Below is an email I sent to the store that sold me my barbeque. Perhaps the end vendor can either pressure BBQTek/Lucas Innovation Inc. to stand behind their product or else the vendor can step up and honour the warranty themselves. I've read many other posts on various sites complaining of this same issue; feel free to use some or all of this letter if you feel it might help in your case, substituting your vendor (Loblaws, Walmart, Lowes, etc) as appropriate...
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing in regard to your "Life @ Home" branded barbeque grill (model GSC3218JN, manufactured by Lucas Innovation Inc., distributed by BBQTek Enterprise Inc.). I purchased one of these grills in the summer of 2005, and have been generally satisfied, given the price of the barbeque.
One of the selling features at the time was the 10 year warranty on burners. Twice already I have had to take advantage of this warranty, as I've had burners split down the side or essentially disintegrate. In cleaning my barbeque this past weekend, I noticed the two burners that haven't yet been replaced have large splits, and the two newer burners also have smaller cracks. I contacted BBQTek as I have in the past to order replacement burners, somewhat frustrated at their short lifespan, but reassured by the 10 year warranty.
In making my warranty claim this time, however, I was informed there would be a shipping charge of over $31 applied. The warranty program in the product manual describes no such charge for replacement parts. In the past the shipping had been included when making a warranty claim. The CSR informed me that "due to the large number of warranty requests" BBQTek had changed their policy and is now charging to ship replacement parts under warranty.
I find this unacceptable. The shipping cost is more than the cost of a replacement burner if I were to go out and buy it myself. An internet search quickly revealed that I'm not the only customer experiencing problems with burners and frustrated with the unilateral change in the warranty policy. I notice as well that the Better Business Bureau has assigned BBQTek an "F" rating (http://sanjose.bbb.org/BusinessReport.aspx?CompanyID=231417).
My question is: Given the poor support and apparantly substandard parts for this product and the frustration customers are experiencing in attempting to access support, and given the fact that Superstore/Loblaws outlets continue to sell "Life @ Home" products, will Superstore/Loblaws EITHER pressure BBQTek/Lucas Innovation to stand behind their warranty as they have in the past OR will Superstore/Loblaws support their frustrated customers by reimbursing shipping fees or importing the parts on behalf of warranty claimants?