Sunday, December 23, 2007

And yet another response to the first page of comments from the CBC's link:

My blog was linked by the CBC in reference to my "fight" with Canadian Tire -- although I'd hardly call it a fight. I was sold a defective item, returned it and was told I wouldn't get a full refund because I didn't have coupons that I didn't accept at the time, and I queried the company about it.

And no, I'm not the Lee profiled in the piece, which some people seem to be having trouble understanding.

I have no real qualm with Canadian Tire in general. I find it to be an adequate store, no better or worse than most other large retailers. I don't really care about the CT "money" program either. If others choose to use it, that's terrific. I don't.

But isn't it a fair assumption to make that CT writes the cost of its rewards program into the merchandise it sells? What company doesn't do that, and why wouldn't they -- they're out to make profits, not friends?

The "money" is simply a way to get customers back into Canadian Tires, and again, there's nothing wrong with that. But if CT really wanted to help you out, wouldn't it just lower the prices on everything across the board by 1%? Couldn't CT just take the money it spends administering the rewards program (printing money, making up flyers, etc) and donate that directly to charity?

I would expect Canadian Tire to do neither. CT obviously has an extremely successful program and would be foolish to abandon it. But folks, see it for what it is -- marketing, plain and simple. This is a corporation, not your kindly Uncle Bob in Minesing.

As for the people who work for CT, I'll stop in my local store right after Christmas and check out what you said about signage. I do know, however, that there is no such signage at the Canadian Tire gas bar I frequent. I can also assure you the $.40 I didn't take in my last trip went right back into the cash register. If there's some mechanism for separating that out at the end of shifts and making sure it goes to charity, please let me know so I can add that info on my blog.

My response after being linked by the CBC's web site:

I’m the fellow whose blog is linked above.

I’d hardly classify my exchange with CT as a “fight”. I sent a note to their customer service department discussing my displeasure with selling with the defective product the company sold me and to question why I lost out on $.40 from a rewards program. The company chose to send what appeared to a form letter, which I posted.

Reading through the comments here and some of the nasty notes I’ve received at my blog, it’s nice to immediately be labeled as dishonest or an idiot because I raised the question of why CT doesn’t simply post something at the registers about mentioning before the transaction that CT “money” can be kept off a receipt by request. I’ve also received some pretty vile stuff and one assumedly empty threat, but that’s what comes with having a blog, I suppose.

I’m also a little shocked to see the number of people who seem to think Canadian Tire is giving out “money” out of the goodness of its heart. Handing out what are in essence coupons is just a marketing trick to get consumers back into the store – a good one and a nice one, but a marketing ploy nonetheless. If CT was really nice, they’d just lower the price on everything in the store by 1-2%, wouldn’t they, and save consumers the hassle of redeeming the cash?

As for donating the money, in the future I’ll make clear to the cashier that’s what I’d like done. I hadn’t thought about it before because I hadn’t had to return a defective product, and didn’t really care about the $.25 or whatever I might be pitching out – and frankly, I kind of thought the company might be doing it on its own anyhow. However, the money I turned down that day went right back into the register.

Just the picks again! We were 1-1 in the two early games.

Cleveland (-2½) at CINCINNATI: Cleveland 34, Cincy 30.
Green Bay (-8) at CHICAGO: Packers 24, Bears 17.
Houston (+7) at INDIANAPOLIS: Colts 29, Texans 20.
Kansas City (+5) at DETROIT: Lions 30, Chiefs 17.
Miami (+22.5) at NEW ENGLAND: Patriots 30, Dolphins 13.
N.Y Giants (-2) at BUFFALO: Giants 19, Bills 16.
Oakland (+13) at JACKSONVILLE: Jaguars 31, Raiders 20.
Philly (+3) at NEW ORLEANS: Saints 27, Eagles 20.
Washington (+6.5) at MINNESOTA: Vikings 27, Redskins 21.
Atlanta (+10) at ARIZONA: Cards 34, Falcons 13.
Baltimore (+10.5) at SEATTLE: Seahawks 23, Ravens 16.
NY Jets (+9) at TENNESSEE: Titans 24, Jets 23.
Tampa Bay (-6) at SAN FRANCISCO: Bucs 28, 49ers 23.
Denver (+8) at SAN DIEGO: Chargers 37, Broncos 16.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sorry, just the picks this week!

