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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by argus66, Dec 23, 2008.
I cut and split 40" lengths for my kiln. Yes, it's a monster.
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Sometimes I get confused and instead of telling people it's Poplar, I tell them it's "popular." They love that!
Yes, in New York at least, as long as the seller says, "yep, we have face cords - they're each 4 feet deep," then it would appear to me to be fine.
I'd be mighty skeptical if someone tries to sell me a stack of 4' foot long rounds as 'seasoned,' at least in the more-or-less conventionally accepted understanding of 'seasoned.' (i.e., a moisture content of less than 20%) Oh, sure, it's possible, maybe with kiln drying, or having sat outside, under cover for - what, maybe 2 or 3 years?
It's quite possible that this guy is just a shyster, preying on unknowing wood burners. It's also possible that he has convinced himself that he is selling an actual cord and it would seem so due to the fact that he was so irate. Maybe it's a little of both. My point is that law or not, if you buy wood to burn, it's your responsibility to know what a cord is. The OP obviously knows what an actual cord is. What's wrong with saying no thanks and go buy wood from someone that knows what an actual cord is? I just don't see how someone can be so vengeful towards a perfect stranger, whom they approached in the first place and when all was said and done, no harm was caused. It just seems hateful, shyster or not.
Its false advertising. If my company could advertise 1oz of gold for $400 then when you come to buy it, I say its a Russian ounce, (half an actual US ounce). If you want a US ouce its $800 you wouldn't be annoyed?
That would explain it for sure cuz he'd really be kicking himself for having sold real cords the year before!
I think not.
If that is the case, he is a bad person, an unethical businessman, and he should be criminally prosecuted for intentionally defrauding his customers.
If that is the case, then he has no business, being in business. If you are selling a product and taking money from customers, it is incumbent on you, the seller, not to cheat your customers, whether intentional or not. The well-known principle is that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. And is it unreasonable to expect that someone in business should have at least a basic knowledge and understanding of their product? Why is wood any different than, say, potatoes? If I buy a pound of potatoes from a roadside farm stand, is it unreasonable of me to be offended if the seller tries to only sell me 14 ounces of potatoes?
It's definitely a good thing to be an educated consumer. This is how you save money in the long run. But being an uneducated consumer doesn't relieve the seller from the burden (both legal and ethical) of treating his customers fairly. Do you feel the same sympathy for the mechanic who treats an young 25-year old woman who doesn't know the first thing about cars differently when she brings in her car to be fixed, inflating the bill by describing or performing work that is not necessary in order to repair the problem? If that was your daughter, would you tell her that she should just deal with it, and should have known more about cars when she brought it in to be fixed?
Or, to use a different analogy, I know what a gallon is. So do most folks. If I find out that my corner gas station is selling me only 15 gallons when I actually paid for 20 because their pumps are improperly calibrated, it doesn't matter whether it was an honest mistake or not. It's theft. Now, if it was an unintentional mechanical defect in the pump, then it needs to be fixed immediately, and customers who might have been wronged need to be recompensed somehow. If it was an intentional fraud on the part of the retailer, then it's criminal, and law enforcement should be involved. If it was an honest mistake about what actually constitutes a "gallon," then the retailer really needs to get a clue. Punitive fines and monetary consequences will sharply focus the mind, and ensure that the retailer gets it right the next time.
Since I don't think that the wood seller in this case had an improperly calibrated tape measure, we can rule out that there is a mechanical defect in his measurements. So either he's an ignorant seller, in which case he needs to be straightened out, pronto; or he is a dishonest seller who needs criminal prosecution.
In my opinion, if you know that a businessman attempted, whether intentionally or not, to cheat you as a customer, then you have an ethical responsibility to prevent that businessman from cheating other people. If that entails involving law enforcement, so be it. You are obviously not of the same opinion, and I do not take issue with that - different people have different concepts of what is ethical - but I think that in this case, the OP did exactly the right thing.
I was heavily involved in the first post because i myself was a victim of such a thing. After i stacked and measured i knew there was a problem and called him back. After an argument he agreed to give me more wood. Not nearly enough. I let it go but maybe i shouldn't have.
