Canadian Tire in trouble?
I made two enquiries about different pieces of equipment sold currently by Canadian Tire and listed on their web site with their customer services. On both occasions I was directed to the same telephone number, supposedly the "manufacturer". The phone is answered as "Mastercraft" which is one of the Canadian Tire trade marks. If you follow the menu and enter the product number you are directed to the specific make of the tool (Jobmate or Mastercraft again).
On both occasions I was told the same thing: "We have no information on this product". When enquiring how it is possible that a "manufacturer" has no idea about the product it manufactures I was told that both companies stopped dealing with Canadian Tire or words to that effect.
The telephone number (as I found later but already suspected) is nothing to do with manufacturing: It belongs to a company called "Global Sourcing" whom I suspect to be essentially Chinese importers. I further suspect that it is unlikely that *two* manufacturers in China would have gone out of business (unless of course Canadian Tire stopped paying them for their goods - another matter entirely). So does Canadian Tire import from a single manufacturer and re-label their stuff locally: Cheap stuff is Jobmate, slightly more expensive stuff is Mastercraft?
So what does it mean for the corporation or for the consumer? I for one would be extremely wary of buying anything from them that might need spare parts in future. Having said that, their return policy has so far been excellent. Generally, however, I ask for money back, not for a replacement. I wonder how that will go now?
Has anyone in the US noticed a similar problem with Chinese importers?