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Author Topic: Firewood delivery problems  (Read 1315 times)

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Offline reride82

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Firewood delivery problems
« on: October 08, 2018, 05:10:07 PM »
So, I delivered two cords of firewood rounds to a guy with my flatbed trailer last Thursday. He called me last night(Sunday) to tell me that it was only 1 cord. On the trailer it was neatly stacked and measured 2.5' x 7' x 15' which comes to 262 cubic feet which is slightly over two cords. The load was also slightly heaped so it was even more. He seemed happy, I unloaded, he paid, and I left. But now he is mad after he split and stacked and says it isn't a full two cords. He wants a refund or for me to make it right with another cord. I know that the volume tends to shrink when split, but not a 50% reduction in volume. I piled it in his front yard and it wasn't a very secure area, so I'm wondering if someone didn't help themselves to his pile. I've been doing firewood for about 15 years now and this is my first experience with this, does anyone have any insight into this?

Levi
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Offline barbender

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 05:33:06 PM »
How long was the wood?
Too many irons in the fire

Offline barbender

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 05:33:56 PM »
I would go and look at his pile and measure it maybe.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline reride82

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 05:58:01 PM »
It was 16"-18" lengths. It was stacked, not thrown in. I'm planning to make a stop by there this evening.
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 06:42:20 PM »
You've been doing firewood for 15 years, never an issue.  Sounds like this is a first time customer of yours. Something happened, as he saw it on the truck, then on the ground, all was good, and he paid for the load. Perhaps a neighbor or in-law came by and put that nasty bug in his ear. Naysayers are common.  I'd stand your ground, be polite, and offer some kind of discount on his NEXT order. Your 15 yrs of good customers to me says YOU didn't screw up. I'm here to tell you the customer ISN'T always right, no matter what the saying.

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 08:11:40 PM »
If he bought it in the round,unsplit unless he's totally ignorant he should know once split it will take up less space .If it were I,I wouldn't sell him any more .

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 08:23:51 PM »
Sell only cut and split wood. That will stop the bull you get.

Offline Ivan49

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 10:41:52 PM »
You've been doing firewood for 15 years, never an issue.  Sounds like this is a first time customer of yours. Something happened, as he saw it on the truck, then on the ground, all was good, and he paid for the load. Perhaps a neighbor or in-law came by and put that nasty bug in his ear. Naysayers are common.  I'd stand your ground, be polite, and offer some kind of discount on his NEXT order. Your 15 yrs of good customers to me says YOU didn't screw up. I'm here to tell you the customer ISN'T always right, no matter what the saying.
He would not get a discount from me as I would not sell him wood again

Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 10:53:09 PM »
I've only actually measured the difference between split and unsplit wood a couple of times, but on both occasions, I've found that the pile actually grew a bit when splitting. I don't take a lot of time when stacking to fit pieces together like a puzzle, but neither am I a particularly sloppy stacker. To my eye, my stacks look fairly average. I've got nothing to gain either way, since this stuff is mostly for my own use or helping out friends.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 11:56:23 PM »
Id go tell him the time to measure the load and renegotiate the deal was on the trailer.  That this is the first time in 15yr youve been accused of shorting someone and maybe he should get some cameras to find out who is stealing from his wood pile.  

If he still insisted on me bringing more wood to make it right i would agree, on the condition that we will never do business again, and only upon receipt of a non disclosure agreement about the incident so i can take him to court if he badmouths me.  Thatll keep him quieter. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 07:57:51 AM »
The first thing I would do is visit the site and look at how much wood is there. If this is a new customer, they may not know what they are doing in measuring/estimating wood volume. If it's an existing customer, they'll know you haven't shorted them in the past, and a discussion about someone perhaps stealing some wood (if in fact they are short) is more likely to be accepted if they talk to you in person.

It's not your responsibility if the wood has been stolen. If you do decide to make them whole (and not do business with them in the future), I personally would skip the whole nondisclosure agreement. They are very difficult to enforce, especially since time has passed and they may already have spoken to someone about it. At this point, it's also likely to come across more as a bad guy covering his tracks than a good guy protecting his reputation.

If I were going to offer some extra wood, I'd be inclined to approach it like this: measure the stack with the customer present, run the calculation. If they have the stated amount, you should be good. If they are short, say something like: "I made the full delivery: 2 cords of 16"-18" rounds. In fact, I was a little bit over. I've been doing this for 15 years and never had a complaint on volume. If happy to provide references from long-time customers who will vouch for how I do business. If you are short, I suspect some may have been stolen. That's not really my responsibility, but if you are not happy with my service, I'll make up the difference. However, that will be the end of our doing business together. Firewood is a low-margin business. I can't afford to deliver three cords and only get paid for two. I can't deliver to an unsecure location if I'm going to be held responsible for making up for the disappearance of some wood."

