How can they treat customers that way?

July 4 2007 by Ellen Roseman

You have a problem with a company’s products or services. You get in touch, but can’t find anyone to help. You keep calling and writing, only to get no response. Or even worse, you talk to people in “customer care” who don’t care. They’re arrogant, rude, condescending or just plain incompetent.

I’m always writing about the declining levels of service in large companies. It’s a theme that strikes a chord with readers. I think I’ve heard every horror story imaginable, but then another one comes along.

You’ll find a few rants below. Feel free to add your own.


  1. WTN

    Jul 4 2007

    Hi Ellen, I have a story about Sears. I bought an air cleaner that broke down and was not under warranty. I paid for an estimate, but was told the fee would be refunded if I authorized the repair. It was not refunded.

    I was tired of talking to Sears (see below) and did not pursue my case. I resolved not to shop there any more and I have not done so since October 2006.

    (1) Cost of repair.
    I agreed to pay $46.58 (including tax) for the estimate. The repair cost was $305.49 (tax included). When the unit was finally repaired, my Visa account was charged for the amount of $305.49, not $258.91 ($305.49 – $46.58). This is contrary to what I was told and what I understood.

    (2) Incompetent call centre agents.
    It took two months to repair the unit. I have purchased major appliances (furnace, air conditioner, stove, fridge and dishwasher) from Sears, but never had to wait this long.

    August 28 – The Air Cleaner unit was dropped off at Sears Newmarket for repair.

    August 31 – Sears called me to authorize payment to cover the estimate charge. I agreed and my Visa account was debited for the amount.

    September 20 – Since I have not been called about the repair cost for so long, I called 1-800-469-4663 (number shown on the claim check). The agent asked why I had not received any call from Sears. I told her that was the reason I called. She told me the repair cost and I authorized the repair to go ahead.

    October 2 – I called to inquire about the repair. I was told that the previous agent made a mistake and the repair order was not authorized. She said the repair would be done on October 4 and the part would be ready for pick-up on October 10.

    October 11 – I called and was told the unit was in the Service Department. She could not tell the status of repair from the system, but would ask the Service Department to call me.

    October 20 – I called to inquire about the repair and was told the repair order was still WAITING FOR MY APPROVAL. I was told the repair would be completed on October 23.

    October 24 – I told the call centre agent about the history of this repair. She was not helpful and told me she would get the Service Department to call me. I asked about escalating this issue for a speedier result. She said to call the Sears president. Instead, I asked to speak to her manager. She said her supervisor was always in meetings and was not available. I asked for her supervisor’s name and asked her to relay a message to call me. I have received no phone call from her.

    October 25 – Sears Service department called and told me that my Visa account did not authorize the payment. I was puzzled because my Visa account was charged for the estimate. We finally determined that the account number used was my SEARS account, which was cancelled in 2004.

    October 26 – I received a call from SEARS Newmarket that my unit was ready to pick up.

    October 27 – I picked up the unit.


    July 3, 2007:

    Hi Ellen, thanks for your help. You pushed the ‘right button’ to have things done so quickly. Thanks a million. I heard from the Executive Offices at Sears Canada, which said that a credit of $46.58 was to have been made to my Visa, but was not processed.

    “I wish to extend my apologies for this error and inform you that I have authorized this credit be done immediately,” said the Sears representative. “I understand from your email that you have had a history of poor service and would like to offer my apologies for this. We appreciate the feedback from our customers and have taken your comments seriously. I have also requested that a letter of apology be sent to you with a complimentary gift card of $25 for this delay. If there is anything we can do for you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

  2. Lorne

    Jul 4 2007

    Here is an interesting story for you.

    Every couple of days there is a man in front of my local BMO branch flogging Mosaic MasterCard. I keep telling him I already have one. About a month ago he said I could get 50 bonus Air Miles if I just completed a survey.

    On Friday, I received a brand new corporate MasterCard. I never applied for it anywhere else, so I have to assume it was a result of this survey.

    Called MC and they cancelled the account…but how many other people are getting sucked into this?

  3. DW

    Jul 4 2007

    My 70-year-old father has been calling Direct Energy to get them to cancel a contract for their “Total Home Protection Plan”. They got him to agree to it on the phone, but I have heard the recording and he was clearly confused and didn’t understand that he was agreeing to purchase anything. That call was made April 28.

    In mid-May, my father received a welcome letter that was dated May 9. He called to say he didn’t want the plan, had no recollection of asking for it and preferred simply to cancel the thing. However, the 10-day period for cancelling had obviously passed.

    On Friday, I spent hours on the phone speaking with a total of 8 different people at Direct Energy. It’s like talking to a brick wall. They have scripted responses for everything. Their first line of response is to say that there will be an investigation. If you ask how long the investigation will take, they say “ten days”.

    I am not seeking any help (for the moment) from anyone in the media. My father feels completely humiliated by this experience and I don’t want to expose him to any further embarrassment. I am, however, glad to get this off my chest to anyone who will listen.

  4. Brian

    Jul 4 2007

    I have experienced the pathetic state of Customer Care in large Canadian retail companies. I am astounded by the lack of communication at the various levels of each of these companies and the shoulder-shrugging attitudes of the alleged “customer care workers”.

    I purchased a garden hose reel several years ago at Home Depot. Made by the US company Ames/TruTemper, the product is distributed in Canada by the Garant Co. in Quebec. The reel developed a leak and I wanted to buy a new part to fix it. Home Depot does not sell repair parts but said to email Garant for help. It appears the part was covered by a warranty.

    Shortly after my initial email inquiry on April 3, Garant happily responded with a promise that a new part would be sent within a week. The weeks went by with nary a word on their part. A number of emails were exchanged and I finally had to telephone the company for an update. I also emailed Home Depot with my complaint, but did not hear back from them either.

    Then, it appeared they forgot to prepare the part for mailing but assured me it had been packaged on April 16. Still nothing. So I tried to email the parent US company and the first email came back as being deleted without being read. Undaunted, I re-sent the message but said in the subject line that “US help was needed”. It was read but that was about all. Meanwhile, the hose and reel was happily leaking water all over the garage floor! Garant stopped responding to my emails during this time as well.

    Finally on May 18, a part arrived by mail. The postmark showed it had been sent May 14, not April 16 as Garant had alleged. Then a second identical part arrived with a US postmark from the parent company, but with no letter of explanation. Then a third part arrived by courier from Garant.

    Shortly after the parts arrived, I received a phone call from a Home Depot “Customer Care Agent,” whose only concern was that they could write the matter off as being resolved. It was resolved, but if I had not persisted and gotten angry, nothing would have been done and the matter would slip through the cracks.

    A second issue deals with the purchase of a new TV from Sears. Made by Sharp, the device seemed fine but two weeks into service, the small door covering the battery compartment for the remote control would not close and kept falling off. A trip to Sears told me the TV was a brand new model and they did not have the replacement parts.

    Having registered the TV online as Sharp requested, I called Sharp for a new part. I was told by their “Customer Care” people in Mississauga that I needed to fax them a copy of the bill of sale. What if I didn’t have access to a fax machine, I asked. They had no answer for that one. Anyway, the fax was sent but several weeks went by without an answer.

    I called Sharp and asked about my remote replacement. Well, they explained, they had lost the fax. Could I send a new one? Once they got the second fax, the information then had to be forwarded to “head office” for action. This now took the quest for a new part into a month and a half.

    My main concern expressed to Sharp was that they had lost the original bill of sale with personal information on it. I was assured that only Sharp employees had seen the fax. Does this mean they are all completely honest and above reproach and will not use any of my personal information for a possibly nefarious purpose? Some “Customer Care”.

  5. Philip

    Jul 4 2007

    Galen G. Weston, executive chair of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., trumpets in new TV ads that his company has the greenest shopping bags. It’s the result of creating environmentally friendly products for over 20 years.

    The source of these bags? China. That’s OK with me, but Weston appears to be sensitive about the issue because the made-in-China line is inked out (manually) on the tags attached to most of the bags being sold. (Is there a federal law about disclosure of sourcing?)

    Anyway, a Loblaws store manager told me the black inking was done in response to the high volume of shoppers who expressed concern about Chinese child labour producing the bags.

    Happy Canada Day!

  6. Garry

    Jul 4 2007

    In April, I purchased an electric gas trimmer for $119 from Sears. When I got home, I decided to look online to see if they had models other than the one that I had just purchased. (The Scarborough store is sometimes lacking in product variety.) To my surprise, the price online was $79.99.

    So, I immediately phoned Sears to see if they would match the price. (The total time from purchase to phone call was approximately 1.5 hours). They flatly refused, so I put the trimmer back in my truck and took it back to the store.

    While going up the escalator, I noticed a huge sign proclaiming their “price match guarantee”. When I got to the sales counter, I asked the clerk about it and was told they never match catalogue/online prices, only prices from competitors. I was dumbfounded.

    If I had bought the product from, say, Home Depot, Sears would have matched the price and thrown in a 10 per cent reduction on top of this. Yet they refused to even match the price shown from one of their own divisions. Smart, eh?

    Needless to say, Sears has lost what used to be a very loyal customer. It just makes absolutely no sense to me. While I realize they are totally separate divisions, they still carry the Sears name, and you can still use the same credit card and pick up merchandise from the store, yet they refuse to honour their price match guarantee as they would for any other competitor.

    If I ever read/hear about them whining on how tough times are because of stores like Home Depot / Wal-Mart and the like, I will just smile, as they are their own worst enemy.

  7. Nina

    Jul 4 2007

    I recently came face to face with Sears’ 90-day return policy.

    My mother purchased an Oster food processor in a January sale this year, to give me as a present on my birthday in April. This was at the Cataraqui Town Centre in Kingston, Ont. No one told us anything about a 90-day warranty on appliances.

    I finally began using the food processor at the end of April and after using it twice, it “died”. We lugged it back to the store, only to be told they would not give a refund or replace it. We had to take it to an Oster repair representative (which we insisted they find in our area). Then we dragged the unit to the Oster rep. He took one look at it and told us we got a lemon and he would replace it with a new one from Oster, which he did.

    We will NEVER purchase another small appliance from Sears again. I will go to Wal-Mart which has a “no questions” refund and replacement policy. Way to go Sears! For the sake of a $120 appliance, you lose customers. Great way to run a company!

    Thank you for letting me “vent”.

  8. Ram

    Jul 4 2007

    This is in response to Garry’s comments

    Even though I have had my share of grievances with companies, I will have to side with Sears in this instance. Generally the price of any online item is lesser by 20-30% than the retail store (even if both are promoted by the same company. Take Chapters for example). I guess the store price is higher to cover their cost of salesperson, display and other overheads. So, I agree with Sears’ position on being unable to match the price.

    So, if we would like to save money, then we must only shop online. I am generally of the opinion that retail stores are people who need it “now” and online stores are for people who can “delay gratification”.

  9. Jamie

    Jul 5 2007

    I stopped shopping at Sears entirely after two customer service nightmares that happened at the same time.

    Fist, I received a Sears credit card statement for a purchase at the Kingston store. The problem: I hadn’t used my Sears credit card in almost 5 years, don’t carry it with me, and it was “dormant” status with zero credit available.

    Apparently in Sears’ zeal to get people to use their own card, they will charge it without the card present by “telephone lookup”. Staff are supposed to check ID to make sure they brought the right card up, but clearly that doesn’t always happen. After a period of non-use, they make the card dormant to be sure they have correct contact info. But if the amount is under $100, they just put the charge on.

    Eventually, they removed the charge, but Sears customer service reps are the last people you ever want to deal with. Sears doesn’t see anything wrong with doing these no-card lookups. Can you imagine what would have happened if I had moved during the 5 years my card was dormant, so I never got the bill for the purchase I didn’t make? I assume that my non-payment would eventually be reported to the credit bureau, though Sears didn’t ever respond to that point.

    The second issue I had was an order from their website. I had multiple large items delivered, but many arrived in very poor cosmetic condition. Some of them you could see had remnants of other shipping labels – they had obviously taken returns and never opened the outer bags the items were wrapped in to check them before sending them out again to me.

    I sent them back and only got credited for part of my purchase. Sears CSRs claimed they hadn’t received the rest and would credit me when they did. I sent them signed receipts showing they did receive them, but they told me again they didn’t. Over and over, many dozens of emails.

    I sent an email asking it to be directed to the president and the VP of finance for both issues. They wrote back that they could not do that. I complained about that, and they agreed they would forward my letters…then a week or so later wrote back and said they would not. So I snail mailed letters and never got a response. In the meantime, the back and forth trying to get a refund for items I returned continued.

    So I looked at their website and got every officer’s and director’s name I could find. I guessed the email formatting and sent my complaint to all of them. Finally, someone called who fixed the problem with the returns and gave me a little extra (cash, not a gift card).

    I’ve never spent one cent at Sears again and don’t expect I ever will. Lower prices aren’t the only reason Wal Mart has slaughtered the longer existing retailers.

  10. Patrick Groulx

    Jul 5 2007

    Hi Ellen. Wow, you write good stuff.

    About Bellus, I agree. The same should be done for the same reasons for Air Canada.

  11. Marilyn

    Jul 5 2007

    Hi: Just another disatisifed Sears customer. If I hadn’t come across Ellen’s column in the Star, I would also have been stuck with the Sears runaround. I won’t go into the long story, but it had a good outcome only with Ellen’s intervention. Marilyn

  12. Louis

    Jul 6 2007

    OMG Ellen. Thank you, this lowering of standards of customer service is a personal pet peeve of mine. I write at least one letter every couple of months complaining about poor service somewhere. I won’t bother adding another long example here but do want to suggest a similar topic to consider writing about.

    Exactly when did we as consumers decide to allow our suppliers to dictate how we would do business with them? Its amazing how we put up with shoddy service and inconvenient practices when dishing out our hard earn cash for goods and services. It’s our money – we hold the power – so why have we stopped using it?

    Here’s a few simple examples:

    1. Is Pepsi ok? I hate hearing this phrase whenever I order a diet coke – why can’t I have the choice? It seems like a small thing but when this happens I ask for a glass of water – I don’t want to be forced to drink something I don’t want.

    2. Car dealerships – how many salesmen force you to make the buying decision and put down a deposit before they will go and ‘negotiate’ for you with the sales manager? Why is it we have to buy on their terms? It’s my money.

