At North Country Fire we strive to provide the best possible customer experience. Many of the products we sell are large, heavy and very expensive. These items get shipped via LTL (Less than Truckload) freight carrier service. When the freight leaves our warehouses it is inspected to make sure there is no damage to the items and the freight carrier signs off that it is in good condition. When the freight carrier arrives to deliver your items to you, it should be in good condition. Below is the standard email we send out with the tracking information for every freight shipment with some additional explanations added to clarify the process. Please keep in mind, this is not meant to intimidate you in any way, this is to educate you about receiving freight shipments. Shipping damage is not very common, but occasionally there are damages. If you receive your shipment as instructed below, there will be no problems getting the situation resolved.
Get ready for the shipment
If you are receiving a freight shipment, the delivery company is instructed to call the phone number you have provided us at least 24 hours in advance to schedule a delivery. If you are receiving large items (fireplaces and stoves) you will want to have a couple of able hands and maybe a two wheel dolly to assist you. It is required that you meet the delivery driver ready to take pictures.
Receiving the Shipment:
Step 1: Have a list of the primary model number(s) you ordered with you when you receive the shipment. You only need the model #'s of the main products you ordered, fireplace, stove etc. Don't worry about all of the minor parts such as venting components, trim kits, etc.
Step 2: Take pictures of the shipment from all sides. This is a very important first step which has to do with concealed damage. If everything looks okay, but when you open the box up later and find damage, without these pictures, we probably won't be able to make a damage claim.
Step 3: Count the number of items in the shipment. Check the number against the freight bill and note any discrepancies. Write the number of boxes being received on the freight bill. This one's pretty straight forward. If the shipment paper work says there are 6 items, but you only see five, make a note.
Step 4: Find the primary product(s). Remove the packaging from the primary products and fully inspect the item(s). Check the primary model number against the model number shown on the package. Any damage to the primary product must be noted at the time of delivery. This is important! The primary product would be the fireplace or stove. If the primary product shows damage to a part that can be replaced, such as a safety screen or glass, we can ship out replacement parts. If the primary product has damages to a part that can only be replaced with an entire new unit, the order should be refused.
Our shippers work hard to check and double check all of the items that leave the warehouses but mistakes do happen. If the item you ordered has a model # of NEFL50CHD but the sticker on the box shows the model # as NEFL50CHS, it's the wrong product. If you receive the shipment, that's the equivalent of you stating that everything is good and you're happy with what you're receiving. In this scenario, we will of course get the correct product out to you as soon as possible but there are extra steps involved to get the incorrect product shipped back. If you did receive a shipment of the wrong product, you will need to be available to meet another driver for them to pickup the incorrect item that was shipped. The easiest thing to do is refuse the shipment. That way, you don't need to worry about getting the incorrect item back to us and we can get the correct item out to you.
Step 5: Note any damages to the packaging, cuts, tears, punctures, crushed corners etc. Take pictures of the damages and describe the damages on the freight bill. Also, very important! Take a look at everything, take pictures, make notes on the freight bill.
Step 6: Decide whether or not to accept the shipment. If the shipment shows obvious damages, especially to any major items (fireplaces, stoves, etc.) refuse the shipment. If the packaging is overall in good shape, with maybe a cut in one box or one of the lesser items shows damage, note the damage on the freight bill and accept the shipment. If the packaging all looks to be in perfect condition, accept the shipment. If you ordered a fireplace, interior media, trim kit and venting and it's all showing up at once wrapped up together on a pallet or two, it's possible the majority of the shipment is good and one minor piece, let's say the trim kit, is obviously bent. In this scenario, receive the shipment, taking pictures and noting the freight bill. That way you receive the majority of your order and we will get a replacement trim kit shipped as soon as possible.
Remember, the delivery driver is working for you, they are not allowed to leave the property until you sign the delivery receipt. Do not let them rush you into signing without inspecting everything thoroughly. The items that you purchased are most likely very expensive, please take the time to check the delivery thoroughly!
It is often the quickest and easiest option to refuse the entire shipment if there is any visible damage. When a shipment is refused due to damage we can send out a replacement as soon as possible. If you accept the shipment as free and clear (no damage), you are required to take pictures of all sides of the packaging. Without pictures, we may not be able to cover any concealed damage you find later.
Sometimes even the best visual inspection doesn't reveal any damage. If that's the case you have 48 hours to notify us so we can begin the claims process. If replaceable parts are damaged we will ship the appropriate parts as soon as possible. It is important not to let your order remain unopened after delivery. Although you may not be installing your order right away, it is necessary for you to fully inspect every part of your order before the 48 hour period has expired. EVERY BOX SHOULD BE OPENED AND INSPECTED FOR DAMAGE, no matter how small or perfect the box appears. If you find damage after that time we will not be able to claim damages to the shipment company and you will be responsible for ordering replacement parts. Open all boxes carefully, cut tape, not boxes. If you decide to return any items, they must be in "like new, factory condition". Do not open any items inside the boxes, like plastic bags etc. Items that are not received back in "like new" condition will not qualify for a refund.