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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:12 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 9:51 am
Posts: 111
Location: Hamilton, ON
December 23, 2005 delivered via e-mail December 24, 2005


Dear Customer Relations:


I would like to alert you to an error in your online parts application regarding 14” steel wheel fitment for the 1989-1994 Suzuki Swift. Other years may also be impacted.

My 1994 Suzuki Swift GT required a new set of tires and in preparation for upcoming Holiday travel in Ontario’s snowbelt, I decided that for the first time in my 28 year driving career that I would install 4 snowtires on new steel wheels. This also allows me to have the factory alloy wheels refinished over the winter.

Using the Internet and calling local tire dealers I researched several brands and models, service outlet locations and hours of operation and decided on Canadian tire for reasons of cost and hours of operation.

On or about Thursday, December 15 2005 I contacted the HAMILTON MT.EAST (UPPER GAGE & FENNELL AVE) and HAMILTON MT.WEST (UPPER JAMES & MOHAWK) stores to request part numbers and part availability for 14” steel wheels (09-6151) and P175/65R14 Icetrac tires (04-1769). HAMILTON MT.EAST did not have four wheels and had zero tires. HAMILTON MT.WEST had seven wheels and zero tires. Both stores indicated they were expecting to receive a tire shipment on Monday December 19.

On the 19th around 7p.m. I visited HAMILTON MT.WEST. While they had received the tires they couldn’t accommodate my vehicle because of the time. This was not a problem as I understood from having worked in car dealership service departments myself.

I returned around 1p.m. on the 20th. Unfortunately, the store’s wheel count was three. Either the store inventory had been incorrect, or four wheels had been sold to another early 1990’s vintage Suzuki Swift GT which is somewhat unlikely as these cars sold in very small quantities in Canada, or the wheels have had a broader application and were installed on something else.

I dealt with Wendy whom I found to be very professional and helpful. Wendy queried other stores and located wheels at HAMILTON CENTRE (BARTON & OTTAWA) and ANCASTER but neither had a complete set. She at first suggested that I obtain a wheel from either store and return to HAMILTON MT.WEST for the installation. I suggested that the store should send its parts delivery vehicle instead. Wendy informed me that the vehicle was itself being serviced. Her final suggestion was that she orders a wheel for next day delivery. I agreed to return the next day. Before I left, Wendy provided a business card with her extension number and indicated she would call when the part arrived.

Sometime prior to 10a.m. on the 21st Wendy left a message and I arrived at the store after lunch. I authorized service, specifying that the wheels nuts be hand-torqued to 50 lb.-ft and then went to browse merchandise in store. About fifteen minutes later I was paged to service. There was an issue with the wheels. I was introduced to Jon, the technician working on my car and we inspected the wheel fit and discussed the options. The bolt circle was correct (114.3mm) and the wheel could be attached, but the center bore was oversized by about 5 or 6 millimeters. The specification is 60.06mm.

When this occurs the wheel cannot be accurately located co-axially with the hub and instead the wheel nuts perform that function. This is unsatisfactory, as it increases the likelihood that the wheel can be installed off-center resulting in wheel/tire assembly vibration. Secondly, the wheel does not transfer loads to the hub, which increases sheer forces on the wheel studs, and this too is undesirable. Needing to have the vehicle ready for that night I dismissed using the new wheels and authorized tire installation using the old wheels. We also discussed removing the corrosion from and sealing the bead flanges of the alloy wheels.

Jon finished the car, Wendy promptly prepared an invoice and I paid it. Jon brought the keys and confirmed hand-torquing the wheels. I road-tested the car. The tires are satisfactory but the delay in acquiring wheels that ultimately didn’t fit re-inforced the nickname that most Canadians use to refer to your brand.


Conclusion

Today, as I do on every Friday, I reviewed the new Canadian Tire flyer. Well, you can imagine my utter disappointment to learn that on Saturday, December 24th a 25% discount applies to Icetrac tires, 3 days after my purchase.

In light of the season, and considering the fact that I’ve alerted you to a potential customer satisfaction issue and certainly because of my less than satisfactory purchase experience, I request that you contact me to make arrangements to refund monies or provide some form of store credit in an amount equal to the savings I would have enjoyed had I deferred my purchase to the 24th.

A copy of this letter and description of the outcome will be posted to the http://www.TeamSwift.net enthusiast website to inform other consumers about fit issues with the 09-6151 14” steel wheel.
http://www.TeamSwift.net has 4744 registered users including a large number of Canadians such as myself.


