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American Range? Buyer Beware!

9 years ago

It is with big frustration that I am reporting an unacceptable experience with American Range. Do not buy one unless you expect to get a perfect unit, because if you don't, be prepared to spend lots of time dealing with underperformance, defective parts, slow customer service, and ultimately denial that American Range is at fault if a repair tech cannot fix your range.

In early December I ordered a new 30" Performer liquid propane range; it was completed to order for a few weeks and delivered on 12/31/14. I was very excited about hopefully decades of cooking infatuation with this range that has gotten great reviews on Gardenweb and Chowhound. So it was an unfortunately hollow and deflated feeling when we fired up the cooktop and oven for the first time - to very shoddy performance. Listen to this long list of malfunctions.

1. The simmer burner lights the igniter area with a small flame but will not migrate to whole burner unless you jimmy the knob down to simmer and back to high several times back and forth until it finally lights the whole burner.
2. The medium burner does not light on the primary igniter and instead lights at the secondary igniter placement.
3. The back left high btu burner had a popping flame in the gap between the burner and the burner base.
4. The front right high btu burner has lazy yellow flames.
5. All burners backfire nearly every time they are turned off.
6. Sometimes gas comes out and the igniter clicks but the burner will not light, creating a safety hazard.
7. The oven is 15-50 degrees under the thermostat setting, unless you turn on the convection fan, which they don't tell you in their marketing materials.
8. One of the large drip pans was riddles with paint specks and flecks - don't know how they missed that one when they were packaging it for shipping.
9. The middle drip pan was painted brown when it is supposed to be black like the other pans and all of the knobs. Again, how did they miss that one.

Customer service was available by phone and pleasant, although they dragged and delayed. I had to send photos of the drip pans and then they replaced them. I took videos of the malfunctioning burners and they said if I was willing I could adjust the air shutters. After confirming it would not void the warranty I spent 90 minutes to no avail. Adjusting the air shutters from all the way open to all the way closed hardly changed the flames at all. Warning, Will Robinson - that is not normal.

They tried to blame it on low gas supply pressure out of my wall, but after getting the distributor involved, they pointed to the faulty igniter and they are not adjustable so that deserved a warranty service call. American obliged, contracted with a local outfit, even sent them some parts in the hope one of them would be the culprit, but alas none of those parts fixed anything. The tech replaced the burner assembly/bad igniter with a new assembly but it didn't work; and no adjustments worked to fix the burner performance, so all signals pointed toward a bad regulator. They left, American sent them a regulator and thermostat, and they came back. Replaced the regulator and nothing changed. Tested the gas pressure coming out of the wall and it was 13.5 W.C. - within the range of 11-14 W.C. specified in their installation manual. The repair techs then found there is an improperly machined part between the control knob and the burner with the faulty igniter, which explains why the replacement assembly did not fix the igniter issue. This is not a field repair (i.e., range replacement needed). The repair techs left after having exhausted all options to successfully repair the stove and gave their synopsis to American.

That was a full week ago, and it's when American went silent. Several emails and tweets to them have not been answered. Emails to the distributor and sales company resulted in a call from the distributor. They said American Range maintains that the problem is with my gas supply pressure and not with their range. What!

The distributor said they would try to work on American Range and I needed to as well. I emailed American saying the repair company they selected exhausted all options to fix the range after two visits, replacing parts, making adjustments, and the gas supply pressure was to specification. That means the unit is not repairable and needs to be replaced. I told them they needed to reply by today or I would start posting reviews on the Internet. They didn't reply, so unfortunately here I am.

Do not believe for one second the philosophy written on their website: "Inspired by our passion for PERFECTION, renowned for our product innovation and QUALITY"...and..."We earnestly feel we have PERFECTED the professional home range." Since quality and perfection clearly did not get applied to my unit, I expect American to take care of a very unhappy customer and replace a defective range with a new properly-performing range. If they won't do the right thing, I won't know what to do except request a refund from the sales company. If they won't issue a refund, I have a month to dispute the charges on my credit card. Either of those options makes me feel like American gets away easy.

Sheesh. Noone wants to spend north of $3K on a range and have an experience like this. I'm posting this review so others can at least be aware of what they would be getting into if they're not delivered a perfect American Range. I did not think a months-long kitchen remodel would get soured in the end by a defective, expensive, pro-style range that is Made in America!

Any thoughts out there on what I should do?

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