I am afraid I have to vent my frustration in this forum and seek some opinion as to my sanity.... The Hearth and Home in Ithaca was a great place as far as I was concerned for the last three years. I bought a BOSCA pellet stove there, and although they usually would not carry BOSCA, they agreed to find one and install it. With some minor prodding, the install went pretty smooth and I was a happy customer. I always had the impression that competent people are at work, cleaning service was great and my electronic board issue in year 2 was fixed on warranty in a reasonable time. Now, the only (minor hitch) was that they did not install an OAK back when, which I only figured out after a year and our first flue clean - so I went back, complained and sure enough the owner promised that I would have the 150 USD as a store credit (I was thinking about a second wood stove, so that was just fine with me and/or I could have spent on the next annual cleaning - no problem at all)...or so I thought. (Mistake Nr 1: Although I am the handshake kind of guy, always get it in writing, peoples memory is terrible lately) Couple of weeks back in 2013, I call the store to schedule my annual clean and get an appointment within days. I told the person on the phone that I have store credit I want to have moved towards the cleaning and I get the promise they they will look into it and it would be no problem. The guy comes out (new hire) - cleans the stove in a two hour long ordeal (usually 45 min) and starts packing up his stuff when I asked him how bad the flue pipe was, given that I burned through 4 tons by now. He tells me he does not have the equipment with him to clean the flue pipe and that on his order he only saw a 'pellet stove cleaning'....I was speechless, the guy just used the vaccum cleaner on it - something I do every other day, so yeah, no wonder he remarks that the thing looks pristine. OK, my mistake Nr 2: I write him a check for the cleaning work of 200 USD and have him only make a note on the invoice that they don't cash it before talking to me about my store credit (which he knew nothing about of course) and the fact they did not do a pipe clean either. Well, you can guess where this goes: No one called, my check was cashed right the next day and I drive to town to vent my anger. Now the (new ?) sales guy tells me he knows nothing about a credit and there is nothing 'in the system'; the stove clean was correct since it was marked as a pellet stove service and that would not include the flue clean (which would be an extra 200 USD !) and they cashed the check and that would be that. My objection that no one told me there would be two different service levels and that in previous years this was always one and the same thing were answered with: well, the guy who used to do this gave the service away and is no longer with the company...(there was also some badmouthing of the former employee that I will not repeat - all of which total BS, the guy knew his stoves). So I demand to talk to the owner, my phone gets noted down and I wait.....and wait...and wait....I call again 7 days later reminding about my desire to talk to the owner and I am told that the owner has many post it on his desk and that could take a while...but they would agree to come out and clean my flue for 30 USD and eliminate my store credit. I am still not OK with this since from my point of view I have paid the full 200 USD for exactly such service AND I have 150 USD store credit. For sure I am not paying a single more dollar to these people. Well, I am waiting for an answer still and have given up on them entirely. The owner Jay used to be pretty accessible in the past, but things seem to have changed a lot. I started to question my sanity (the classical 'could it be my fault ?' if someone gives you the stare just long enough) , so I walk over to the direct competition in town (Ithaca Stove Works) to ask what exactly a pellet stove clenaing would cost there and what exactly it would entail....sure enough, the WHOLE thing gets cleaned out (including the flue) and it costs only 180 USD....so much for that. More interesting though, I hear the story that actually three people that left Hearth and Home Ithaca not too long ago are now working for Ithaca Stove Works and they would be happy to send 'my' service guy out.... ...so end of story, I decided to get yet another stove clean and this time for real. And although this will set me back another 180 USD (rather than the offered 30 USD, see above) by now I am so mad about this story that it does not matter anymore. My future business will go to Ithaca Stove Works and Hearth and Home in Ithaca will never seen me again in their store. Here are some questions though that I have for the community: - what is a common price for a pellet stove cleaning ? Is there anyone not doing a flue cleaning with it ? Would that not be a serious burn hazard - especially if I might not even know that the service level changed ? Is this just a stupid attempt to price the service so high that the service part of the business seazes ? Do they think they can have a viable business based on stove sales only ? I mean, 200 USD for a stove clean that usually took about 45 min is not a bad rate to make business out of I would think ? Thats more/about the rate for a car repair in this area. Any comments from folks on this forum ? Maybe from some of the dealership owners ? I would really like to rationalize what this was all about. And although I agree that I made mistakes along the way - I kind of want a world where a handshake actually does mean something....now, feeling much better already.