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Thread: So You Think Canadian Tire is........

  1. #1
    Posted by an unregistered user CT Me / Lawguy's Avatar
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    So You Think Canadian Tire is........

    After a few days of reading the forums I decided to chime in with my $0.02 plus tax
    Seems to me I've read the same complaints over and over again, twisted and typed different ways, with no real substance. So allow me to lay a few things out on the table

    1) Most of CT's products are Chinese crap and made in sweat shops.
    - At last check, approximately 60% of ALL retail goods in NORTH AMERICA, led by Walmart. Ten years ago, their (Chinese) raw materials were crap, no quality control and working conditions were poor. If you're still stuck in that paradigm, you have missed ten years of business culture change. Most of the factories are high tech, clean and have good quality control. WHy ? because people and companies in North America monitor them now. The reason everyone started buying from the Pacific Rim.... because North Americans priced ourselves out of the manufacturing segment years ago when we started paying $30.00/hr + benefits for unskilled labour on an assembly line.
    Secondly, because YOU (and me) the consumer, demand low prices

    2) All CT Managers are uneducated dumb and poorly paid.
    - Not too many people are getting rich at retail, no question there. In CT land there are 3 positions that are paid, and paid quite well. Owner/Dealer, Auto Service Manager and General Manager. Although they vary from store to store, most of the people in those jobs are paid WELL above the National Average. Not unheard of for GM's and Service Managers to be in or approaching the 6 figure mark. Owners.... they're gettig rich. Mid managers and supervisors make a working wage, enough to put food on the table and have a bit of spending money.

    3) Only students work there and they all suck - Well.... where do students work in your City? in EVERY City? Oohhh yah they all have CEO internships in the summer and part time after school! Oh no that's wrong. they work in retail (malls, big box, small box), fast food, gas stations. Truth is, half of them don't care about anything but their paycheque. That's not a function of our Companies, that's a function of the values most are raised on today. They aren't respectful of disciplined at school, on the streets and at home. They are the ME generation. The other half, truly want to do a good job, learn and be successful even at minimum wage. We employ them because we have to. They are cheaper to pay and as business people, if we don't control costs, we're out of business. PERIOD So mix some full time adults with part time students and here's what you've got

    4) RETURNS & WARRANTY - Oh baby my favourite. In case you've not seen the signs posted everywhere KEEP YOUR RECEIPT. It will eliminate MOST of your troubles. Some companies 100% refuse ALL returns without proof of purchase, so don't complain about our policies, they are not the most strict in retail land. If you lose your receipt, there is a penalty. That's not a complex formula. Warranty - Some of the warranty rules simply suck... i know it, you know it.... it is what it is. however, be an educated consumer. do your homework before you lay down your cash. ASK the damn question...how does warranty work for this product. We will do our best to help. We can't explain the warranties to you every time you buy something. Y ou'd spend 20 minutes at every register transaction to hear the details. read the box, check the paperwork that comes with it, and ASK! ASk! ASK!

    5) Auto Service - Yeah heard this many times, don't take your vehicle to CT. Guess what? your choice. Our technicians hold the EXACT same license as the guy at Ford, GM or Bob's small garage. they took the same test and are held to the same standards. Dirty mechanics do exist at CT but guess what...they do at Ford, GM and Bob's garage. mistakes are made, things go wrong, wait times are long..... we aren't perfect!

    Most importantly, when you do have trouble, concern or frustration, don't be a (favourite term on this site) DOUCHEBAG!! the more of an ass you act like, the worse your service will be I PROMISE!!!

    At the end of the day, nobody gets up in the morning, slaps on a red CT shirt and goes to the store to do a shitty job, piss off customers or be an ass. Most people everywhere, CT or otherwise are good people who want to do well. Not all are cut out for retail, not all are good at what they do. We surely are not perfect but we are surely not as bad as you all try to make us out to be.

    For the record.... how does a company survive, thrive AND grow for 88 years? How is it that every other major Canadian retailer went bust or was bought by a US firm? Yet Canadian Tire lives strong, still in the hands of the same family that started it?
    I can say for sure, that does NOT happen by being bad at everything we do every day.

    So let er rip.... I expect some feedback and lots of it. Personal insults will not be responded to. that's a reflection of you, not of me :-) (see earlier comment about being a douchebag)

  2. #2
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Re: So You Think Canadian Tire is........

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    After a few days of reading the forums I decided to chime in with my $0.02 plus tax
    Seems to me I've read the same complaints over and over again, twisted and typed different ways, with no real substance. So allow me to lay a few things out on the table

    1) Most of CT's products are Chinese crap and made in sweat shops.

    2) All CT Managers are uneducated dumb and poorly paid.

