Customer Review

252 of 410 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AMAZON IS GREAT! WEBER CUSTOMER SERVICE?? WORST EVER!!!, September 11, 2009
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This review is from: Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black (Lawn & Patio)
First let me make it VERY clear that Amazon.com is ALWAYS the best. Top notch shipping, friendly/professional customer service, timely delivery. I absolutely love Amazon.com - NEVER have had a single problem.

Weber makes incredible products, I personally own three Weber Grills and every family member and most of my friends have since purchased at least one because they admire mine so much. Now comes in to play Weber Customer Service.....

I purchased this smoker Thursday 9/3/09 and had it shipped over night, which of course Amazon.com did perfectly. Since I knew the smoker was at the house so I stopped at my favorite butcher on the way home from my office, purchasing roughly $200 in meat. It was to be a great Labor Day Celebration with fine cuts of smoked meat at our annual End of Summer Bash. I came home and excitedly started putting together the smoker. However, the charcoal grate simply would not fit, something was amiss.... I called Weber customer service and was notified that I was the 3rd person to call that day with the exact same problem. In the factory, someone was putting the charcoal grates for the larger Weber smoker in this package which need the smaller. The customer service representative was incredibly kind and apologetic. They said they would over night the charcoal great and refund what I had purchased in meat. I was saddened that my guests would not enjoy what I had so anxiously hoped to serve, but understood that mistakes do indeed happen, and that Weber was doing all it could to make things right. The party must go on.

After the long holiday weekend, Tuesday comes and I expect to come home to a nice fedex package on my front porch containing said charcoal grill. As I pulled in the drive and to my dismay, no fedex package existed. Thus, I call Weber customer service. The first rep. said there was nothing in my "file" and that they would never agree to reimburse for the meat - unbelievably rude. I asked for a supervisor, and was of course, somehow was disconnected. I called back, and after three attempts finally a supervisor came to the phone. They said they would be sure to over night the correct grate to me, and they would have to check on the meat reimbursement. At this point, I didn't care as long as what I already had purchased would finally be complete.

Wednesday comes, no grate....I give it another day.....Thursday, no grate. Four more calls to Weber, two different rude, unprofessional supervisors and assurance the grate would come over night. Friday....no grate. Yet another call to Weber, more rude customer service reps and supervisors then a notification that the grate wouldn't ship until October 8th, this would not do at all. Finally get the VP of Customer Service for Weber, a fellow named Mark. I understand how he came to his position, you clearly need to be the best at being rude and unprofessional to hold such a prestigious position at Weber. He of course assured me that they would ship a grate over night and I will receive the grate Tuesday.

I for one feel that it was completely ridiculous what I had to go through just to get the product I had already purchased. This was by far the WORST customer service I've ever received from any company. I will no longer purchase another Weber product regardless of the quality. I would rather buy a new grill every year for the rest of my life rather than cook on another Weber.

Weber, you have lost a life long customer and several thousands of dollars because of something so ridiculous. I will never recommend a Weber product again, nor will anyone I know purchase another Weber product. I will personally purchase from another company and give it to them just to avoid another dollar going into a company that condones such poor customer service......Good Bye Weber!
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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 65 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 14, 2009 8:27:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2009 10:07:22 AM PDT
Dan Steely says:
I purchased one Sept 4, 09 - the day after you did. I did not request overnight shipping. Instead I went w/ the free supersaver, so my cooker arrived only last Friday - 9/11 (coincidentally the day you posted your review.) I began assembilng the unit on Saturday. My charcoal grate was the wrong size - it's too big (about 18.25 inches in diameter), apparently the grate for the 22.5 inch WSM. It was difficult to find the customer service number in the owners manual. I called the only number I could find. I wouldn't say that the man on the other end was rude -- maybe just lacking in manners. He did however provide the number for customer service and I was able to speak to a woman that was much more pleasant and courteous. She took my information and registered my grill. She told me she would have the new grate shipped out to me and would have someone call me when it did. I'm a little nervous now after reading your review. I hope my experience is better in the end. Thanks for the review.

