CT Challenger

New member
People on this Canadian Woodworking forum have been bitten by the Repair Only policy, and a bit of Googling led them here yesterday:

Grrrrrr... Learned something about CT today

No other Major Canadian retailer has such terrible policies, and the stores push the "Easy Returns - Keep Your Receipt" myth, so consumers don't even know that Repair Only exists.

Consumers need to know that products that are misrepresented can be returned under the Sale of Goods Act, and the Consumer Protection Act. For instance, if the impact wrench is supposed to work continuously, and not intermittently, then is was misrepresented.

Return policies are nice, if the customer changes their minds. But when the product is defective, used, or otherwise misrepresented, the laws kick in and trump the store's policies.

Here's a suggestion for their next slogan:

"Your merchant of last resort"


New member
CANADIAN TIRE does NOT Stand Behind the Products It Sells!
Watch this gripe

My husband and I inherited a property, so we took the monetary gifts we received for Christmas and for his birthday and purchased a small 14-inch POULAN GAS-POWERED chainsaw from CANADIAN TIRE to do some yard work. Once we got it home, my husband, who is left-handed, couldn't start it, so he called a friend -an experienced woodsman- to help. The friend had great difficulty starting it, too and -once he got it started- in keeping it running. They took it to another friend, who works in chainsaws and small engine repair and he, too, had difficulty starting it. Nor could he adjust the idling to keep the thing running once it was started. They couldn't keep it running long enough to walk across the yard to cut a tree with it, so its blade has never touched wood. Because of the way the thing is constructed, they told my husband he would never be able to start the thing left-handed. So we took the oil and gas out of it, cleaned it up so it wouldn't leak, put it back in its box and brought it back to the CANADIAN TiRE store where we'd bought it just 6 days before. We were told we couldn't return it because it had had gas and oil in it . (I mean, how does one try a GAS-POWERED engine without putting gas and oil in it? )The lady at customer service pointed out that, at the top of the sales receipt, (which you only get once you've purchased the saw, at which time it's too late to change your mind) it was written: "WARRANTY: 1 YEAR REPAIR ONLY." She explained that they could send it to the guy in Mount Uniacke that repairs their chainsaws for them but that if he found nothing physically wrong with the chainsaw, we'd be charged for his service and getting the saw there and back (Can he fix my husband's being left-handed?) And to have that written on the top of the receipt tells me that CANADIAN TIRE was already aware that there might be problems with what it was selling! So we're stuck with a chainsaw in a box which has never cut a tree, and money out in the process.

I wrote the head office of Canadian Tire, but have never received a reply. In the meantime, I've blogged, put our story on FACEBOOK and spoken with others, who have also shared horror stories about trying to return things (lawnmowers that don't start, bench grinders that fall apart, vehicle parts that don't work, televisions, appliances, etc. etc. etc.) to CANADIAN TIRE. And apparently, the TV series MARKETPLACE has actually done a show about it!

I have an idea for a video: a lady with PIPPI LONGSTOCKING braids, chewing bubblegum, wearing a red shirt with a triangle on it, telling one customer that they can't return their GAS-POWERED chainsaw (or lawnmower) because it's had gas and oil in it, telling another customer they can't return a television because (Heaven forbid) they plugged it in, a third customer that they can't return a leaky mop bucket because it's had water in it, etc. etc. I think you get the idea.

I grew up with a CANADIAN TIRE store in my neighborhood. My parents have always shopped there. For the past 43 years, the CANADIAN TIRE store was always the first place I'd look for vehicle, recreation and household parts/goods/accessories.The CANADIAN TIRE store flyer was always the first flyer I'd look at in the bundle that arrives on my doorstep. Now, after my experiences and from what I've heard from others, I'll never buy anything at CANADIAN TIRE again (I toss the flyer in the garbage without even looking at it now). So consumers beware: CANADIAN TIRE does NOT stand behind the products it sells!
Submitted by scamero2000 on February 28, 2012 - 12:34pm.

This is the response I got back from Canadian Tire's Head Office:

Dear Silvana,

Thank you for contacting our office regarding your concern.

For this particular incident the reason the Canadian Tire Store did not accept the Lawn Mower back for a refund is due to the fact the Lawn mower was used and oil and gas was put in the machine. Our corporate policy indicates in order to receive a full refund the item would have to be in original condition.
Original condition means that the product is:

- Clean
- Complete
- Not defective
- Not used
- Not installed
- Not modified (e.g. rope cut to length, paint that has been mixed)

Our Return Policy is available on our website Find Automotive Tools to Sports Gear to Kitchen & Bath Products | Canadian Tire. Click on the tab at the bottom of the home page.

