A list of Bluestar issues so far ...

keitelMarch 10, 2009

RNB304 installed Jan 2008. Here's a list:

1. One side of the oven burner not igniting properly causing release of excess gas - burner part replaced - spring 08

2. Convection fan loud and replaced June / July 08

3. Wire trapped in side panel overheats, sparks and shorts out oven causing minor explosion. 2 other wires in "danger" discovered during repair - Feb 09

4. Unit shipped with incorrect metal frame under stove top - correct parts and levelling screws installed - Mar 09

5. Convection fan indicator bulb burned out - Mar 09

This is a lot by any standards in a very short time, isn't it? The framing pieces were just installed today and the very first meal I cook after the convection bulb is burnt out. I don't even know why I'm posting all this. I need some perspective.

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I am wondering about #3 you went from Jan 08 to Feb 09 with a wiring problem that caused no problem and then it starting shorting out. Who was your selling dealer and what if nay help has he given you? I am sure you are now dealing direct with Bluestar and Matt Schutte at 1-800-449-8691. Also you went from Jan 08 to Feb 09 without having a problem with the metal frame and the leveling?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:00AM
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Excellent questions both. As far as the wiring goes, the service guys claimed that the wiring was faulty from the factory and were corroding / being pinched over time and then just blew. They were adamant that it had nothing to do with their earlier replacement of the convection fan.

As far as the framing / levelling situation, it just took me that long to self-diagnose (there's no mention whatsoever about it in the manual), ask questions on this forum and figure out that my range was not put together correctly. I've been a bit in the dark. The range I bought was the first ever sold by the dealer. The service company, while having worked on Garlands in the past, had never laid eyes on a Bluestar and certainly never installed one. It was a bit like being in the wilderness for me. So, I requested levelling screws from Bluestar who mailed me some, but not enough. Then I realized that the two inside frame supports didn't even have threaded holes to accept the levelling screws. It just took a long time for me to figure all this out on my own, which at this pricepoint, I'd like to think I shouldn't have to.

Here's an example of the breakdown: the service company came and installed the new frame pieces and levelling screws yesterday while I was at work. When I went to use the simmer burner last night it wouldn't light and I noticed there was no spark. The oven was also on at the time and so I took the top assembly off and noticed that the technician had left the ignitor wire for the burner laying down on the drip tray. I know that this interferes with ignitio because my range was installed that way and through process of elimination I tried hanging the wire up on the framing (as it was supposed to have come) and that did the trick. In a perfect world, the techs would have known this and not left my range non-functioning after a service call. If I hadn't figured that out before (with absolutely no prior appliance experience) than I would have had to have yet another service call to fix the problem created by ... a service call.

Now, I'll have to call them back to replace the light bulb for the convection fan because since its replacement I can't hear it and have no way of knowing it's on.

It's just all a little disheartening and a pain.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:52AM
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I had a couple of bumps with my Bluestar also. It is a pain when you lay out money and have problems. I am not what you would call understanding and when annoyed I make noise. The people from Bluestar, I mean the Mike Trapp and Matt Schutte people, are a pleasure to deal with. I had bought my range from the previous people in charge and they were less then co-operative. Mike and Matt have a sense of fairness and I had a happy ending.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:07AM
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It is good to hear they are taking care of the problems that come up. We just bought one and got a 5 year warranty from the dealer. I hope I do not have to use it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 4:50PM
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This update is being brought to you entirely to give all those considering the purchase of a Blue Star Range something even more to consider.

My original postings found on another thread warning about BS customer service are long & arduous; as has been the continuing saga of my "banging oven"; and this post, shall be. Having complained for over a year & a half from the very beginning of purchase, and their original service dept. man, Pete, long gone, I had to brow beat the current Blue Star service dept. into sending me a new oven bottom; as by this time it was out of warranty. Then subsequently, I had to demand an oven heating element, once I noticed the melted bracket on the oven back as I went to replace the bottom; and the twisted, melted off rivets on the old bottom. In fairness to Blue Star, they did finally go along with it.

After all that, I had the unpleasant discovery that the oven still banged like a gunshot every time I used it. The only possible unchanged piece of hardware in this sequence of events was the oven back (with the melted bracket welded on it).

Again I began the process of calling/emailing Blue Star service; but to no avail. They simply would not respond. Finally, I went the route of contacting Trevor at Eurostoves, whom I had purchased from originally, to see if he had any ideas about what could be done. I emailed him photos of the melted oven bracket & back. He contacted Blue Star and they answered him. They like, and respond to Trevor, as he is one of their top sales reps (and in my opinion, a very worthy individual to deal with, if you're seeking major appliances).

