Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Canadian National Sportcard Expo held twice a year in Mississauga. It's a long and labourious process to haul everything in, set it up and then tear it back down again.

This year, I thought I would be smart enough to buy myself a nice handcart, so I stopped at Canadian Tire on my way to the International Centre on Thursday night (after hitting Home Depot and finding one lousy cart with plastic wheels for $100).

Canadian Tire is very similar to Wal-Mart, but switch clothing and entertainment to automotive and household products. They occasionally have some spectacular bargains, but then, so does everyone else.

CT had the requisite cheapo models for around $20, but they also had a heavy-duty cart rated for 600 pounds on sale half-off for $44.99. It appeared to be repackaged, but that doesn't bother me -- I figure all the parts must be there or it wouldn't be put back out for sale.

Normally I'm a cheapskate, but this time I spent the extra money, figuring I could loan it out to others at the show and not have to worry about it breaking.

On Thursday nights, you're able to drive your vehicle into the building, so I didn't need the cart. I came home pooped and set the alarm for 6 a.m. to assemble my new toy.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the packaging and found one of the pieces which holds the major wheel axle not welded to the cart's frame. This rendered the cart useless, and of course it was too early to return it for another, which added up to me having to rent a cart at the show (actually, I got it for free by trading baked goods, but that's another story).

I finally got around to returning the cart a few days ago. The young girl behind the counter didn't seem too thrilled to see me when I handed her my receipt.

I explained that one of the parts wasn't welded, blah blah. She didn't seem to understand the difficulty, but she also didn't seem to care.

"Do you want another one?" she asked.

"No, I don't," I said. "I think this one was repackaged and it was broken, so I'd prefer just to get my money back."

"Okay," she replied, "but do you have your Canadian Tire money?"

I didn't get what she was asking at first. For those of you who are unfamiliar, CT money is doled out as a percentage of what you spend in the store. It spends the same as regular money in the store, and CT sometimes has special days where you can get double and triple your CT cash.

I never take the stuff. It's unwieldy, inconvenient and I frankly don't like CT enough to shop there enough to save up for anything. I do use a Canadian Tire gas station frequently, but I always tell the clerk to keep it. I believe they save it up and then go to the store to buy something for themselves.

On my $44.99 purchase, I had earned $.40 in CT money -- or less than 1%. So I had refused it. The salesperson simply put it back in the register.

"Oh," my current clerk said. "Well, we have to take that off your refund."

"Why?" I asked. "I didn't take it. I never take it."

"It still has to come off," she replied.

I didn't argue with her, because she doesn't set the policy. So I put it to you, Canadian Tire executives -- are people buying large, cheap (and broken) items from you and then returning them for $.40 in fake money a huge problem? Do you have people purchasing lawn mowers at $1K a crack on triple cash days, then bringing them back for the $30 it nets them?

I hope so, because your theft of my $.40 when you sold me a broken item will keep me out of Canadian Tire stores for a long time to come.

16 comments:

Matt said...

Wayne,

Why don't you go buy your broken shi%$ from Home Depot then! You obviolusy are a piss-ant with nothing better to do with your time than write stupid whiner-blogs. Canadian Tire rocks! I love going there. Since you're not a huge fan of saving money. Why don't you send me some of yours and I'll spend it for you... AT CANADAIN TIRE!!!!

Wayne Frazer said...

Matt, do us all a favour -- if you're saving up CT "money" for something useful, stop by the customer service counter and see if they sell dictionaries.

As for Canadian Tire itself, they do have good deals. They also do a lousy job of customer service (see recent "form letter" response) and if they really wanted to save us money, they'd simply charge people using CCs more. No one wants to do that for fear of offending people who are spending money they don't have, but it's how it should be done.

Lee said...

