Is the price right at Tim Hortons?

April 19 2007 by Ellen Roseman

The coffee is a great deal, but you may get clipped by cashier error if you order food to go with it. A reader, Ross T in Kingston, has found frequent mispricing.

Purchase 1 Medium Coffee, 1 Donut, 1 Chicken Salad sandwich under the sandwich deal. Last year, I went to several different Tim Hortons and they seemed to overcharge me more often than they got it right. The deal is $3.99 plus tax. The correct total should be $4.23 but I’ve been charged $4.89.

Meals of $3.99 or less are exempt from Ontario sales tax. Only GST should be charged. However, even with 14% sales taxes, it shouldn’t add up to $4.89.

Sometimes the clerks redo the transaction and sometimes the managers have to be summoned. Just imagine the hundreds of thousands of meals sold every day and the mistaken overcharges.

Ross later realized that other meals could be mispriced, not just the $3.99 sandwich deal, when he went to Tim Hortons with a friend.

They must have seen me coming, since they got my order right. My friend bought a BLT sandwich deal for $5.25 and the total was $6.80. When I questioned the amount, it was soon corrected to a $5.99 total.

I don’t believe the problem is related to sales tax, but to pushing the wrong buttons on the cash register at the customer’s expense.

So, here’s what I want to know. Have you had the same problem? Tim Hortons is busy, with line-ups out the door and lots of part-time staff. Maybe other fast food chains are vulnerable to pricing errors, too.


  1. Mark

    Apr 19 2007

    It is very difficult for most people to grasp that an item may, or may not, be taxable depending on the circumstances and context in which it is purchased.

    If an item is purchased in a restaurant, it’s one thing, and if purchased from a vending machine, another. Then, further, even the identical item purchased in that same restaurant may be treated differently.

    Ellen, I presume you understand this absurdity.

    A can of COKE – Taxed with PST & GST in a vending machine.
    A can of COKE purchased alone in a restaurant – both PST & GST apply.
    A can of COKE purchased with a muffin – now forming part of a meal under $4 – ONLY the GST applies.

    A BAGEL – Taxed with ONLY GST in a vending machine.
    A BAGEL – purchased alone in a restaurant – ONLY GST applies.
    A BAGEL – purchased with a can of COKE – now forming part of a meal UNDER $4 – ONLY the GST applies.
    A BAGEL – purchased with other items – now forming part of a meal OVER $4 – both PST & GST apply.
    A BAGEL – When purchased in a quantity of SIX or MORE, wherever purchased – NEITHER GST or PST is applicable.

    Since a muffin is defined as a sweetened baked good, the above scenarios WOULD NOT BE THE SAME!

    Hopefully I have got all of the above scenarios correct. So, with so many combinations and permutations possible, it is tough for anyone to get everything correct.

    I don’t even think accountants could get this right!

    Public policy is served by NOT TAXING a prepared meal under $4.
    (Should have been raised to $6 years ago, though the implications of COST-PUSH inflation would apply.) To make an item taxable or not taxable, in and of itself, would make
    the application of tax and collection of tax easier for everyone. Far too much confusion exists.

    A flat rate sales tax has some merit. It’s easier to deal with when applied equally over all applicable items. NO EXEMPTIONS. NO EXCEPTIONS. It is or it isn’t taxable.

    Far too much knowledge is presumed on the part of any cashier, be it in a restaurant or a grocery store. It amazes me some of the creative excuse made at DOLLARAMA when attempting to charge BOTH taxes on a 500g package of cookies. “Well,
    they’re mostly sugar.” So, why doesn’t the bag of sugar on the shelf have tax? That they can’t answer.

  2. Mr. Cheap

    May 23 2007

    My father always orders the same things at Tim’s and he jokes that he’s always charged a different amount. He takes a philosphical perspective on it and assumes he’s being over and under charged some of the time, so it probably all works out. I think they need to revamp the Point-of-sale system, as its obviously not working properly for their process and hasn’t for quite a long time.

  3. ML

    May 23 2007

    To be fair to Tim’s, I have found that the same errors occur at their competitors as well. They are quite common all through the industry.

  4. Rick

    Jun 5 2007

    I had a similar problem. At Tim Horton’s a coffee and a breakfast sandwich cost me $4.22, but with a fritter, $5.45. I got quite irate at being charged more than $1.20 for an 80 cent donut.

    When the manager was brought in, she punched the amount in and got the same result. That was good enough for her, but not for me.

    Someone in the restaurant should know the rules for how customers are charged, certainly the manager should.

  5. Beth

    Jun 7 2007

    What I do know is that if I buy an iced cappuccino for myself and a coffee for my husband separately, it’s cheaper than if I buy them together. This irritates some employees. :)

  6. Andree

    Jun 14 2007

    I would like to know why I pay $2.64 for a cheese croissant and large coffee at every Tim Hortons except for one.
    I was told almost politely today that, after checking the cash register, the total came to $2.71 and that’s all there is to it…

    Well that’s not good enough for me. I want to know why one store can charge more than all others…I travel extensively and get to stop at many Tim’s and the price is consistent everywhere else!

  7. LB

    Jun 20 2007

    This afternoon at the McDonald’s in Brampton, I asked for a Southwest Chicken sandwich combo. It was clearly marked as $6.99. If you add the 14% tax, the bill should be $7.97.

    Instead I was asked to pay $8.09. When I challenged this, a manager came up to explain that with tax, it was $8.09. I explained to her that $6.99 plus 14% is $$7.97, not $8.09.

    She ran the order through the machine again and again… and it coughed up a total of $8.09. The whole attitude was that I was wrong and the machine was right. In the end, she did give me 12 cents back, but how many people do you think would realize the error and bring it to the attention of the attendant for a 12 cent difference?

    Meanwhile, McDonald’s collects 12 cents more from every client who orders the new Southwest chicken combo, which would add up to a tidy sum.

  8. julie

    Jun 27 2007

    It all depends on what you get in this “deal” if you order what the combo comes with, which is the sandwich, medium coffee, a donut or 2 cookies. If you order something different from those 3 things, the prices will change, like if you get a danish or a larger sized coffee…but sometimes, yes, employees do get things wrong and that’s cuz they haven’t been trained right or a slip of a finger on a button. Don’t blame the employee. Blame the people who make the decision who is to train these people

    Just to let you know, the prices are going up in July, so try not to complain to employees about this problem. It’s not like we are seeing any of this money.

  9. jamie

    Jun 29 2007

    Charging tax incorrectly in Ontario happens at more then fast food joints.

    Children’s clothes and any shoe under $30 are exempt from provincial sales tax. A recent order from incorrectly charged the tax. An email response from them indicated they advise people to let them know their purchase is tax-exempt. The problem is the only place this is mentioned is by clicking the FAQ link and scrolling waaay down. There is no mention during the checkout process, so I imagine most people overpay tax. I was also charged tax on exempt shoes at fellow Forzani-owned Sportchek’s local store.

    Another quirk with sales tax is Canada Post postage. If mail is sent to locations outside Canada, postage is tax-exempt when purchased at an outlet in the amount of $5 or more. The $5 can be a single item or combination of letters to total $5. I was overcharged a number of times at a Shoppers Drug Mart outlet, complained to Canada Post, and heard they had dealt with the outlet. Months later they still were charging tax wrong. I had a very bad confrontation with the staff who sarcastically claimed I didn’t know what I was talking about, then ridiculed me for having an issue with the low dollar amount after their call to Canada Post proved me correct. A follow-up call from Shoppers’ head office advised they had talked to the postal supervisor at that location, who said it was correct to charge GST on $5+ international mail. So it was clear they had overcharged every single customer for years.

    The tax treatment for manufacturer coupons is another common area of mischarging. When the coupon is for a free item rather than a specific dollar amount, there is no tax. The A&P got it wrong at multiple locations every time. One local supervisor demanded I bring in the tax guide showing it, as they were positive it didn’t, so I went right back to the store with the guide and presented it to the manager. I got a letter of apology and gift certificate from head office…and the store got it wrong again the next time.

  10. Jaz

    Jul 5 2007

    When it comes to the combo pricing, you do have to watch what you order. For example, a soup deal comes with a biscuit; if you want a tea biscuit you pay more. The combo is priced with a can of pop; if you want juice or a bottle, you pay more. You want a croissant instead of a donut, you pay more. In order to get the deal at the price posted, you have to order the meal exactly as it is advertised.

