Top critical review
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Order at Your Own Risk
on August 31, 2013
The first Doufeau Oven I received from Amazon arrived in an unmarked white box (inside of an Amazon packing box), which nowhere on it said Le Creuset, instead of the normal heavy gauge orange cardboard boxes which say LC and show the item image. Not only was the white box not taped closed (someone had obviously opened it previously and returned it), so it was not sealed and protected--and it slid out of the white box during shipping and was tossing about, loose inside the Amazon shipping box. Shocking! It was cracked in 5 places, chipped with huge chunks out and gouges so big that one could see the cast iron beneath the enamel, in numerous places. It was a disaster. In addition to the terrible flaws and damage, the plastic pieces and cardboard that normally separate and protect the heavy cast iron lid from the bottom, were nowhere to be found, nor was any paperwork. This was obviously a factory second which someone had previously returned, and Amazon didn't even inspect before they sent it back out. I called Amazon and they promptly sent another one to me, with free overnight shipping. This time--much to my dismay, they sent it completely unprotected, without ANY surrounding Amazon packaging whatsoever--and it arrived in its original Le Creuset (orange this time) box, battered and ripped and filthy from shipping, with merely a shipping label slapped on it and a tiny "Heavy Item" sticker on it. For the love of God. MIRACULOUSLY, the Doufeau was mostly intact, with a small chip in the enamel at the very top of the bottom pot's lip. Which I can live with, because this was the last one in stock (and the only reason I got it at Amazon was because no one else had it) and I have heard the horror stories about returning LC, only to get replacements that have even more damage. So I am keeping it. In the big picture, I can't believe Amazon ships such high-end, delicate, expensive cookware in such a sloppy, haphazard, disrespectful and careless way. As others have said and I will repeat here, you take a big risk when ordering Le Creuset from Amazon, for a myriad of reasons--including their inconsistent shipping and packing methods. I have purchased all of my other LC pieces from a competitor that begins with a Z, who also has free shipping and returns--but with a 365 return policy, which Prime does not. They know how to package LC with care and respect, how to protect the product, and I have received each piece from them in impeccable, pristine (and not seconds or second-hand quality) condition. I highly recommend shopping with them, instead, for LC products. Amazon does a lot of things fairly well (although their packing is all over the place with everything), but LC cookware it does not. As far as the Doufeau goes--it is gorgeous and I can't wait to cook in it. The reviewer who said it is poorly designed and has a "slick top," is incorrect. (That was just to justify her accidental breakage to get the warranty replacement. It is impeccably designed.) There is nothing slick or loose about it, and it fits perfectly into the bottom pot like a puzzle piece with an interlocking depressed portion. And it is not as heavy as you would think! It's a dream.
The 2 stars are for Amazon in this case (I should give them 1), to alert you to go elsewhere, if you can. 5 Stars for Le Creuset and the Doufeau.