Sharx: Canada’s credit hell

Sharx Pool Bar at Ste. Catherine and Guy

Sharx Pool Bar at Ste. Catherine and Guy

Sharx, a pool/bowling bar on Ste. Catherine St. W.,  has a reputation as an elegant, relaxing place to spend an evening and have fun with your friends. It’s a perennial favourite in the Mirror’s Best of Montreal under the “best pool hall” category, which it won again this year.

But thanks to an article in the New York Times on Sunday, it now has the additional honour of being the most credit-unfriendly place in Canada.

It’s not Sharx’s fault, but apparently, according to a study done in 2002 based off data from Canadian Tire credit cards, 47% of people who used their cards here missed a credit card payment over the next 12 months. That’s higher than anywhere else in the country.

(Of course, this only applies to people who use Canadian Tire credit cards at Sharx. Perhaps those who use cash or bank-issued cards are more trustworthy with credit?)

Thankfully, such fine-tuned criticism of people’s credit card histories isn’t the norm (yet), because of concern from the industry that people might resent the companies knowing so much about them.

Especially when they can’t always be trusted with that data.

3 thoughts on “Sharx: Canada’s credit hell

  1. Shawn

    What an interesting find! Hey, it’s true: I buy those little felt pads for moving chairs and never miss a payment. So my next question is — and shame on you, Steve, for not exploring this further — what is it that they put in the felt, I wonder?

  2. Jean Naimard

    I think you are a bit unfair. Judging from the article, Sharx has nothing to do about being “credit unfriendly”, but is merely used as an example in the real culprit, the deep psychological analysis of debtors by the credit card companies in order to wring their very last hard-earned penny in order to pay for their executives’ Mercédèses by going deep into the debtor’s minds and messing with them.

  3. Laura Roberts

    Ugh. I posted a blog entry about this (, as I was interviewed on NPR as someone who’d been to Sharx (apparently Americans can’t believe Canadians would frequent a place with an X in the name, it’s so shocking!), and they erroneously referred to me as a “Sharx regular,” despite my telling them I’d been there maybe twice in my life. I also pointed out that I’d never used a credit card there, but they’ve basically branded me in the podcast as one of the “credit risk” types mentioned in the Times piece. Thanks, NPR. :P


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