Tim Hortons in the U.S., Part 1

I emailed the following to Tim HortonsCustomer Service (email address there) today:

Dear Tim Hortons,
I’m from Moncton, N.B., where I am used to consistent coffee servings: a "double-double" is the same at every Tim Hortons I go to.
I’ve been traveling to the U.S. recently and was pleasantly surprised to see some Tim Hortons. Like other national franchises and your Canadian stores, I expected the same quality and service in the U.S.; unfortunately, there’s a big difference.
First, I was surprised to discover that the "large" size I’m used to in Moncton is an "extra large" in the U.S.; a Canadian "medium" is a "large" in the U.S. A minor complaint.
Secondly, and more importantly, the cream and sugar measurements added to coffees are inconsistent between each visit to the store. One day a "double-double" is equivalent to a "single-single", the next it’s a "triple-triple". Each day is a surprise.
Do your franchise operations go through training to ensure coffee servings are consistent? Shouldn’t there be a standard measurement for a "double-double"?
The U.S. Tim Hortons I frequent is at:
29030 Van Dyke Ave
Warren, MI 48093-2301
I’m looking forward to your response.
jody cairns

Updates: See Part 2 (automated response), and Part 3 (their formal reply).

31 Replies to “Tim Hortons in the U.S., Part 1”

  1. Attn: Paul House CEO Tim Hortons, Canada;

    A month or so ago my wife went into Tim Horton’s at the corner of Prospect and Main St. E. in Hamilton and ordered an xtra large coffee and an ice cappuccino. She dropped the ice cap at the counter and spilled some on her hand and arm. Brandon (an employee at the location) told her to go home and take a bath. This comment was uncalled for and totally ignorant!! I went over to speak to the manager at that time and was told that there are no managers or supervisors working the evening shift and this Brandon was rude and ignorant with me. I called the head office and was told I would be receiving a call from their district manager. I am still waiting for this call !!! I spoke with the manager at that location the next day with regards to this Brandon’s comments made to my wife and my self and was told by Nadeen that she would take care of the matter, he shouldn’t be making comments like that to their customers and I wouldn’t have to worry about Brandon anymore. I went into that location a couple of weeks later and this Brandon fellow was still working the counter and asked if he could serve me and I refused and asked for someone else as I didn’t like his attitude and he was rude and ignorant again.

    Now more recent I went into that same location and ordered an xtra large coffee and proceeded to walk home with it and at my front door I noticed the cup had been leaking and I had lost a quarter cup of coffee so I went back for another cup and all they would do for me is to double cup the leaking cup and when I made it home with that one it was leaking as well. I tried to look the location up in the phone book to advise them they had a series of bad cups and not to give them out but wasn’t able to locate a phone number for it. I called a Barton street branch and asked if they knew the phone number for the Main and Prospect location and I was told that wasn’t a Tim Horton’s. I told the girl that they were selling coffee out of Tim Horton cups in a store with Tim Horton’s across the front of it and she’s telling me it isn’t a Tim Horton’s. I asked for the head office number instead and she refused to provide me with that number claiming she was at the counter and had to go to the office to get it and was too busy to do so and hung up. I called a location on the mountain and was provided with a non toll free phone number for your Oakville location and was told it was the head office and good luck. I contacted the so called head office about my complaint and once again they advised me that this district manager would be in contact with me. Several weeks have passed and no one has called so I called back and now they are telling me that the only complaint they have on file is dated for Oct.16 which is wrong. When I asked for the district manager’s name and phone number so I could call him since he wasn’t calling me I was told that you don’t give that information out. By not providing your customers, who feed you and your family, with management names and numbers leaves your customers with an inability to resolve their issues with the proper authorities within your company and will not be tolerated !!!! Seems Tim Horton’s has fallen into the grab the cash and screw the customer policies a lot of major corporations are adopting these days leaving the consumer frustrated and feeling ripped off!!!! This is not the proper way to conduct business!!!! Why are Tim Horton’s managers hiding from their customers ?? Do they not want to deal with the issues at hand ??? Do they think that I’m just going to go away and not take this any further ??? Wrong!!!! I will be sending this letter to every email and fax number I find on your website every day till I get someone in management with real concerns to call me back !!!! It totally baffles my mind as to why Tim Horton’s has let this escalate to this level where I have to spam your email and faxes to get some one to wake up!!!! Once again this type of management will NOT be tolerated !!!! I predict nothing but a bad economic future for Tim Horton’s if this type of non existent customer service is to continue!!!!
    Many Dis regards:

