We recently had an issue with a door mirror on the car which led to a perfect example of how “rip off Britain” can be equalled by “rip off Canada”.
Unfortunately, whilst backing out of the garage, a door mirror was snapped from it’s mounting by someone other than myself. The car, a Ford Focus, has exceptionally cheap door mirrors in the North American market. Whereas the Euro models come with a hinged fitting, locally, the door mirrors are just mounted in a single moulded piece of plastic, which of course makes them very vulnerable to any impact.
So, what would be the cost of a replacement fitting? It was time to trawl the web. Surprisingly, most of the on-line sources were from south of the border. However, with a price of $40 US, I wasn’t complaining, even after the exchange rate adjustments.
I then thought that I may as well try a local scrap yard as the prices for used parts must be even better. Imagine the shock of being told that a used door mirror would set me back the princely sum of $125 Canadian. The guy at Ralph’s wasn’t bothered that I could source them on line for around a third of the price – take it or leave it.
Having recovered from the shock I wondered what the price of a new part would be so I phoned my local Ford dealer. A brand new item would be around $175 including taxes. The used fitting from Ralph’s was obviously a bargain!
Time to head back to the virtual world. Things became a little more awkward at this point. A number of suppliers south of the border would not ship international, so no delivery to Canada. I did find a couple of places that had a work around that doubled the price, however, it would still be less than buying used from a scrap yard.
How about Canadian on-line suppliers? Having got fed up being on hold for ages and only getting through to voice mail I finally spoke to a person at one supplier who advised that the mirror would have to come from their US warehouse and would be $111 US. So, that would be $111 for the $40 part then. Great.
Hmm, back to the drawing board. I then thought about checking out UK suppliers as the replacement fitting would be hinged, but I then remembered that the concave/convex issue would mean the mirrors would be the wrong way around. Ah, we have friends in Germany, maybe that would be the way to resolve the problem – right mirrors and hinged. Prices were certainly higher than the US part, but still not as expensive as Canada.
In the end and despite thinking it wouldn’t work the damaged fitting was super-glued back together and amazingly enough it’s holding out. Should I need to replace the part, I’ll probably head south for the day as I can probably still save money even after fuel, food etc.
So, Canadian consumers, why are you letting yourselves be ripped off like this?