If the pile is short, and IF the customer says something like "OK, I believe you. No need to make an extra delivery." You might consider making an offer like "well, since you've agreed, that this is not really my responsibility, how about we split the difference this time only. I'll drop off some extra next time I'm in the area." You keep a customer, hopefully they are happy and have seen that you go the extra mile. You may get some good word of mouth out of this, which can't hurt your business.

If they are being a real jerk about it, I would probably be less inclined to do anything extra with them (even recognizing that the jerk is likely to badmouth me around town). But then I'm stubborn that way - I'm dedicated to disproving the old saying "guys finish last" (and to seeing that people who behave like a donkey's rear end get what they deserve). If they are being calm and rational, and able to have an open conversation with you, I might be inclined to do something like described above.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline ButchC

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 07:59:39 AM »
We all know it didn't shrink by 50% ::)    My bet is he either does not know what a cord is or guessed the measurements. A legal to sell cord of firewood here in Ahia is defined as split and neatly stacked. Because I dont think you intentionally shorted him and dont know the buyer personally I would not take him any wood, just measure the stack and do the math. If it is indeed short of 2 cord split and stacked hand him the difference in cash and add the experience to your know better next time list. 

That being said I have only bought  firewood twice in my life,  when I was laid up and short on wood. Both times I told the sellers it would not be dumped but stacked  and paid the extra $20 fee for the service.  Before the cash exchanged hands the tape measure came out and both times the pile came up short. once by a little, once by a LOT. With all parties present and accounted for there was little room for argument as they knew up front what I was going to do.
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Offline ButchC

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 08:03:15 AM »
The first thing I would do is visit the site and look at how much wood is there. If this is a new customer, they may not know what they are doing in measuring/estimating wood volume. If it's an existing customer, they'll know you haven't shorted them in the past, and a discussion about someone perhaps stealing some wood (if in fact they are short) is more likely to be accepted if they talk to you in person.

It's not your responsibility if the wood has been stolen. If you do decide to make them whole (and not do business with them in the future), I personally would skip the whole nondisclosure agreement. They are very difficult to enforce, especially since time has passed and they may already have spoken to someone about it. At this point, it's also likely to come across more as a bad guy covering his tracks than a good guy protecting his reputation.

If I were going to offer some extra wood, I'd be inclined to approach it like this: measure the stack with the customer present, run the calculation. If they have the stated amount, you should be good. If they are short, say something like: "I made the full delivery: 2 cords of 16"-18" rounds. In fact, I was a little bit over. I've been doing this for 15 years and never had a complaint on volume. If happy to provide references from long-time customers who will vouch for how I do business. If you are short, I suspect some may have been stolen. That's not really my responsibility, but if you are not happy with my service, I'll make up the difference. However, that will be the end of our doing business together. Firewood is a low-margin business. I can't afford to deliver three cords and only get paid for two. I can't deliver to an unsecure location if I'm going to be held responsible for making up for the disappearance of some wood."

If the pile is short, and IF the customer says something like "OK, I believe you. No need to make an extra delivery." You might consider making an offer like "well, since you've agreed, that this is not really my responsibility, how about we split the difference this time only. I'll drop off some extra next time I'm in the area." You keep a customer, hopefully they are happy and have seen that you go the extra mile. You may get some good word of mouth out of this, which can't hurt your business.

If they are being a real jerk about it, I would probably be less inclined to do anything extra with them (even recognizing that the jerk is likely to badmouth me around town). But then I'm stubborn that way - I'm dedicated to disproving the old saying "guys finish last" (and to seeing that people who behave like a donkey's rear end get what they deserve). If they are being calm and rational, and able to have an open conversation with you, I might be inclined to do something like described above.
Sorry John, you typed up that excellent reply while I was one finger typing mine,, and you said exactly what  I was trying to say.
Peterson JP swing mill
Morbark chipper
Shop built firewood processor
Case W11B
Many chainsaws, axes, hatchets,mauls,
Antique tractors and engines, machine shop,wife, dog,,,,,that's about it.

Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2018, 08:43:32 AM »
50% shrinkage...
Sounds like 1 of three things.
He is ignorant and really doesn't know his volumes.
Someone took his wood.
He is trying to scam you.

I own a wholesale nursery.  I have had 2 times where I have had plants taken after they were delivered.  The first time years and years ago, I ponied up, and every year there after I took pictures when dealing with this customer, because I knew they were on the truck.  Funny one of their employees runs a retail garden center and wanted to buy the same amount we were short from us the next year.  Getting scammed puts an hard edge to ones dealings.

