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Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc.

Phone: (800) 424-6343Fax: (978) 355-4582View Additional Phone Numbers7 Worcester Road, BarreMA 01005-9108 Send email to Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc.http://www.higginsenergy.comView Additional Web Addresses

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BBB Accreditation

Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc. is not BBB Accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc.'s rating include:

  • One complaint filed against business that was not resolved.

Factors that raised Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc.'s rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service2
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review Customer Reviews on Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc.

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 1
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 1 Customer Review

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (2)
03/14/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details


Desired Settlement

Business Response
On Wednesday 2/19 I called ******* to check with him on his repair. He stated that it was working fine and was glad that we called to see if the repair had worked.

The customers wife was upset that we did not come back the night of the original repair. I did explain to her that when she had called back that afternoon there was nobody in service to send him back out. Also when I talked to them on Tuesday afternoon I explained that I wanted to send a different technician out there and he was in a training and wouldnt be available until Wednesday.

The delay in the call back on Tuesday was due to the fact that our scheduler's last day was Friday 2/7 and we only had someone filling in to schedule as time was available.

As to the auger keep failing it has failed twice in 6 years. Some times they last for years others a short time. There is no reason we have for why they fail. It could be numerous reasons, power surges, blockage in the auger feed, etc...

As for waiting for service during peak times during the season there is a wait for service that happens in every business. Pellet and wood are an alternative heat source and they must have another form of heat whether it be oil, gas, or electric. we do not provide 24 hour a day 7 day a week service due to this fact.I understand it is expensive to turn oil on but is required until we can make the trip out for service. In this instance we were able to send someone out right away originally and he was unable to determine the problem. We were back two days later and during the cold weather we have been experiencing that is an exceptionally short turn for us.

As of this repair we believe it has been taken care of in a reasonable amount of time.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We are happy that the pellet insert is working again, however we did pay for a repair that was supposedly done and the tech they sent that day did replace the auger and it still did not work. The other tech that came on Thurs did fix it so the first tech supposedly did know what the problem was because the second one did say it was the auger, perhaps ******* should review all the repairs we have had to this system, if they need documentation we have all the work orders, but thanking you for coming and we are happy that the insert is working again. It is sad that we had to file a complaint.

Final Business Response

03/13/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

We purchased a pellet stove from this company 8 years ago. We never knew that the stove was installed illegally until we went to refinance our house. An appraiser came in and the first thing he mentioned was the stove and asked if there was a permit. I said I did not know. Sure enough there was no permit with the town. They had sold us and installed the stove illegally. Then we heard from the town building inspector that he had found several stoves in town from this company installed illegally. The town building inspector had filed a complaint with the state about this company. So after much fuss going back and forth with the company they finally came out. So we tried to be nice about it and see if we could install it in the fireplace. It was at that time we found out that we could never have a pellet stove because the chimney was too high and the stove would not work. So there was no good alternative and we cannot legally keep the stove where it is. The pipe goes into a walkway and cuts off access to stairs. The original place was in the wall of the room directly venting out. They installed a vent pipe into and exterior stair case. The town building inspector said NO WAY I am going to sign off on that. It was at that time the company ignored my calls and did everything to agitate the situation. When we finally got mad, it became clear that they agitated the situation to have an excuse not to service us any more so they could wash their hands of it. Companies that are licensed to install stoves will not service this stove because we did not purchase the pellet stove from them. So now we have a stove that we can never have serviced.
Product_Or_Service: Harmon XXV Pellet Stove
Order_Number: DXXXXX
Account_Number: DXXXXX

Desired Settlement
We need supplemental heating so we are going to need to replace the pellet stove with a wood insert that can be installed legally in the fireplace and switch to wood. There is no place to legally use the pellet stove. We would like a refund for the stove at today's prices plus the cost to repair the walls where the pellet stove was installed.

