Canadian Tirecanadian tire lawsuit

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Canadian Tire Lawsuit

Thursday August 2, 2007, I gave my car (199 BMW M3), a Haynes BMW service manual, and a new rebuilt alternator for Canadian Tire to Install.

I also asked then to put my normal battery (left behind the passenger seat) back in the battery compartment.

Canadian Tire Charged me $114.80 for the service to install the alternator and the battery.

Canadian Tire invoice 89042.

Friday evening, August 3rd, 2007 I drove to Fredericton and my battery died as I arrived in Fredericton. This was approximately 5 minutes to 9:00 pm. The weather was very wet.

I turned into Canadian Tire in Fredericton and quickly purchased a workable battery for $136.79 so that I could at least get my vehicle back home to Woodstock (cheaper than a tow) for further diagnosis and repair. I installed the battery in 5 minutes and continued my purpose to be in Fredericton.

That new battery lasted until I got home and started failing (systems shutting down as I arrived in Woodstock).

Something was wrong. Could be that new alternator (not likely, but certainly not impossible), obviously not the battery, since I just put a new one in with the same results. Either the alternator was defective, or it was installed incorrectly. It was not charging my battery in the current weather.

The next morning Aug 4, 2007. I looked under the hood and found that the belt looked like it was installed incorrectly. I knew this instantly due to my experience the previous week in the alternator failure experience, which is why I purchased a new alternator to be installed.

I confirmed that the serpentine belt was installed incorrectly. I used the documents on the Internet and the manual I had supplied to the Canadian Tire mechanic to confirm the incorrect installation.

I called Canadian Tire and explained the problem to them and they told me they could not look at my vehicle until Tuesday.

I informed them, I couldn't wait that long and that I would find someone else to correct their mistake. They advised me to make sure I had an invoice from the shop that would fix the belt installation.

I grabbed my camera and took a picture of the incorrect installation before I left to have it corrected.

Then, I installed another battery I had at home, to ensure I could drive the vehicle to Cummings in Meductic.

Cummings, in Meductic fixed the incorrect installation. It wasn't a difficult fix, but wasn't easy either. The belt was tight and we surmised that maybe that's why it was installed incorrectly. Too difficult to do it right. Too often this is the case.

I returned to Canadian Tire and spoke with a female manager to request a refund for the incorrect work, a refund for the extra battery I had to purchase to get home and a new battery since my had been compromised running it into the ground.

She spoke with the mechanic. She then came out to the counter with the mechanic. H said he installed it as it had come off. I advised him that was not true and that I know full well that it was on correctly when I handed them the car on Aug 2, 2007. I also reminded him as a mechanic of the rule of thumb. I also reminded him that I gave him a manual, since he may not be overly familiar with BMWs.

Note: Rule of thumb in belt installation,

Smooth pulley, smooth side of the belt. The Canadian Tire mechanic installed it ribbed side of belt on the smooth idler pulley. I'm not aware on any serpentine belt installations with a ribbed side on a smooth pulley (it ruins the ribbing). This is pretty much a common sense item in auto mechanics.

This meant that the belt was incorrectly installed and would not hold the proper tension to operate the vehicle and the alternator would not charge properly and hence all my problems.

It is also possible to ruin parts such as the new alternator, and belts and other pulleys if installation is incorrect along with parts such as power steering and water pumps. It is also possible to compromise the safety of the vehicle with respect to power steering operation.

The Canadian Tire mechanic, basically said "prove it." I indicated to the manager that I was not here to argue with them, I was there just to correct the mistake and get an appropriate refund for the poor service, the battery I had to purchase and a new battery for the one that may have been compromised.

I said nothing about the other potential parts, nor my time in installing batteries, my lost time in trying to rectify their mistake (they charge $40 for a battery installation based on their employee's rate). How much should I charge? I will also have to re-install my proper battery or a new one depending on when I can handle that.

Since they only wanted to argue the issue rather than face up to their mistake. I said I would turn it over to legal recourse and seek more appropriate compensation for this poor quality of car care.

The frustration of dealing with this sort of careless car repair is wearing on my nerves. The aspect of trying to resolve issues with those that make these mistakes is even more.

