Timmie Rates a ‘Thumbs Down’

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closed to community valuesIn this post about the Tim Horton’s employee who was fired for giving a Timbit to a baby, I questioned if the company truly cares about the communities in which it’s privileged to make it’s profits, or if everything it does is simply PR-motivated. And I referred to having had some personal experience in that regard.

Over on Dan Brown’s LFP blog (sorry, but you’ll have to search; they don’t provide permalinks) he suggests that “in the collective imagination, the typical Tim Hortons outlet has become the equivalent of a community centre. Their stores now serve the same purpose.” And he asks, “what do you think of my theory?”

Well, truth be told, he directed the question at another regular blogger. So, being as shy as I am about expressing my opinion, I agonized about answering it here. For about 1 second! 😉

I’ve got two different examples to share, which help to explain why I don’t think that the hugely successful coffee franchisor values the communities in which it does business.

The first example involves my experience as a local BookCrosser. I suggest that you read this media article to begin with. And then read the letter that I hand-delivered and never got a reply to.

The second example involves my experience as an active member of my local community association. Specifically, my repeated attempts to acquire permission to post notices of upcoming association meetings and community events in the two local TH franchises. Simply put, the reaction has always been the same… “It’s company policy that we aren’t allowed to put up notices.”

Bah, humbug. Go Scrooge yourselves! 😡

Added 2008/05/18:

Surprise! I received a telephone call on Friday from somebody at the TH head office. After she confirmed that it is company policy that franchises not post notices of community events, she tried to suggest that putting notices in the store windows would obstruct visibility and create an unsafe condition. When I countered that a simple notice could be allowed someplace else (eg. on a wall just inside the entrance) she simply repeated that the chain’s policy was to not allow any 3rd-party ads. Countering that spin, I pointed out that a community association cannot fairly be placed into the same category as a commercial advertiser and that assisting the promotion of a CA would be an excellent way for the chain to demonstrate it’s appreciation for the fact that it is privileged to be able to profit in our community. No dice. The spokesperson simply repeated the “it’s our company policy…” mantra and thanked me for my communication.

What do you think?

Added 2008/05/21:

self-promoThe Timmie’s spokesperson at it’s head office who telephoned me tried to suggest that allowing community-related notices to be posted on it’s premises would ‘junk up’ the environment, but witness what the chain is willing to do itself in order to solicit financial donations from it’s customers.
Kettle = Black?

What do you think?

Other Links:
2008/05/23 – NowPublic: Tiff at Tim Hortons

2008/05/28 – WinExtra: Make sure you count your Timmie change

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3 Responses to “Timmie Rates a ‘Thumbs Down’”

  1. John Leschinski Says:

    I agree with them. They don’t want to risk supporting something they shouldn’t, nor do they want to deal with supporting some and not others and the complaints therein. The safest bet for them is to say no to all.

  2. fowgre Says:

    John, I understand how a corporation might have a concern about potential complaints arising out of “supporting some and not others.” However, “a community association cannot fairly be placed into the same category” since it’s express purpose is to reflect that community’s values. I put it to you that community associations ought to be considered to be a special case and deserving of an exception, and that a corporation’s unwillingness to do so ought to be loudly condemned.

  3. fowgre Says:

    If the unidentified individual who submitted a comment using the ‘gwilks2@gmail.com’ email addy would like to re-submit the comment using a valid email addy and include their real name and a verifiable telephone number, then I will be pleased to approve the comment for publication.

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