Hey - I was the guy on CBC Marketplace who is no longer a Crappy Tire customer due to their refund policy. It was interesting to read your experience similar as it is to mine. A couple of things they missed/edited out in the report though:
- I also bought an item that was faulty and returned it TWICE! The first time, I exchanged the paddling pool, the second I asked for a refund as exactly the same problem was occurring (a faulty valve meaning the pool deflated) so I guessed it was a manufacturing problem. This is what pissed me off so much. If I was returning something I just didn't want, then by all means - charge me a restocking fee if you feel you have to, but returning something because it was faulty? Twice? And still docking me money because I don't have your crappy vouchers?!? If anything they should have been giving me some of their coupons. As you can probably guess though, I didn't even get an apology for their shitty merchandise being defective and causing me inconvenience.
- My argument was that they give you this stuff without you asking for it. What if they gave kids a lollipop when you bought something? Would they deduct the cost of that from your refund should you return the item that you've bought?
In the past, I have also refused to take it at the register when offered, but it still appears on the receipt - you're right.

Have you read the comments on the CBC Marketplace site for this article? (They linked to your blog, so I guess you maybe have.)
It seems a nerve has been touched and thousands of Canadians are foaming at the mouth at having a criticism of such an institution as CT aired!
I expect to become Public Enemy Number One...
My bet is that had the perpetrator been WalMart, everybody would be in agreement with the report.

Anonymous said...

You refused the chance to save 40 cents off your next purchase for your twisted reasons, so if the 40 cents is not worth anything for such a rich big shot like yoursef just toss the dimes down and get the line moving.
After all you were just looking for something to whine about because if you think CT is a poor choice to buy things not only do you not have a life outside your parents basement but your an idiot on top of that..hey duh.

Anonymous said...

you have to be one of the most idiotic people that i have ever heard of. if you can afford to not take the canadian tire money, then do everyone a favour and shut up about it. i can't believe that marketplace would even put a link to this idiotic blog to let someone like yourself just whine about "i didn't get my 40 cents back". i guess there's a place for all the idiots like yourself.

Anonymous said...

I should point out that there are drop boxes in most CTC stores where you can donate the CTC money.
Many good home grown charities in your neighborhood would gladly accept it as a donation, Girl Guides, Cubs, Scout groups to name a few.
You could be building a stronger community by giving kids a outlet to learn instead of hanging around the streets.
Your a selfish rotten clown, Marketplace should give out your address so some group could find you and teach you a lesson on what good is being done with the thousands of CTC dollars given by decent customers of Canadian Tire.
My Wheel chair was paid for by that useless stuff you burn and shred.
Boy do I ever hate your guts, it's a loyalty reward system not real currency you stupid idiot.
Get a life you, and Marketplace shame on you giving this bile a podium to whine from.

have a nice day everyone, not you.

Anonymous said...

Just watched MPlace,,I agree I don't want that garbage so it should be an opt in program that I get a discount when I don't take the paper with ink on it.
Must say though 1 bad item out of 100 is something Walmart can't say, or Best Buys, Future Shop, the return line is longer then the checkout lines.
Dam crap from China .
Clone1 NY/NY

Anonymous said...

Lee, your right there was a nerve hit, "foaming at the mouth at having a criticism of such an institution as CT" no it's because of the pettiness of what you have sank to looking for some fault with CT.
There a very good outfit if this is all you can come up with.
I must agree with the anger expressed by some posters when a company is attacked for something that has given back to customers on top of the sale prices and everyday fair prices.
I also saw the program tonight and would like to remind you of how many jobs they also provide at livable wages in Canada and that that funny money is donated to a group I volunteer for that is used to supply meals and glasses to the elderly.
Try to have something positive to say to those that it helps while you flush the good will of others down the toilet.
I have never commented anywhere on the net until now and the more i think about this the more boiling mad im getting.
Your attitude stinks like a rotting dead animal.
I feel better now..
Regards A.Lorton

Wayne Frazer said...

Dude, I'm not Lee. If you can't grasp that, I don't think I'm going to answer anything else you brought up.

Anonymous said...

I like to hear the CEO of Canadian Tire respond as to why you refuse the CT money and yet they still deduct it upon refund. And you even have the receipt to prove it.

