We purchased a grill from a store. It was a charbroil. We used it satisfactorily for 2 years. When it aged and began to fail we ordered parts from charbroil. They failed to arrive for quite some time. We decided to buy a new grill and cancel our parts order. We contacted them to cancel. They gave us the run-a-round. They refused to cancel it and said we would have to wait for it to arrive, send it back and then get a refund. The parts had not been shipped yet. After a week of bickering, we put a stop pay on our visa card and had visa handle it. It was resolved the same day. The item had never been shipped.
We had purchased a new grill, a Thermos. This is a charbroil grill. We loved it, until a few months later. The grill failed. When I say failed, I mean flames were shooting out of the vents on the front of the grill. These vents are right at the control knobs. Who puts vents there?!?!? I never noticed. I, unfortunately, think that engineers get paid lots of money to think about these things. Both my wife and I got burned while trying to shut the grill off to avoid an explosion. The grill was damaged, and obviously not working properly. The knobs were melted and the stainless steel was now burned.
We contacted charbroil, via there horribly un-user friendly site. They requested photos. So we finally got the photos to upload to their site. They did not give any file size limits, but eventually we figured out how small the .jpg files had to be for it to work. Then they quickly responded with the following:
The damage caused is from fire coming out of the vents. This is usually due to lack of maintenance. Clogged burners force the propane out. We are not repsonible for this. Case closed.
Um, okay, NO! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!!!
I sent a very well thought out response that was professional. I was very clear.
here it is:
Dear Supervisor of guest relations, VP, Pres. or CEO of Charbroil,
I have recently opened a case about a grill I have purchased. The ticket was closed, as we were having difficulty uploading the requested pictures. We finally resolved the issue by reducing the file size of the photos.
The case was reopened.
The photos were received and the decision was made by Charbroil to state that it was damage due to negligence in maintenance.
This should be a closed case, however, it should not be.
I found it confusing and concerning that someone would look at a few 2 dimensional photos and, somehow, come to the technically expert opinion that there was a lack of maintenance causing the grill to fail.
Let me further explain:
The grill failed. It flamed up and flared out of the vent holes on the front of the unit. The technician seems to think that this is enough information to ascertain that it was due to maintenance neglect. I refute this assumption. This is not an expert opinion, it is a fact. The grill was in good repair and maintained. I do not care much for the grill now, as it has lost my pride and care. After all, it is difficult to want to put in much effort for something that has cost several hundred dollars and failed to meet the minimum expectation of working properly for a few months. This expectation is met by $100 grills worldwide, daily.
So I submit the following:
1. The grill was maintained.
2. The grill was spewing flames out of the wrong places on the burners.
3. The flames vented out of what they should have, THE VENTS.
4. The flames damaged the knobs and knob cradles.
5. The Grill has not worked properly since.
In the interest of being fair and understanding I will give you the consideration of (the benefit of doubt.)
Perhaps it is your companys position to react this way to control costs, and/or dissuade frivolous claims.
If so, then I accept the apology that your company owes us for globally grouping my claim with the other cases, and not taking it on its own merits.
I am a reasonable person and realize that this could come down to one of being right and neither believing it was the other. If we do get to that point, I then request you consider the concept that follows.
If I am right and you are wrong, you sure would save a few hundred dollars. You would also lose my business. That may not mean much any more in this world, but it is sad if it does not matter to you. I have bought your grills exclusively for the past 15 years. I almost did not buy the one I got, because it was not a charbroil. Then my wife pointed out that it really was, as Thermos is a charbroil brand. I believe in brand loyalty. I
believe in continuing to do business with one company as it will eventually lead to great service and great value.
I am fully capable of purchasing a new grill, and may ultimately have to. This is not an issue of money.
This, sir or mam', is an issue of principle. I feel that your product did not meet my expectations of functionality and safety.
My minimum expectations:
I wish to have a grill equal to mine that works.
I am a firm believer in personal accountability. If there was some fault on my part, we would not be having this discussion. When I make a mistake, I own it.
I would hope that your leadership would think, even if there was the slightest possibility I was correct about the grill failing, it would be a better business decision to take care of the patron rather than risk ostracizing a lifetime client and/or owning that mistake over a miniscule amount of money at cost.
I look forward to your positive response, as this will be the last response with any understanding on my part.
I feel that I have been very clear on my position and views.
Charbroil gave the same response again. They had stated that they would call my wife and discuss it today. That never happened, they just closed the case again.
My second response after consulting with sever commisions and the FTC:
I was very clear that I wanted to hear ANY negative response via someone in a high ranking mgmt position. This specifically means a director of guest relations, vice president, president or ceo. I this interaction does not get resolved within the next 5 business days, I will be forced to take the advice of the consumer response center and the FTC. They recommended that I seek private legal council to begin a class action lawsuit as we are not the only people to complain to them about dealings with charbroil. We, infact, had a disagreable interaction previously with charbroil over parts. The company had used less than legal tactics in trying to force the delivery of products that we were trying to cancel the order on. The items had not been delivered, and we wished to cancel the order. This was an unpleasant interaction and caused by charbroil. According to the Magnuson-morrison warranty act. charbroil is responsible for this case as we had notified you prior to the end of the warranty. So the only question is of the cause of the failure. I was very clear that any further repsonses from me would be of less understanding then previous comunication. So I will infact take it as far as you have pushed. If I get an automated response, the shove off, or lack of human interaction with resolution, I will be forced to take all the expert advice I have received and seek private legal council. I can assure you that if I do have to seek council, the first thing I will do before I speak at all to him/her, will be to plop down the photos of our injuries, which I have not made much ado of so far. I did not wish to force accountability on that particular portion of this case, but you have failed to own up to your responsibility for the failure of the grill. So let me clarify one last time. I expect to be compesated for the grill. If you make me work harder I will expect more compensation for more issues. Regardless of the typos I may have commited because the code of this web page is substandard or purposly written to make copy/paste not possible, I am an intelligent, dedicated, committed, rightous, determined person with the druthers to take this to task. Your company has insulated itself to the fact that I cannot easily locate any contact information other than this difficult site. I will contact someone, but I recommend that someone contact me first, as that is the right thing to happen. I will assure you that this will not go away. I will continue to push this for PRINCIPLE. As I stated in my previous communication. Some things should just be right in the world. I have just chosen this as my pet project. We will call it Accoutability for charbroil. It will be up to you how the lesson is taught. Is it in communication or litigation? I look forward to either a positive response or human contact to discuss the matter further. Nothing else will satisfy my situation.
So in summary:
Do not buy a charbroil grill.
If you have and have had issues, someone create a site for it and lets get a class action suit. I do not want money, I want accountablility. Companies should stand behind their product and care about safety, not just money.
Des Moines, Iowa