  11. Jeni

    Jul 23 2007

    I wonder if the amount being over taxed is being pocketed by the company or if they are in turn sending this on to the Government….

    I suspect it’s being pocketed. And I suspect they’re aware of how often this happens. They’ve probably done the math in calculating how many customers they lose over this practice versus the cost of upgrading the POS and decided it’s not worth it.

    I’m not specifically referring to Tim’s here… but all the many places that this over taxing is so common.

  12. michael

    Aug 28 2007

    I wonder what legal action we all have in terms of making companies more aware of this. I too suspect they pocket the extra revenue generated through overcharging and incorrect charges.

    Wouldn’t this be considered a form of fraud, since the sales tax money should go to the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial governments and not line the pockets of companies?

  13. Tim Hortons Employee

    Sep 16 2007

    In many cases the employee fails to punch in the combo button, which means you do not get charged the correct amout. Next time you seem to be overcharged, politley ask the employee if they punchedi n the combo button

  14. Sam

    Sep 17 2007

    Whenever you are overcharged with a sandwich combo, always make sure that the cashier has pressed the button on the POS that says sandwich deal. Most of the time, the staff disregards and are always careless.

  15. Denise

    Oct 21 2007

    I find the error is with the sales tax. When you order a large coffee and breakfast sandwich, the price is $4.03 (approximately). BUT when you add a donut, the total is $5.25!! Why is there a such a big difference for one donut?

    I was told by one employee that they didn’t know why, but it was programmed in the cash register! So the next time, I ordered the donut separately. I paid $4.03 for the coffee and sandwich. THEN I paid 90 cents for the donut!

    I wonder how many have realized this tax difference.

  16. Meagan

    Dec 14 2007

    I work at Timmies. A lot of people do complain about the taxes and how they should be lowered (I’m not saying they shouldn’t be lowered). But I agree with Julie. Don’t blame the employees, blame the people who train them by doing the wrong things.

    Sometimes, just a complaint can put us into a very mad mood because it isn’t our fault, yet we get the blame. So just remember, Tim Hortons employees are people too.

  17. suzanna

    Mar 8 2008

    I would just like to say something about the comment on how “maybe staff are pushing the wrong buttons” . I worked full time at a Tim Hortons for 3 years, and if customers would let the staff think about things before getting angry cuz “it’s taking too long”, “they are late for work,” then the staff wouldn’t make mistakes. We all know what we are doing, but lots of people don’t deal well with pressure.

    It’s not our fault you are late for work and are now in a hurry. so please next time you visit your local Tim Hortons… just remember to be patient and they should get your order right!

  18. Doug Lippay

    Mar 25 2008

    I know a little about cash registers and POS systems. If the wrong amount shows up in the tax portion of the receipt, it will show up again when the cash register is cleared off at the end of the day. So….the money gets sent off to Ottawa or Queen’s Park.

    The thing for the customer to keep in mind is that the two taxes are not harmonized, that different items qualify or do not qualify for being taxed, and that there are many many weird little quirks in the tax system. For example, five muffins purchased would trigger both GST and PST, buy 6 and no tax….

    The tax rules are complicated enough for someone who is supposed to be able to program the cash register, let alone the poor staff people who try to explain the crazy rules to a customer!

  19. New in town

    Mar 28 2008

    I just got a job at Tim Hortons. Please be nice, because I am now officially terrified of the customers — and all the other stuff that people say about Tim’s.

  20. jane

    May 17 2008

    Buy 6 muffins and no tax?

    Curiously, a man at McDonald’s came in today and asked for 6 muffins with no tax, confused the lady who punched it in and tax came up. The man set off a fuse….said he didn’t mind the extra cents, but it was the principle of the thing.

    Well, the manager asked another manager and said it didn’t exist — the whole 6 muffins, no tax.

    Now I’m confused. Any of you know if this is true? I would love to know. Thanks:)

  21. Frugal Canadian Living

    May 23 2008

    A lot of people overpay Retail Sales Tax when they don’t have to. It could be a lack of knowledge about the law or a can’t-be-bothered attitude.

    On Frugal Canadian Living, I wrote an article on the amount of sales tax collected in Ontario because Ontarians did not make food purchases properly.

    There was even a provincial report distributed that suggested the Retail Sales Tax Act R.S.O. 1990 should be modified to eliminate a “loophole” that made prepared food $3.99 and less PST-free.

  22. Tara G

    May 25 2008

    My sister and I went to a Tim Hortons up the street and we bought a small ice cap supreme and a small ice cap. The total came to $6.13.

    I couldn’t believe it. I was so amazed I checked the prices on my phone with the tax and it came to only $5. Then I realized the stupid cashier had charged us tax on the items individually, then charged tax on the whole thing.

    They better get their prices fixed or they’ll find themselves in trouble.

  23. j

    Jun 5 2008

    Hi! Does anybody know how much an afternoon-shift-supervisor gets an hour??? I think one of the owners is not paying the right amount.

    A 75-cent difference over a regular employee doesn’t make sense at all, because in that shift, the supervisor is the boss as well — and will have all the responsibilities on his shift.

  24. H

    Jun 12 2008

    I would like to add that I went into a Tim Hortons this week and the person in front of me was short 23 cents. Instead of him having to go to an ATM to take out money, the cashier deleted the entire order and rang everything through separately.

    Much to my surprise, and the gentleman’s surprise, he not only had enough money now… but he ended up having money left to spare!! Figure that out! There is no way you can tell me that something isn’t wrong with that!

  25. Julia

    Jul 20 2008

    I have been working at Tim Hortons in Ottawa for about a month now, and I have to say that Tim’s cash register system is very disorganized. All of the buttons for different foods are all over the place. And about the combos, it is because the cashier didn’t press the combo deal button at the end of the order. When someone buys a sandwich, a drink, and a donut, it is qualified for the deal. When all 3 things are punched into the cash, a screen pops up and asks if the customer wants the sandwich deal. You can either press yes or no. Tim Hortons is always really busy though, so I’m sure cashiers just press no without even realizing.

  26. Jimmy

    Aug 27 2008

    how can that exemption still be at 3.99 only when since that was implemented prices have gone up significantly with inflation?

    shouldn’t that be 5.99 now?

  27. John Smith

    Sep 15 2008

    Timothy’s Coffee Canada
    5150 Yonge Street
    North York City Centre
    M2N 6L9
    (416) 250-5168

    At this location, it charges customers more money at the cash register than what is posted as the store price.

    e.g. Chai Latte is $3.21 on the posted menu, but on the cash register it is punched in at $3.29.

    The store owner is doing this on all his products.

    NOT a very honest business practice.

  28. Jimmy Hamilton

    Oct 22 2008

    I try to never go to Tim Hortons anywhere in the GTA, but sometimes I have no choice. Apart from the pricing errors,what really bugs me is their getting the order wrong about 80% of the time.

    Even when they are not busy, a simple order — Tea with Milk — is usually screwed up. Of course, this is compounded by the fact I don’t notice it till I am back at my desk.

    Just happened again. That’s when I found this site.

    Standards are dropping all over. It is not them that will change, it is us who will just have to get used to it.

    Last one to leave, turn off the lights.

    (Out of town, Alliston, Collingwood, anywhere else, No Problemo)

  29. Candace

    Dec 3 2008

    Hey, I used to work at Timmy’s. The customers scream and yell if it comes up as more money. It’s not always our fault.

    I understand that we should be trained properly. But sometimes, the managers and owners are so mean. Our manager would make girls cry even! But if you keep having these problems about money, then don’t go there. The coffee isn’t that great and the food isn’t either.

    I got fired from Timmy’s and they didnt even call me or give me anything!! How I knew I got fired was when a girl that worked there texted me. To this day, they still haven’t told me. I just dropped off my outfit and got my last pay and they still didn’t tell me.

    Something’s wrong there if you ask me. They fired me because I gave someone my shift because she needed more shifts…so they thought I didn’t want to work there. wow!!!

  30. Dana-lee

    Dec 18 2008

    At Tim Hortons, it’s not the cash registers that are wrong. It is the training involved in using them.

    Our government gives hoards of money to giant companies like this for training through tax cuts and so on. We here in Canada should ask ourselves “are our tax dollars really being used properly?”

