It’s not just over a single incident. There appears to be a problem here, and it needs to be addressed.
Alright, now I’m angry.
A couple days ago I sent a complaint to Tim Horton’s via the customer care page on their website. In order to make things a little easier for myself I pasted a link to the article I wrote,”Tim Horton’s Really Blew It This Time”, and sent it off. About 36 hours later I called in to the customer care line, where I was told that they were unable to open the link I had sent.
Jump to Plan B, copy and paste the article into the box labeled “Comments”, send it, and wait another 24 hours. When I called yesterday I was told that it was being reviewed, and so I decided to give them about qanother 12 hours or so to respond.
It gave me time to mull over a proposal that I had come up with,namely, the means to not only make things right by Sgt (ret.). Mike Rude, but to aid him along in his cross country journey. Apart from the obvious apology that he is owed, Sgt. Rude would receive a donation of $1,000 in Tim Cards and $1,000 in gas cards to help him get towards his goal. In addition, a $1,000 donation to the service animal charity of Sgt. Rude’s choosing would be made as a further gesture. This would equal the amount of the fine that would be issued under the Service Dogs Act.
There would also be the matter of the human rights violations, for which a tribunal would ultimately assess a stiff penalties in the thousands of dollars, not to mention the lost sales and goodwill the brand would suffer because of this incident.
Tim Horton’s would also commit to ensuring all employees are aware of the service animal legislation in their province of employment, and would ensure that all employees follow it. In Alberta, this is the Service Dog Act of 2009.
The Service Dogs Act
1) In this Act, (a) “disabled person” means an individual who has any degree of disability except blindness or visual impairment and is dependent upon a service dog; (b) “Minister” means the Minister determined under section 16 of the Government Organization Act as the Minister responsible for this Act; (c) “service dog” means a dog trained as a guide for a disabled person and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulations.
Discriminatory practices prohibited 3(1) No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself or herself or by the interposition of another, shall (a) deny to any person the accommodation, services or facilities available in any place to which the public is customarily admitted, or (b) discriminate against any person with respect to the accommodation, services or facilities available in any place to which the public is customarily admitted or the charges for the use of them, for the reason that the person is a disabled person accompanied by a service dog or a certified dog-trainer accompanied by a dog in training.
(2) No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself or herself or by the interposition of another, shall (a) deny to any person occupancy of any self-contained dwelling unit, or (b) discriminate against any person with respect to any term or condition of occupancy of any self-contained dwelling unit, for the reason that the person is a disabled person keeping or customarily accompanied by a service dog.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle (a) a disabled person to require any accommodation, service or facility in respect of a service dog other than the right to be accompanied by the service dog, or (b) a certified dog-trainer to require any accommodation, service or facility in respect of a dog in training other than the right to be accompanied by the dog in training.
(4) This section does not apply if the disabled person does not control the behaviour of the service dog or the certified dog-trainer does not control the behaviour of the dog in training.
Identification of service dogs 4(1) The Minister, or a person designated by the Minister in writing, may, on application, issue to a disabled person an identification card identifying the disabled person and that person’s service dog.
(2) An identification card issued under subsection (1) is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the disabled person and that person’s service dog identified in it are qualified for the purposes of this Act.
(3) Any person to whom an identification card is issued under subsection (1) shall, on the request of the Minister or the person designated by the Minister, surrender the person’s identification card for amendment or cancellation.
Offences and fines 6(1) A person who contravenes section 3 is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $3000.
(2) A person who contravenes section 4
(3) or who, not being a disabled person, purports to be a disabled person for the purpose of claiming the benefit of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $300.http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/S07P5.pdf
Then, this morning, I received information that changed everything, in the form of a message from a man named Les Landry, who told me he had something important to tell me. He said that he and his service dog, Annie, had been denied entry to the same Tim Horton’s in 2016. Les Landry suffers from PTSD, however he is not a veteran.
He told me of rude, abrasive staff who were ignorant of Alberta law, and he has had several difficult encounters with staff members in the past who had given him a hard time over Annie. Despite telling the staff that he would be calling police, they did not relent, and Les would ultimately leave the store before it triggered his PTSD.
