At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 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.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Canadian Tire...the final chapter!

I had put in a formal complaint with Canadian Tire's head office because I felt that I was overcharged on the little blue car's inspection and wheel alignment a month or so ago. Yesterday, I was able to register a partial victory, and put the whole episode behind us.

I received a phone message from the local store yesterday morning. Strange, because I wasn't expecting a call from the store...I was expecting a call from the head office.

Just to re-cap, I had to pay $119 for the government mandated inspection. The inspection included the cost of  doing a wheel alignment report. The alignment was slightly off, and they charged me a further $109 for the alignment adjustments. But the $109 also included the cost of doing the wheel alignment report. Why am I paying for that twice? I felt I was being overcharged by $35...which is what they charge if somebody walks in off the street for a wheel alignment report.

I returned the guy's call. And it was a total waste of time. The guy just re-iterated the same story that I got when I originally complained.

So I called back to head office. Seems they also didn't expect this guy to call me. He was supposed to call head office to explain his side of the story. Anyhow, I was eventually passed through to the leader of their "automotive customer relations team".

This guy fed me a line that they don't put the car up on the alignment rack for the printout. Huh? They have to! He tried to say that they have new technology where it only takes a couple of minutes to do the printout report. I've never heard of that, but then I've been out of the business for 15 years. But it doesn't matter because I walked in to see the car when they did the inspection and it was up on the alignment machine with the heads attached to the wheels. There was no "new technology" at work there!

This guy finally said "so, what is it exactly that you want"?

And I told him again that I felt that I was overcharged by $35.

He offered to send me a $35 Canadian Tire gift card, and I took it.

But, I felt that the offer was made to me just to get rid of me. There was no acceptance on his part that they were doing something wrong in the way they charge people for this. So, it's only a partial victory. But at least my complaining was worth it, to me. And, I get to tell the story here so that hopefully others won't get ripped off the same way. Bottom line is...Canadian Tire Auto Service? Never again!

Did you ever want to be a beachcomber? I've always thought it would be kind of neat to have a metal detector. I think I could waste away a couple of hours here and there looking for coins, jewelry, and buried pirate treasure!

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19 comments:

  1. I gave up with their service about 35 years ago, I will buy their products on sale and use my Canadian Tire money, but not for service.
    At least you got some satisfaction.

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    1. This was our one and only time using their automotive service and it will be our last! Looking forward to spending that $35 there though, and you can be guaranteed it will be on something that is on sale. :-)

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  2. Unfortunately I don't think they will change their ways. Too many people just pay it blindly and don't question.
    Good that you got the gift card though, might come in handy!

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    1. Nope, I don't think they will either, why would you want to stop gouging your customers with their added "shop supplies" fee and any other charges or work that might have been unnecessary. You are right too many people just go ahead and pay for it, even if they think it is wrong and don't complain enough about it. If more people caused a stink about these things like Kevin did, then maybe they would change but I doubt it!

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  3. Most times it's enough to make you want to just SPIT. And that's as inflammatory as I'm willing to get on the subject. I've never ever gone to CDN Tire to witness their attempts at operating a garage. Not since one of my buddies who was a Class A back in the day would tell us horror stories about their practises. Seems they've never changed.

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    1. Nope, don't think they have changed! We have never used Canadian Tire Automotive Service before because of everything bad that we have heard about them but it was really our only option for getting this inspection done and we figured, how could they mess up on that. Boy were we wrong, as I said before NEVER again!!!!

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  4. At least in the end they did something - but little do they know how much bad press they got due to crappy customer service out of it. I'm still trying to find "that trustworthy auto repair guy" in our new home town. We have one for one of our vehicles but he only services specific types(import specialist) so need another "guy" for the other.

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    1. Kevin, any tips here on how to find a mechanic that you feel confident in and can trust? Is there any sort of certification to look for? It's like trying to find a general contractor!

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    2. I think this is where your online social networks can come in handy. Recommendations and referrals go a long way, especially if you can say to the shop "I was referred by so and so and they've been very happy with your work".

      The only nationwide certification program in the U.S. is the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence), and I'm not aware of a similar program in Canada. Being ASE certified is a good start, but I'd rather get a referral from a friend. And if that mechanic happens to be ASE certified, then all the better.

      I like to go to a smaller shop where I'm actually dealing directly with the guy who will be working on the vehicle, rather than a "service adviser".

      And, bring the mechanic a box of home made cookies. Can't hurt, right? :-)

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  5. Isn't there a government overseer of these business practices? Here in the states we have such a thing. Maybe a complaint to that department would bring about some big changes.

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    1. We do have the Better Business Bureau but the situation that we had with Canadian Tire is a odd one because it would only affect people who are bringing an out of province vehicle into to have it inspected for a Saskatchewan license and then it having to need a wheel alignment done so really it wouldn't have an impact on most of their customers. Plus at this point Kevin is just plain tired of this whole fiasco.

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  6. If they admit to their mistake then they have to stop charging everyone! It's easier and less costly to pay off someone who takes the time and effort to register a complaint. Good for you for getting your $35 back!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head with that! Kevin was determined to get that back! ;-)

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  7. The great thing is, you'll be able to use that gift card for something other than more shop supply fees ;)

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    1. Yep! They can really have some great sales on some of their items so we will wait until we can get one of those before using the gift card.

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  8. Goof for you sticking to your guns, especially since you knew you were in the right. That $35 should spend sweetly! :c)

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    1. Thanks, Kevin is definitely determined and will fight for what he believes to be right until he gets what he feels he deserves. He wasn't asking for anything more than that. It will be spent sweetly. ;-)

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  9. Hooray for our side! A partial victory, to be sure, but you can spend that $35 with a great big smile on your face! You persevered ... congrats!

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    1. Yes, we do feel that it was a partial victory, as we basically got the money back that we felt we were overcharged on but we would really have like to have seen them change their price system around when it comes to doing the inspection and then having to have the wheel alignment done and getting charged twice for the setup when the car is already on the machine. I guess the only way we can help any other people with this issue is if they are able to read our blog post and then decide to take their car somewhere else to have the inspection done.

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