At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Canadian Tire - The saga continues...

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about our unpleasant experience having some work done at Canadian Tire's automotive service department. You can read about it here.

This was all because Saskatchewan has government run auto insurance and requires a vehicle safety inspection before an out of province vehicle can be registered and insured in the province. The little blue car needed front brake pads, so I changed them the other day. But, I had to bring the car back to Canadian Tire for a re-inspection so that they could see that the front brake pads had been changed.

We got there right on time, and I walked in with the keys. It's a young guy behind the counter, and I explain what I'm there for. The guy says "It'll be an hour or so because we have to take off the brakes".

Huh? You may have to take off the wheel rims, but you most certainly don't have to take off the brakes. So I say "wait a minute, I just want to confirm what it is you're doing here. It's just a re-inspection to confirm that the brake pads have been changed. I don't want you taking off the brake pads...I just want you looking at them".

The guy says "I don't need your input".

I'm not kidding. He actually said that. Ruth was standing right there. I said "pardon me?" And he wouldn't repeat it.

He printed off the work order, and I had been told that it would be a $35 charge. And it was. But they had that "shop supplies" on there too, at $3.50 or so. I asked that it be removed, and he said "no, you have to pay that. It's not going to be removed again." the young guy says. "It's mandatory across Canada. You have to pay it." The guy beside him says "we're not taking that off. You only got it taken off last time because you whined".

"And I'm going to whine again" I said, as I walked off to the customer service desk to talk to the store manager. The young guy follows me.

Now, it's not about the 3 bucks this time. It's the point of the matter, and the fact that they overcharged me by $35 last time. Which is still unresolved.

These guys just don't seem to get that you can't quote one price, and then charge 10% more than you quoted.

The store manager agrees with me, and the $3.50 is waived. This guy is just stewing now. Walking back to the auto service counter, with me walking behind him, he's shaking his head and literally mumbling out loud. "this is crazy" he says. Then he says "you're crazy".

I can't believe this guy talks to customers like this.

They go ahead and do the inspection. It takes less than half an hour, and we're done. I paid the bill and went to pick up the keys. The same young guy says "Next time you come back, you'll have to pay the shop supplies charge. It will be on the invoice and it won't be waived"

Seriously? I said "The odds of me ever coming back are pretty slim".

Then, it was off to the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) office to get the plates for the little blue car.

The little blue car is now a Saskatchewan resident, just like us!

Very refreshing to deal with SGI compared to doing the same procedure in Ontario. It's one stop shopping for your registration, plates, and insurance. And, you can buy by the month, which suits us perfectly. It cost $393 for four months worth, including a basic collision insurance. And, when I get my insurance history from Ontario (which I've ordered but it hasn't shown up yet) I'll get a further discount and they'll send me a refund cheque. 

So now that's done.

I called Canadian Tire's corporate head office to register an official complaint. The lady I spoke with was very nice, and she took down all the details and said that someone from their "specialty automotive team" would be getting back to me. Hey, maybe  they don't realize there's a problem. So, we'll see what happens. I have no problem with them charging  a fair price for what they do, but I don't like being taken advantage of. She agreed with me, and seemed to understand the problem.

Today's header picture is the crimson breasted shrike, a southern African bird. One of the very few species of birds where the male and the female look identical.

A good deal on a portable propane fire pit...


And for our Canadian readers, a fantastic deal on a GPS hiking watch. Normally a $400 item, it's currently on for $149. This item sells for $240 on the American Amazon site, so it really is a great discount...

Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch (Edit: That didn't last long....now back up to $399. You need to be quick on some of these Amazon deals!)



25 comments:

  1. Wow, that's really unbelievable. Who does Canadian Tire they think they are??? On the flip side, I needed an alignment for my truck yesterday, and took it to Les Schwab. First experience with them. First alignment in over 13 years and it was really out of whack. Manager thought it would take 45 minutes but it ended up taking over two hours. I thought I was going to be charged an arm and a leg. Total bill: $56.50---half the price of a lot of places. Sweet!

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    1. Great price! But then I expected nothing less from a fellow frugal shopper... :-)

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  2. Wow! Canadian Tire has some serous customer service issues. Buyer beware!

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    1. Yes, but as I said in the original post...not all Canadian Tires stores or employees should be judged by this experience. I'm sure there are some stores that are great. Nonetheless, as you said...buyer beware.

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  3. Wow, you have a lot of patience! I think some kids these days feel they are owed a job, service is down in all industries it seems. In Manitoba we also have Public Insurance - coming from Ontario also I think it's great, but a lot of people here think the payouts are not what they should be (if you need one). Personally I think it's a bargain! With my discount my insurance is around $40/mo ('pleasure insurance' only as I don't use my car daily).

