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Old 08-03-2010, 05:59   #1
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Force 10 Customer Service

I just wanted to report a fairly unfavorable experience with Canadian-based Force 10's customer service.

Getting new parts for an old stove proved to be an extremely frustrating experience. Firstly, they no longer stock a replacement thermocouple (for a 10-year-old stove) and that I would need to replace the whole burner. I did so with the assurance that the new parts would all drop in effortlessly.

When the new burners arrived, I discovered the attached thermocouple was in fact an exact match for the one that had gone out! Frustrating!

Next, as I looked at the burners themselves, they would not fit without drilling an extra hole. No big deal. But of course, the compression fittings that attach to the flow controllers also were not a match - and those fittings were proprietary, or at least not readily available at the corner hardware. Rather than send the whole thing back (and deal with lousy customer service again), I cut and spliced in the old fittings (and, of course, made sure it was properly sealed).

Long story, short. Everything is working find now, but how annoying!

The stove is a good unit, which is why I chose to fix it rather than buy a cheaper model to replace it with - but this experience would make me think twice about buying anything new from Force 10.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:57   #2
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sneuman,
Thanks for the warning. One of the burners is out on my 3-burner Force 10 and after taking it apart and cleaning it still no joy. Looks like I have the same problem you did. As you pointed out it's basically a good unit so I don't want to replace it. After what you said I think I'll order a thermocouple and see whether that will work as a replacement.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:02   #3
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I also had kind of a mixed quality service from them for a 3 burner with oven, 13 yrs old with very little use.
Difficult to get to talk to a human.
My igniter unit is at the back, right hand top corner of the stove, required removing the stove from the gimbals in order to remove the exposure panels.
Male spade connectors, which appeared to be ferrous metal had rusted off the unit.
New unit and thermocouples shipped, lost by Fedex, new shipment sent quickly by supplier
Installed, don't work, lengthy discussion with tech, still don't work.
Use BBQ lighter now.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
I also had kind of a mixed quality service from them for a 3 burner with oven, 13 yrs old with very little use.
Difficult to get to talk to a human.
My igniter unit is at the back, right hand top corner of the stove, required removing the stove from the gimbals in order to remove the exposure panels.
Male spade connectors, which appeared to be ferrous metal had rusted off the unit.
New unit and thermocouples shipped, lost by Fedex, new shipment sent quickly by supplier
Installed, don't work, lengthy discussion with tech, still don't work.
Use BBQ lighter now.
Yeah, I have the same problem even with the new. After the hassle, I have just resigned to using a manual lighter.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:21   #5
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Force 10 theme but different topic.
I am in Chile and have bought recently gas for propane tanks but here the mixture is 50-50 propane/butane and my force 10 stove is burning very rich, with reduced heat and much more carbon buildup on pots and pans. Anyone know how to change the mixture?
Thanks in advance,
Pete
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:24   #6
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Originally Posted by bloodhunter View Post
sneuman,
Thanks for the warning. One of the burners is out on my 3-burner Force 10 and after taking it apart and cleaning it still no joy. Looks like I have the same problem you did. As you pointed out it's basically a good unit so I don't want to replace it. After what you said I think I'll order a thermocouple and see whether that will work as a replacement.
The thermocouple is the same, but the way it fastens into the burner assembly is slightly different - but considering all the modifications I had to do for the fix I outlined above, it would have been a fairly simple task, I think, to modify the thermocouple mount. It definitely will work!
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Old 10-03-2010, 19:33   #7
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i had a force 10 diesel heater on my previous boat. had nothing but problems with it. the unit would run for a few hours and then start to clog. the flame would get smaller and it would start to produce more smoke. no amount of cleaning with the built-in wire cleaner would solve the problem and i had to remove the jet from the heater and clean it by hand. sometimes even that wouldn't solve the problem and i would have to put a new jet in the heater.
fnally, one night i woke up in the middle of the night to the smoke alarm screaming and the whole cabin filled with thick, black smoke from the heater. i was convinced that i was doing something wrong so i called force 10 to find out where my mistake lay. i described, in detail, how i was using the heater and the problems i was experiencing and finished the explanation with the story about how the heater woke me up in the middle of the night.
the REALLY frightening thing was the "service tech's" response. "that sounds about normal". he didn't think i was having any problems at all and explained that, "you can't leave the heater running unattended." when i asked for clarification, i was told that i had to be ready to adjust the heater "as necessary" and that it was unrealistic to expect it to run all night on it's own. when i pointed out that, if this has been mentioned in the product literature, i would never have bought the heater, the tech suggested i try a mix of 50% kerosene and 50% diesel. now, for me, one of the main selling points of a diesel heater is the fact that i already HAVE diesel onboard. if i wanted to bother with kerosene i would have bought a kerosene heater.
so, in the end, the customer service was totally worthless and i had to run my "diesel" heater on kerosene to get it to function at all, which was a big pain because it was expensive, i didn't have a good place to store it, and nobody even SELLS it where i live. i found out the hard way that the mistake i made in using that heater was buying it in the first place!
i do, however LOVE my force 10 stove but i dread the day i have to fix it.
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Old 10-03-2010, 21:13   #8
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Amazing. I had an almost identical experience to sneuman's with F10 customer service. Good stove, lousy thermocouple, atrocious customer service.

They've got to know that this thermocouple is a fairly disposable piece of gear, something along the lines of a light bulb. Would it not make sense for them to stock it through outlets such as West Marine? It's almost as if they want us to replace a stove once the thermocouple goes out. And when you talk to the fellow at customer service, which will take a week of trying, he'll treat you as if it's your fault that the thermocouple failed.

Perhaps we should let them know that we're communicating with each other.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:05   #9
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Force 10 Heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Amazing. I had an almost identical experience to sneuman's with F10 customer service. Good stove, lousy thermocouple, atrocious customer service.

They've got to know that this thermocouple is a fairly disposable piece of gear, something along the lines of a light bulb. Would it not make sense for them to stock it through outlets such as West Marine? It's almost as if they want us to replace a stove once the thermocouple goes out. And when you talk to the fellow at customer service, which will take a week of trying, he'll treat you as if it's your fault that the thermocouple failed.

Perhaps we should let them know that we're communicating with each other.


In a couple years I will bring my boat back to BC and will need a Heater installed. Reading all the above got my attention. Now I know what not to Buy--------Cheers
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