Most helpful critical review
183 of 191 people found the following review helpful
Stopped working after a few uses, company did not honor warranty
on July 18, 2012
This unit performed reasonably well for a while. It pressure cooked things as described. However, after maybe 6 uses it lost power in the middle of a cooking cycle. There was no heat and nothing on the LED display. There had been no spillage or any other user error. I tried again later with different quantities of food or water and never got it to turn on at all. Ok, either a faulty or poorly designed unit.
Contacted the company to claim a warranty issue. After giving me the runaround they agreed for me to ship it to them on my dime and they would repair it. It's a moderately heavy item but I packed it well and paid to ship it to them. It was a noticeable amount of trouble and expense, but it was cheaper than buying a replacement. Then they had a snarky lady call me up and say that in transit something got dented (which is a little hard to imagine considering the build of the unit and my packing job). Although it's only a cosmetic issue (if it's an issue at all) it technically voids the warranty, so they refused to repair it or take further action, including send it back to me. To this day I'm not actually sure that it even received a dent. I just have to take their word for it. It appears to be a way for them to technically have a warranty without actually honoring it. I suspect they always open packages and then look for any possible way to avoid honoring the warranty.
Clearly the company does not care about its customers or reputation, and my experience also indicates that their product is shoddy. I would encourage anyone considering this product to avoid it, and indeed you may wish to avoid Nesco altogether. Buying from them is quite a risk. If it stops working, you lose and don't really have any recourse. If you don't take my advice and it breaks and it hasn't been very long, be sure to return it to Amazon, not the manufacturer. They will treat you poorly, make you pay shipping, and then not repair/replace the unit.
===================== UPDATE 18 MONTHS LATER ============================
This review has rightly been a blight on Nesco for 18 months now and more than one person has contacted them about it. It's gotten a lot of "helpful" votes because this review illustrates a super-common problem with the item and an egregious problem with Nesco's customer service. If you read the comments to this review you will see some of the saga. In short, Nesco customer service was snippy to the point of unprofessional with me and others and refused to do anything about it or admit fault. Finally an amazon customer bypassed customer service and contacted the head of PR. That person responded that this was an error in policy and he was going to make sure customer service knows the right policy as well as sending me a new pressure cooker. Well, today it arrived. If he did that, there's a decent chance he also changed the way Nesco customer services handles its customers more generally. I hope so. You can make your own judgment about whether they deserve another shot. They made things more-or-less right with me (after 18 months with no pressure cooker) if you ignore shipping costs that I had to pay. The response from the PR guy was posted in a comment but has been deleted by Amazon. I'll let you decide whether that was right/ethical.
I do have to point out that the replacement they sent me was double boxed and well-packed, but has a noticeable dent on the side. It's a refurbished unit. I don't mind the dent. I just find it ironic since the reason they wouldn't originally honor my warranty was that mine supposedly had a dent in it. Makes me wonder if they refused to return mine, refurbished it, and sent it to someone else. I shouldn't be so cynical, I guess. For all I know they kept my original pressure cooker this whole time and returned the actual unit I sent them.
Whatever the current situation with customer service, this unit has a fatal flaw that anyone buying should know about. It affected me and if you look at the 1 and 2 star reviews you will see that they are all exactly the same situation: There is a thermal fuse down by the power supply. At 128 degrees Celsius it blows and the unit will no longer power on. And it's a one-shot deal. The fuse must be replaced but to do so requires disassembling the bottom of the unit and replacing the fuse, which is inline with the power cord. This is apparently easy but hard enough that it's not considered customer serviceable. By the way the fuse can be purchased on Amazon for just over one dollar. Just search for "128 degree thermal fuse."
I can easily imagine that this fuse was forced on Nesco by government regulators, so perhaps Nesco isn't to blame. But it is a fact that in many, many cases this fuse will blow during normal operations and put the user in a tough situation. I fully expect that mine will blow again. When it does, I'm not going to pay to ship it back to Nesco nor deal with their customer service representative. I'm going to take the unit apart and replace the fuse myself. Despite the fact that it eventually kind of worked out for me, the manufacturer warranty isn't worth much. You can decide what to do if/when it happens to you.
===================== UPDATE A FEW DAYS AFTER THE REPLACEMENT ARRIVED ============================
I was quite relieved to have a replacement for my non-functioning unit. The replacement successfully pressure cooked two artichokes. Well, kind of. It shut off a little before finishing. And then never turned on again. Nothing happens when you plug it in anymore. Same problem as it and other units of this model have had in the past. This device is a lemon if there ever was one--there was plenty but not too much water and everything else was fine too. There's no way I would deal with customer service again and my wife insists that I just throw it out. She just wants her kitchen space back. In her words "that company is dead to me." Well spoken, but I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel until I try replacing the thermal fuse. At this point it's a race to see which happens first: I get around to trying to fix it or she throws it out when I'm not paying attention. I'll let you know if I am able to successfully fix it.
In summary, if you want a pressure cooker I'd suggest getting the old-fashioned kind that just work on the stove. The electrical ones are junk, especially this brand/model.