    This supposed training that is being given (or should I say lack of training?) is also used by owners of the franchises to squander your pennies. Only if there is a complaint by one person will it be returned.

    If the many could see what actually happens when someone is hired at a Tim Hortons, you would understand why the price differs so greatly.

    It seems that if you ask for clarification from the TDL group (as an employee or not) as to why this happens so frequently, the franchise card is drawn and the answer lays with solely with the owner of the location.

    Of course, the owner will be happy to help someone at the time of a complaint, because that is the policy. He or she does not actually lose anything, but rather gains the person as a return customer.

    It will happen again in two weeks as a new employee is added and not trained properly. And the cycle is continued.

  31. Stan Hall

    Jan 14 2009

    When I went to the Admiral Road Tim Hortons in London Ont., I made two separate orders. The reason was simple: there were two of us and I was not buying for my buddy.

    I was told they could not do separate orders. I said why not? There are two of us in this vehicle. They were laughing at me and my friend, so when I drove up to the window, I said I didn’t want it and I would never come back to this location.

    I called the owner. Ron Sparling, who said he was the manager, called me right back. Nice enough fellow, but he told me this was head office policy so people can’t cheat on the tax being charged.

    I never thought about it that way. But now that I do, I thought screw the tax, if I can save a nickel I will.

    But I then went to Williams Coffee Pub in London and a large Coffee is only $1.04 including tax. I used to stop four or five times each day for coffee. Tim Hortons, you’re now missing all my business. I refuse to go back as their prices go up and they laugh in my face.

    Who is laughing now? It certainly is not you.

    Stan Hall, London

    Remember we are not all “Can-Am-Da-Cans” Canadians and Americans. We are Canadians and we ask for a pop, not a soda. What the hell is a soda?

  32. Stan Hall

    Jan 14 2009

    If you all stop going to Tim Hortons, I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut the price of coffee goes down, way down. I can’t believe I spend over $150 each month at Tim Hortons. I now can buy more beer.

  33. James

    Jan 17 2009

    My wife likes Tim Hortons tea.

    An extra large is $1.56 + taxes.

    1.56 * 1.05 (current GST rate) = 1.638 (1.64 for rounding sake)
    1.56 * 1.06 (old GST rate) = 1.6536 (1.65 for rounding sake)

    Guess which amount every store in our city charges? Here’s a hint, I believe without a doubt it’s an issue with tax rates programmed into registers and it only gets worse when the orders get larger.

  34. JoAnne

    Feb 10 2009

    I recently asked the Ontario government about why there were differences in charging PST for a whole food product I purchase regularly. I already know this product (Vega Smoothie Infusion) used to be labelled “No GST” until our wonderful federal government decided to cash in on the supplemental food industry, which includes vitamins and minerals as well as supplemental food products. I always believed that PST was a no-no.

    I talked to Ms. Fraser and used the following example:

    I recently purchased a whole food product at my local big box grocery store (Real Canadian Superstore), where I was charged GST but no PST ($29.99 + $1.50 = $31.49).

    I then went online to shop around for this product and found the online store I was dealing with charged both GST and PST. So, my question is, why?

    Here was Ms. Fraser’s answer:

    “It’s pretty much subjective. A retailer, whether online or otherwise, can choose to use the wording on the label regarding the use of the product to decide whether they will charge PST or not.”

    In other words, Ms. Fraser advised, if the product claims to aid digestion or increase bone density or circulation, etc., then PST could, according to tax laws, be charged.

    So, basically, I was told, no matter what the ingredients are, even if they are of all natural form food ingredients, this means nothing. As long as the wording makes claims about the products use(s), then PST can be charged. Huh? Go figure? Who would’ve thunk it?

    Personally, I find this reasoning to be appalling. Can anyone else make this any clearer?

    To be honest, I don’t know if I been given a correct answer to my question. Also, I’m hoping that one day a bag of milk won’t be charged PST because the label on it says it builds healthy bones…which maybe it already does.

    I’m just bewildered.

  35. Odessa

    Mar 12 2009

    I’m a worker of Timmies for over 2 years and I find many people tend to order other items, instead of the regular combo, which includes a medium coffee/tea or a can of drink, a donut and the small sandwich.

    The sandwich type will change the price, as some have more condiments. If you change the items to be larger or different from the donut, then the price will change.

    As well, even if you add the 13% tax, as I have found in experiments, it does not always come out to the correct price. It is usually cheaper.

    I have heard from many customers that I have served that the prices are different in Toronto. So there are many factors contributing to the price difference.

    In addition, the new tills that my store has (and many others, I’m sure) automatically ask if you want to add the combo, and thus force us to press yes.

    So hope this helps, and good luck to all for Roll Up!:D

  36. DBLDBL

    Mar 21 2009

    You know the thing that bothers me, Tim Hortons donates millions and millions of dollars for needy children across Canada and the U S every year. And all you people worry about is that .8 cent discount. I think this place would be a better place to live if we didn’t worry about the little things.

    So next time you visit your local Tim Hortons, remember what this company has done for all the less fortunate kids and sick kids across this country!!!!!

  37. MAC

    Mar 24 2009

    How nice of Tim Hortons to donate millions and millions of dollars – they can afford to do this from overcharging all their customers on a daily basis.

    Tim Hortons also litters our country with millions and millions of un-environmental cups and containers each year.

    They are not the good guys, please don’t make them out to be so.

  38. DBLDBL

    Apr 7 2009

    Is it Tim Hortons who litters or the customer like you?
    By the way Tim’s coffee is cheaper than 7-11.

  39. James

    May 12 2009

    Quick update: all the Tim’s locations in my area have now updated their pricing to XL tea and coffee at $1.57 so that, at least until PST/GST harmonization, it now works out to $1.65 after tax. And no, I didn’t see any signs in stores. No employees I’ve spoken with even knew of the change in pre-tax price.

  40. cathy emery

    May 17 2009

    When in doubt, call the tax office.

    I worked in retail and learned as much as I was able to about sales tax. When people argued, I would call the tax office.

    I was told in Canadian Tire that shoes $30 and under were not PST free, so I spoke with the manager, who put it to the employee who set the machines.

    I asked: Should not this person know the tax laws? Retail tax office does send copies to these companies. I finished up calling the tax office and asking them to speak with them.

    I have also had this problem in Sears. We pay far too much tax as it is, without paying more than we should.

  41. Dana Deep

    May 18 2009

    The problem sometimes is simply employees don’t press Soup Deal button at the end.

    I worked there last year. The manager was an absolute idiot who took advantage of young kids and women that spoke broken English.

    For example, she always made last minute scheduling changes and got mad when you said you could not make your shift because of the change. Young students are hesitant to stand up for themselves because we need the job for $.

    The managers were both extremely overweight women, who came to the front only to grab a snack or drink then go gossip in the office.

    Tim Horton’s does many things for the community, but so do the customers and employees who come in. Do you really think the money that is miscalculated is given to needy kids?

    People are generous and willing to support causes, but that doesn’t make it OK to suggest that pricing errors are justified because of the fact Tim Ho’s has charitable connections. People have a right to know where their money is going!

    I am positive most of the people posting here donate to charitable causes or maybe they can’t afford to, maybe they have children to support. Who are you to say the “world would be a better place” and “all you people”… don’t know us all.

    The thing that bugs me is people who say these things and think they are somehow better than everyone because they don’t have to worry about where their money is going.

    There’s a way to promote and fundraise for charity — and it’s not through making sales calculation errors — that is, if those errors even go to charity – which I doubt.

  42. jeff

    Jun 13 2009

    Now, people, if you ever had an idea on how things work in this business, you would see that the people who order at Tims will change their order at the till with no regards to who they are dealing with.

    The cashiers see hundreds of people every day and no two are the same. We treat each one every one as we would like to be treated.

    So, think about it the next time you have a bad morning, be thoughtful to the person on the other side of the counter. We try to make your day as nice as can be….

    Thanks for letting bend your ear.

  43. Eric

    Jul 22 2009

    I go to Tims everyday to get coffee for myself and my coworkers and I always separate my orders. Such as 1 large and 2 mediums, it will come up to $4.05 tax included and so on.

    This morning I actually brought 6 XL black and 1 dozen muffins. I paid 2 XL coffee 3 times (1 tax) and paid the dozen muffins (no tax) separately. The total came up to just under 20 bucks. I asked them for extra cups, sugar/cream/milk on the side (we are all sharing).

