As much as I love Canadian Tire, they have disappointed me incredibly and have been added to my blacklist. It is a short list because it takes a lot to get on it but at least they will be happy to know they are joining some good company (there is an Air Canada discussion in our future for sure). For now, let’s just say that all nine of my kidlets and anyone living in my house, is banned from shopping at Canadian Tire unless it is an emergency (like 80% off on that new set of wrenches).
If anyone is unaware of what Canadian Tire is (winking at you Americans… some of you anyway), it is a NAPA autoparts, a sports authority, a home depot, and whatever store sells housewares and Christmas trees and toys… it is just the all-in-one Canadian store. One of the things I always loved about Canadian Tire was the warranty. Anything you bought with a Canadian Tire brand was covered. I loved it.
In the past few years their lifetime warranty was slowly turning into a 3-year warranty on most things. Last fall I bought a new car battery for the Durango and thought it would give me at least three years of not worrying about cold starts on winter mornings. It turns out that our cold snap at the beginning fo January was too much for the new battery. I didn’t plug the truck in at -30C (-22F) and it would not start. I tried to boost it to no avail… the battery was kaput. A couple of days later I pulled the battery and took it into Canadian Tire.
I knew from previous experiences that they give you a brochure that you need to produce for warranty on automotive stuff, and I made sure that I had it with me when I took the battery in. Then I was told that I let the battery freeze so it wasn’t covered. I was like, are you shitting me? You aren’t covering my battery if I let it get cold in Canada? they said it was frozen. I told them everything in this friggin town was frozen. With the wind chill it was -43C (-45F).
She pointed out this wonderful little blurb in my pamphlet that said, and I am paraphrasing here, ‘I was an idiot for buying a battery from Canadian Tire.’
D. the battery has not been frozen or damaged due to neglect including fire, wreckage, overcharging or sulphation.
Well I could promise you that it had not been in a fire or a car accident in front of my house. It had definitely not been overcharged because it had died and I had no idea what sulphation was but sure it had something to do with the white gunk that accumulates on the battery posts. So the only thing left is neglect. Here was Canadian Tire, the guys who built the ice truck, telling me that by leaving the battery outside in the winter I was neglectful and I was simply out $150 and my 3-year warranty was null and void after less than 5 months from the purchase date.
So if you have a battery from Canadian Tire, and your vehicle won’t start, do not leave the battery in the vehicle. It will freeze and void your warranty because you are a neglectful individual. You should suck it up in the freezing temperatures and pull the frozen battery from your car before it bulges Otherwise, you now are stuck with one of three options…
- You can buy a new battery and suck up the $150 as a life lesson (your wife will not be impressed)
- You can fight Canadian Tire but it will be a long fight because they no longer believe that the customer is right (I have no time for this)
- You can go buy the same battery from Costco for $100 (yes, I saved $50) and get a real 3-year warranty, then blog about your ordeal with Canadian Tire and cost them a fortune… well, more than $150 at any rate.
Now this brings about a problem men, and I say men because most people who love this store are men. I know that we all believe this, but I truly did marry one of the most amazing women on the planet. I know that you think it is because she gave birth nine times for me; maybe because she home schooled all of my kidlets; or possibly because without her I would probably starve to death. All of these are great reasons to love her but you forget that I am a shallow man… well, all men are shallow… but I am shallow for a man. Yes, I can be a gentleman, but my grading for the perfect woman tends to lean more toward her proclivity to find me attractive even if that takes obscene amounts of vodka, and I am a hooter-man at heart. The fact that she has a smile that could stop traffic and eyes that I melt away in and we can’t forget the voice. I remember back in late 1987, just before Christmas, she sang to me on the phone, kind-of-a Marilyn Monroe happy birthday. How many of you knew that I asked Stacey to marry me before we actually met? Well that will be another blog post I suppose.
For this one, you need to understand that on top of everything else, Canadian Tire is her favorite store and Hooters is her favorite restaurant. I kid you not. Some of you are already calling me a liar. I know, but as hard as it is to believe, it is true, my wife loves Hooters (I think there is a post in my drafts about them as well somewhere). She drags me there a few times a year… or once a month. Whatever.
So is the battery-thing enough to tell my wife to stop shopping there? Yes dammit. It is a principle. You either warranty your stuff against Canadian Winter or you don’t. I have already cost Canadian Tire over $150 and now I am working on tracking a $1500 business shift. That will ensure that I know that they lost more than $150 in net profit. With all my kids this should not take too long (with a special shout out to Chelsey, Chantell, Matt, Ryan and Helen). The special note is to my kids who no longer live at home. Let us see how much influence I have over them now that they are on their own (if any at all).
When I got to Costco there was a $10 core charge which they said they would give me back when I brought an old battery in. I had it in the van so I brought it back in 4 minutes. When I got to the counter I asked what my new battery warranty covered. Three years, apparently any damage. And they would of course test it to confirm that it was actually defective when I returned it? Nope, just bring it back and get my money back. What about the pamphlet that I had to have or void my warranty at Canadian Tire? There is no pamphlet. As a matter of fact, at Costco I don’t even need a receipt because the purchase shows up on my membership card. I am now wondering why I haven’t been buying car batteries at Costco for years now.
As a side note, until Canadian Tire gives me back my $150, my family are forbidden from spending money at Canadian Tire unless they have a smoking deal. Every once in a while, that awesome set of wrenches goes on sale for 75% off and you can’t say no to that, not even for me. But I now drive up to Wal-Mart for my washer fluid and I will be moving all my household and sporting good purchases to Home Depot, Wal-mart and Target (until they close their doors…). And that reminds me, there is a Target blog in the drafts as well.
The only thing I ask, is that if you buy something from another store that you would have bought from Canadian Tire, please scroll to the bottom of this page and post a comment with what you bought (or didn’t buy) and what it cost them. Looking forward to all my friends helping me reach this goal… both of you at any rate.