Traeger Customer Service and Timerbline 1300 Purchasing Experience (how does this company stay in business?)

arzoumanian

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Timberline 1300
I purchased my 1300 from BBQ guys in Louisiana, and the shipped it on a pallet. Absolutely zero damage to the box or grill.
Perhaps Traeger could save a boatload of expense and customer headache/frustration if they shipped these grills on pallets, instead of just a cardboard box.
I did too, zero problems.
 

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757Traeger

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I kept the original defective grill which oddly enough was delivered in the best condition out of all of the grills and had to fix it myself after fighting hard for a 35% discount. As I mentioned, Traeger CS was putting up a good fight that lasted almost a full 7 business days. They tried to shoo me away, and when that didn't work, they tried to give me stupid consolation prizes, then they tried to give me gift cards to their store (kind of a slap in the face, honestly... like what makes you think I want to have anything to do with your store after all this?), etc. I truly believe not many people would have gotten the 35% discount...



From the outside looking in, yeah... I can see this point; however, keep in mind that there are a lot of details being skipped / overlooked:

  • Boxed, unassembled grills are extremely heavy / bulky. You can't just move them around and they take up an extreme amount of room. Timberline 1300 is 280+ lbs, 780 Pro is 230 lbs? I didn't pay $2k to be an unauthorized storage unit / traeger reseller. Businesses pay billions of dollars to store items, and Traeger had most of this stuff sitting on my propery for over 80+ days... that's a long time when you want to enjoy your backyard and have to walk around two bulky, boxed, unassembled grills, and 6 accessories, etc.

  • Every grill that was delivered required micro-management: I would be notified by Fedex the grill was ready to deliver and then I had to make an appointment to have it delivered; that appointment was a 5 hour window, so if you were unfortunate to work in an office, you'd have to take off from work over 20 hours just to deal with delivery alone. This doesn't include all the hours and time I spent on the phone with Traeger, Pilot Freight, etc.
The list goes on, but I won't. Suffice to say, most people are going to see the high dollar free stuff on the other end and think, "what's the problem, you got handsomely compensated inadvertently" but if you lived it... I'd like to think you'd have more appreciation.

I have donated the grills already to loving, appreciating homes. :p
Soooo...your sponsored by another pellet grill company? Maybe delete your profile here then? Thanks. Bye.
 

Switz

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I ordered the CostCo Century 885 in December 2020 and got it in February. Temperature probes were way off. The center fire pot defies the laws of thermodynamics expecting heat to flow against the flow of incoming air. I stood beside the grill two times flip[ping the meat because of the cold spots and uneven heating. CostCo took it back after the fourth bad grilling experience. I considered the 1300 as the design in theory was better than the 885 with the chimney along the back.

I discovered the Yoder website and for the same dollars could get an American made smoker/grill with US steel (twice the weight of the Traeger) and a Thermoworks designed controller YS640 designed system (not a Chinese controller with no real knowledgeable support).

Also have a local dealer here in the Phoenix area. Phone support is to factory folks who actually use the product so have real world answers, not a decision tree.
 
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RustyJake

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I discovered the Yoder website and for the same dollars could get an American made smoker/grill with US steel (twice the weight of the Traeger) and a Thermoworks designed controller YS640 designed system (not a Chinese controller with no real knowledgeable support).
Pretty sure it isn't a Thermoworks controller. Might want to check yours, it should be a FireBoard controller
 

miguelb

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Little late to the thread. Sucks that you had to go through this experience @Heartsofwar. I didn't have any issues with the delivery nor damage.
 

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BBQG

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I have ordered lots of stuff over the past few weeks, the GrillGrates are on backorder they will eventually arrive. I have the FireBoard Pro 2, I already had K style thermocouples. I also purchased the latest Thermapen, Jalapeno Racks, spray bottles, and pellets. I'm trying to find people here in Tucson AZ for a group buy on pellots. $14 for a bag of lumberjack is kinda high.

I have thought about more insulation, perhaps a future project. Planning on ribs this weekend, Maybe some pork belly burnt ends and Jalapeno poppers.
(While the contents of this post may not be representational on the whole of Traeger's customer service or product, this was my experience, and the product issue may apply to all traeger grills that can reach 500 degrees. Mods, if this is not the best forum for this post, please move it, but I assumed that since I wasn't asking for specific help this was more correct.)

TL;DR: 3 month ordeal: Purchased a Timberline 1300 from Traeger, was sent incorrect grill and accessories. Got the correct grill, but it had paint peeling issues after initial seasoning (no food or grease involved). Warranty replacement grills consistently arrived damaged, fought for a 35% discount, received the discount minus $40 for taxes, and eventually assumed ownership of over $3,300 worth of grills and accessories.

I ordered a Timberline 1300 in mid April of 2021 from the Traeger website. Two weeks later or end of April, I received a grill (#1), but unfortunately it was a 780 Pro and not the Timberline 1300 that I ordered. I called Traeger CS and informed them of their mistake. I also informed them that I ordered several accessories and that every accessory I received was incorrect. I received the wrong bag of pellets, the wrong grill cover, and the wrong grease / drip liners. After waiting on hold for 30+ minutes, Traeger CS finally told me they would send me the correct grill, but Pilot Freight would make contact to pick-up the unboxed, 780 Pro. In addition, I should expect to receive an e-mail with pre-paid shipping labels to return the incorrect accessories via UPS.

Two weeks later, semi-early May, I received the correct grill (#2), along with all my accessories... including some additional accessories I didn't order: 885 ironwood grill cover, 780 / 885 folding tray, 885 drip liners, and 885 grease liners. Instead of calling Traeger to sort out the additional accessories, I decided to focus on my situation first since they had already been made aware.

