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    #31
    There will likely be a price to be paid by MAK. My guess is there are many others like me that have never owned an MAK and now will check of the box “Nope”! Not dealing with that company and look further when looking at another grill purchase. There are plenty of quality options to look at and in my world MAK won’t be on the list!!

    Comment


    • tbob4
      tbob4 commented
      Editing a comment
      That is the beauty of this place. I am not in the market for a pellet grill. Before this post, had I been looking for one, I would have been hard-pressed not to buy the MAK. After this, I would not buy one until time passed to read more stories. It is like the rollout of the Weber pellet grill. This is the only place I looked for honest information.

    #32
    I will say I agree with Debra. If you pay a premium for a premium product it should work flawlessly. If you dropped $3k on a flat screen TV would you be on the phone with customer service pulling circuit boards and waiting for parts?

    I am new to pellet grills but MAK can't be that much better than all the rest of them to make it worth putting up with this lack of customer service and a defective expensive product.

    You should demand a new grill or a full refund. Nothing less.

    Comment


    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
      ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
      Editing a comment
      MAK grills are amazing (when they work, which they usually do), I expect a small percentage of any grill manufacture output to have a gremlin now and then. Heraldstorms experience is absolutely appalling and not in line with what the majority of MAK owners have experienced from the company in the past. I don't know what's going on, I know it's unacceptable and I truly hope they make this situation right.

    • Old Glory
      Old Glory commented
      Editing a comment
      I hope it all works out for the best. A MAK was on my list for when I put in my outdoor kitchen. Now I am not so sure.

    #33
    This is a bad instance and a customer has had a bad experience that needs to be rectified and soon. I do not own an MAK but there are a number of users on this group who do and who I have come to trust in their reviews. I also trust the reviews provided by the folks at Amazing Ribs and they have given MAK high praises. Perhaps it is not fair to pile on after one bad experience? It really appears that they provide an exceptional product that has been tested over time.

    Comment


    • Old Glory
      Old Glory commented
      Editing a comment
      That is a fair statement. It is also fair to say that two other members here in the Pit that are experienced members have also had issues with MAKs. Again for $3k you should not have to be on the phone with customer service pulling things apart, testing, and replacing parts. It should work flawlessly. If it was a Flat Screen TV you would not tolerate this.

    • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
      ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
      Editing a comment
      Old Glory I definitely agree with you. The problem is with a Car, TV or even another grill brand I would have a store nearby to service, exchange or return the item. I knowingly bought my MAK with the understanding that service would be limited to me conducting any work and support via phone or email. Once again, I agree, you expect an expensive product to work perfect out of the gate BUT it is electronic and mechanical, not every car off the lot is perfect

    #34
    Finally got time to call MAK today. Nobody in management was around to talk to me, so I am waiting for someone to call me...that was an hour ago. I'll post more when I get a call back from someone.

    Comment


    • GolfGeezer
      GolfGeezer commented
      Editing a comment
      Bob Tucker is, as far as I know, the owner and founder. His son works there as well. I would ask for him even though you (rightly in my mind) intend to return it. I am a big fan of MAK, but I totally get your decision.

    • heraldstorm
      heraldstorm commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks GolfGeezer! I'm hoping I don't have to go all the way to Mr. Tucker. Surely someone over there will see reason and just do the right thing!

    #35
    Have you tried posting any questions on the FB "Mak Pellet Grill Fans" site? There are 1800 folks on that site so maybe someone can offer some type of option.

    We all really feel your pain and this absolutely sucks to go through this as we all know we could be the next one with another cooker.....good luck!

    Comment


    • heraldstorm
      heraldstorm commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi @Redwng,
      I don't use Facebook...way more toxicity on there than utility. I prefer places like AmazingRibs, where people are smart and kind. If this place can't get me fixed, nowhere can! But thanks for the suggestion...In all honesty, I shouldn't have to go shopping around to random strangers on the internet. If MAK is unwilling to get my grill working in a convenient manner for me, they can have it back and give my money back.