UPDATE 9/16/2009
I found a forum on the Virtual Weber Bullet where a number of new WSM owners are posting that they are experiencing the same problem. First post said that he'd called Weber and they said they would FedEx a replacement overnight. He seemed to come away with the opposite frame of mind from yours - he says he is now a:
>>> "lifelong promoter ... and I haven't even done my first smoke! Yes, they screwed up,
>>> but rectified it with NO hassle."
Another post says the WSM was received on Thursday 9/10 - called Weber customer service and had a replacement grate on Sat 9/12.
Link to forum:
http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6530022865/m/311103262

I hope I can count on an experience more like these, and less like yours. Although I called Weber on Sat and as of today (Wednesday) I still don't have my replacement grate or even any indication that one has shipped. I've also emailed customer service twice now asking for an update and have not received a reply.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 6:17:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 17, 2009 6:02:23 PM PDT
Dan Steely says:
Here's the latest on my situation: After two emails to customer service asking for a status with no reply, I called the cust service number again this evening when I got home from work. I spoke to Jennifer. She was able to locate me in the system, so it was apparent that my call on Saturday had at least been successful in getting my cooker registered. I explained the situation. She said that I should put the wrong sized grate in a box on the porch for return and that they would arrange to have fedex pick it up the next day. She said that she would arrange to overnight a new one to me, and that it "should" ship tomorrow. I didn't realize at this point that she had misunderstood me. I asked what had happened with my request for a replacement on Saturday. Then she said that she had not understood - apparently she had thought a replacement charcoal grate had already been shipped and that the replacement grate was the problem. She then began to tell me that the part had been back ordered and that it would be a month before I would get a replacement. I then asked if it would be possible to get the part locally. She told me that Home Depot would have it, but I would have to pay. At this point I asked to speak to a supervisor. She put me on hold and then I was connected to the voicemail of someone that identified themselves as a customer service supervisor - name was Krystin. I left a message explaining the situation along with my phone number asking if there were any other options to get this resolved. So now my experience has inched a little closer to yours. But I'm still holding out hope that I can get this resolved reasonably.

UPDATE 9/17/2009: Krystyn returned my call last night. She apologized that I had been told it would be a month for the replacement grate. She said she was going to have a substitute charcoal grate - not exactly the right size (I am assuming it's the grate for the 18.5 inch One Touch kettle grill) shipped to me overnight. She was going to keep the proper replacement on back order and this would ship to me when it comes in. She said that I would then have two. So if this works out as she described I will be satisfied. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 9:31:56 AM PDT
David Verba says:
Dan, I'm sorry to hear your experience is inching closer to mine. When you get the "substitute" grate, can you measure the diameter and let me know exact measurements? I think they did the same thing with me, but didn't inform me of their plans and no intentions on shipping the correct one. I did receive a grate from them, but I thought it didn't fit quite right....I am so disappointed in Weber Customer Service.....

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 9:32:23 AM PDT
David Verba says:
Dan, I'm sorry to hear your experience is inching closer to mine. When you get the "substitute" grate, can you measure the diameter and let me know exact measurements? I think they did the same thing with me, but didn't inform me of their plans and no intentions on shipping the correct one. I did receive a grate from them, but I thought it didn't fit quite right....I am so disappointed in Weber Customer Service.....

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 10:53:22 AM PDT
J. Park says:
This is crazy. I'm having the same issue here. I purchased my 18.5 on 9/3/09 and got the shipment on the 10th. When I was putting it together, I realized that the middle grate was too large to fit in to the middle section so I call Weber right away. The CSR was very nice and offered to send me the replacement overnight for Saturday delivery and was it was received on time as promised. Now, something didn't quite look right with the charcoal grate so I've called Weber again to ask them if the grate I had was the right one for my 18.5. This time, a very rude person named Kathy told me that the reason the water pan is touching the charcoal is because I put much charcoal in the chamber. I found this hard to believe since I only filled it up to the middle of the chamber wall. When I asked her how much should a normal amount be and she said "one layer only and replenish every hour ". At that point I told her that they might have sent me another wrong part when which she quickly replied, "we don't send you anything. we are just customer service phone line". It's was like reading book to a cow at that point.

Finally, I got to a supervisor and we both discovered the problem was wrong size charcoal grate. She told me that she will order a "Quality Assurance" investigation and they will be sending me the correct part within next few days. I hope it's not true what you guys are saying about the grate being back ordered.

They haven't lost me as a customer yet but they are pretty close.

A

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 11:06:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2009 11:07:48 AM PDT
David Verba says:
Weber has the clothing company "Lands End" helping them answer customer service calls. Ask if you are talking to someone in Illinois (Weber) or Wisconsin (Lands End Helpers). I've spent several hours on with both. The grate is in fact back-ordered and they are sending out SIMILAR grates. The officially lied to me and told me they were shipping the correct grate. I can't believe that a company that charges so much for products has such terrible customer service....