Denver (-1) @ HOUSTON: Broncos 23, Texans 20.
Cincinnati (-8) at SAN FRANCISCO (42): Bengals 23, 49ers 17.
Arizona (+3.5) @ NEW ORLEANS (47.5): Cardinals 26, Saints 19.
Atlanta (+12) @ TAMPA BAY (39): Bucs 27, Falcons 16.
Baltimore (-3) @ MIAMI (37): Ravens 20, Dolphins 10.
Buffalo (+5.5) @ CLEVELAND (41): Browns 23, Bills 20.
Green Bay (-7.5) @ ST LOUIS (44.5): Packers 30, Rams 20.
Jacksonville (+3.5) @ PITTSBURGH (37): Steelers 20, Jags 19.
N.Y. Jets (+22) @ NEW ENGLAND (43): Patriots 40, Jets 14.
Seattle (-7) @ CAROLINA (37): Seahawks 34, Panthers 13.
Tennessee (-4) @ KANSAS CITY (33.5): Titans 29, Chiefs 10.
Indianapolis (-10.5) @ OAKLAND (45): Colts 23, Raiders 19.
Detroit (+9) @ SAN DIEGO (46): Chargers 26, Lions 19.
Philadelphia (-9.5) @ DALLAS (49): Cowboys 30, Eagles 17.
Washington (+4) @ N.Y GIANTS (37): Giants 24, Redskins 17.
Chicago (+9.5) @ MINNESOTA (43.5): Vikings 23, Bears 14.

Lock of the Week: Tennessee

Trifecta: Tennessee, Oakland, Seattle

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Welcome to Week Fourteen of the 2007 edition of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where our losses are higher than Barry Bonds’ hat size.

The Hoser stumbled to an 8-8 week against the spread and went 9-7 straight up. Frankly, we really have no idea how we managed to get to even last week, but as we’re still hanging on to be above .500 for the season, we’ll just be grateful. Of course, Houston reverted to being Houston and boned us for the Lock and Trifecta.

Oh, and we already blew the Chicago/Washington game. Yay!

Remember – these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having two girls share one cup.

Carolina (+10.5) at JACKSONVILLE – O/U 37.5: We don’t necessarily disagree with the line here, but if the O/U is that low and the Panthers put up 31 last week, is a 10-point spread really advisable? Jaguars 27, Panthers 17.

Dallas (-10) at DETROIT – O/U 51.5: Matt Millen’s on his way to his car after a Lions game when two muggers jump him. Millen fights savagely, but the thieves finally subdue him and turn out his pockets.
“Man, you fought that hard for $1.25?” asks one of the muggers.
“Oh, man,” Millen says, “I thought you were after the $300 in my sock!”
Cowboys 36, Lions 20.

Miami (+7) at BUFFALO – O/U 36: Go watch that “Two Girls One Cup” video instead. It’ll be more pleasant. Bills 20, Dolphins 17.

New York Giants (+3) at PHILADELPHIA – O/U 42.5: We looked at this five or six times and still can’t figure it out – why the hell are the Eagles favoured? Giants 23, Eagles 20.

Oakland (+11) at GREEN BAY – O/U 41: Didn’t the Raiders just hammer Denver? Isn’t Brett Favre banged up? Does it really matter? Packers 30, Raiders 20.

Pittsburgh (+10.5) at NEW ENGLAND – O/U 48: Yes, we know it’s a sucker bet, but that little bitty half a point is going to make us bite here. Patriots 29, Steelers 20.

San Diego (PK) at TENNESSEE – O/U 41: We think Norv & Co. is figuring it out. Step One: Hand ball to LT. Step Two: Repeat Step One. Chargers 23, Titans 19.