Business Response
Our customer had a stove installed by us in December of 2005. At that time when a customer purchased a stove we went through a checklist with them explaining what we do and what the customer needed to do for the install. We then had the customer sign this sheet. At that time the company procedure was to have the customer file for the permit. We provided our necessary information and they would file with the town. After the install is made the customer is responsible to call the ****************** to have the stove inspected. This customer obviously did not file for the permit or call for an inspection after the install.

We have notes in our computer on this customer. It appears the customer originally wanted an insert as a note states "Has a clay type chimney cap, can we install without destroying?" Our tech looked at the proposed install and this could not be done so the stove was changed to a Harman XXV. Notes say install was completed, all set.

As to her statement about other stoves being installed illegally it is possible in that time frame other customers did not have stoves inspected. We have since changed our procedures to stop this from happening.

As to her statement the ****************** filed a complaint with the state we have talked to **** ****** (Town of Leicester ******************) about the permitting issues and have worked with him to get up to speed on permits. He stated to me on this issue he will not be pursuing this because of the age and if she wanted to go to the state she could. We are not aware of any complaints with the state filed by Mr. ****** or any other ******************. He has told us we are not able to have customer pull these permits. He is the only building to tell us this and our checking with the state we have not been told this is the case. Currently we have started pulling most permits because of the amount of customers that were not following through on this. It is still up to the customer to call for an inspection after the stove is installed.
As to her claim she tried to have it installed into the chimney and it was to high and she could never have a stove we did go to her house in March of 2013 and gave her a quote to have it run up the chimney. The only notes on that estimate stated "closing out estimate - customer can not do project".
As to her claim about venting I have not seen the install or pictures of the venting so I do not know why it can not be moved or re-piped.
She the stated we refused to answer calls to agitate the system and give us a reason not to do the job. This is untrue. We have extensive notes on a problem with this customer that have nothing to do with the install and came about before all these other complaints were made aware to us.
The customer had asked us to come out and do a repair on her stove. On the day we were supposed to do the service we had a snowstorm and were not able to perform the service. We said we would reschedule. Our customer expected us to show the following Tues 3/12. She called numerous times that day to find out when we were coming. Nothing had been scheduled with service for that day so we do not know where she came up with that date. On this day she was extremely upset, yelling and swearing at whoever she got on the phone and hanging up on people if she was not told what she wanted to hear. After juggling schedules we were able to get a technician to go over late in the afternoon. When he got there he did not have the correct part to repair the stove as we were not exactly sure what the problem was. She flew off the handle at him yelling and swearing. He left the house and he stated she followed him outside yelling until he left and he would not go back to her house. Before I had a chance to hear from my technician she called here wanting to know when we were coming back. I told her I had not heard from my technician and would call her when I heard from him to see what was needed, After hanging up with her I called our technician, got his voice mail and left a message to call us back. In this time of leaving the message she had already called back looking for an answer. When I finally talked to tech about 15 minutes later, he stated she had someone else take the stove apart and attempt to fix it. After looking over the parts he noted some needed to put the stove back together were missing and maybe the oil company had mistakenly took them with them. When I called her back about this she flew off the handle again and claimed our technician took the parts out of spite. She then started yelling at me she wanted us to reimburse her for oil she had been burning waiting for her stove to be repaired and for time off she had missed from work. I told her we could not do that. She then wanted to talk to the owner, who was not here at that time, and I told her I would give him a message. This was unacceptable to her. She started yelling at me again so I told her this phone call was over and terminated the call. After this she called the police and told then we stole her stove parts. The next morning I had a message from a Sgt. from Leicester police. I returned his call and explained the whole story and that was the end of that.