    3. Restaurants forcing groups to pay on one tab and include the tip. This might be convenient for the server but its not to convenient to the customers who all need to figure out how much we owe.

    All three of these simple examples were we allow suppliers to dictate to us how we will do business with them. Shame on us.

    And here’s one final interesting twist – why is it that when it comes to buying online we do the opposite and cancel a sale at the first sign of challenge along the process?

  13. Mildred

    Jul 11 2007

    My husband and I received a credit card application from MBNA on the same day. The only difference was that my quoted rate was 7.99% and his quoted rate was 6.99%. Why should there be a difference? Is it because I’m female?

  14. Wallace R. Walsh

    Jul 21 2007

    First, I must say how much I enjoy your columns, especially your tenacity in solving readers’ problems by going to the “top”. I have had many problems, but have difficulty in e-mailing resposible senior staff at locations such as Bell, Rogers, CBC etc. Can you advise us to how we can find the email addresses of senior executives so that we can emulate the Roseman tenacity?

  15. Ellen Roseman

    Jul 23 2007

    Hi Wallace. Call centre staff are trained not to give out names, phone numbers or email addresses of senior executives. So, I sympathize with what you’re saying.

    Here’s what I do when I’m looking for a corporate contact. First, I go to the company’s website (if it has a one) and look for press releases. They usually have the name and number of a spokesman.

    Second, I do a Google search and look for recent news on the company. Again, try to find a press release, because you need a phone number that’s not a call centre number. Sometimes there’s an outside public relations person or PR agency you can call.

    Another good thing to do, if you want to know if yours is a common complaint, is to search for the company name and consumer complaints. That may bring up other people in the same situation as you, with tips on what they did. You may even find a class action against the company.

    If you know the head honcho, say Michael Sabia at Bell, but you’re desperate to find an email address, see if you can find other employees’ email addresses and look for a pattern. Bell exec, Kevin Crull, who’s addressed Bell complaints on this blog, is at Therefore, you should write to

    Don’t expect Sabia to respond. He’ll just pass your email down the ranks. But you will probably get more attention than if you stayed with the call centre staff.

    Here’s something that may work once you have an email address or phone number for a top dog. Tell the customer service rep that you have this information and you plan to send an email or make a call to the upper levels if you can’t get help. That may be enough to get what you want.
    Good luck.

  16. Tim

    Jul 27 2007

    I purchased a complete set of appliances from Sears approximately 20 months ago. Our fridge has a water dispenser on it that is meant to dispense cold filter water and ice. Since hooking the fridge up many months ago, we have had water that looks like lemonade (cloudy with little bits of floaty things in it).

    After calling the store on numerous occasions with little to no response, I was advised by our original salesperson to replace the filter. Well, after replacing the filter 4 times now, this does nothing for water clarity. I finally demanded more of a solution from my salesperson and a technician was dispatched to investigate the issue. After doing a check of the outside of the fridge, the technician stated that we would hear from the store in a few days. Well, we never heard from anyone.

    Since then we have had a new baby, so fixing the fridge took a back seat until our second son was past the dreaded 3-month mark. Feeling I was not going to get any resolution from Sears, I decided to call in a plumber to check the water line. After looking at the line, the plumber stated that he had seen this exact issue with other customers with this model of fridge (he even gave me the name and phone number of one of them to call). The other customer had complained and had his replaced with a fridge that had the water filter located at the top of the fridge instead of the bottom like my current model.

    So, taking the other customer’s advice, I called the store to see what could be done. After speaking to one salesperson who almost immediately stated that she had heard of this fault, I had hope! The issue was a confirmed one and she would get back to me once she could reach someone about it. After several days, I had not heard from the store and called back to be told that “no, I was mistaken (meaning the salesperson), there was no issue with the fridge and I would have to deal with customer service”.

    At this point, feeling as though I was now not only out a functional fridge, but was being dealt with like a child, I decided to try Sears customer service (Sears CS). I was told that it was too long since the last technician was there (4 months) and a new one would have to be dispatched to investigate. This would cost me an hourly rate of $85 or $95 for an unspecified length of time, but Sears would cover the “travel” charge of $85. Wanting a working fridge, I agreed to the cost and the senior technician was booked for two Mondays from the present.

    Well, during the week prior to the visit, we received a voicemail stating that the fridge was fine and the tech appointment was cancelled. Absolutely bewildered, I called back Sears CS for 4 days of busy signals. Trying to get through, I suggested my wife try at the same time as I did so that at least one of us would get through. Finally, 4 days after the tech was supposed to show up and we received the voicemail, my wife spoke to a Sears CSR. This person (names withheld) stated that we actually needed to purchase a new part for the fridge and have it installed (a charcoal filter). Although there was a charge for the installation, Sears would cover the cost.

    Now, at this point I was a little frustrated that we would now need to replace another filter regularly (two on an ongoing basis). I just wanted to get this fridge working and stop listening to Sears Canada’s rotten hold music. Trying to understand better what this new part did and how often it would need to be replaced, I called Sears CS. After several more people and conversations, I was told that this tech would actually be diagnosing the issue as well as looking at whether the charcoal filter was the right solution. Well, a day after that meeting was booked and only minutes (probably 4) after I got off the phone with Sears CS, this appointment was also cancelled. The senior tech stated that the water in Newmarket was dirty and the fridge was fine. No one has tested our water, the water coming from our tap is not dirty and I am ready to start looking at my legal rights. Sears sold me a fridge knowing precisely what I intended to use it for, they delivered it to my door and now are not offering anything. Apart from this, the complete lack of customer service makes me wonder why I went to Sears in the first place. This has become very personal to me as we had been drinking this cloudy water for several weeks before noticing it. Please help.

  17. Mark Seawright

    Aug 11 2007

    Home Depot! Don’t get me started….What has it come to, that we should check a company’s standing on the stock exchange before a purchase is made?

  18. valerie beresford

    Sep 4 2007

    I had such a horrible experience with Sears Canada that I had to hire a lawyer as a last resort. I contracted with them in August 2006 for a new roof and eaves.

    It is now September 2007. Not only is the work not complete, but my family was put in danger by an improperly installed chimney, resulting in the possible build-up of carbon monoxide (this is just one of the dozen “errors” they made).

    It’s such a long story that there’s not much point in my going into all the gory details. I would, however, like to warn your readers about Sears and hope they will listen to another story about their incompetence and complete lack of customer care.

  19. upset sears custome

    Sep 10 2007

    I would just like to ask why Sears feels they need to make your Sears card dormant after 12 months of inactivity and continue sending you statements. And furthermore, they don’t tell you the card will be dormant.

  20. TeriO

    Sep 12 2007

    I am hoping you can offer some insight/help regarding how to deal with customer service issues with Sears.

    Last June I purchased over $5,500 in Kenmore elite appliances. We had a very personable salesperson and from conversing with him we decided to purchase warranties on several of the appliances. We were also told if we purchased our appliances that weekend, we could be qualified for a 20 per cent rebate. Shortly afterwards I submitted the paperwork. The rebate status web link showed that our information had been received and that our information was being processed.

    On July 6 ,the website stated our cheque had been mailed to us. A week and a half passed and I called the rebate rep to ensure that the cheque was going to the correct address, as we were in the process of moving into our new home. I was told that they had the correct address and that typically it takes at most 15 days to get the cheque once it has been mailed. After 15 days I called back and was told that nothing could be done and that the company would have to wait 30 days before making any new moves…if I did not receive it in 30 days, I should call back and have a stop placed on the cheque. I did so and two days later the cheque came in the mail.

    I called the rebate office back to see if a reversal on the stop could be placed and I was told no. However, it would be “reprocessed”….this was Aug. 8. A short time afterward, I checked the website to see if there was an updated status. It is now 34 days out and no updating has been placed on the computers….thus, I have called the office several times to ask what reprocessing meant and how long would it take to get a new cheque. After all, the release of funds was already approved. Could not be told a thing.

    A week and a half ago, I submitted an online complaint and the website states that you should allow 48 hours to receive a response. I still haven’t heard from the company. I called Monday and spoke with a National Customer Service Rep, who told me that I would hear back from them in 48 hours. No response, so I called myself. Once again, I get patched into the rebate office to speak with people I can barely understand…however, the mantra of “I’m sorry” was stated many times. I told them that “I’m sorry” just wasn’t cutting it anymore and that I wanted something concrete done. A “supervisor” started the reprocessing today, which would take 10 days.

    Angrily, I asked what was going on over there. They already had 34 days to reprocess and nothing had been done….once again, “I’m sorry”. I attempted to contact the executive offices (saw information online about how to attempt to get more success with your complaints) and feel as though once again I am falling through the cracks. Mind you, this is an $882 rebate, not a mere 25 dollars. Please offer me some insight!

  21. Ellen Roseman

    Sep 13 2007

    Hi TeriO. I’ll forward your rebate complaint to my Sears media contact, who can probably help you. Rebates are a regrettable marketing device. I think they’re on the way out because of customer frustration. Why Sears is putting you through this ordeal I have no idea.

  22. John Swaigen

    Nov 6 2007

    In your column on Oct 28, you quoted someone as saying “I’d like to send HD a letter tellinig them what I think. But like most huge multinationals these days, they have no contact address on their website”.

    I’d suggest that this deliberate inaccessability and creation of barriers to making a complaint may be worth a column itself. The phenomenon is not limited to multinationals or even to the private sector. It is also true of the public sector. For example, the Ombudsman at Canada Post publishes a brochure saying that prior to appealing to the Ombudsman you must contact Canada Post Customer Service at 1-800-267-1177 or 416 979-8822. However, when you call that number, you get a recorded list of options – none of which is “make a complaint”. This creates confusion as to what to do next and may in itself result in some people giving up and hanging up.

    The Canada Post website has a link “Contact us”. This brings up a page that has a phone number for Canada Post and links to mailing addresses, but no capacity to send an email. The page does say that for unresolved issues you may “click here” to appeal to the Canada Post Ombudsman’s office. But when you click on “click here”, it takes you to a page called “Ombudsman at Canada Post”. On that page, there is no address or email address for the Ombudsman. Rather, under the heading “Complaint resolution process” it prompts you to click on “submit a complaint online”. However, when you click on “submit a complaint online”, it takes you to a page with the heading “Complaint resolution process”. This page has no link to any appeal form, no mailing address for the Ombudsman, no email address for the Ombudsman, just a telephone number – not for the Ombudsman – but for Canada Post Customer Service.

    The page does prompt you to submit a complaint online by clicking on “”, but when you follow that prompt, it merely takes you back to different “Canada Post – Contact Us” page with the heading “Customer Service”, which contains no contact information for Canada Post or for the Canada Post Ombudsman.

    The Canadian Transportation Agency, which handles complaints against air carriers, does have an on-line complaint form. But you have to search five different website pages for the right link before you can access the complaint form. By the time you’ve done all this searching you could have written a letter. (I didn’t try to file a complaint on-line, so I don’t know whether the process actually works once you find the page containing the application.

    To find the application, you start in the bottom corner of the home page where “complaints” are listed under the heading “Quick links”. Hardly quick since you have to locate the correct link on four more pages before you finally get to the complaint form.

  23. Terry Cunningham

    Nov 26 2007

    We bought a washer and dryer from Sears. The dryer did not function on delivery, but delivery refused to take it back and said a service call must be made. Finally I got a service call scheduled for the next day and they couldn’t fix the problem. After hours on the phone, we finally got delivery of a new dryer and they picked up the old one (5 days after the original delivery).

    We have had the appliances one month and the dryer is not functioning. We have spent over six hours on the phone in two days trying to get our money back on their 90-day guarantee. The best we finally got is for another service person to come out. The first one told us this particular dryer is not in their system and they can’t repair it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

  24. Marcel

    Jan 27 2008

    Hi Ellen, I have a good story to tell you about Sears.

    In December of 2004, we purchased a new snowblower from Sears in Cornwall, Ont. We used it all that winter with no problems. Last fall, Sears called and said they had a recall on them and the repairman would come to do the work. One day, he came to my house and I watched what he was doing. He started by changing the spark plug. He changed the oil and replaced a small guard for the fuel line.

    This past winter, the first time I used my snowblower, the oil cap of the drain came off, jammed the belt and bent the auger pulley. I got oil all over the garage. Luckily, I stopped the machine right away or the motor would be gone.

    We called Sears in Cornwall and the manager said Sears would look after it, but I had to call the 1-800 number. No problem, they would send parts to the repairman and he would call me. Three weeks later, we got a call from the repairmen and were told this was going to cost $199. I said no thank you.

    After calling the 1-800 number many times and getting nowhere, I decided to look for the pulley myself. I found one that cost $25.10 and took 10 minutes to install. Thanks to Sears and their repairman for nothing. Never buy from Sears.

  25. Ken

    Feb 17 2008

    Is Bell doing false advertisement?

    I recently switched from Rogers to Bell for my “high-speed” internet access. It was advertised at 7Mbs/down 800kbs up. Imagine my surprise to find my upload at 3.4Mb down/600 down!!

    Calls to Bell technical support resulted in an explanation that I was too far from the CO to get anything higher. Why didn’t they tell me that when I signed up? Why am I paying for 7mb service & receiving half of that? I ran with Rogers & Bell concurrently. My Rogers speeds were 9.5mbs down /950k up, at least they deliver what you pay for.

    I can’t wait for my one-year contract to be up. Bell is a ripoff.

  26. Adrian Jacobs

    Mar 14 2008

    We have recently come to heads with Sears Canada. We purchased a dishwasher and washer/dryer and just over a year from the date of purchase, the washer and dishwasher received several service calls.

    When looking at the situation, the recurring calls were all similar enough to not warrant more calls, but we were billed for each.

    The backbreaker was the washing machine, with a second and third and fourth service call of $800. It was one of the top front end loading Kenmore washing machines, which we were apparently not to know was a Sears product.

    The customer service is pathetic and my real concern is not the thousands of dollars we lost, but the state of one of our top retail services. If we need to contend with Wal-Mart and China, then give it up when one of our customers is wronged.

    We suggested to have them look at our longstanding commitment to shopping at Sears. What kills it for me is that their representatives said to buy Kenmore and not even worry about the need for an extended warranty, just don’t buy xxxxxx.