    The cashier has no problem with me separating the orders – (although sometimes I cause a lineup behind me). But I believe we pay too much taxes and the under 4 bucks one tax should be increased to at least 6 bucks.

    I remember back in the days at Mcdonalds when all large sandwich combos were all $3.99 and we only needed to pay 1 tax.

    Also back then Tim’s chicken salad sandwich combo was $3.99 and I always got that. Then they bumped it to $4.25 and that’s when I stopped getting that combo =(

  44. SL

    Jul 30 2009

    Letter to Tim Horton’s, Head Office, 874 Sinclair Road,
    Oakville, ON L6K 2Y1

    Attention : Vice-President, Customer Relations

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    I would like to share a story and an experience with you that relates to your product(s) and service(s).

    I have long been a Customer (you’ll notice that Customer is capitalized here and hereafter) at Tim Hortons, based on good coffee, convenience and price point.

    Throughout the many years that I have frequented Tim Hortons, I have experienced ineptitude and poor customer service – particularly in the GTA – and have suffered along with what turns out to be many, many dissatisfied Timmie’s Customers.

    I have one friend who commutes from Oshawa to Scarborough to Mississauga to Oshawa daily and has often recounted his experiences in playing “Tim Hortons”. His description of this game is, “I drive into the drive thru, place my order, and see what they give me.”

    While this sounds facetious, he is most sincere in his tongue in cheek complaint.

    I have personally experienced far too many order errors in relation to the simplicity of filling a coffee and donut order. I even used to complain.

    There was a day when Tim Hortons – either the store or Head Office – would apologize and offer a complimentary coffee as a way of correcting the mistake. That no longer happens.

    At the store level, they shrug their shoulders as if to say, “oh well” and at Head Office they refer responsibility to the store.

    Another inconvenience suffered by the Customer was the inability to use a debit card for payment. I understood this policy as I suspected that bank debit fees were unacceptable in relation to the margins related to a $1.15 cup of coffee.

    So I waited – albeit years – and Tim Hortons introduced the Tim Card. What a great idea. Now I could just load up a card and didn’t need to worry about finding change.

    This was particularly helpful because I often go out for a Timmie’s during the work day and bring back between eight and a dozen coffees for the entire office. It’s a running joke that my trips restart the office on particularly busy days.

    In fact, just this morning I had my annual performance review and was complimented on my thoughtfulness and generosity in bringing coffees back for my co-workers.

    And, after a big coffee run, I could even go online and load up my Tim Card. I could also merge cards into one card online. What a great convenience. And here is where the story goes bad.

    I have been doing these coffee runs for a very long time. However, I have only begun using the Tim Card in the past year or so. At first I used and discarded the cards.

    Then, this past winter, Tim’s came up with a Tim Bits Hockey Card. My son played minor hockey and I was actively involved as a volunteer and a manager. I think the Tim Bits program is excellent and I was immediately endeared to the Tim Bits Tim Card. Since getting the card I have merged cards, reloaded, and stayed with my hockey card.

    As a means of appreciation for my coffee runs, co-workers would often buy me a Tim Card. Because I favoured my hockey card, I just merged the cards. If I was not able to go online, I had the funds transferred at the store. In fact, I had two cards merged just this week.

    As such, imagine my surprise when one of my co-workers handed me a $20 Tim Card this morning and told me to merge it onto my card and give her the card back so she could reload it whenever she wanted to “contribute to my coffee fund”. I went online to do that and realized that, in order to merge them, I would have to expose her pin number.

    I didn’t know if she would then be able to reload it again so I figured that, as long as I was on my way to the store, I might as well have the store merge it.

    Well, the surprises didn’t end there. I got to the store and asked them to transfer the funds from the “gift card” to my “hockey card”. I was told, “sorry, can’t do that. It’s against policy” (the explanation even came with the customary Tim Hortons shrug).

    That seemed incredibly stupid to me, so I explained that I had had two cards transferred earlier this week. Same answer. I then bypassed the shrugging service rep and asked to speak to the Manager.

    Albeit a futile effort, I explained the situation and was immediately trumped with “company policy”. So, I tried to figure out how this company policy was arrived at.

    Potential theft? Potential fraud? Possibly. But if someone was actually going to rob Tim Hortons or defraud a poor customer, would they really target a gift card that has a $100 maximum?

    Possibly, however, it seems like a rather low bar to set.

    So, what could it be? Oh yes, efficiency. Did someone at Tim Hortons suddenly realize that merging cards or transferring amounts was interfering with the rocket quick service that the customer was getting? Maybe so. So how do they solve that?

    In the infinite wisdom of Tim Hortons, they target the high volume or frequent buyer Customer who has actually chosen to load and use a Tim Card. And, then they make sure that the Customer can’t conveniently merge or transfer cards without finding a computer and doing it themselves online. Brilliant.

    Now, I could stop going to Tim Hortons – and I should – but that would mean that I would lose the benefit of good coffee, convenience and price point. It would also mean that my coworkers would not get free coffees, the increased boost of energy a mid-afternoon coffee offers, and the increased comradery that the coffee break offers.

    Unfortunately, I guess I will just have to accept that the buyer is just an ignorant cash cow to Tim Hortons and accept that Tim Hortons could give a damn about Customer Service.

    I once joked to my wife that the best way to “get even” with Tim Hortons would be to assure that every time I visited, I would throw my Tim Horton logoed bag or cup on the street near a Tim Hortons store so that eventual litter complaints necessitated dedicating staff to clean up the litter.

    If Tim Hortons was going to “choose” not to provide good Customer service, then let them pay staff to clean up their “mess”. Due to the obvious irresponsibility of the action, it was naturally discarded and laughed about. I’m seriously reconsidering now.

    Maybe I’ll start a blog and invite every disgruntled Tim Hortons Customer to voice their displeasure with “litter” (relax, I’m just kidding).

    It is very hard to believe that Tim Hortons cannot accurately and efficiently serve a cup of coffee and a donut without aggravating and irritating their Customers.

    It is equally hard to believe that Tim Hortons cannot provide ease of use and convenience to Customers who identify themselves as high volume users and, subsequently, choose to use things like the Tim Card.

    Tim Hortons needs to do a lot of inward looking to see what is most important to their corporate health. Profits? Or the people who give you those profits – the Customer?

    I remain a Tim Hortons Customer, however reluctantly. It will be interesting to see exactly what it will take to make me realize that if Tim Hortons doesn’t value me as a Customer, why should I give them my business?

  45. Mary

    Aug 21 2009

    A few years ago (maybe 10) in the UK, the makers of some sauce were fined a great deal of money for underfilling their bottles by about an inch and a half. They had been doing it for years and it had saved them a lot of money.

    However there are rules that prohibit advertising that a container should contain “x” amount of product by weight and volume and filling it less. They sometimes do get into trouble, but the government agency was the only one that benefited. I didn’t see any free bottles of sauce anywhere to make up for what I had been short bottled!

    Tim Horton’s, that great Canadian institution, has had some bad press in the past year and should be training their staff a bit more carefully and their managers better in public relations!

  46. DBLDBL

    Sep 5 2009


  47. Bev

    Sep 14 2009

    Why, oh why, do the people of this country constantly pick on Tim Hortons? What have they done to you?

    Try some big American corporation like McDonald’s for a change. I don’t see any of them over in Afghanistan with our troops!!!

  48. Mario

    Sep 26 2009

    Bev, the reason why are we picking on Tim Hortons is because they are insulting me by thinking we are stupid and can’t add 2+2.

    For example, last night I ordered 3 large coffees. One coffee is $1.52 when you order single. However, the lady at the register charged $4.99 for three.

    My math is $1.52 + $1.52 + $1.52 = $4.56, so it couldn’t be $4.99, but the lady insisted “that’s just the way it is. When you order more, you pay more”.

    Try to do math – there’s NO WAY to come up with that number, regardless if it is charged GST+PST or GST only or PST only, the numbers just don’t add up.

    Even if you wrongly round decimals, it still cant make $4.99 (one coffee is $1.45 before taxes).

  49. Norah

    Oct 10 2009

    Hi. I happen to work at a Tim Hortons and although I understand your anger at being charged the “wrong” price (I really do), there are situations where our tills simply don’t make sense.

    With some orders, it adds up to $4.99 for three large coffees, where logic would make appear to cost only $4.56.