I do contract work at $1000 a day. I use most of my time developing software systems and that's why I hire "experts" to do my automotive repair, so that I can do the stuff I am capable of.

I suggest that my lost time and aggravation in this situation is worth additional compensation.

As I will have to hire a lawyer, bring witnesses (mechanics), incur court costs, to handle this legally, I will want to seek compensation for legal fees, court costs, their time as well as my time as well any and all of the potentially compromised parts.

Hopefully all of this will be under $5,000 and can be handled in small claims court.

Terry Barratt


  • On Nov 08, 2010

    "Tired of forced downloads"...I know this is not the proper place but I need to clear a few things up.

    "lies, theifts, mis leading peaple...The previous e-mail is proof..."
    ----I am not a liar, thief nor am I misleading people...I simply stated the facts concerning how a service center operates...there are 2 sides to every story...

    "I can tell you that"on the inside", Is most likely a canadian tire manager of some sort"
    ----Incorrect...I am not, was not, nor will I ever be...I was a Service advisor...standing behind the counter taking [censor] and abuse all day from people...granted, not every customer was nasty...but I wouldn't be scared to bet at least 10% needed to shop somewhere's not my fault that they can't or won't look after their vehicles.

    "they hire inept service counter staff"
    ----I have a grade 12 education, an autobody repair certificate, I have been driving and maintaining my own vehicles for over 30 years, I have 30 years of service/retail experience, 15 of those years in the auto parts and service industry...I hardly qualify as inept.

    "They will not hire anyone with any real moral fiber...they hire inept service counter staff...I worked for crappy tire for 2 yrs in the auto service dept"
    ----'nuf said...

    I left CT for financial are correct on that one...they pay [censor]...but the techs in my shop were professional, thorough and intelligent. I trusted them more than I trusted my wife (who cheated on me, btw, but that's for another discussion board)...

    Bottom line is this...if you don't trust the quote or the people...take your vehicle somewhere else...I never held a gun to anyone's head, forcing them to get their car fixed at my shop...

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    tired of forced downloads.. Nov 01, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Well as a past employee of canadian tire as well I can tell you that"on the inside", Is most likely a canadian tire manager of some sort.Canadian tire treats its employees like crap.pays poor wages, Has dept.managers who know nothing.
    They will not hire anyone with any real moral fiber, If they did customers would be told the proof about the products, car repairs, ect
    I worked for crappy tire for 2 yrs in the auto service dept, , , and let me tell you, , , the fact is they are liers and theives, Its just a fact, they hire inept service counter staff, that way, managers can blame the worker.

    stoped working for them, could not stand all the lies, theifts, mis leading peaple.The previous e-mail is proof,
    or he just worked for crappy tire so long ago the company still had a sense of honesty, , to bad crappy tire adopted walmarts attitude

    0 Votes
  • On Sep 21, 2010

    Oh more thing...if ANY mechanic suggests that you need this or that...ask to be taken out to the shop and be shown why!...I used that so often...If a customer didn't believe what I was telling them, then it was my pleasure to show them...and if your service people won't do that for you...then I suggest you find somewhere that will! The ones who have nothing to hide will not have a problem with it...

    0 Votes
  • On Sep 21, 2010

    Boy...some of these complaints really amaze me! It seems as though there is a lot of Canadian Tire bashing going on a former employee, let me shed some light on the other side of the counter. First, although most stores do set their own labor rates, the time you are charged is "book" time, which is an industry standard guide for automotive is not actual time on the, if you are charged 1 unit, or hour, for a job and the mechanic completes it in 40 minutes, then that is a sign of experience...that how he/she makes money. In my entire 8 years at Canadian Tire, not once did I hear someone say, "Well, I was told it was a 2 hour job and it actually took him 3 here's some extra money."...and some jobs do go over the estimated time...have you ever done any work yourself...tried to mow the lawn and the pull cord snaps or something?...adds to the time, doesn't it?...mechanics run in to the same problems...bolts are seized, studs break,'s life.