    Strapped for what to do, I was impressed by our salesman and thought he spoke from the heart. He was not there, but when I spoke to the salesman at the sales desk of my concern, he was not unfamiliar with the line used in our sales pitch.

    He said the lines of communication had changed and there was nothing he could do. With no regret, I told him that I might have lost some cash but at least I didn’t have to sell crap to unsuspecting consumers with a smile on my face.

    It has been my personal goal to advise the public that Sears sells crap and they have already lost in sales had they appeased me the first time. We went to the Better Business Bureau, but they are apparently restricted to logistics over right or wrong.

    We spent jointly $800 to repair what was being sold as a $900 washing machine. Looking at markup, Sears’ input was negligible or nil. We have doubled our cost on the dishwasher and washer /dryer, and each day everything keeps working is a good one.

    I wonder who should sweat more, those consumers that can’t afford the repairs, or those execs that feel good about getting those big paycheques.

  27. Adrian Jacobs

    Mar 14 2008

    It might be a good idea to appease my wife, since she and her sisters are strong shoppers. Between her and her sisters and friends, it might be cheaper for Sears to target a return audience with strong long term results than to do nothing.

    The movement is in motion. It was a friend that pointed out this website. She works for a large firm with many employees and from what I have heard, there is a swell of complaints about Sears from my coworkers. A positive response might speak volumes and save you in an ongoing negative campaign.

  28. Loretta Gordon

    Mar 18 2008

    My recent experience with Direct Energy has certainly not been a pleasant one. Thus, I feel it necessary to pursue this further.

    I recently asked my son-in-law to call Direct Energy to ask for a serviceman to visit my home for three issues. My hot water heater was not functioning, my gas fireplace would not stay lit and I required a digital thermostat to be replaced.

    My son-in-law was told there would be three service charges of $155.93 each. One serviceman would perform all three functions. I called Direct Energy back to find out why I need to pay for three service charges and it was agreed that I would pay one service charge, plus labour. I then agreed to have the individual come to the house to perform the repairs.

    I have since received an invoice (Feb. 11th billing) with the three service charges which I have disputed. The gentlemen (Andrew) originally informed me that I would be required to pay these charges due to the fact that my son-in-law had agreed to the service call. I insisted that he find my call with the agreement to pay one service charge plus labour. He now informs me after a one-month period that they cannot source my call. However, he is now willing to give me a credit for about $150. to meet me halfway. Unfortunately this is not halfway.

    Breakdown of billing is as follows:
    One Service Charge – $ 99.00
    Three Labour Charges $148.50
    Total which I should owe – $247.50

    Andrew is now requesting I pay $467.79 less the $150, which after an extended period HE is willing to negotiate.

    I am not looking for a free ride, I only want to pay for the services and costs that were agreed to and provided.

    Any suggestions to help in this situation would be greatly appreciated!

  29. Brian

    Apr 4 2008

    In May of 2007, I had a 3 night stay at the Renaissance (Toronto Airport Hotel) for a convention. I booked over the phone only about a month before the convention date and asked if the convention price was still available. The lady on the phone (who was very nice, but I now know to be a liar) said yes, the rate of $130/night was still available. I said great, I didn’t think there’d be any left at the discount rate this late, and booked the room.

    If there had been no rooms available at the discount rate, I’d have stayed at a neighbouring motel at the full price of $150/night.

    Sunday when I’m paying the bill, it’s now $160/night. I say there must be a mistake, I booked the convention rate. Well, their records don’t show that, and didn’t you check the room rate written in faded blue pen on the card your key came in? Clearly this is all my fault.

    The supervisor came out of a dark back room and I repeated the situation to him, whereupon he demanded I produce a confirmation email with the discount rate on it (something I never received, dispite giving that nice liar woman I booked with on the phone my email address; probably, I now suspect, because I was so clear that I wanted the room -only- if the discount applied). He couldn’t do anything for me.

    I asked what options I had. None, apparently. I had to pay the amount on the bill, and if I didn’t, they’d bill the credit card I’d used to book over the phone with the nice liar lady.

    “So, what, I have to take you to court over $90?” I said. Well that just about floored the guy. I’ve never seen someone speechless like that. After a moment, he told me that was certainly my right, but in the meantime I’d have to pay!

    Nearly a year later: no resolution. I’ll -never- book with -any- Renaissance hotel again.

    Lessons: (1) If you’re applying for a discount rate, call back immediately after hanging up, give your confirmation number and ask at what rate you’re booked. (2) Print off any confirmation emails and have them with you at check in. (3) Doublecheck everything’s right at check-in, not after.

    It’s sad what we as consumers need to do to protect ourselves nowadays.

  30. Ian Coats

    Apr 10 2008

    Ellen, I am a fan and have always wanted to give you a customer (dis)satisfaction story and I finally have one.

    Last Xmas, I bought a Samsung DVD/VCR player at Best,Buy. After a couple of months, the VCR started to have major taping problems. I phoned Best Buy and they said I had to deal with Samsung directly after 30 days. I phoned Samsung and they told me that I could exchange my player for a new one, no problem. This process is all done using UPS and they would email me the instructions.

    There was a problem getting the email and I had to phone back, but it was then sent. The email included a pre-paid UPS packing slip for shipping the player. All along, I assumed they would be mailing me the same box I bought in the store, so I gathered everything that came with my original Best Buy box – VCR/DVD player, remote, instruction manual, wires – I put everything inside well packaged.

    I went to my local UPS outlet and sent the box, and 2 days later I got a box in return. PROBLEM !!! The return box only included the player, nothing else. I phoned Samsung again and was told I should have followed the instructions and only returned the player. There were no instructions to follow (I am now thinking the original email problem may have omitted an email with this message).

    They said they could not help me, I had to buy the remote somewhere else. Unbelievable.

    I have now moved up 2 levels of management and they all say the same thing – I should have followed the instructions, and since I did not, there was nothing they could do. I find it just amazing that (regardless of why this happened), they are willing to leave a customer with a VCR/DVD player and no remote.

    The solution to my being a happy customer is so so so simple – just return the remote that I sent to them. I even volunteered to pay for the shipping. Nope. So here I sit with a player and no remote, definitely an unhappy customer.

  31. Des

    Apr 13 2008

    During the last month, I have experienced absolutely terrible customer service from two major Canadian corporations.

    Air Canada: On our trip to St. Lucia during March Break, my wife lost her cell phone, either on the plane or in GTAA Terminal 1. On our return, I phoned Air Canada “1-888″ Lost and Found, was given a file # and told I would receive a call in 3 days – no reply.

    I also phoned the Air Canada Terminal 1 Lost and Found and left two messages. Their voice mail said I would get a phone call back – no reply. I even went to Air Canada Terminal 1 Lost and Found office at 11:30 AM and it was closed. Talking to the woman at the nearest Terminal 1 Info Desk, she said that there were a lot of complaints about the office being closed. An Air Canada representative said the Lost and Found worker was probably at lunch.

    I waited for an hour and finally not one but two workers showed up and opened the office. If they have two workers in the Lost and Found, why one could go to lunch and the other not keep the office open is beyond me. I sent a email describing the above to Air Canada’s “Contact” address. Their website said I could expect a reply in 14 to 21 days – no reply.

    Bell Canada: I have a prepaid cell phone with payments automatically being taken off my credit card. I wanted to cease the automatic payments. I phoned the Bell Mobility telephone number and “Emily” the automated operator gave me various options, none of which was to cease my payments. I tried but could not find any way to contact a real person.

    I tried Bell and again “Emily” tried to direct me to various options – but not to a real person. I found out, after numerous frustrating calls, that the only way to get to a real person was to tell “Emily” that I did not have a phone. I was so surprised when a real person got on the phone that I asked them if they were a “real human”. I was then directed to three other real people before I was able to cease the automatic payments.

    Don’t these corporations know they can create more business over time by keeping customers satisfied and by telling other people how good the service is – or don’t they care? We are taking two trips to the USA in the next year and we are booking American Airlines and WestJet – not Air Canada. I am also changing my cell phone to another provider – not Bell Canada

    Now on the plus side for customer service, it can be very irritating and time-consuming to call a corporation and be put on hold since “all representatives are with other customers”. Star Choice has software that when you call them, you have the ability to leave your name and phone number and then hang up instead of waiting. While you are doing other things, your name moves up the waiting list and when your name is next on the list for an available representative, your phone rings, you answer and a representative comes on the line to help you. All corporations should have this software.

  32. Terry Matwey

    Jun 8 2008

    Hello Ellen

    I lease a 2007 GMC Sierra Crewcab pickup, which had around 28,000 km on it when this occurred. This truck listed for over $50,000 ($54,000, I believe).

    About a month ago, the entire rear right taillight lens fell completely out of the truck. I arrived home one day and found it hanging from the wires at the back of the truck.

    The next day I took it to my local GM dealer. When I arrived at the dealership, I pulled into the service bay, got out of the truck and walked over to the technician’s deck where he was sitting working on the computer.

    I told him that my taillight had fallen out of my truck. He immediately informed me, without leaving his desk or looking at my truck, that it would not be covered under warranty and that it would cost over $200 to replace.

    I, of course, asked why it wasn’t covered. He told me that GM warranty only covered factory defects and this wasn’t a factory defect. I asked him if the light was designed to fall out at 28,000 km, to which he quickly responded no. So how can it not be a factory defect?

    I then assured him that I had not hit anything or done anything that would cause this to happen and that he could inspect the truck and the lens if he wanted (I hadn’t taken it out of the back seat yet!). His reply was that he was sure that it was not my fault and that they had seen lots of these in the past, but every time they submitted it to GM for warranty, it wqas denied and the dealership would have to pay for it.

    He then handed me a business card with the number for GM’s “Customer Satisfaction Line” (a somewhat misleading name!). He said that if I could get them to pay for the lens, he would install it for free for me. At this time, I got back in my truck and left the dealership. Just to clarify, the man never left his desk and never looked at my truck or my taillight.

    On my first phone call to the CSL (Customer Satisfaction Line), I spoke to a rep and explained in detail the situation and what the service tech at the dealership had told me. She was very polite and seemed somewhat surprised that he would say that it wasn’t covered under warranty. She said that she would have to contact the dealership and talk to the tech. She would call me right back. (This was Wednesday, I think!)

    The following Monday, I called her and left a message to call me back. I phoned every day with the same message until Friday, when I called and finally talked to someone else. They said she was unavailable. However, the new rep noted that there was a message on my file stating that my problem would not be covered by warranty. The taillight fell out because of damage to the vehicle.

    I asked her what that was based on and she said it was determined by the tech upon inspection of the vehicle. I informed her that the tech never did inspect the vehicle and in fact had never left his desk (the whole story). Again, she seemed a bit surprised by this and said that she would have to contact the dealership again and get back to me.

    Several days later, she called me back and again told me that she had spoken to the tech and he assured her that it was caused by damage and that he had inspected the vehicle. She then suggested that the GM Representative for the area get involved. I told her I thought that was a good Idea and I would like to meet with him face to face. She explained that he doesn’t normally meet with the public. I said that I wasn’t “the public”, I was a customer and that I would like to meet him. She said that would be up to him, but she didn’t think he would do it. She would get back to me.

    The next call from the CSL was from a gentleman who was much less polite than the others. He informed me that the District Rep had decided he did not need to see my vehicle. He was confident that the service tech was not lying.

    He then informed me that the taillight would not be covered by warranty and that this was the end of the matter (really not very polite at this time!). I told him that was not acceptable and I wanted to talk to his supervisor. He told me I could not! I persisted and he finally told me that a member of the management team would contact me within 48 hours.

    About 4 days later, I received a call from a member of the management team. (This person wasn’t even close to polite.) She informed me that she had been in contact with the district representative, the service tech, as well as the service manager at the dealership, and everyone agreed that this was caused by damage to the vehicle and was not a warranty issue.

    She told me that the service manager at the dealership assured her that he himself had inspected the vehicle and had determined there was damage to it. This man has never seen or even been in the same room with my truck. I have never seen this man before in my life.

    When I told her this, she really didn’t seem to care. I told her to call him and ask him what colour my truck was, because he wouldn’t be able to tell her. She said that she wasn’t going to do that.

    I suggested that perhaps the district rep should look at my truck, because clearly one of us was lying. She quite abruptly said that was not going to happen and they had no reason to question their service manager’s word and the matter was closed.

    That was the last contact I had with GM. At this point, it really isn’t about the taillight any more. It’s more about the poor treatment and the blatant lying.

    I’m not really sure where to go from here. I have no confidence in this company anymore. I have no desire to deal with them on any level and I am now just waiting for my lease to end, so I can give back the truck and get away from GM.

    Believe it or not, this is the second time this has happened to me. I bought a new 1998 pickup and had a similar problem with faulty ABS sensors They wouldn’t cover them under warranty, so I had to pay $1,200 each. Then, it became a recall a short time later. The truck had less than 50,000 km on it at the time.

    It’s no wonder they are laying people off and closing plants. I have talked to many people who have similar stories. I have bought GMs all my life and I believe in buying North American vehicles. I own a delivery business and have four vehicles. Five years ago, all of my vehicles were GMs. Now only one is a GM and I can’t wait to get rid of it.

    Thank you.


  33. Mike

    Jun 15 2008

    Hi Ellen, I recently purchased a Dell computer online from Dell ca. After picking my options and printing out my order for “Quantity 1 new computer,” I sat back and awaited my new purchase.

    A few days later after tracking the progress of my purchase, I thought I would check my credit card to see if it was charged yet. Much to my surprise, I found two identical charges from OK, a simple mistake.

    So I called what I thought was in Canada, only to be told I purchased two computers. After explaining time and time again I ordered one computer, I was told the mistake would be rectified.

    A day later, I received a call from someone at Dell asking why I didn’t want two computers and pleading with me not to return the second unit. I received two calls from the same person in India, who spoke very poor English, pleading for me to change my mind and keep the second unit and asking why I wouldn’t want the second unit.

    I blew then and demanded to get the name and number of someone in Canada I could speak with. No luck.

    I tried to call, but was forwarded to India again and again. I filled in an online survey asking about my experience from and gave the worst possible rating. I said I wanted to be called to discuss – no phone calls or emails came back.

