Bad Tim Horton’s Service – A Count


Updated November 30, 2006

On this page I plan to prove that every customer service experience I have with Tim Hortons is a bad one. This is in no way an attack on their food or drink, it’s purely my way of showing that Tim Hortons needs to seriously revisit their training procedures before they put people out on the floor.

You may ask yourself “Why go there? Why go back if its so horrible?” I have to say it’s become “personal”. To me, Tim Hortons was the stop before hockey practice (Okay I never played but I was dragged along to many of my brother’s games and to keep me shushed, I was given hot chocolate from Tims), a nice hot drink on a cold Canadian winter day. A slice of Canadiana. I’m watching Tim Hortons mutating into a epsiode of franchised incompetence, and watching as we lose that shared patriotic experience that Canada has so little of.

Read on dear reader as I explain:

My First Encounter: Jarvis and Carlton, September, 2005. Read the whole story here.

$10.50 For a Tea and 5 Donuts: Jarvis and Carlton, March, 2005. Sharkboy orders a large tea and a half dozen donuts, but he wants one large cruller subsituted for one of the 6 donuts. The woman behind the counter rings it in. And rings it in again, and finally thinks $10.50 is a fair price to pay for her stumbling around the menu system of their touch screens. We just buy the tea (it’s been poured already).

Where Did You Put My Lunch? Lawrence and Yonge, March 2006. I order the soup and sandwich combo. After pointing out to the Counter Drone that it says right on the sign that I can have a canned pop instead of a coffee (which she wanted to charge me extra for), she charges me for the items seperately, effectively adding $3 to the final total somehow. That’s corrected and I’m shooed to the side as the Assembler Drones collect my order. Assembler Drone finishes with my order and takes it to the far end of the counter, opposite to where I was told to expect my meal. She leaves it there. When she realizes that there is no happy hungry customer at that end of the couner, she consults the great screen of order knowledge and reads that she’s at the wrong end of the counter. In whisking my tray to where I was, she’s spilled some soup onto my sandwich, now soggy with regret.

I have to pay for free? Lawrence and Yonge, March 2006. I hand the Counter Drone my winning, clean, unrolled rim for a large coffee. She punches it in. I also order a bagel and cream cheese. When I ask why the amount was twice the cost of a bagel and cream cheese, she says that I have to buy a coffee to get the rim game cup. “What? No. I won a free one,” I explain. “You just took it from me and tossed it in that bucket.” Shocked that she could forget that little tidbit of accounting she still wants to charge me the $1.55 more for the tea. “No, I won the tea,” I say. This burns her curcuits and she consults with someone if trade offs are available for tea. Supervisor straightens things out.

Giggles All Around! Lawrence and Yonge, March 2006. I order a soup and sandwich combo. The Counter Drone slowly punches in my order, reasking me all that I have just said seconds ago. Cost on Menu: $8.49. Cost on cash register: $7.29. I look up at the menu. She looks up at the menu. “Problem?” she asks? “Bit of a difference,” I point out. She giggles and takes my money without correction.

The Glare. Lawrence and Yonge, April 2006. Absolutely no problem with the order taking (hint, order the bagel first. If you order the drink, they run off before you finish placing your order). While waiting at the end, a larger Counter Drone comes up to me with a drink in hand. “This yours?” she asks curtly. “I don’t know. What is it?” I say. “A tea,” she says curtly. “I guess so. Earl Grey?” I ask. No response. She is glaring at me. Hard. She puts the tea down, eyes locked with mine. I get the feeling she’s waiting for me to say “thank you” or something. Glaaaaare.

THE COUNT: An ongoing grab bag of errors where I’ve ordered “An extra large earl grey tea, double milk, one teabag, left in, thank you” in a clear concise voice with eye contact, and I have got the following:

Wrong type of tea: 3
Wrong amount of teabags: 10
Wrong cup size: 1

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