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!
30 Lamont Terrace
Dartmouth, NS CA