    Rob Moffatt
    I finally recieved a call from the district manager who could do nothing. He advised me that the staff at all locations are hired and fired my the franchise owners and have nothing to do with the head office or it’s management. I find this unsettling as the employees are suposed to represent Tim Horton’s yet the head office can do nothing regarding their reps actions!!! The district manager tried to passify me by keeping me on the phone for half an hour having me explain what happened only to tell me there was nothing he could do. This Brandon fella is still working the counter at that location and I will NOT buy anything from Tim Horton’s again if their employees can’t be held accountable for thier behavior !!!

  2. SHAME! It is an outright sham! I am referring to your current sales promotion whereby customers can obtain one of the new ‘Poppy’ quarters only by making a purchase at Tim Hortons. How you can so blatantly abuse the memory of the gallantry of thousands of servicemen and women in this way, by pretending to honour them, is beyond belief. Further, as a point of interest, when I attended the Tim Hortons franchise located on Monaghan at Lansdowne in Peterborough, Ontario I was told they “had run out” of the special quarters and if I wanted to obtain one I would have to return and make a further purchase. This is obviously a sales ploy and I feel Tim Hortons should be ashamed. SHAME ON YOU! I am disgusted and will do without, both the ‘Poppy’ quarter and any further purchases from Tim Hortons. PERIOD.

  3. No matter what Tim Hortons you deal with weather in the U.S. or Canada there are always problems, like today when I was eating my soup, I discovered a caterpillar worm type bug cooked in there. It was the most discussting thing that has ever happened to me!

    I WAS a frequent visitor of Tim Hortons on a daily basis and they have now lost my business for good! Ewwwwww


  4. I work for a Tim Hortons in Ottawa. I don’t understand how you call the poppy quarters abuse as we “Tim Hortons” does not produce the quarters!!!! The Canadian Mint does. We also cannot control when they make them so we are only able to obtain them once they are recieved. On a futhur note…YOU CAN BUY THESE QUARTERS BY THE ROLLFULL FROM THE MINT AT So please don’t go accusing this as a sales ploy when it clearly is not.

  5. There is no abuse of Poppy Quarters … they just want to make sure they are available to all customers. As was noted the mint will sell them to you by the roll if you want them. The ignorant staff ….well …..that can happen anywhere ///// it is up to the franchisee to deal with that. Generally speaking you find a pretty good bunch of people at any Tims … they are just trying to make a living (on a very low wage) Low wages do not justify ignorance, but for every bad employee you will probably find 50 great ones. Don’t judge the chain by that.
    If you give respect you get respect!
    I still go to Tims … I occasionally get a mistake coffee … but we are all human … I point it out “NICELY” … and I have never had a problem …. I have seen people get confrontational about it too … that just puts people on the edge…..after all … it;s just coffee and food. Life is too short to get worked up over that … or you don’t have a life!

  6. I work for Tim Horton’s. As was stated before, we are not abusing the Poppy coins. The Canadian Mint only provides us with a certain amount each week.($250.00 for kiosks and $500.00 for full stores.) When that runs out we have to wait for the next shipment. As for the person who got rude service, I do sympathize. You don’t deserve that attitude. But I’d also like to stress that not all empoyees are rude. I don’t know the employee nor is this an excuse, but as an employee of 5 years I DO know that we All have our bad days.

  7. I work for a Tim Hortons as well and my comment is just to clarify that its highly unlikely a caterpillar worm type bug thing could have been in any soup. This probably wont come as a surprise but our soups come dehydrated – you know, those just add water types…and theyre kept lidded unless stirred until they are ready to be served. Trust me, I wouldnt eat it either if that was the situation…but, since its not, I still say the chicken gumbo is the best by far :p

  8. The topic is ” Tim Hortons in the U.S.”. I think it’s a sham… SHAM!! that the americans don’t get canadian poppy quarters!

    I just read that rob moffat guy’s “spam” comment for the first time. That’s pretty funny that in order to be “listened to” he’s spamming. I tend to ignore spam, as does 99.9% of people.