I look forward to your response


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:02 am 
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Quote:
Today, as I do on every Friday, I reviewed the new Canadian Tire flyer. Well, you can imagine my utter disappointment to learn that on Saturday, December 24th a 25% discount applies to Icetrac tires, 3 days after my purchase.

I believe they have a policy of 1 week, or 1 month back for sales, I can't remember which one. Just go to the store with your reciept.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:39 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 9:51 am
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Location: Hamilton, ON
Thanks for the tip. I'll call the store Monday, but I'm still curious to see how corporate responds to the email.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 9:51 am
Posts: 111
Location: Hamilton, ON
I learned on Saturday while doing last-minute Consumemas shopping that 10 days grace is allowed to get the sale price on merchandise.

So I visited the store yesterday for a refund of the difference between the regular price and sale price. Smooth, quick transaction.

Still waiting to hear from corporate about the matter.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:40 pm 
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Quote:
10 days grace is allowed to get the sale price on merchandise


Now we know.
Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:23 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Bella Vista, Arkansas USA
Well written letter, Swift. It would reflect in the positive for Canadian tire to respond to a letter of this type since it did not disparage the company nor any employees. Your explainations of the various encounters you had with the company should let the executives know that your letter is from someone who wishes to inform the company that action is needed to improve their customer relations relative to correct wheel sizing.

Hope everything works out.

terry

(ps....great letter)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 5:29 pm
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Location: London, ON
Just to add to the thread... I've been using 14" steel rims for about 4 years now and I've had no issues considering that the centre bore is entirely too large for the application. Careful tightening of the wheel lugs in the proper pattern removes any possibility of a wheel being off-balance or off-centre. So your concern is very likely unfounded. The increased shear on the wheel studs hasn't effected my application at all, the bolts appear to be in excellent conditon as of the last time I had my rims off a few weeks ago.

You will likely never find replacement steel wheels for our cars that have the proper centre bore, mostly because of the non-application specific nature of winter steelies. You might be able to have some specially made by someone or specially ordered from the dealer, but you probably won't find them on the shelf.


Chris


ps: Just so you don't come to the conclusion that I love CT, I can tell you that I make sure to avoid them for any sort of mechanical assistance due to many many many past issues gone wrong. They're not even that good for parts any more.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
If the hub bore is too large for your hub (which most non stock wheels are) you use a hubcentric ring. It's just that easy. When someone tells you the wheels will fit they are usually just refering to the bolt pattern and not the hub bore. You can get a hub centrice ring part# HR66-6006 (through 1010 Tires or Tiretrends) that goes from our 60.06mm hub to the 66mm hub bore to make the wheels hubcentric. I've used them on almose every non stock wheel I have ever used. Don't take this as slamming anyone, just adding my 2 cents and trying to help everyone out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:25 am 
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most aftermarket wheels use a ~73mm centerbore, just something to check before ordering up the 66mm center rings.
I'd have to doublecheck my mk1 rear drums, but the non-vented rotors and early/non-turbo/non-convertible drums also have a smaller hub then the later 60.06 bore of the turbos, gt's, mk4/5, and convertibles ..
if your local tireshop doesn't have the rings you need, there are plenty of online shops selling them or ebay.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:26 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 9:51 am
Posts: 111
Location: Hamilton, ON
Thanks for the info regarding hub rings. Wasn't aware of these before. Cdn Tire never mentioned using them so I presume they don't sell hub rings.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:34 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
I've never asked the guys at CT about them either, they probably wouldn't have a clue! I know 1010 Tires sells them for around $25 for the set of 4 plastic ones, $35 for the aluminum ones. I'll attach a link.

http://www.1010tires.com/hubrings.asp

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"daddy's car vroom vroom"
My garage.......http://www.teamswift.net/garage.php?mode=view_vehicle&CID=103
My personal gallery....http://teamswift.net/gallery/album.php?album_id=242
Currently driving a 1996 Geo Metro 1.0L
Mods coming...............


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:34 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 9:51 am
Posts: 111
Location: Hamilton, ON
Follow-up:

Three weeks on and no reply from Canadian Tire other than an automated e-mail reply to my original e-mail. As I write this, CBC Marketplace is airing an episode dedicated to the real practices and policies that guide corporate customer relations departments.


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