Posts Tagged ‘store’

Regulating Gift Cards

December 6, 2007

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You’ve got to wonder if these exemptions are just another case of industry lobbyists overriding the interests of consumers.
(source: Bruce Cran; Consumers Assoc.)

Ontario Consumer Protection Act changes took effect 2007/10/01. Prior to that, the McGuinty Liberals heralded the coming changes. But now they’re strangely quiet about the loopholes.

Under the new rules, gift cards can’t be sold with a transaction fee, can’t expire, and shoppers can’t be penalized if they don’t spend their credit immediately.

But… shopping malls are excempted for now. And loyalty cards (where you accumulate points), and prepaid phone cards…

Links:
2007/05/29 – CTV: Ontario government bans gift card expiry dates
2007/05/29 – City News: Ontario Sets Day For End Of Gift Card Expiry Dates
2007/11/14 – Toronto Star: Unredeemed gift cards a present for retailers
2007/12/05 – Globe&Mail: Some Ontario gift-card loopholes…
2007/12/06 – CBC: Gift card exemption riles critics

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Our Environmental Arrogance

October 27, 2007

cougar campingHuman population is now +6 billion, and may double within this century. All over the world, other life forms are becoming extinct because of human encroachment. As developers push farther and farther out of the city limits and swallow up wild animal habitat, should we really be surprised by cougar attacks on pets, or vehicle collissions with deer?

deer crossing signIn today’s paper (“Deer runs amok in London furniture store“; Joe Belanger; London Free Press), we’re told that deer are “a menace to drivers.” Well, I beg to differ. It seems to me that we’re the menace, and it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to curb our selfishness before Mother Nature decides to do it for us.

Links:
2007/11/20 – LFP: List of cougar sightings growing

Timmy Environmentalism

August 26, 2007

In Save 40 Bucks a Year at Tim Hortons (London Commons; 2007/08/24), Annmarie decries disposable paper cups. And she’s right to do so. Discarded Timmy cups seem to be everywhere. They’re a frequent eyesore at LTC stops, even the relatively few locations that actually happen to have a waste receptacle (I won’t rant about the LTC benches with the built-in but sealed-up waste receptacles here… that merits it’s own future post).

Annmarie suggests that TH’s will reduce the cost of a coffee by 11 cents for those people who bring their own mug. But even if that’s true, should we jump to the conclusion that TH’s cares a hoot about our environment? Isn’t it equally possible that it’s simply a calculated, economic decision? By the time you figure in the purchase/replacement costs, handling/washing, etc. of cups and plates, isn’t it possible that TH’s simply figures that paper products costs the company less? After all, it isn’t as if TH’s has to pay the costs of dealing with discarded product once it leaves their stores. It isn’t as if London levies a tax on such things in order to recoup the cost of having to deal with TH mess.

 
Click on either image to enlarge.

Ever see one of these? If you’ve ever ordered one of their donuts or cookies, etc. then you’d have to be pretty quick not to. It’s as if all of their employees are trained to give you a paper product by default

And it makes no difference if you happen to be an in-store customer. It doesn’t usually even matter if you specifically tell them that your order is “for here” instead of “to go.” In my experience, it often doesn’t matter if you specifically tell them “I don’t need a bag.”

And of course, each of these orders is accompanied by up to a half-dozen paper napkins. It doesn’t matter that the bag may only contain a single item. It doesn’t matter that each customer table has a dispenser from which the customer can help themself to however many they may require (usually fewer, I’m guessing). It doesn’t matter if they’re used or not. Just toss them in the garbage on your way out.

I haven’t seen much evidence that the Tim Horton company cares about the environment. Oh sure, they spend some of their advertising bucks trying to convince you that they’re a good corporate citizen, but how often do you see any truth in advertising? By extolling you to “Respect the Environment” on the back of their bags, I suppose they’re hoping that you will jump to a conclusion that they care. But does that qualify as proof?

When Tim Horton’s starts to serve up everything on china, by default, and customers are required to specify paper in order to get products that way, then maybe I’ll be willing to consider whether or not they actually give a damn besides anything other than their bottom line.