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Are Dealers making promises they cannot keep?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by cimbo190, Jul 1, 2008.

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  1. cimbo190

    cimbo190 New Member

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    southern maine
    I placed an order on pellet stove back in late May just before the big rush was well known. The stove was a Lopi and I put down the required deposit. I agreed to have the dealer do the install and a site visit was scheduled. As it was explained, the order would be placed and the stove would arrive within 7 - 10 days.

    Understandably the stove market had since exploded.

    When I called looking for an update (I never did receive a receipt of my credit card being billed) I could never get the same answer from the company. End of June. End of August back to beginning of July, etc.

    When the stove when came and did the site visit it then became even more vague - September - October "that's all I can tell you". When I asked why my stove was not ordered until June 19th nearly three weeks after I put down my deposit, there was no explanation only September - October.

    When I asked how soon after the stove arrives will it be installed, I was met with a not so confident two weeks. I began to become concerned when the vendor indicated that he needed to update my order by filling out the "new" form since "they changed the bottom".

    I cannot say I was getting a good vibe from this vendor as he sat at my kitchen table.

    When my wife came into the room and inquired some of the same things i had previously been inquiring about (not getting any real answer either) he became very distraught and "offer" to return our money. We were not (and still do not) want to cancel the order for the stove.

    That did not matter even as I explained we wanted to keep the order just get some assurance of when we might see the stove. First June, soon October, what was next December?

    It did not matter he became angry and took our order from scribbled over it "ISSUE CREDIT" put it on our table and left.

    The sad part is that he is the owner of the company so even thought I got my money back I lost my place in line. We were spending extra money and starting early to get the stove we want and we really believe in the product and technology.

    Needles to say I did not sleep well and search for other vendors, but mostly I was interested in Harman, Quadrafire and Lopi, so I knew the pickings were going to be slim and I was going to be at the end of the line. All I read about in the middle of the night was how Harman was asking vendors not to take any more orders until they get caught up.

    I had several vendors reply to my e-mails stating the same thing.

    I located a dealer not far form me and they actually answered their phone when I called at 5:45 am in the morning. They had order some Avalon Arbors which I really like (pretty much the cousin to the Lopi Leyden which I had ordered).

    I promptly drove down to their shop an hour away and placed my order. I was told it would be in end of September or first week of October. not too far from my position the night before, but at least i was dealer with a dealer who would give me an answer and seemed inclined to care about telling me something.

    My faith had been restored in the process, but unfortunately I know have to hold my breath until October. So much for getting started early. All the first dealer did was cause me to lose a month on my order and a nights worth of sleep, not to mention nearly my faith in the industry.

    I am hopefully optimistic it my phone will ring and I will receive the news it is hear.

    I can't help but feel like this dealer has made all kinds of promises he cannot keep and know is trying to get out of certain orders. I would not be surprised if he resold "my" stove at a higher price.

    The saddest part is how he boasted of being very close to the CEO's of the major stove companies. if only they know how he was giving them a bad name. Lucky for them Avalon and Lopi are both by Travis Industries.

    Anybody else have a similar experience.

    I should have checked with the Better Business Bureau before engaging the first dealer not after. Not surprisingly the BBB has revoked their accreditation.

    I wont sink as low this this original dealer and call him out by his name. I have too much respect for the many dealers who seemingly post and offer valuable insight on this forum. he was pretty proud of how he has been in the business for 24 years. I wonder if this is what he has also was done or of the craze is just that - a craze.

    A word of caution be careful. This was a pretty well know dealer in my area.

    Happy heating.

    It will be cold in southern Maine Soon.

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  2. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Wow I am not reading all that... all I can say is that on occasion we may set install dates and then later find out the manufacturer or supplier has run out of unit and not saved any for our pending (already ordered) jobs. It sucks but it can happen. We have only run into that once or twice in the last 4 years.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear you had problems - I think the problem (obviously) is one of personality..... this store has decided to not tell customers everything they know, and as a result they will end up doing 10x the amount of work to sell the same amount of stoves. Better to tell people the truth and lose some sales.....

    He is probably overly stressed out too. But that is no excuse.
  4. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    Limerick, Maine
    I am in Southern Maine too and would BET I know the individual owner of whom you speak.

    I went in (early) to inquire about the Harmon PB105, it was immediately apparent he had little knowledge of them and would rather not sell them. He was $1,000 more then his main competitor and when I asked him about this, he said, "I would rather not have my kids have to eat boxed macaroni and cheese". I found that ironic considering the guy had to be pushing 60. Then he told me that his competitor would not service my unit if I bought it from them because I was outside their service area, which is bull. I live equal distance from 3 Harmon/Lopi dealers.

    Anyway, I left very disappointed in thinking they were a reputable dealer considering they do have quite a good store brand name here.
  5. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    My story is about the same as yours. I was suppose to get the stove in 2 weeks, no stove, then was told August.
    I asked for my money back , went down the street and ordered a CB 1200. Asked when I would get it and was told 8 weeks.
    I said I will call them 9-30 if I don’t hear from them, he said you will hear from us before then.

    For some reason I have faith in these people, time will tell if I am right.

