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Thread: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

  1. #1
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0012's Avatar
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    Thumbs down When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    On 30 December 2006 we purchased a new battery for my car. This battery model comes with a 2 year warranty.

    In December 2007, I started having problems with a dead battery on a regular basis. Our other car is a hybrid, so we can?t use it for jump starting another car.

    We took the battery to the Canadian Tire Pickering to have it checked. They said it was fine, that this meant that there was something wrong with my car. So we took the car to the dealer, who ran tests and kept it overnight to see if something was putting a drain on the battery. They stated that nothing was wrong with the car and that they had fully charged the battery. They told me that the battery was defective, as it would not hold a charge and that I should have someone follow me home until I could get a new battery.

    The next day I drove my car about 45 km for an all day meeting. When I tried to start it, the battery was completely dead. I called CAA, who came out and tested the battery. Their tests showed that the battery was not charging, even with their charging device. They gave me a printout of their tests and said since it is still under warranty I should have it replaced. They followed me for a while to ensure that I could get home ? something they don?t have to do.

    I drove straight to the Canadian Tire on Rylander in Scarborough. I asked to have the battery checked and replaced. I showed her the two tests done on the battery and told her that I had both the dealer and CAA tell me that the battery was defective.

    This is where the scam comes in to play. We purchased the battery for $110, including tax. In order to have the battery replaced under warranty, the woman at the service counter informed me that I would have to pay $89 + tax plus a small service fee (which she wouldn?t be able to tell me before hand how much it would be) to have it tested again. If the battery passed their tests, which I would not be provided results of, she would not authorize a replacement. She said that in her several years of working at both the CT Rylander and the CT in Pickering she had never seen a battery under warranty fail the test. She said that in order to have a battery replaced under warranty, I?d have to pay $37 to have it installed by them. She said that no battery would be provided ?for free? because they have to make up for the money they lost in replacing it.

    So let?s do some math:

    New battery from a competitor (CAA) = $110, delivered, installed, with the old battery taken away

    Canadian Tire Test to see if they want to honour their warranty = $89 + $7 tax = $96, but according to the woman, no battery has ever failed this test. I could be out $96, have a non-functional auto and still have to buy a new battery.

    She also said that there was a good chance that even if the battery were to fail the test, that I wouldn?t be able to get a free replacement because I had my car serviced at other locations than Canadian Tire (CAA and my dealer). She said that those two organizations are known for intentionally breaking CT products in order to steal their business.

    Let?s now say that a miracle occurs and the battery fails the test *and* the woman agrees to replace it under warranty. That?s $96 for the test, plus about $40 to have it installed, for a total of $136 for another battery that most likely will fail again in less than 2 years.

    When I told her I didn?t think it was legal to charge me to make use of the warranty she said that she was a lawyer and that it was. Very good that Canadian Tire Rylander has legal staff manning their service desks, but I suspect that she wasn?t being completely honest with me.

    I asked her to show me on the warranty paperwork where all these required charges and limitations were mentioned, but she refused. I asked her to call the roadside assistance number for me because I was going to go to another Canadian Tire to get assistance. She said that I was not eligible for roadside assistance because I had not paid the $96 for the test. I asked her again to show me where that is on the warranty, which has the terms for roadside assistance, but she just couldn?t find it, but she knew it was true.

    I asked her one more time to test the battery for replacement under the terms of the warranty and she said I would have to pay ? that all customers pay for testing for all Canadian Tire products, even the ones out on the regular store shelves. That companies cannot make money replacing defective merchandise.

    When I asked to speak with a manager, she said that this particular Canadian Tire has no managers.

    Meanwhile, while all this is happening, other service desk staff have gathered around her to see why she is getting louder and more upset with my refusal to pay to have the warranty honoured. When I ask the question about the manager, she says their aren?t any, but one of the other service desk staff grabs a card from his till. He handed to me as we left, saying that I should definitely call the manager as I was not given the correct story.

    So what I?ve learned from this woman at the Canadian Tire Rylander:

    - Canadian Tire does not offer warranties in the real legal sense.

    - It makes no sense to purchase Canadian Tire items because they are more expensive to replace than to buy brand new from a competitor

    - that the terms written on their warranty paperwork are useless because Canadian Tire Rylander uses licensed legal professionals to give legal advice to customers telling them to ignore the paper work (I know this really isn?t true, but I get such a laugh when sales people tell me they are lawyers and even though they work for the other party they are allowed to give me legal advice).

    - that doing business with Canadian Tire, even though they are all franchises and run by different people, is not something that intelligent customers want to do.

    - that ?car stuff is really, really scary for women like me? according to this service desk staff member.

    - that getting your car serviced at other places invalidates your warranty (also not true)

    - that the roadside assistance that is guaranteed with the purchase of a battery is not actually available to customers unless they want to pay $100 to have their battery tested (again, not true, but this is what this woman wanted me to believe).

    So instead of dealing with this Canadian Tire or the one in Pickering again, I decided to get back to reliable transportation by calling CAA, who sent out a truck within 10 minutes with a brand new battery. They installed it and gave me a written warranty that I believe will actually be honoured. At least I know the terms of their roadside assistance for certain.

