Author Topic: Baking Steel customer service  (Read 1763 times)

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Offline Rinoxxx

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Baking Steel customer service
« on: February 26, 2014, 03:23:32 PM »
Most of the time people will post about a bad customer service experience they had, but I wanted to share a great customer service experience I had with Baking Steel.
I ordered my Baking Steel about 2 weeks ago, it was an impulse buy, I am really bad with those  :-D, and wasn't even paying attention to the fact that it was only 16x14x3/8 size and I would want something a little larger for NY pies. I figured I am stuck with it and I will just have to live with being limited to making 14" pies.
Well I decided yesterday to give them a call to inquire about how much it would cost for a custom size baking Steel, and what they can do for me since I just bought it 2 weeks ago. The person that answered was Andris the owner of the company. I explained to him my situation and I was interested in possibly upgrading to a bigger custom size steel and how much it would cost me. He told me no worries, I will make you the new custom steel no charge, just pay $15 for shipping and I will send you the new steel and a prepaid label to send the old one back. I was shocked, it's not often you get that kind of customer service. . I also explained to him that I have a lip on my oven rack that will prevent the bigger size steel from sliding all the way in, and he said he will make something for me to elevate the steel, he has tons of scrap steel and will include it in the box. Andris was extremely friendly and we talked about pizza making for about 10 minutes
I know Baking Steel is a more expensive option for steel then a local steel place, but their steel is ready to go out of the box, you do not have to sand it or clean it and it is pre seasoned already.  You take it out of the box wipe it down and bake, and that level of customer service Andris gave me I think is worth something.
Just wanted to share my experience  :)
Sam


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 03:42:33 PM »
Sounds like you got a steel of a deal.
Not everyone can afford his initial very high price though.  ;)

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline derricktung

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 03:52:00 PM »
Andris is definitely very focused on customer service, and has always seem to resolve to make things right.

When I got my gift of Baking Steel from my wife, she had ordered some cleaner blocks, and a case for it as well.. the case was minorly scratched and the blocks were missing.  Andris answered the phone, sent off the blocks immediately, and I received a new case complimentary.  (So now I have two cases, one with a minor scratch).

From my limited interactions with him via phone and Facebook, he's a great guy and very focused on the customer experience.  His steel, while more expensive that what you may be able to get from custom metal shops using scrap (from what I hear on this forum), is one of the few mass marketed steels out there right now I believe... and I've been pretty happy with the quality thus far.  When I called steel shops around the Chicago area, most were quoting double to triple the price of what he was charging, but that may have changed since.


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 03:57:58 PM »
When I called steel shops around the Chicago area, most were quoting double to triple the price of what he was charging, but that may have changed since.
I find that hard to fathom......300 bucks from a local scrap yard? You weren't calling about the gold plated ones were you?

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 03:59:19 PM »
Sounds like you got a steel of a deal.

Bob

Very clever Bob :-D
BTW love your avatar Bob, I was a huge Rodney fan  ;D

Sam

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 04:56:55 PM »
Very clever Bob :-D
BTW love your avatar Bob, I was a huge Rodney fan  ;D
Thanks, "steal a deal" is part of the everyday vocabulary around my shop here...always looking for something if you know what I mean.  ;)

Yep, Rodney was a one of a kind...I love laughter my friend.  :)

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline scott123

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 05:23:15 PM »
When you charge people 3 to 4 times the price they could pay locally, your customer service had better be top notch.

I would much rather deal with an honest company than a friendly one.

Sam, I'm happy that you're able rectify your postage stamp sized steel issue, but it doesn't let Andris off the hook for all the people he's fleeced.

Offline scott123

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 05:33:14 PM »
I also explained to him that I have a lip on my oven rack that will prevent the bigger size steel from sliding all the way in, and he said he will make something for me to elevate the steel, he has tons of scrap steel and will include it in the box.

Sam, make sure he's elevating the steel using square tubing, as solid plate/bar will increase the weight that the shelf has to bear and it will also increase the thermal mass and prolong your pre-heats.  He's cutting you two pieces, correct?

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 05:47:42 PM »
Sam, make sure he's elevating the steel using square tubing, as solid plate/bar will increase the weight that the shelf has to bear and it will also increase the thermal mass and prolong your pre-heats.  He's cutting you two pieces, correct?

Hey Scott, yes he is. So I guess they are hollow ? I have to call him back tomorrow for final specs.
Sam

Offline scott123

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 05:59:15 PM »
Yes, you can't see it in Mary Ann's photo, but the pieces she's using for elevating the plate are hollow:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=27552.msg278885#msg278885

If he gives you something solid, home depot carries tubing that can be cut with a hacksaw. I know they carry alumimum square tubing, but I think they have steel as well. Aluminum will definitely work- and it will be a bit lighter.


Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 07:34:08 PM »
Yes, you can't see it in Mary Ann's photo, but the pieces she's using for elevating the plate are hollow:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=27552.msg278885#msg278885

If he gives you something solid, home depot carries tubing that can be cut with a hacksaw. I know they carry alumimum square tubing, but I think they have steel as well. Aluminum will definitely work- and it will be a bit lighter.

Thank you Scott, I wasn't sure what I needed.
Sam

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 07:54:44 PM »
Yes, you can't see it in Mary Ann's photo, but the pieces she's using for elevating the plate are hollow:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=27552.msg278885#msg278885

If he gives you something solid, home depot carries tubing that can be cut with a hacksaw. I know they carry alumimum square tubing, but I think they have steel as well. Aluminum will definitely work- and it will be a bit lighter.