    Now fuming, with two computers on their way, I did manage to contact someone in Canada who sorted the mess out. My computer was returned and the credit applied.

    This simple mistake was turned into a needlessly frustrating experience, fanned by an aggressive service contact and mushroomed by poor English. Plus there was no simple contact for problem resolution.

    If someone from is reading this, please make a concerted effort to improve — as I will never buy another Dell or recommend that any of my friends buy one either.

  34. Joanne Capretta

    Sep 10 2008


    A new fridge was purchased at Sears. The delivery men had trouble getting the old working fridge out, so they hammered the handles and doors off in my kitchen and broke a glass shelf all over my driveway as they left.

    They cracked two ceramic tiles, scratched the paint off the walls, scratched my wooden pantry cabinet door and put two dents and three scratches on the new fridge as it came in.

    Sears Complaints Department took $209 off the new fridge. They had their Insurance Adjuster come into my home to tell me my ceramic floor does not meet his building standards, so he decided not to repair it or the pantry cabinet.

    The only thing they will repair is the paint scratches, if I can provide the paint chip code.

    What gives Sears the right to come into my home, destroy it and upset me and son with unprofessional delivery men, then tell me they can’t repair the damage they did to my home? What has happened to SEARS? I have been a customer since 1977.

  35. jeremy

    Sep 14 2008

    bell is a company that doesnt seem to care about its customers once they have them jailed into a contract!!! that is “” BUSINESS POLICY”" them.

  36. Jennifer

    Oct 23 2008

    Hi Ellen,

    This is a summary of the dealings I’ve had with Direct Energy since the middle of August when I called to book an appointment to have a 6 month old General Electric front loader washing machine repaired (purchased from The Bay in March 2008).

    At the time of the call, I was told that I would have to wait for 2 weeks for someone to come out and look at the machine. I was somewhat surprised that it would take this long but with no choice in the matter I scheduled the appointment and simply waited.

    The appointment was set for September 2nd but I received a call on the Saturday beforehand and was informed that ‘due to an emergency’ the technician would be unable to attend on the 2nd and another service appointment would have to rescheduled for September 16 (another 2 weeks away).

    While I definitely not happy with the arrangement, I opted to be patient, head back to the laundry mat again, and look forward to mid September when the issue would be dealt with and I could, once again, make use of my washer.

    September 16th rolled around and a service tehnician finally arrived. He identified the problem within a few minutes but, unfortunately, could not make the repair as the motor needed replacing which apparently requires a special order from the parts manufacturer.

    The technician made the call for the part while at my house and subsequently provided me with the number to call and follow up on within the next week or two if I didn’t hear from Direct Energy (for another appointment time) in the interim.

    I waited a full two weeks and hadn’t heard from Direct Enegery as to the status of the part delivery and new appoint time so I contacted the parts supplier directly. Much to my surprise, I was informed that the part had, in fact, been shipped to Direct Energy on September 18th (just two days after the technician’s visit).

    I immediately called Direct Energy and spoke with a customer service representative who could find no record of the part ever having been ordered, let alone recieved. This was disconcerting… I seemed to have been lost in the shuffle. She insisted that she would have to place the order for the part herself and call me back in order to confirm an appointment time once the part had been recived. I’m not sure why it was necessary to order another part when one was already sitting in a warehouse waiting for installation!

    This was on or around September 29th… I had now been waiting for 6 weeks for my washing machine to be repaired.

    I didnt hear back from anyone at Direct Energey for an entire week despite my daily follow up calls (every day from September 29 to October 3rd). Every time I called, I got a new service representative who indicated that they would have to look into the situation and have someone call me back. I’m not sure who this elusive ‘someone’ is, but he or she did not respond to my repeated requests for another service call. Apparently, I’m not that important.

    I was absolutely fed up by Friday the 3rd when I spoke with yet another DE agent who told me that low and behold the part had finally been shipped and that another technician would come out to install it on the 24th of October. Apparently I was going to have to wait another three weeks for something that should have been dealt with in August!

    Needless to say, I insisted on speaking with a supervisor as I was unprepared to wait an additional three days let alone three weeks. The gal I spoke with would not put me through to a supervisor but rather placed the call on my behalf and said that a senior executive would return my call with 48 hours. Not surprisingly, 48 hours came and went and I received no call.

    On Sunday the 5th I made another call and got another extremely helpful individual on the phone who told me that I had been misinformed by the former extremely helpful gal who really should have specified that my call would be returned with 48 ‘business’ hours. Further to that, she said that I shouldn’t expect to hear from anyone prior to Wednesday given that Monday was a holiday.

    Well I guess I’m not as patient as I used to be as I simply couldn’t wait until Wednesday for the call so I placed one myself the following Tuesday morning. I explained the entire situation to yet another representative and requested once again to be put through to someone in a position of management. This time I was successful and was immediately connected to an automated voice mail system for the where I was assured of a returned call within 4 business hours.

    This was around 10:00 a.m. so, factoring in the lunch hour, I figured I should hear from someone by 3:00 p.m. at the latest. Unfortunately, no such luck! By 4:00, I called again and was, once again, connected to the executive office voice mail where I left another message stating something to the effect of…

    ‘Hello, my name is Jennifer, I have called repeatedly and been assured repeatedly that my call would be returned. I’m not sure why it is that your recorded message indicates that you will return my call when it is clear that you have no intention of doing so. I think it equally outrageous that you claim to consider my call as being important when it is more than evident that you do not!’

    This prompted a reply on the following day (hallelujah!) from a manager (introduced only as Rochelle) who explained that she could do nothing about my dilemna, stating that it was not considered an emergency. Following a lengthy tirade on my behalf, Rochelle said that she would see whether or not there was anything she could do to get me an earlier appointment and get back to me before the day’s end.

    Shockingly, Rochelle did call me back that evening and told me that she would be able to bump my appointment up by two days (for October 22nd instead of the 24th) and had also put me on a last minute cancellation list to try and further expedite the service. Unbelievable!

    They had won… I was beaten down and my dealings with the The Bay, General Electric, Mabe (the GE manufacturer in Canada), the parts supplier and Direct Energy were over. I was totally fed up with my redundant daily conversations and finally succumbed and accepted the offer of a service call (for which I had been waiting two months) on October 22nd.

    Here’s where the story goes from bad to worse…!

    October 22nd was yesterday. The service technician was supposed to call first thing in the morning in order to provide me with an estimated time of arrival. Noon rolled around and I’d heard nothing so I was nervous! I made a call to Direct Energy and spoke to a rep who informed me that the dispatcher had tried to reach me in the morning. Hmmm… I was at home all morning waiting for the arrival of the technician but somehow I missed the call and no message was left??

    The purpose of the call was to advise me that apparently the part required to fix the washer was not available and would have to be ordered and the appointment rescheduled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m not usually rude but I felt that this was an appropriate time to unleash my sailor’s tongue and the poor customer service rep on the other end of the line had to bare the brunt of my foul discourse. This achieved nothing other than yet another call placed on my behalf to the executive office. A message was apparently left for Rochelle, the supervisor I had dealt with a few weeks earlier, requesting that she contact me immediately.

    Subsequent to this, I phoned and left a message for Andrea Higgins, assistant to the President of Customer Services at Direct Energy. who has, not surprisingly, not returned my call. I also called General Electric who passed the buck and referred me to Mabe (the Canadian GE manufacturer). I then called Mabe who alslo passed the buck and referred me back to The Bay. After a number of hours, I finally reached a real live person (Shazia) in management at The Bay. I relayed the entire ugly story to Shazia and informed her of my futile attempt to speak with the senior, senior management officials at Direct Energy.

    Shazia told me that she would take over and deal with the appropriate personnel on her end and asked me not to make any further calls. She also told me that she would be back in touch within two business days. Oh God.

    Today is October 23rd and quite early this morning I received a call from a happy young man at Direct Energy who said that he was on his way over to deliver the parts that the service technician would require for his appointment tomorrow (the originally scheduled appt. date). I told that nice young man that I loved him!

    Shortly thereafter, he really did show up with parts in tow. I’m in shock! I love that young man!

    Interestingly, the packing slip on the delivered boxes indicate that the parts were received on October 8th so apparently they were available for yesterday’s service call but… whatever… oh joy, oh bliss… with luck, my washing machine will finally be repaired tomorrow!

    Around 11:30 this morning, I also received a call from Shazia at The Bay. Shazia had no idea that the parts had arrived or that a technician was coming out to see me. She had actually called to offer me a store credit for the amount I had paid for the washing machine! My objective in making hundreds of calls at my time and expense was never to seek financial compensation… it was merely to resolve the issue of the broken machine and to simply be able to do the laundry in the comfort of my own home.

    Having said that, I told Shazia that I would call her back tomorrow if for some reason this was not finally resolved and happily take her up on her offer.

    My experience with Direct Energy has been appalling. It is blatantly obvious that the company is badly managed and I simply don’t understand how a publicly traded company can provide such abysmal customer service.

    I’m still shaking my aching head!

  37. Patricia

    Jan 17 2009

    Hi Ellen,

    I was so happy to find your site and have the opportunity to share my dissatisfaction with two Continental propane fireplaces, models #CDV33NR and #CDV34NT, I purchased a year and a half ago from Energy Today, in Belleville, Ontario for $5714.46.

    The master bedroom fireplace has not worked properly since it was first installed. Loud banging noises (what I now know to be the cheap steel expanding) and an incredibly loud noise every time the fire is ignited (still have yet to have an answer as to what this could be) continue to this day.

    December 2007 – After several phone calls in October and November a service call was finally arranged with the original dealer. It is important to note that during that visit both the vendor and his employee witnessed the fireplaces’ loud noise, and stated that it was not normal. Two suggestions were made, one being that I turn the fireplace thermometer up for approximately 12 hours and open a window so it would run continuously – hopefully reaching maximum expansion. Secondly, he questioned whether the drywall installation had been attached to the fireplace and was possibly causing the loud noises. As the vendor had recommended the drywall company he was going to follow up with this individual and get back to me. I have yet to receive a call from Energy Today, and to my dismay the Enery Today store that I originally visited in Belleville had closed in the fall of 2007.

    I followed the recommendation of opening a window and letting the fireplace run for 12 hours, but the noise has continued.

    January 15, 2008 – I located an email address on the Napolean Fireplace website and outlined my noisy fireplace experience and details of my attempt to have the vendor address the faulty fireplace. I received a reply four days later from a Wolf Steel Technical Dept.. (no name, just a deparment response). They cited several possible reasons for the noise and recommended that the unit would need to be adjusted by a qualified gas technician willing to work with us. They also stated that it was the responsibility of the dealer who sold & installed the unit to service the product, but I may want to enlist the services of an alternate dealer if the original dealer was taking too long to address this issue. If this was my decision, they would then send me a list of alternate dealers. I responded I would like names of alternate dealers and received a list of dealers on January 23, 2008 from the Wolf Steel Technical Dept.

    February 23, 2008 – I called to arrange a service call from one of the recommended dealers.

    March 24, 2008 – Two technicians made a service call and noted a couple of errors (no license tag on the unit showing who the vendor is and misplacement of the logs on the downstairs unit which partially covered the gas vents. More importantly the technician explained that the Continental units are noisey due to the steel vibrating. They did suggest that an digital thermometer may help to keep the master bedroom cycles more continuous and I agreed to having this installed at a cost of $52.00. They also informed me that a better unit from Napolean could have been purchased for about the same price that I paid for the Continental???? In total, the service call cost me $149.10. Result —- noisy fireplace that continues to wake us up throughout the night everytime it comes on.

    With the warmer months I did not continue in my quest for some kind of resolution to the noisy fireplace problem. However, as we are once again being jarred awake throughout the night with our propane fireplace I have decided to take up the quest for customer satisfaction.

    Wish me luck!

  38. Yusuf Patel

    Feb 2 2009

    We have been customers of TD CanadaTrust for at least 25 years and TD Waterhouse for at least 15 years.
    I was paying 12.99 to buy /sell sycks with TD WAterhouse in the U.S., while TD Waterhouse was charging me 29.99! Then I was forced to transfer our account from U.S. to Canada and the chege was 29.99. Then Ameritrade cama to Canada. I could trade U.S. stocks for 9.99 at Ameritrade. So I transfrred my U.S. dollar account from TDW to Ameritrade. After a while TDW bought Ameritrade so once more I was dealing with TDW. Ameritrade was offering traling stops, good till cancelled orders and the account was updated the same day. TDW has no traling stop,order can be entered only for 30 days and the account is not updated till next day, so the prices shown are yesterday’s prices. I wrote a letter to the president(John See) of TDW discount brokerage expressing my dissatisfaction regading their trading platform. I did get a call from one of the underlings saying in effect that they are not going to do anything immediately.
    Our grown up daughter applied to open a TFSA account. She handed over her application to a local TD Canada Trust branch. After 1 1/2 months, no account was opened. So I talked to a customer rep at TDW, after putting me on hold, he came back to say that they have located my daughter’s application. Some how no action was taken but now the account will be open in 2 days.
    Our daughter is a joint account holder for our banking account at TD CanadaTrust, and I have authority to operate her RRSP account as well as her TFSA. When I looked at her TFSA account, it was not linked to any account. So I called TDW and was told that I should call their Electronic service dept. and he gave me a number to call. I called last Friday after listening to the same idiotic message for over 10 minutes, I hung up. I sent them an E-mail. They replied that they cannot help me, I should call the electronic service dept. So I called them this merning. I listen to the same message again and again for over 30 minutes before a woman answered the phone. shegame the third degree, was obnoxious and threatened to hang up. She treated me as if I was a criminal. After some heated conversation she said she has to get some other person to help me. The second person promised to take care of the problem.
    I dislike TD Waterhouse.

  39. stacey

    Feb 22 2009

    I’m not sure if this is the place I’m looking for, but I do have a complaint about Zellers,and I have been unable to find a place that I’m able to write.

    I was in Zellers this morning with my son, as I am every weekend. We eat and then we shop. I should also say that I have been seeing that the quality is going down in Zellers.

