Congratulations, Maple Air. You have now moved into first place in my list of "Worst companies to deal with." Here is the latest, and final, chapter.
On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, I called Maple Air and spoke to Adam. I told him that I could not turn off my gas fireplace by using the remote control - a very alarming situation. I told him that I had even reached into the fireplace area, risking burns to my hands, to turn off the switch on the receiver, but that didn't work either - even more alarming! The only way I could get the fireplace to turn off was to close the gas valve in the basement, which I did. Obviously, that is not an acceptable solution, but the only one that actually worked. During that same phone call, I told Maple Air that I had noticed that the receiver was partially melted.
Later that day, Reza called to set up an appointment for a technician to come over on Friday morning. Surprisingly, unlike previous visits from Maple Air technicians, the technician (Hoja) arrived on time, and I showed him the melted receiver. He said he remembered putting it in the right spot in the fireplace, and that someone here must have moved it too close to the burner. That was total nonsense. My wife and I are the only ones that live here, and none of our guests go near the fireplace. Accusing us was a horrible way to do business. My wife was ready to throw him out, but I let him continue.
He tried to replace the melted receiver with a new one, but the receiver that he brought with him was apparently incompatible with our fireplace. I cannot imagine why he didn't bring the right receiver, since I had told Adam about the original receiver being melted, and they had the correct details about the unit that we purchased in their office records.
He hooked up the melted receiver again, which was also alarming. He was able to start the fireplace and turn it off, but he could not tell me why I had not been able to shut it off, or why it was suddenly working again. He said he would speak to someone at Maple Air about installing a replacement receiver, which should have been the correct course of action in the first place. But he didn't know if they would do it for free, or if I would have to pay for it!
After Hoja left, the receiver started clicking by itself, which previously was a sign that the fireplace was ready to turn on by itself. So we have now shut off the gas and we are no longer using the fireplace. Because I now consider it to be a fire hazard, I have no desire to use something that could potentially burn down my house.
In the meantime, I have waited two weeks for the reply that Hoja promised when he left my house, but I have not heard back from anybody at Maple Air. Since I have no desire to explain the whole situation again over the phone, I have finally given up.
At this point, I am considering the $3000 I paid Maple Air for this gas fireplace at the time of installation in 2015 to be a total waste of money, and I will be looking at other alternatives, such as an electric fireplace insert. But I will certainly look elsewhere for competent service and products, and I will never again deal with Maple Air.
Below is a historical record of what happened before this latest disaster
On Tuesday, December 12, I called Maple Air to tell them that our Peterson Real Fyre G-46 gas fireplace had turned on by itself a few times the night before, just after my wife had turned it off. That is not something you want a fireplace to do, especially if you're not home! Lucky thing she was still in the room at the time, and after the third time she turned it off, it stayed off.
Since Maple Air had sold it to me and installed it in August of 2015, I thought they'd be the right company to fix it.
After a brief attempt at troubleshooting over the phone, we set up an appointment for a technician to come over Wednesday morning. Fair enough. Troubleshooting a problem like this over the phone is difficult at best, and this was certainly not an emergency. After our conversation, I just shut off the gas supply to the fireplace so it wouldn't turn itself off again, assuming the technician could easily relight the pilot and do whatever he had to do to diagnose and fix the problem. As it turns out, that was an incorrect assumption.
On Wednesday morning, I turned the gas back on before the technician got here, just so he wouldn't have to bother.
The technician (Mr. Abbas) arrived shortly after 9:00 on Wednesday morning, as promised. He didn't seem to have gotten the original information about the fireplace turning on by itself. I had to tell him myself a couple of times.
He was here almost 90 minutes. He tried to start the pilot by using my remote, which is something this fireplace is not capable of. You have to start the pilot using a control knob that controls the gas flow to the pilot and also controls the piezo-electric ignitor. As expected (at least by me), he couldn't get the pilot started, and wouldn't even try to do it using the control knob, even after I handed him the instruction manual and repeatedly explained that this was how you have to light the pilot.
He also tried, using some handheld device and my remote, to start the burner. This was, of course, unsuccessful, since the pilot wasn't on.
He told me that the ignitor and thermocouple needed to be replaced, at a cost of over $600. He said it was not covered under warranty, since it was not part of the burner assembly. I said I was not very happy that this had happened after owning the unit for only two and a half years. He didn't seem to care. And it makes absolutely no sense to me why he would say that something that ignites the gas is not considered part of the burner assembly.
He left at 10:30 to go to another service call, but not until I had paid $112 ($99 plus tax) for a service call.
After he left, I started the pilot myself, using the control knob, and was able to get the burner started with the remote. I would love to know why he thought the ignitor and thermocouple needed replacing, since he didn't even try to use the ignitor to light the pilot.
I called Maple Air to tell them about the visit, and told them I wasn't happy about paying for a seemingly worthless service call. Actually, to be totally fair, one thing the technician did actually do was replace the four AA batteries in the receiver for the remote control. However, I supplied the batteries, so there was no cost to Maple Air. And, had the original person I spoke to at Maple Air suggested this as a possibility, I could have easily done it myself. The person I spoke to (unfortunately, I did not get his name) asked me why I thought the technician was wrong about the ignitor and thermocouple. I said that it was because I was able to light the pilot myself and get the fireplace to turn on, something the technician was unable to do.
He said he would speak to the technician and call me back.
Since he didn't bother to keep his promise to call me back, I called Maple Air again on Friday December 15th, and spoke to someone named Behzad. I explained the problem to him, but he told me that he was not a technician, but just the dispatcher. Too bad he didn't tell me that before I wasted my time telling him what was going on. :-(
He said I should speak to the Technical Supervisor (Reza), but that he was on a "mission" (whatever that means) and was not in the office. Behzad said he would give Reza the message to call me.
It is now Tuesday, December 19, and Reza has not bothered to call me back. Rather than calling them again, I am posting this review.
At this point, instead of having to give Maple Air over $600 to fix a problem that doesn't exist (bad ignitor and thermocouple), all I want is my $112 back so I can call a competent company to diagnose the original problem. Let's see if Maple Air does the right thing and gives me my money back for their totally incompetent service call.
Update - December 20
Omid from Maple Air called last night to apologize for the way the service call was handled, and said he would cancel the service charge. I found it very refreshing to see a company take full responsibility for their actions - you don't often see that.
Omid also wanted to send another technician to diagnose the problem but, since the original problem of the fireplace turning on spontaneously has not happened again, I said I didn't think it was necessary. But if it happens again, I will definitely call Maple Air. And, if it turns out to be a problem with the remote control, Omid said he would replace it at no charge.
Based on Omid's response, I have changed my rating from a 0 to a 7.
Update - Monday January 22
Around noon, a couple of technicians from Maple Air showed up. They were here for a while (not sure how long). When they left, the fireplace was working. And they replaced the remote with a new one, with a thermost, as promised by Omid. I thought that was the end of the problems. Clearly I was wrong, as evidenced by what happened next.
Everything was fine for a few weeks. I could turn the fireplace on and off with the remote, and it wouldn't turn on by itself. So I thought that Omid had been right, and that the the original problem was a faulty remote. However, based on the latest problem (see the top of this review), that seems to not be true.