I called her oil company that day and discussed the situation and told them we would sell them the parts needed to finish the stove repair. I then called the customer and told her based on the previous days events we would no longer be doing business with her and she would have to find another company to service her stove. It was at this time she told me about no permit and a failed inspection. I then called Mr. ****** and his office stated no permit was on file and no inspection had ever been done.
Jump forward to 1/13/2014 I got a call from Mr. ****** about the permit and inspection and he was under the impression it was a recent install. When I stated it was a 2005 install he stated no further action would be taken. The next day our company got the complaint from the BBB.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We purchased a stove from ******* Energy and as part of the sale we were told we would always have them to service our stove. That is what made us feel secure in our purchase, we would have the place we bought the stove do the service too. That is the way this industry works by the way. No One will re install a stove that was not purchased from their place of business .Call any stove place, it's an industry practice. So because they refused to service this stove any further we can't get anyone to relocate the stove.
We never signed a sheet or any check list that *******'s claims we did. We were never told to get a permit. This company neglected to tell us to get a permit with the intent to fly beneath the radar to sell a bill of goods to the unsuspecting home owner. If everything was on the up and up, they would have told us to pull a permit and the location that ******* said would work, would have failed. ******* knew where they selected the installation for the pellet stove would never have passed *********** therefore never selling a stove to us in the first place. This is fraud and misleading the consumer. Weather there was a permit or not, the stove would never pass ********** because it dangerously vents into an exterior stair case. We did not think much about it at the time because the stairs are very seldom use by us, only the dogs. The red flag came up when we had an appraiser from the bank informed us that a permit was needed. In fact the peculiar location of the pellet stove was the first thing that drew the appraiser's attention to the fact the perhaps there was no permit. He was the one who looked it up in the town records to find out that in fact there was no permit. It was at that time the Leicester ****************** was called in and it failed the installation inspection. I call ******* to let them know.
We tried to be nice about it and see if we could install it into the fire place. After spending money on the first installation, ******* wanted another $1000.00 for reinstalling the stove into the fire place. They had one of their installers come to the house and he just stood in our den with his hands in his pockets and said 'it would work". He never measured the height of the chimney ...........they were all set to repeat a bad business practice again! The stove is only rated for a chimney that is 32 feet high. Any chimney higher than 32 feet by manufactures codes did not comply and did not work as well. Our chimney is over 35" high. It was my Husband who finally put a measuring tape down the chimney not *******'s installer. They obviously knew the chimney was over the limit of the manufactures codes, and therefore it is very suspicious that maybe the installer already knew it was over the limit because he never measured the chimney. We have a very tall house, just looking at the house from the outside; an experienced installer should be able draw the conclusion to measure the chimney because it may be to tall. So in response to a change of business practices by ******* in their reply back the BBB, I don't see it. They were all too willing to charge us another $1000.00 dollars and once again install a stove that would not meet code by the manufacturers codes.
They have in there notes "closing out estimet customer cannot do the project", what did they think I was supposed to do with a stove that would not pass ********** and could not be installed into the chimney???????
The Leicester ****************** told me to bring this company to the BBB and the Attorney General and get a Lawyer. So he is not on the side of *******. I also called The Harman Stove Company who is the manufacturer of the pellet stove and was told by their customer service to bring this company to court! So they do not have the support of the manufacturer and supplier either.
I did call them to come out to do a repair on the stove last winter. At the time there was a snow storm moving in and they were predicting power outages. We live in the woods and always loose electricity. We hook up the pellet stove to a generator to have heat. If the stove was not working, we had no heat period. I ask for the scheduling clerk to move up the appointment. She could not get the sense of urgency. I told her that we always loose electricity and that my husband was traveling and I am facing a bad storm with three kids and the possibility of no electricity and no means of heat. She yelled at me and hung the phone. I had to keep calling back begging. This scheduling clerk could have cared less my three children, that fact that my house could freeze. When I finally got ahold of her after calling and calling she yelled at me over the phone again told me to "GO TO A HOTEL" . There have been times when we could not make it out of the house because trees have fallen down and blocked the driveway. How did she think we were going to get to a hotel?