    I actually had the pharmacist say that I should just not give my son his adderal, because they just did not have it. This was the worst to me. I mean not getting the new movies in, not having small everyday things in stock, these things you can kinda ignore, but today like I said my son and I were shopping and I was trying to get some laundry soap. Well, it was at the very back and since there was no one around and I could not reach it, I started to use a broom that was sitting on the floor.

    When that did not work and I finally saw a man who worked there talking to another man who worked there, I said excuse me, could I get your help or a ladder maybe. Instead of coming to help me, a paying customer, he shoshed me and put his finger up as if he was telling a child to be quiet, and then went back to talking.

    After moving out of view, we waited about two, three minutes and he did not come to offer any help, my son and I left. Now I’m not sure about anyone else, but as a paying customer, I appreciate being treated with respect, and I would also appreciate if I could get help when I need it or at the very least, I would expect that a person who works there to call someone else to give me a hand if he cannot.

    I guess I just feel with the amount of money that “I choose” to spend in Zellers every year, I should be treated with a lot more respect when I go into a Zellers store by the staff they hire. Even if I did not spend a lot of money there, I should still be respected, everyone should be.

    If the staff hate their job that much, then they should be told to find a new one, not take it out on the customers, because without us they have no job at all!

  40. stillgolfing

    Mar 4 2009

    Stacy said, “If the staff hate their job that much, then they should be told to find a new one,”

    However, there was no indication in her story that the Zeller’s employees she described hated their jobs. In fact, chatting with fellow employees, ignoring customers and still getting paid, sounds like a job most people would love!

  41. bobby

    May 30 2009

    Burnt by Sears- This incident happened last year at Sears Woodbine, Etobicoke.

    I just happened to purchase a shirt during my lunch break. On reaching the csr desk, I was offered to get Sears Card and save $10 on my purchase.

    I politely declined, informing the clerk that i had one five years ago and never happened to use it after my 1st purchase. Secondly, i did not want another credit check.

    Here starts the funny stuff. The clerk said no problem just give me the driver lic and visa and i’ll find that on my system and reactivate it without any credit check and u still get the discount. What a mistake.

    I was given a temp card to show the new # and told to use this # in future. Next thing i know there is a new card in the mail and another credit check.

    Called store to find out and they refer me to credit dept some 1-800 # who would not tell me anything and refer me back to store, which points to credit dept again.

    The only thing i could confirm was that i have 2 cards now under 2 diff addresses.

  42. Detroit crap

    Jun 7 2009

    Hi Ellen,

    Is it true that consumers will have no legal recourse to go after GM or Chrysler for defective vehicles, during and after the bankruptcy? Chrysler apparently has that protection read on

  43. Grenville Puddicombe

    Jun 8 2009

    Dear Ms Roseman:
    I have just been referred to your column by my brother after chatting to him about an ongoing problem with Sears!

    I see from your website that others have had issue with Sears. Their customer service is badly in need of an overhaul.

    My massage chair dilemma goes back way from the time of purchase and the ongoing saga continues today (case history follows). I am now in touch with the deputy Ombudsman -JPMorgan Toronto Office, after which an attempt to the actual Ombudsman and then onto you for help.

    Meantime, thank goodness there is someone watching out for helpless buyers!

  44. G Puddicombe

    Aug 5 2009

    Finally, Customer Satisfaction:

    July 30th 2009,
    To Sears Executive Office:

    Last evening, Owen Mylko came and changed the mechanical ‘rollers’ part of the massage chair. In the end, he sat and had a massage and was now convinced the erratic rocking at the neck, using the ‘full cycle’, had disappeared — the very thing he observed when he made the earlier request to have the chair serviced. I was surprised Sears would send the same person they deemed unqualified to service the replacement part.

    Later that night, I ran the chair through several cycles to see how it was operating. I was immediately aware and convinced the chair had now been fixed and suddenly the problem has been eradicated.

    I tried for several months to get someone at Sears to see my point. I had to unnecessarily escalate this problem all the way to The Star – Ms E Roseman, also JPMorgan-Chase and only when Mr. Giovanni of Chase acted through the back door at Sears did I have someone take this problem seriously.

    I find that all very annoying and unsatisfactory, not to mention the time I had to spend on phone calls, emails, letter writing and photocopying to all involved.

    I truly believe the Customer Service Personnel need retraining, particularly when it involves service for something technical they are UNFAMILIAR with. I am sure none of the people I spoke with had any idea what an I-Joy 130 even looks like!

    I am now continuing to pay my deferred payments on my Sears card. My MasterCard has long since been paid up and returned to Sears. When my existing card is paid off, that too will be returned to Sears.

    I am now done shopping with Sears after what I had to go through for some basic Customer Service!

  45. Dorothy Roberts

    Aug 31 2009

    Home Depot had the product that I wanted so I reluctantly ordered my kitchen there.

    I hadn’t heard any thing good about them, so my expectations about service were low already. However, they certainly managed to reach a new level of bad service.

    Some of the problems were small, but there were so many that I would have cramps in my hands if I typed all the details.

    I will just say the project started in March and as of Aug. 30th I am still waiting for completion. The local manager has yet to return a call.

    The service person I am dealing with is very nice but exhausted from the stress of dealing with angry customers, with no authority to solve problemb and no support from management. I am working hard to find her another job.

    On the credit service topic, I was told that I would receive $1,000 back in gift cards when I ordered the kitchen. I have been on hold with them for over five hours in total.

    First, I was told “they would be sent in my next statement”, then “you have to wait 90 days”, to “you have to apply,” to “you are only getting $385 because you returned your counter” (I exchanged a defective one), to “they will be sent to you today”, to “you don’t get them because you haven’t paid your account in over 30 days”.

    MY kitchen cost $17,000 and I paid this in full in the first statement I received. I charged just over $240 while I was waiting for the gift cards but held payment as the job was not complete (and still isn’t).

    I was livid that they use every excuse to get out of sending the gift cards. The day they told me I wasn’t getting them they arrived at my door.

    Now I have money to spend and I have had such horrible treatment that I want to burn the cards.

    I have asked for an appointment with the local manager to discuss my dissatisfaction, but he does not call back.

    I feel so sorry for the employees that get left holding the bag dealing with the many unhappy customers that Home Depot management creates.

    I have cancelled my card and will advise everyone I know to shop elsewhere.

  46. George R.

    Oct 8 2009

    Hi Ellen!

    Recently I rented a car from Thrifty. When I picked the car up the front bumper was damaged, so I got the employee who helped me to indicate and initial the damage on the vehicle inspection form. I did not pay for insurance at I used a credit card that covers this added expense – the employee encouraged me to pay extra for the top up insurance “just to be safe,” but I declined his offer. But guess what? A few days ago I got a bill in the mail, stating that I was responsible for the damage & that I owed them $785.54, $100 of which was an administration fee.

    I called person from the Damage Recovery Claims Dept. at least five times, and I e-mailed her as well. I got an automated reply from her, asking for me to call her back. When I did, my call went straight to voicemail. Not once did she make a serious attempt to contact me.

    You gave me some sound advice – I did a Google search and found an e-mail address for someone who works in their PR division, and he forwarded my case to someone who sorted it all out and cleared me of any wrongdoing. When I thanked my PR connection for his help, but commented that all I got from Thrifty was an apology, he arranged for them to send me $100 in gift vouchers. This should have been offered without encouragement from him, but I will gladly accept this token as a payment for time wasted.

    BEWARE: when renting a car, make sure someone walks around the car with you and marks any damage that is on the car. They should inspect the car upon your return as well. KEEP THIS RECORD just in case they come after you later as they did me!

  47. GT

    Nov 7 2009

    Hi Ellen, this is my story about a home improvement project that turned into a nightmare.

    During the sales consultation with Consumer’s Choice, I was repeatedly assured of my eligibility to claim a full government rebate for attic re-insulation. I proceeded with the work, but later learned that the government has denied my full rebate as I was in actual fact not eligible. I felt I was misled, and that it was unethical and irresponsible for the salesperson to make such a claim.

    I also had my vinyl sidings replaced. The existing sidings were old but they were smooth and they all lined up. It is now a mess – the worker left a big gap between the sidings and the roof and previously covered areas are now exposed. He also made joints all over the place.

    I called the manager to discuss the sloppy work and poor attitude. The manager was rude and was not interested in what I had to say. She told me to deal with it, and then pretended she could not hear me and hung up. I tried to call back but was transferred directly to her voice mail.

    Several days later I got a call from the company demanding payment. I said I would pay only after the job was done and done properly. Eventually I spoke with a few other representatives but was not able to make any progress.

    I finally wrote a letter to the owner regarding my concerns. Today, the company sent someone to come to my house to tell me that there was no problem with the work. I called and asked to speak with the owner (who turned out to be the rudest and most arrogant of all the company staff I have encountered), who pretty much told me to take my problems elsewhere before hanging up on me too.

    My experience with this company has been pure frustration, aggravation, and disappointment. I was shocked by the way I was treated. I wasted my time and money for a house that is now in worse shape that before but all these people care about is when and how they will get my money. How can they treat customers like that??

  48. George R.

    Jan 11 2010

    Hi Ellen, I emailed you about my lost luggage but I wanted to post something on your blog as well. I’ll try to make it brief.

    We arrived in Cuba, at Varadero airport, on Jan. 3, 2010, and rode the transport bus provided by Sunwing to our hotel. We were the first people on the bus and we watched to make sure that the driver stowed our bags in the compartment below before we boarded.

    The bus made a hotel stop along the way and at our hotel the driver began to unload the bags without any direction from any of the passengers. I remember thinking that he must be very organized to know what bags went to which hotel.

    I ran inside to the reception desk to get money for a tip from my partner, who told me that he’d already taken care of that. The woman at reception got me to sign the register and when I turned around to get our bags from the bus (time at reception: about 3 minutes), the bus had gone and our luggage was nowhere to be found.

    Reception called (what they thought was to be) the next hotel on the drop-off route to ask the driver to come back with our bags. As it turned out there were no people for that hotel on the bus, so the driver never got the message.

    We waited for more than half an hour and then asked reception to call our Sunwing rep in Cuba. Asked them to call again a while later and were told (rather sheepishly from the girl at reception) that she was instructed not to call again.

    Suffice it to say that the bags were never located. Our Sunwing rep in Cuba suggested that perhaps we’d left our luggage at the Varadero airport because we were nervous travellers; when I assured her that this was not the case, she said that she’d look at the other hotels on the list but that she was very busy with other arrivals.

    We found out on Saturday, Jan. 9th, six days after our luggage went missing, that she hadn’t thought to check the first hotel on the drop-off list in Jibacoa! Only then did she make the call. No bags there.

    Contacted Sunwing in Varadero on Tuesday, the 5th, and they still hadn’t located the driver of the bus as they didn’t have a number for him. Several attempts to reach out to Sunwing back in Canada resulted in silence.

    An email to them got a reply stating that I could hope for a response in 4-6 weeks. However, our Cuban tour rep told us that they’d sent the email to her, and she tried to explain some of what I’d addressed in the complaint.

    We’re back home with no luggage and no faith in Sunwing. Don’t ever try to have fun on holiday without any luggage. I don’t recommend it.

  49. joyce Z

    Mar 21 2010

    Hi Ellen, in the last 8 months I have been trying to get some answers from Direct Energy regarding my water heater charge and account cancellation.

    My water heater, which is rented from Direct Energy. has been in use for the past 13 years. I asked for a new water heater in the summer of 2009, but they refused to replace it and said they only replaced the water heater if older than 18 years.

    So I switched to renting Reliance’s water heater. On July 13, 2009, Reliance returned my old water heater to Direct Energy and got a 3rd party removal form.

    In August 2009, I saw the Direct Energy water heater rental fee on my Enbridge gas bill and I called to ask. They told me it takes 2 MONTHS to do the paperwork and have the account cancelled. But meanwhile, I still need to pay their rental fee, which I think is a complete disgrace!

    However after September and October, I was still being charged the water heater rental fee from Direct Energy. I called them every month when I got my gas bill, but the only answer they gave me was it takes 2 months to complete the account cancelation.

    When I called at the end of October, the person I spoke to apologized and told me that it had not been done properly. In fact, there was no record of my cancellation request in my account. He would start the cancellation process now and I would be contacted by another department within 24 hours.

    He had no explanation as to why nothing had been done by DE from the time that I had returned the water heater. I left my phone numbers and I believed that this would be quickly resolved. But I didn’t hear anyone at Direct Energy.

    Then I called back 2 days later and was told a completely different story, saying I had to wait another billing period (2 months) before it could be done! AND NO ONE can tell me WHY! All they say is that the “paperwork is being processed.”

    I think 60 days for paperwork is not acceptable, but no one cares!

    In November, I once again received a Direct Energy water heater rental fee on my gas bill, so I contacted them several times and they hooked me up with ANOTHER person who took my info and didn’t call me back.

    In December, despite all those discussions, phone calls, I STILL received a charge for the water heater on my gas bill.

    I am utterly fed up, so I called and asked to talk to someone with power. A supervisor admitted that this case was abnormal and shouldn’t have taken so long. She asked me to fax the 3rd party water heater removal form to her, so I followed her instructions and did it the same day.

    But in January and February, I was still being charged the water heater rental fee! This was driving me crazy and I didn’t feel that any of my calls and questioning had made any impact.

    Once again, I contacted Direct Energy demanding to speak personally to the manager. A supervisor named Michael said the manager, Laura, was unavailable on that day, so he promised that he would review my account and contact me the next day.

    I told him that I had heard this promise many times before and, rightly, didn’t believe that I would receive a call back, but Michael PROMISED that he would definitely call me back.

    I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but once again, Direct Energy’s people broke the promise and didn’t call back.

    So the next day, I contacted Michael and each time I tried to get to him, they made an excuse like he had a meeting or he was busy and blatantly REFUSED to speak to me!

    A few days later, I called AGAIN and spoke to a lady called Sarah, who reviewed my case and would follow my case for me. Within two weeks, I would know how much credit I am owed.

    Two weeks later, when I did not hear anything from her, I called Sarah to see if she had any news. She told me that the case had been refused by the credit department and she thought this was strange. Even she didn’t understand why.

    Sarah wanted to be helpful but my experience was just that no one could really look after my problem. That is now things stand at the end of March.

    I am still paying for something that I returned to Direct Energy 8 MONTHS AGO. I have still not been able to have this resolved or have my questions answered.

