Stand By Your Pan – Don’t Throw Away that Le Creuset!


My Old Le Creuset 9qtOven


With apologies to Tammy Wynette, singer and co-writer of the country standard Stand by Your Man, I’m calling this one Stand By Your Pan. This is a good news story, that in our age of lax, unconcerned customer service and “throw it away and buy new” mentality, I am both proud and pleased to relate.

In the late 1970′s I purchased a 9-quart Le Creuset Flame Round French Oven. My family calls it “The Orange Pot.” When they see it on the stovetop or in the oven they know something good is cooking. Over the years I have used my French Oven to make countless braises in red wine, untold gallons of tomato ragù, all manner of dark, rich stews. With every September came quart upon quart of luscious scarlet and purple jams, jellies and preserves; the jewel-like raspberry, blueberry and blackberry creations glistened and bubbled against the oven’s enameled interior as they cooked down to jammy goodness, destined for their glass jars and the darkness of the pantry. Good food, every bit of it, but it was food that over time stained and dulled the interior of the pot, leaving it with a somewhat unappetizing, almost honed appearance. As I pored over catalogs I saw immaculate new pots, pretty pots whose smooth interiors shone brightly and reflected the light.


Old Le Creuset Pot Bottom



While some may consider a well-used pot a badge of honor, the truth was I could no longer thoroughly clean mine. The interior porcelain had become porous and had begun to hold smells. I realized I wanted not so much a perfect pot, but one that I could clean thoroughly. Mind you, the flame red-orange exterior of my pot was as pristine as the day it first emerged from its box.




Le Creuset Lifetime Warranty


Then I read the Le Creuset Lifetime Limited Warranty. It read, in part:

Le Creuset cookware is warranted to you by Le Creuset of America, Inc. to be free from defects in material and workmanship at the time of its purchase… This warranty does not cover damage from abuse, commercial use or other non-consumer use, neglect, abnormal wear or tear, overheating, or any use not in accordance with the cookware instructions provided with the utensil… This Lifetime Limited Warranty begins on the date of purchase and lasts as long as a covered consumer owns the utensil.

That was all I needed to read. I knew I had treated the pot well, never having scratched or chipped it. I called the company in South Carolina, and after a few questions, I had an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) number, an address to which to send the pot and a pretty darn good feeling about the entire affair. I carefully boxed The Orange Pot and mailed it away. The good folks at Le Creuset inspected the pot and deemed it to have been well treated. The only cost to me was the shipping charge of #37.16 for the return of my original pot, a small price to pay for the replacement the company, in the very best of faith, returned to me.


My New Le Creuset 9qt Oven


Merci, Le Creuset!

Readers, if you have an old and stained, but otherwise well-treated piece of this iconic cookware you wish to replace, contact the company’s Consumer Services Department toll-free at 1-877-418-5547, or email them at Consumer-Services@LeCreuset.com.

Click here to visit the Le Creuset of America, Inc. website for warranty information.


My Replacement Le Creuset 9qt Oven


Vive Le Creuset!


Note: You can click on any picture to see a slide show!

I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.

60 Comments

  1. Comment by Lori Lynn:

    Wow. Thanks for this useful info Adri!
    Glad you were able to get a new one. Cool! We love Le Creuset.
    LL

  2. Comment by Cathy at Wives with Knives:

    I have a pot that looks like the one you had, Adri, and I’m very happy to know about Le Creuset’s return policy. I didn’t realize it is possible to get a new one when an old one is so badly discolored and pitted. I love my Le Creuset and use it every day. I’m calling the company immediately.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Cathy,

      I was so pleased with the Le Creuset return program. Words fail me. The company was right there and willing to help, and they were so nice about it. Give them a call, and you will be on your way. It is my pleasure to spread the word! Vive Le Creuset!

  3. Comment by nancy at good food matters:

    Adri
    This is a feel-great story! I own a number of Le CREUSET pots, dating back to the mid-80′s through present day. I love ‘em all. You’ll be creating years and years of new memories in your brand new pot. Enjoy!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Nancy,

      A feel-great story indeed. I love my Le Creuset pots, and I have certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of them. Now I can say I love the company too. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Comment by trevorsisboom:

    There is probably no more important thing in my kitchen than mine. I admire the company for standing behind the product so much. That said, I think I would miss mine if I ever turned it back in. Don’t you miss the old one even a little bit?

