Friday, December 5, 2008

The store owner offered to come to my work, make a STINK and swear in front of my employees!

Location: Ontario, Markham
Industry: Retail
Annoyed By: Canadian Tire Owner - Cameron md mv

Updates on Dec 11, 2008: Please find the voice message from Cameron below:

I was at the Canadian Tire at 7650 Markham Road in Markham Ontario. I went to the self-checkout to pay for 3 sets of 2-way radios (a work purchase). The customer service rep took my receipt and wanted me to pull out my wallet and show her my credit card. I asked why and was told that she had to confirm the last 4 digits of my credit card with the number on the receipt (keep in mind my self-check terminal was the second-closest terminal to her terminal). I told her I wouldn't give her my card unless she showed me the POLICY that documented such actions or if she showed me her credit card. She explained she had to do it for all purchases over $200. I asked to speak to a manager who could provide me with a copy of the policy. An assistant manager was not able to provide me with a copy of the policy. Again, I said either I leave or someone shows me the policy or their credit card. Side note: I once had my debit card compromised and I vowed to take every step to avoid such an upleasant and violating experience to ever occur again. A manager came and was very confrontational. We were both creating a "scene" and I absolutely refused to provide my credit card without seeing a copy of the policy.

The manager explained that any order over $100 was subject to this policy. I asked again to be presented with the policy since there was now confusion on the dollar amount - is it $100 or $200??
The manager then told me that the policy was from the corporate office - A LIE !I retrieved my receipt with the corporate number and left.

The next day I called corporate office to document the situation and ask for their policy regarding credit cards and self-checkouts. I was told that it was up to the individual franchise operated stores to decide policies like that. They said they would contact the store in question. Later that day I received a voicemail from the owner (Cameron) who at first was polite to say that the policy comes from my credit card company (that makes 3 different possible entities responsible for a policy which no one can reproduce for my review!). I then received another voicemail from Cameron saying that he didn't appreciate the "scene" that I caused in his store and that my behaviour in his store was unacceptable - that I had been, "demanding this - and demanding that...". He suggested that perhaps he "should come over to my place of business and make a stink and swear in front of my employees" but to his credit, he did tell me to have a nice day. At no point did he say he did his homework and review video footage of the event in question. There is obviously my version of the events which will contrast with the version of the staff - but someone is always watching you and I have nothing to hide.

When you shop at Canadian Tire be prepared to be treated as a petty thief, the lowest common denominator. And whatever you do, don't ask them to back up their in-store policies. Who knows what you might be threatened it to cliche at a time like this to say, CAVEAT EMPTOR ? And remember folks, in the words of Cameron: "behave yourself!"

Whether you agree with me or not, Email me at:
If there is somewhere that I can post the audio clip of Cameron's message, please let me know!

Last question: in this time of economic uncertainty, how are retailers so confident that they feel they can speak to customers so abusively?


  1. Please do share the "Carmeron clip" with us ! Simply send it to and we will post it for you.

  2. Correction: the address is 7650 Markham Road in Markham, ON.

  3. You, sir, are a dufus. If you had any common sense at all you would realize that this process (verifying the signature / three digits on the card) is intended to protect you from credit card fraud!!! In fact, had you gone through the check-out with a live cashier, she would have verified your signature then too. That is a system that has been in place for a long, long time to ensure that the person using the card is the cardholder and not someone who stole or found the card. The verification of the three digits is to ensure that it is not a fake card with your magnetic strip imbedded into it.

    I think somebody was having a bad day and decided to take it out on some innocent cashiers who were just trying to work at their part time job. Must have made you feel pretty big and strong making that scene. Shame on you. It's people like you that give customers a bad name.

    If I were you I would be grateful that my biggest concern in life is having to "pull out my wallet and show her my credit card".

  4. I have to agree. I can't believe you made such a scene.

  5. I can't believe you people! Have you heard the audio clip? The point here to me is it doesn't matter what happened at that store and who made what scene, its the disgusting unprofessional response of that owner to threaten and abuse a customer like that over the phone.