Anonymous said...

wow, some of you folks really get upset easily. My experience with CT ??. They suck as others as well. Traveling between London Ontario and Elliot Lake over last 15 years this is what I noticed. 15 years ago almost everything what you'd buy up north was more expensive than here south. Today I buy an item for 29.99 in E.L> only when I do need it to return it here in London and it costs $49.99. Puzzled girls call manager who is always insisting on refunding lower price. In the past they have been able to justify their prices up north as higher for delivery costs. How about prices for beer and alcohol ?. Today gas prices are as follow London On. $1.25 versus Elliot Lake ??? $1.25 Somebody is really getting screwded . Big corporations are really running our lives. With CT going into financial side like mortgages,loans, e.t.c. we small consumers are only collecting their coupons so we can buy bucket of vaseline and get ready when they position themselves behind to serve us better.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE JUST RETURNED HOME FROM CANADIAN "JUNK" STORE IN PRINCE ALBERT SASK.
SEVERAL DAYS AGO I PURCHASES PLUMBING FITTINGS DESIGNED FOR A CERTAIN "CRIMPINMG TOOL" -- WHICH BY THE WAY I BOUGHT AT CT AS WELL-
THE SMALL CLAMPS I HAD GOTTEN WERE THE WRONG SIZE AND SO I WISHED TO RETURN THEM- WHEN I APPRORCHED THE SERVICE COUNTER - I WAS ASKED FOR PICTURE I D AND MY PHONE # !
I ASKED WHY! I WAS TOLD PERHAPS I STOLE THE MECHANDICE AND THEY HAD TO "TRACK" THE RETURN!
AS IT WAS I PRODUCED THE BILL OF SALE/RECIEPT THAT WAS DATED ONLY A FEW DAYS PRIOR TO TODAY.
I TOLD THEM I DID NOT HAVE TO SHOW I D OR GIVE A PH # WHEN PURCHASING THE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF MERCHANDISE THAT I HAD BOUGHT IN THE PRECEDEING MONTHS. I WAS GETTING A BIT PISTOFF. SO I ASKED TO SEE THE MANAGER -- WHO SHOWED UP PROMPTLY WITH AN ATTITUDE OF A PIGS ASS CROSSED WITH A PIT BULL!
HE THREW THE 2 SMALL PAKS OF FITTINGS ACROSS THE COUNTER TOWARD ME AND SAYS- NO ID -- NO RETURN
BY THE WAY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A PURCHASE OF 11 DOLLARS INCLUDING TAXES-- IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS I PLAN TO PICKET THE STORE WITH 4 BY 8 PAINTED PLYWOOD SIGNS TO INFORM PEOPLE OF THE "REAL" RETURN POLICY OF THIS STORE!!

Eric said...

CT DOES say that you have to return the CT$ with your return. It says it on signs in the store, it says it on the receipt.

However, it doesn't say what the consequences are if you don't have it with you. It doesn't tell you that you will lose out on real money if you forget your CT$. This is the source of MY irritation. I think they should more clearly state what will happen.

On the other hand, I can see why they want it back - if you buy and return something large, like $1500, they don't want you keeping the (significant amount of) CT$ "for free", even if it is for a faulty item.

Unfortunately there are individuals in the world who would abuse such a system very badly.

Nor can they make a distinction between someone with 40c of CT$ and someone with $40 of CT$. They have to treat everyone the same (IE their policies have to affect everyone equally), even if you have a relatively small amount of the stuff.

Wayne Frazer said...

Eric, none of the CT's I visited after writing this had anything posted at the counter. If there is signage in the store to this effect, perhaps it's in the women's bathroom -- I didn't check in there.

As for the receipt, I didn't look at it. I'll ask to see someone's at some point.

By the way, thanks for writing clearly and rationally. You're in the great minority.

Edward said...

I love all the people commenting on what a great store CT is. Ask the workers who work over 40 hrs/week but are forced to work overtime for free to keep their jobs. I worked in 4 different stores and this was the case in every one of them. Unfortunately, in these trying times, I would imagine the employees are being abused more than ever.
I commend you on taking your stand, although I disagree with the Marketplace angle completely. In your case I would have let you keep you 40 cents to allow you to leave happy. That's customer service basics.

Lisa said...

If you worked over 40 hrs per week and were forced to work overtime for free, take it up with the Dealer of THAT store. Don't lump all CT store and Head Office into one bucket.