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Trevro,

      Oh, but I do miss it. I absolutely do, and I am feeling terribly nostalgic. “The Orange Pot” was the repository of many family memories. That said, I am still just floored by their customer service. The way I figure it is I will just have to cook a lot!

  5. Comment by Steven:

    The Le Creuset cooking set is a pleasant surprise. Thanks for putting this pan set in the spot light, and it’s well deserved. I believe my grandma used to cook with this pan set, and I used to wonder why her foods were so GOOD! The corn pasta squares with beef and mushroom ragu look so delicious.
    Steven

    • Comment by Adri:

      Benvenuto Steve,

      I bet your grandmother’s cooking was out of this world. These old pans are really spectacular, and they bring back lots of memories for people. Thanks for the kind words about the pasta dish; it’s home cooking, Italian style!

  6. Comment by Marie:

    Now that is what I call quality service! I’m so happy to hear stories like yours Adri, it makes me love LeCreuset even more now. That beautiful new pot of yours just landed in the best of hands!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Marie,

      I’m with you about the outstanding Le Creuset service. It’s just like out moms told us “Girls, buy quality.” And thank you for the vote of culinary confidence. I know I will enjoy thirty more years of creating good food in my Le Creuset.

  7. Comment by Pam @ MyNewlywedCookingAdventures:

    This is great PR for one of my very favorite cooking-related companies! I have a lot of Le Cresuet pots and baking dishes and I never thought about that warranty because it always seems whatever is wrong with my item a company deems unworthy of meeting the warranty. This is fantastic to know I can count on a company when my beloved cooking dishes reach the end of their lives.

  8. Comment by Karen (Back Road Journal):

    That is reason alone to buy Le Creuset. It really is nice to know that they stand behind their products.

  9. Comment by Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen:

    I so totally agree that Le Creuset and their pots are THE best. I’ve had several sizes for a very long time and have, like you, had to return one. They could not have been nicer. What a great company.
    Sam

  10. Comment by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella:

    This is a very timely post. My Le Creuset has had some strange pitting at the bottom and for the life of me I don’t know how and why this happened. I should contact them :)

  11. Comment by Maureen | Orgasmic Chef:

    What a wonderful outcome AND you have a new pan to make wondrous new things for us to drool over. A definite win!

  12. Comment by sippitysup:

    “Hallelujah”
    I am so happy to hear that somethings stand true in our disposable society. I just sent my Shun knives off to be sharpened because (despite the fact that they are 10 yrs old) they have a lifetime guarantee to stay sharp. Like you I was diligent in my care of the knives. But even with regular honing they still lost a bit of their edge. Boom. I expect them back next week good (better??) as new. GREG

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Greg,

      Double Hallelujah! I’m glad to hear that Shun will stand behind their knives. I bet they will be perfect when you get them back. Gotta love this level of customer service.

  13. Comment by Chiara:

    Ho sempre desiderato avere una di queste fantastiche pentole, prima o poi me la compero !

  14. Comment by amy @ fearless homemaker:

    Oh, I had no idea that they had such a great warranty! My big le creuset (which we call the big green pot) is starting to get some of that same staining, so it’s good to know I can possibly get it revamped when the time comes. And it’s the same here – whenever the pot comes out, everyone knows something super delicious (+ ultra comforting) is being made. In fact, I used it last night for a big, meaty, pasta meal. =)

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Amy,

      Oh, I love that you call it the big green pot! That is great. My family loves to see the orange pot on the stove. It is a real memory maker. Boy, did I ever dislike the staining, though. So I am very glad I pursued this and I am delighted to pass the information along. Stand by your pan!

  15. Comment by Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti:

    This is a wonderful warranty and fabulous customer service, Adri! I have a few Staub brand cast iron pans, and I will have to see if they offer the same. Enjoy that new pot–I love its cheerful color!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Pat,

      Yes, a feel good story all the way around. I would expect Staub to also be very good. These pieces are terribly expensive, and now there is so much competition for the consumer dollar, it would make no sense for Staub to abandon its customers.

