Sunday, March 15, 2015

Home on the Range - The Stove Saga

While I await the STEAMY Women's replies, I'll let off some of my own STEAM.

When I needed a new 30" gas range to replace my old broken one, I had only one criterion on which I based my purchasing decision.  After the extended power outage a few years ago, I vowed my next stove's oven would be operational without electric power.  I mean, come on, it's a gas stove. It shouldn't need any more than a match to light the oven if the power is out.  What's with that?  Who invents these things, the electric company?
   I think it's every gas-hooked-up human's right to be able to bake even when there's no power.  It's an outrage that the average consumer can't bake in an outage despite the fact that they have a gas oven!  Don't get me started.
   When I embarked upon my search for the range of my dreams (within my price range, around a grand) I knew what I was up against.  I am no stranger to searching for "off grid" appliances, as I replaced the old pilot-lit gas stove in the cottage last year with a Premier gas range with "battery spark" ignition.  And I can light that oven even if the sparker stops working as all it does is light a pilot.

Premier Pro Series P30S310BP with 1.5" vent rail cap
Just look at these reviews! After conducting a thorough search, I found what I thought was the almost perfect stove (would have loved a fifth burner, but was willing to forego for the match light oven feature). It wasn't too bad-looking either.  Opted for the solid door. And with a 3-year warranty it was $1,231.19.  I shopped around and chose as the price was good and I wouldn't have to pay MA sales tax.  Smart, right?  Think again.
   It finally arrived a month after I ordered it.  The delivery guys couldn't drop it fast enough.  They cut it out of the box outside in a sleet storm, dollied it up the front steps and into the kitchen, plopped it in the middle of the floor, and skedaddled as fast as they could - before I could get a chance to assess the stove's condition.
This is a saga - because it goes on and on.  The stove had a few obvious things wrong with it from the get go.  The top was damaged, and had to be replaced.  They sent no hardware with the vent rail, so I had to go to Charlie's Hardware and buy it myself; a bracket was not attached, so I got some sheet metal screws... When the new top arrived a week later, I replaced it and fixed all of those other things.

And then the plumber came to install it.  It was only then that I started to realize that NOT ONLY HAD I GOTTEN A LEMON - IT WAS THE WRONG LEMON!
Note the feature that says "Electronic ignition - Top burners and oven can be lit with a match during power failure." 

   The plumber noted that 2 of the adjustable legs were stripped so the stove couldn't be leveled, and the broiler door was askew.  We leveled it with the burner tops from the old discarded stove. Sheesh. Then, once he'd hooked it up to the gas, we referred to the manual, and tested for the "oven can be lit with a match during power failure" feature.  
   Guess what?  That sucker has a glow bar. The reviews I based my purchase on said "No glow bar. Can be lit in power outage." Won't bore you with the substantiating pix, but you can bet your bottom dollar I saved every web page (which is good, because AJ Madison changed that feature to say Electronic ignition only). It is not functional in a power outage, cannot be match lit, and depends on electrical power to operate. Gimme a break.  That is not the stove I bought.

   So, after the plumber left, I called my credit card company and filed a dispute. Over the course of this AJ Madison has tried to get me to keep the stove offering 10% and then 20% discount with less of a warranty than I'd already bought.  
   All I want is the stove I ordered: the one that can operate without electricity - undamaged. 
   BUT it does not end there.  I now have the wrong stove and, because "it has been modified" ie: installed, the credit card company put the charge back on my card. 

The first time I baked with it I set the dial to 425 to cook a Bongi's turkey pie.  The glass part of the lightbulb popped out of the socket and shot into the oven.  Guess I'll have to pull the stove out and unplug it to retrieve the part that's still screwed in. Needless to say, the turkey pie was totally overcooked - burned.  Then a couple of other things got burnt.  So, I went back to Charlie's and got an oven thermometer.   Since then I have been trying to figure out how to calibrate the temps.

I made a mark with Wite-Out for 325 degrees. It's 125? So I guess the thing is 200 over. But wait! I've been keeping records.  350 can go near 600!
300 = 450-525
250 = 375-400
125 = 325 sometimes higher.
There's very little consistency, so baking is a challenge.
And what about this broiler door?  It's askew and won't straighten out. It's 13.25 inches high on the right and 12.5 on the left.  Note the shims where the right adjustable foot is supposed to be.

This morning after I realized the charge is back on my credit card, I first called my CC company to no avail, and then emailed AJ Madison's customer service (mind you, I have a file of nearly 20 emails of the ongoing history since I first noticed the crappy stove top back on Jan 30.)  I also gave them the review they deserve. There wasn't enough room in the text field to list all of the reasons they suck.
My email to AJ Madison today: 3-15-15
Order # 64065165
I never received warranty card.  I also bought new leaf 3 year warranty, and it was charged to my credit card.
I dispute the entire transaction, and then am told because the stove was installed I'm stuck with it.  There was no way I could have known the damage without the stove being installed.

What good is this warranty?  I want the stove replaced.

I have contacted my lawyer.  Before I file with BBB and Attorney General, I am giving you the opportunity to replace the stove with an undamaged one of the design I thought I was ordering based on your features list and customer reviews.  

Damage includes:
#1 - it does not have match lit oven feature as stated on product page and reviews
#2 - Stove top had to be replaced, and hardware had to be purchased and installed by me
#3 - The adjustable legs are stripped and the stove needs shims to level
#4 - The broiler door is askew and can't be straightened
#5 - The thermostat is not calibrated, 350 setting = 500+ temp.  Burned the first few things I baked until I got an oven thermometer. In order to cook at 325 I need to have the knob turned below temperature marks - below 150 mark.

I paid $89 for 3 year New Leaf Warranty, and still have no satisfaction.  I want the stove replaced with an undamaged, match lit or battery spark oven with functional adjustable legs and a properly calibrated thermostat.
It's obvious I got a lemon - and it was the WRONG LEMON. 
MA law has 3X damages on this type of consumer complaint.

So, that's where it stands today.  Glad my son is a lawyer.

My next washer will be analog, too. We need to start a revolution.

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE: I finally, just yesterday got a replacement stove with battery ignition delivered and installed. It was worth waiting for. It took the threat of notifying the attorney general to get them to replace the stove. And even after that they tried to get me to accept a different stove that didn't have the only feature I wanted - off the grid ability.