I'm writing this email to describe what a horrifying experience I had with Canadian Tire Auto Service. Hopefully it helps to remedy your business practices. I'm also tempted to post this all over the web to warn consumers about your service.
I received a $100 gift card to Canadian Tire for Christmas. On December 29, 2011, I had an appointment at the Fairway Road Canadian Tire in Kitchener at 2 pm to have my summer tires swapped with winter ones that I had purchased at the same location the year previous. I had already come in twice that week without an appointment and there were booked solid. Despite arriving just before 2 pm, it took 30 minutes for the Tire Installer (Jamie) to bring my car into a bay.
After another 10 minutes he came to tell me that he was unable to remove a lug nut and doesn't want to break it. I told him that I would take it to my mechanic and to just put the tires back on.
I drove my car to Cambridge and explained the situation to my mechanic. He came outside with a screwdriver and a socket wrench and was able to remove ALL the nuts with little effort and without a bar on the wrench. After looking at me like I was mental, I asked him if maybe the tire was stuck onto the hub. He said that every mechanic knows that all you have to do is hit the tire with a mallet or 2x4 and it comes right off. (All of this was very confusing to me in the first place considering that I had the same location put my summer tires on the car only 3 months ago and there's no way anything should have seized up in that short time).
So I called Canadian Tire back at 3:45pm and told them that my mechanic had just removed all the nuts with a simple socket wrench. I asked them to ask the "Tire Installer" (Jamie) to confirm that it was a lug nut that was the problem. After a brief time the "Service Adviser" (Taneng) came back on the phone and said that he could get me back in tomorrow. He didn't even answer my question at first and I had to persist to hear that the "Tire Installers" will not "force" any part on a vehicle. I reiterated the fact that there was no force involved. I told Taneng that this was unacceptable and that under the circumstances I wanted some VIP treatment and to somehow squeeze me in the same day. I also told him that this was the third day I had tried to been in. He once again said he was unable to do it so I asked to speak to the manager. The manager told me to bring the car in right away and he could get it done.
I arrived back at Canadian Tire in Kitchener at 4:20 pm due to traffic. I told Taneng, the "Service Adviser" that I had forgot to ask the Manager if I was going to be charged for this and if so that I was taking my car somewhere else. He went into the shop to ask the manager if I had to pay. He came back and said "It's not gonna happen". Since I had asked if I was going to have to pay I heard this as a "no". That believe was reinforced because at the exact same time Taneng handed me a form to sign that had "Does Not Pay" stamped across it. So I signed the paper and took a seat. At that time I text my girlfriend that at least I wasn't going to have to pay for the service and was just trying to stop being angry now.
After another 40 minutes of waiting Taneng - "Service Adviser", came out and told me the car was done. He then asked me if it was going to be credit, cash or debit. I laughed and thought he was joking around with me. He repeated the question and I asked what he was talking about. He said that I wasn't going to have to pay for it! He became angry and said that he had stood right there and told me that I WAS going to have to pay and that I had even signed the work order. I told him that the thing has "Does Not Pay" stamped on it and I thought that it was just procedure. I said that they had severely inconvenienced me and I had stated when I came in that if I had to pay for it then I was taking it somewhere else! They had wasted my entire day and I wanted to speak to the service manager. He stated that the manager had left for the day. He got on the phone and said that there was an irate customer who was refusing to pay. I told him to put the summer tires back on the car then cause there was no way they were getting a dime out of me. So off they went to put my summer tires back on my car!!! Over $68 they had wasted my entire day, made me drive to Cambridge and now they were putting my summer tires back on. I was furious at this point and told them I wanted to speak to the store manager. They said that everyone had gone home and that there was only one manager still at the store. I said that I'd speak to that manager then. She came over and I explained my whole experience. She then informed me that she was the sports and seasonal manager and there was nothing she could do for me except give me a number to Customer Relations.
So to add insult to injury, after they had re-installed my summer tires for the second time that day and parked my car outside, the parking lot was almost empty but my car was on the far side of the parking lot. They had parked my car as far away as possible in an empty parking lot so I'd have to walk farther. I couldn't believe it. I wanted to go back in and strangle someone but I was just happy to finally be getting away from Canadian Tire.
Last night I opened a complaint file with Customer Relations #2263390070 and they have offered to pay for my winter tire installation. I'm not sure if I even want to take them up on it and I still have a $100 gift card that I'm tempted to throw in the trash. I own a gym in Cambridge Ontario and I have hundreds of members here who are soon to be ex Canadian Tire customers.