Shop supplies ‘the dumbest charge ever’

In our hunt for Canada's Dumbest Charge, many of you have named "shop supplies," a nebulous fee charged at some Canadian Tire locations and other auto repair venues.

Marketplace viewer Ed Smyth thinks the charge is "outrageous," but George Iny, head of Canada's Automobile Protection Association, has stronger words.

"It's actually a fraudulent charge. It's fake!" he told Marketplace co-host Erica Johnson. "Anyone who repairs a car knows that's a joke."


Company response:

We contacted Canadian Tire about this complaint, and it replied with the following statement:

"Canadian Tire and its associate stores are committed to providing high-quality products and service to our customers’ across our network of stores and auto service bays across Canada.

"Shop supply fees are charged to recoup costs associated with the inspection and repair of a vehicle as it relates to consumable items such as solvents, adhesives, cleaners, floor liners, and seat covers to name a few items. These required items are purchased by the store and are necessary to complete the repair properly and provide a good customer experience.

"Shop supplies are not unique to the automotive sector and the practice is followed by other skilled trades. In terms of the cost, where there is no legislation in place our associate stores typically charge a shop supply fee that is a percentage of the labour.”