Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Buying from a reputable dealer

We've had a number of calls this week from people who've bought fires and stoves online and who are now having problems. Some are having difficulty getting fires or stoves to work properly, others have realised that they would have bought a different stove or fire if they'd had good advice beforehand - and at this time of year, we're also being inundated with calls from people who can't find anyone to fit their fires or stoves - our  fitters are booked up weeks in advance in the run up to Christmas, and we give our own customers priority so that's not something we're always able to help with.

What looks like a cheap online bargain is cheap because you aren't getting the back up and advice that a reputable dealer can offer.  We're seeing more and more people who have come to realise that what looked like a great deal can turn out to be anything but.  We try to match online prices wherever we can, but we also aim to offer excellent customer service, advice and back up - and that's not something you can get with the click of a mouse.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Greeks opt for woodburning stoves to beat soaring fuel prices

I've just been reading a fascinating article about the rise in popularity of woodburning stoves in Greece as a result of the economic crisis there.  Apparently, rising heating costs and a levy on electricity bills have led many families to turn to woodburning stoves instead of their normal central heating - and they're finding it's not only cheaper with wood costing about a quarter of the equivalent in heating oil, but also a lot warmer, too.  

Here, we're along way from the kind of huge demand that they're seeing in Greece but we have noticed that more and more people are interested in stoves, many of them with fuel bills in mind. Even in London, you can have a woodburner as the latest Defra-approved models are suitable for use in smoke free zones.  At Westcombes, we have one showroom dedicated to stoves with more than fifty different models on display and can offer advice on the right sort of stove for your home as well as arranging for fitting.  

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Carbon monoxide detectors

When you're buying a stove or fire, you should always install a carbon monoxide detector.  It's a legal requirement now to have a detector when you fit a new or replacement fire or stove, and although problems are rare, they are potentially very dangerous.  Carbon monoxide poisoning  can occur if a chimney is blocked or if there are issues with the fitting of a fire or stove.

I'm particularly concerned about this at the moment as my own father-in-law discovered that his gas cooker was leaking carbon monoxide and it had to be disconnected and scrapped immediately.  He was fortunate as he'd started to feel unwell and the cooker was checked just in time. Carbon monoxide is odourless and tasteless and doesn't irritate in any way, so it can only be identified by having a carbon monoxide detector.  At just £22.50, they're a small price for a safe home.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The busy season...

It's been very very busy in the shop over the last few weeks - the kind of busy where every time you put the phone down, it rings again. We just wanted to take the opportunity to thank all our customers for their patience and to reassure you that we do always call everyone back - it just takes a little longer than we might like during this busy time. It is important to us that all our customers benefit from our full care and attention - which unfortunately does mean that when there are lots of you all wanting that at the same time, a little waiting is sometimes necessary but we hope that you will feel that the level of service we offer makes it well worth the wait.