    I have been treated SO rudely by their “customer service specialists”, it has left me speechless. I finally understand why the customers choose to leave Direct Energy. They do not deserve my business or anyone else’s.

    I don’t want to be told any more lies and be played around with broken promises. This is a hard time I am going through as my father recently passed away and I have a lot of things I need to sort out, but this problem has been constantly hassling me and making my life harder than it needs to be.

  50. Kim L

    Apr 20 2010

    My complaint, ironically, involves home delivery issues with the Toronto Star.

    Over the past 7 years, I have experienced recurring issues with the delivery person failing to meet the 6 am weekday delivery time guarantee.

    I have called repeatedly over the years to complain, and usually found the problem would be resolved for a few weeks or a month, and then delivery would slip again.

    My most recent round of problems occurred in the past 2 months. Once again, the paper was arriving at 6:50 am at best, which is too late to be of any use for me.

    The first few times I called, I was told the complaint would be passed on to the delivery service for resolution.

    One of the excuses I was given is that delivery staff change frequently, and sometimes it’s necessary to reset expectations in customer service guarantees by calling to flag issues with delivery.

    I said the onus should not be on me as a customer to call and try to ensure the guaranteed service levels were met, but I was shrugged off by the customer service reps and, of course, nothing improved.

    The next time I called I spoke to a supervisor, who gave me the impression she would be following up more thoroughly with the delivery team to ensure things improved.

    She also advised me that my delivery person had remained unchanged for over 5 years, which means the excuse about staffing changes that I had been given by the previous CSR was garbage.

    Again, nothing changed. More complaints were placed and still, nothing improved.

    Last Thursday, I decided The Star didn’t really care about resolving this ongoing issue and I cancelled Mon-Fri home delivery. (I’m still a sucker and kept Saturday delivery).

    Later that day, I received a phone message from the Star’s delivery service affiliate, calling about the complaint I had raised. Pretty amazing that follow-up occurred only after I cancelled, isn’t it?

    Sorry, guys, but you’re 7 years too late. I now subscribe to the National Post, which consistently arrives prior to 6 am.

  51. Denis

    May 10 2010

    Hi Ellen,

    I’m glad I found your site. Your intro paragraph is exactly my case with Sears. They are ignoring my emails and calls.

    It’s been 1 month of waiting and 2 months of discussing and errors before that. I will spare you the sob story, I would just like to get a phone # of someone in the Executive dealing with complaints.

    I can’t even find that online, their complaint number is a farce and they refuse to refer my complaint to management. Thank you in advance.

  52. Alok Chadha

    Jun 12 2010

    I purchased three Kitchen Appliances (Refrigerator, Dishwasher & Stove) from “Bad Boy’s” Mississauga Store. All the appliances had defects – missing parts, partially working not as per specifications provided. The response to the complaint was ruthful, ungracefully, rude and without any remorse. On the complaint that why this was not ensured that appliances are delivered in working state, with all due accessories, when delivered, the rough reply given was that these were Store Model and Bad Boy DO NOT check the appliances before delivery!

    After repetitive persuasion, I was offered some Store Credit in lieu of the harassment and poor service, which I swiftly & politely refused. How can I even think of making another purchase from a Store after going through this horrifying experience of disgust and insult? Ultimately, I was assured that I shall be hearing again from the Head Office or the Mississauga Store about resolution of my demands. I never got any call back while none of my calls were returned…

    However, I am determined to continue my crusade against devious practices and malicious nature of “Bad Boy”.

  53. Your article on Water heaters

    Jul 24 2010

    i don’t think you have a clue what’s going on in terms of the water heater retail competition.

    Direct Energy, which obviously paid you to do that article that’s bashing all of their leading competitors, actually bought all of Enbridge’s water heater customers in 2002 without their permission. Because of this injustice to the public, other water heating companies have emerged, such as National Home Services, Livclean and Reliance to give people a better option.

    Direct Energy is only into gaining as much money from people as possible. That’s why they tell people their water heater is good for years without cleaning.

    Hmm, they only tell their customers that because they don’t want to pay someone to come in and clean your tank for you. Instead, they’d rather have you become sick by all the bacteria and sediment buildup in your water heater.

    Why would they do this, you ask? The longer a water heater goes without being flushed/cleaned, the longer it takes to heat up your hot water, costing you more on your gas bill.

    So Direct Energy doesn’t want to clean your tank because they want to suck out as much money from you as possible. Direct Energy is a UK company that’s only in Canada to take all the business from us hard working Canadians.

    National Home Services, however, is the Canadian water heater supplier and they clean your tank every 5 years to save you money, something that Direct Energy doesn’t do.

    I’d rather buy my water heater, but am crazy busy and don’t have the least bit of time to deal with it, so I’d rather rent, which I am doing through National, and boy, have I saved some money.

    By the way, there is no 15 year contract. If I want to stop renting my water heater, I only pay a $130 removal fee and that’s it. Direct Energy has nothing against National and so they’ve made up this 15 year contract statement to scare off people from National.

    The only thing that National has that is 15 years old is their maintenance plan, which includes flushing your tank every 5 years and then replacing it after a certain period.

    If that’s what defines a contract, then I guess Direct Energy has one too, since they don’t maintain their tanks and they don’t replace them until the 16th year unless something goes wrong.

    Competition is normal in any business, so get over it! And you should support the few Canadian companies that do exist since you do work for one!

  54. Wrong address!?

    Jul 24 2010

    Hi Ellen, I came home last week to find a lawn care company sign on my front lawn. We do not use a lawn care service.

    After calling the company, they apologized and said they would come by to pick up the sign and invoice. They had the wrong address and incorrectly sprayed our lawn. They claim the product they sprayed was harmless and “natural”…

    We care for an organic garden and do not use any herbicides or pesticides on it or our lawn. Can we hold this lawn care company responsible for changing the natural state of our garden? I am fuming and don’t know where to begin.

  55. Orest

    Jul 27 2010

    I have a strong complaint, one of many, against this company.

    On July 14 my wife went to this dealer and ordered a bedroom set, coffee table & 2 end tables. At the time of purchase she was told it would take 6 weeks for the items to be delivered. She voluntarily gave a deposit of $1100.00 cash on a $2300.00 purchase in good faith.

    On July 26th we decided to cancel the order as we felt the 6 weeks was too long to wait and we had purchased items elsewhere. When we went to the dealer to get a refund on our deposit, the dealer advised us they do not give refunds but only in store credit on the amount of the deposit. I insisted on the refund as I have no intention of buying any furniture in the near future and feel this amount of money is too much to be tied up in a retailers hands with no iterest on the money. The dealer informed me about his terms on the back of the sales invoice which state no refunds will be given on returned goods and there could be a 25% restocking fee subject to the return. I informed him the items were not returned but cancelled and there is no restocking fee because the item was not even in the store. I strongly objected and iformed him I would not leave the premises till I got my money. At that point he decided to call the police to have me evicted from the premises. I left on my own and stood outside the store and told a person going in “be careful, they don’t give refunds”. I then left and was stopped by the police and asked what happened. After discussing the matter with them they informed me they agreed with my plight but there was nothing they could do as this is a civil matter and my recourse was small claims court.

    I feel this is totally unacceptable. I am out of pocket $1100.00; the dealer gets to use my money at his discretion to pay bills etc. I am “committed to this dealer” to make a purchase which I would not do after the treatment I received.

    Please help me resolve this situation as this is a lot of money to be sitting in a dealer’s hands.

  56. Helen

    Sep 24 2010

    Just some advice for those of you looking to talk to a person who has the authority to help you….

    I had problems with a Benjamin Moore suggested painter, PaintIsland. They weren’t returning to finish the job although they’d been paid. The BM office was not returning my calls and I was getting nowhere.

    So, I googled “Benjamin Moore regional manager”. And a name popped up! With an email! I emailed the Eastern Canada Regional manager and I heard back immediately. An hour later, the local office was calling me. And eventually my problem was solved.

    So try googling the title of the person you want to speak with. You may get lucky too!

  57. Kelly

    Jan 18 2011

    I’m having an issue with Direct Energy as we speak. I’m not going into every single detail, although I wish I had the energy to sit here and type it all out so people could get the full spectrum of what I’m dealing with here.

    My furnace stopped working this past Thursday (Jan. 13th), so we called Direct Energy to come and service it. We were told no one could come until the next day at 8 am.

    It’s 6 in the evening when we call. And not only that, but they can’t provide us with space heaters either. So we end up tracking down 1 space heater for the evening.

    Direct Energy shows up the next day at 10:30 am and inspects the furnace to say that it needs to be replaced. It’s so old they don’t make the part that is damaged any more (heat exchanger), so the tech asks me “Do you want me to call someone in to give you a free quote on a new furnace?”

    Well, duh, yeah, I mean it’s Friday morning and I know how this is gonna turn out. If we can’t get someone in here quick, we are without heat all weekend (btw, the temps were running at -30).

    The tech calls someone and makes an appointment for 3 pm. He says the sales rep will have space heaters for us, okay that’s fine.

    Sales rep shows up, looks at the furnace and notices our warranty hasn’t expired (it does expire later this year), so we can order the part and get it fixed without having to purchase a new furnace. Perfect.

    However, he has no space heaters. We now have to go out and buy our own, so we go and buy 2 from Canadian Tire. No big deal, a little annoyed, but okay we can tough it out until tomorrow.

    Before we go and buy the space heaters, we get on the phone and order the part and everything is peachy, or so we think. We are told, yes, they will get the part ASAP, and someone will contact us later that evening to let us know.

    By about 7 pm, no phone calls, and so we call Direct Energy to find out what is going on. We are told the part is in and someone will be by tomorrow (Saturday, the 15th) to install the new part.

    Then in the morning, Direct Energy calls us at 9 am to say no one was coming because there was no part available. They couldn’t track it down at one warehouse, so they would have to wait until Monday to find it at another, but offered to have 2 space heaters dropped off.

    Okay, I guess we are getting the part for free, and you can drop off more heaters we can wait until Monday to have it fixed.

    By Sunday, we start inspecting pipes around the house because it’s FREEZING inside and we are concerned that without heat, pipes are gonna start freezing. Sure enough, we check our back room where our laundry is and the pipes have broken from the taps and are cracked.

    We call a plumber in. They end up having to get underneath our house in our crawl space to replace about 30 feet of copper piping that has frozen and burst due to the extreme cold weather. They install a valve so that we can turn water off only to that area while we wait for our furnace to be fixed, so at least we can have water while we are without heat.

    On Monday morning, Direct Energy calls to say that the part is on back order from the manufacturer (Carrier) and won’t be shipped until Tuesday (today) from Toronto (I am near Ottawa).

    Okay, now my hubby and I are getting upset, but again, it’s under warranty so we are trying to hang in there to get this situation resolved.

    Direct Energy schedules techs to come in from 12-4 on Tuesday. I call at 9 am to make sure that (a) they are in fact coming and (b) they have the part.

    I’m told that the part’s ETA is before my appointment time and it will arrive at my residence OR with the tech….and I think to myself, “What? At my house or with the tech? How do you know what tech will be coming to my house?”

    Right there, I knew my furnace was not getting fixed today. Sure enough, 12 pm rolls around and the techs show up expecting the part to be here already and it isn’t, so one guy leaves and the other waits.

    Someone calls us from the courier service to say the part will arrive in 10-15 minutes. Two hours later, the tech that stayed comes to the door to say he is leaving because he spoke with the courier service and the part won’t be here until this evening…..exactly what I’d thought.

    An hour later, the courier shows up at my house with the parts…yay. We call Direct Energy to say we got the part, now send the techs back. We are told they will do their best and will call us when someone can come back.

    It was 3 pm when we were told this. IT is now just before 10 pm and we are STILL without heat or a tech to put in the part that is now sitting in our kitchen.

    I just got an email stating that someone is coming between 3 to 7 pm on Thursday, Jan. 20th.

    Now I have to wait 2 more days for someone to come and install the bloody part…..HELP.

    It’s now been 5 days going on 6 without heat and apparently it will be 7 full days until this situation is finally remedied.


    I forgot to mention I’m 9 months pregnant and have a 2 year old. Everyone I speak to about this situation is absolutely floored and so am I.

  58. Vic Bartram

    Feb 3 2011

    I am sure as most of us have found, a great deal of what we would consider good customer service is often not the case in todays busy world. It’s a shame really, but the bottom line is, we all have to hold to our own principals, and it’s a difficult task at best; simply due to our daily lives being so busy, we often will sacrifice good service for the sheer convenience of it.

    If we continue to shop at those very same places, they will continue to provide the very same level of service. Sometimes mentioning your concerns to the corporations head office, or the owner of the business will provide some light.

  59. Roy K

    Feb 10 2011

    I have had issues with Sears as well and will no longer shop there.

    I hope that when you do get good service, you let the people providing it know and also tell your friends.

    I find that some people have unrealistic expectations, for example, the guy who is mad they don’t have Coke and Pepsi available.

    It can take a lot of space to offer both, and sometimes you sign an agreement with one for a good price if you offer them exclusivity.

    I owned my own business and tried to provide the best possible customer service, but I just found that a lot of people have very unrealistic expectations. Very often you would bend over backwards to help someone out and it still wasn’t enough.

    People have to use common sense, which I fear is not that common anymore.

    Granted, most of these cases are examples of horrendous service, but you can talk with your money. If such a horrible thing happens to you and it is legitimate, be sure never to go back and do tell your friends.

    Also, realize that these clerks are human and make errors as well, so give them a little wiggle room. One error or oversight can happen, but if it’s one after another, then yes, complain.

    If you want to hear about bad customer service, I spent over 9 hours on the phone with Microsoft trying to sort something out. After that, I just gave up. Unfortunately, they don’t have much competition for the service I was after.

    What I did learn is that any time you call anyone for service, or for any issue, be sure to get the name of the person you are dealing with, record the day and time you called.

    If the person provides good service or bad, you have something recorded. I wish you could voice record every call, but I’m not sure if that is legal.

    I used to do that as a business owner as well. If I had a customer who I was having an issue with, I would record everything I could on paper. This way, when they come back and say they said this and you said that, you can pull out your paper and say “actually, according to my notes, I said this and you said that”. Makes them think twice.

