in to the store to get a price. First time the salesman couldn’t find the bike on the system and he asked me to call back as he would have to ring head office. I called back – again 20 minutes on the phone on hold. Eventually got a price for the bike.

    I got my collection note this weekend and went into Halfords to order the bike. The salesman tried to dissuade me from buying the Kona and go for a Boardman hybrid. I was tempted, but I had made up my mind to go for the Kona. As he was looking up the bike on the system, the system crashed as it was a Sunday he couldn't phone head office so I have to go back on Wednesday.

    The really annoying thing is that my LBS is a Kona main dealer and do a CTW scheme. I hate to pay for shoddy service and it is certain that I will never, ever go back to Halfords for anything ever again.

    Rant over. Hopefully I will get my Jake and post a happier tale on this forum in the future!
  • Daz555
    Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    Many of us on C2W schemes don't have a choice about whether we buy from Halfords or not. As it happens, my service (I got my FSRxc via Halfords) was excellent.

    It's a big chain and experience will vary greatly from store to store.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • fred1star
    fred1star Posts: 428
    You may have your heart set on a boardman bike but try your local bike shop, see what they have... Better service and usually aftersales service will be good as well as they want you to keep buying bits there.. Get your face known there and hopefully you will get a better deal. Halfords don't give a fcuk, your just a number to them....
    09 - Santa Cruz Heckler
    03 - Trek 8500
    95 - P7 (Dead, but I loved it)
    Year dot - Alpine Stars CR300 - Still going strong...
  • msmith376
    msmith376 Posts: 7
    Hi all

    I am persevering with Halfords, having emailed my disappointment to Halfords and the Boardman PR website. I got replies from both Boardman and Halfords Customer Service Manager last week. Halfords are hoping the first shipment of FS PROs will arrive by mid-June, no date yet for the FS TEAMs (August at the earliest!!). Will post an update if I am ultimately successful! Still pinning my hopes on the Boardman as it's much better value than the Trek 5.5 and the Spesh FSR XC comp. Have seen an FS Comp in the flesh and a HT PRO - and they are great-looking bikes!
    Halfords know that they need to get their supply chain sorted if they don't want to miss out on orders after the PROs won WhatMTB plaudits in the June issue.

    Sounds like the supply of bikes is drying up fast everywhere!
  • 124g
    124g Posts: 6
    I am surprised at some of the comments posted as my experience with Halfords was excellent, I have posted previously highlighting the very fact. I had no problem purchasing the model I chose, a Boardman pro, it was a 2009 bike and I have not regretted for a moment my decision. It climbs like a goat and is beautifully put together, the components and kit are amazing value.

    I did consider the fully suspended model but the cost was over what I had budgeted, so went for the hard tail instead. I would suggest to anybody out there in the market for a bike of this spec to check out your Halfords, I am based in Gainsborough, Lincs so went to the store in my town, they get five stars from me, and before anybody asks, no, I do not work for them...
  • I assume your talking about halfrauds mate?
    they are a bunch of clowns,
    3 bikes last year i seen on the internet, i tryed to get and 3 differant times i was turned down, the excuses ranged from.........non in stock, couldnt price match there OWN! website, not sure of expeted date...the special offer was only available in certian stores, .......the list is endless, how they actually sell bike si sbeyond me!

    i am looking at the GT eleite aggressor, ...........again from halfruads, do i really wanna part with a grand and get the same crap from them.....I am currently looking at other options,

    for the record, went to evans, within 20mins of being in the shop i was riding my bike away home, the same for a shop called Steels cycles about 340 mins ride away from me....i would use both again for sure
    A bike is only as good as the rider!
  • captainfly
    captainfly Posts: 1,001
    In this situation write to head office, stating you are not happy with the situation, Site their breech of contract as in not supplying the bike in a reasonable timeframe after you paid for it in full, point out any time you spent going to, in and from the store plus phone calls etc.. tell them you time is valuable quote a reasonable amout per hour or daily rate, then tell them that because you are busy your free time is even more vaulable, so estimate your time spent dealing with them after your initial purchase (about £50 an hour works) and any other out of pocket expences. Also mention how disappointed you are at not being able to ride and how it has affected your fitness regime. Ask if they would like to cover your out of pocket costs and maybe add something for good will and you would be gratious enough for this to be in store vouchers or cash and if they do not wish to do this you would be happy to take it to the small claims court.

    Never let corporations get away with shoddy services especialy if it breaches consumer law (a simple refund is not enough) it usually works. I've had a few payments in the past just from a letter, it gets out the anger and gets some cash or vouchers :D remember it costs them lots in lawyers time etc if you take them to small claims court, so they never bother if you sound serious.
    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

    Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
  • Update from me... I bought a decathlon rockrider 9.2 £700 in the sale, it was only a fe quid more than the 8.2 I bought two years ago!

    Great value and support from my local decatlon makes me a happy boy!!
  • weeksy59
    weeksy59 Posts: 2,606
    Interesting thread lads and may have pushed me the final step into a nice new Commencal from Evans :)