When Massoud Ghahremani rolled up the rim on his Tim Hortons coffee last month, he saw the words everyone hopes for: he won a Jeep.
But nearly two months after sending in a claim form, he’d heard nothing about his prize — until Thursday, when CBC Toronto contacted Tim Hortons and a spokesperson for the major coffee chain said they realized they were trying to reach him at the wrong number.
“It seems that the form that was submitted by this individual had a digit that could be interpreted as either a “9” or a “4” and we were using the wrong number previously,” said Tim Hortons spokesperson Devinder Lamsar in an email.
Ghahremani, however, said the company already knew who he was — because he tried multiple times to get in touch. Over the past several weeks he had called Tim Hortons twice and sent an email, he said, but heard nothing back about his prize.
“They do know who I am. They’ve talked to me,” he said.
Bought the coffee in Markham
Ghahremani, who lives in Richmond Hill, bought the winning coffee on March 5 in the Tim Hortons at Woodbine and 14th avenues in Markham. He says he’s been buying coffee there for years.
When he saw he’d won a Jeep Compass, “at first I didn’t believe it,” he said, and quickly texted a picture to his happy wife and kids.
“I thought, my son is a very lucky guy,” said Ghahremani, who planned to give the vehicle to his son — they had just been car shopping a few days earlier.
He filled out the prize claim form, mailed it off, and waited for a phone call — but it never came.
Weeks later, he said, he heard nothing about his prize from Tim Hortons, even after following up via email and phone.
“I sent an email, they didn’t get back to me. I called them twice,” Ghahremani said on Thursday morning.
The company took a report when he called and said they would get back to him, he said — “But no one did.”
For weeks, Ghahremani was unsure if Tim Hortons had even received his mail. He grew skeptical about whether a car was coming.
Mixed up a ‘9’ and a ‘4’, Tim Hortons says
CBC Toronto emailed Tim Hortons for comment on Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for Tim Hortons said they had tried to contact Ghahremani “on several occasions.” However, the two phone numbers Ghahremani provided “either did not go through or went to a voicemail that was not yet set up,” said spokesperson Devinder Lamsar.
Twelve minutes later, Tim Hortons sent another email to CBC with an update from their team: it turns out they had been calling the wrong number, mistaking a “9” and a “4,” the spokesperson said.
Tim Hortons successfully called Ghahremani Thursday afternoon. The company said it is working to get him the Jeep as soon as possible.
‘They know who I am’
“Even if my four looks like [a] nine, or opposite way, they know who I am … For 10, 15 minutes I was on the phone with them,” said Ghahremani, after hearing Tim Hortons response.
The company would have had a report from his call in their system, he said.
“They have my information.”
Tim Hortons will be looking into the matter to “understand the full fact base,” Lamsar said.
“In the meantime, our Regional Marketing Manager is personally working with Jeep to expedite this process to the extent possible. We’re doing everything we can to make it right with this guest to ensure he gets his prize as soon as possible.”
The Jeep Compass was the most valuable of Tim Hortons 2019 roll-up-the-rim prizes.
The odds of winning one of the 40 cars this year were one 1 in 6,630,705, according to Tim Hortons.