Stand By Your Pan – Don’t Throw Away that Le Creuset!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vive Le Creuset!
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I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.