St. Louis (+8) at CINCINNATI – O/U 47: We have loofahs less porous than Cincy’s D, and Rams’ QB Marc Bulger returns just in time to clean up. Rams 29, Bengals 23.

Tampa Bay (-2.5) at HOUSTON – O/U 40.5: We’re rooting for the Bucs just because QB Luke McCown makes us think of the fan scene in Tommy Boy. Buccaneers 23, Texans 17.

Arizona (+6.5) at SEATTLE – O/U 44.5: The Cards should have lost last week, and they will this week. Seahawks 26, Cards 23.

Minnesota (-8) at SAN FRANCISCO – O/U 39: We have learned – never, never bet the 49ers to cover anything. Vikings 30, 49ers 14.

Cleveland (-3.5) at N.Y JETS – O/U 48: Think Chad Pennington has sold his house yet? Browns 28, Jets 20.

Kansas City (+6.5) at DENVER – O/U 37.5: Why isn’t anyone talking about Mike Shanahan getting fired? Broncos 26, Chiefs 16.

Indianapolis (-9.5) at BALTIMORE – O/U 42.5: The Colts are too banged up and the Ravens are pissed. Colts 24, Ravens 20.

New Orleans (-4) at ATLANTA – O/U 43: Yay, it’s Monday Night … and … maybe there’s a rerun of “House” or something. Saints 26, Falcons 19.

Lock of the Week: New York Giants

Trifecta: New York Giants, St. Louis, Baltimore

Final Week 13 results:

ATS: 8-8

SU: 7-9

Lock of the Week: 0-1

Trifecta: 0-1

The Money Game: -$760

For the season:

ATS: 94-90-8

SU: 125-67

Lock of the Week: 4-9

Trifecta: 1-12

The Money Game: $-4,180

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good Lord.

Go check out this dude launching a Suzuki Samurai about 15 feet in the air.

Bo and Luke would be so proud.

I know this is lame, but I swear on my autographed David Carr mini-helmet I haven't looked -- Chicago 24, Washington 20. That's my pick for the Thursday night game.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

An update on the Canadian Tire "money" post from last week. Here's the response I received from CT:

Dear Mr. Frazer,

Thank you for contacting our office regarding your recent experience.

We apologize that this product did not meet your expectations and thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. It is through the input of customers like yourself that we are best able to monitor such concerns and identify areas of possible improvement.

Please be assured Canadian Tire Corporation and our Associate stores strive to provide both quality products and excellent service to our customers.

Canadian Tire "Money" or Canadian Tire "Money" on the card is earned on all purchases paid for by cash, debit, Canadian Tire Credit Card and Options MasterCard. This program, exclusive to Canadian Tire, rewards our cash paying customers as well as our Canadian Tire cardholders instantly for their purchases.

Canadian Tire "Money" is treated with the same care and can be used in the same fashion as actual money. One dollar in Canadian Tire "Money" is equal to one actual dollar in our stores. Due to this fact, when a product is returned it is expected to have the Canadian Tire "Money" that was earned returned as well. If the Canadian Tire "Money" is not returned the amount will be deducted from the refund. If you do not wish to receive any Canadian Tire "Money", simply inform the cashier at the start of the transaction. Your receipt will then show that no Canadian Tire 'Money' was earned and will not be deducted if you return the item.

Products purchased on the Canadian Tire Credit Card and Options MasterCard, when returned, will automatically have the Canadian Tire "Money" on the card deducted.

In a situation where a customer is using a credit card other than Canadian Tire, Canadian Tire "Money" is not issued for the simple reason that the customer will be benefiting from the reward program issued by that financial institution.

Our success is based on the voice of our customers. We thank you for providing us with the opportunity to respond.


Customer Relations Representative
Canadian Tire Corporation Limited

So ... a form letter. Thanks for all the personal service, CT. Much obliged.

I also appreciate finding out three years after my first visit to a Canadian Tire that if I ask the cashier not to give me CT "money" (the company's own quotation marks, not mine), it won't appear on the receipt. Someone want to let me know if that's posted anywhere in the store or at the register? I'd think someone would have mentioned it to me during one of the 100 or so transactions where I've declined it.