Halfords auto centre Braintree have no idea what a problem is, or how to FIX IT.
On the 17th July 2013 I was told by my Mechanical Insurance company to take my car into Halfords at Braintree to get my air conditioning repaired, today is the 30th August and my car is still there, UNFIXED. The manager at the Braintree centre (Mick) every time I phone up tells me the dashboard is in thousands of pieces on the garage floor, I believe it is too complicated for them to put back together, and that servicing takes priority for a quick turn over of cash. I have spoken after complaining with the area manager (Steve from Chelmsford) who told me "Trust us my friend" but I have never met him, how is he my friend? He has not repaired my car. Since it has been into Braintree I have been told that they do not have the competent staff to reset the system, I have been told that parts are on order, but they are not sure if that will cure the problem, then to top it all I have a voicemail from the centre telling me that as they were putting it back together a few weeks ago they shorted out the control system and had to send it away for repair, a week later they told me it was irrepairable and that a new part had to be ordered, when that arrived I was told that it was incomplete and that they had to retrieve the old part to take certain parts off of it as the new one did not come with them. Last week 23rd August, they phoned me, I asked if my car was ready, I was told the earliest they could give me any idea was next Wednesday 28th August as they had to book it in to Volvo to get the management system reset as they did not have the competence or equipment. On phoning today 30th August six and a half weeks later I was told, When we sent it to Volvo they found a problem in the loop system? and could not reset the in car management, well this was about it, the world should know what is going on within these centres. I speak with a little authority and some inside knowledge. A few years ago the A.A. purchased the Autocentres from Halfords and used them as there own service centres for AA vehicles. After a while the patrols were up in arms as they knew the attention to detail was not happening and any where near what it would be as expected from our usual repairers, or own A.A. workshops. We ( The A.A.) embarked on a focused training project to get the Halfords staff to what we felt was an acceptable level of competence to deal with the public's vehicles and people. From most of the reviews I have seen this seems to have gone out of the window since the A.A. relinqueshed ownership of Halfords. I speak as the A.A. Operations manager at the time with all A.A./Halfords service centres from within Kent, Sussex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincoln and Northampton under my direct control with my management team. Now I am sure there are some mechanical engineers within the group who are highly intellegent and very competent, but are they being held back by the supervisors to turn over cash flow, which they should do for the business the R.O.I. must be at a level to maintain the business, however are they doing it to the detriment of total customer service. Since my car has been in Halfords I have had to hire vehicles at my expense, take taxi's at my expense, I have all reciepts that so far come to over £800 and that is only starting from the second week that my car was in Halfords Braintree. I will be submitting these claims to Halfords and if required will follow to small claims for recompense of my outlay, as they refused to fund a hire car for my business (Photography) as they said it was not in there remit to do so, I will let the senior management decide, or if they cannot make the decision take it to a court.