1). It was clearly stated in the complaint that it was a chainsaw, not a lawn mower.
2). It was not used. Although we put gas and oil in it to try it, it was only started twice and never touched or cut a tree or bush. And it was clean because, after dumping the gas and oil out of it, I cleaned it up just like new.
3). It was complete and repacked into its original box with everything that came with it.
4). It was not modified (unless you count trying to adjust its idle to keep it running a modification
5). It may or may not have been defective but, if it was, it was a manufacturer's defect. We couldn't get the thing going or running long enough to find out.

The only thing I can say: watch what you're buying from Canadian Tire. I know I'll never buy anything from them again. I don't even look at their flyers anymore and we needed road sand for our driveway this week, but I won't even buy that from them.


New member
Welcome to the site, scamero.

We feel your pain, having seen this all time and time again.

Many of us grew up in the golden era when the local Canadian Tire was the 'go-to' place for all things hardware and automotive, and because of their great polices for refunds and exchanges.

But those days are now gone - their integrity has been sold off to keep profits high.

To make things worse, Crappy Tire has been keeping these new policies below our radar, and counting on us old-timers to not clue in to their devious tricks.

We plunk down our hard-earned cash expecting that the store is still standing behind their products, with decent return policies.

How wrong we are.

And we find out the hard way, when something expensive doesn't work.

Typically it's snow-blowers in the winter, pressure washers in the spring, and lawn-mowers in the summer.

Sounds like they haven't updated their Form Letter in a while, and are still in 'summer mode'.

You might want to look around on this thread for some arguments you can use, such as the Sale of Goods Act and the Consumer Protection Act (depending on your province/territory).

They shouldn't be able to get away with these tricks, but they are counting on you not bothering to sue because of the costs.

Sorry to hear you fell for their trap, but thanks for helping spread the word!

CT Challenger

New member
It's important to remember what Ellen Roseman wrote, back in September:

"nsist on a refund if the product is defective [or] unsafe."

You can insist on this because, "Under the law, stores have an obligation to sell merchandise that is saleable and suits the intended purpose -- no matter what their return policies may say."

The laws are the Sale of Goods Act and the Consumer Protection Act.

And it's tru no matter what the letter from Head Office says!

Yes, indeed: refunds are required for defective products, or ones that do not perform as promised.

CT Challenger

New member
A recent article on change-of-mind return policies (Sears revamps returns policy amid retail war with Target, Walmart, Marshalls, Dollarama - thestar.com) lead me to the much-quoted Industry Canada site (Common consumer questions - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)).

The IC site talks mainly about change-of-mind returns, but the Crappy People try to use this as an excuse to ignore the laws for defective products.

But if you look under the "Warranties" heading, you'll see text the Crappy People don't want you to notice:

"Some provincial and territorial legislation states that implied warranties apply to every sales contract (unless the seller and buyer both lawfully agree that the warranty does not apply). The implied warranty normally states that the goods be of "merchantable quality" and fit for the purpose for which they were sold.
For information on warranties, check with your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office for the provisions in your jurisdiction."

Yes, indeed. The policies for change-of-mind returns CANNOT be assumed to apply to defective items!

Always check the laws in your province or territory.

Contact your Consumers Ministry if you have questions.

Don't let the Crappy People just brush you off, or make you settle for a repair or exchange instead of a refund!

Owner 1

New member
Round and round we go....

Please show me ANYWHERE, in ANY documentation by a Provincial or Federal Governing body that says a retailer must offer a refund for a defective product.
Honouring a warranty does not mean refund.

It's that simple.


New member
I guess you missed out on that list of 16 or so links to experts who all say "refund", huh?

Oh, well, CT-Me/Liar-Guy, here's another one, for the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

Buying Defective Goods

"If the product isn’t suitable for its use, then you’ll only want a refund. "

But I guess they're just a bunch of liars, too, huh?

Shall I dig up the links to the Ontario law professor, too?

Or will you only be happy if we all walk you through the Consumer Protection Act, one more time?

Smrt Cnsmr

New member
Round and round we go.....

Yes, indeed. "Around and around" seems to be to where The Moaner wants to take us.

I've looked at the history of this tread, and every time a new link is posted, they say, "I still don't believe it. Show me more". 16 links weren't enough. 17 links aren't enough either. And neither will 18 or 19 or 20. No matter what the source, no matter what their credentials, The Moaner isn't going to admit that a refund is required. I bet if the Minister told them face to face, "they are entitled to a refund", Moaner would say, "I don't believe it. Show me more evidence".

Is there really THAT must much money at stake?

But if I wanted a refund for a defective product? I'd try the route that has been suggested: call the Ministry, get some advice, do some research of my own, and point to the Acts that have been quoted.

Especially since CT-Me / Lawguy / Moaner1 doesn't want me to.
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CT Challenger

New member
Hot weather is coming. So, imagine paying over $600 for this A/C unit:

Whirlpool 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner | Canadian Tire

What happens if you get it home, and it just won't work? Or doesn't cool things off as advertised?

