Walmart wins a Customer Service Star… if I had any to give.

I knew when I bought my new tires and rims last fall that I was entitled to tire rotation every 10,000km, but apparently, I was also entitled to complimentary seasonal tire change service. Considering the level of service I have encountered at other establishments recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my tire change was free, since I had originally purchased the tires at Walmart.

This is the second time that Walmart has really stepped up the customer service, at least for me. Last time it was when I was trying to get new winter rims for my truck. I had originally gone to Canadian Tire, seeing as they have Tire in the name, one would think that they would be good with rims and tires. I showed up for my scheduled appointment, wondered around for over an hour, just to be told that they didn’t have the rims in-stock (after making the appointment, stating that they had them…). I decided to give Walmart a try, seeing as how they only do oil changes and tires (I guess they do some sort of under coating too), I figured they might be able to get rims at a decent price. We scheduled an appointment, after they checked that they would have rims in, and I also needed my winters tires mounted. When appointment day arrived, April at Walmart called me, while I was still on the highway, heading into work, to let me know that they didn’t get the rims in. She then said that she would find out when they came in, set 4 aside and give me a call, and also squeeze me into the daily schedule when they came in to make up for the trouble.

I only had to wait a week for the call that my rims were in, and I could get the winter tires mounted. Talk about service.. you can pat yourselves on the back for that one Walmart. I have an oil change coming up soon, and I know where I will be looking to first. Keep up the good service.

Tim Hortons, oh how you have let me down on coffee.

Tim Hortons Coffee

It’s a Canadian icon, one of the largest corporations in the country and an integral part of our plans to take over american business (especially coffee). Yes, I am speaking of Tim Hortons, the gold standard in coffee shops in this wonderful country of ours (Canada that is, just to clarify for any of you foreign visitors).

So, now time to get onto the topic at hand. I have for the past few years found that the quality of Tim Hortons coffee has gone downhill, as has their service, food quality and the value. Oh, and don’t get me started on Roll Up the Rim to Win… 2/30 this year.

Let me start with the coffee, since it is their speciality. More often then nought recently, I have found the the coffee has had a burnt taste and on numerous occasions contained coffee grounds. I know they like to push their “Always Fresh” policy, where each pot of coffee should be served within 20 minutes of brewing. So with said policy in place, one has to wonder how they get a burnt flavour… unless it comes down to the cleaning of the machine and carafe.
Service, it used to be a strong point in Tims favour, now it seems to be an after thought. I frequent the same location near work a few times a week, and have noticed that the wait times, both in-store and at the drive-thru, are to a point bordering on ridiculous. In-store has seen me (and others) wait 5-10 minutes, with the same person that takes your order, making it… which I find slows things down, and the Drive-thru, normally well staffed has seen wait times of 7-15 minutes… yes, I waited 7 minutes between placing my order and getting my coffee, and I was the 3rd car in the line!
The food quality, well… that dropped when the doughnut size started getting smaller (see the bit about value) and when they switching in 2006 to using the centrally made made pastries, which get frozen and then shipped to each store. I no longer buy any doughnuts… unless I’m really desperate or hungry.
Lastly, the value is gone. The pre-made, smaller doughnuts… and the cup size change, although it looks like a deal, was carefully attached to a price change. What most people used to consider an Extra Large, became a Large… but kept the Extra Large price… the same filtered down to the other sizes… size got bumped up, as did the price, but they marketed the change using a “You can continue to order the same coffee” campaign. This also was a careful ploy to get us buying larger coffees… and getting addicted to the larger drinks.

I for one, am switching to McDonalds coffee… or K-cups.