    No matter what the circumstance the response that was given was unwarranted by the owner and extreme. He should of not left such a vicious message. I'm sure he did it front of those casiers so he could feel "big" and "strong".

  6. "The scene" may not be neccessary. HOWEVER, check out the audio clip everyone, I dunno how he can run a business with such an attitude ...

  7. Yes, I do agree that the msg he left was not very professional, but what I can't get over is the fact that you made a crazy scene for something that wasn't even disputable in the first place. It's the equivalent of me refusing to show my ID when using my credit card and then screaming at the poor clerk - absolutely insane behaviour.

  8. You are quite stupid.
    They are not just going to check your credit card number because they have nothing better to do. They are also a well known business so if they were in any way going to jeopardize your credit in anyway, they would be liable for it.
    And like whoever said previously, they were doing it for your sake - so your credit card would not be FRAUD.
    He is definitely wrong to address you in that manner which is not in anyway professional, but then again, your complaint of bad service is quite ignorant.

  9. Maybe the situation wasn't handled right from either end? Can stores implement whatever policy they want because they think everyone is out to rob them? Can we as consumers not ask questions about store policies? Had someone in authority explained the situation there might not have been a "crazy scene". If retailers treat consumers as potential theives then maybe the consumers should treat all retailers as potential scammers - do you have reseverations before giving your credit card to a Eastern European gas attendant -no offence to any Eastern Europeans- ? Canadian Tire Stink person was angry that the store could not back up their "policy" and that didn't help things. Of all the credit card purchases you make, how often are you asked for photo id at the same time? Is checking 4 digits really going to save people from fraud? Do the clerks even take a close look at your signature anymore for that matter? I am no expert but the major credit card companies are constantly improving their technology for secure transfers - the latest being the built in "chip" technology" - it almost appears as if we are heading in the direction where we have few reasons to hand over our plastic. Sounds like new technology that the staff were not adequately trained for (self checkout) - at all levels of the store's management level. This doesn't surprise me after listening to the owner's voicemail. He obviously doesn't sound in control so you can't expect proper service from his management team - they are not to blame.

    As for the original anonymous commenter: I think I'll follow your lead and do some of my own profiling. Canadian Tire Stink person made a stink and it was bad in how they did it (from what we can tell) but you Sir or Madame should go back to your Canadian Tire job and read your manual for self-checkout attendants and leave the profiling to the professionals. Does part-time profiling make you feel big and smart? Funny, because it doesn't make me feel any smarter. We'll both go back to our day jobs which don't involve profiling and we'll all be happy and better at what we do.

    Though it sounds like both parties are to be blamed, I think we can learn from this and not be afraid to question in a rational voice our concerns over our privacy.

  10. Checking the 4 last digits is to do with fake credit cards, you can have a card run through and be approved but the 4 last digits on the card don't match up with the ones on the receipt. We had a fake card come through our store not to long ago that we realized it was fake due to this exact precaution. For gosh sakes you could have covered the rest of the numbers with your finger and just shown the last four. I mean the last 4 show up on any receipt, you can't do anything with just 4 digits.

  11. anonymous Dec 17/08, you're incorrect in stating nothing can be done with the last four digits of a credit card. I worked in customer service and regulary registered customers to our services through the receipt of their name as it appears on the credit card, the cc expiry date, and the last four digits of the credit card (only). This was all that was needed to complte the transaction, and I completed many transactions this way right before my eyes. I had previously believed you needed the entire cc number as well, but it's not true. To Annoyed by Canadian Tire: Thanks for sharing, I don't live in the area so wouldn't be visiting that Canadian Tire anyhow, but appreciate the warning. The audiotape reveals a hilarious, stammering fool-good for a laugh.

  12. That manager was a complete fool. He should work at Tim Hortons.....he'd fit right in with the rest of the idiots.

  13. I agree with you. If they clerk asked for youe credit card to protect you, that's great. But they have no right to FORCE you to turn it over. And, if what she said was true and she was simply checking the last four digits against those on the bill, that just proves that you used that card to make the purchase, not that it's your card.