This is the ad that I answered in the Baltimore Sun classified section:
ALL AMERICAN TREE FIREWOOD SPECIAL ! All Hardwood Seasoned, AA County $175, other areas $200 deliv 410-255-7982 or 443-790-7986
I called on December 24th, 2010 around 9:00 AM and was told by the woman who answered the phone that I could expect a delivery in a couple of hours. We confirmed that the order was for a cord of wood. A few hours later, I received a call that the delivery would be between 3:00 and 3:30 PM. The caller was Harvey, and he made it clear that he expected the payment to be in cash; I agreed. The load arrived shortly after 3:30 PM and was dumped in my side yard. By now, it was close to 4:00 PM and the sunlight and temperature was dropping. With the cloud cover, it was hard to see much and I had other matters to attend to in preparation for Christmas Day.
December 25, 2010: Christmas Day and I was not home for much of the day and did not even look at the firewood.
December 26, 2010: I started to survey the pile of wood to pick out pieces of wood for the base of the stack. I noticed that there was a fair amount of fresh green wood and some Tulip Popular mixed in as well. Popular is not a hardwood. I also noticed that the pile of wood would not even come close to making a full cord. I called and left a message. Harvey called me back and said that nothing was wrong with the delivery and that all of the wood will burn just fine. But he wants me to be satisfied with the order and will make good on it. He said to go ahead and stack and sort the wood.
This is what I started with.
The red stick is a standard yard stick and is touching the ground. This pile is not even three feet high.
A piece of Tulip Popular with a green log to the right of it.
A bunch of odd shaped pieces,
and some short ones too.
I stacked and sorted the wood.
The pieces stacked in the back are all over 18" long and need to be cut.
Sorted out the Tulip Popular and most of the green wood.
Worst stacking job I ever did, the wood was hard to work with, being odd lengths and twisted.
The stack is six feet long, just barely three feet high and is loosely stacked.
Large gap between the rows and the stack isn't even three feet wide!
For the sake of argument, let's call the stack 3 x 3 x 6' - which is 54 cubic feet. A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, reference http://www.woodheat.org/firewood/cord.htm. So I got 42.1875% of a cord. Even if I throw in the long pieces and the green wood and Popular, I doubt if it would make a full half-cord.
I called Harvey and informed him that everything was stacked and sorted. He had excuses for the mix of wood and said that the short pieces burn just fine. He asked what I needed and I informed him that the delivery was half a cord short. He did not believe me, so I invited him to come and look for himself. I have not seen or heard from him since. I tried burning some of the wood and it smoked a lot, did not produce much flame and mostly smoldered. At this point, I just want a refund to adjust the cost to reflect what I received.
This wood is not worth $350.00 a cord.
Cutting up the long pieces.
And made a lot of shorter pieces...
The twisted cherry in the back threw my chain - twice.
All cleaned up, except for the wood chips.
Now the stack is just about foot feet high, but no wider.
As a matter of fact, the stack tapers towards the top.
Even calling the stack 3 x 4 x 6' still only makes it 1/2 a cord.
I WANT A REFUND. $175.00 / 2 = $87.50 - I will settle for $80.00
Update: Harvey called and left a telephone message at 9:31 PM on New Year's Eve, saying that he hasn't forgotten about me and will follow up with me on Monday. As of Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - I still have not heard from him or seen him.
I tried calling Tuesday afternoon, but did not get an answer. Harvey has caller ID and called me back around 6:30 PM. Same results as before; he cannot believe that I only got half a cord of wood and that I am not happy with the quality of it. All I get from him are excuses:
1) He was tied up with trying to remove a tree that fell on a garage, so he is late getting back to me.
2) The wood burns better and longer than fully seasoned wood.
3) He did not load the truck, so he was not aware that the load may have been light.
4) He accused me of being unreasonable as I ordered the wood for same day delivery on Christmas Eve. I informed him that I did not request same day delivery, that I was just calling to order a delivery and was told that it would be delivered in a couple of hours.
The telephone call became hostile as neither one of us were giving up any ground. Harvey said that he would deliver more wood to make a cord and I told him that I did not want any more of this junk wood, it is green and does not burn well. Why would I want more of it? He said that he wants to see it for himself. I told him to save himself an extra trip and bring $80.00 with him as I expect a refund for the wood that was not delivered. I am willing to keep what was delivered; including the green and Tulip Popular. At this point, Harvey seemed to realize that I am not going to settle for anything less and ask to check my name and address. When he got to confirming my Zip Code, I asked him why he needs this information. He said that it was so he could send me a check. I put my foot down and informed him that since he demanded cash payment at the time of the delivery, then the refund should also be in cash. This did not go over well with Harvey.
Bottom line is that I don't care who loaded the wood, or what Harvey burns at home. The ad clearly stated All Hardwood Seasoned and that is what I expected to be delivered. Not a bunch of random length pieces that look like they were cut less than six or eight months ago. Some is very green and the bark still bruises...
The saga continues and will be updated as events unfold...
January 13, 2011 - It has now been over a week and I have not heard from Harvey, nor have I seen a refund. The wood does not burn well and I have pulled out even more green wood, some of it looks like it was just split in the last couple of weeks! I also found more wood that will not fit into my woodstove, so I cut it in half.
Great, I get to cut up some more wood, that should have been the correct length.
Notice the chainsaw chips? Looks like fresh wood chips!
Nice stack of wood, that I can't burn.
Maybe next year, this will burn...
This has been very frustrating. I keep pulling out more green wood and cutting pieces that won't fit into my woodstove. All for a fire that does not produce much heat, hardly seems worth all of the effort I have put into it...
Not much flame with full ventilation.
Monday, January 17, 2011
All of the wood has been burnt.
Except for the pieces that are too green to burn this year...