Shopping Discussion

Bad experience of web order from Canadian Tire

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 29th, 2019 9:23 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 18, 2007
62 posts
13 upvotes

Bad experience of web order from Canadian Tire

I ordered a pair of kids snow boots from Canadian Tire and picked that up a couple of weeks ago. But it was a little big so I took it back to the store that I picked up from. Following is the conversation between me and the staff at the service counter.
me: I get the snow boots through web order and I need to return it because it does not fit
staff: Have you use it ? Anything wrong ?
me: No, Just the size is not right.
Staff: It looks used to me and we could not sell it.
me: I picked this up a week ago and there is no snow anywhere this time of the year (in Markham ONT) , how could I have used it ? I can only say that you sold me a used product.
( I was not paying attention at the time I picked it up. I look at it again more carefully. It was a little dusty and probably was tried out many times while it was in store.)
staff : We can not sell it . I can only give you a store credit .
The look on her face and the way she spoke was not friendly. I did not know exactly what was in her mind at the time. But what I can feel is something like this in her mind " Don't think that you can trick me. You bought a pair of shoe, use it and try to get your money back ! "
At the point I decided not to waste anymore of my time. I accepted the store credit and walk away.
This may just be an individual incidents. But I like to share this with other forum users that some stores may offload items that they cannot sell in the store (i.e. display items or products that has been tried out in store and will never be picked by customer who actually touch and feel them) through web order. I am not sure how easy it is to prove to the store that what you received from web order is something already used. Imagine the situation if I order and return the snow boot in Jan or February when there is lots of snow out there.
38 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
16271 posts
17748 upvotes
Oakville
RFD_User wrote: I ordered a pair of kids snow boots from Canadian Tire and picked that up a couple of weeks ago. But it was a little big so I took it back to the store that I picked up from. Following is the conversation between me and the staff at the service counter.
me: I get the snow boots through web order and I need to return it because it does not fit
staff: Have you use it ? Anything wrong ?
me: No, Just the size is not right.
Staff: It looks used to me and we could not sell it.
me: I picked this up a week ago and there is no snow anywhere this time of the year (in Markham ONT) , how could I have used it ? I can only say that you sold me a used product.
( I was not paying attention at the time I picked it up. I look at it again more carefully. It was a little dusty and probably was tried out many times while it was in store.)
staff : We can not sell it . I can only give you a store credit .
The look on her face and the way she spoke was not friendly. I did not know exactly what was in her mind at the time. But what I can feel is something like this in her mind " Don't think that you can trick me. You bought a pair of shoe, use it and try to get your money back ! "
At the point I decided not to waste anymore of my time. I accepted the store credit and walk away.
This may just be an individual incidents. But I like to share this with other forum users that some stores may offload items that they cannot sell in the store (i.e. display items or products that has been tried out in store and will never be picked by customer who actually touch and feel them) through web order. I am not sure how easy it is to prove to the store that what you received from web order is something already used. Imagine the situation if I order and return the snow boot in Jan or February when there is lots of snow out there.
Why didn't you just exchange it for the right size?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13016 upvotes
I'm not even sure what's wrong with store credit to be honest.

Take the store credit and use it to buy the same pair of boots but in the right size.
Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2017
3951 posts
2460 upvotes
Vancouver
CT pretty much offers no return as soon as you open it. Since they considered it looked used, this more or less falls under that.

if you wanted an exchange, store credit should work fine. If it was a sale price (back to normal price now), then you should have just pushed for an exchange. Otherwise you more or less got back the money you paid for in the form of store credit so you're not really out much. Sure the store credit is same as cash (outside CT) but you also were allowed to buy a product and return it a week later (with or without using it).
Banned
Dec 8, 2007
2666 posts
2356 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: I'm not even sure what's wrong with store credit to be honest.

Take the store credit and use it to buy the same pair of boots but in the right size.
Captain obvious to the rescue:

If s/he got it at a sale price and it was "a couple of weeks ago", the price would be higher now. That would be a reason a credit is not satisfactory.

Another possible reason is if s/he decided to refund the replacement boots for whatever reason, they would be stuck with a credit.

