Member says firewood delivery incomplete
I hired Hendel’s Affordable Tree Service of Fairfield, Ohio, to deliver and stack one half cord of firewood on my front porch. I explained to the receptionist that Ohio law requires that firewood be sold by the cord or fraction of a cord, and it defines a cord as a stack measuring 4 x 4 x 8 feet, or 128 cubic feet. I explained that I was expecting 74 cubic feet for the price I was quoted. They assured me that they always brought extra wood to make sure I got the full measure. When the wood was delivered, I thought the stack looked quite small, but the delivery man assured me that it was a half cord and promptly left. When I measured, I was horrified to find less than 31 cubic feet — less than half of what I ordered.
I called to complain about the light delivery and was told that the delivery man was fired after he returned from my job. They didn’t sound surprised at my complaint and said they would send someone to check out the situation. The man who came out had several reasons why they would not give me the full half cord that I ordered and paid for in advance with credit card. First, he said that he sells stacks or truckloads and I got a truckload. Then he showed me their firewood order form and it seemed to state that I was due only one-third of a cord. He claimed that they sell one-third cords, but not half cords, so this proves that I never ordered a half cord. I wish they had explained that when they were taking my telephone order for one half cord.
I gave him a copy of the Ohio state law regulating firewood sales, and he didn’t seem to care. He insisted that, regardless of my discussion with their receptionist, I was only entitled to less than half of what I had paid for. Finally, he insisted that, since I hadn’t complained to the delivery man at the time, I can’t raise the issue of being cheated after the fact. I stated my intention to take this issue to Angie’s List as well as Cincinnati Consumer Protection Office, the BBB and others, and he got up in my face and began berating me. I remember the word ‘anal’ being used, but the F-bomb really got my attention. My wife witnessed his rant. When he stopped yelling, I asked him if he realized that he had used the F-word on a customer. He was, in fact aware and used it again. I suggested that we just undo the sale. I called to report the behavior of the representative they sent, but the same guy responded. He didn’t say if they were going to deliver what I paid for, but they threatened a lawsuit if I reported this to anyone. Hendel’s delivered a second stack of wood, equaling just under 20 cubic feet of wood. Out of the 74 cubic feet of wood that I ordered, 51 cubic feet were delivered.
Hendel’s can undo the deal and come get their wood, deliver the remainder of the half cord and I will pay the full amount of the statement I received for $148, or they can agree to accept $104, which is 70 percent of $148, for 70 percent of a half cord.
Chris Cubbison, Cincinnati
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