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VC Dealer Fustration

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Kwehme09, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Kwehme09

    Kwehme09 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Northern N.H.
    I bought a used Intrepid II four months ago. I've been working on it, replacing bad parts, painting etc. since. At first I tried dealing with a local Hearth Store, but they were so awful about returning phone calls, properly ordering parts and overall knowledge that I gave up on them. My last dealings with them was a parts order 2 months ago, and I have yet to hear anything...

    I tried another local Hearth store and they never even returned my original call, so I gave up on them as well.

    Now I am dealing with Blackswan, who at first was much better. All my parts are in stock and ready for shipment, but one part is on backorder. It's been almost a month since I placed my order. I keep trying to call to figure out the holdup, so I can figure out if I want the order shipped minus the backorder part. I am willing to pay the extra shipping. Blackswan keeps telling me they will call their vendor and call me back, but they never call me back.

    Three months ago, and three dealers ago, I began trying to get these parts. So much run around, phone calls, follow ups, and I still don't have the parts. It's getting cold. I need the stove running.

    Anyone else had similar frustrations? I am not really sure where else to turn.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    47,402
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Go with BeGreen's idea. But, yeah, VC dealers seem to be hit or miss. To be honest, though, that holds true with most manufacturer dealers.
  4. Kwehme09

    Kwehme09 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Northern N.H.
    I haven't tried Woodmans yet.

    It's hard to figure out when to pull the plug on the Dealer and stop doing business. Everything starts out just fine, but eventually it gets so frustrating and I find myself calling daily looking for answers and getting none, by the end I am wondering I am doing something wrong...
  5. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    I make an effort to use local businesses. It is surprising how poorly they followup and conduct customer service. Online is the way to go for you. You have given the locals their opportunity.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    47,402
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    From previous reports, Blackswan usually gives good service. Sorry to hear they are not responding.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    I have used BlackSwan several times. Which part is it and when are you trying to call? They should be able to ship you your order minus the back-order part.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Many dealers do not have good records on the parts end of things. This is especially true in-season, for some good reasons...and some bad reasons!

    A typical hearth store is a mom and pop operation. I can tell you from personal experience that we shuddered when folks walked in for parts in the fall.......because, simply said, we were answering phones or taking care of customers (who bought stoves from us or wanted to) 60+ hours per week. If we took time at the counter looking for an old latch in the foot-thick books of parts, we'd be looking over the customers shoulder at the folks on the floor looking at $1,000 stoves.

    Yeah, it sucks, but it's true. Only so many hours in a day. We would never turn anyone away, yet I'm telling it like it is - whether a $10 parts order or a $150 one, they were a loss leader to us because we made all our yearly money in 90 days.

    The solution? Well, it's mentioned above. Find places that specialize in parts and want the business and seem willing to take care of you. Many times, that will be Black Swan, Woodsman or some other place that does internet and other orders.

    Or, do it completely off-season - meaning from April 1 to Aug 1....even then, you have to assure yourself that the particular store is capable in their parts department. Many are not. You shouldn't "shop local" in this case to do them a favor - because, as I mentioned, many times it is not a favor. That is, just as many hearth stoves don't sell pellets (a different business, really), many are not really good at keeping track of parts orders.

    Another point is that they often rely on the manufacturers...who may themselves be poor at parts fulfillment. Back in the day (1990's) VC was top notch in parts ordering and fulfillment, but I can't speak for today.

    Above just all FYI. I hope you get your parts!
  9. Dan Black

    Dan Black New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Lancaster, PA
    I am having the exact same experience with BlackSwan, I could have written this email word for word.

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