Just before Christmas, I decided to buy two bikes for my sons (8 and 10) for Christmas.
Recently I was sent two emails from Halfords asking me to review; firstly the "bike", and secondly the "bike assembley". I therefore did. However, although the bikes themselves were, in my opinion, good value for money (not perfect, but certainly not bad), I had been frustrated by the lack of attention to me whilst waiting at the counter to be served, and in addition, neither of the bikes had been assembled correctly.
Being practical and capable, I opted to resolve the set-up issues (one bike not selecting 1st gear, and the other 1st and 2nd gear) myself. This was to avoid all the trouble of taking two bikes back to the store to get it resolved.
I therefore completed two reviews, and although was (I thought) complimentary about the bikes themselves, did explain that I thought their staff were not great. I added to this by saying they were polite, and I think well-meaning, but just not sincere (or lacked ability, or appropriate training).
The review guidelines did state to keep specifically to the "product". Well when the second review asked for my feedback on "bike assembley", I take that as "the product" and therefore could provide a positive review.
I then received a notification by email saying:
"Hi XXXXXXX Thank you for taking the time to post a product review on Halfords.com. Unfortunately, we can’t post your review just yet. While we aim to share all consumer reviews, they must first meet a few guidelines. However, we encourage you to return to the site and resubmit it after reading our guidelines.
Again, thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to share your experience with us. We look forward to sharing your review on Halfords.com soon!
Unfortunately, we were unable to post your review on the site because it did not fully meet our submission guidelines."
Well I did click on their link to "guidelines" and they were not guidlines; just legalistic language about liability etc.
I think it poor that when you take the time to read reviews to get a feeling for a product and a company, that in reality you are only seeing "censored" reviews which "suit" the company. I of course do not expect to see rude or defamatory language, but when it is sincere critiscism, I think they should take it "on the chin", not omit it, which could be seen as deceitful.
I absolutely do not appreciate a bland email telling me my review has not been accepted in the way it was actioned!
They also do not (like an increasing number of companies) make it easy to contact them by email. However, I did manage to copy a reply email into their head of Communications(PR), as having tracked down his email address on the internet, wanted to make sure they know the power of social media sites such as Trustpilot.
I have purchased many things from Halfords over the years, and generally think their products are good value for money. However I would advise patience when waiting to be served, and caution if relying on their staff to set-up products or fit products. If you are not practical yourself, I would advise considering dealing with another company, where you can be more confident of knowledgeable service.
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