    #36
    Interesting. I contacted the vendor that I purchased the grill from, to find out what the return policy is. The vendor doesn't accept returns and all sales are final. So, to those of you considering a significant investment in a new grill, make sure you check on that with the vendor!

    The vendor did speak with MAK grills, apparently, and I'll just quote what I was told from my email:

    [...] However, refunds are only granted if the item is in new condition. Since the grill has been burned/cooked on, MAK will usually only support it as per the terms of their warranty. The warranty would cover any components found to be mechanically flawed or defective, MAK will replace them free of charge (shipping excluded) for the duration of the life of the grill.

    MAK Grills is willing to make an exception and accept the return of your smoker since you are unhappy with it. However, all products must be returned to MAK GRILLS at the customers' expense and once inspected by MAK Grills staff before a refund is issued.
    So, it looks like this may end up being a longer battle than I anticipated. Please note this quote proudly posted on the MAK Grills website, and then consider the past 3 pages of my MAK story:

    MAK Grills stands out as a manufacturer that cares about building long-lasting, innovative, American made products. We’ve designed our grills to exceed your expectations and deliver an unparalleled outdoor cooking experience. We also care about people. The name MAK is an acronym for Matt, Alex, and Kal, our children. We pride ourselves on our ability to sustain American manufacturing and provide jobs that pay a fair wage. We stand by our products and provide our customers with world class service.
    They care so much, the customer has to pay to return a faulty grill that already cost thousands of dollars. So innovative and long lasting, it doesn't work out of the box, or after a replacement controller has been installed. They stand by their products, but if it doesn't work and you don't want it, you have to pay hundreds of dollars to ship it back to them. I will say, my outdoor cooking experience with MAK is unparalleled. Every other cooker I've bought has worked, and the one time I had to contact Weber Customer service to get my lid replaced, not only did they pay for the shipping, they threw in a free 3 piece set of grill tools for my trouble.

    What have I received from MAK but sneering emails, when they deign to respond to me at all, and inadequate support. I look at so many of the posts from the community and these people are telling me how sorry they are. The people that should be telling me how sorry they are work at MAK, and I haven't had one person apologize for my troubles, much less receive any free sets of grill tools. I take that back, the replacement controller I didn't have to pay shipping for. But it doesn't work, either.

    Seriously, watch out folks. I know not everyone has had or will have an experience like mine with MAK, but how much do you want to gamble that you will?

    Comment


      #37
      Max Good
      I don't suppose you know anybody at MAK that might be able to help out?

      Comment


      • willxfmr
        willxfmr commented
        Editing a comment
        heraldstorm Hopefully this all gets sorted out in your favor. I'm sorry you are having to put up with this, but I'm very grateful you have shared it with us. This thread was the tipping point for me when choosing between a MAK and a LSG pellet pooper. I don't have the patience you do, and would have seriously lost my chit long before now.
        Last edited by willxfmr; September 14, 2021, 10:54 PM.

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I know Meathead also loves his MAK.

      • Max Good
        Max Good commented
        Editing a comment
        I'll see what I can do. heraldstorm please send me a message through the club with your contact info, MAK order number, etc.

      #38
      We don't own a MAK, but we do own a Memphis Advantage pellet grill. Cost us about $2400. When it works it's brilliant. When it doesn't it's maddening. We've had a couple of issues trying to reverse sear some meat where the auger would shut down after cranking the heat up before swapping the insert for the direct flame insert. They sent me a replacement snap disc, which is a thermostatic switch inline with the auger that opens if the temp gets to high. To replace it, you need to remove the whole front panel. It seemed to work OK for a while, then the same issue. They told me it didn't used to have the snap disc and they needed to add it to sell in Canada or something like that. So I bypassed the snap disc and no more auger shut downs.