I still find it amazing that people can defend such actions. "What did this guy do to you" or "Just walk away" or the best one is "A cord is vague" is ridiculous. The reason the term CORD may be Vague to some is because crooked firewood salesman made it that way. The man is apparently a crook or he would not have been arrested and fined!!
I'm glad you called on him and i hope other people here who sell wood open there eyes before they have to open there wallets and get fined do the right thing and stop screwing everybody.
I stack my popular (Poplar) wood in three stacks. One is a face cord as knowledgable people recognize in our area. The second is half that size and the third is half that size. I collect $50/facecord and tell them to help themselves. Most people take the middle one. God bless America! I don't screw anyone, screw yourself.
As anyone who knows me can attest, I'm never one to say, "hey, get the government involved in that!"
But that is fraud, plain and simple. It's folks like that who make it hard for honest businesses to stay afloat.
I buy (raw) milk from a local farm. They don't have a staffed store - just an unlocked room with refrigerators, a notebook, and a cashbox. You get whatever items (milk, eggs, cheese, meat, etc.) you want, write it down in the book, and put cash or a check in the box. Anyone who wanted to could go in and take items without paying, or even take all the money from the unlocked cashbox. There is a simple sign on the wall: "you trust us to provide you with quality, safe food, and we trust you to pay for it." That's how business should work.
After all, I don't know that they keep their equipment clean, and their animals healthy, and without pasteurization, I'm taking a risk buying their products. Sure, it looked like they took good care of the place when I toured it, but who knows what they do in day-to-day operation. It's a "black box" (I don't know with certainty what I'm getting) and I'm trusting them to make good on their promise of safety. They're trusting me to accurately record the products I take, the bottles I return, to pay for it, and not to steal from the cashbox.
Similarly, when someone hires me to design and install a heating system, there are obvious things they can look at to see if it is done right (eg, if there is water gushing out of a leaking pipe), but most of it relates to design, proper installation of controls, choice of quality materials which will last for decades, etc. They are trusting me to do those “black box” things correctly, and deliver what I’ve promised. And believe me, building that trust can be difficult in many cases, because so many folks have been victims of fraudulent contractors, or know others who have. That raises the cost of doing business, for all of us who are honest.
If I buy firewood from someone, and he advertises it as a "cord," I should expect to get a cord of wood. I’m not buying it to take up space; I’m buying it for its heating value. So if the seller is lying and claiming that I’m getting the same value, and he just has a magic stacking technique that makes it take up less space, that’s fraud. Sure, most of us know that’s nonsense, and maybe we won’t have much sympathy for most of his victims, but that still doesn’t excuse his actions. A lot of folks are just getting into burning wood this season, and don’t have the years of experience to tell them that such claims are nonsense. They don’t deserve to be made victims just because they are willing to trust someone.
I wish there were a practical way for wood to be sold by weight, instead of by volume...
You shouldn't get offended unless your doing something wrong!! Getting rid of the guys who take advantage of people i think is a good thing!!
God Bless America! and Merry Christmas
2. Be wary of measurement terms such as “rick,” “rack,” “face cord,” “pile,” or “truckload. These terms are prohibited in some states when advertising or selling firewood or stove wood. Since these terms cannot be defined exactly, it is in your best interest to purchase firewood that is measured by the true cord.
I'm a little unsure why you're defending this guy. If you bought gas at a station and discovered that they filled the tank halfway but charged you for a fill, is it your responsibility to just never go back? No, dude. It's theft. You paid for all of it, he took half your money. If you prevent him from ripping you off, but let him steal from the old lady who's next in line, does that make you an accessory to a crime? Or just a jerk?