A third possible reason is some people care about the principle of the situation. If the boots were unused and CT had no issue selling them as new to customers, they should have no issue refunding them in the same condition. So it's unfair to the customer and if they should be getting a full refund, having them being stuck with a credit to the store is not an outcome many customers would be fine with. This is especially true if at that point, the customer doesn't want to give CT any more of their money again due to their crappy customer service yet they are still forced to instead of getting their money back and buying elsewhere more deserving of their patronage.
Banned
Dec 8, 2007
2666 posts
2356 upvotes
Paigne wrote: CT pretty much offers no return as soon as you open it. Since they considered it looked used, this more or less falls under that.
This is why certain companies are stupid if they have such a policy but don't ensure they're not selling what they consider used items/used looking items as new to customers.

I've seen blatantly used products and badly resealed packaging of opened products being sold as new at CT numerous times. They'd have no issue if customers purchased those items as new at new pricing but then balk and refuse to refund the same items claiming they're opened and/or used if the same customers attempted to refund those items later.

The funny thing is that most of those items were already refunded previously by prior customers which is why the items were in those conditions being sold in the store.
Member
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Oct 18, 2019
201 posts
88 upvotes
GTA West
bombdiggity wrote: Captain obvious to the rescue:

If s/he got it at a sale price and it was "a couple of weeks ago", the price would be higher now. That would be a reason a credit is not satisfactory.

Another possible reason is if s/he decided to refund the replacement boots for whatever reason, they would be stuck with a credit.

A third possible reason is some people care about the principle of the situation. If the boots were unused and CT had no issue selling them as new to customers, they should have no issue refunding them in the same condition. So it's unfair to the customer and if they should be getting a full refund, having them being stuck with a credit to the store is not an outcome many customers would be fine with. This is especially true if at that point, the customer doesn't want to give CT any more of their money again due to their crappy customer service yet they are still forced to instead of getting their money back and buying elsewhere more deserving of their patronage.
But the point here the boots weren't the correct size, so why not just get the correct size, end of the story or else something else isn't being told
Deal Addict
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May 22, 2006
2203 posts
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Toronto
Sonofman wrote: But the point here the boots weren't the correct size, so why not just get the correct size, end of the story or else something else isn't being told
Possible they bought one that fits elsewhere?

I've had pretty bad experiences at returning stuff at Canadian Tire. If I do need to buy, I make sure its my last resort and I probably wont be returning it. The other day, I picked up a package and it was slightly damaged (inside was fine) and only noticed it while I was in line. I actually went back to get a better box because I know they will give be heck for returning a damaged box.

Thats the culture they have for returns and so be it (and dont tell me its based on store by store - there is some sort of corporate dis-incentive to act this way). I take most of my business elsewhere as much as I can.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16265 posts
13568 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Truth is ...

Stores can set their own policies when it comes to Exchanges & Refunds
Some stores actually allow neither
So Products bought at such stores are FINAL SALE / AS IS

Cdn Tire has a Policy somewhere in the middle between that extreme
And ... Satisfaction Guaranteed or your money cheerfully refunded

The ONUS HERE ...
Lies with the Consumer

It’s up to the Consumer to KNOW & UNDERSTAND the deal they are making with the Retailer
BEFORE they hand over their cash / credit to complete the transaction

Not enough people do this due diligence

Then they complain when things don’t go as they naively WISH they would

Cdn Tire ... I only buy from in person
So I can see / inspect what I am buying
Cuz Returns can be a major issue

Same deal WHY I rarely buy clothes
Or big ticket items online

I want to see / try on stuff
Make sure it’s ok before I hand over my hard earned cash

Honestly, the only clothes we buy 100% on line tends to be with LL Bean
Who still has an amazing return policy
Especially for long term (documented in their database) Customers like us
Never have I had an issue with any returns ... for any reason
Fit, size, colour, not as expected ... changed my mind
Or had a defect
100% satisfaction
Or they took it back, exchanged it, refunded money
Or gave me a new one gratis

