Twisted Log Complaint

I had a complaint recently about a twisted log at the start of a customers log cabin build. I was sent these two pictures and a complaint email:

A wall log had twisted slightly.

A wall log had twisted slightly.

Twist in a log cabin wall log

Twist in a log cabin wall log which caused the lower log to lift up when unsecured.

His main complaint were the twisted logs. I tried explaining that wood does twist sometimes, it cannot be helped by it’s very nature. This can sometimes happen especially when a cabin has been unpacked and then left for a while before install. It can also happen just with the heat of the sun on it causing the wood to dry losing moisture quickly on one side. Rarely though is it a problem and it is very easy to overcome.

His second complaint was that the joints were too tight and that he didn’t have a hammer to hit the logs in. I explained that, yes, the joints are tight, that is part of why you would buy a log cabin from us: Please see Moisture Content in Log Cabins and also: Wind and watertight connections

I’m normally very good at talking through fit problems with customers but on this occasion I failed, so my colleague also spoke to him and failed. We sent pictures on how to overcome his issues but none of it was enough to solve the problem for him.

We also found out that the customer did not have the necessary tools to actually carry out the install or overcome the twisted log problem anyway. Also he explained that he was not aware of what is required in installing a log cabin and we should have let him know.

All my blogs have been in vain! None of it was referred to and I thought I had done so well in giving as much information as possible.

Mr B was one of a handful of customers I have had this year who insisted these were grounds for a big complaint and that it could not be installed.

I really don’t like complaints, especially when there’s absolutely nothing wrong. It’s also very costly for us as well and I needed to understand why a customer does not understand the install and why it become so daunting and complaints raised. I realised that no amount of explaining or pictures or email was going to solve this so I arranged a site visit with Mr B.

On meeting Mr B I was able to spend a long time with him asking about his impressions, why he didn’t realise fitting was a little more than slotting together and why he wasn’t aware of the tools needed. It came across that we’re not getting the information out there or fast enough on the product pages or post purchase emails. Mr B explained that he thought it would just slot together and would worry about installation when the cabin arrived. With the two twisted logs and the fact that the logs do not simply fall into each other the whole task became too daunting and he simply said he couldn’t / wouldn’t do it and it was a complaint, defective, fault etc.

Armed with this information we are going to have a little redesign of the site and will try to make information quicker to access. Mr B explained that he is very visual, pictures not words are needed. The only option is full videos and this is what I am now doing and will be doing all over the winter to try and help more, not just with log cabins but as much of the product range as I can.

With my sparkly new video camera I have tried to address all of Mr B’s problems and concerns which I hope will help future customers with the same problems

We took the partial log cabin installation apart and reset everything and started again from scratch.

These are the videos that arose from our conversations and his install of a ‘faulty’ log cabin, these are going to form the basis of a whole series on log cabins and their installation of several different types we supply.

Tools that are needed for a log cabin install

Installation of a Log Cabin – Full install overview

One of the biggest things that came out of our conversation was that Mr B had not expected the joints to be tight or that it would require any force to go together, he said he had ‘Expected a little resistance’. Some suppliers cabin will fall together with no effort at all, it might be a good thing when you’re installing but a bugger when it rains hard a few months later.

This log cabin install video is pretty long at 20 minutes but I needed to address every aspect of the install as Mr B wants everything spelt out, I have tried to do this for this particular cabin. Much of this applies to any of our apex log cabins and the same principles can be applied to our hipped roof log cabins.

A lot of customers will complain about instructions as well but most of a log cabin install is a practical ability and an ability to simply read a set of plans, an understanding of timber and it’s foibles does of course also help. I hope this video gets across exactly what is required. I like to think that if Mr B had seen these then we would not have had the complaint in the first place.

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