This has to be, by far, THE WORST EXPERIENCE I have ever had in a Canadian Tire store, and I am definitely not going back ever again after what happened today. I was going in to get a simple little $5 item that I needed, and what should have been a maximum 5-minute in-and-out visit turned into a half-hour ordeal, beginning at the entrance. It seems Canadian Tire Financial Services is so desperate to get people to open new CTFS credit card accounts and/or give up their personal information that anybody going into the store or auto centre today (and into this weekend) was being directed to a pod of touchscreens in the automotive department to "play" a "game" before they'd let you go in for what you were after. In short, they try to sign you up for a CTFS credit card and/or divulge your info. If you're lucky, you'll get what I got: a CTC reusable bag and two or three run-of-the-mill store coupons.
Seriously, Canadian Tire and their dealers/franchisees/whatever you want to call them have sunk to a new low. I'd had previous problems with CTC involving inventory (or lack thereof), customer service (or lack thereof) and "charity" blitzes but this is the absolute final straw. Following today's nightmare, I am never again doing business with Canadian Tire, Mark's Work Wearhouse/L'Equipeur, PartSource, CTFS or any other business in CTC's hands. My wife is a CTFS cardholder, and as forgiving as she may be when it comes to annoyances like these, she's on the verge of joining me in severing my ties with CTC, including cutting up her Options MasterCard and closing the account.
I am absolutely sick and tired of retail stores that use annoying tactics such as the above to weasel people into signing up for the store's credit card. With every other major retailer joining the store credit card craze, I figure it's only a matter of time before places you'd least expect to have a store credit card program will jump on the bandwagon... places like Giant Tiger or Dollarama or Mac's/Couche-Tard. If you really want people to shop at your stores, you don't need credit cards or points cards or irritating crap like that - just provide simple, friendly customer service, have what the customer needs, offer your products/services at competitive prices, and if you want to jump on the community involvement bandwagon, make sure your contributions come out of your profits and not from your customers via charity blitzes.