Shop CNIB Customer Charter

Home to hundreds of products that can make life easier after a loss of sight, Shop CNIB is a retail enterprise created by the charity CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind). Since our founding, Shop CNIB has grown to be one of Canada’s largest retailers of assistive products for people who are blind or partially sighted, serving more than 15,000 customers per year.

All proceeds from Shop CNIB directly support CNIB’s vital services, which help people overcome the challenges of losing their sight. 

This customer charter sets out the specific service standards our customers can expect us to meet, and the high standards toward which we aspire.

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Guiding principles

  • We will be a leader in the retail sale of products that assist Canadians who are blind or partially sighted to live independently.
  • We will use CNIB’s service expertise and experience to provide the most helpful and suitable products for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.
  • We will ensure our goods and services are readily accessible and available to all customers, and that our customers are provided with  instructions in accessible formats (such as audio and braille) when requested.
  • We will continually research new products and update our range with the latest technologies.
  • We will give knowledgeable advice to our customers on the products that we sell, as well as on how to procure products we do not carry.
  • We will be professional, helpful and empathetic in all our dealings with customers.
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Product range

We strive to offer a range of products that can assist people who are blind or partially sighted to achieve their goals. We have relationships with major international vendors of accessible products and technology, and we collaborate with them to identify new offerings that will benefit people who are blind or partially sighted.

We strongly recommend that customers receive an assessment from one of our CNIB specialists before purchasing products such as canes, sunglasses and magnifiers to ensure they are receiving the optimum solution to their particular need.

If there is a product that we are no longer able to carry and we do not carry a comparable product, we will do our best to help our customers locate a vendor, store or partner that carries the item so that they may purchase it directly from them.

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Retail options

CNIB strives to provide retail options that meet the needs, location and accessibility of our customers and clients. All of our products are available for purchase by phone and through our online store, which is fully accessible and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

A select number of our most popular products are also available at our Shop CNIB retail locations across the country. If an item is not available in-store, we will ship it to the customer’s home or nearest store location for pick-up. If you prefer to order over the phone, please call us toll-free at 1-866-659-1843.

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Pricing

CNIB is committed to offering quality products at competitive prices. Our prices may change from time to time due to price increases from our vendors, inflation or taxes. We will also pass along any savings that we may incur when prices are decreased by our vendors in future pricing.

CNIB’s prices adequately reflect the cost of doing business. Any profits realized from the sale of products are directed towards providing CNIB services for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

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Shipping charges

In an effort to ensure our customers receive the same great service regardless of where in Canada they live, Shop CNIB operates a "value-based" shipping program. This means that we charge the same amount to our customers in Canada based on the total value of their order, no matter where the product(s) is being shipped or the size and weight of the shipment.  Please note that, as a charity, CNIB does not make a profit from shipping charges; we receive special discounted rates and we pass those savings on to you. 

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Taxes

Many of our products are exempt from taxes by Canada Revenue Agency under the Excise Tax Act. Our online store and our retail stores do not add any taxes on to tax-exempt items. If you would like to know more about which products are tax-exempt, please call us at 1-866-659-1843.

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Provincial funding sources

Depending on the province where you reside, some assistive devices used by Canadians who are blind or partially sighted are subsidized by provincial and territorial governments. Shop CNIB staff members are happy to assist you in identifying subsidies that may be available to you. Please talk to your CNIB service staff or call the CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642 for more information. 

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Medical expense

Some products sold by Shop CNIB may qualify as a medical expense and, therefore, a deduction on your income tax return. Please check with a tax advisor to see if this is an option for you.

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Timeliness

Shop CNIB aims to provide your purchase to you as quickly as possible. For online and telephone orders, we aim to get the product to you within seven business days. For store-based pick-up of products ordered online or via catalogue, we aim to have the product in the store and ready for pick up within 10 business days. Store-based pick-up orders have a longer turnaround time because CNIB must minimize freight charges by combining customer orders with scheduled store restock deliveries.

Please note that the above timelines only apply to items that we have in stock and under certain circumstances your product may take slightly longer for delivery.

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Returns

We are pleased to offer a 30-day return policy for all Shop CNIB purchases, provided they are in new and unused condition, have not come in direct contact with the body (such as eye drop guides) and include all original packaging, accessories, instructions and proof of purchase.

All returned products will be thoroughly inspected and a determination will be made as to whether the product has been returned in a suitable condition. If a product that is deemed to be in an unsuitable condition is accepted for return, Shop CNIB reserves the right to charge a restocking fee up to 25 per cent at our sole discretion. Return processing may take four to six weeks from the time your product is received.

Refunds will be processed in the following manner:

  • Credit/debit card orders will be processed back to the card used for purchase.
  • Cash purchases at a retail location will be refunded with cash.
  • Money order or cheque purchases will be refunded by cheque. (Please note that cheque refunds take four to six weeks to process.)
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Warranties

Shop CNIB researches all of our products extensively and utilizes all possible means to ensure we get the best warranties for our products. All of the warranties we obtain from our suppliers are directly passed on to our customers.

The warranties available at Shop CNIB vary from product to product. Please contact us toll-free at 1-866-659-1843 to learn more about the warranty for a specific product.  

Unfortunately, if the product has been modified in any way, we are unable to honour the warranty.  General wear and tear or damage due to negligence is not covered by Shop CNIB or the manufacturer’s warranty.

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Privacy

CNIB is committed to complying with the principles of fair information practices under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and applicable provincial privacy legislation. We are members of the Canadian Marketing Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Canadian Centre of Philanthropy, and adhere to their respective codes of ethics and privacy guidelines.

We value your trust, and are committed to being transparent in how we treat your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information as a Shop CNIB customer, please call 1-866-659-1843.

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Accessibility

Shop CNIB is committed to offering instructions for our products in alternative formats. When they are not provided by the vendor, we will work to have them available in audio format on our website, in large-print and by request in braille. If you would like support or assistance with a particular product, call us toll-free at 1-866-659-1843. 

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Feedback

We value our customers’ views and feedback. 

Please contact us at 1-866-659-1843, via email at store@cnib.ca, fax at 416-480-7700 or mail at 1929 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. M4G 3E8. We also have feedback forms available at all of our store locations if you’d prefer to leave your comments in person.

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Updates and amendments

The Shop CNIB Customer Charter will be reviewed on an annual basis and any amendments, updates or additions will be available on the Shop CNIB website at cnib.ca/shop.

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