very nice post and well said SaratogaJJ. to step on your point a little and further illustrate your analogies,
while i agree that everyone who burns wood should be at least educated enough to be capable of identifying a true cord, it is not the consumers "responsibility" to know what a cord is in order to prevent this type of deception; the law is what deters and prevents this type of deception. however it is the business man's responsibility to sell the product that is being advertised whether it is wood/gasoline/gold etc. furthermore, i am glad that as a consumers i am not required to fully understand each product i purchase in order to prevent deception, because most products are a lot more difficult to understand that just multiplying 4x4x8. you trust that you are buying the correctly advertised product at a reasonable price. for instance, when i buy any food: bread, meat, cheese, etc, i do not have to weigh the food to ensure that im am not being ripped off because i trust that these people are running an honest business. but if i found out that my local grocery store was intentionally selling 10oz of meat for a pound, i would hope that someone would be criminally prosecuted, as this is dishonest, unethical, and illegal.
if you witnessed a criminal stealing your neighbors car would you call the cops to prevent this crime? he's doing no harm to you. the problem with saying no thanks and letting him continue to deceive his clientele, is that, although you may be capable of seeing through his deception and avoid being robbed, others may not be so inclined. without the informed helping others, every crooked businessman, politician, police officer, etc, would lie, cheat, and steal with no fear of repercussions.
One does not have to actually buy a "stove cord" thinking they are getting an actual cord before the law is broken. Remember that in the other thread, there was full disclosure prior to money changing hands whereby the seller spelled out exactly what the buyer was getting. This misleading advertising with the possible intention to bait and switch is wrong. If there is a sign offering a cord for $120 the seller must have an actual cord for sale. Mind you, it could be a cord of anything, even balsa wood. You just cannot suck buyers in with the intent of selling them something else because what is advertised doesn't exist.
Exactly! It could have been a cord of twigs, but still a cord. Then it's up to the customer to buy or not for whatever price being asked. The price has nothing to do with it. At some point this post is a dead horse.
Those of us who agree a "CORD" is 4x4x8 are correct. Those of you who don't are wrong.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
There still seems to be some division here. Consumer Complaint departments are made to protect the consumer from social predation. A gallon of milk, a gallon of gas, a dozen eggs, a pound of butter. Where does what you advertised stop being what I should get, start? Bear in mind the guy knew the difference because he had sold differently. His basic tactics that got him in hot water were sales intimidation, (which there are laws against) and false advertisement (which there are laws against) based on willful knowledge to blur the facts. Which one of these do we like/want used against us? What about the people who don't know and only have a limited income. Should we think they got what they deserved? If so then this social predator got what he deserved. Should we allow drunks to drive and assume that who ever they hit or killed was the other persons fault and they got what they deserved? What about those who were doing no wrong? Did they get what they deserved just because they didn't know the drunk would be driving? Is it "ratting" or is the term "ratting" an ideological term used to protect those who would take advantage of us? When we dare to say the wrong doer deserves protection from the innocent who then is the wrong doer? Where do the seeds of anarchy grow? Hopefully the next paycheck they get is not the net results of someone who is in a position to devalue their hourly wage because of preferential interpretation. Also bear in mind those who stand to right a wrong are the target of those whose reason sees no wrong because that is what they have been lead or choose to believe. You did what was legally and morally correct and may have helped prevent another innocent victim from joining the stats. Turning and walking away is almost like saying I don't care. The sorrow in that is I would care as soon as it happens to me and then it would be too late.
In Europe that is when horses are prime for eating. Should we ship this over there?
Personally I would have just walked away. At the same time I don't feel a little bit bad for the dealer.
With that said I think this thread has out lived its usefulness.
I vote to close it.
Johnny drives by a 7-11 and sees a sign out front "12 pack Bud $3.99". Johnny stops and walks into store and asks for "Bud special" advertised on sign. Cashier puts a 12 pack of 8oz ponies on counter. He haggles with cashier about the price,sign, and last years price. Cashier says "it is what it is, ponies"! He refuses to buy because he figured the special was for 12 oz. He walks away pissed because last year he bought 12oz for this price.
What would you do???????? Buy your beer elsewhere or call the law?
13) Wood for fuel. (i) All wood for fuel shall be offered for sale or sold at retail in the manner provided in this paragraph, except:
(a) any sale of unpackaged wood for fuel if the wood was observed by the buyer or his agent before sale;
From Saratogas post on page 2. This is NYS law but most state laws regarding firewood sales are similiar. Please note "EXCEPT" at the end of the first sentence.