Excellent vs Lousy Customer Service
Recently one of my wireless Linksys routers went on the fritz. After struggling with it for a while I called Linksys and they confirmed it was a known problem and that they would replace it. No hassle, no fuss, no arguments even when I couldn't produce the proof of purchase. I have the new router and it is working perfectly. Great customer service.
On the other hand, I had to return a car battery to Canadian Tire (I'm not linking to them) well within the 3 year FREE replacement period. Of course, I did not have my receipt so they said because there was no way to tell when the battery was purchased they could only provide a partial payment towards the replacement and I would have to cover the rest of the cost. The interesting part is that they know exactly when the battery was purchased because they looked up the information in the computer to determine how old it was, how many months of warranty still applies etc. Argument after argument with them proved useless. Its pretty tough when dealing with people who have no ability to reason intelligently. We've now dealt with the parts manager, the store manager, the store owner and now head office. It seems that the customer service at every one of these points is absolutely lousy. All this for a measly $50. Its not about the money. I have a new battery I paid half price for and there are only a few months of warranty left on it (not that the warranty is good for anything anyway).
It is not surprising that Canadian Tire is struggling considering the way they run the lousy place. Lets not fool ourselves into believing that it is because of other big box stores (like Home Depot) moving in all around them. Some of us used to go out of our way to buy stuff at Canadian Tire (or other Canadian owned companies) when it made sense but not anymore.