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Argument with the wood guy -- Need opinions

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by dave11, Aug 6, 2009.

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  1. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Had my first batch of wood delivered yesterday, from a local landscaping company. Deal was for a full cord of two-year old split hardwoods, delivered but not stacked, for $250, which seems to be the going rate around here these days.

    Wood seemed to be good quality, but as I was stacking, it was clearly very short. I had built racks measuring 4 feet by 8 feet by 16 inches, and expected a cord to fill, or nearly fill, three of them.

    Not a chance. Stacked, it barely fills the second rack. A pic is attached.

    Called them back out to look. They say they've been selling it this way for years and no one has complained. Showed me pics of it stacked at their property, on 4 feet by 4 feet pallets, but laid criss-cross for drying, and say that each of those makes a half-cord, and so I got two of them, and that was all I was getting.

    My state law defines a cord as 128 cubic feet of wood laid parallel and touching, ranked and compacted. I showed that to them. They said all they could do was give me my check back and take back all the wood. Said if they sold it the way I described, they'd go broke.

    Not enough people burn wood around here that we have any true "wood guys," and as far as I can tell, only the landscaping and tree guys sell firewood. So I guess it's hit and miss.

    But before I contact the state about these guys, I wanted to ask if they have any sort of case for what they say, or are they totally nuts?

    Thanks.

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Tell them in writing or an email that you only recieved 2/3's of the wood you were expecting. You either would like 1/3 more or a 1/3 refund. You were expecting a full legal cord. Reference the state definition.
  3. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    If they are willing to take it back and refund your money I'd say they seem pretty legit as far as business practice goes. As far as your math, I see no problems. You should end up with 3 stacks of 16" splits, 4'x8', for a full cord.

    $250 is super expensive for two ricks.....wow...in fact I can't even imagine spending that much for a full cord....
  4. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    I told them to either bring me more wood or give me a partial refund, but they wouldn't go for either. They want to refund all my money and take back all the wood. That's irritating to me, because I'm the one who stacked it all.
  5. triptester

    triptester Feeling the Heat

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    To start with standard pallets are 48" X 40". Wood stacked neatly on 2 pallets will leave you 1/3 face cord short with a 2 pallet load.
  6. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Wow, good point. Wish I had known that when I was arguing with them.
  7. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    A similar cord up here in New Brunswick Canada is going for $250 Canadian. (I got tree length for $130 a cord.)
    But a cord is still 128 cubic feet.
    I agree with the last post - get 1/3 money back, or the rest of the wood. But since you are hard up for wood, don't
    let this stuff leave your yard.
    (It looks like good wood - is it? Dry, even lengths?)
    Their two answers are weak and funny. 1. We've always done it this way. 2. If we sold you what we promised you,
    we'd be out of business.
  8. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    The problem is, they won't go for any option other than taking back all the wood. They won't bring me 1/3 cord more, and they won't refund 1/3 the cost. They want to sell it to someone else at the inflated price.

    It does look like good wood, though I'm no expert. Seems really dry, the lengths vary from 15-19 inches, but my stove can take them that high.

    You should have seen the looks they were giving me, like I thought I was Napoleon or something.
  9. Archie

    Archie Member

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    First, I really feel for you folks who have to purchase wood, although I recognize some may not have any choice. From your pic, they are obviously short of a cord, and if they are advertising sales on a per cord basis, the state may be interested in having a talk with them. But if they are advertising sales on a per pallet load basis, and just casually throwing the term "cord" around in conversation, that may be another matter. There is also the frustration and time factor with pursuing things like this. There have been many threads on this subject in the time I've been reading posts here, so there is no shortage of advice; might be worth a search. Good luck.
  10. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    You need your response in writing, delivered. Give them 4 days in the letter to make you whole. I would still let the state know. These people are crooks.
    According to their own words they have been ripping people off routinely.
    Its like a gas station selling 2/3's of a gallon for a gallon.
    Did you talk to the owner, or a worker?
  11. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I'm not convinced they are crooks. They're young and I think probably don't know any better. They seemed unable to grasp the fact that a cord wasn't what they'd been thinking it was. I bet they worked for another company that did it this way, then went out on their own and did the same thing. We'll see.

    It's two guys who seem to co-own the business.

    But based upon the comments here, I'm thinking now I shouldn't let them take back the wood. Either make them partially refund the money, or bring more wood.
  12. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    This deceptive selling has cost you valuable time. Do not let them take back the wood. That is a bullying tactic. I would make sure to talk to the owner. If their opinion is the same as stated previously, I would get the state involved.
    They would go broke! What about you! Tell them they should deliver 1/2 cords, they could make more money!
  13. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    They're crooks! Tell the authorities so it's on record. Then have them take their wood back and give you your money back, if they want to go to the trouble to load it up again and haul it away. It's their loss. Then get wood from somebody else.

    If you go to the grocery store and buy a dozen eggs, open the carton and there were only 9 eggs in the carton, and the grocery store said that's the way we always sell a dozen eggs any other way and we'd be out of business,........Well then, I say they need to be out of business.
  14. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

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    Bolt wood that is 4 foot long, stacked 4 feet high, and 8 feet long, is a cord of wood.

    If you saw each bolt into three 16" long pieces, split it, dry it (which shrinks the wood), and restack it all you won't fill the same 4 x 4 x 8 foot space.
  15. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    That may be true, but nonethelesss, the State of PA defines a cord as 128 cubic feet of wood at the time of sale, not when it was first cut or split.
  16. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

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    Sorry, didn't make my point clear. These young guys probably bought it treelength or 4 foot by the cord then tried to resell the same amount of wood once it was worked up and dried. You're right, to get 128 ft^3 they needed to add some to it.
  17. Jeemco

    Jeemco New Member

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    What county in western pa..... there are several responsible wood guys around you can find
  18. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Take a pic and send it in writing. Others are right. If its not a cord then they owe you. I would not allow them to take it back unless they pay you for thier time. Heck, add a storage fee on top to play their game. An honest wood guy should give you a cord, maybe a little more. You are clearly shorted. You have wasted enough time on this. Just send the letter and wait a week. At the 1 week mark call the state.
  19. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Holy moly...all this excitiment over a cord (or less) of wood. Doesn't anyone get the benefit of the doubt anymore? Writing letters, being forcefull, etc etc. Sheesh....if this were me I'd simply return the wood. Lesson learned. Why make a stink. The state of PA no doubt has more important things to deal with right now than me getting shorted on a cord of firewood...Just MY OPINION of course.....
  20. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    I'm in Allegheny County, the suburbs of Pittsburgh, where people seem to enjoy the thrill of being ripped off regularly. I think i'm the only one here who ever questions a workman/tradesman on what he sells or does or charges.

    I did get a recommendation on a good "wood guy" from my chimney sweep. The guy told me he only sells "premium" firewood, at $425 a cord, dumped.

    Any takers?

    But if you know anyone else in Allegheny County, I'd love to get their name.
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I think I'd eat the loss this year and not use them again.
  22. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Because these are the type of people who prey on stupid. They try bullying thier way with poor business practices. Would you want your mom/dad/sister/brother/etc treated this way? The best way is to hit em where it hurts. Thier livelyhood. There are plenty of reputable guys out there. We just hear about the bad ones...
  23. mainstation

    mainstation Feeling the Heat

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    well said.
  24. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    But by their own admission, they're selling like this to everyone. Don't you think that needs to be fixed?

    It adds up to an awful lot of wood paid-for, but not delivered.
  25. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    At this point, since they have your money and are refusing to make it right, the only 2 options I see are to get the State involved or accept you got screwed and become a scrounger ;-) for your future wood needs.
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