Found this on Home Depot's web site, is this what I am looking for ? http://www.homedepot.com/s/square%2520tube?NCNI-5
Sam

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 07:58:02 PM »
Bar stock is solid...tubing; be it round , square,triangle, whatever is hollow.

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline scott123

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 08:02:20 PM »
Found this on Home Depot's web site, is this what I am looking for ? http://www.homedepot.com/s/square%2520tube?NCNI-5


Yes, measure the height from the shelf to the top of the lip. You want the smallest diameter tubing that you can get that still clears the lip, and you want 4 tubes- 2 for each plate.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 08:04:18 PM by scott123 »

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 08:08:50 PM »
Yes, measure the height from the shelf to the top of the lip. You want the smallest diameter tubing that you can get that still clears the lip.
Thank you bud :)
Sam

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 08:19:23 PM »
Scott, not sure if you saw the last PM I sent you about trying the steel plate on gas grill. Has this been tried and was it successful with no top heat(broiler)? My Webber grill can get 700F+
Sam

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 08:33:02 PM »
1/2" steel at 650 will produce a 60 second bake with non malted flour.  I don't see much chance of a balanced bake at 700F on a Weber.
-Jeff

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2014, 08:41:19 PM »
1/2" steel at 650 will produce a 60 second bake with non malted flour.  I don't see much chance of a balanced bake at 700F on a Weber.
I was just curious if anyone tried steel with a gas grill. With summer coming soon, I am always grilling, heck I am always grilling in the winter too  :-D
Sam

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2014, 10:12:02 PM »
Sam, I'm happy that you're able rectify your postage stamp sized steel issue, but it doesn't let Andris off the hook for all the people he's fleeced.

Fleeced? Come on now. If by fleeced, you mean overcharged, that's simply unfair, IMO. If by fleeced you mean swindled, then you owe him an apology. Based on what I've read, many if not most of his customers want something ready to go out of the box. They don't want to go hunt down a metal shop and haggle with someone to cut or find them a piece of scrap that they then have to go home and clean only to then wonder if it is safe. It's entirely likely that one or both of those steps is not even feasible for many people. He is providing a service that people value. You might think the price is too high and that's OK, but apparently others don't as quite a few of them are well aware of the other options.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline scott123

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Re: Baking Steel customer service
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 02:21:43 AM »
If by fleeced, you mean overcharged


I do not.  If people want to pay an extra hundred dollars for the convenience of not having to make a few phone calls and soak a plate in vinegar, that's not my concern.  For many, $100 is a good chunk of cash, and you'd think a couple of hours of labor would be worth that, but I can see how, for people with the money but not the time or inclination, it's a worthwhile service. But I'm not talking about overcharging.

When I say fleeced, I'm talking about misleading and fraudulent advertising. His advertising has changed over the years, and it's less fraudulent now (after I screamed bloody murder for months, as well as after Chris Young/Nathan Myhrvold corrected most of their outrageous claims in Modernist Cuisine), but for quite some time, Andris was publishing patently false claims as to what Baking Steel could achieve.

The most egregious claim, which has been on his site until very recently, was that 1/4" steel could produce wood fired Neapolitan pizza in any home oven.

Even if you defined 'Neapolitan pizza' in the most broadest of terms, there's no possible way that 1/4" steel can bake Neapolitan pizza in every home oven. For anyone purchasing his steel with the hopes of creating Neapolitan pizza in a home oven- and didn't have the right home oven- they got fleeced.

Even without past 'Neapolitan pizza' claims, his copy, to this day, is still misleading:

Quote
It comes standard at 16 inches X 14 inches, fitting most conventional home ovens, as well as barbecue grill surfaces.


Craig, you know enough about thermodynamics to understand what happens when you put steel on grill. Even by talking about how steel fits most grills, Andris is implying that steel can be successfully used on grills- and that's not being honest.

Quote
Our Baking Steel heats evenly and produces what I think is the best pizza ever made at home.


Throughout all of Andris' advertising and public comments, he has never once qualified which home environments aren't suited for steel. There has always been a constant implication that steel is for every oven. Steel is NOT for every oven. Beyond being disastrous in grill settings, steel is counterindicated for any bottom heat scenario.  Do you know how many people don't have broilers in their main oven compartment? Many.  A misleading implication may not break any truthful advertising laws, but this sin of omission ended up ripping off a considerable number of customers who just didn't know any better. Adam Kuban is a pretty smart guy, but even he took the bait and ended up with an expensive door stop. If a smart guy like Adam got suckered in, you can imagine how many other broilerless people got duped as well.

Steel is also a complete waste of time for anyone with an oven that can hit 600. There's not many people out there with ovens that break this barrier, but they exist. Yesterday, we were just chatting with a hotter than normal oven owner who fell hook line and sinker for the 'steel is for everyone' BS, and bought steel when he didn't need to.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30381.msg303073#msg303073


So, yes, I'm comfortable with the term 'fleeced,' and if either you or he are expecting any kind of apology, I wouldn't hold your breaths.

a piece of scrap that they then have to go home and clean only to then wonder if it is safe.


Craig, with your intellect and bs-meter to end all bs-meters, I'm dumbfounded you'd say something so incredibly misguided.  Both here and on Slice, vinegar soaks are the well established method of cleaning steel- vinegar removes the mill scale and rust and takes the steel down to the bare metal. Bare steel is perfectly safe.  I can see Andris and Kenji spreading this kind of ridiculous FUD, but I expect a higher level of accountability from you.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 03:24:28 AM by scott123 »


 

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