I fully assembled the Timberline 1300 without incident, and I follow the instructions to the 'T' for seasoning; however, when it was done, I wanted to inspect things, but it was getting dark and I decided to let it cool down over night. I had seen several reports online that these grills had paint bubbling issues and that Traeger was blaming grease fires due to improper cleaning on the user's part; therefore, I felt it was necessary to inspect the grill to ensure it was in good condition after seasoning. The next morning I noticed that the paint was indeed bubbling / peeling all along the grease trough and some below in the pit. It was completely 'baked' and chipping away. It's almost like the heat resistant paint they used either didn't cure properly or wasn't meant to withstand 500 degrees despite the grill being marketed / sold of being capable to reach that temperature.

This isn't what I expected from a $2k grill, not on day one during the seasoning process with zero food or grease; therefore, I contacted Trager CS and informed them of the issue. We went through their 'checklist' and in the end, after 40 minutes on the phone, I was told they were going to send me a brand new grill. I was a little stunned. I asked the CS rep if they were sure, because I'd be fine with a partial refund; however, I was told the issue was just going to spread and the entire grill would look terrible soon. Besides, this was "standard" for their 3 year warranty. I was a little taken back, and made the comment that they still hadn't picked up the 780 Pro that was incorrectly sent to me over two weeks prior. The CS rep chuckled and made a joke that I was collecting grills, what was one more?, but then they said I should contact Pilot Freight to find out what was going on and gave me the number.

That same day, later in the afternoon, I called Pilot Freight. I waited in their queue for over 1 hr. No one ever picked up. A week later, I called Pilot Freight a second time. Again, I waited in their queue for over 1 hr., no one picked up. Feeling frustrated, I kind of gave up... why was it my responsibility to contact Pilot Freight? Shouldn't Traeger be doing this?

Another week later, mid May now (a full month after original order), I received a replacement grill (#3). Unfortunately, the replacement was delivered in terrible condition and I had to deny delivery. The freight driver actually told me that they had to wrap it in plastic wrap twice along the route because parts were falling out. I contacted Traeger CS and after sending them photos of the box before it was denied / returned, they informed me they would send another.

A week later, I called Pilot Freight a third and final time. I waited in queue 35 minutes before someone finally picked up, and I was told repeatedly that they had no record of any work order with my name, address, or phone number on it. I escalated to two supervisors and even confirmed with the Pilot Freight office HQ in Utah which I was told worked very closely with Traeger. Pilot Freight basically said, not our problem if we don't have a work order. At this point, I didn't care anymore, I was more worried about having my issue resolved first since I was the customer and paid $2k for a Timberline 1300.

On June 1st, just missing Memorial weekend, the holiday of holidays to BBQ in America, another replacement grill was delivered (#4). The box was damaged, but not as bad as grill #3. My gut was telling me to deny delivery, but my wife said I should take the chance, it might not be that bad. I accepted... but after attempting assembly for 2 hours, I ultimately gave up. The box was dropped on one end and the corner where one of the legs was meant to go was bent and the leg wouldn't fit. I was having a very difficult time getting the leverage to shore it up properly, and finally decided, even if I did get it fixed, I'd rather have the grill with the paint issue instead of one that might have its stability compromised.

At this point, I'm pissed, fuming, and decide to call Traeger CS. I give them an ultimatum to stop sending me grills, give me a 35% discount, and I'd keep the original defective grill and fix it myself. After speaking to Traeger CS for many hours over the course of several days and getting ridiculous offers like a free bag of pellets, free bag of pellets and dry-rub, $50 store gift card, or $200 store gift card, they finally caved via e-mail and agreed to give me the 35% discount in writing. I basically had to threaten that I was going to dispute the entire charge on my credit card.

Mid June, I receive the 35% discount credited to my card (some-what, they didn't reimburse taxes paid). That Saturday I went to Ace Hardware, bought heat resistant paint up to 1,200 degrees to be sure, and fixed the problem myself. Then, I decided to send them one final e-mail to address two things:

  • The discount was $39.40 short due to them not accounting for taxes

  • They still hadn't picked up their other items (grill #2, grill #4, and accessories) totalling over $3,300.00. I told them in the e-mail that if they didn't have the items picked up within 30 days, I would assume they were abandoning ownership, and I would immediately assume ownership. I never got a response back... not a peep (not even a bounce back response), and this was the same e-mail thread that was fully engaged the weeks prior where they agreed to the 35% discount.

Today is day 31. Looks like I'm the new owner of two additional grills and 6 accessories that total over $3,300.00

It boggles my mind how any company could do business this way and stay afloat. All Traeger CS issues aside, the Timberline 1300 is quite nice, but I warn anyone that has made it this far and thinking of ordering a grill:

  • DON'T order from their website: Just go to Ace Hardware and have them order it. They'll deal with the shipping issues, assemble it for you for free, and even deliver it to you for a small fee. Honestly, I didn't go this route because Traeger's website was offering free shipping, and had lower taxes than my local taxes ($50 difference). Between $50 for taxes and the $50 I would have spent having Ace Hardware deliver, I felt saving $100 was worth it, but that was before I went into a 90 day logistical death spiral of a nightmare with their customer service over a defective paint issue.

  • DON'T let Traeger send you new grills. If you can fix it yourself, push for a partial refund, or have them send a tech to you at their expense.
I had a similar experience however, not as bad as yours. I did some research and found the ceo of traeger online and sent him an email with my 6 months worth of problems with my 780 pro. Within 2 days his assistant called me and had a brand new 780 sent out with some free stuff also. Even gave me his personal cell number in case of future problems. Pilot freight has yet to call me for the old grill. Customer service was no help with my problems nor were the supervisors. If this grill goes out I'll be buying a camp chef. Much better reviews and seem better built.
 

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