    I had a customer tear a strip off me once for losing his glasses, which he said he left with me for repair. He screamed to high heaven, made a huge scene, and I had never taken his glasses for repair.

    Funny that the next time he came in he was wearing those same glasses that he said I had lost. I had turned my store upside down looking for those glasses, and spent a lot of time trying to find them. Do you think he might have called and let us know that we didn’t need to look for them?

    Just saying.

  60. Jessica

    Jun 23 2011

    Inexcusable Customer Service – H&M, Limeridge Mall (Hamilton, ON, Canada)
    I am writing today to inform all of those loyal customers to H&M of what a terrible experience I had. Some of you may not agree with me, but I know many of you do. So here it goes…

    I purchased 2 articles of clothing from H&M on June 11, 2011, both of these items being dresses at $59.95 apiece. I was informed by the cashier that I had 30 days to refund either of these dresses.

    Previous to this statement, I had told her that I would be attending a wedding on the 25th of June and that I was indecisive about which dress I wanted to wear the most, so I purchased both.

    10 days later I returned to H&M with the dress I decided against, receipt in hand, and tags attached; I proceeded to the counter to carry out a refund. I was told to wait to speak with a manager who handled any returns.

    I waited ~ 15 minutes or so for this individual. She gladly did an exchange for the customer ahead of me. When it came to my turn, I explained the exact situation to the manager as I just did above.

    She seemed understanding of my situation, but then proceeded to flip the dress upside down and lay it out across the counter. She told me there was a mark on it. I let her know I could not see it, that it was just a wrinkle.

    She tells me, “No. That is definitely soiled. This dress has already been worn and is not in ‘resellable’ condition. I will not be doing a refund for you.”

    I told her the mark on that dress was not from me, nor have I ever worn this dress other than trying it on in the change room and for my mother to see. She told me nope, it’s definitely been worn.

    Since when do store employees get to tell their customers what they’ve done?!

    This woman said she couldn’t prove I didn’t put the stain on it; however, it was not sold to me in that condition. Again, how can she be so certain?! How can she also be so certain that I marked up the dress?

    I told her the wedding is not until June 25 and that dress has been in my closet for the past 10 days. On top of that, the tag was still attached.

    I was so pleased that she accused me of wearing a dress with the tags on, dirtying it and then trying to return it for a refund.

    She said they do not sell anything in such a condition. A friend I was with said, “Oh, but you consider these resellable?!” referring to a pair of shorts located directly across from the cash registers with a gaping hole in them. She had no response to this.

    My friend and I left the store, only to return in minutes. We asked for the number for head office and got in touch with them. The woman on the phone said they would handle the situation immediately and get back to me as soon as possible.

    Apparently, store managers have the say in any and all cases. Being that “head office” is not located in Hamilton, Ont., they are unable to have a firsthand look at the condition of this dress, which I unknowingly purchased with a mark on it. Therefore, they are unable to supersede the decision of their store managers.

    The best the store manager could do was offer me an exchange for a “clean dress”. When I purchased the dress, there was only one other in my exact size, and the stitching on it wasn’t correct. So why would I want to exchange defective merchandise for defective merchandise?

    The principle of the matter is that H&M still received my business through the purchase of the 1st dress, which I am keeping, and happily wearing this upcoming Saturday. I was offered a 20% discount card if the exchange did not satisfy me. What do I need a 20% discount card for if I will be taking my business elsewhere?

    Perhaps refund my dress and give me the discount card for all of the hassle I have gone through. I am not even from Hamilton, and will now have to spend another day traveling to return my dress – that is, time, money, and gas wasted!

    Upon getting home, I e-mailed my thoughts through the H&M website. This time, a response from a 3rd person; she told me the exact same thing over and over again – they are unable to supersede management’s decision.

    Well, management: your judgment is off, because I have yet to wear this dress to any event in my life and have not spent any more than 3-4 minutes in this dress.

    I cannot express enough how thrown aback I was after being told I had done something that I did not do. To speak to your customers in such a manner, and get away with it, is mind boggling.

    Looking at the dress, I couldn’t even tell there was a mark on it until I stuck my face nearly up against the thing! I would not have purchased the dress had I known it was in such condition.

    So not only am I trying to return an UNWORN item, I am now also trying to return DEFECTIVE merchandise (thank you for bringing this to my attention!).

  61. Nicole

    Jul 14 2011

    On July 8, we had a young lady representing Summitt Home services come to our door in regards to our hot water tank…after a long discussion about changing it at no cost to us we agreed.

    An appointment was made for July 12. The installer arrived 20 minutes late…

    I got on the computer to do some research about the company, Direct Energy, which had installed the tank we had in 1996. What i saw was not comforting, complaints after complaints…

    So i informed the installers of this find and they told me yes they knew about this. They suggested that I call Direct Energy to let them know about the removal and that the tank would be dropped off at one of their locations and to give them the invoice number for the dropoff ….which I did today.

    Nope,we don’t have the tank they say …ok then take this invoice rental removal order form no and please watch for it …nope, we don’t do that it doesn’t work like that …so I called Summitt home services to let them know.

    Got cut off and then finally got to speak to someone. By that time I was furious. Again i’m going to get the runaround …after they get what they want, you don’t exist as a person but an invoice number …so we came to an agreement.

    If i left my email address, Summitt would let me know and Direct Energy when the rental form removal was signed at the drop off company…ok i said …but this young lady kept interupting me …couldn’t finish a sentence she would cut me off even when i gave her my email address she didn’t let me finish it.

    I asked her please let me finish talking. I then asked to speak with a manager. Waited over 6 minutes …so i hung up and called back.

    By that time i was not mad i was furious. The manager told me to calm down or he would not talk to me …i told him listen, you don’t know what i’ve been put through in just a short time with your company and if this attitude didn’t not change, they could come and remove their tank …

    He told me if we remove the tank, you have to pay a fine… OMG …i’m still sitting here shaking like a leaf …we keep taking abuse on top of abuse by companies that don’t care about people other than collecting our money.

    Most of the time we can’t talk to someone that cares enough to do something about the problems and we’re told to calm down or pay the piper. Thanks.

  62. Mike

    Aug 11 2011

    We had a lot of issues when purchasing a new dishwasher from Sears website.

    In their eternal wisdom, Sears sells some dishwashers with one part missing, but they have no way to purchase this extra part without phoning their customer service. They also give no part number and an obscure description, so when you call their parts department they don’t know what you need.

    When we ordered our dishwasher we phoned the parts department and were initially told it would take 6 months to get the part!!! We told them that was a joke and called the customer service. After a lot of messing around being bounced from one department to another on the phone some idiot manager finally added the part to our order, but had it delivered to the local Parts centre instead of to us.

    I went to the parts centre to pick it up, but when I got there the part they brought out for me looked wrong. I didn’t really know what I was supposed to be getting so I couldn’t refuse it but I was deeply suspicious. I asked them to check it was correct, and directed them to their own website to see what part I was supposed to be getting. They confirmed it was correct, but I still didn’t believe them and made sure they marked down that a restocking fee would not be applied if the part was incorrect.

    So I get home and go to install the part, and it turns out to be the wrong one, it wasn’t even close to being the correct part.

    We phone up their customer service again and complain, and they finally (again after speaking to several people in various department) find the correct part and order it.

    But they still charged us for the part, and refused to take the old part back without charging a restocking fee.

    Even more annoying is that the part is not some super specialist part that is hard to find. When I finally got it home I could see it was just a simple elbow joint that you can get in Home Depot for $4 (Sears charged $19).

    I’ve shopped extensively online for over 10 years now, and have had very few negative experiences. The other negative experiences were all minor (things like a longer delivery time than expected). So this is by faaar the worst online shopping experience I’ve had.

    Obviously I will never be shopping from Sears again, online or in any of their stores. I can’t believe that a company can be so utterly useless and stay in business.

    I happily tell my story to everyone I know and I hope I have put them off from ever shopping there as well.

  63. Mark

    Sep 7 2011

    I have an HP Laptop that is overheating to the point of actually burning my sister (who is currently using it).

    I called HP to let them know of the issue but the refused to help me because my warranty had expired, and would only continue talking to me if I purchased a telephone support plan with them. In addition to paying for the support plan, I would have to pay for repairs myself if their troubleshooting methods did not work (and lets face it, they rarely do).

    They also claimed that it may very well be my fault for upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 (I’m sure Microsoft would not appreciate this insinuation from a hardware supplier).

    I indicated the potential for litigation in the event of a burn or fire (HP has faced litigation for items catching on fire) and they provided a disinterested reply, indicating if there was anything else they could help me with.

    I would appreciate your assistance with my case – I welcome the opportunity to share with you or anyone else that is interested the ‘warmth’ of the product.

    Thank you.

  64. Matt

    Sep 7 2011

    Here is my story, dealing with customer service gone horribly bad, but there is a silver lining to this story.

    In August, I purchased around $450 worth of merchandise at the Eaton Centre location of Jean Machine. The sale went well and the staff were friendly.

    Just as I was about to cash out, the sales clerk approached me about another pair of jeans. The discount offered made this second purchase very attractive.

    The sales clerk said if I needed anything further, such as different size etc., not to remove any tags, just come back and they would take care of it.

    I have been shopping at Jean Machine for years. I also have 15 years of Call Centre management, especially in dealing with escalated customer concerns.

    In fact, I love escalated calls, because it’s a chance to make a bad situation positive, it’s a chance to correct a wrong. Selling is not about the sale. It’s about keeping the sale, keeping the account.

    I know 95% of issues are caused by the customer. This one was caused by me. However, it was not the refund issue, but turned from the refund to the customer service that went wrong. I just wanted an apology.

    The following day, I had a change of heart, and returned to the Sherway Gardens location. I asked the clerk for a refund.

    She said there were no refunds and I could have an “exchange.” I asked her where the sign was. She showed me an upside down sign, covered by clothes.

    The message was also printed on my receipt, but that won’t do you much good if you have already purchased. I contacted the manager, who refused to help me, and the conversation went horribly bad within minutes.

    I located the head office and was directed to a district manager, who defended the store practices. He did not apologize for the rude treatment from the store manager or offer any solutions, besides stating it was my fault for not specifically asking what the refund policy was.

    I contacted the head office again and left a few messages for the operations manager. No one returned them.

    As a last step, I contacted my Amex custoemr service staff. They said Amex has a refund policy protection program, but it is not available for Canada. The only real choice was to return to the store and do an exchange.

    I felt that was the best option. At least, I could purchase items that I felt were the right fit.

    I returned to the store and did the exchange. The clerk I had was really fantastic and made sure I had what I wanted, even though the circumstances were not the best. I then contacted Ellen. I want people to know:

    – ALWAYS ASK about the refund policy. In the heat of the sale you may not realize it until it’s too late.

    – ALWAYS pay with a credit card. I found out by reading the terms I have all sorts of other card protection, such as loss, theft, extended warranty. This is something I would not have known had this not happened.

    – NEVER yell or be disrespectful towards staff. While I was upset, I did not treat staff in a demeaning way. I was mad at the company, not the clerks.

    After I contacted Ellen, a representative from Jean Machine contacted me. He made it right. He apologized, advised me that customer service is the priority and this experience will centre around it. My experience won’t be repeated.

    They will improve signage and retrain managers and focus on advising customers of the policy.

    The bottom line: This was the happy ending I was hoping for.

    I admit I should have asked, but this made me into a shopper that won’t make this mistake again and will always pay by credit, so I know I am protected.

    Will I shop at this retailer again? The answer is yes. They fixed a bad situation and the exchange went better then I thought. The clerk was beyond great; they apologized for the short end of the stick I got.

    I look forward to going in and seeing what has changed. Fixes don’t happen overnight, but acknowledging them is a great start to fix. My story did have a great ending. I learned a lot.

    P.S. Afterward, I received a $100 gift card from Jean Machine. They totally turned this around and won back this customer. My next purchase is going to be in their store.

  65. Matt

    Sep 13 2011

    I have an update to this story, I received in the mail the other day a written apology letter, outlining how the company is going to be correcting the issue in terms of service.. Enclosed was a gift card valued at over $100! From a story that I thought would never have a good ending, I was so stunned!

    This company turned a bad taste into a really positive situation. I am beyond pleased on how Jason owned this, and corrected the issue I had. I wish more companies can take the owner ship jean Machine did, and I will be shopping in this store again. Bravo to the company!! And of course Ellen!!!!!

  66. Keith

    Oct 4 2011

    On Friday, Sept. 23, upon arrival at our home in Wasaga Beach, we found the Kitchenaid refrigerator purchased from Sears 17 months ago was working, but the cooling aspect was gone in both the fridge and freezer compartments.

    I called Sears, which sent a repairman the next morning. He said the part to replace was not under warranty and that it would cost $300 to fix (the part cost less than $28).

    On Monday, Sept. 26, I sent an email to home @Sears and received an automatic confirmation of receipt. This was 8 days ago and I have heard nothing back.

    I called Sears on several occasions. The wait time to get through is on average 50 minutes.

    I was told by several people that the repair was part of the compressor unit and would be replaced at no charge and that the $79.09 I paid for the service call would be refunded.

    Over the next several days, I spoke with other people from Sears service who indicated that I would have to pay for the service.

    On Thursday, Sept. 29, I spoke with Amanda at 1:46 pm. She said she was a service lead at the corporate office and offered to reduce the repair by $110 as a customer courtesy. She said she would enter this note on my file.

    On Saturday, Oct. 1, the repairman returned, installed the part in 5 minutes and had me sign off on a bill for $169. He explained that he had NOT been contacted regarding the $110 discount. The part cost $28 and the installation cost was $141.

    On Monday, Oct. 3, I called Sears again and found out there were no notes entered by Amanda. I spoke with Wanda, who said she would contact the other 2 call centres and see if she could find this Amanda person.

    I have never spent so much time, nor have I had so many conflicting statements from the same company. The fridge is a Kitchenaid stainless steel top of the line refrigerator which cost close to $4,000 retail.

    I just want an answer and a review and reduction in the bill from Sears.

  67. Flower Delivery Guy

    Nov 1 2011

    I am often frustrated by the level of service that is considered the norm for many companies today. It is unfortunate that customer service has slipped to the wayside.

    Too many companies focus a large part of their efforts on selling and a very small portion on providing customer service.

