Helpless at Tim Hortons

Dear Editor,


Most of my articles for this wonderful school newspaper consist of silly rants against certain aspects of campus. My articles are ultimately meant to entertain my fellow students through slight comic relief and neuroticism.

But something horrible has happened to me early on this semester, and I feel the need to once again target this institution.

Students often complain about certain fees that may not exactly be necessary. I don’t feel inclined to target parking, textbook, or residence fees. Not to say that others shouldn’t. But I don’t drive to school, I don’t buy textbooks, and I don’t live on or near campus. It is therefore difficult to scavenge my insides in search of angry emotion and write about such topics.

I hope everyone had a good holiday. One of my most prized gifts was a $20 Tim Hortons gift card.

You see, my family knows that there is a Tim Hortons at school. My family also knows that Tim Hortons is my ideal location to feed myself. Nothing beats a bagel.

There I was, standing in line at Tim Hortons, more naïve than ever before. I hummed happily and clutched my new gift card close to my chest, salivating at the thought that I would be able to sustain myself for at least two weeks without spending any of my own money.

When I reached the front of the line and ordered my buttered everything bagel, when I handed the worker my Tim Hortons gift card, and when he shook his head and tried to explain that this Tim Hortons didn’t accept Tim Hortons gift cards, a piece of me died, unable to stand this horrible injustice committed against me.

“But why?” I asked him. “Why not? Isn’t this Tim Hortons?”

“Uhhh, I think it’s because… the student card…?”

That was the explanation I received from Tim Hortons regarding why they didn’t accept Tim Hortons gift cards. After retrieving my bagel and turning around, I saw the Office of the Registrar across from me.

Does UTM know that Tim Hortons doesn’t accept Tim Hortons gift cards? Is it justified, even slightly justified, that Tim Hortons doesn’t accept Tim Hortons gift cards? Writing this article right now, I feel so tremendously angry that I have a $20 Tim Hortons gift card that doesn’t work at my most visited Tim Hortons, which is coincidentally located at UTM.

I am by no means cheap. I reluctantly purchase my bagels from Tim Hortons now. I use my gift card at other locations. But this issue is incomprehensible, absolutely absurd. It makes me want to cry.

How can our school more blatantly rip us off?

Every time I mention to my close friends that Tim Hortons won’t accept Tim Hortons gift cards, and every time I threaten to write an article about it, they laugh and say, “That would make a funny article.”

Each time I reply, “It’s not funny! I’m furious!”

And I am. If you’re laughing right now, you probably don’t have a Tim Hortons gift card that UTM’s Tim Hortons refuses to accept.

What a joke.


Sami Karaman

Fourth-year, English


  1. I feel your pain. I’ve been rejected for trying to use my Timmie’s gift card as well. I’ve even been given a Subway gift card, that was rejected at UTM. I’m pretty sure this is an injustice…

  2. I believe it’s because the school locations are licensed franchises operated by Chartwells (the company the university contracts to provide food services) and not by Tim Horton’s Inc.

  3. I feel your pain! Ergo, for Christmas, I got my co-workers Starbucks gift cards. For some reason, they will honor gift cards at the Starbucks across the library!

  4. I couldn’t get a drink at Starbucks with my gift card because they hadn’t fixed the machine. For a month I kept trying to use my gift card, they said they hadn’t repaired the machine. I refuse to buy a drink from there because it’s so expensive and if I have a gift card I should be able to use it. I also constantly experience the same frustration at timmies and I’ve never gotten a clear answer as to why. I kept going back in hopes that collective complaints would accomplish something. It clearly did not.

  5. And even if it is a food service company complication or whatever, the reason still doesn’t justify students being ripped off at every corner.

  6. I wouldn’t spend any more energy on it (except to contact head office and put in a complaint so hopefully they will do something about it or even issue you a courtesy gift card for your troubles) I know it is not your point but if you can profit out of an inconvenience do it as you should be able to use the gift card at all locations unless they put up a sign that clearly states gift cards not accepted or add something to the sign like Tim Hortons Student card b*llsh*t as the new campus logo. I have encountered the same problem at Concordia University bit luckily we have another tim jor across the street so that’s not so bad. I

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