Buying your stove online
We are always looking to save money and buy products at the lowest prices – the internet helps us achieve these goals. It does not however give the service that you require – especially when buying a new Stove.
Stoves are technical pieces of furniture that need to be installed by a competent person. HETAS (the solid fuel equivalent to CORGI) assess and train companies to install solid fuel appliances to current building regulations. Once the correct appliance has been chosen and installed and the correct chimney parts used the installer can then ‘sign off’ the installation giving you a certificate. You will need this certificate when a) you sell your house or b) if you have an insurance claim caused by the stove or its installation.
We find that consumers save a comparatively small amount if buying a stove over the internet compared to the huge losses they face when trying to find a qualified installer/spare parts/correct flue products/etc.
If you are still unsure don’t take our word for it – see what the Directors of the leading European suppliers say about buying there products online:-Direct quotes-
"I am staggered by the number of people who contact us for advice after they receive their delivery from a web supplier, because either they have been sold a product which is not suitable for their application, or have been supplied an incorrect range of parts so cannot make it fit their project. When they did eventually contact the supplier, normally via several unanswered emails, it turns out to be their fault according to the terms and conditions of sale so it’s unresolved."
"Would you accept a high street store closing its doors on you, if you had some questions about the product you just purchased from them? Well why do customers accept they cannot get in touch with the web site, which just sold them hundreds of pounds worth of useless goods and ring us for the advice? "
"My advice, try and ring them to get some questions answered, if the organization is so small they cannot answer their phone for an enquiry, what chance they will satisfactorily deal with any problems which occur? Is the risk worth the price difference?"Jeremy Fry - Specflue
"We don’t advise consumers to buy from internet only shops"
"They rarely offer back up service for the customer and we get many consumers ringing up to complain"
"We try to discourage it"Alex Shaw – Capital Fireplaces
"We definitely do not support buying on line"
"Jøtul’s products are sold through a network of highly trained retailers, able to offer you the very best advice on the most suitable stove for your individual needs and circumstances, with the option of installation and appropriate after sales service for your purchase."
"In order to ensure that you benefit from this, we do not recommend purchasing a Jøtul stove over the Internet where this level of advice and service may not be available. If you do decide to buy your stove over the Internet, ensure that you buy from a dealer who can offer expert advice on the most suitable product for your needs, and who is able to install your stove and service it when necessary. In particular, we would suggest that you avoid buying Jøtul stoves over the Internet, especially from a retailer who is not local to you, and who is, therefore, unlikely to be able to provide you with the appropriate support."Nick Sloane – Jotul
"I wouldn’t want consumers to have the opportunity to do it"
"I can’t think of any pros to buying a quality stove online"Phillip Wood - Nibe
"The customer expects there rights of guarantee to be upheld, the web seller quite often has no intention of doing this, generally has not the skills or organization to provide the service."
"It's tanter mount to buying a car in two pieces, engine and gear box from one supplier body and transmission from another, then expecting an unqualified fitter to stitch them together."Simon Holden – Euroheat
"We urge all customers not to be swayed by cheap headline prices which do not reflect full professional sales and after sales service, and may be more costly in the long term."
"Any customer who buys a stove from a remote location or through the internet enters into a contract with the supplying company and not directly with Arada. This guarantee applies to stoves fitted in the same country as its purchase. Stoves brought through the internet in the UK and then taken abroad will not be eligible for any guarantee."
"While the internet has widened the provision of information, and the availability of such products, direct internet sales, we believe, cannot offer the full package of advising on the correct appliance and its proper installation to ensure compliance with the current building regulations and the effective operation of the stove when safely installed."Mark Brettell – Arada
Things online sellers DON’T talk about:
1. Void or minimum guarantees.
2. No spare parts available.
3. Installers will not fit as they have to ‘put their name to it’.
4. High delivery charges.
5. Stoves not HETAS approved.
6. Long delivery times.
7. Off loading requirements.
8. No site visits if any issues or problems occur.
9. No training on your appliance.
10. No after sales or ongoing support.
You will often find that retailers can easily compete with any online prices and the overall installation costs will be much lower comparatively.