Well, the store policy says they don't have to give you a refund, or even an exchange for a working unit - they can point to their "repair only warranty", and say you have to leave it with them until it gets fixed. Could be months, and by then you're into cold weather again anyway. In the meantime, though, they DO keep your $629.99 (plus tax).

Sure, you could sue them under the Consumer Protection Act for selling something that's been misrepresented as being of 'merchantable quality'.

But isn't it better to just buy from a retailer that stands behind what they sell, and follows the consumer laws?

Something to think about when you're out there shopping in the heat.


New member
WHAT A JOKE!!! I purchased a $640.00 Plasma Cool Portable Air conditioner and it worked for 2 weeks (not even if you count the number of days it was actually on) and all Canadian Tire did was give me a phone number to call. CRAP, CRAP CRAP. AS LONG AS YOU GET YOUR MONEY YOU DON'T GIVE A "DAMN" IF IT EVEN WORKS. BUYERS BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!


New member
I just did a Google search on the words"repair only".

Guess which thread, on which site came up first?



New member
Is Dodie simply mis-informed?

Or is she deliberately misleading consumers, so that they buy products with misrepresented return policies?

The "Keep Your Receipt" is possibly the biggest lie that Canadian Tire feeds to the Canadian consumer:

Dodie Smith-Nyman We have an excellant return policy if only people would remember to hang onto their receipts there would be no problem.
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New member
IF - after 5 months it broke due to a manufacturers defect and a seller said tough shit, you own it. No warranty.. that's in violation of the terms and conditions agreed upon at time of sale.
mine stopped working within 2 weeks.it got repaired.lasted another 2 weeks.broke.they put a new engine in.lasted 6 days.they refused to repair.still well within the warranty period.how do i stand there?


New member
Wild horse:

That thread was a while ago - I looked back, and it was about chain saws.

Keep in mind that the CR people either know nothing about the Sale of Good & Consumer Protection Acts, or the are deliberately trying to dialed consumers.

For instances, they say absolutely nothing about the manufacturer's written warranty.

That being said, in Ontario, there's an implied warranty by the SELLER for a reasonable lifetime of every product. The exact period is no defined, but the SELLER us likely on the hook for the length if the manufacturer's warranty perio (as a rough guideline).

Also, there isn't anything in the laws about a number of repair attempts.

If I were you, I'd go after a full refund upon realizing it's defectinpve, and try again with another make.

From that other post, it sounds like you've got some real experience with lawsuits in this area - care to pass on any tips or advice?


New member
More from Facebook on the perils of Repair Only:

Toni Kushner now if you would politely exchange defected tools, instead of making us drive 80 kms to get brand new defected tool fixed, maybe you'd be more of a 'canadian'. oh, and when asked what the problem was, and can we see if it actually now works, we weren't treated too politely there either. ugh to Canadian tire.


New member
i guess that once we have completed the lawsuit in whichever way it goes i will be better equipped to give such advice.the fact was that CT(to my mind) breached the sale of goods act in 2 ways,firstly they supplied me with something that didnt last a reasonable amount of time and secondly that by refusing to repair the item that they were in contravention of their obligations set out by law.ive emailed a lawyer about this topic today,and hopefully will be receiving some enlightening information fairly soon.the fact that the manufacturor has supposedly issued a countersuit against me EVEN THOUGH I DIDNT SUE THEM is kinda wierd.also at the same time to offer me a replacement unit(which they didnt at the time) makes me believe that they are employing a 'carrot and stick' technique in an attempt to scare me off.if anything it has made me even more determined.there is little point getting a refund now,as a judge has already awarded me substantially more.however like i say we will certainly get to grips with the murky depths of the law over the head of this.


New member
and yes im totally aware that the staff know very little if anything about the sale of goods act.i quoted the act to the store manager,and he still refused to bow down,even though i made it perfectly clear to him what my intentions were.the sales staff were little more than gibbons(apologies to those CT staff that arent).the bottom line is that CT,through all their attitude and bullshit,have lost a loyal customer.i will certainly be adding my name to the ever growing list of ex customers,and i hope we can see this ship go down.


New member
it also has to be pointed out in fairness that up until this point i HAD NEVER had any problems with exchanges and/or refunds in the past.the staff had always been more than willing to accomodate any problems i encountered with defective goods.UNTIL NOW.


New member
oh and in answer to your other point,i have absolutely no experience whatsoever in bringing lawsuits.this is the first time EVER.i was so outraged by CTs attitude with all pleas falling on deaf ears when i asked for a refund/replacement,and to be told that they wouldnt even repair the unit was the proverbial straw.i am a genuine person with a genuine grievance,the product was found to be faulty at every stage by the authorised service engineer,and for the manu to imply that because the unit was repaired by THEIR appointed technician that this invalidated the warranty was ridiculous.lots of deaf ears inspired me to bring the claim against CT.....