      I've updated the firmware, which also requires removing the front panel. I've had to troubleshoot the wi-fi, which also requires removing the front panel. The wi-fi was unreliable from day one. Actually, on day one, I set it to a low temperature and came back a while later and it was set to 350. Apparently it will sometime just change to the last temperature set via wi-fi if the wi-fi is unstable. At one point they had me check how the antenna was mounted. Turns out the insulated bushing it sits in was installed essentially backwards. After fixing that the wi-fi seems much more reliable.

      I tried an overnight cook and woke up to pellets backing up on the pellet chute. Just this week, my wife turned it on and set it to 595 to roast some peppers. I said I could just fire up some charcoal, but she didn't want to mess with it. Well, the pellet grill overshot to 800 degrees before displaying a controller overheat error.

      Long story longer, pellet grills are complicated. High end pellet grills are overly complicated. In the end, all pellet grills are outdoor wood burning convection ovens. Don't expect more of them than that. If I had it to do over again, I would have bought a much cheaper pellet grill with fewer features and lower expectations. Something like a Camp Chef Woodwind.

      After all the frustration with the Memphis Advantage I went out a bought a used Weber 26" kettle. It's been fun learning it. I can definitely get more smoke flavor on ribs, pork butt etc. Having two zones is brilliant. No pellet grill can really do that. If something goes wrong with a cook on the Weber, it's my fault, not the manufacturer of the overpriced temple to stainless steel we payed too much for. We still use the Memphis Advantage on occasion for things like chicken thighs or ribs if we want to go run around and just let them go on their own. But my go-to for now is the Weber kettle. Sometimes simpler is just better.

      Comment


        #39
        Wow. What a horrible experience. Reminds me of the new car my dad bought back in 1980 that was in the shop for 6 months of the 12 months he owned it. In that case, the dealer ended up taking the car back, and giving him a new one, but it took 12 months to get to that point.

        All the complexities of a pellet cooker are why I ultimately went with a charcoal cooker when I won the monthly giveaway back in January. I figured if I won a free grill, I wanted one I could rely on for the next 20 years, and not have to worry about replacing in 5 to 10.

        Comment


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          My sister is going through that right now... 7 months in and they only got the dealer to provide a loaner vehicle about 5 months into the whole ordeal.

        #40
        So that's something that has been on my mind lately...wood vs. charcoal. If you've hovered over the fountain pen icon on the lower left of any of my posts, you've seen the cookers I have. One of them is a Masterbuilt, which is what I've been using for smoking until I get the MAK working. That is a fantastic smoker. I also have a weber kettle performer deluxe, and I adore that grill. That's my go to for two-zone reverse searing of meat. In order to get it to the level where I adore it, I added the SnS slow and sear deluxe and the drip pan. The temperature control you can achieve with that rig is extremely stable, accurate, and relatively easy once you get the hang of it.

        That said, I have really become sensitized lately to the charcoal smoke flavor. This is what you get when you first light a chimney of charcoal and you see the blue smoke pouring off of the bucket. That, to my pallette, tastes bad. You get a similar effect from the Masterbuilt, because you are constantly igniting new charcoal via the gravity system. 90% of the people out there aren't going to notice, and I probably wouldn't notice if I weren't the one cooking the meat.

        This is one of the reasons I've purchased the MAK. You get a much better smoke from wood pellets than you do from charcoal briquettes, unless you've already cooked off the 'bad' smoke from the charcoal briquettes. Even still, with an Slow n Sear or a charcoal snake, or a gravity based Masterbuilt, you're going to be constantly igniting new charcoal and have a constant flow of the acrid bitter charcoal smoke. It's a small thing, I get it, but it means enough to me to drop nearly 4K on a pellet grill to avoid it. When I retire, I'll be dropping 4K on a stick burner, but I have to retire before I have the time for all that.

