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Praise for Blaze King Co. and Hart's Hearth Chimney Supply

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Swamp Fox, Feb 27, 2006.

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  1. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Member

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    Well, it took almost a week from getting the Blaze King 1107 in the house and having the first fire. Decided against the single wall connector pipe, and it took a number of days, and three separate shipments, to get all the double wall pieces I needed. Ordered two 45 degree elbows in the first order and one came in damaged. Got the double wall from Hart's Hearth and they were great to deal with. Every order was received within 48 hours and they had no qualms replacing the damaged 45 elbow. In a previous post, I expressed alarm regarding a change in the manual for the Blaze King where they were now recommending double wall pipe and at least a 36 inch vertical rise from the top of the stove. I wrote them an e-mail last Sunday night and at 9:00 am the next morning I received a telephone call from Chris at Blaze King. Now, there is a three hour time difference from Charlotte, NC and the west coast. That means it was 6:00 am there when he called. (I'm still waiting on a response from Vermont Castings regarding a question I posed to them over eight weeks ago! Of course I'm not expecting a response now and nor do I care, as I now have a Blaze King that is heating the entire 1500 sq. ft. house [ranch] and keeping all areas at or above 75 degrees). I do use a small 10 inch plastic fan located in the upper corner of one door way to get heat circulated to the back bedroom and bath. After my initial fire I had a few operational questions and called Blaze King. They had someone on the phone with me within three minutes. Just want to say that I am extremely pleased with the Blaze King, the manufacturer, and Hart's Hearth. Highly recommend both.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Great to hear it. Imagine that, a manufacturer that responds directly to the customer. Blaze King and Englander could give a few classes that VC and Jotul would learn a lot from attending.

    And yes Harman, you too.

    The customer ain't their enemy, just their bread and butter. And their dealers aren't always their best friends.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Great news,
    Woodstock is another company that could give classes. Seems like there is always someone there to answer my questions as well.
  4. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Well, they HAVE to respond to their customers, because the Mass Merchants who also deal in their stoves WILL NOT answer questions, nor will they solve problems. Fact is, why wont the dealer answer questions? Well, the Mass Merchants wont, because they simply have no idea in most cases....they guy selling the stove was selling tulips yesterday. Why do all you folks totally absolve the dealer of responsibility in these matters....its always the manufacturer's problem. This post should certainly arouse some ire.
  5. roac

    roac New Member

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    Englander is sold at mass merchants. Blaze King is sold by mom and pop hearth shops.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    And Chris, if it's the same one I spoke to, is the top dog there - impressive that he is calling or emailing you.

    Success is success, whether Englander (who also sells to a lot of mom and pop shops under the Summerheat brand), or Woodstock that is higher end....The market can provide different solutions to different problems.

    VC, making 100,000+ stoves and fireplaces per year, would have a tough time - or have to raise prices substantially if they had the staff available to speak to end users on a constant basis. That is why they have dealers.

    Personally, I think customer service of this type sells more stoves...and if I were King of one of these stove companies I would look hard at adding as many customer service people as the enterprise could support - without adding too much to overhead.

    Dealers in our industry and most other are inconsistent...some are top-notch, others are lagging. As is said here often, you gotta find a good one.
  7. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    true, Craig.....problem is, that most stove companies offer protected territories, so you dont have alot of choice if youve decided on a particular brand.....if you are lucky enough to have a good dealer, then great, but what if you have a "bad" dealer? I submit that the actual stove itself is half of the purchase, maybe 2/3, but the dealer is the rest. Maybe you can decide to travel a bit and buy one from a further dealer, but the dealer may/may not offer service in your area then. For many folks who like to tinker, that might not be a problem, but there are many who would rather not tinker with the stove, and those are the ones who pose a problem if they elect to buy further from home. Those are often the folks calling the manufacturer, who may or may not be geared up to handle volume calls. Certain stoves also are more prone to calls....wood stoves much less than pellet stoves, for instance, due to their inherent complexity (the pellet units). If the stove doesnt have motors or moving parts, youre gonna get less calls.......heck, mosta the wood stove guys dont even own phones! ;-P (yea, kidding).
  8. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Member