  16. Comment by Mette:

    Le Creuset is on my wish list every year for Christmas, but apparently I have not been good yet:)

  17. Comment by Glamorous Glutton:

    That’s amazing, it would never have ocurred to me to send my le creuset pot back. Mine looks like yours so perhaps i’ll give it a go. Thanks. GG

  18. Comment by Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen:

    Love this post, Adri! It is so refreshing to know how well your return was handled. So professional with a happy customer ending. We can all have faith now in our Le Creuset and…stand by our pan!

  19. Comment by speedy70:

    conosco queste pentole, sono fantastiche!!!!!

  20. Comment by Foodiewife:

    I love it when companies stand by their product. My fantasy is owning a complete set of Le Creuset. There are a few pieces that I lust over, but I hesitate to make the investment– which, in my book, it is. I just have to convince my husband why I would pay a few hundred bucks for a pot. Why? Because they are well made and I adore searing and braising! Congrats on your calling the company, and your new and beautiful new pot.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi,

      Well here is another reason why you should purchase it. They stand behind it. I was floored by the entire experience. I mean after thirty-plus years of service, I actually felt a bitl greedy about sending it back, but the warranty was right there. And so was Le Creuset. Like our moms told us “Buy quality.”

  21. Comment by John@Kitchen Riffs:

    Wow! I have a couple of Le Creuset pots that look exactly like yours. And I know a lot of other people who have the same experience with their Le Creuset. Thanks for the good news — I need to contact them.

  22. Comment by Laney (Ortensia Blu):

    And this is the main reason why I bought mine several years ago – So glad to know that you had a great experience returning yours – happy cooking and many more years together with you and your Le Creuset – here’s to orange pots!

  23. Comment by Monique:

    I love stories like this!
    Sadly we discarded my husband’s turquoise one that looked exactly like yours..yrs ago..
    You were very smart in wondering if their lifetime mention was true..and it was..Great products and company:)

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Monique,

      What a shame that you guys discarded the pot, but the good news is now you know. This story just made my day. The company really stood behind their product. After that many years I was just amazed. This is today’s “feel good” story!

  24. Comment by Karen:

    I have at least one Le Creuset with an interior that looks EXACTLY like yours did, in cobalt blue. It’s an old friend…I’d love a shiny new one but would have to say a nostalgic goodbye ! Thanks for sharing Adri.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Karen,

      Oh, my orange pot did not go gently into the night. I had a good bit of difficulty parting with it, and I was quite surprised at just how attached I was to it. I am loving the response this story is getting. It was my pleasure to share this one.

  25. Comment by Ciaochowlinda:

    Oh my goodness Adri, you just made my day. I have that exact same pot in orange and it too, is discolored. If it has a chip or two, does that disqualify it for replacement? I have at least two other Le Cruset pots that may also fit this criteria. Woo hoo.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Linda,

      I don’t know if a chip would be a problem. I would tend to doubt it as after many ears of use, to my mind, chips are unavoidable. I say call the company. I am so impressed with their service. To be fair and balanced, so to speak, All-Clad Metalcrafters also stood by a pan, sending, a replacement years back. Like our moms said “Girls, buy quality.”

  26. Comment by TheKitchenLioness:

    Adri, I am quite impreessed with the impeccable customer service by Le Creuset! And it goes to show that treating your cookware (and bakeware) kindly, will pay off!
    What a fun post, dear friend!

  27. Comment by Sandra - The Foodie Affair:

    What great customer service! I’ll keep that in mind, but I hope that mine does last a lifetime! I purchased my first Dutch oven over a year ago and love it!

  28. Comment by Lizzy (Good Things):

    Wow, now that is something!

  29. Comment by Bam's Kitchen:

    Great post and thanks for the information about your LeCreuset pans. Now my first line of business is to get one its on my wish list…. Happy cooking!

  30. Comment by Una Walker:

    Oh my! I have the very same pot and vintage and we also refer to it as the Orange Pot. It was my Mom’s and I really cherish it. I’ll have to take a better look at it and see if it fits the criteria. Thanks!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Una,

      I really was surprised. I thought that after thirty plus years they would NEVER replace it. But I read the warranty, and I figured I would give it a go because I really could not get it clean. I sent it, and in just a tad over 3 weeks a replacement arrived. In this day and age, it was really quite heartwarming. Good luck with your replacement!

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