Good grief, this story just continues and continues and continues and it's not getting much better either.

The latest episode with Canadian Tire started on Wednesday November 23rd, 2005 when I was in the store and found a vacuum I wanted to purchase. Since I couldn't cart it home with me I asked how much delivery was and was told $40.00!! Well the vacuum was only $50.00 off. Didn't seem to make much sense to buy it with a $40.00 delivery charge. I could stick it in a taxi for $10.00

So...... here is the first part of the story, it's an email, I was furious at the situation when I sent it to Canadian Tire on Friday November 25th, 2005....

 

[ This does it, I've definitely had my fill of Canadian Tire. Why? Because all these years, as a disabled person I've been delegated to your stinky, dirty, freight elevator even after all those renovations at your flagship store on Yonge St. at Davenport, I've had to maneuver my way past garbage cans in the way of your disabled entrance at that store too that for some reason or another can't be moved out of the way of the disabled entrance. Then there was the time I needed the washroom and asked to use the elevator that was for your disabled customers but was again told to use your smelly, dirty, full of boxes, freight elevator. And then there are the times I call your store to find out if something is in stock because it's difficult for me to get there and I'm told "yes, there are 18 in stock", then 30 minutes later when I get there in miserable weather there isn't one in the store! And this happened several times, it's not a one off thing to be told there are several of something in stock and then a half hour later they have all miraculously disappeared. And I'm not talking about door crashers either. But today is the final straw.

I was in your store the other day, Wednesday November 23rd and was looking at your Hoover Spirit Upright Vacuum - stock # 43-6210-2 on sale for $79.99 (Reg. $129.99). Since I'm disabled and in a mobility device, I obviously cannot bring this item home myself. While in the store I asked a sales clerk how much delivery was, she informed me it was $40.00. I found that rather a large fee and passed on it.

When I got home though I decided to look online Thursday and when I did, low and behold I found that you were only charging $6.99 shipping for that item. I decided to wait a bit more and consider the purchase. Being disabled and just before the holidays I must be careful with my money since I'm on a disability pension.

This evening, at 7:30 pm (Friday November 25th) I went online to purchase it. I saw you have a special of no delivery fee to my area until Dec. 11th. I was pleased with this. I then saw that I was also able to purchase some great sale items as well and started my holiday shopping by putting one of the Tool Kits #99-0905-4 in my shopping cart for $19.99. I thought this would be a great gift for my brother.

From there I went to the search as I did Thursday and typed in vacuum to go and purchase the Hoover Spirit Upright Vacuum - stock # 43-6210-2. It takes me to the page it's on and what do I find? I find that it's listed now at $129.99 !!!! According to your website it's no longer on sale. I beg to differ. It's on sale for $79.99 from Saturday November 19th until Friday November 25th!!! The 25th isn't over yet. Matter of fact the stores weren't even closed when I was looking to purchase this online. It was only 7:30 pm !

So..... I'm suppose to pay full price for an item that is on sale? Explain this to me. And please don't tell me that your next week sales need to be posted early the evening before because I am a webmaster and I know that is not so. I can upload/ftp an entire site in minutes. There is no need for your webmaster to take the sales offline early, before the stores close.

I decided at this point to call the store and see what could be done. After explaining to the girl on the phone that I was disabled, can't carry this item home myself which is why I was going to purchase it online, then explaining to her about what happened online I was put on hold for several minutes. When she came back all she could do was offer me a rain cheque!! I asked her what good that was since once again, I'm not able to shop for items like that myself because I'm disabled. She said she realized that but it's all they could do. Now please explain to me how a rain cheque helps me?

Enough already. That was thoroughly disrepectful. Canadian Tire has constantly been making life miserable for disabled shoppers. Even when you fix up the entire store we are still relagated to the smelly, dirty freight elevator. Trash cans put in front of the disabled entrance when there is ample room elsewhere. Now this. It simply never ends.

Because I'm disabled and can't get haul a sale item home and must rely on your online shopping for items like this I'm penalized and can't take advantage of a $50.00 reduction on a vacuum. Someone there please explain how fair that is? I am not going to order the tool kit. To hell with it. After shopping at Canadian Tire for all my life this is actually the straw that broke the camel's back. Never again. I'll be going to the competition as will the rest of my family and friends after this fiasco. I will also be mentioning this on my well established website which gets over a few million hits a year. I've finally had my fill of Canadian Tire. All I wanted was a vacuum. This is unreal. I guess to get what I want from your store I'm suppose to rig some kind of thing up on my chair and drag it home.

