In Sep. 2009 I was visiting Perth, Ontario and my battery conked out. I got in touch with CAA and they sent a guy over to start it. He checked and told me that the battery was almost dead. The nearest place to go to for a new battery, he said, was Canadian Tire, a couple of kilometers away. I drove there and asked for a good brand; they told me they only sold their own Motomasters. I had no choice at that point, other than driving a long way to another town, like Ottawa, and run the risk of the car stalling on the way. So, I agreed, and they installed the battery, which had a sticker saying " 2 Year free replacement".
Come Nov. 2010 and I'm having starting problems again. I look for the reciept from Perth but can't find it. I call them and they confirm that I did get a new battery in Sep. 2009, but added that I got it for free. It was my lucky day blah blah blah. I said how is that possible, why would you give me a new battery and let me drive away?
So, I go to my Bank ( RBC ) and they dig out the records for Sep. 2009 and there it was, the $ 139 plus which had been paid to Canadian Tire. I called back and faxed the proof of payment and only then did they confirm that I had paid.
When my battery finally gave way in Nov. 2010 ( barely 15 months later ) I called CAA again, and they sent someone over within 5 minutes. He checked the battery and said it was almost dead. I got Canadian Tire at Perth to fax proof of purchase to the Canadian Tire at Yonge and Church. I go along and they charge me $ 74.33, just over 50% of what the new battery had cost me.
I thought "FREE" meant "FREE". Not so with Canadian Tire. The fine print said that parts were free, not labor. So how did it work out to $ 74. About 20 bucks was the labor charge, taking the old battery out and putting a new one in. The other $ 50 was for checking the old battery, to confirm that it was bad. Not only did they not trust the customer, they also didn't trust CAA ( a Canadian, not a foreign organisation ).
Why on earth would I go in for a battery change, if it was working fine.
The second point, the replacement battery that they've installed only has a warranty for 9 months, since the first one lasted 15 months. So, I guess if this one conks out in 6 months, they will charge me another $ 74 and give me a new one, with a 3 month warranty.
What kind of people are these guys? I feel like using a lot of expletives, but I shall refrain.
The other experience I've had with them, is taking the car in for an oil change, and while I am waiting in the waiting room, some guy comes up to me and says the oil cap is missing. I tell him that is impossible. How could I have been driving the car around for thousands of kilometers without the oil cap. He tells me to buy a new cap. I said I'm doing nothing of the sort. So, after some back and forth, he goes back in. My car emerges after 15 minutes, ready to go. I ask what happened and the answer: Well, there's this new guy, he had misplaced the cap and he found it.
Not one ounce of decency, to say we are sorry.
I thought it was a good idea to buy Canadian and promote Canadian businesses, but Canadian Tire's policy I think, is to destroy any customer base.
For now I think I will not add another horrifying story about them, told to me by a friend.
What recourse do I have? Any advice would be welcome.