When they finally agreed to come out we had another snow storm. I received a call from the ******* technician saying he was on his way. It was me that told him he should not come because I thought he would get stuck on our drive way. He was very appreciative of my kindness and caring of him and his wellbeing .He said I will be back on the following Tues 3/12 . I took a day off from work and waited. No one came. I kept calling and calling. The scheduling clerk just kept hanging up on me saying there was no appointment.
I decided to call my oil company who can only clean pellet stoves and do small repairs. The man came over that day and pulled the stove from the wall and inventoried what needed to be ordered. He meticulously put the screw and parts into different zip lock baggies so nothing would get lost. He told me he would order the parts................In the meantime ******* called to tell me they could get a technician out to my house. I told them that I had pioneer oil come and told them what part was broken and ******* said they had the part in stock so I agreed to have ******* fix it. In turn I called Pioneer Oil to let them know ******* was coming and they need not come. By this point the stove had been down for over two weeks and we were burning through oil. When *******'s technician finally came, he looked at the stove, fiddled with a few things to look busy. Then stood up and told me " ya I don't have the part". I told them what was broken, what the name of the part was, and they told me they had it in stock (remember ******* was willing to sell the part to pioneer oil which was in their reply to the BBB) and the technician came to my house without the part????? Obviously this was done as a means to harass and agitate the situation. At this point *******'s technician began to accuse Pioneer Oil of stealing parts. He began to scream at me and use foul language (remember I was by myself). Then he stormed out of the house slamming the door. I poked my head out and asked if anyone else was coming back. He said "F YOU" and speed off swerving all the way up our driveway like a complete nut.
I knew if there were any parts missing ******* would be behind it because of the way the repair man sped off. I went to the Leicester police and told them about the *******'s repair man steeling parts from my stove. They agreed this needed following up on.
Pioneer oil returned the next day with the new parts and none of the parts were missing. Everything was in the zip lock bags that were left on top of the stove. It was at this time it became very obvious that getting the *******'s repair man to my house had another frustrate me, harass me, and to agitate me so they could wash their hands of the matter and I would go elsewhere. As ******* stated in their reply back to the BBB they had a discussion to sell Pioneer the parts to repair my stove, so they knew what needed to be brought to the house that day. Yes, finally I did become angry, but who wouldn't, and that just what they wanted. Now they could say I was the horrible customer and wash their hands of the matter, but the root problem is still not solved. The stove will not pass ***********
We have been asking them to make good on something they did wrong in the first place for over a year now. Now we would like our money back on the stove, and money for the repairs to the outside of the house to close the hole up, and repair to the inside of the house to close up the hole .This is nothing but a case of fraud and misleading a homeowner. Misrepresentation of the manufacturers products .Not getting a permit was done on purpose for the intent to get away with something..........installing a stove in a place that would never pass ***********

We are hoping you can help us.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Stoves-Wood, Coal, Etc., Motorcycles-Dealers, Fireplaces, All-Terrain Vehicles

Additional Information

BBB file opened: 03/08/2002Business started: 10/01/1975
Type of Entity


Incorporated: May 1980, MA

Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Ronald C. Higgins (President)Ms. Susan E. Higgins (Treasurer)Mr. Christopher Higgins (Manager)
Number of Employees


Business Category

Stoves-Wood, Coal, Etc., Motorcycles-Dealers, Fireplaces, All-Terrain Vehicles

Products & Services

Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc. offers a complete line of stoves, fireplaces and hearth products.

Higgins Powersports sells motorcycles, ATV's and snowmobiles.

Alternate Business Names
Higgins Powersports

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc.

7 Worcester Road

Barre, MA 01005-9108

To | From


1 Locations

  • 7 Worcester Road 

    Barre, MA 01005-9108(800) 424-6343
    (978) 355-6343
    Fax: (978) 355-4582
    Fax: (978) 355-4582

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Central & Western Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Higgins Energy Alternatives, Inc. is in this range.


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  • (978) 355-6343

Additional Web Addresses


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Industry Tips for Stoves-Wood, Coal, Etc.


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