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    1. I wish we had that option here in Saskatchewan. We only drive the little blue once or twice per week. That's a great deal for you!

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  4. I believe it, unfortunately Canadian Tire automotive department just flat out sucks. I generally like the rest of their stores though. I will never return to Canadian Tire automotive department either. That guy needs to get fired.

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    1. Of course he does. But if I complained about him or his attitude there wouldn't be any consequences, so I didn't. Every business in Swift Current has a "help wanted" sign out front, including the Canadian Tire Auto Service Center here. If they fired this guy, they'd have nobody to replace him with.

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  5. My Canadian Tire over here is very nice. The guys there are friendly and accomodating. They never charged me more than what they quoted and no hidden fees but I have had challenges with other Canadian Tire stores in the past.
    Customer Service just isn't what it used to be for most places. Even grocery stores clerks are grumpy. Almost like they either don't like their job or they feel superior to their customers.
    Just not right.
    I agree with never going there again and I think you have done a service to your readers by reporting this behavior. No one should have to deal with that attitude when you are the reason they get a paycheque.

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    1. And as I've said, I'm sure there are some stores and some employees that are great. Glad you're having a good experience. I'd be curious if you've checked your invoices for that bogus "shop supplies" charge. Most of our grocery store clerks here are quite friendly though. :-)

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  6. I hate to be a complaining person. But some things compel me to speak up and let someone take note the 'this is not right'. Good for you and I hope you get some satisfaction from the home office. Doubt the 'you will have to pay next time guy' will ever get it but at least you gave him a chance to depart from his foolishness.

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    1. I complain when I'm being overcharged. When somebody only does what I paid them for, I thank them...and they thank me. When someone goes above and beyond, I make sure their supervisor knows it.

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  7. Unbelievable! Your patience is amazing. I know darned good and well that I'd have thrown a real hissy-fit right there. Are they the only place you can go to have this done? (In Texas there are any number of places you can go for your annual inspection)

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    1. Of course there are numerous places I could have got this done, but at the quoted price of $120, Canadian Tire was the cheapest. The problem is that once you've gone for the original $120 inspection, you're locked in to returning to that shop for the re-inspection. Your only recourse is is to go to another shop and pay full price to redo the original inspection. I complained to SGI about this, but they say that Canadian Tire can charge whatever they want over and above the hour and a half labor charge for the inspection...even if it's not fair. SGI can't do anything about it.

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  8. And you were asking about the difference in walk in clinic and regular Dr. I think you found it.
    Mickey

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    1. Cheeper isn't always least costly.

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    2. Pretty tough to compare this to a family physician vs walk in clinic. And had Canadian Tire stuck by their quoted price, I would have been happy with the outcome. Ultimately, I still ended up with what is probably the best price to do the job that was done.

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  9. It would be one thing if the "mandatory" shop supplies charge was nominal and fixed and commensurate with the "supplies"---namely the paper thing they stick under the pedals to prevent them tracking in grease. But 10% of the labor charge!? How ridiculous. I too would flip out if I was charged over $20 for basically a mint on my pillow.

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    1. Agreed, it would be but then when they give you the quote for the price they need to tell you that there is also that fee added so that you aren't in for any surprises when the bill comes. That was Canadian Tires problem, they quoted Kevin the price of the inspection plus tax, nowhere did they mention that a "shop supplies fee" would be added to this price! They need to make their customers aware of this additional charge right from the get go!

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  10. Any service person would ever talk to me like that, it would be more than talking to a manager. I'd go to the local news station, corporate (which you have done) and start a major campaign against the store if not the corporation. I know this sounds old school in these sensitive times, but how dare some one talk to a customer like that. And he kept it up after the decision was made. He's going to have a very hard time in life. I hope you escalate this until the chap is fired. He doesn't deserve a job when there are other people out there looking for work.

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    1. But that's the problem Chris...there is nobody around here looking for work! Everybody around here who wants a job already has one.

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  11. Really too bad that customer service was so rude.
    Like you said all Canadian Tire stores are not like that, but I have run into a few in my travels.
    Too bad that you cannot et the inspection done elsewhere.

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    1. It was unbelievable!

      We could have had the inspection done else where but at the other places they wanted the car all day. The little blue car is our only transportation so this wouldn't have worked for us as we had nowhere to go if we dropped the car off at one of these other places. Canadian Tire was the only place that could do the inspection while we waited the hour and a half for it to be done.

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  12. Well, I trust you WON'T be returning to that place. Maybe someday you'll get your money back.

    What a gorgeous bird. I'd like to see one of those (or more!!) in person, but I doubt I'll ever get to S. Africa. Then again, ya never know!

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    1. We may go to buy their products but we definitely won't be back to their auto service ever again!

      Never say never! We had always wanted to go to Africa but thought the chances would be slim and low and behold we did get to go. :-)

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