We purchased a Maxi-Cosi Tobi car seat back in September 2006. I remember that lunchtime well - Northern Ireland were playing in Windsor Park and cars and buses were being abandoned all around Boucher Road as fans made their way to the match.
The seat we'd wanted in Halfords' sale was out of stock, so they cunningly upsold us to a "new improved" model - which gave nothing but trouble.
The straps frequently needed to be untangled, and the stiffness meant that the plastic around the pull-tightening-tether eventually cracked, making it sharp and difficult to secure our wee one in the seat. And it had an enormous base that made it quite a challenge to climb into - since no child waits to be lifted in for any longer than necessary!
Over a year from purchase ... and then I noticed mention in the instructions about a two year guarantee for plastic parts. Aha!
So back we went to Boucher Road Halfords - who agreed to replace the car seat with no fuss or quibble. Given that the seat's occupant had recently celebrated her third birthday and now tops 15 kilos, there was no point swapping for a similar seat - so instead they agreed we could have a Britax Evolva 123 (covers class 1+2+3) that can provide a five-point harness for another few months before we switch to using the normal seat belt threaded across the front.
Only downside is that its enormously fiddly to fit into the car. I'd got quite expert getting the Maxi-Cosi Tobi into the car in the dark, but this new seat will be a bigger challenge! But if it's more reliable in tightly securing our bundle into her seat, that's a price worth paying.
So thank you Halfords - for customer service that made it all so straightforward.