Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Open Letter To Schmamadian Schnire

Dear Schmamadian Schnire,

Over the years I have spent many hours walking your hallowed aisles. I spent many an evening of my childhood in the "city" reluctantly trudging behind my father and brother as they combed the store for this or that. I, like many youngsters, had a bit of Schmamadian Schnire money in my wallet and used it to play "store" with my little friends... I have worn your helmets, lifejackets, snowshoes, winter boots, skates, and snowsuits.

In my adult life, I have wandered through your store wondering how all of the employees seem to disappear just when you need help carrying something or finding something or want to ask a question about a product. I have even seen 5 of your employees playing football in one aisle of the store while at least 3 families looked around helplessly in the bicycle aisle the weekend before Easter. (A little known fact: the Easter Bunny brings new bicycles in Canada)

Despite the shitty customer service I have returned time and again to buy things for my home and my car. I have saved up my Schmamadian Schnire money to put toward purchases. I even have to admit that I really enjoy a trip to Schmamadian Schnire. Like many other Canadians, I always find something I need or want at Schmamadian Schnire.

Right now, however, I'm a little disappointed.

A week ago, I purchased two cans of paint. One white, one green, and both mixed by yet another of your unhappy employees. She flipped open the lids, showed us the colours and then hammered them shut. She did not, as is generally suggested, check the colour by spreading some on the chip and drying it with a heat gun.

On Saturday, I cracked open the white paint. I started cutting in. I worried to myself, "Gee, that looks pink". It was pink.

I spent an HOUR standing at the paint counter trying to get it fixed. Exceedingly long story short and three cans of paint later, I walked out with the correct colour. Since I was already frustrated and just wanted to get going, I didn't get the boys at the paint counter to check the can of green I had brought in with me.

So tonight, almost a week later, I started cutting in what I hope will be a cheery, bright green.

I have just spread what looks like pea-soup baby vomit on my wall.

I will be in to see you tomorrow. It will not be pretty. And I really hope that hard-done-by clerk is working again this Thursday.

I will have to think about our ongoing relationship.

Yours reluctantly,

The girl who insisted on the yellow and black CCM Boy's bike in 1984.


  1. Sweet baby Jeebus - it doesn't just happen to me! I feel your immense disappointment and offer you a chocolate cupcake to help make the return trip a little sweeter.

  2. Good lord!! That's a bit much.

    Need some back up? Because I'll totally help you bitch out someone.

    I also recommend e-mailing head office.

    I hope when you're done you have free paint. Lots and lots of free paint.


  3. Anonymous7:56 a.m.

    I've never bought paint at Canadian Tire. Too scary.

    As a person who has likely spent about $1000 on paint over the past few years here are the ones I frequent:
    1. Para Paints. However, my favourite paint store is Truro. They were amazing there. Major customer service.
    2. That one on Young St across from the Superstore. Sherwin Williams? Good service, good paint and they often have sales.
    3. Even home depot. I don't even care that they're not a Canadian company at this point, not after experiencing CT's crappy crappy crappy service.

  4. Canadian Tire is fine as long as you're getting an off the shelf product that they themselves have no involvement in. I have a CT horror story too.

    Every sane person knows that the mechanics there are not to be trusted. Back when I had my first car I needed an oil change and didn't feel like making an appointment somewhere so I took it into CT, because it was just an oil change. What could go wrong?

    Well... the kid doing the oil change stripped the threads on the drain of my oil pan. They wanted to put a new one in which was going to cost almost 500$. I said no, have then put a plug in and drove it to the Honda dealership. They re-tapped the hole and fixed it for 45$.

  5. Oooooh. Shitty deal. I just picked up some Benjamin Moore paint from a local independent shop -- I sincerely hope I have better luck than you when I start painting this weekend.

  6. I have a similar story to Jkleclerc's. Recently we went to balance the tires on our new car. We were driving all the way to Manitoba and wanted the car running tip top. Dave had a gift certificate to Canadian Tire so we decided to chance it with the mechanic there. After a couple hours they told us that our spring was broken and they could not balance the tires. It still cost us 150$. For what you ask? I have no friggin idea!

    Oh so many more horror stories... and yet I still go back. "Canada"
    in their name sucks you in.

    I suggest Home Depot for big chain paint store. They actually have happy, knowledgeable employees, who seem to care... that's a nice touch.

  7. Anonymous11:37 a.m.

    CT pretty much destroyed the edges of our all season tires a few years ago when we had winter tires put on.

    (which we did not find out until we had the all seasons put back on months later at another place).

  8. Let it out girl! :)

  9. OHHHHHHH That sucks.
    It is all better yet?????

  10. Anonymous8:17 p.m.

    So much pent up anger...I got a great pair of skates at CT. Tried them on myself, decided to get them, even got them sharpened...A few years ago, bought a muffler, had it installed almost exactly two years and three days later it gave way, told the manager that was coincidental and he honored the 2-year guarantee...
    As the employee of a Canadian company whom "customers" say the service sucks, I must be the lone person to say...don't paint everyone in the same color--there are employees who care and there is good customer service out there! Just make a note of it when you get it and please THANK that person!!!!!!!!!It doesn't help the moral when everyone gangs up and has a major big "complaint fest"