The nation is in the midst of a retail breakdown and everyone is trying everything to attract and retain their customers. Everyone, that is, except Halfords. Halfords are currently endeavouring to slash customer figures. I know this because they have tried to stop me from going there. And I know they are good at it because they have succeeded. They have done this by using what can only be described as an overdeveloped rogue parking system. They offer you 30 minutes of free parking as a Halfords customer. Fair enough. However, as you may know, Halfords stores are often located on retail parks outside the town centres – and this is where the con comes in. If you dare to visit one of the other shops on the development, you’re classed as having “abandoned your vehicle on private property” and issued with a parking ticket, even if you leave your car for less than the free 30 minutes advertised. I am utterly disgusted to have been issued a ticket. Worse still, the parking warden – or wanker as I prefer to call him – admitted to my face that he had issued it after only 20 minutes. And then he had the cheek to turn his back and walk away from me when I asked for an explanation! Is this really the public image Halfords wants? I managed to find their store manager who was very sympathetic and offered to support my appeal. But, even then, the ball was firmly left in my court which seems very wrong to me, since I have had to waste my time writing to the parking company and Halfords to try to appeal a ticket which should never have been issued in the first place. This puts me right off Halfords as an organisation as well as a shop. They clearly do not undertake enough due diligence on who they work with, especially in what is, essentially, a customer-facing role. They’ve just ruined any goodwill I had towards them. I haven’t heard anything back from either Halfords or the parking-company Gestapo but I will not be letting this one go. If this has happened to you, for goodness sake don’t let them get away with it. Kick and scream until it is resolved and you have been compensated for the utter waste of your time.
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