This is an article written by Dermott Fitzgerald (Director of Ború Stoves) on the dangers in buying uncertified products be produced in the fareast.
Do you really care where a product comes from when you make the decision to spend the money that you have worked so hard for? In the boom times I know I for one was guilty of not caring once the price was right. Thankfully I never got caught up in the property bubble and was not worth 400 million Euros by owning five two bedroom apartments on an expensive part of the monopoly board. This being said I was guilty of lots of other things such as when my TV broke I never called a repair man. I went to my local electrical shop and bought another one. Subconsciously I thought getting a repairman was hassle and he would probably charge more for a part than the TV was worth.
As a consumer I now want a product that will last. I work too hard every week to just throw money away replacing products around my house at the drop of a hat. I now want extended warranties, the availability of spare parts and most of all if something does goes wrong I want to be able to speak to somebody at the end of a phone that can discuss my problem and send out a serviceman if needs be.
Do I buy products from the Far East?
Of course we all buy products from the Far East. Take out your phone and have a look at the back of it. I have just done that and it says “Designed in California and assembled in China” This is one of the world’s largest brands. Now would you buy a fake version of that phone and if not why? Firstly if you break the screen can you replace it? Probably not. If my family die from Co poisoning because of a badly made stove can I replace them? Definitely not!
Fake vs Real
There are lots of high end branded stoves manufactured in the Far East that have implemented European standards in their factories which ensure workers have safe working conditions. I have no problem with these kinds of factories as they are probably the backbone of small villages and do genuinely supply good product. On the other hand when you see the fake or copied products they are more than likely being made in a sweat shop with no standards or safety practises. These factories generally jump on the band wagon when a product becomes “popular” so unscrupulous distributor’s ship in the best-selling products/brands in their country and get them copied. I have had the benefit of looking and dissecting these “fake stoves” that claim to be the same as the real thing. I have yet to come across a saleable copy “fake” imported stove and this is why:
The raw material used (steel, cast-iron) used is lighter and less robust
Stoves are not independently certified so the outputs on the brochures cannot be verified
There are usually no safety tests carried out on the stoves
When dealers import a container they generally will not include spares in it because spares cost money and that comes off the bottom line
Ash-pans, frames and other auxiliary items are not welded but just folded tightly which leads to warping and over-firing
Any reputable brand manufacturing in the Far East will verify our findings as they would have spent years developing product. Reputable companies don’t copy! Remember you get what you pay for.
Why Ireland? Why Boru Stoves?
Spare parts can be generally delivered next day (no waiting on slow boats from China)
The product is certified to EN13240 and EN13229
The stoves are safety tested using an independent test house with ratings verified
Dedicated customer service department
Dedicated mobile service engineer
When everything is taken into account fitting a stove is probably one of the biggest decisions you will make in your house but not the most expensive. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when choosing the correct stove for you:
If I change the décor of my room will the stove still match? (A black stove will generally suit)
In five years’ time where will I purchase replacement parts for my stove? Will they be still available?
Do I want a stove that I will have to replace in two years’ time?
How will the warranty procedure work (Boru Stoves offer a five or six year optional extended warranty)
Do I want the output of the stove to be what it says on the box? Do I want the results verified?
By all means purchase product from the Far East but ensure that you are buying from a reputable dealer and manufacturer that you know will provide a backup service. Personally I buy Irish whenever I can. If you are in a showroom and the sales person says to you “I don’t have that brand but I have this one which is exactly the same” Run!!