    I feel that the reason behind this is simple: Customer service generates no immediate revenue, but rather it appears as an expense line on a financial statement.

    As such, it is very easy for a company to justify cutting it back. Sad but true.

  68. Pamela

    Dec 1 2011

    I purchased a complete room package from Easyhome but did not receive the size of television that was advertised and was not informed of this before delivery.

    I called the store and was told that they did not have that size in and sent me a smaller size instead, that someone should have told me before (which they did not), and as soon as they had that size in, I would get one.

    It’s been 3 months and I keep getting the same answer that they have none in stock. I’m finding that hard to believe since they sell furniture.

    I’ve tried sending emails to the company and have had no response thus far. All I want is the size of tv that was advertised on their website since that is what I am paying for.

  69. Mary

    Dec 2 2011

    I purchased equipment and signed a one year contract with Sears Home Alarm. I didn’t realize the contract was self-renewing for 6 month terms until I received a bill.

    I called and said I wanted to cancel the contract because I could get the monitoring cheaper at the competitor. They said I had to pay the current bill and send an email to

    On May 16, I sent the email as instructed to cancel the contract and provided my credit card info to pay the bill. After I sent the email, I realized I forgot to provide the expiry date of the credit card, so I resent the email with this info.

    On May 31, the card was charged and I assumed all was fine. A few months later, I received another bill and assumed it was sent in error, so I ignored it only to receive a ‘final notice’ last week.

    On Nov. 23, I called the number on the bill and explained I had cancelled the contract by email. The rep said she had no such record and I had to provide them with 30 days’ notice to cancel. I repeated that I had already done so.

    I asked her to look at the last payment. She said it was made by Amex. I said YES…and where did they obtain my Amex info from? The email I had sent. She said she didn’t have a record of any email.

    She then said it was my responsibility to prove that email was sent. In the meantime, she would speak with her supervisor and have her call me back. I provided my cell # as a contact since I was planning on being out of town.

    On Nov. 29, I received a call from Home Protection. The individual said he understood I wanted to sign up for a three year contract!!!

    I asked where he got this information from, as I was trying to CANCEL the contract. He said all cancellations go through him and he didn’t have one from me.

    I told him to check the month of May, as I didn’t recall the exact date. He too told me I had to prove I sent the email.

    Within a few minutes of checking my archived emails, I found the TWO emails I sent previously. So I sent them to him.

    In the first email, I pointed out how I had clearly asked for the contract to be cancelled. He bounced this email back to me with a one word answer. The one word was “sh*t”. That’s all he had to say.

    I then sent him the second email with the expiry date. I pointed out to him that in fact Sears received two instructions to cancel the contract.

    In keeping with good business practice, they should have kept the email as proof of my granting permission for them to charge my Amex.

    I further asked what they would have done had I denied any knowedge of why the card was being charged.

    He replied to that email: “No need to be hasty”.

    I tried calling the National Customer Service number on, only to be told that number was for assistance with the website. She then provided another number for me to call.

    Called that number and someone named Sean took down the details and promised to investigate and get back to me.

    Right now I want two things:

    1) Confirmation IN WRITING that the contract was cancelled (I put that in my email as well).

    2) An apology for the treatment I’ve received so far in trying to cancel this contract, including the inappropriate response via email.

    I’m still shocked at the unprofessional treatment!!!

  70. Margaret

    Mar 22 2012

    I was ready to board a plane at Pearson Airport, boarding pass, Duty Free all in place, just waiting to board.

    I was asked if I had an Aeroplan card and I replied no. So I thought I would get one.

    Weeks later, I received two credit cards, waiting to be activated, from two banks. I thought they were fake and thought the banks wanted me to phone and see what it was all about.

    A couple of weeks later, I received the bills for each card — annual fees of $120 and $99 with the due date. There was no mention of applying for a credit card. Only my name was on this card and I would not qualify for the $3,000 limit.

    I contacted the banks and have cancelled everything, and as I did not activate them, it did not effect my credit rating.

    Why is the Airport allowing this in the boarding area? I will be notifying the Airport that they have CON ARTISTS in the boarding area.

    We will find them ……I’m taking this further.

  71. Tara Russell

    Apr 10 2012

    Hello, I’m writting this letter to you about a Samsung washer and dryer I purchased from Sears in Cobourg in August 2009.

    At the time, I was encouraged by the sales person to buy the five year extended warranty, which also encluded a lemon clause.

    I have had several service calls on my appliances, but the latest one started on April 4, 2012. The door on my washer would not latch. Therefore, the washer would not start.

    The service man arrived at 8.45 and I assisted him with the repair. He left the house and within five minutes.

    I started a load of laundry and within seconds, I noticed water coming out of my bathroom and laundry room. I shut the washer off but the water just kept coming out of the bottom of the machine.

    I called Sears right away and asked them how to stop the water and asked to speak with customer service. They told me to turn off the washing machine, which I had done already.

    Lindsay from Toronto said she would try to get a hold of the service guy and have him come back if possible. Otherwise, he would have to come back tomorrow.

    Approximately 15 minutes later, he returned, confused as to what went wrong. My son Matthew helped him unstack the machines so he could open up the washer.

    The service man found a couple of broken items inside the machine. One of them didn’t even have a an order number because it had never had to be replaced before.

    The service man was concerned about how long it would take to have anyone come back to repair the washer because they would first have to contact the manufacturer in order to get a number for the part to be ordered in.

    I called Lindsay back about the concerns of getting one of the parts and possible water damage to my floors as the washer leaked water for a while. She said she was documenting everything and sending the information to her supervisor.

    Being Tuesday, six days later, I had not heard from anyone so I thought I better call and see if the part was obtained. The man I spoke from the service department said there wasn’t any new information but he would look into everything and call me back.

    After five hours, I asked what was going on. The lady had me on hold for over 20 minutes said that an e-mail went out to the manufacturer about the part on Saturday.

    I asked why Saturday when I was told an e-mail was sent out on Wednesday. The lady said it was a second e-mail marked as urgent, as they had no response from the first e-mail.

    I asked to speak with a supervisor because it had already cost $40 at the laundromat and I had another pile of laundry to be done and no date for a repair. She said I could not speak with her supervisor because she had already done that. I would be informed if and when parts will be ready.

    I was frustrated and brought up that I paid for extended warranty and the lemon clause and that this is not acceptable customer service. She made it clear that she didn’t care about how I felt about poor service from Sears.

    I then informed her I would look elsewhere for help to deal with this situation.


    I have M.S. and trying to drag laundry out to laundromats is very difficult and exhausting. Thank you for caring about your fellow man and trying to help.

  72. Sara Lorincz

    Oct 10 2012

    Hello Ellen, I’m contacting you about frustrating situation. Hope you can help.

    I’ve been with Fido for a few years (2008) and I’ve always made my payments on time. Never had any trouble.

    Then, last year was the first time I needed to travel to Europe with the new phone I had bought. I wasn’t able to just buy a sim card in Europe and use that, so I had to make arrangements with Fido to adjust my bill with roaming.

    This year when I needed to go to Europe, I called to tell them I would be traveling again and I needed the same package I had last time, which should have come up to $275. The guy on the phone said that everything was set, so I hung up and went on with my trip.

    When I got back, I called to tell them I was back and to take the package off my bill. I asked what my total was and the guy on the phone said it was $271, which sounded right.

    I asked if the last 2 weeks that I was away were included. The man said yes. I asked, “Are you sure?” and he responded with yes again, so I paid it off right away.

    Three days later, I receive an email from Fido telling me my bill was at $800 and something, I called and was on the phone for quite some time. Finally they said they would cut my bill in half.

    I agreed for them to do that, but I still wasn’t understanding what I was paying for to begin with. I had already paid a bill that the previous man had told me included my last two weeks in Europe.

    So I called again and asked to speak to the supervisor. At first, they didn’t want to pass me on to a supervisor and I insisted.

    Finally, a lady came on and explained to me that the bill was so high because of roaming and that I was only given texts messages when I was away. Roaming wasn’t even added to the bill. This was something very important to me and I had specified I needed roaming.

    Anyway, they refused to do anything more since the bill had already been cut in half.

    I spent numerous hours on the phone talking to numerous people that I had to go through. Three people yelled at me. Yep. Customer service representatives were taking a tone with me.

    One man had actually slipped in our conversation and told me the package I was told I had didn’t even exist any more and I had paid for nothing. After realizing what he said, he rushed me through our conversation and said that he’s going to cancel my account. That’s what I wanted at this point because it had gotten ridiculous.

    I did my part, making sure to call ahead. I told them where I was going and what I needed. I paid them when I returned and was charged a few days later for something that wasn’t my fault.

    I was forced to go through a conversation that should have never happened where they cut my bill in half. There shouldn’t have even been a bill.

    Regardless, I have paid $420 from that $800 for Fido’s mistake of not informing me there was no such package. It was just giving me texting for international and letting me believe I had roaming on my phone.

    Needless to say, I am very upset and disappointed that they are treating me this way, making me pay for something that isn’t my fault and then having a tone with me. I am looking into other phone companies now, but am very skeptical for I do not want to be put in this position again.

  73. Josianne

    Oct 18 2012

    I have just experienced the worst customer service from Sears.

    We purchased a Professional Frigidaire Free Standing Gas Range along with the extended warranty two years ago.

    On Sept. 27, I had to call for a technician after my range started beeping and was no longer functional (no elements, no oven).

    The technician advised me that it was the heat sensor in the control panel. Someone from Sears would call me the same day or next day to schedule the repair.

    After a few days, I had to call to inquire on the status. I was informed that the part is on back order and they had no dates to give me, but they would call me. I was told it should be 1 to 2 weeks.

    I tried to talk to someone else to get a date, but I received no commitment. I placed multiple calls and sent emails to get a resolution.

    Finally on Oct. 15, after I made another call, I am told the part is in. SURPRISE! I will be contacted for an appointment.

    As you can imagine, I was not about to wait for another call. I insisted to have it scheduled immediately.

    After waiting, I was advised that in order to accommodate ME (the customer), the earliest they could make the appointment was for Thursday, Oct. 18, but it would have to be an all-day appointment in order to fit me in.

    I proceeded to take the day off. It is now Thursday and I am sitting at home on the phone with Sears customer service, only to be told that the service call is for Oct. 23rd and there is nothing they can do.

    When I asked to speak to someone else, I am told there is no one else. I have tried to be patient but this is now unacceptable.

    After all the calls, no one has had the decency to follow this case through to ensure it was resolved promptly.

    I am someone who is usually extremely patient and often too tolerant of these types of situations. However, with a family of 5 to feed, Thanksgiving dinner cancelled, having to throw out spoiled food because it cannot be cooked and forced to cook outside for a month, I am now at my wits’ end.

    I find myself screaming at customer service agents and sending notes all over the place so that someone can help me get out of this predicament.

    I have now lost one day’s pay and now expect to lose another day’s pay on the 23rd because somebody with your company is unable to perform their job.

    With the money that I have now lost, I could have gone and bought myself a brand new range.

    With a 2 year old range with extended warranty, we will now be waiting almost a month for a repair. Where is the customer service in that?

    I have purchased all my appliances in multiple occasions through Sears, I have dressed my kids through Sears, I have furnished my home through Sears, I have lawn equipment through Sears.

    But today, the thought of even going in that store is making me sick to my stomach. I have no intention of EVER putting myself into this predicament again!!!

  74. Marlene Pisani

    Mar 20 2013

    Hmmm…. It looks like this is just an anti Sears blog!…. lol… but it has scared me off enough not to buy anything from Sears again.. Its scary enough trying to make ends meet nowadays and having to always be on the lookout for the next ripoff, but to see so many complaints why chance it?? Amazon is amazing,, great customer support, great prices and amazing waranty..
    I was actually looking into this for the first time, but I am awaiting to give the company I am having issues with the benefit of the doubt.. I hope I dont have to make a complaint,, it looks like you have your hands full..

  75. Ken

    Jan 23 2015

    Shoppers Drug Mart – Buying 6 tooth brushes is violation of their term leads to Account Cancellation

    Our Optimum account plus years of accumulated Optimum Points is cancelled, the reason we were told that buying 6 tooth brushes is a violation of their terms, it exceeds its the household limit or something.

    Long story short, we bought 6 tooth brushes in a purchase back in November 2014. Then sometime in December we found out our Optimum account is deleted when we called for other concerns.

    There was no prior email, letter, or phone call informing us about the cancellation. We waited for more than a month before we were told that BUYING 6 tooth brushes is prohibited and our Optimum account is closed.

  76. Iris Rocha

    Jul 17 2015

    My nightmare started 2 weeks ago when my washing machine purchased at Sears literally blew up. I went upstairs to check on my child and wash. Thank God I did, because when I opened the laundry door, smoke poured out.

    I was coughing non-stop and thought I had a fire. My second floor quickly became engulfed in toxic black smoke.

    This is an LG washer and I’ve been through every single in and out with LG and Sears. LG has no customer service. I have paid them $180 up front to fix my machine and nobody showed up. I asked for a credit which I’ve yet to receive.

    We purchase all our kitchen appliances through Sears. Over $10,000 worth and now we are left high and dry with no help from Sears. I’ve spent 25+ hours on phone calls, social media and email, to no avail.

    I’ve had one no-show repair guy and one cancel on me halfway through the waiting period. Two weeks later, I’ve spoken to every department, including the executive office. I’m so upset that nobody cares, nobody seems to think it’s important that one of their products blew up.

    They have had me sit for 3 days now, unable to work, waiting for their service, which never comes through. I strongly believe Sears should replace my machine. A machine should not put your life in danger. Even worse, it’s wrong to have nobody do anything about it.

    I was supposed to hear back from Executive office yesterday, but the rep has not called me back. I left 3 messages today and she has not returned my call.

    I called regular customer service and was told, “Don’t worry, the repair guy will be there before noon today.” When I asked him the time, he said, “I don’t know, because I have no idea where you are.” Customer service is in the Philippines!

    At this point, it was 12.30 pm. I called again to customer service and was told by a manager she cannot do anything because I have a case open, yet the case worker isn’t available and I’ve wasted yet another whole day waiting for Sears.

    I’m so upset that this is how a person is treated. Please help in any way you can.

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