He had been considering filing a complaint under the Service Dog Act, which imposes a $3,000 fine, as well as one to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which would result in thousands more in fines. Because he is collecting AISH and in a difficult financial position, Les was willing to settle for $3,000, the amount of the SDA fine.
But after an incident he claims took place at the restaurant, he decided to pursue a human rights claim with the province of Alberta. In his complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Landry alledges that he went to the drive-thru to get a coffee and was given a hard time by staff. After he got his coffee and drove off, he says he received a phone call from someone working in the restaurant, telling him that staff had spit in his coffee.
His case is currently before an Alberta Human Rights tribunal.
I decided to look online to see if there were any reviews for this location, and it didn’t take me very long to find them. It ranked a 3.5/5 overall, but what stood out was the one star rating it got for service. Numerous reviews told of rude staff and exceptionally poor customer service, things that are completely counter to the image Tim Horton’s wants to portray.
On their webpage the manager of this location says things like “Come and expect friendly service” and “The people that work for me are very happy, give excellent customer service with a smile, are hard working and like to follow policies and procedures.”
The way it reads, I’m not sure if she’s trying to convince the public of this, or herself. The reviews tell a different story.
Brian Stone Local Guide · 29 reviews · 1 photo 5 months ago-Ordered 2 soup and 2 coffee. Soup was watery and coffee was watery!! No spoons. No pepper, no butter for the rolls!! Had to ask for all of these!! A staff meeting was being held at a table across from ours and the woman leading the meeting was very inappropriate the way she was speaking to one the staff ..humiliating a staff member in front of the other 6 staff in the meeting She was extremely rude and had no care as to how she was speaking in front of all of us customers. Maybe they should be addressing the boss leading the meeting and maybe they would have a more productive staff!!!!
Hassan Bahadori 2 reviews 6 months ago-I stopped by for a coffee at 1:30 am Jan 6, 2019. The lady with headset helping drive thru seemed like not expecting any on foot customers and kept doing her food preparing job without anybody at the window ignoring me standing there for few mins. Then she walked to the back and I thought she is finishing a job and will come to me but NO I was wrong. Stayed there doing some other stuff and I was trying to see what’s going on that the 2nd lady (supervisor) came out and I said I’m waiting here for 10 mins (meaning long time) that she turned back to me right away with a RUDE attitude and said sir I checked here 5 mins ago and nobody was here. I said I’m not gonna argue with you about mins but saying I’m waiting long time. She replied so RUDE I’m not supposed to stay by counter 24 hrs!
I’m a truck driver and this location was my regular stop but I’m DONE WITH HERE AND DO NOT RECOMMEND IT TO ANYBODY.
Why I’m calling for a boycott.
I try to make an effort to do research before I publish anything or make public pronouncements, and I have done so in this instance. I have weighed the evidence that I have seen and have drawn my own conlusions based upon a preponderance of that evidence.
You may come to a different conclusion than I have, and I certainly respect that. People are certainly free to boycott Tim’s or not, that is their individual choice.
I didn’t make this decision lightly, and it wasn’t just a knee-jerk reaction. It was done for a purpose, to bring to light issues that would otherwise linger in the dark, and to make some changes happen. Sometimes it takes things like this for a silenced minority to be heard, because their rights and existence are just as important as everybody else’s.
Although there is no evidence that this a problem at other Tim Horton’s locations in Canada, a chainwide boycott is the only way to ensure something actually gets done about it. Besides, the issues at hand are not confined to the local area, these are issues that are of importance to all Canadians no matter where they live. The rights of the disabled and our veterans need to be respected across Canada, and when that doesn’t happen in one part of the country, it won’t be long before it’s going on in others.
I stand by my decision
Sure there are times when emotion takes over and decisions are made that in hindsight ought not to have been made. For me, this is not one of those times. I definitely had an emotional response and if I had written what I had wanted to write a few days ago I would likely be facing a libel suit.
After taking the time to calm down, and trying look at things using reason and logic, I was good with my decision to call for a boycott. There was, and is, no doubt at all in my mind.
This is the right thing to do.