    Holding vehicles "hostage" because parts need to be ordered or repairs can't be completed for whatever reason doesn't really fly either. If I told your wife, who was sitting in the waiting room with your 4 month old daughter that the parts weren't available to repair your broken control arm, but it's ok, you can drive 30 miles home and hope for the best...YOU would be in my shop threatening to sue me...or punch me in the face, or than let the customer drive the vehicle, which may or may not make it home, we would rather err on the side of safety...being without a vehicle may be a major inconvenience but not as inconvenient as arranging funerals.

    Now, of course, I can't speak for every shop, but in my shop there were 2 shifts, each with 2 or 3 LICENSED mechanics and 1 apprentice...the apprentice worked on the vehicle while being supervised by one of the licensed guys...that's just the way it condemning EVERY Canadian Tire because you had a bad experience at one, is hogwash...every business has it's good and it's bad...and I dare say there isn't one person who posts on this forum that hasn't screwed up at their workplace...we are, after all, all human...

    0 Votes
  • Ni
    Nibbles Mar 27, 2010

    Just a note to you complainers: if you're taking them to court you shouldn't be posting this stuff online that you're going to 'nail them to the wall.' You want results? Tell us AFTER you win.

    0 Votes
  • Ha
    Hate CT Jan 21, 2010

    I just filed a claim against CT today. I am going to nail them to the wall. My oil change and rotor swap turned into new spark plugs, fuel filter, ignition wires, brake pads, brake calipers, brake flush, relining, tail light and air filter. 150 became 950. They will pay. Remember, small claims is the easiest court system on earth and the judges are generally VERY pro-consumer. $100 bucks to file and they can't counter-sue for legal fees.

    0 Votes
  • Ze
    Zeus001 Oct 11, 2009

    The phrase "I used to be disgusted, but now I'm just amused" can't be applied to Canadian Tire's pathetically inept and corrupt automotive service departments---- because even though I find such incompetence amusing (in a train wreck sort of way) the disgust never seems to go away after seeing, both first-hand and second-hand, what Canadian Tire has done to many of their customers in the past.

    They start with several low-paid apprentices and one licenced mechanic. The cheap-labour apprentices do the grunt work, then the licenced "mechanic" pencil-whips the repair. And if a buck can be made by selling you something you don't really need they'll do it without batting an eye.

    I've known this for years of course, but two years ago my muffler disintegrated en route to Vancouver. Canadian Tire in Kamloops was the only shop around, so I had no choice but to buy a muffler from them and have them install it while I waited. I was told I'd be charged an hours' labour but when I called them on this (it only takes 15 minutes for even the most daft of amateurs to install) the mechanic relented and said he'd only charge me for 30 minutes' labour(!)

    As expected, the install took only10 minutes. As I waited at the counter to pay for the work the mechanic moseyed on over to his computer (which was several feet from the counter and facing away from me) and proceeded to take twenty minutes to type out the bill! And they wonder why every can of spray paint on their shelves has the tops removed and grafitti saprayed all over their walls.

    Best of luck with your court case, hope you win. If not, I understand they still sell spray paint...

    0 Votes
  • An
    anonvoip Jun 20, 2009

    Check out my complaint from the same store same manager

    fredericton New Brunswick canadian tire are rip off artists scammers and thieves

    0 Votes
  • Ph
    Phil Riley Jul 15, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm amazed you took a BMW to Canadian Tire. They have no CAA approval rating because CAA receives so many complaints about their pathetic automobile service. In the past they have managed to screw up the simplest of work on the Honda Accord I owned at the time. This seems to be a widespread problem. I dread to think what their hiring policies are.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Marvin Lim Feb 18, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Its customers like you who enjoy arguing with employees and managers. You should have called head office and complained.
    That would have saved you time.

    By the way, why didnt you check ur car before leaving the store?
    Even though you'd expect that Canadian Tire should have TRAINED mechanics, but always double check everything. Retail these days is the biggest scam ever.

    -1 Votes
  • Co
    Consumer Joe Sep 02, 2007

    HAHA theres no way u will get extra compensation. You wont get more than $200. What a waste of time

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Alex Shih Aug 27, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Good luck to you. Keep us updated!

    0 Votes

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