July 12 2010 by Ellen Roseman
Several people told me about being overcharged in environmental fees by Canadian Tire after my column last Saturday. So I did my own shopping trip tonight.
I bought three cleaning products:
— A 2.4-litre bottle of Javex bleach ($2.49), for which I paid an eco fee of 31 cents.
— An 828-ml bottle of C-L-R stain remover ($8.99), for which I paid an eco fee of 13 cents.
— A 2.26-litre bottle of Cascade dishwasher detergent ($7.49), for which I paid an eco fee of 43 cents.
Then, I checked out Stewardship Ontario and found the eco fees fit the guidelines for corrosives (the first two products I bought).
But the dishwasher deteregent was an irritant — not a corrosive — and should have had an eco fee of about less than 1 cent.
So, where did the wacky 43-cent fee come from?
I sent Amy Cole, a Canadian Tire spokeswoman, a bunch of emails from other readers who were overcharged. She got back to me today, saying they were entitled to a refund.
Weâ€™re currently auditing our point-of-sale system to correct any errors as quickly as possible. Customers that return to the store with a receipt will be reimbursed and any money that is not reimbursed to the customer will be remitted to Stewardship Ontario for its recycling and disposal efforts.
Eco fees were not intended to generate profit for us and weâ€™re working to ensure the correct fees are charged going forward.
It’s bad enough to pay these eco fees, but the 13 per cent HST is levied on top. So, if you get a refund, make sure to ask for the HST too (about 12 cents for me).
I’m doing a follow-up column, so please tell me what you think of the eco fees and what experiences you’ve had with stores adding them to your bills.