    3) Only students work there and they all suck -

    4) RETURNS & WARRANTY -

    5) Auto Service

    So let er rip.... I expect some feedback and lots of it. Personal insults will not be responded to. that's a reflection of you, not of me :-) (see earlier comment about being a douchebag)
    I must say, this is one of the most refreshing postings I've read from "The Other Side". Mostly I've seen knee-jerk defenses of bad CT practices.

  3. #3
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Re: So You Think Canadian Tire is........

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    After a few days of reading the forums I decided to chime in with my $0.02 plus tax
    Seems to me I've read the same complaints over and over again, twisted and typed different ways, with no real substance. So allow me to lay a few things out on the table
    Well, you should know that there is a heck of a lot of substance, and the reason I like this forum is because it is helping to get the word out to the masses, regarding the new policies that this once-great store is resorting to in order to shore up it's earnings, at the expense of unsuspecting customers.

    The more words you and I put on this forum, the more Google hits it will get, and the more people will, as you suggest, be able to do their homework before they lay down their cash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    1) Most of CT's products are Chinese crap and made in sweat shops.
    I agree that CT carries many fine products, and many of those are from China.

    However, CT has begun to carry several lines of notoriously shoddy products (I really haven't checked where they are made - I just avoid them), which tends to surprise long-time customers, who had come to expect more from CT. They are shocked and disappointed. Many of the shoddier products seem to fall under the new "repair-only" return policy (i.e., no return at all). This is also a surprise to many long-time customers, and often isn't apparent until a return is attempted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    2) All CT Managers are uneducated dumb and poorly paid.
    I haven't encountered poor customer service on the part of managers, but enough people have reported horror stories (not just on this forum) that I tend to believe that there are many inept managers out there.

    It shouldn't be a surprise that a loyal customer who turns to the manager for support, but it treated poorly, would develop an aversion to CT in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    3) Only students work there and they all suck
    CT has for decades been notorious for under-trained and inexperienced teen-aged staff. Many long-time customers have adapted to this poor state of affairs, but hope some day it will be addressed. It sounds like it'll be a long wait, though.

    Sometimes, though, it is the older, disgruntled staff who are the most difficult to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    4) RETURNS & WARRANTY
    You make a big deal about "keep the receipt", but most of the horror stories involve people who did just that - and it didn't help them. Sometimes it's just a place where the "fine print" is kept, to sneak in the new "repair-only" policy. I assume it's no coincidence that the shoddy products (see item 1, above) have this new policy, and that it's kept quiet. I have witnessed this in stores myself, and my heart goes out to people, especially seniors and single moms, who are being taken advantage of when these new policies sneak in under the radar.

    There is also the "price adjustment" rules that have changed, and the sometimes even these feeble options are denied, contrary to policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    5) Auto Service
    I've heard for decades about the horrible job the CT repair shops have done, so I've been warning people for years to steer clear.

    The only time I actually let these amateurs near my vehicle, I was stuck in a small town with no other options. True to form, they damaged my car, and I didn't discover this until it was too late.

    So, I have my own story to add to the long and growing list of Crappy Tire repair horror stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    Most importantly, when you do have trouble, concern or frustration, don't be a (favourite term on this site) DOUCHEBAG!! the more of an ass you act like, the worse your service will be I PROMISE!!!
    This is good advice in any situation.

    I think what makes people especially frustrated with CT is that they come to the stores perhaps higher than normal expectations of good, professional service. So, they are more disappointed than normal when they are let down.

    The fact that the store is a national icon only rubs salt in the wound.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    We surely are not perfect but we are surely not as bad as you all try to make us out to be.
    For myself, I'm only trying to let the world (well, Canada, anyway) know exactly how bad CT is. No worse, but no better, either.

    And I suspect that you are every bit as bad as people are saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retailer View Post
    For the record.... how does a company survive, thrive AND grow for 88 years? How is it that every other major Canadian retailer went bust or was bought by a US firm? Yet Canadian Tire lives strong, still in the hands of the same family that started it?
    I can say for sure, that does NOT happen by being bad at everything we do every day.
    Well, based on the news reports, it's the financial services, which helped offset the "disappointing" in-store sales and the "weak" automotive revenue.

    Personally, I suspect that CT is coasting on the residual goodwill of the dwindling base of loyal customers - the very people who are being alienated by the new store policies.

    If you want to tailor your stores to suite only the small-print-savy, rock-bottom-price hunters who will put up with lousy service to save a buck (ala Bargain Harolds), and the unsuspecting, stranded, out-of-town motorist, then go ahead.

    Personally, I think it's all just sad, no matter what your stock price is this quarter.
    Last edited by DavidLeR; September 8th, 2010 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Screwed up the quotes, and made a typo or two.

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