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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:54 pm 
Gold Trader
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my employer did this about a year ago, they wont do it again. they went through the LBS and i recon they got ripped off big time. im not sure how many people took up the offer but considering theres about 2500 people employed there it must have been quite a few.
there was a choice of bikes all Gaint xtc and some road bikes and tourers, the top spec bike being the carbon xtc. the bikes were nearly all built up with bottom of the range parts as cheep as possable, people have had no ends of problems. a lot of people put there bike on ebay or sold them off or stripped down the bikes and sold the parts. some people were sacked as a result as the bikes remains the property of the employer till payed off.
to see a carbon frame bike a year later with rusty parts all over it, falling apart form neglect is quite sad. i was glad i dident take up the offer. i think they are considering it again but not in the same way.
the only winner in this situation must have the lbs who must have made a foutune in after sales parts and repairs.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:04 pm 
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Location: Derbyshire
I took the 1000 voucher 2 years ago, and then paid the difference for the whyte 19.

In the last tax year they stopped people using the voucher for bikes costing more than £1000. Or rather you could stil buy it but the taxman wouldn't give you tax releif = no benefit in kind.

My company switched to the Hallfords scheme for this tax year. You can ask Halfords to get any bike and they have a range of other shops they can buy from if it's something they don't carry. I was going to get an e-120 (which I think the lady said would have come from Rutland).

I think your chances of sourcing from your lbs are slim to none.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:50 pm 
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is it possable to buy just a frame on the scheme? this would seem like a safe option :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:16 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
no frames, complete bike only plus accessories like lights, locks etc

have got an option that is good and reasonable, basically condor cycles of london are listed as an option, spoke to them this morning, very helpful chap, said all i had to do was pop in to see them and they'll sort the whole thing and take the halfords voucher as if it was cash! :shock: :D

this means that a good independant shop gets the money! which is what i wanted, i told him i was previously from the trade and i knew the score regarding what the shop gets and he said that halfords pay 95% of the money for their sale but only get paid 90% themselves. does that make sense?

i get a voucher for a grand, my company pays the administrater £1000 of which they take 10% for themselves, pass the other 90% (£900) on to halfords, then halfords have to pay condor 95% (£950) of the price of my bike! so technically it costs halfords £50 to sell me a bike! but this also means that all the waranty and 1st service work and build is done by condor, and that's what i wanted.

all happy now! :D

only picky bit is they are in london and i am in southampton but that doesn't really matter coz i'm up there quite often to see friends, the next time will be mid september by which time i will have had the voucher 2 weeks! perfect!! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:21 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:20 pm
Posts: 736
Location: Edinburgh
You seem to be missing the point here.

It is not your bike, and not your purchase, the bike will belong to your employer for one year and you will be paying for the lease of this through your wages, and due to it being bike to work you save on tax and such. Technically after the year is up it will be up to the employer what happens to the bike.

Regarding warranty the bicycle has to be assembled by a shop mechanic, with all service/ maintenance and insurance covered by the person leasing the bike. Halfords now offer a more involving training program than many bike shops, and having been involved with training mechanics from both sides of the camp myself feel it a little unfair to make any judgement on any mechanics ability, I have seen work by fully qualified/trained mechanics from reputable shops I would not pass to my worst enemy, and unqualified "Ned's" as some would call them put reputable trained mechanics to shame with their effort and enthusiasm.

Businesses save money and hassle by doing corporate orders for these bikes, some employers only ask for one type of bike too (how would you like the choice of a Ridgeback Velocity only?), it is a scheme to provide bicycles for travelling to work, which by agreement are to be used for 50% of your travelling to work.

Personally I don't see bicycle to work lasting, as those clearly interested in using the scheme as it is intended are far outweighed by those who want to use it for personal gain and fancy bling, the people genuinely interested in a bike for travelling to work will have it spoiled by others wanting Cannondale Rush's and the like which will see a few dry rides before appearing on eBay one year later if not sooner.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:31 am 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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i don't think i have missed the point, i do ride to work regularly, and yes it is a hire purchase, and the purchase price of the bike is limited to a max of £20 at the end of the year but the nominal charge is £10, at which point the bike will be mine.

i do think you are right though about the scheme, i think it will fold at some point just like the tax incentive for computers a couple of years ago. people have and will continue to blag stuff with it, most of the people who were interested in getting bikes at work through the scheme were asking things like can i buy 4 bikes? 1 for me, 1 for the wife, and 1 each for the kids, they just looked on it as a discount with no intent of riding to work. and strangely enough the rep said if we don't know it won't hurt us!

the way in which i am using the scheme is within the guidelines of being under a grand and from one of their listed suppliers, so what's the problem?

i'm buying a bike with a genuine intent to use it, and not just for going to work.

it's weird this thread that i started here, :? i didn't mean to start something negative, especially in my direction. :(

keep in mind that i was after advice on this issue so that i could get something i wanted and preferably from where i wanted which is my right as a consumer, or should we accept that tescos is the only place to buy food? and forever disregard the local butcher/baker etc. actually, both local butcher/baker have closed up after tesco moved in locally, and i don't want that to happen to my local bike shop because of the giants like halfords, evans, chain reaction, wiggle etc.

