Canadiantire.ca wasted my time

I will have house guests coming soon (to look after me post-surgery), and as I only have one bed in the house and I am not going to share it… I need to get a bed for them to use. Seeing as space is an issue and I really don’t want a whole bed frame, I thought I’d get one of those blow up beds. A friend of mine has one, that I used while visiting him a while back, and it was very comfortable and easy to set up. Definitely a good option.

Until I tried to get one.

I headed over to the Canadian Tire website to see what they had, and found one on sale (yippee). Then I clicked on the “availability at a store near you” button. And they were available! Double yippee. So I pulled on my jacket and trudged over to the store.

I got there and headed to the Sporting Goods area. I found a sign for the bed, proudly touting the sale price, but the beds located right next to the sign weren’t by the manufacturer I was looking for. The boxes to the left of the sign were by that manufacturer, and the same price as the bed, but they were all tents (wonder how many people they fooled with that). I managed to track down a salesperson and asked about them, and he shrugged and said “must be out of ’em.” Then he walked away. I called him back and asked about the price on the ones that were right there. Major sigh, and then he went off to look it up. $50 more expensive than the ones I was looking for.

I told him that I had just been online and checked the availability there and it said they had them in stock. I was told that ‘that thing is never right’. I asked him to look it up and see if they did have them in stock. Sure enough, nope. I asked where did have them and the list he came back with beared no resemblance to the list that was coming up online (the list that gave me several nearby stores that supposedly had them). I was also told that when I called I should just ask the stores to do a visual check, because ‘the systems are never right’.

Wow! Surly, unhelpful sales associates AND a useless inventory system! Whyever do I not shop at this place more?

That was sarcasm, BTW.

I am sure that the whole idea behind Canadiantire.ca is that you are supposed to buy online, but if that is the case then then first thing they have to do is change the design. When you first come to the site one of the first things you are asked to do is enter your postal code. To me that would mean that they are interested in giving me the best results for my geographic area, but now I am wondering if it has any purpose for the customer at all.

If you are going to have a ‘check availability’ button, could you at least make sure it comes up with REAL results? Putting that button on the site indicates that Canadian Tire understands that people want to purchase in store rather than online, but don’t want to waste their time heading to the store if it is not there… but if the inventory list that comes up online doesn’t relate to the actual store inventory it renders the whole process useless.

And if the product is no longer available in store, remove the signage! Talk about a ‘bait and switch’ scheme.

Oh, and if you want people to come to your store, try and make sure you hire people who are actually helpful. The guy who served me was horrificly rude, and getting information out of him was like pulling teeth. I do tend to like to shift for myself, so I only look for help when I really need it. And the help I got from him was no help at all. He would answer a specific question only, offered no extra information at all and denigrated the store’s systems the entire time.

So now I am off to check Canadian Tire’s competitors for the product… I’d rather pay more at one of them than bother wasting my time trusting Canadian Tire again.

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