That’s the pay off for me of dealing with a great Retailer
No surprises
Pay off for them ?
Incredible Customer / brand loyalty ... and the fact that I tell others how great they are
Cannot buy that kind of advertising
Banned
Dec 8, 2007
2666 posts
2356 upvotes
Sonofman wrote: But the point here the boots weren't the correct size, so why not just get the correct size, end of the story or else something else isn't being told
The TS obviously had a reason for not exchanging or repurchasing the boots, whether s/he got them elsewhere, the location didn't have the correct size, s/he didn't want them anymore, s/he didn't want to buy them from CT anymore, etc. It's really not "end of story" since the point of the thread is that CT refused a refund of items deemed worn that they sold as new.

Since you're quoting me, the point of my post is to explain to the member I quoted why a store credit is not satisfactory to some people, and in this case, the TS, since that member claimed not to see why the TS was opposed to a credit.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6392 posts
2040 upvotes
BC
A few odd things .......

OP said the boots were "a little big". Maybe that means the next smaller size would be too small?

But don't parents get kids footwear a little on the large size and the kid quickly grows into them? (Using thicker socks/insole in the meantime.)

The untold part is how the OP determined they were a little big. You don't need snow on the ground to wear snow boots AFAIK.

OP admits they hadn't really examined the boots other than noticing they were dusty. Clerk has a responsibility to examine returned items closely.

What's in it for the clerk to deny a cash refund if it's clear the boots can be put back on the shelf and sold as new? Do they get rewarded for that?

Maybe OP should have taken a damp cloth to the boots before returning them to remove all doubt they looked used?
Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2017
3951 posts
2460 upvotes
Vancouver
bombdiggity wrote: This is why certain companies are stupid if they have such a policy but don't ensure they're not selling what they consider used items/used looking items as new to customers.

I've seen blatantly used products and badly resealed packaging of opened products being sold as new at CT numerous times. They'd have no issue if customers purchased those items as new at new pricing but then balk and refuse to refund the same items claiming they're opened and/or used if the same customers attempted to refund those items later.

The funny thing is that most of those items were already refunded previously by prior customers which is why the items were in those conditions being sold in the store.
Honestly you more or less described a catch 22.

The customer doesn't want to buy used product as new.
The store doesn't want to take back used items.
Customers buy items and wants to return it.

Guess what there really is only 2 ways to break this cycle.

#1 Start selling open box items (at a lower gross margin)
#2 Completely disallowing returns on open goods (what CT is doing)

Problem of course is some reps let returns process still and thats why you see used goods sold as new. If CT completely stops allowing any returns, then you will likely stop seeing used items sold as new (tho nothing exactly stops employees from using the items then putting it back). Bottom line, its virtually impossible to not have some used good mixed in with new but as an educated customer, if you care about post sale services, then do yourself a favor and just avoid CT. Other stores have better return policies than CT and CT clearly states what their policy is. There is no point buying something and then complaining about a policy that is pretty much well known and you agreed to. Also the main reason CT policy switched is likely due to the fact too many people were returning used goods, meaning it was eating into their profits. They made an upper management decision to stop allowing returns of open items just like BB made a decision to stop their price beat policy. The more a policy gets abused, the less favorable it becomes. That's just a fact of life and the only way that changes is you voice your displeasure by shopping elsewhere (and probably abuse the policy less so other stores dont adapt the new policy).
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13016 upvotes
Also I can't believe how no one has mentioned it yet, but why not just visit another store?
Granted... OP could be in a town where there's only one location but if there are multiple stores I'd just try a different store.
Or maybe even the same store at a different time hoping for a different employee.
bombdiggity wrote: If s/he got it at a sale price and it was "a couple of weeks ago", the price would be higher now. That would be a reason a credit is not satisfactory.
This one I can't argue. However a counter point would be why wouldn't OP just get them exchanged for the right size?
Another possible reason is if s/he decided to refund the replacement boots for whatever reason, they would be stuck with a credit.

