Not built to last & customer services that don't care....

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Guest's review of Outback Classic Hunter 3 Burner Hooded

★☆☆☆☆

“Not built to last and customer services that don't...”

Written on: 21/12/2016

I sent the following email to Outback UK in July 2015. 8 weeks later, having had no response I sent it again. The next day I got a response that answered none of my questions - see at the bottom of the review:

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I purchased my first Outback Hunter in 1999. I loved the fact it was enameled, had a wooden stand, cast iron plates and would last the test of time. I had a cover for it and would clean it and put it away in my garage every year once I had finished using it. Funnily enough it was then that I discovered cleaning all the grease off of it did it no good for over-wintering as it then rusted quite a bit, especially the cast iron plates, and needed cleaning again in the spring, and so I changed to putting it away with a layer of grease on the cast iron plates, threw away the lava rock and then cleaned it in the spring, because then it was not so rusty. The only problem I had was the enamel chipped on the lid by the handles and it rusted. A quick email and some photographs and you shipped me a new lid without fuss. Thank you.

In 2007 the railings holding the burners and the trays holding the lava rocks succumbed to rust. The protection around the electric igniters had rusted away, but 2 out of 3 still worked. If it were just a case of the Lava Rock baskets failing then I could have replaced them and coped with only two igniters working, but it was terminal because the rails had rotted away. I replaced it with a new Outback Hunter.

This time it had enameled plates, I thought the wood was softer than the original and the handle had changed on the lid, but I was confident that it would last longer than the original.

However it still has the same problem. The rails that support the burners have corroded completely and broken up causing the burners to fall down. The lava rock baskets are just about holding their own, but again it is terminal. I have to throw it away.

What makes me so angry is that the enameled hood is still in superb condition. (The thermometer packed up quite quickly, but that has been the same for both), the handle is fine, the sides and fat tray are fine as is the trolley and canvas front piece. If you close the lid and look at it, even close up, it still looks like new. Temporarily bracing the burners it still cooks fine, even if only 2 of the igniters are working, and in the main has been a superb Barbecue. It just has a fatal flaw in the materials used inside that mean an item that I considered to be of the highest quality and “top of the range” that should last for many years just does not last as long as it should in my opinion.

But I have no wish to replace it with a new Outback Hunter because I know that within a matter of years it will fail again if the construction is still the same. Perhaps this is a policy in order to get repeat business, because, after all, as a manufacturer you do not want a barbecue lasting 20 or 30 years do you? What it does mean though is that people will stop recommending your products to others. I know I will.

So I would like to ask a question – how long do you expect your Barbecues to last in normal use? You give a 10 year warranty on certain items. That is commendable. However if the rest of the barbecue is not covered by the same warranty and falls apart around those items then it is completely pointless, the barbecues never last that long.

I would like to say that ours is by no means normal use, it has always been cleaned and looked after, the oil tray has always been lined with foil and sand to catch the drips, we have replaced the lave rocks every year and it has always had a cover on it and been put away between September and April in the main. This year I am using it for the summer and then throwing it away.

Please feel free to come and inspect it. I am sure you will be disappointed to see the weaknesses that let down an otherwise excellent product.

I look forwards to your response,

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This was the response I got:

Hi we are sorry to hear about your bbq, we are the importers as they are manufactured in China and the quality of the materials used is down to them as they need to source the materials at the right price in order for them to keep the pricing of the units at a reasonably affordable level so as to appeal the majority and not an exclusive clientele . We cannot warranty every part for 10 years as we have no control over the usage of the unit and to what conditions they are subjected too, please note that the 10 year warranty was not introduced until 2008

Regards

Warranty
Outback International UK Ltd
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Make your own mind up - I will never buy Outback again.

  • Ease of Use

  • Durability

  • Ease of Cleaning

  • Gas

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