  9. well pender it sounds to me like your a tim horton employee cause that’s the same attitude their staff has…..They ignore 99.9% of complaints and don’t give one thought to customer satisfaction, it’s all about the mighty dollar……err…quarter as this thread has evolved!!!

    Rob Moffatt

  10. Yeah, Pender, you do sound like a Tim Hortons employee! What are you, some kind of Donut Nazi? You say you’re a programmer thingy guy, but who are you really working for?

    I’m being completely serious, dude!

  11. been there and done that philip, got no response at all…like I said Tim Horton’s doesn’t care about customer satisfaction period!!! Their only interest is to grab all the cash as fast as they can. The letter jody received seems like a pacifier to me…I wonder if he ever gave her a follow up on the matter, aslo if he says Tim Horton’s lives up to the highest expectations then how come the canadian head office has no say with regards to how the franchise employees treat their customers ??? Once again Tim Horton’s is out for a cash grab only!! I have not set foot inside a Tim Horton’s since this incident and will not ever again, nor would I recommend anyone drink their coffee or eat thier food for this reason, there are better places much cheaper too and you get treated properly by their staff unlike tim hortons’ cash grab!!!

  12. Now that this silly thread is back up again, I’ll throw in my two cents:

    1) Jess, perhaps you’ve been watching too many prison movies. I doubt anyone has ever found a worm in their soup at Tim Hortons, or ever will. It’s a donut shop, not a gruel line in some prison cafeteria. A million people could eat soup at Tim Hortons every day for the next 20 years and not find a frigging worm in their soup. It’s highly unlikely.

    2) As customer satisfaction is what brings customers back and keeps them in business, Tim Hortons probably does give some thought to it. However, they’re like any other corporation — it doesn’t matter if they’re selling baby diapers or donuts: profit is the bottomline. They are no more philanthropic, nor more evil and less caring, than any other business that wants your money.

    Next to the guitar post, this has got to be the dumbest thread to arise on this site so far.

  13. my wife just spent three years of her life at the age of 46 working for TIM HORTONS AND spent every day of her life working in a living hell .i don’t understand how managers getaw with what they get away with and the owner is never held accountable for his or her actions.i would love to know how to get through to their head office because like you i get shut off at every turn.

  14. dear tim hortons in timmins , I’m a regular customer at the drive trhough near the A&P location, I have been very fustrated with the service, I take sweetner in my coffee and for some reason some of the employees don’t seem to find it neccessary to stir my coffee i’ve watched them many times poor the coffee while holding on to the lid then simply putting it on without stirring it!It dosen’t taste right !!! I have found myself driving to work triying to shake my cup to stir it around and getting coffee all over the place. At 6:00 am that is not a good start to my day! Should i start bringing my own spoon with me ? When i received my coffee the other day without it being stirred i handed it back to the worker and asked her to please stir it , she got all nasty and informed me that they didn’t stir the ones with sweetner in it. why ?? I have no clue . For the two seconds it takes please STIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sincerly a unimpressed custmer with the service.

  15. The new ad with the Funeral Hurest going thru the
    drive thru is absolutley disgusting espeacialy if
    you just lost a Loved one !

  16. Hmmm…I have worked in the food-service industry for about 10 years now. I’ve seen both sides of the coin. But I just wonder one thing. Why don’t people who complain boycott? I’ve always tried to leave a custormer on a good relationship level with whatever chain it is that I work at (right now…it’s Timmy’s), because I know that 9 times out of 10 they’ll be back, and complaining. It’s a good practice for patience.

    Every chain is the same.

    All food comes from a warehouse in plastic bags and is sent by indifferent shipping companies to the restaurant.

    Soups are always frozen before they are served.

    Cleanliness is usually the same or worse from back to front of a restaurant.

    Bad customer service is created by low wages and bad managers.

    If your food is bad, about the most effective thing you can do is STOP BEING A CUSTOMER!

    Use your power, and just eat somewhere else. Complaints will disappear into a vast, uncaring corporate network. Only if things look otherwise good in the restaurant will your complaints be addressed, because someone in the restaurant’s chain of command cares. If it’s a food issue, yes the restaurant will be defensive, so come at it the best way possible. If you’re nice, they’ll be embarrassed. If you’re not (and most of you aren’t…sorry) you’re going to get the stonewalling treatment.

    So the most important thing to take out of this is…change your habits first, before trying to change a large, ponderous, dumb corporation’s.

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