Obviously but if they're just the wrong size why not buy a replacement that's the right size barring the above?
Even if they didn't want them for one reason or another, are you/OP never ever going to shop at that particular brand of store again?
If the boots were unused and CT had no issue selling them as new to customers, they should have no issue refunding them in the same condition. So it's unfair to the customer and if they should be getting a full refund, having them being stuck with a credit to the store is not an outcome many customers would be fine with.
I mean we're only hearing OP's side of the story. Maybe they were actually worn more than OP suggested.

It's even listed in their own terms and conditions of returns:
Items that are opened, damaged and/or not in resalable condition may not be eligible for a refund or exchange.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/customer ... turns.html

Besides... it's up to the retailer to set the bar as to the condition of the return.
A better retailer would accept basically anything that's not currently on fire but Canadian Tire isn't one of them.
This is especially true if at that point, the customer doesn't want to give CT any more of their money again due to their crappy customer service yet they are still forced to instead of getting their money back and buying elsewhere more deserving of their patronage.
I don't disagree, but unless you're a first time customer (and first time on here) it's pretty well known universally that Canadian Tire has a really crappy return/exchange policy.
PointsHubby wrote:
Cdn Tire has a Policy somewhere in the middle between that extreme
And ... Satisfaction Guaranteed or your money cheerfully refunded
Perhaps not cheerfully, but Canadian Tire on paper has an excellent return policy.
90 days unopened and a "maybe" if it was opened. The issue is that they take an extremely hard line to anything that isn't unopened as per OP's original post (taken at face value)
macnut wrote: What's in it for the clerk to deny a cash refund if it's clear the boots can be put back on the shelf and sold as new? Do they get rewarded for that?
Power. I am the decision maker therefore I'm powerful.
Member
User avatar
Oct 18, 2019
201 posts
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GTA West
If you are buying something and didn't notice afterward that the product was used, whose fault is that? And since now it seems like the item is used, why should the store give a full refund? I know I wouldn't want to buy those boots if I were in need of them and I wouldn't want those boots listed as being new. If it's used it should be put as a used item for sale. I'm sorry but I have to agree with CT on this one, I think they did a fair judgment by providing store credit. And, I also think there more to this story that isn't being told
Banned
Nov 21, 2009
2465 posts
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Just accept the fact the you wont find a return policy anywhere like Costco.

Costco is legendary and that's why people respect it.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 22, 2015
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5284 upvotes
I think the real question here is why the eff are you buying snow boots from Canadian Tire? I hope it was either a really good deal that you couldn't pass on... Or maybe it was a last resort and there are no other stores near you that sell boots...?

Let me guess, they were $500 boots on sale for under $50?
Deal Expert
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Jun 9, 2003
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Markham, ON
i learned this lesson many years ago with the Bay.

did a return and wasnt accept because the shoe looked used...it was a fact that someone did wear it and it was a return. I didnt check when I first recieved the package....luckily I returned it on the same day I received the package.

I went to another "bay" and the CSR did not care to check and just credit me.

Lesson is...for shoes....check the shoe once you receive it from mail. Return right away if it was used....dont sit on it and wait.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16265 posts
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Eastern Ontario
superfresh89 wrote: I think the real question here is why the eff are you buying snow boots from Canadian Tire? I hope it was either a really good deal that you couldn't pass on... Or maybe it was a last resort and there are no other stores near you that sell boots...?

Let me guess, they were $500 boots on sale for under $50?
They were kids boots
So probably not $ 500 or even $ 50 on sale

Just a price that the OP thought was good deal ... and maybe better quality than the crap @ Walmart

Unfortunately for him, he chose to order online & then the boots didn’t fit

* NOTE - By all Accounts here on RFD, Cdn Tire has a truly crappy online service.
So he’s not alone in that discovery
Banned
Dec 8, 2007
2666 posts
2356 upvotes
Paigne wrote: Honestly you more or less described a catch 22.

The customer doesn't want to buy used product as new.
The store doesn't want to take back used items.
Customers buy items and wants to return it.

Guess what there really is only 2 ways to break this cycle.

