Charbroil states a lifetime warranty on the stainless steel parts of their Commercial Series Grills. In 2004, I opted for a this line instead of the previously permanent Turbo Grill Line due to cost, warranty and ability to buy a grill with stainless steel grates instead of the porcelain others offer. I should have run like crazy when the first two that I got from Lowes had poor welds and missing parts that were discovered while assembling it.
Regardless, I decided to keep it, and after three trips to Lowes, and learning to check the box at the store before going home, I had everything I needed to assemble the grill.
I live in a state where weather accommodates year round grilling, so use my grill a few times a week. Without any warranty, this thing would have been trash in a couple years! Typically, lifetime warranty items last a heck of a long time, but not this. As soon as it began deteriorating from use, I ordered some replacement parts. Although parts were free, I could not get them locally and needed to pay to have them shipped.
Again, a little over a season later, more parts, including the same Burner Brace and Igniter Metal Piece that lights the grill, fell apart due to heat and use. This time, the burners could not be unplugged, as when I tried to poke the holes clear, they basically fell apart too. Stainless grates come apart and are replaced with the very reason I did not buy something else....porcelain! This time, I had to go through a firing line of questions, register the product AGAIN, via the internet, and once again, pay for "shipping" on my warranty items.
As parts continue to wear out, I was able to pay for shipping and get replacement, although parts are often on back order. Many parts get replaced by items that are cheaper, require more work on my behalf and inferior to what was on the grill when I bought it.
Today's call takes the cake. It had been 2009 since I ordered replacement parts and while cleaning my grill, the burner brace and igniter metal piece were totally brittle and destroyed. Again, the burner holes do not distribute gas evenly, creating too many hot spots on the grill. Grates are destroyed, and grease tray welds broke, snapping a diffusing plate where grease falls. I guess all the parts in this box were not welded too good after all.
Although disappointed in having to repair it again, I called Charbroil with my laundry list of parts. I advise the rep that I would like the parts shipped to a different address than last shipment in 2009 since I have a new place of employment, and am now told parts can not be shipped until I send over pictures of the items. One caveat here....I do not own a digital camera! My old camera died, I rarely used it, so do not want to spend any money to replace it. I took my last trip to Europe without a camera and I will certainly NOT go buy one to get a lifetime warranty on grill covered if I would not buy one for an international holiday. I also do not have a cell phone capable of taking pictures and do not play on getting one.
Nowhere in the warranty does it state I need to provide pictures for my warranty to be valid. It has been three years on some parts and the first time for the grease tray and I am getting "grilled" by the Charbroil rep. Never before have I had to do this to get my warranties parts. If I ordered them every 6 months, I could understand. They have to know their stuff can not withstand multiple uses per week on a year round basis and understand that welds break on grease trays now and then. Charbroil, if you are afraid I am scamming you, send me a return shipping label and I will send the damaged parts back to you at your expense!
I refuse to go buy technology simply to be able to use a warranty that a company refuses to honor in a realistic term.
I asked the rep what it would cost me to buy these parts and it was over $300....for a grill that only cost me $399!!! When telling the rep the grill was useless without a burner brace that distributes gas to the burners and can not be lit with the igniter as is, she put me on hold and said she could make a special exception to send those without pictures. I agreed, if she would send the others out with NO shipping charge once I borrowed a digital camera to get shots or the other worn parts. Again, no care or concern for the customer at all....and it could not be done!
Lifetime warranty items that need to be replaced every couple years demonstrates shoddy manufacturing! Making client jump through too many hoops is another concern. Charbroil, quit changing your policy every time a client needs service. Be consistent and quit requiring specific electronic items from your clients to get their grill repaired...what is next, I need an iPad or video phone for service on an item I bought before those things even existed?
Avoid Charbroil at all costs!