Weber Grills – Great Customer Service
June 7, 2006
Enough car talk for the moment… I had a great customer service experience today, and it deserves a post.
I’ve long been a fan of Weber grills. These things are built like battleships. I’ve had a lot of name-brand grills over the years, but never anything that cooked as evenly or held-up to heavy duty use as well as a Weber.
I’ve got a 6 year old Weber Genesis Silver B propane grill, and a 5 year old Weber Smoky Mountain smoker. The grill gets heavy use for a lot of the year, and the smoker does also in nice weather.
Up to this year, they’ve both held up amazingly well. I had to replace the thermometer in the grill last year, and this year I broke down and bought a replacement set of stainless steel flavorizer bars and a new porcelain-coated set of cast iron grills. Not that I had to, but because I figured they’d be easier to keep clean.
I did have to replace the electronic ignition this year also, but between it and the thermometer, we’re talking maybe $20 of required replacement parts in a heavily used grill over 6 years — and it worked without them, it’s just more convenient with them.
The smoker hasn’t needed anything but fresh charcoal and the occasional cleaning.
While I was replacing the flavorizer bars, I noticed that the “crossover” on the burners was corroding away — enough that it could soon be dangerous (this is the bit that when you light the front burner, it carries the flame to the back two.)
The worse news came when I decided that the time had come to do some smoking, and I went to lift the lid on the Smokey Mountain, and the spot-welded handle came off in my hand. This was a little less survivable, since the porcelain-coated lid would be tough to drill to mount a new handle, and prone to rust even if I managed it.
I pretty much used this as an excuse to order a Cookshack electric smoker, just for ease of use, but just the same, this afternoon I wandered out to the Weber site to see if I could find some parts.
Unfortunately, they only had burner parts for sale on the site for newer grills than mine, and no lids for the smoker.
So, I decided to give them a call — boy am I glad I did.
I ended up on the phone with a wonderful customer service tech for 45 minutes, who patiently waited while I made trips back and forth to the back yard to get various numbers and information off the equipment.
The serial numbers had long since faded away, but she was eventually able to piece together enough info by asking me about various details (where “medium” and “low” were on the grill controls, a casting number from a vent on the smoker, etc.) that she could complete registering both units in their system.
Then she proceeded to tell me that they were both still under warranty, and she was sending me free of charge (and free of shipping), a new lid for my smoker, and a new crossover bar for my grill. Oh, and a new manual for my grill, since I couldn’t find the old one to give her the numbers out of it.
If that wasn’t enough, she then patiently answered my questions about modding the grill to do natural gas (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time), and availability of new grills for the smoker, and (since I decided to order both) waived the shipping on those items, since they were already shipping stuff. Plus she said she was sending me the manual for the Natural Gas version of the grill, so I would have all of the proper instructions.
Folks, you can’t BUY goodwill like this. These people are awesome, and they rock, and if you don’t seriously consider getting a Weber the next time you buy a grill, you’re missing a bet.