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    HarryBack, you are so right. There are no Blaze King dealers in North or South Carolina. Nearest dealers are located in Hull, GA; Jackson, TN; Pegram, TN; Maryville, TN; Matocaca, VA; and Beckly, WV. I chose the dealer in Beckly, WV because it is the "nearest" to me (approx. 230 miles), and being from WV origninally thought I would support business in my home state. On my way to Charleston, WV to spend Christmas with family, I stopped and placed my order for the Blaze King. Dealt with wife of the owner. She took my deposit and said it would be six to eight weeks. About six weeks later I scheduled an appointment and drove up to pick up the stove. When my wife and I got there, the owner was on the phone and I began talking with his "helper." I asked to use the restroom and was told I needed to ask the owner. I looked over at the owner and he said,"No, we don't have a public restroom." I turned to the helper and loudly replied, "I drove over 200 miles from Charlotte, NC to come and pick up a wood stove that costs almost $2500 and I can't use the restroom to take a tinkle!" The owner turned to me, pointed to a room and said it was back there. After he got off the phone, I took care of payment and told him that I am the kind of person that likes to be prepared and have extra things on hand for when I might need them. I told him I would like to order an extra cat. combuster and a few other things. He said he couldn't do that, that his wife takes care of those things, and that I would need to call her the next day (Saturday) and place the order. I called her Sat. morning and told her what I wanted to do and she told me she was with a customer and that she would call me back Monday. I asked why not call back after customer leaves. She said she would call back on Monday. Mon. came, Tues. came, Wed. came, Thurs. came. I get home from work on Fri. and had a message from the wife of the owner to call her regarding what I wanted to order. I called and got the owner. He couldn't help me his wife was no longer there and told me I needed to call back the next morning (Sat.). So Sat. at 8:20 (before leaving the house for an appointment) I call and the owner answers with "Hello." I identify myself and told him I was calling back to place my order. He "curtly" tells me he is at home and he and his wife haven't gotten to the store yet. He was very rude and I apologized, telling him I had no idea his "business" phone number was also his residence phone. Well, if it takes that much to place a simple order, why should I expect any help with issues regarding operation of the stove? And, why would I continue to frustrate myself in trying to get assistance from a business operator like that? I washed my hands of that dealer. Called the place in Hull, GA. Lady answered and was so helpful and pleasant. Said she would take care of my order right then and that she would have stuff dropped shipped to me. If I knew then, what I know now, I would order stove and drive to Hull, GA. But, how would you know without having previous contact/experience with a business owner? Don't think it would be fair to ask dealer in Hull, GA to help me with issues regarding a new stove I didn't buy from them, so that is why I have contacted Blaze King directly.
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Chesley, If you haven't already, you might consider sending a copy of this post, or something like it, to Chris at Blaze King. He may be interested in receiving feedback regarding his less than helpful dealers. Perhaps he chose this dealer over someone else in that area who might be much more responsive to Blaze King customers and possess a modicum of social etiquette (manners).
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't get me started! I owned two stores, and one day I visited the faraway one (20 mile) and saw a sign on the restroom door that said "out of order". I asked the manager about the sign and he said "We don't want our customers to use the restroom"....and gave the usual excuses (cleaning it, etc.).

    I gave him quite a tongue lashing and the sign came down.....

    ANYONE in the retail business should learn from Starbucks, Williams Somona and just about every other specialty retailer who now provide clean and accessible restroom facilities for their customers. Spending a few bucks to upgrade the facilities will benefit the employees and the customers, and result in additional sales!

    Wow, it says something for the stove biz that these clowns can stay in business while being nasty to their customers.
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Perhaps you inadvertently wandered into the Judge's 'chamber'. :)

    I remember reading a blurb about corporate restroom design and psychology back in the mid '80's. Seems a lot of thought goes into corporate restrooms to get employees in and out quickly. At one point, burnt orange ceramic tile was considered an affront to the vision and assumed to reduce restroom tarrying. One place I worked had it. It kind of made me dizzy going in there. Still, there was this one colleague, seemed he was always in there, wiping up splashes around the basins with paper towels. We all kept our eye on that dude...
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Oil company headquarters I used to work at had no lights near the stalls in the men's room. An obvious deterent to reading the paper.
  13. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Member

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    Mo Heat, I did talk again with Chris at Blaze King this past Monday. It just so happens that last week he was here in NC, Raleigh actually, and told me he had been there to set up for a large number of new distributors for Blaze King stoves, and NC will be included. He said to expect notice on, and a change of, their website in the near future.
  14. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Member

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    Usually at the front. Sometimes he sits.
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