        So, yeah, I agree with all you weber kettle heads out there. I truly, dearly love my Performer deluxe. The table is amazing, thick, solid, durable metal. The propane charcoal lighter is brilliant. With the SnS slow n sear I use about 1/3 the amount of charcoal I used to. It would probably be less in a Kamado style cooker, but the kettle is good enough for me. I have also added a high heat seal around the bottom of my lid. Not necessary to most, but I like it. For long cooks, and for my wife to be able to come out, fire something up and cook pizza on, I wanted the pellet grill. I really hope that I end up with a working MAK out of all this. I want to try cold smoking cheese, fish, and sausage. I plan on getting the extended box attachment for the warming box. There's a lot that this MAK can offer if it works properly, and I'm still excited to get all of that, but charcoal is beginning to wear on my tastebuds, and if it isn't something that bothers you, ignore all of this! Go with what works for you. For me, I am moving away from smoking with charcoal. Someday I hope to be able to afford a Karubeque, because that sounds like my ideal set up. I also want to have a traditional stick burner, because I want to truly master the flame in the traditional sense, but for now, I have to stick to fast and easy, but not charcoal. So come on, MAK! Do me right and get me a good device!!

        Comment


        • Red Man
          Red Man commented
          Editing a comment
          Try B&B charcoal briquettes. Ace sells them, you can order online for in store pick up if your local store doesn’t have any in stock. None of the nasty smell that Kingsford has.

        • heraldstorm
          heraldstorm commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the info, Red Man! I'll try that out next time I need to get some charcoal! Our stores around here don't have any, but it's good to know I can order it online and pick it up.

        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          I have found that Kingsford, specifically the original or KBB, has a chemical smell that I detest when it first lights up. And billowing white smoke for quite a while. I don't get that with a lot of other brands of briquettes or most especially with lump. I love B&B lump, and B&B briquettes. They burn very cleanly.

        #41
        Today a significant amount of my faith in MAK has been restored. The owner of the company has approved for a new grill to be inspected, tested, and verified onsite by them, and then shipped to me. It looks like someone cancelled their order, and so that device will be assembled and put through its paces hopefully next week. I'll likely then use the same shipping materials to dismantle and return my grill to MAK, and they have agreed to pay for those costs as well.

        The only possible thing that could go wrong is damage to the new grill in shipping, but as many have said, their packing and shipping of these units is exemplary. glitchy has a fantastic review and unboxing further down in this category if you're interested.

        The only thing that I have not resolved with MAK is when to expect my front shelf and front door. I will discuss that once I have received, assembled, and tested my new grill, and verified that it works as it should.

        So, while I cannot yet say my issues are entirely resolved, the prospects are very good that they will be, ultimately. This won't entirely eliminate the months of poor experience I've had, but it says a tremendous amount about MAK that they really do stand by their products, and ultimately pledge to stop at nothing to right any wrongs their customers experience with their grills.

        I am just crossing my fingers that they can come up with a fully working setup to send me, and that after I set it up, it's still fully working.

        More to come!!

        Comment


        • DavidNorcross
          DavidNorcross commented
          Editing a comment
          Surely good news!

        • IdahoJim
          IdahoJim commented
          Editing a comment
          Good luck. Hope all turns out well and you get a properly working grill.

        • heraldstorm
          heraldstorm commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks ItsAllGoneToTheDogs! I'm certainly going to be much more patient with the accessories. I have two primary goals...first and foremost, this unit is mostly for my wife. She really enjoys using a pellet grill, and uses it at much higher temps than I would. She bakes cobblers, pizza, and casseroles in it, and has even roasted a few things on our old Traeger. My second goal is to be able to evaluate it for smoking at lower temps. The accessories I'll play with later.

        #42
        It's been almost a week since I've posted about my situation with MAK. I have received constant updates from the General Manager at MAK. They are testing and tweaking, and they have not simply settled or compromised. They have been working for about 4 days now, moving towards getting my device to work perfectly. Reportedly, they are taking notes and will use what they learn to hopefully improve the product. I seriously doubt that I am unique, but for obvious reasons, they have not mentioned any other issues with other customers. It is striking, though, that they grabbed a grill from a cancelled order, set it up, and are suddenly having issues similar to what I am having.

