A Bedford cyclist who last month took his bike into Halfords to have a spoke replaced was astonished to discover that it had subsequently been thrown away. A spokeswoman for the store said that staff had dismantled his bike for recycling 'in good faith'.
The Bedfordshire News reports that Peter Bradley took his bike in with a broken wheel spoke and was told the repair would cost about £20. Three days later, he was called and told the repair would cost closer to £90.
Bradley didn’t commit to this and asked for some time to think about it. However, when he returned to the shop on May 4, he was told that the bike had been disposed of as per 'his instructions'.
"They produced paperwork advising a telephone conversation had taken place on April 27 at 10.55am on my landline. Massively shocked, I advised I'd not had this conversation – I'd been at work.
"The only person who could have picked up the phone was my cat Eric and I think that's slightly beyond his capacity. There were no missed calls or voicemails for this time. As a gesture of goodwill they were prepared to offer 'gratis' lights, lock and mudguards."
Seemingly reluctant to interrogate Eric, Bradley instead made numerous attempts to contact Halfords' customer services. He was offered either a £100 voucher or £25 cheque but is unimpressed by this as he says it wouldn’t cover the cost of a comparable bike.
On May 19 his request for transcripts of his phone conversations under the data protection act was refused.
A spokeswoman for Halfords apologised for the inconvenience and expressed pride that the store can successfully repairs thousands of other bikes without accidentally binning them. She also said that, 'our colleagues dismantled his bike for recycling in good faith'.
"However, as a gesture of goodwill we will offer Mr Bradley £125 towards the cost of a new bike and we have apologised for any inconvenience caused to Mr Bradley. We pride ourselves on our customer service, and are proud that our colleagues carry out thousands of services on bikes for customers in our shops."