Harmon Pellet Stove Nightmare

Last winter I noticed that the stove was not shutting down properly (stove has a thermostat) and knew it had to be fixed. In addition, the burn plate needed to be replaced and the chimney needed it’s annual cleaning. So,in early September, I called Men at Work Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment. During this conversation, I informed Danielle that the stove was not shutting down, I needed a burn plate for my stove, and a regular cleaning. Upon their arrival, I was informed by the technician Ward that he did not have the correct burn plate. Why not? Didn’t I inform their customer representative Danielle that I have a Harmon P68 and I needed a burn plate?? (Breakdown in communication #1) Ward informed me that he will order one but it will take six weeks or so. One wonders if the part needed to be ordered, why was it not ordered when the appointment was first made? That way the conversation could have gone something like this:” Mr. O’Shea you told us you needed a burn plate, as we did not have one is stock we ordered one for you, should be here in about 3 weeks”

6 weeks go by and an appointment is set for November 1st. Since we were down on Long Island for Halloween, Laurie and I took separate cars so I could leave Friday night to make it back to our house. I leave Long Island Friday night drive up to my house. In my opinion, we made a gallant effort to be at the house for the appointment.  I sat around my house all day waiting for Men at Work Chimney Sweep Corporation to arrive. No phone call. Nothing. Of course no one answered their phone so I left several messages.  Finally, around 7pm Ward calls and informs me he will not be able to make it. He stuck at another customer’s house. Besides, that morning he discovered that the part I needed never arrived. FOUND OUT THAT MORNING!?!? Would it have been to much to call me to let me know? Why no phone call? After we took 2 separate cars to Long Island, I miss family function, wait around all day. NO PHONE CALL!! How hard is it to make a phone call? (Breakdown in Communication #2)

Approximately November 3rd Danielle called me and told me that as soon as the part comes in she will call to set up another appointment. I told her that any day after 4pm is fine. She further stated that she received the tracking information and it should be “sometime next week”.  So Wednesday, November 18 after Laurie got home from work there is a message on our answering machine from Ward. He was explaining how he is running late, and will be here after 10am. We did not even know he was coming! (Breakdown in communication #3). Never mind the fact we informed Danielle that anytime AFTER 4 is fine. So, why are you showing up at 10am when we are both at work? We would have never agreed to that time!  No appointment was made, no phone call received.  His message came from left field.

On my caller ID was Ward’s cell phone. (Finally a way to reach them!) I called and he explained to me that Danielle will be back in the office Friday 10am. I asked if there was anyway possible he could come fix my stove and he flat out said:” No”. 

Friday, 9:31 am: I called the office, of course no answer. Same greeting about how the office will be closed Tuesday through Thursday. However, Ward did say 10:00.

Friday, 10:37am I called the office, of course as usual, no answer, but the greeting is different, a ray of hope! Someone has been to the office to change the greeting. With high hopes,I leave a message.

Friday, 12:17pm: Called the office, no answer I do not leave a message.

Friday 12: 20pm: Called Ward’s cell phone. He informed me that Danielle will not be back into the office until “midday”. (Breakdown in Communication #4) Somehow 10am changed to midday. This company has got to be the worst at informing one another. Do they not even talk to each other? What is going on? As an isolated incident 10am changing to midday is not that big of a deal. However, piled on top of everything else, 10am changing to midday looms large.

Friday 4:10pm: I called the office, as usual no answer. Shocking.

Friday 4:11 Sent the following text message to Ward: “This is Brian O’Shea. I tried calling Danielle in the office, as usual no answer. Can you please come fix my stove soon? It is supposed to be down to 20 degrees tonight.”

4:33pm: Danielle calls. I almost pass out. She informs me they will be here after 2pm on Saturday.

SATURDAY 1:30: Danielle calls me to talk about the email I sent to Chimney Sweep Energy Corporation.(the Harmon stove dealer I purchased the stove from). She apoligized for the breakdown in communications. She offered a myriad of excuses ranging from how they realized they needed to hire more help, to  she wasn’t in the office. It was very nice of her to call. I felt better, even slighty guilty for emailing the dealer. But, on the other hand, enough is enough. 12 weeks to fix a 20.00 exhaust probe. No good.

Q:        How long does it take to replace a burn plate and an exhaust probe?

 A:       13 weeks.


Bottom line is the stove is fixed and works great again. Therin lies the problem. Once Men at Work gets to the house Ward’s knowledge of my stove is unmatched. I am glad she called. We will see how next year goes, I will call in May to set an appoint for chimney cleaning and burn plate replacing. Stay tuned.


6 Comments on “Harmon Pellet Stove Nightmare”

  1. Pam says:

    you can’t make this stuff up!!!!!! How frustrating!!!!!!!!. I am amazed at your heightened sense of recall.


  2. […] around the room. That has to be done by November 28th because we have an appointment with Men at Work to move the pellet stove over 4 ft to make room for the bench. Speaking, of the bench, I will have […]


  3. I agree Ward knows his pellet stove but a lot of work needs to be done with scheduling and making their customer aware of what is going on.


    • oshea12566 says:

      Hello Hope! If Men at Work could just improve scheduling and communications with their customers, I am willing to bet they would make twice as much money as they do now. I wonder how many frustrated people have just given up on them?

      Glad to see there is at least one person out there that agrees with me on this.


  4. […] It did not work and I decided that a call to Men at Work was needed.  Last time I called this company it was a nightmare. They did not return phone calls, missed an appointment, failed to bring parts  etc etc. Read all about it here. […]


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