Vickie ]

 

  I received the following later that day:

[ Dear Sir/Madam ,

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Customerservice@canadiantire.ca, your feedback is very important to us. We wish to advise you that we are experiencing an unusually high volume of e-mails for this time of year. We are working diligently to respond to your e-mail as quickly as possible. You can expect to receive a response from one of our Customer Service Representatives shortly

This automated response is your acknowledgement that on 11/25/2005 we received your e-mail. Should your inquiry be urgent, you can choose to contact our office at the phone number below and please be sure to quote your tracking number is (*******).

Sincerely,

Customer Relations Representative
Canadian Tire Corporation Limited
Customerservice@canadiantire.ca
1-800-387-8803

Internal Reference [*******]

 

  I heard nothing back so I waited some more. Come the next Friday I still didn't hear anything and it had been a week so I decided to send the original email again. I did and all I got again was the form letter telling me they were getting more email than normal.

So...... I waited again. Another Friday comes along, now it's 3 weeks and still nothing from them. Now I'm fed up and I decide to call them. I get this nice guy named Robert who I explained everything in the email to and I told him there was more, lots more, that I had just had yet another incident in their store since that letter was written. He requested that I print the email and add to it all the rest of the issues that were going on in that store and to please fax it to him. He gave me his fax number and I agreed to do it. This letter got real long, 2 pages worth of incidents in that particular store. If not one thing, it's another. Disabled parking that they allow able bodied people to park in to load their car, having to use the dirty, stinky freight elevator after a few million in renos, crowded isles, not allowing disabled to use the disabled elevator, etc. etc. Here is a copy of the lengthy but much needed letter. You can see this new letter explaining everything at THIS PAGE!

Then I waited.............

On December 20th, 2005 I received an email from the store manager at the particular Cdn Tire store I was complaining about. He requested that I call him. He had received a copy of the letter I wrote.

I called him but it was 9 PM and got his voice mail at work and left him a message. The day after, around 6 PM he (Roberto) called me back. We had quite a long talk.

The long and short of it is this....... these were his comments on some of the issues in the store.

Concerning the disabled parking issue and the fact they let able-bodied people park in those couple of spaces to load their cars: He told me they have fixed that. That the first space is now for loading and the next two spaces are for disabled and the 4th space over is now for expecting mom's or mom's with strollers, etc. - For me, this is still inappropriate because those spots were for the disabled!! The closest spots to the store. If they are so concerned that their able bodied customers can't cart their purchases out to their car then they should have some kind of cart there that they can use and that will go through their barriers. And if needed, an employee to go with them. Why not? An employee usually stands there and watches them load their car.

Concerning the garbage cans by the disabled ramp. Well, this one we agreed to disagree on. I was told that the garbage cans can't be moved to the other side of the large platform because then they are in the way of the fire route. It's a safety issue. If you look at the picture about midway down you can see how large this platform is and I simply can't understand how this will impede traffic flow of people leaving the store in case of fire if you moved the stinky garbage cans over to the other side. Btw, since my letter they have moved the garbage cans over into the corner more but they are still there, and I'm sure when summer comes they'll still stink.

Roberto also remarked that anyone going into the store through the middle of those large sliding doors is just as close to the stinky garbage cans as we are when using the disabled ramp. That one I simply can't understand. When I'm on that ramp coming through those stupid barriers I'm within 5 feet of those smelly garbage cans. Someone going through the middle of those large sliding doors is nowhere near as close to them. Again, see picture about midway down. When you are disabled and going through that barrier at the top of the ramp you are within a few feet of those cans. And believe me, in the summer heat and humidity, they can stink!

Concerning the issue of the stinky, smelly, dirty freight elevator we are always relegated to use... Well, there is absolutely nothing he can do about this matter. I told him that I didn't appreciate Canadian Tire Head Office dumping this issue in his lap when it was their responsibility to install a proper elevator during all those expensive renovations. It was them at fault here and not his responsibility to take care of it. He did tell me that the smell issue has been taken care of though, they discovered that the sewer below it was backing up and that is what was causing the stench at times. Lovely... just lovely. O.k. now we just have to deal with finding someone that will take us upstairs or downstairs but only after they clean out all the garbage out of it first!!!

Concerning the barriers at the top of the disabled ramp outside.... I've heard this excuse previously. It's not there to stop people from taking the store buggies out actually, but it's there due to a City by-law about not allowing carts onto the sidewalks. I told him if this is so, then it's time to put locks on the carts so they can't go any further than the doors!! This can be done and is done at Dominion stores. As soon as you start through the entry/exit doors the wheels on the buggies lock solid. It's a great anti-theft device as well as takes care of the by-law issue.

