Tag Archives: Future-Shop

Canadian Tire not so Canadian in Quebec

Canadian Tire bilingual flyers for Ontario and Quebec

It’s the latest chapter in Canadian companies playing down their Canadian-ness in Quebec. (Remember when Tim Hortons cups here didn’t have maple leaves on them?)

For this week’s flyer, Canadian Tire produced different versions for Quebec and the rest of the country. This is partly because the flyer is for a week starting June 24, and the flyers in Quebec can’t show Friday specials since stores were closed in Quebec on Friday.

But there’s also that big special on a $10 Canadian flag. It’s not in the Quebec flyer, not even on the back page. And while the bilingual flyer on the left (for Alexandria, Ont.) notes that the specials are for Canada Day, the one on the right doesn’t mention it.

Maybe there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. The Quebec flyer covers both the Fête nationale and the run up to Canada Day, so maybe Canadian Tire didn’t want to be seen favouring one holiday over the other. The inside pages reference both holidays at the top. And you’ll notice the product shots in Quebec have Quebec flags in the background.

Or maybe, like Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire thought it was best to play down Canadian patriotism so it doesn’t piss off the separatists.

Montrealer Ted Duskes, who spotted this, writes:

Talk about pandering. This is the second year in a row that they have pulled a similar “disappearing flag act”.

Are they really “Canadian Tire” or are they planning a name change to go along with the missing “Canadian Tire” that they have removed from their red triangular logo. Maybe the new logo is blue, with a fleur-de-lys, but only for Quebec.

They really know how to annoy a 45 year (formally) loyal customer.

I’ve contacted Canadian Tire to ask for an explanation. Here’s what I got back from Communications Manager Sébastien Bouchard:

Canadian Tire has a long history in Canada, including Quebec, and we are proud to be a true Canadian retailer. Our country spans from sea to sea and, like other retailers, our customer marketing vehicles vary from one region to another. This year, in Québec we decided to use a red background with white maple leafs to create a color theme that clearly reflects the Canada Day long weekend. True to our roots, this year’s flyer was definitely designed to celebrate life in this great country of ours.

In other words, a non-answer.

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Future Shop fails again at service in French

Two years ago, blogger François Rodrigue noticed a page on Future Shop’s website with absolutely atrocious French. I blogged about it, some other people did too, and Future Shop responded by taking the page down and blaming it on a U.S.-based subcontractor.

In not-entirely-apologizing for the transgression, and reasserting the priority they place on communicating in a proper language in Quebec, spokesperson Thierry Lopez promised that “nous faisons évidemment tout notre possible pour que des erreurs telles que celle-ci ne se reproduisent pas.”

Flash-forward to a few days ago, while I’m on Future Shop’s website looking through the Boxing Day sales. A window pops up asking if I want to be part of a customer service survey, produced by a Michigan-based company called ForeSee Results.

For fun, I decided to choose French as my language. I got a window similar to this that popped up, and a survey in adequate enough French (though half the accents didn’t work). I clicked on the bottom where it said “politique de confidentialité”, wanting to know what this information would be used for.

Imagine my surprise when “politique de confidentialité”, as well as all the other links on the bottom of that survey, led to an English-only page.

Another U.S.-based subcontractor, another translation fail. You’d think they’d start learning from this.

I asked for comment from Lopez concerning this latest gaffe. Haven’t heard anything yet, but will update if there is a response.

Future Shop needs translators

From Blog Story comes this hilariously awful translation on Future Shop’s website:

Obtenir commencé - Future Shop

Yes, folks, they translated “get started” into “obtenir commencé”.

UPDATE (Nov. 22): A representative of Future Shop responds below (Comment #5, basically a cut-and-paste of what he sent Pat Lagacé), blaming a U.S.-based subcontractor for the bad translation job. He says the link to this page has been removed (in both languages) and the company has been asked to fix it.

I tried to send a message to the company (iGo Digital out of Indianapolis, IN). But when I filled out their contact form (the only electronic way to reach them), I got this:

Server object error ‘ASP 0177 : 800401f3’

Server.CreateObject Failed

/contact.asp, line 15


It really inspires confidence.

Blaming subcontractors is becoming a more common tactic for big companies, I notice. It absolves them of responsibility when those subcontractors cut corners. If the error is bad enough, they just cut ties with the company and find a new one.

I don’t doubt that an Indiana-based technology company would fail horribly at translating a web page (apparently resorting to some sort of automated translation). But why doesn’t Future Shop have proofreaders? Surely someone there must have at least looked at the page in question before it went live?