    If you think that there has been a mistake with your order, simply ask for a receipt. It will show you everything you were charged for.

    If you have an issue, talk to the employee. Also, might I mention that if you ever receive an incorrect order, we’re usually happy to replace it.

    There was a woman who came in tonight and we replaced her order because she accidently said “double double”, she even admitted it, but we replaced it regardless.

    If you can’t get there right away, call and explain what happened. They will write down your name and you can get your order replaced at a later time.

    I happen to like my customers, and I apologize if there are some Tim’s employees who don’t. However, I assure you that they shouldn’t reflect on every employee.

    And one last thing, my store owners recently put in for all new tills. These “smart” tills scan your order for any possible combos, and if there are any possible deals, it pops up in a two inch type font. So there should be less errors due to lack of combos being punched in. :)

    Enjoy your coffee!

  50. Coffee Freak

    Oct 31 2009

    Hey Guys,

    Forget Timmies coffee. McD’s is where it’s at!! Cheaper, better tasting and much better service – employees are kids – not middle age ladies who are bitter!

  51. Question on Smile Cookies

    Nov 18 2009

    Hello, just a question from a piqued mind… Who gets the tax $ from Smile Cookies? I thought NFPs were exempt from taxation?

    Tim’s claims “all of the proceeds”, but that doesn’t seem to warrant a tax? Anyone more economically savvy, please let me know what’s going on here.

  52. LH

    Jan 9 2010

    Hi Ellen,

    I want to take a moment and share an incident that happened earlier today. I hope it will help others avoid the same situation I faced and I would like to kindly request your help in escalating the matter to the right people.

    This morning at around 11am I stopped by the Tim Hortons on Highway 10 and Mayfield Road in North Brampton. I live just around the corner and stop by there frequently (three times this week alone). I went through the drive-thru and ordered 2 large coffees, a medium coffee, and half a dozen muffins.

    The cashier told me my total was $15.49. Initially I thought it was a little bit too much but since I was in a hurry I just gave her a $20 bill and was on my way home.

    As I was sitting and actually drinking what I just bought, I said to myself I must have been ripped off because $15 for all this is just too much.

    About two hours later I stopped by the same Tim Hortons and asked to speak to the manager. Her name is Silvana. I politely explained to her what happened. She input what I ordered and it turns out the total was $10 exactly. Hence, I was overcharged $5.49.

    I told her the time I placed my order and I described the person who took my order and money. I also told her I’m a regular customer and so do other members of my family and that I would appreciate if she can refund the amount I was overcharged.

    From the onset, she was quite rude, dismissive, and refused to even consider my request for a refund. She scrutinized me about asking for a refund and said she doesn’t know any employee based on the description I gave her. She proceeded to say that the only way she would consider refunding the difference is if her till is over at the end of the day. If it’s under she said she owes me nothing.

    I told her this was completely unacceptable as her till can be under due to factors that are completely beyond my control, including her own employees accidentally undercharging customers just as they overcharged me.

    She countered by saying that I should have asked for a receipt. I asked her how many times a day do they issue receipts to people who pay in cash and for a small order like mine? She refused to answer. All she said was they do give receipts but it’s the customer’s responsibility to ask for it.

    Huh?! Shouldn’t the onus be on YOU as an operator of a business to ensure that your employees charge your customers the correct price? Don’t get me wrong, I understand mistakes can happen. But it’s how you work to rectify them that determines whether you’re a business professional or not.

    She said she will check her till at the end of the day and give me a call but beyond that she can’t help me.

    Surely enough two hours later, at around 4.30pm (I take it that’s the end of the day for them), she calls me and says that her till is under “big time” and she will not be refunding anything. I told her if that’s her position I want to speak to a district supervisor or area manager and for her to provide me with their name and number.

    She refused to give me any information. I told her I would go through head office to resolve this matter and she said “that’s fine with me, go ahead”. It’s as though she wanted me to take that route and get myself off her back, figuring that I’d probably just give it a rest and accept the reason I was overcharged was my fault.

    Now it’s a matter of principle.

    I would like to ask if you know someone at Tim Hortons’ head office that I can get in touch with. I really would like my money back (the difference, that is) and I’d rather give that money to charity, as small as the amount is, rather than have it sit in the till of that undeserving dimwit.

    It’s obvious that head office doesn’t train any of their franchisees or employees about customer service and dispute resolution. All head office cares about is getting people to pay the franchise fee and get the place going, while all the franchisees care about is making money. Customer service is substandard and apparently all head office and the franchisees do is relegate customer complaints from one party to the other.

  53. Steve T

    Feb 4 2010

    Hi! I think I realize your error. I work at Tim Hortons!

    The deal comes with 1 Sandwich (every kind has different prices), as well as a medium coffee (french vanilla costs more) and a donut (anything else besides a donut will change the total price, i.e muffin, danish, etc.).

    So have you been having a muffin in place of the donut? Or a large coffee or a french vanilla in place of the medium coffee/tea?

    At Tim Hortons, I see this happen on a regular basis. It’s not the issue of the cashier. It’s that the customers don’t know how to order and it’s OUR job to help them realize this!

    Sorry about the mix up and hope this doesn’t happen any more :)

  54. Yycguy

    Feb 4 2010

    I used to work for Tim Hortons. I’ve worked pretty much all positions except for Manager and above; however, been Assistant manager, supervisor, baker, front counter and drive thru, oh and sandwich guy.

    I hate to say that the service Tim Hortons does provide is ridiculously terrible. And it starts from the top.

    Owners care about the money in their pocket. Managers aren’t really trained well at all, which means the Supervisors aren’t trained at all — and in turn, only sheds untrained knowledge and poor habits onto the future employees of Timmies, being the new hires.

    This alone is part of the bane of Timmies. But I’m not even going to touch that, since we all know customer service is horrible.

    I’m from Ontario, and I thought service was poor there. Come to Calgary, these people hardly speak English, and would rather chat in the back instead of serve the line that some patient customer has waited in for 45 minutes while one customer was served.

    And after that 45 minute wait, what do you get? Who knows! You order one thing, and you always get something different.

    The problem is that there is no accountability in their company whatsoever. As well, it is hard to expect someone to get the order right when they work for minimum wage.

    I was always an avid “Timmies is Canadian and I am too, so no Starbucks for me! IT’S GROSS”. Yeah, until I got so tired of the poor service that I went to Starbucks one day just for kicks and to see what it was really like.

    Honestly, I pay about 1-2 dollars more for a Venti White Chocolate Mocha than I do for a XL Mocha, and at least the one made from Starbucks is made from real cream and chocolate, and not some hot water mixed with powder.

    If I wanted to pay $2-3 for a powder mix in water, I’d buy it at the grocery store and make it myself at home for much cheaper.

    And as for flavour? Starbucks holds a much nicer coffee, and tends to wake me up a lot faster, while Tims coffee seems rather bland now.

    And it wasn’t always that way, because Tims used to taste good. Donuts used to be made fresh. And customers used to love it.

    Now it’s all pre-frozen, microwaved goodness with low quality coffee and bad customer service.

    Just convert to Starbucks or a local coffee store for a week. Sure it might cost a little more, but you’ll feel much more appreciated, and it will taste better too!

  55. Espresso Runner

    Feb 21 2010

    Well, I don’t understand Tim Hortons popularity….actually I can….people who don’t know the difference between below average coffee (spiked with cream-anything would taste good with cream) and a real coffee like Starbucks. Tim Hortons is offers poor service and less than average products. I would only stop when I was desperate for a java fix, but after being asked (at 3 different locations) if I wanted my change back!!!!!!!! I have NEVER been asked this question ever. Can you imagine how much the stores are profiting from this mentality as well as the other errors stated by many of you in earlier comments??????? I even called the head office and was just given a basic apology and that’s it. It still happened. Wow!!! McDonald’s brews great coffee and offers espresso and other great beverages. I encourage people to boycott Tim Hortons….and not to mention the lack of concern for the environment. And the coffee cup design is just horrible—-looks so cheap.

  56. Pinky

    Feb 22 2010

    Well now! After reading all those negative comments about sales tax (who knew?) and all the mistakes, I am certainly going to pay more attention to the final tally when I order at Tim’s – or anywhere else for that matter! What an abomination! And why are we putting up with this? CBC Marketplace , are you listening? Let’s do a show on this and expose the blatant, in-your-face erros being committed by these places.

