Portland-Willamette Fireplace DoorsDuring the summer-autumn of 2005, we found it necessary to refund the money of a number of customers who had been waiting for P-W doors bought through us. For 20 years before that, we had had a wonderful relationship with P-W, so it was very peculiar when they didn't even process those orders, and our customers were inconvenienced as a result.
Maybe we had gotten spoiled by how quickly and efficiently P-W had always filled orders in the previous 20 years! But it was pretty distressing to not even have any clue as to what to tell customers, who were waiting for doorsets that P-W had no apparent intention of shipping to them!
Again, we really have no idea why this happened, and we had hoped to hear from P-W some explanation, SUCH THAT IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN AGAIN TO CUSTOMERS. "We" are not that important, but our customers are! It does not appear that P-W has further interest in our handling their doorsets, as we have not gotten any good explanation regarding that.
We actually have a suspicion as to why this might have happened. NO fireplace shop has EVER offered any discounts, and many charge ABOVE the suggested list prices for doorsets. Then they add on a good amount for freight, and then of course State Sales Tax is added. Our web-site has always believed in openness and honesty, and so we SHOW the exact prices we charge people for most of the 4,000+ available choices we present, with automated price calculators in the web-site (for most Brands of doors). AND, since our "actual" business since 1973 has been in manufacturing the JUCA Super-Fireplace (for which we have long used standard fireplace doors as the visible facing part), we actually never wanted or intended to sell any doors separate from our JUCA fireplaces! We eventually did as a "public service" (as our Door Selector Page URGENT link describes). We knew that IF we would have advertised or promoted that we sold doors, at a big discount, with paying for the freight, and (usually) with no Sales Tax, we worried about hurting the business of local fireplace shops, which we definitely did NOT want to do!
Well, maybe we appeared to be a thorn in their side, regarding their interactions with their dealers. We don't actually know this for sure, but we think it is a very likely situation. As a result, manufacturers like P-W could not actually criticize us or punish us, because there could be legal consequences of discrimination or something. However, if they happen to just take FOREVER to get around to shipping out doorsets (as seems to be the case in recent months) then we obviously will NOT encourage our customers to seriously consider P-W doorsets. If WE don't buy any more from them, it's sort of as though we "went away!"
In any case, we now find ourselves in the position of not having any clue whether customers would actually ever receive P-W doorsets they would order through us! We do NOT want to ever again put our customers in the situation of mid-2005, when our customers were patiently waiting for doorsets that were never going to be shipped! Of course, we made full refunds to them, but they had wasted a month or two waiting for this strange sequence to occur.
Therefore, we would prefer that you NOT order any Portland-Willamette doorsets through us. If we really thought you might eventually receive them, sure, because they ARE good products!
We realize that this then forces you to have to get a Portland-Willamette doorset from a local fireplace shop, where it will certainly cost you hundreds of dollars more. Sorry, but that was the whole reason we had been trying to be helpful to customers, and now that is apparently no longer available regarding Portland-Willamette doorsets.
It is disappointing that 20 years of being a loyal P-W customer resulted in our customers being inconvenienced in such ways. If they wanted to unload us, we wish they would have found some other way that didn't hurt customers!
It is especially sad since we had always gone to a lot of trouble to AVOID hurting the business of any local fireplace shop. When we realized that if we made it too easy to buy from us, that could have happened, so we INTENTIONALLY eliminated the capability of buying anything through us with a credit card. We also removed our 800- phone number from all our web-pages, and then later, our phone numbers entirely! Obviously, we could have sold a LOT of doorsets if we kept those features AND "promoted" our web-site. But we did all we could to "remain as invisible as possible" except to the people who were buying the JUCA Super-Fireplaces that we manufactured! It doesn't seem that such good intentions are appreciated!
E-mail to: Jdoor1@mb-soft.com