I think we need to get together and write a letter to Weber-Stephens CEO.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2009 5:48:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2009 6:43:04 PM PDT
Dan Steely says:
OK - Latest status:
The callback from Krysten (Wednesday) actually began with her leaving a message on my answering machine. My son picked up about half way through. When I listened to her message the next day she had referred to the grate as a cooking grate (not a charcoal grate.) So I called again that evening to make sure this was simply a slip of the tongue. Krysten was out and I talked to Gene. Gene knew about the situation and told me that Krysten was working this issue. He told me that the intermediate replacement grate is actually the grate for the older 18.5 WSM (not the One touch.) He said that they had a good supply of these grates.

Meanwhile I've emailed cust service several times. Each time the response has been from somebody named Sean. Friday I got a message saying:
>>"it will ship as soon as we have more grates in stock."

I immediately emailed back explaining that I had been told that a replacement that wasn't the precise size was supposed to have been in stock and shipping to me overnight.
Reply on Saturday said
>>"That will ship shortly. It is in stock we just need to fill the orders and ship it out."

So two days had now passed and it appeared that they had not yet shipped the replacement. I immediately emailed back asking what the hold up was. I'm still waiting on the answer. Apparently it takes longer for Weber to "fill the orders and ship it out" or even answer an email than it does for Fedex or UPS to transport it from Illinois to Colorado.

David - When I called Weber originally (last Saturday) I asked the lady the dimensions of the charcoal grate for the 2009 18.5 in WSM, she told me it was 16 inches in diameter. The grate that came with my WSM measures about 18.25 in diameter. I've since been down to the Home Depot and the charcoal grates they have are either 13.5 inches or 17 inches (apparently the 18.5 Onetouch and the 22.5 Onetouch.) When I get the replacement from Weber I will measure and post here.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 1:48:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2009 2:32:06 PM PDT
Dan Steely says:
I called cust serv again last night. I was told that the person handling this would call me. I asked for the name and was told it is Sean (not sure if it's the same one I've exchanged emails with).

My wife just called from home and told me there was a message from Weber. Now the story is that Weber's "shipping is down" and the grate won't ship until middle of next week. I'm going to make one more call to customer service tonight and if I really have to wait another week I'm going to be shipping this thing back to Amazon for a refund. This is simply unacceptable.

David - At first I thought your assessment was a little harsh. Now I am starting to agree with you.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009 10:38:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2009 6:01:15 AM PDT
Dan Steely says:
Again I called customer service last night (9/22) while driving home from work to get clarification on the "shipping going down" message from Sean. I was informed that Weber is taking down the shipping department for an annual inventory on Thursday. Keeping in mind that the request to ship the grate was entered last Wednesday, and the shutdown was still two days away, I was starting to get a little hot under the collar.

I made another call to cust service after dinner. Sean actually answered. I asked why they couldn't get the grate shipped before the shutdown. All he could tell me was "that's what I've been told." So I asked to speak once again to a supervisor. Unfortunately Krystin is out until Thursday (I learned that fact from my earlier call) - so obviously she would not be able help in time. I asked Sean to connect me to another supervisor. This time it was someone named Judy. Again I had to leave a voice mail. The good news is that this morning Judy called the house. Apparently she is making an effort to get the grate shipped out today. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, hoping I won't be let down again.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 6:48:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2009 5:31:01 PM PDT
Dan Steely says:
The substitute grate arrived today. I installed it and it seems to fit well. The grate rests nicely on the lower set of bolts that attach the legs to the bowl assembly - just below the charcoal bowl dampers.

The packing list gave the part number for the grate as #72601 (I don't know what the part number is supposed to be for the 2009 18.5 WSM grate - I can't seem to find that information anywhere.)

I measured the diameter of the substitute to be right at 15.25 inches. There's a page on the Virtual Weber Bullet that provides some details on the components of the 2009 18.5 WSM and lists the diameter of the 2009 18.5 WSM charcoal grate as 15.5 inches.
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/22wsm.html#specs

Judy and Kristen came through. It's apparent that there are some weak links in Weber's customer service chain, but not all of them are bad. I'm annoyed by the fact that I had to invest so much time and energy getting this resolved after spending a pretty hefty chunk of change on this cooker. But a lot of persistence has paid off and I should be finally cooking a brisket this weekend.
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