A little more than a month ago, I discovered, to my utter dismay and shock, that the inner enamel base of one of Le Creuset French ovens, had a big gaping chip! I had no idea how it happened because I only discovered it while I was washing up after dinner.
I was totally devastated. Not only was it my most frequently used one, because of the perfect size for my family when I cook stews and sauces and soups, but it was a piece of kitchenware that I had grown so fond of. The big crack opened up to show the iron portion beneath and it was totally unusable for it will only begin to rust.
I know that Le Creuset offers a lifetime guarantee on its products, but I wasn’t too hopeful on how the Le Creuset guarantee would work in Malaysia, even more so because my Le Creuset kitchenware was purchased in the United States. Nevertheless, I had to give it a try and decided to call the Le Creuset office in Kuala Lumpur to inquire how I could pursue a claim.
The customer representative informed me that I had to send the damaged item in for inspection by the Quality Control team, and after about 5-7 days, if they deem the damage is caused by a manufacturing defect, then they will arrange for a replacement. I then asked what if it cannot be replaced, can they repair it for me? She told me the Malaysian branch does not handle repairs and we have to send it to France, which will cost a fortune!
There was also no Le Creuset branch in Penang, so I had no choice but to ship it to KL. After all, I could not use the pot at all, so I might as well send it in and hope for a replacement and honoring of the Le Creuset guarantee.
After about 2 weeks, someone called me to let me know that the inspection was completed. However, before I was told that a replacement would be given, I was asked several questions like how often I use the pot and for what reason, etc. Apparently the inspection tests had shown that the enamel layer had also minute cracks that could not be seen by the naked eye.
Long story short, the lady told me she would give me a replacement, but may not be able to obtain the same color as my pot. The colors they would be able to give are dependent on their stock, and so a week later, someone else contacted me to let me know that I had a choice of these 3 colors:
- Volcano (an orangey hue)
- Kiwi (lime green)
- Cherry (red)
Before we purchased the set in blue a couple of years ago, my husband had indicated he liked the orange Le Creuset, but since the Cobalt Blue was the only color on clearance, we decided on that instead. So now, it was a no-brainer that our choice is the Volcano pot.
Next came another problem. Le Creuset KL WILL NOT ship the pot to Penang. Not even if I paid them to do it! What??!! That’s totally ridiculous! Apparently it’s not their company policy.
Well whatever. They can’t expect to have customers only in Klang Valley, yes?
So in the end, I arranged for my own forwarder to pick up the said item from their store and bring it to me in Penang. This part was smooth, and after all the drama, I now have a new Le Creuset pot in a glorious orangey hue. Ain’t she a beauty?
Because this is so different from the color I currently have on my other Le Creuset items, it will now be treated as a focal piece in my kitchen instead. Love it!! xx
Coincidentally, this incident happened around the same time my girlfriends and I were discussing whether it is worthwhile to invest in a Le Creuset, as opposed to other cast iron cookware from other brands, which are more reasonably priced. I’ve only argued on and defended Le Creuset based on the taste of food, which is definitely more superior compared to using just a plain pot or slow cooker, but now it is clear to see that paying premium for a set of Le Creuset kitchenware or even just a Le Creuset French Oven is worth every penny. We are paying for satisfaction and reassurance, and a heritage we can pass on to our future generations. (The only thing Le Creuset Malaysia could improve on is their shipping options. They currently do not ship outside of Kuala Lumpur and I had to arrange for my own forwarder to pick up the item to ship it back to me, at my own expense.)