  57. ~Melanie~

    Mar 7 2010

    I personally think it’s BS. I worked there and I almost never made mistakes.

    I think they just don’t care if they charge you more, because after they do and you pay it, they take it as a tip for themselves. Their coffee here seriously tastes like someone threw up in it, and they always mix up your order. They are just as bad as McDonald’s.

  58. glenn miller

    Mar 30 2010

    In town, I went to a local T.H. for a medium coffee (.10 if you bring your container). With the discount, it should have been $1.18.

    I gave the cashier (grade XI) $20.25, so not to have too much loose change. I received $17.63 change. I then showed her the change given and she said it was correct.

    Upon arriving home later, I called the next town’s T.H. (owner owns both) and lodged my complaint. The manager wasn’t in, so I gave the other party my name, phone number and the location of the T.H. store (Nov/09).

    I received no call back yet, but when I went back the following morning, the same person said, “I hear you laid a complaint about me.” I responded with “yes, I did.”

    After that incident, I always use my credit card, showing time, date charges and amount. So if there are any errors, it’s on my receipt handed to me!

  59. DBLDBL

    Apr 7 2010


  60. Steven Segal

    May 7 2010

    My kid is dumb, but not as dumb as the kids that work at Tim Hortons. (Apologies if any of your kids [or you] work at Tim’s).

  61. Rayson Ho

    May 9 2010

    Anyone tried the Tim Hortons customer service hotline (1-888-601-1616)?? I googled and found this page:


  62. Canadianfreestuff

    May 14 2010

    Just to let you know, Tim Hortons prices can flex in different parts of Canada even with in the same province. There is a 10 cent difference per coffee within a 2 hours from the one I go to, and I know that between Alberta and Ontario its almost 25 cents per cup difference.

    But that is life.

  63. Mark

    Jun 2 2010

    Go check out the sites and After reading this, I for one will never spend another dime at Tim Hortons. How does a company this big have someone own the name of the company that owns Tim Hortons?

  64. bb

    Jun 16 2010

    Dear SL,

    You get what you pay for… Tim Hortons is low end, quick, convenient…with long wait times (which most accept reluctantly because they are cheap).

    Your request to merge cards would have been a unique scenario that didn’t deserve the amount of time and worry you have put into your complaint.

    Move on…have a low end average coffee and enjoy your day.

  65. H

    Jun 16 2010

    hi i work at a tim hortons , and yes we do make mistakes.

    I am a superviaor and i will admit to making mistakes. However in drive thru, ppl order and leave without listening to the total or they talk on the phone and you have no idea if you get their order right because they don’t listen.

    They will say “yes, that’s right” and then get to the window and check and it’s not right. That is not our fault!

    If you have a loud truck, TURN IT OFF. We can’t hear a thing and we try to guess and then get yelled at if we don’t have it right.

    We put on smiles for ppl but you all dont realize how hard that is when you still all complain about EVERYTHING.

    At my Tim Hortons, if you complain about something being wrong with your sandwich, I will try to get that corrected as quickly as possible. The customers that make it easier are the ones that are happy. They make it easier for us to be happy.

    Ppl come in and they don’t smile unless it’s a certain person. You smile at them, trying to get them to smile and they stare at you like you’re a freak of nature. Then they turn around and fill out a complaint that you, the employee, didn’t smile and were rude.

    Well, here is my question. How do you expect us to be happy to you all the time when you are never nice to us?

    Here is a tip: When you order and if you want what you ordered, ask them to repeat your order. For this to work, YOU need to listen when they repeat the order and if it’s not right, let them know and they will change it;)

    P.S. All stores are competing to see who can get the most cars through in the least amount of time. I am sure your local Tim Hortons would appreciate it if you had your change ready and didn’t sit there putting your change away. These times are MON-FRI 6 am to 10 am. SAT 8 AM TO 1 PM.

  66. B

    Jun 29 2010

    I have been an employee of Tim’s for 4 years now. Our store has been in the top 5 stores in Canada for the last ten years and our owner and manager are extremely proud of this fact.

    I completely agree with H that we are human and make mistakes. The cashes sometimes have wrong info and that is because another human made a mistake.

    I am not saying these mistakes should not be brought to our attention and fixed. I will be more than happy to go above and beyond to try to make you happy.

    However, please don’t have the attitude that I try to mess up your order or I am pocketing the tax that I have no idea about.

    Time and time again, I’ve given my tips to people who don’t have enough money or given free coffees to people when we got their orders wrong. For the most part, people are understanding, but there are a few who think we who work for minimum wage are out to get them or stupid.

    As for the time card reloads and transferring, I understand why you wanted to do it and it was inconvenient. However, please don’t get mad at the cashiers as they were only doing their job. We do value your business.

    It is policy not to merge the Tim cards at store level, because there were cases where people were stealing credit cards, buying Tim cards and merging accounts. The info would get lost and these people could not be traced, so Tim would have to cancel the credit card charge but still have an active Tim card and be out the money.

    I do believe that is a flaw in the system, but that is not the cashier’s fault. Thank you for taking the time to listen.

  67. Multiple Egg Baskets

    Jul 2 2010

    I was at their competitor yesterday and enjoyed a free latte because of their error. I was half way home before I realized that they didn’t charge me for the second drink. Oh well, with their over priced coffees I guess it balances out in the end.

  68. Doug Frith

    Jul 29 2010

    So many of the examples involve Point of Sale systems, which came in because it was difficult for staff (particularly part-timers) to remember prices, specials, etc., and then make change reliably.

    While those who work in these outlets aren’t out to “get” anyone, it’s unfair to the customer to treat their wallets with so little consideration.

    In many cases, the customer can ill afford the excess charges, but we accept the rip-off to avoid the hassle. (Hey, we’re Canadian!)

  69. Barbara Lord

    Aug 19 2010

    We are disappointed with Tim’s of late as we find we can purchase a 12 oz. cup of coffee at other coffee shops for the same amount of money & it tastes better.

    We had coffee twice this past Monday & it was flavourless. The staff greeted us with sour faces (enough to turn the cream)& this does not make for a good day.

    The stores in question were both in Alliston, Ontario.

    I chose to have a cheddar cheese bagel toasted with butter. It was not what I would call toasted & it was soggy. Nothing like what is shown on TV.

    We have enjoyed being Tim Hortons customers for many years & we have decided to pass.

  70. Tim Hortons in Scarborough

    Sep 7 2010


    Receipts for 3 separate transactions between two locations over a 6 month period did not show the correct amount of cash tendered. While the customer received the proper change and the receipt payable was correct, the cash tendered shown was under or over that given.

    Example: total payable $4.20, cash tendered $5.25, receipt shows cash tendered as $5…where did the other 25 cents go?

    Their corporate offices were informed and a call back from their District Manager said if the wrong amount was entered, the cashier will balance it out afterwards. He also mentioned something about a tip jar, which had absolutely nothing to do with these transactions…I’ve never seen a tip jar at Tim Hortons.

    So much for proper cash handling and creating a reliable paper trail. I hope TDL Corporate is watching these locations closely. Apparently 11 of these Scarborough franchises are owned by one person.

  71. Tim Hortons Markham/Kingston Road

    Sep 7 2010

    Appears they are using some unknown butter (oil?) substitute for their bagels….certainly doesn’t resemble or taste like butter. This means, I’ve now removed 3 TH locations from my regular coffee haunts.

  72. Peter

    Sep 10 2010

    Check out the site and see a side of the iconic franchisor that no one knows about until now.

    What a great read.

  73. Joanne

    Sep 14 2010

    Unless you live in a province with HST, you aren’t paying (for example) 14%, you’re paying 5% then 9%. In some provinces this means you pay PST on your order plus your GST. It’s only a matter of 8 or 9 cents on a $20.00 order, but it does make a difference when you’re calculating.

  74. Michael

    Sep 28 2010

    Cash tendered is simply a change calculator, does not affect the sale amount. The employee knew in her head the change was a buck + 5 cents, and only entered in the bill amount so customer could not argue it was a $20.

    As long as proper change was returned, the cash will balance.

