I purchased a Lopi Leyden pellet stove from Woodman’s Forge and Fireplace in Sanbornville, NH, in late 2010. Since, I’ve recommend Woodman’s Forge to any number of people, including a stranger I met at Lowe’s who mentioned he was looking for a couple of stoves. I told him to avoid the low-quality ones at Lowe’s and instead go to Woodman’s Forge. So, nothing but positive word of mouth from me for three years. I’d guess they got at least one or two sales out of that—on top of my $4, 450.47 purchase.
Then my stove starts to act up. I purchased a new auger motor from Woodman’s, as the old one seemed to have gone bad. When the problem persisted after I spent the $84 for the new auger motor, I called them and told them I need them to have a look. I described the issue to 2-3 different people in detail and even mentioned that I suspect the lower auger bushing was going bad—the owner denies I ever said anything about the bushing.
They send a tech out who checks things out and says the sound I was hearing was probably due to the new motor I installed not being mated properly with the auger. He said he could replace the entire auger, if I wanted, but that he didn’t have with him the bushing I had told them I thought was the issue. We decided to wait and see if what he’d done would work, as I supposed replacing the auger (at considerable expense for time and parts) wouldn’t make sense, if the bushing was really the issue. He left with both of us noting that the noise that had prompted my call had abated somewhat, but not gone away entirely.
I ran the stove into the evening. I woke up at 4:00 AM to the sound of the stove making the same groaning noise as before I spent the $255 ($85 per hour) for the tech to come on Monday. I called Woodman’s. They say they can come out today, but that I’ll have to pay for a separate service call. I said I didn’t think I should have to pay 100%, since they basically ignored my indications that the bushing was the issue by coming on Monday without a replacement for it. The person with whom I spoke said he’d talk to “the powers that be” to see if he could get at least his two hours travel time covered by Woodman’s. He calls back an hour later to say, “No deal. Do you still want me to come out today?”
I asked to talk to the person who made this decision. The tech said he was away, but he’d speak with him and he or this person would call me back. The tech calls back another hour later and says, “No deal.” I related the above details to him about my loyalty and many referrals to them. He said he understood and didn’t agree with the decision of his superior (turns out it was the owner—Jim Tully), but he had no power to change things.
I hang up and call the store to complain and ask that this “power that may be” call me so I can tell him/her first-hand that this is not good business. The owner finally calls back after a few hours and says, “Sorry, can’t help you.” I explained he’d be losing not just my future business, but that of all the people I WOULD have referred to his store, had he treated me right. He said, essentially, “Go to it.” So, I’m going to it, starting with this review.
I’m now going to steer all I can away from Woodman’s Forge now—in all ways I possibly can. Avoid Woodman’s Forge in Wakefield, NH, or you could end up in my situation.
By the way, I called another servicer to look at my stove. Within five minutes of opening it up he told me the lower auger bushing was seizing on the auger and preventing it from rotating freely. Wish I’d thought of that!