i've noticed overtime on this forum(love it by the way) that 9 times out of 10 people on this forum don't like halfords (me being one of them) and quite a few people are also a little, for want of a better way of putting it, anti establishment, so you'd think that people would be saying fairplay mate you're getting something back out of the big tax pot for a change!

i feel like people are having a go at me for buying a bike to actually use it at a very rare bonus of a tax break (after having never claimed a penny off this or any other government since my mum got child benefit for me) and being down on me because i want to buy from an independant instead of a consumer giant.

as an example or comparison i don't like using mail order but i don't have a moan when someone posts yet another link to chain reaction every five minutes for a part that is in most lbs. as i've said before i will flag wave for the local bike shop everytime (assuming they are good). i also wonder if people do read the entire thread before they comment because sometimes people write something that if they read what was said earlier they might have commented in a different way.

please don't think i'm being an arse and this isn't directed at anyone inparticular (except the start coz it was an answer to a question) but i don't get it, what's the problem? why can't the people who have used the scheme offer advice (thanks to those that did :) ) and those who don't have the benefit of the scheme but would like to, just say, fairplay mate what you gonna get you lucky sod?

i don't begrudge anyonelse getting a bargain, and some of you guys have had some beauties that i am really jealous of, i just say to myself, bugger, missed that one, nice bike you got there mate! but this time i have a benefit, please just be happy for me!! :D

sorry if you feel this is a rant, it's not meant to be, just wanna set the record straight as to why i want to support the independant shops. :)

hitting the sack now, long ride tomorrow :D before starting a nightshift! :(


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:31 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:20 pm
Posts: 736
Location: Edinburgh
Yeah,

Your right my apologies it should not have came across as a go at you, but at the general attitude some seem to have.

Still, organizing the BTW scheme and sorting out a lot of individuals personal requirement can entail a lot of work and hours, and usually at a financial loss.

I quite like the bike to work idea, and see it as a privilege for many individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford such items. But at the same time have seen the way it benefits those better off, and have seen £4k+ bikes and custom builds go to managers within businesses where there staff do not earn enough to actually purchase any bike durable enough to get to and from work.

I'm a little bitter about it though, I've seen this scheme implemented at my own work, and was frankly disgusted by the attitude and rulings that management imposed, yet most sidestepped.

Most of the bike assemblers were not entitled, those that were had been told only after a certain date could they place an order.
They were frowned upon and complained about for asking questions and wanting to try bikes, looked at as wasting company time with P&A's and such. And were building high end staff bikes which were clearly ordered by individuals before the deadline who had taken time to look bikes up, were given their amounts available and allowed admin time to place orders before the date the mechanics were given. 09 Cannondales were being priority assembled before customer bikes and getting test ridden for BTW by managers before they had even hit display.

The date the mechanics could order and ask after was the 1st of July, and they had around 15 high end full sus bikes to build which had been ordered in June, plus practically a complete online departments collection staff bikes to build, within the first week. All while they were getting told to shut up about staff bikes.

Two of those mechanics managed to place their own orders for week two, but not without complaint about wasting company time. And only a few members of that department managed to get a bike. All the mechanics had to use their own time during lunch and such to sort their requests, but were not allocated time to test ride bikes or use demo bikes. And those that did get bikes had to either come in early or stay late and build their bikes in their own time, none of them were informed or allowed time to consider purchasing accessories or such.

And how many of those bikes are getting used by the lease holder for the intended purpose!


Sigh, so anyway enough of my ranting, my apologies......


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:43 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Tallpaul wrote:
Setting up this scheme is a large administrative effort for the employer.


Having set the scheme up for my company I have to agree with Paul.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:46 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
you will usually find that in larger companies the smaller guy down the company ladder will always get pooed on first so i understand your feelings, curious though,(sastabulbus) do you work for a bike company or shop? your post seems to suggest that.


putting the forms in tonight when i get to work, the cut off for us is the 18th, then i should get a voucher inside 2 weeks-ish then off to condor! :D

and yes i am sure it is a big effort to set it up, and i do appreciate that. :)


Last edited by jonnyboy666 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:49 pm 
aka Leo Swayer
aka Leo Swayer
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Location: Wales.UK
I used to live in Hedge end until not so long ago and used Halfrauds(I like it)in Hedge end and Fareham. At the time the saturday employees at the Hedge end branch were great for 'free upgrades' to 'broken(read crap)' components on my GT of the time which I had bought elsewhere,well they never asked for a reciept! If i wanted any technical work done I used to go to Fareham,there was a guy there who was very compitent and did a good job. I suspect this is the exception to the rule but it suited me at the time, he was very much into his downhill but knew bikes insideout.In my opinion if you want to pay for half a bike then there is bound to be a down side and I think but I don't think Halfords are it,in my opinion.
HELP!!!!!!![/quote]


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