The second time was just 6 weeks ago.  Owner called and we talked.  I told him there was no way that they were not on the truck as the racks hold exactly 40.  I told him I would cover it if it would make him happy but there was no way they were not there(i.e. he has a theft problem!).  He paid and probably started to ask some important questions about security.

Claiming shortages is an unfortunate and unwelcome fact with interstate nursery shipments.  Most everyone now videotapes the order sitting on the dock and the truck getting loaded and record phone calls(!).  You might consider taking a few pictures when dealing with unknown customers.  Be sure and get reference points included in your pictures putting your trailer full of wood and empty with a pile- at his property, date stamps are nice.  Takes all the BS out of it.

Sounds like he saw the trailer with the wood on it(?).  When you stop by take your trailer and a tape measure.  Have him measure the trailer and do the math.  With him doing the measuring and the math you will get a read on him, if he is trying to scam you he will have a hard time being that brazen.  

Either way you want your competitors to have this guy in the future.  Guys like that tend to leave a wide trail of destruction don't worry too much about what he might say.


Offline reride82

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2018, 10:49:08 AM »
Well, I stopped and looked at his pile last night. It measured at about 1.3 cords in his stack. He did say that he had burned some as it is cold in the evenings, maybe 15 cubic feet. I should have looked to see how much they put in the house, but I'm still thinking someone helped themselves to his pile as he lives in a trailer park with minimal security. We agreed I will make up the difference in 8' lengths, at about a half cord, as it is less of a loss on my end and he is happy. He has his own saw so he can cut to his own length at his site. He is a repeat customer that I acquired last year and has been good, but this is our last transaction as I don't think this is in my best interest. Thanks for everyone's advice. 

Levi
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'First we shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us'
Living life on the Continental Divide in Montana

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2018, 11:07:30 AM »
Years ago I sold wood for about 20 years. I sold around 50 cord a year most were repeat customers. In that time I only had a couple of customers that were a problem usually were new to me customers that had be refer by long term customers. I always did what it took to make them happy more wood or money back. Live is too short for those kind of problems. The next time they called looking for wood I was out. You did the right thing. 

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2018, 08:13:33 AM »
I sold the stuff for about 8-9 years during the mid 70's to early 80's .I only had one disagreement on price not volume .I made about 10 bucks an hour as a journeyman electrician and about the same selling wood .I informed the guy he was paying for the labor because in essence the wood was free ---and never sold him another stick of wood after that .

Offline John Mc

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2018, 08:36:25 AM »
I sold the stuff for about 8-9 years during the mid 70's to early 80's .I only had one disagreement on price not volume .I made about 10 bucks an hour as a journeyman electrician and about the same selling wood .I informed the guy he was paying for the labor because in essence the wood was free ---and never sold him another stick of wood after that .
It's always fun dealing with people who have no idea where the value in firewood comes from. Firewood still on the stump here might get $10-15 per cord if the access to it is good, and you have enough volume to make it worth someone's while to come and get it.
I occasionally get a chuckle when a friend with a tree that needs to come down (or even one that has blown down) offers to split the firewood with me if I cut and split it. They seem to think their offer is generous. I usually tell them, "I'm not in this as a business. If you need help, just ask. We'll figure something out."
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 10:57:45 AM »
--or they want a yard tree removed with the firewood as payment .Walk on 

Now I had  guy with what he thought was a deal .100 plus foot dead red oak he offered me half the firewood .As far as I know it's still standing .After the offer I looked in the mirror to see if I had stupid written on my forehead . ::)  

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2018, 12:08:45 PM »
Regarding NDA's.. In that circumstance its just a prefessional way to say what you cant come right out and say to them.  Dont go running your mouth behind my back or ill pay you another visit to square up.

And at that its still probably a bluff, like how everything is patent pending.  Probably not, but its a free way to reduce some problems. 


As for free tree work, i had a guy that wanted me to pay him to cut some huge, uprooted and ready to fall any minute "timber" from right over his house and power wires. A total crane and climber job  "How much is this gonna pay?"  


Buddy the only one whos gonna pay is you.  10k to keep them from falling on your house or 100k if you wait too long. Theyre still there, waiting to kill someone.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Firewood delivery problems
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2018, 12:22:15 PM »
Thats funny. I had exactly the opposite. had a forester come in mark my trees and come back and tell me it would cost me 1500 for them to log my land. I was a little confused. needless to say I said no thanks have a nice day.

He also high graded it like I told him I did not want to do. I was not in it for the money I was in it to make the forest healthier. The money would have just been a nice byproduct.


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