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!)