I told him those P shaped barriers at the top of the ramp can break a scooters arm rests... that some scooters cannot go through them at all!! Thus prohibiting people from entering the store. They can also be very dangerous if your wheelchair/scooter arm rest gets caught in there because it can tip your chair!! If this situation isn't rectified soon someone is going to sue them. Personally I'm getting tired of it always flipping back my arm rests and if one gets broken due to it it won't be me that pays the repair bill. If I get tipped over due to it, believe me, I won't hesitate to sue since this has been discussed several times over and there is another practical solution available. I told him as much.

Concerning the issue of not being able to use the 'disabled' elevator to go down to the washroom, the one that anyone could use before but is now locked up tight. You have to ask to use it and when I did, I was told no, and to use the freight elevator! Roberto couldn't figure out why I was told that. He also enlightened me that since the renovations there has been a washroom installed on the main floor!!! Excuse me??? I asked him why I was never told about this? Why there are no signs that are visible about this? Why after all this time has no one mentioned these washrooms on that floor when I specifically asked after all the reno's? He couldn't answer that one. I told him I have asked, a few times because during the reno's there was no access to the washroom and since things were all moved around after the reno's we needed to ask where the washrooms now were. The only answer I ever got was in the basement level where they were before.

Oh, on a personal note from me.... the old clean normal elevator that we could all use before is now employee only. Customers can't use it to go up, their offices are up there now and they don't want the customers going through their internal offices regardless of whether or not they are disabled and the only other way they have to get upstairs is by the smelly, dirty old freight elevator! Now, we (disabled) are suppose to be able to use that elevator to go down but when I asked to I was told by an employee to use the freight elevator. I guess it was too much trouble to go get the stupid new key for it.

It's still one thing after another with this store and it seems nothing is about to change either. I was asked if I ever tried the other door. I told him no. The other door requires me to basically dodge traffic going in and out of his parking lot. That I'm normally right on Yonge St. so I use that entrance, the actual disabled entrance!

At the end of our discussion Roberto was kind enough to offer me the vacuum at the sale price I originally wished to purchase it at and the tool kit I was going to buy as well at the sale price. The problem is, that was in November, it's now December, a few days before Christmas, and I, like most people, am short of money due to the holidays. I can't afford to go purchase myself something like that now. He suggested I wait until the New Year then but I told him, again, like most people, I'm short on funds even in January. He said that it was no problem, and to come see him in February or even early March. He also told me he would figure out something about the delivery charge as well since the stores contract their delivery and it is $40.00, unlike head office that can give it for $6.99 or even when I first wished to purchase these items, there was a free delivery period so I wouldn't have had to pay.

During the last part of our conversation Roberto made reference to a letter I received from Head Office. I told him I never received anything of the likes. I asked him if it was an email or snail mail but he wasn't sure. Regardless, I never got it so he told me as soon as he finished speaking to me he would call Head Office and let them know I never received the letter.

About an hour or so after speaking to Roberto I found a message on my voice mail from someone at their Head Office remarking about the letter I received from them. Geezzzzz does no one listen at that places Head Office? I was really annoyed because I never heard back from ANYONE there. You may as well talk to a wall at times with this company. Whomever it was on my message machine told me they would honour the sale price of the vacuum. However they never mentioned the tool kit I lost out on nor the free delivery I lost out on. If I am going to take anyone's offer it would be Roberto's directly from the store.

Now here's the odd twist, the very next day, on Friday December 23rd, I received a letter in the mail from Canadian Tire. No, it wasn't the missing letter I supposedly received, it was a letter of apology from Robert, the gentleman I spoke to a couple of weeks back when I called their Head Office. He apologized for all the problems and as a goodwill gesture he sent me a $50.00 Canadian Tire Gift Card!!

I emailed Roberto at the Yonge & Davenport store and updated him and told him that I would now be able to take him up on his offer of the vacuum and tool kit at their sale prices now that I was sent the gift card. I do believe Roberto is on holidays since I've not heard back from him at this point in time afterall it is Dec. 27th today and I'm sure he is either run off his feet at the store with holiday sales or still on holidays himself.

So... one thing was settled, the vacuum issue, however there are still far too many issues with that store and the lack of their Head Offices concern for the disabled is remarkable in this day and age. Hopefully some more of these issues will be tackled and corrected and if and when they are, I'll be more than happy to report them.

Seems there is more to report.... more from Canadian Tire Head Office and from Roberto here.


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