Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Consumer Beware!

Don't shop at Canadian Tire. Or at least, don't pay cash at Canadian Tire.

It won't hurt you if you like their irritating Canadian Tire money and you actually spend it.

It won't hurt you if you like the product you purchased from then and you actually keep it.

However, if, as I did, you purchase a defective product from them, and then return it, and they don't have a non-defective iteration of the same product to replace it with, you get to lose money.

How does this happen, you ask? Don't they refund you the full amount of your purchase price on a defective product?

Not precisely, I say.

They refund you the full amount of purchase, less any amount of Canadian Tire money you earned on the purchase.

Never mind that Canadian Tire money is not money, and can't be spent anywhere else.

Never mind that you can't refuse to take their stupid Canadian Tire money, despite the fact that all you do is lose it, or put it directly in the charity box by the cash, or have it clutter up your wallet and your pocket and your car and your entrance way and whereever else you tuck stupid pieces of paper that you can't bring yourself to throw out but have no use for. I've never in this lifetime redeemed a single cent of Canadian Tire money.

Never mind that you can't take Canadian Tire money to them and exchange it for cash, which you could do if it was actually a valid tender of any kind.

They still insist that you pull those few cents of Canadian Tire money out of your wallet and give it back to them, and if you don't, they deduct it from your refund.

The policy is not posted visibly in the store. Not even not at the customer service desk, where you might go to attempt to exchange or refund a product.

I suspect they think their policy is written on the receipt... but all it says is "to return an item for exchange or refund, bring it to any Canadian Tire store within 90 days, in its original condition and packing, with your receipt and issue of Canadian Tire "Money"TM. Which implies that I might not get a refund at all without my Canadian Tire Money, but says nothing about clawing it back. And that's if I understand that my "issue of Canadian Tire Money" refers to the stupid pieces of paper they handed me, which I'm not convinced I would have without the background of this experience.

The manager, if asked for, as I did, will not have any sympathy or be willing to bend in any way. Will quote the "it's the system" line at you like a mindless parrot.

My advice? Don't bother shopping at Canadian Tire.

If you do, pay with a credit card. And I hope, in the dark vindictive corner of my soul, that it costs them more money when I pay with a credit card than when I pay with debit. I know, with deep satisfaction, that it costs them more than when I pay with cash.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:00 p.m.  

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