#1 Start selling open box items (at a lower gross margin)
#2 Completely disallowing returns on open goods (what CT is doing)

Problem of course is some reps let returns process still and thats why you see used goods sold as new. If CT completely stops allowing any returns, then you will likely stop seeing used items sold as new (tho nothing exactly stops employees from using the items then putting it back). Bottom line, its virtually impossible to not have some used good mixed in with new but as an educated customer, if you care about post sale services, then do yourself a favor and just avoid CT. Other stores have better return policies than CT and CT clearly states what their policy is. There is no point buying something and then complaining about a policy that is pretty much well known and you agreed to. Also the main reason CT policy switched is likely due to the fact too many people were returning used goods, meaning it was eating into their profits. They made an upper management decision to stop allowing returns of open items just like BB made a decision to stop their price beat policy. The more a policy gets abused, the less favorable it becomes. That's just a fact of life and the only way that changes is you voice your displeasure by shopping elsewhere (and probably abuse the policy less so other stores dont adapt the new policy).
Not all customers care if they are buying something used or resealed and that isn't the point here anyways. CT also allows returns of opened/used items, and your post seemed to indicate that you don't realize this. Their return policy wording is careful to allow for opened/used item returns to be rejected (not any different than many other retailers) at their discretion, which implies that they can be allowed. Unopened items are guaranteed though.

The problem here is that CT allows discretion for opened/used returns, and if they do so, they should ensure when reselling those items that it's indicated to them that these items are being sold in that kind of condition (perhaps a different bar code sticker so that it appears on the receipt). That way when attempting a refund, it's known that the condition of the item was that way previously already prior to the customer making a purchase. Furthermore, if items look opened or used but aren't returns, they should also either implement the same solution or just refrain from selling them in that condition if they know it's a condition that would prevent a refund.

There, no catch 22 at all. Two examples of solutions to help avoid this kind of situation on their part. Yes, customers can also be more careful as well but that is a different issue from what the store can do/ought to do.
Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2017
3951 posts
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Vancouver
bombdiggity wrote: Not all customers care if they are buying something used or resealed and that isn't the point here anyways. CT also allows returns of opened/used items, and your post seemed to indicate that you don't realize this. Their return policy wording is careful to allow for opened/used item returns to be rejected (not any different than many other retailers) at their discretion, which implies that they can be allowed. Unopened items are guaranteed though.

The problem here is that CT allows discretion for opened/used returns, and if they do so, they should ensure when reselling those items that it's indicated to them that these items are being sold in that kind of condition (perhaps a different bar code sticker so that it appears on the receipt). That way when attempting a refund, it's known that the condition of the item was that way previously already prior to the customer making a purchase. Furthermore, if items look opened or used but aren't returns, they should also either implement the same solution or just refrain from selling them in that condition if they know it's a condition that would prevent a refund.

There, no catch 22 at all. Two examples of solutions to help avoid this kind of situation on their part. Yes, customers can also be more careful as well but that is a different issue from what the store can do/ought to do.
This is from their website

Unopened items, with a receipt, in original packaging and returned within 90 days of purchase will receive a refund to the original method of payment** or will receive an exchange. Items that are opened, damaged and/or not in resalable condition may not be eligible for a refund or exchange. Click on the tabs below for a list of exceptions and exclusions to our returns policy.

They worded it such that your expectation is if you open it, it’s yours for good. Sure they can allow returns as favors but they will then just sell as new. The intention is to reduce the amount of returns, which is why it’s worded in such a way to allow them to disallow any returns of opened goods. There is a reason it’s worded differently than other stores satisfaction guarantee.

The change was made likely due to management wanting to reduce returns. Other threads on RFD suggest that returning opened goods at Canadian tire is a pain to farther support this point. Again if you ask your average RFDers, rather it’s easier to return something opened at CT vs Costco, Home Depot, Walmart, etc... you will likely see CT on the bottom by a wide margin. That’s the main point of my post before... if you care about satisfaction guarantee then shop elsewhere and likely do a bit more research before buying otherwise other stores might adapt CT policy too (I.e Costco used to offer longer returns on electronics but that was changed due to abuse, BB return policy has a lot more exceptions).

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