  75. maria

    Oct 18 2010

    i don’t get it. Is this just Tims? I used to work at KFC/taco bell and memorized the costs for a lot of the meals and tacos and whatever because they always came to the same price. I didn’t put in any effort, it just naturally stuck to my mind cause of all the customers and transactions i did everyday. Tim Horton’s menu may be larger than KFC or TAco Bell individually, but the place i worked at combined the 2 places so you can order kfc or tacos from 1 till.

  76. Kaitlin

    Nov 8 2010

    This has happened to me at Tim Hortons before. Usually when I point out the error, they’re great about it. One time, though, the cashier began to bicker with me. She insisted that I needed to pay both taxes for a $3.99 meal. I had to speak to a manager in order to pay the correct taxes.

  77. JustSoYouKnow

    Nov 10 2010

    Just so you know, the registers in all these franchised places are usually NOT programmed by the individual stores, but by the company the registers were purchased from who have the contract for them. So just remember, try not to judge the store or staff itself and also remember it’s the government who imposes the tax and rules for it in the first place.

  78. Vic Bartram

    Feb 3 2011

    Gotta have my Timmies first thing in the morning. I have enjoyed Tim Horton’s for so long, I find some of the other coffees a little on the strong side. I also enjoy their selection on the lunch menu. Mostly, I find the quality to always be consistent with Tim’s. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t enjoy the treats, especially when travelling on the road.

  79. CandieBarr

    Feb 6 2011

    I love timmies, although not big on much of the food and since cold stone showed up my favourite donut (walnut crunch) is no longer on the menu so that pretty much leaves my options when it comes to food down to the breakfast sandwiches and chicken wraps…But they charge more when you order more than 2 items so I try to only order 1 or 2 things at a time

  80. courtney francis

    Feb 23 2011

    I totally agree. They chargd me $4.89 for two bagels!

  81. Tim Horton’s Veteran

    Mar 9 2011

    I worked at a Tim Hortons for over three years. It is not the cashes, but MAYBE (and I say MAYBE) the people using them. The cashes are all touch screen now and deduct the combo and add the tax automatically. Say you want your sandwhich combo; if the employee correctly punches in your sandwhich, medium coffee, and donut; the cash automatically adds the deal and tax (if applicable). Do not complain about employees or cashes because the cashes are so simple now, a dog could use them. Ever been in a really busy Tim’s? Imagine being that employee. I was for three years. Mistakes happen in a rush, just be POLITE and ask the employee about it, not complain over the internet when you get home. You can always go back to the store, with your receipt (if it’s about money) or your order (if it was a preparation mistake) and ask them to fix it. The store is required to help you.

  82. Sherri

    Mar 17 2011

    I agree to Tim Horton’s Veteran comment, unless the cashier didn’t hear you correctly that also a mistake can happen as for other info like adding a shot to your hot drink or I like just mustard not mayo etc. you need to tell the cashier otherwise your order maybe made wrong for you.

  83. Randal

    Mar 22 2011

    And this is why I am glad Alberta has no PST. It saves so much brain work. :)

  84. LJ

    Apr 17 2011

    I’ve been in customer service for years. Errors are made on both sides of the counter, however, the fact remains that a successful business depends on the quality of customer service. Period.

    Tim Hortons is paying employees to provide an experience to customers. If you are a bitter employee, chatting with your pals instead of helping customers, charging incorrect amounts, etc., then you are not doing what you are paid to do and customers have a right to be upset and complain.

    Employees shouldn’t make it the responsibility of the customer to monitor your behaviour, enforce policy, or endure being ousted of money and time with a smile on their face and an understanding of what it’s like to be behind the counter.

    They are there for the product/service that was advertised. As long as they aren’t being overtly rude and obnoxious, they are fulfilling their role in the social contract.

    To those employees who diligently do their best every day, I applaud you all. It’s a tough and often thankless job, but it is appreciated and you do make a difference in people’s days whether they show it or not.

    To those of you who whine about customers not giving you enough understanding, find employment in another field. You give the rest of the service industry a bad name.

  85. S. Goddess

    May 11 2011

    1. Some stores don’t have good customer service. I blame the management, whose main concern is profit. Try not to peg all stores as scammers or evil. There are more Tim Hortons that care about their customers’ experience.

    2. I have been confused by the tax system myself for so many years. Some stores charge my plain croissant as cheese croissant, more expensive. Some don’t. I stopped harrassing the server because I don’t want to get karma’d. It’s not their fault. Life is short and sweet.

    3. Everybody hates those who made it! Tim Hortons is a Canadian success story, so believe it, the hate letters will never die until they see Timmies go down. Sad.

  86. Megan

    Aug 19 2011

    In Tim’s defense, you’d screw up the total amount occasionally as well if you had to ring up orders in under a minute. This issue happens across the board of fast-food services. I work at a Tim Hortons location in the US, and a lot goes on “behind the scenes” that customers have no clue.

  87. Megan

    Aug 19 2011

    Tim Hortons Veteran…totally agree. You nailed it on the head.

    You know people, a job like this really isn’t as easy as it appears to be. We don’t stuff our faces with Timbits all day, if that’s what you think.

  88. NJD

    Aug 20 2011

    every other day i get couple chedder cheese bagels and its only 3.68, today they wanted me to pay over $5 and i argued but they were just too stupid and i walked out empty handed

  89. TTT

    Aug 21 2011

    this has been bugging me forever…i sometimes get a large iced cap for myself and a medium iced cap for my girlfriend. the total when i buy the 2 is $6.31. however if i buy them separately it comes to $3.24 and $2.61, totaling 5.85. difference is .46 cents cheaper.

  90. Broke

    Sep 14 2011

    I’ve had this happen to me before with a small fruit smoothie. The “deal” is $1.99. I had very little change on me at the time, so I figured out the tax three times just to be sure and avoid embarrassment.

    Logic: maximum 14 cents tax on each dollar, therefore maximum price of $2.28.

    The total came to $2.89, money I did not have. I asked the cashier a few times if she was sure, and made sure she hadn’t checked the “add yogurt” option.

    I was blocked by the fact that she was a nice older woman who offered to pay the difference for me, so I never got a full answer.

  91. Brenda

    Sep 27 2011

    At the Tim’s on Barlow and Peigan Trail (in the truck stop), the posted sign for a muffin is $1.10 – so add the tax and get $1.16.

    They charge you $1.15 + tax = $1.21. When you tell them the sign says $1.10, they say “oh yes, the rest is tax.”

    So today I asked how much tax is on $1.10 and no one could or would answer!!! This is the 4th time this has happened.

    I would pay the $1.15 if that was what was posted. But I ask you – why would I pay more than they are asking??? would you??

    I can’t believe how many people don’t question it.

  92. jordan

    Oct 28 2011

    Honestly, there is a concession tax and other taxes as well when it comes to fast food restaurants.

    It is not the HST or GST alone any more, as 2 large coffees would cost $3.05 (when it was still $1.57) but then 3 large coffees would come to $4.95, making the third coffee $1.90.

    That’s a huge tax, if you ask me. My perspective, split up the order. Don’t have everybody buy on the same tab, as you’re paying hidden taxes out the ***

  93. Peter

    Nov 10 2011

    Bought a bagel and chili special at the Bagel Stop at Yonge Eglinton Centre for $3.39, got charged $3.95. I thought it should be $3.56 (GST of 5%).

    Not sure how many customers have been overcharged so far. I will be talking to the store owner on my next vist (when she is not busy).

  94. Ike Warren

    Nov 13 2011

    Well, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. You’re talking pennies here, people. If you don’t like it, stay home and eat and drink your own coffee.

    I usually give the cashier the pennies anyway, as you all should. There are people all over the world going hungry, no clean drinking water and you’re complaining about pennies. Gosh, get a life.

  95. Krystal

    Nov 14 2011

    Years ago, as a busy young single mum on a limited income, I & my daughter frequented MickeyD’s a lot.

    A few times when I’d get home, I’d take out my calculator and re-check my receipt. I would often discover a significant difference between what I should have been charged and what I was actually over-charged (and paid, since I couldn’t do the mental math in the often-hectic moment of paying for my order).

    It wasn’t just at McDonald’s. Retail stores, such as K-Mart (remember them!), Fields and especially Zeller’s would all round up taxes (to their advantage), or get significantly different amounts than what I’d calculate.

    Being busy and young, and Canadian, I just sucked it up and didn’t bother with the hassle of complaining.