    Good luck with your deal.
  6. Wood Nugget

    Wood Nugget Member

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    Loc:
    So. ME
    I have also ordered this same stove from who I presume is the same person. During his sales pitch we were told September/October delivery. If we waited and bought the stove next week it would probably be end of November. When we were placing our order the install Tech. who took our information told us he thought we would have the stove by the time of our site visit which is scheduled for the end of August. I have always been led to believe that this is a very reputable dealer. I think that they just have no idea when the stoves will arrive with the mad rush. The store was packed when we were there and he was giving "group tours" of the pellet stoves. I hope that the stove arrives before the cold weather and I am not disappointed with my decision to go with this dealer. Your findings with the Better business bureau don't give me warm feelings...
  7. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I pulled all my wood advertising about 2 months ago because I knew I would have a flood of new customers I couldn't handle. I think the stove dealers are feeling a pinch because of demand. I'm sure the manufacturers don't know which way to turn also. I don't want to be the bad guy here but everyone could have ordered their stove the first week of January when oil hit the majic number of $100/barrel or earlier for that matter.
  8. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    I placed my order for a Quadrafire wood insert and took one out of stock for 10% off, installation was no problem, other than when I got the telephone call from the installer to schedule he said tomorrow, I said let do it, and it was done. I started seriously looking in late April, and decided to purchase in early June. It took a couple of weeks to get in the installation parts, liner, etc. that's the only delay I saw.

    Sounds like there's a problem in Maine. EDIT: I get my deposit back/canceled.
  9. cimbo190

    cimbo190 New Member

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    quote author="LEES WOOD-CO" date="1214978009"]I pulled all my wood advertising about 2 months ago because I knew I would have a flood of new customers I couldn't handle. I think the stove dealers are feeling a pinch because of demand. I'm sure the manufacturers don't know which way to turn also. I don't want to be the bad guy here but everyone could have ordered their stove the first week of January when oil hit the majic number of $100/barrel or earlier for that matter[/quote]


    That makes sense but many people were locked into oil contracts last january and even then it was only $3.34 a gallon. Hindsight is always 20/20. Believe me I have a clear sense of that. You sound like the type of vendor I would have liked to have dealt with.
  10. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    maine
    I just purchased 50 Big E stoves on monday and my delivery date is the first week of August. Suplly is great just a whole lot of orders for my distributor to fill. Some stoves are way back ordered.
    if you need anything let me know 207-542-0834
  11. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    As the season moves and the numbers get bigger it becomes harder to make sure everyone is taken care of to the level that they would like i am sure alot of the smaller stores aare overwhelemd with this heavy spike. the dealers are some what at the mercy of the stove manufatuers for info and i would like to think are only passing along good info but in some cases greed will get the better of some people and will make promises they can not keep at the rate we are moving now we will not have enough stoves to sell we cloud be sold out by september for the rest of the year the vendors can not keep up.
  12. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like the dealer I purchased form, still owe half of the cost on my Visa, have not been billed yet, may be suffering from after-sale blues. It sounds like instead of selling to me at 10% off for the insert, and negotiation the installation cost down $100 and the installation hardware down by $250, he could now sell at full list and even mark-up 10%. Sorry, just a little self-indulgence for (somehow) making the correct-in-time decision to upgrade my insert. I figured stove sales would be going up, but not this soon.
  13. cimbo190

    cimbo190 New Member

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    southern maine
    Perhaps in hindsight I should have entitled the post Are dealers "KNOWINGLY" making promises they cannot keep.

    In this instance I do not think this dealer is even thinking about that. From what i have read by many respondents and from other dealers, things have somewaht gotten out of their hands. I understand and appreciate that.

    :ahhh:
  14. SNAPMAN61

    SNAPMAN61 Member

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    As a career salesperson,I try to live by these words;"If you always tell the truth,you will never have to remember anything."The truth may hurt customers feelings initially,and possibly cost some sales,but it sounds like some stove dealers are going to have much bigger problems if they took deposits on stoves they know that they cannot deliver as implied.........Hopefully, the stoves will start rolling in and all this stress will have been for nothing.
  15. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    My thoughts excatly I live by those words. I am a straight shooter and if the customer cant take the truth then well im sorry. You get more respect by telling the truth then to lieing to a customer
  16. commissarhanish

    commissarhanish Member

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    Loc:
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    I know the feeling. I ordered my Enviro Mini here in Bangor in early May... (you can guess the company..they have a store here and in southern Maine. )I was told three weeks to get the stove in and it shoul dbe installed the week after. Nothing. I called after one month. I was told that "Boy you were lucky, we were hit by a huge number of orders..yours should be in soon."
    I waited till yesterday, no news from them. I called up and was told..we are waiting on our May orders, they should be in sometime in July.
    Of course they cashed my check for the full amount 3 days after paying for everything up front.
  17. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like the place I canceled my VF100 and went with the guy down the street. Seems like the first store had no line of credit with the stove companies, all the money up front.
    Second store half up front on CC and won't need to be paid until middle of august.
  18. cimbo190

    cimbo190 New Member

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    Loc:
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    Simply put it is shameful and embarassing to the industry in general.
  19. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    there are all types of customers, and there are all types of dealers as well, i subscribe to the "be right or I'll catch heck later" then again "dont know" may be the appropriate answer, but it aint selling anything. this is an unusual year, a lot of folks , dealers , manufacturers distributers , even parts suppliers are playing catch up ball even though they didnt seem to be behind at the end of last season. simply put though , "the truth shall set you free" and in the long run a dealer would come out better if they gave as much info as they had to a customer than to withhold and take the beatings when the whole story came out.
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