        This is where a company and culture's mettle is tested. It's great to work hard and bask in the glory of success. What you do when you work hard and are rewarded with adversity is how you will be truly measured. So far, MAK has stepped up to the challenge, has owned up to mistakes, and is doing everything they can to make this right. I have complained and whined and groused a considerable amount. From my perspective, those complaints have been warranted, as paying that much money for a top-tier grill should not include the experiences I had.

        Even still, I have to give all credit to MAK. They have worked relentlessly to produce a unit that works perfectly, verified, before it comes to me. I am very optimistic that I will receive a unit that works exactly as it should, for a very, very long time. I only wish they had done this the first time around.
        Last edited by heraldstorm; September 22, 2021, 07:21 PM.

        Comment


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          On the bright side, Dennis has my MAK dialed in at 225 to 600+. I'm within 5-10 degrees of getting smoke mode where I want it. And honestly, we would have been there over a month ago if I hadn't volunteered to guinea pig multiple things. In the end, for some climates (I suspect) the new firmware isn't perfect at smoke mode.

        • IFindZeroBadCooks
          IFindZeroBadCooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Happy to hear of positive progress!

        • DavidNorcross
          DavidNorcross commented
          Editing a comment
          Great news! Thank you for letting us know.

        #43
        Good to hear they are stepping up. Kudos for your patience and persistence. Good luck, hopefully it all works out.

        Comment


          #44
          Any updates? Hoping this all worked out for you.

          Comment


          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            I was going to ask too, but hoping the new grill is en route. FedEx Freight can be SLOW.

          #45
          Hi friends, sorry I haven't posted any updates. At this point, the testing team is quite confident in their ability to achieve and accurately hold higher temps. The main thing they are working on is the very low temps at the "smoke" setting, which is around 200 deg F. I'm not sure if the grill isn't getting down low enough, or if they're having flame outs, but they're still working on it. At this point, they've tested every combination of relevant grill components and controllers. They've been playing with both newer and older versions of the firmware. They have, essentially, gone through methodically from every step in the grill from pellet intake to ignition, to temperature sensing and component control via the controller and firmware.

          They are now bringing in the controller designers and manufacturers to make sure that everything is working together to maintain proper temperatures at all ranges.

          Unfortunately, this really does seem like a larger issue at MAK, as I'm sure they've had their entire inventory at their disposal for this testing process. They have indeed gotten everything knocked down except for the "smoke" temp, but I think the end result for all of this will be a more solid product from design, all the way through manufacture, and everyone will benefit from the work that's being done.

          I'm just relieved the company is willing to work through all of this and ultimately honor my original purchase. I don't mind waiting, as long as the company is willing to acknowledge their problems, and fix the root causes. The biggest downer for me is that I've pretty much missed the season for this year, and I likely won't get to do much with it until next year. I'll just have to have something to look forward to in the spring!

          Comment


          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            Next year? I got my MAK in February in Iowa and started using it right away. Anyway, glad they’re determined to get it working great before shipping to you and hope you’re right that it benefits everyone going forward.

          • heraldstorm
            heraldstorm commented
            Editing a comment
            I still have the original grill they shipped to me. Certain parts or the whole thing will be returned when they ship the unit they are testing for me. I don't know if it will take the rest of the year, but I normally use my propane grill during the winter, and it will certainly be that cold in a few weeks. I'll try it to make sure it works, but our bbq season is about done.

          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            heraldstorm I Googled N NM climate and all I can say is I probably would not own any long pants if I lived there 😉 I know that’s pretty generic and your specific location could be different, but if you’re daytime highs are above freezing your MAK will not care in the tiniest bit that it’s 45 degrees vs 90. However, I can appreciate that you might care a lot being used to warmer weather. You’re also not alone jfmorris is scared of the dark AND temps below 50 😂
            Last edited by glitchy; October 4, 2021, 11:22 PM.

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