    And, Ike, you’re right. It is *just* pennies. But back then, whether it was buying my kid’s clothes or Happy Meals, think of all those pennies in over-charged amounts I, and most of the people above me here on this site who’ve posted, have all paid.

    Think of how many people McD’s or Timmies process in an hour, who’ve been over-charged, and have paid. Extrapolate those over-payments for a week, a month, a year.

    My ‘kid’ is 27 now. That’s a lot of pennies. And it all adds up.

    Somewhere in all this is partly what the Occupiers in all the various locales around the country are angry about. We’re angry as hell, and a lot of us don’t want to take it anymore. Is it just pennies, now?

  96. Eileen

    Feb 7 2012

    You folks really gotta get a life!

    If you don’t like the price, change coffee shops. You likely won’t have to wait in a lineup and can solve some of your problems.

    Now go and enjoy your day.

  97. Mike

    Feb 17 2012

    I have had the same experience at Tim Horton’s and other merchants. I seem to always get charged a different price for those $3.99 deals.

  98. Mason Freeman

    Feb 23 2012

    It’s disgusting to see Tim Ho’s would rather pay “internet trolls” to try to maintain PR instead of ceasing to scam customers.

    Since Wendy’s corporation bought out Tim 7 or 8 years ago, prices have nearly doubled – and in some cases, tripled… while quality has decreased repeatedly.

    The dough was originally made in-house for donuts. Now they ship frozen pre-formed donuts to sit in an IR oven for 10 minutes to de-thaw.

    Beyond this, the size of products has shrunk to a mere 50-60% of the original sizes.

    Despicable business practices have cost Wendy’s “tim hortons” over $400 a month between myself and my girlfriend.

    Another example of Wendy’s “Canadian pricing guide”… compare the U.S. 99 cent menu to our $1.89 menu.

    Boycott these disgusting practices.

  99. Mason Freeman

    Feb 23 2012

    What is all boils down to is this.

    Wendy’s corporation realized Tim Horton’s was a Canadian institution and decided to quietly buy the franchise for a few 100 million dollars.

    The potential to extort the Canadian public’s kind-hearted nature was all too clear for the fat cats at Wendy’s. It didn’t take them a single month before they began making the changes we are all here complaining about.

    (I’m excluding, of course, the people reading this after having being contracted by Wendy’s corporation to re-direct negative comments about their massively profitable and abused franchise Tim Hortons.)

  100. Dave Smith

    May 9 2012

    I was overcharged (based on the posted price on a magnetic sign in the restaurant) for a soup/bagel combo lunch. When I pointed out the error to the cashier, he was unable to explain the error and asked if he should talk to the manager about it. I said yes, he should do so. He returned after 2 or 3 minutes and said that it must be a tax issue. I pointed out that, even when tax was added, the price charged did not agree with the posted price. The cashier tried ringing in the order in several different ways, but was unable to arrive at the correct price, and said there was nothing more he could do.

    I reported the issue to the Tim Horton Customer Service website, and received a reply asking me to call a 1-800 number to speak with a representative. I did so, and was told the area manager had checked the situation and could not reproduce the problem I had encountered (basically, “we don’t believe you”). On my next visit to this restaurant, the magnetic sign with the combo price (on which my complaint was based) had disappeared.

    I e-mailed Customer Service again, saying that I felt they were not taking customer complaints seriously and that I was insulted by the implication that I had made the whole thing up. Evidently no-one in the current culture has heard that “The customer is always right.” I was again asked to call the 1-800 number, but having already gone that route I would rather escalate this to a higher level – if I can find a route to do so.

  101. NeverAgain

    May 31 2012

    Well Hello respected members, ex employees, satisfied and disgruntled customers of Timmies, which was beloved by many of us throughout the years…being a tradesman, Timmies was a usual ‘day saver’ for crappy jobs and gravy ones…no matter the situation.

    Til today!

    One of the locations I visit semi regularly in Calgary has executed correct order delivery almost 90% of the time, due to its small working area (Express in an Esso). It’s hard to NOT see them screw up your order, so they’re usually on the ball.

    Two years or so ago, a tip jar appeared on the counter. Granted this is a fairly busy Tim’s. I was able to view the progress and diminishing attitudes of many of the employees over a length of time.

    In the last year, smiles vanished as well as the previous smiley customer care…and the patron line grew slightly longer.

    Today I ordered a simple sausage egg combo, upgraded from a small coffee to a medium. You’ve probably already guessed the till price was wrong, so I (puzzle face) nicely pointed out that it didn’t add up. He frantically re-punched the order and it came up correctly, so I paid my $4 and motioned for the 19 cents to go into the tip jar.

    Mr. Friendly practically THREW the change in and gave me a dirty look, insinuating that it “wasn’t adequate” or something, then proceeded to throw together my order.

    I mumbled “…well F*** you too” and he abruptly replied with “What you say?” “what you say?” which he rightly should have.

    I apologized and said I was talking about my boss, trying to avoid a scene. “You not talking about your boss” !

    He paused while making the sausage egg sammie and he realized he couldn’t sabatoge it to his liking as a remedial form of revenge, so he pushed my order to me and said “from now on, choose another Tim’s,” while looking at me straight in the eye.

    I did feel bad, but the fact remained that he gave ME attitude FIRST for not providing a “good” tip!!!! Not to mention that even before the exchange of cash, he was NOT “friendly” as many of the other employees are.

    So I called head office and explained the story exactly as I have here, and the recipient agreed that “many locations do NOT allow tip jars” but should “remain thankful, no matter the amount tipped, if any”!!!

    I said I felt bad about what I said, but that he made me so upset (I should point out that I have worked my butt off in the industry for much less than half this guy’s pay and NO TIPS!) that I had to complain. She sympathized, told me I was still in the right and have a good day – that’s it!

    SO thanks to the attitude of some guy that should have left his problems at home and denied “the customer is king” philosophy (even though some of us aren’t), I will no longer support Timmies.

    Mile-long idling vehicles in the drive throughs (even busy McD’s have dual ordering lanes that work, I’ve only seen one in Calgary at Tim’s), non recyclable cups, mis-assembled orders and discrepant pricing are contributing factors.

    Don’t get me started on the horror stories I’ve heard from my Filipino friend that was brought over by a Tim’s owner and forced to work overtime, despite being eight months pregnant! Starbucks, here I come!

  102. Mario

    Aug 7 2012

    And the cost of getting a coffee keeps going up, even though the customer service is going down the tubes.

    I’ve started making coffee at home versus giving timmies my money.

  103. Anna

    Oct 8 2012

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they are pocketing the higher amount and that its a deliberate ploy. How coe the error is always on the higher side and not on the lower side ? How come they always overcharge you and never undercharge you on the taxes ?

  104. David

    Feb 26 2013

    I have two Tim Cards and I wanted to transfer “some” funds from one to another so that my wife and I could both enjoy the convenience of paying with a simple swipe.

    Tim Horton’s has made it impossible to do a simple transfer between the cards. Preemptive measure to prevent fraud? That’s BS.

    I have registered both cards at Tim Horton’s website and they have my name and address and everything. Yet, I cannot do that.

    Called their call centre and they sent me to store. I go to store and they refer me to call centre. I’m very annoyed.

  105. Fran

    Jun 9 2014

    I get the same thing every day, a breakfast sandwich with bacon, a medium coffee and hash browns.

    Every day, I am given a different price, originally $4.60 to now always $5.05, $5.20 and at most $5.50.

    Today, I was charged $5.65.

    Is Tim Hortons like the stock market? I don’t see me going there any more. I feel like I’m getting ripped off.

    The gap of 50-70 cents a day is ridiculous. I ask for my bill and it’s punched in right. So I’ve given up on them.

    This is a ridiculous pricing system.

  106. keith

    Nov 28 2014

    I got a coffee today and the receipt said I pay 10 cents in provincial sales tax (PST). Does the PST not go straight to the government? Has anybody found the same thing elsewhere?

  107. K

    Apr 10 2016

    Fighting over a fifty cent difference is for insufferable cheapskate morons. Don’t like the price? Want to pay less? Buy donuts and bagels and coffee at the grocery store and make it at home. Stick it in a brown bag and thermos and bring it with you if you’re going out – or save even more money buy making a one-time purchase of a reusable lunch bag.

  108. Ruben L

    Apr 10 2016

    I bought a simple combo meal, no substitutions. Got charged wrong price. Inquiries to Tim’s went unanswered

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