With the loonie hovering on the edge of total worthlessness, it’s no surprise that many Canadians are keen to cash in on at-par deals in the U.S.
That’s why when Bellis Fair Mall in Washington State advertised that its stores would be accepting Canadian dollars for the same value as the greenback over the Victoria Day long weekend, people were practically scrambling to cross the border.
— Bellis Fair (@BellisFair) March 25, 2016
But in the stampede to enter the U.S., many Canadians didn’t take the time to read the fine print of the deal. As a result, once shoppers went to the trouble of driving all the way down to Washington, many felt tricked after they learned the mall wasn’t exactly doing what it said it would. Instead of actually accepting Canadian dollars at par, the mall was offering Canadians a 25 per cent discount — and only a few of the stores were participating. In other words, Canadian currency wasn’t actually being accepted at all, and many of the shoppers who never went to the bank to exchange their cash were furious.
The mall’s social media team tried to explain that a currency exchange kiosk had been setup onsite, but that did little to ease the frustration of Canadian shoppers who arrived expecting a different deal.
— Lisa Bekessy (@latina_jinx) May 23, 2016
— Sam Yeh (@samyeh) May 20, 2016
— Carly (@theregoesCarly) May 22, 2016
— Real Tina Belcher (@that_girl_Vee) May 24, 2016
Bellis Fair Mall has since apologized for the confusion. But even after all this, the mall is still planning to hold “at-par” deals for every Canadian long weekend this summer. Our advice for next time? Make sure you read the fine-print before going on a cross-border road trip.