    Even though the woman insisted that no battery has ever failed, a miracle has occurred right here in Scarborough because my car has been starting fine for the last two weeks. I guess it repaired itself.

    My calls to the Service Manager have not been returned, but I believe it was the crazy woman at the desk on that night who took my messages.

    And the Canadian Tire store that we used to visit on a weekly basis has now lost all of our business to their competitors. The thousands of dollars we spend every spring on landscaping, household and maintenance items is now going to be happily spent at other retailers. I know it will not make a dent in this franchisee?s books, but at least I won?t ever have to deal with the scam artists there every again.

    The stories I heard while waiting in line were outrageous. Stories of ?it?s against the law for us to sell you tires without an inspection? and ?we aren?t allowed to sell you tires unless you buy the extra warranty?.

    This is one terrible Canadian Tire store, staffed with a legal expert who doles out ?legal advice? to her employer?s customers, with no manager in the entire store. Amazing.

  2. #2
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0013's Avatar
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    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    "This is one terrible Canadian Tire store"

    Seems like it's one of many.

  3. #3

    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    That is incredible!

    Possibly the worst customer service I have ever heard of.

    When will people wake up and realise just how bad this company are!

    I'm British and in Europe companies who do this kind of thing would be taken to the cleaners by consumer organisations, TV programmes, not to mention disgruntled shoppers, yet because there is no real legislature in place in Canada, the likes of Canadian Tire can treat their customers how they like because they get away with it time and time again.

  4. #4
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0014's Avatar
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    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    I guess you've learned a valuable lesson here. Canadian Tire is retailing nightmare.
    I learned this lesson back in 2002 when the south Oshawa store tried to rip me off on a brake job. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was that the service manager and the store owner were both colossal dickheads about it. They ripped me off (I was able to get some money back when a mechanic at a different store proved they frigged me around) and then were arrogant and in my face about it. No apology. No trying to be reasonable. It was basically, "We cornholed you and if you don't like it, then sue us."
    As a result, places like Home Depot, Princess Auto, Home Hardware, and Wal-Mart have gotten my business ever since then.
    I wouldn't go back to Canadian Tire even if they offered me a written apology on gold-edged paper now.

  5. #5
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0012's Avatar
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    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    As an update, my new CAA battery is doing just fine, even though the "lawyer" working at the Rylander store assured me that no CT battery has ever failed. Either the CT battery was a lemon or my car healed itself.

  6. #6
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0017's Avatar
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    **Canadian Tire Financial Services sucks as an employer**

    If you are qualified professional do not bother working for this company as you will not get promoted and they will just continue to let you down until you eventually quite (like I did). The philosophy of moving up in this company is kissing a lot asses. **You education and work experience does not count**

  7. #7
    f-dizzle
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    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    I have a few questions for the group. My bro was at Future Shop buying something and on his way out his car died. He pushed it to Canadian Tire as it was in the same big box location. They did a $90.00 analysis and determined that the Engine Will Not Turn Over. So in total with the test that they ran, they determined that he needed a new battery. After everything was said and done, he ended up paying $231.70.

    As he was driving the car home from Canadian Tire, the car died again 2 blocks away from home. For surely, the battery was not the issue. He was able to get Canadian Tire to pay for the towing and for him not to be charged for the diagnostic.

    My questions are: 1)What are the chances of him getting his old battery put back in by CT and getting refunded all of the $231.70 he has paid; 2) If this is the wrong approach to the issue, what should he do?

  8. #8
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0029's Avatar
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    Angry Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    I Have similar experience today. I bought my battery from Canadian Tire (Yonge&Steel) on Dec 03 2006. At that time, I pay 90$ for battery and 134$ Labor fee. But Today (Oct 31, 2008) I has to pay 29.99$ test fee and 89.99$ Labor fee.
    They replaced my battery but the warranty will be one month. So next time if my battery is out of life one month later. I have to pay another 90$ and 134$ to get new one.
    Lot's of people complain Canadian Tire Battery has problem. I think we should correct all information and sue Canadian Tire.

  9. #9
    Member RogerRZ's Avatar
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    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    I think we should just not shop at CT anymore. Hey, waitaminute, I already do that. Over a year now, and my blood pressure is that much lower because of it...

  10. #10
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0043's Avatar
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    Re: When a Warranty Isn?t a Warranty

    Well I bought a CT 72 battery on Dec 23, 2008.
    Installed it 2 days later 2001 montanna would not start. Got a boost voila it went.
    Drove a group of people to Buffalo airport did park and fly for a week, came back worried that van would not start. Well started no problem!
    2 days later van would not start no power at ALL.
    CAA boosted it said battery not taking charge. Took battery out and had it tested, good battery! Put it back in drove it for a week. Yesterday drove it from home to appt. Came out 5 min later and batttery is dead. SAME THING NO POWER AT ALL!!!!
    Took battery to CT they said battery is fine. No warranty nothing. FURIOUS I called head office and they are looking into it. I AM TICKED OFF. My mechanic said that CT batteries are garbage and there are a lot of lemons....

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