Trevor forwarded the photos of my oven to Blue Star (I will try to post them for reference). Blue Star's answer to Trevor was that this was fine, it would not be a problem even if the bracket was removed altogether. The banging was normal.

So I decided to despair. Then suddenly I remembered having purchased this range by a platinum credit card which carries an extended warranty through the credit card services that doubles whatever the original warranty was. As it was a 1 year original warranty, I was still a few months away from the end of the 2 year mark, so I immediately contacted my credit card and started a claim. Even though, by rights, Blue Star should've stepped up; it obviously being a defective group of hardware from the get go, I was relieved that it would get fixed, in any case.

Finally, this is where it starts to get interesting. The credit card services require an estimate of the repair. No problem. The Appliance Barn in Kalona, IA has, since my purchase, begun to carry and service Blue Star's ranges. The service man, Ray, came out and verified that this was obviously a melted oven back and bracket. Now they would simply contact Blue Star to ascertain that the oven back could be replaced, and what the cost of the replacement part would be. Then Appliance Barn would simply send in the estimate to my credit card service and that would be that.

Well. It just wasn't going to be that simple. I called Appliance Barn 2 weeks after their service call to ask how it was going. Turns out, it wasn't. Initially, Blue Star had simply ignored the request from the Appliance Barn for verification of replacement viability and price, altogether. Appliance Barn did not know what to do about this; they had never been faced with this type of behavior from a vendor.

Finally, Blue Star's answer was (their actual email response):
"The first issue with the banging sound coming from the oven is caused by the oven bottom expanding during the heating process. Sometimes this can be reduced by replacing the oven bottom, but we may not be able to eliminate this sound in all units.

Secondly, I forwarded the oven cavity photos (that they had already seen from Trevor and the Appliance Barn had resent) to our chief engineer for review. His determination was that the rear bracket was hit by some force causing it to bend and "spidering" the enamel coating. The unit does not produce enough heat to melt the metal causing it to bend down. (yes it can, and it did; as attested to by the melted, twisted rivets & old oven bottom still in my possession) This part is held on by basic aluminum rivets. The original rivets would just need to be drilled out and replacements put back in its place. The unit will function normally without the back bracket if needed.
Due to the unit being out of warranty and the damage not appearing to be the fault of BlueStar I am limited in what support I can give to remedy this situation."

The interesting bit here being that they were not being asked to do anything (like be responsible), but only answer whether the oven back/cavity could be replaced and give a price for it.

I determined that I had to tell the credit card services that I still couldn't give them an estimate and to see if they might be able to sort it out with Blue Star.

Blue Star would not respond to the credit card agent's attempts to contact. The agent finally called me back saying they were at a stand still (again) because they could not get an estimate. I flashed on the idea of Trevor (whom Blue Star always responds to) and told the agent to contact him. She did and Trevor conferenced her with Matt Shutte, service dept. head at Blue Star, right then.

She called me back to say that they had finally gotten the information from Blue Star that they needed: the range was repairable; but only by Blue Star, themselves. It would need to be shipped (at my expense) to their facility (all 500 pounds of it) and the cost of the repair would be $3000.00. That's right, both she and Trevor heard this clearly; and oddly, simultaneously, John Ditzio (also Blue Star tech) had contacted the Appliance Barn with the exact same information.

Well. She went on to say that now, at least they could move forward, as there was no way they would be having me send it in for repair when a new one costs the same (once shipping is considered). That she would just have to have the replacement "authorized" by upper management because the ticket price was so high (they can only go up to $2500 without seeking authorization), but she was certain it would be cleared in a few days. That was over 2 weeks ago.

As of yesterday, the "upper management" wants another opinion. Of what, exactly, it's unclear. There is no one else out here that could give an intelligent opinion as to repairing, as this range is virtually unknown out here in the mid-west of nowhere (and I don't mean Chicago-5 hours away). As far as "Is it melted and banging?" that is certainly observable by anyone. It would appear that Visa is feeling the pinch of the market downturn, as well and doesn't necessarily believe me or the Appliance Barn service man to be able to see/hear those things clearly...and for some reason, they are locked in somewhere in Montana where they cannot (will not) receive email, wherein I could send them the oven cavity photos. I will print & send by snailmail.

Suffice to say, make sure when you purchase a 500 pounder like this, that you are in a longitude/latitude that allows a comparatively simple return in case after you've paid to have it installed you find it has "issues" or performs less than hoped for.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 6:46PM
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I feel your pain. Sorry you've had such an ordeal.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:20PM
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joniir, that is an amazing story. Makes me feel so good to have cut BS from our list last year. Wonder how many more stories it takes for them to fix their service issues....

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:56PM
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joniir, wow what a terrible experience. hopefully everything works out for you. hopefully BS execs read these posts and revamp their qc and service depts.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:41PM
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