I’ve had a small Big Green Egg ceramic cooker (great grill) for 20 years and recently the original hinge mechanism finally rusted out, so I was in need of a new hinge.

The Big Green Egg people do not support internet sales of Big Green Eggs or Big Green Egg parts stating that purchasing via the internet will void the warranty. I’m not convinced that attitude is even legal, but I don’t really care.

They make a good product that so far hasn’t needed much in the way of repairs – an occasional gasket refit, a new lower air door, and I had to replace the grate in the bottom of the firebox as the ceramic one I had cracked.

So, I’m digging around on the internet looking for Big Green Egg parts – I bought my replacement grate through Amazon, but they don’t list the hinge assy that I need.

There are a several sites on the internet that say they stock/sell Big Green Eggs and Big Green Egg parts, but very few actually show any pricing.

In my searching I found two sites that showed pricing for the hinge assy – one at $125.00 (includes shipping), one at $97.10 (plus $14.95 shipping).

Obviously the $97 + $15 is the cheaper deal – it’s a company named Sound Cedar Company (website)

I stated above that I have a SMALL Big Green Egg – I know that now, but prior to my experience with Sound Cedar Company I thought it was a MEDIUM.

I ordered a MEDIUM hinge assy and upon arrival proceeded to install it. Wait a sec, the rings are too big. I email the Sound Cedar Company and state I got the wrong part.

Michele Conterez (sales@soundcedar.com) responded that she would send out the correct part. After a week, the part has not arrived nor have I gotten any emails regarding whether it even shipped or not.

I email Michele and ask if it has been shipped and she responds that I already have the correct part so she didn’t ship anything.

WTF? She didn’t bother to email me and tell me that though – wonderful customer service.

Now I’m pissed – so I go do my research and find that I was wrong and that I ordered a MEDIUM and that’s what I got. I emailed Michele and explained the situation. She replied that if I would return the medium, she would ship me a SMALL.

I don’t even have the box it came in, so I ask Michele if I order a SMALL, then return the MEDIUM, would she give me credit. She replied yes, if I bought the SMALL hinge assy from her, she would give me credit.

My next question was “Is there a restocking fee?”.

She replied

“Hello again,

Go ahead and send the other size back ( medium ) and I will nto [sic] charge a restock fee, as long as you order the small size from us also.

Michele”

So, that’s what I do – I ordered a SMALL, it arrived and fit fine – the only difference in the sizes is the rings themselves – and all I removed from the box was the small rings, and I put the medium rings back in the box and shipped it back.

So here’s the entries on my credit card statement

07/06/2011 SOUND CEDAR COMPANY MOUNT VERNON WA $112.05
07/26/2011 SOUND CEDAR COMPANY MOUNT VERNON WA $112.05
08/08/2011 SOUND CEDAR COMPANY MOUNT VERNON WA -$87.39

The credit should have been for $97.10 – this was my mistake so I knew I was out both shipping and handling charges (as well as the return shipping).

Speaking of shipping, they shipped to me via Priority Mail and charged me $14.95 – the tag on the package showed a charge of over $18 for the postage. I shipped the replacement back to them via UPS Ground for a total shipping charge of $10.50 – doh.

The difference in the amount charged and the refund is $9.71 which is a 10% restocking fee.

I emailed Michele and asked about the difference even though she stated she would not charge a restocking fee.

Sound Cedar Company has great prices on Big Green Egg parts, but their customer service is lacking (despite how they tout it on their website).

As you can see, it took over a month to straighten out this situation – mostly because many of my emails to Michele went unanswered for days. Even the emails that she did answer contain questions that she never bothered to address and they are still unanswered.

Add to that the fact that Michele lied about the restocking fee and has yet to respond to my inquiry about that dated 8-11-2011, so almost two weeks now.

Now don’t get me wrong here – I am fully aware that this was my fault, I’m not trying to pass the buck on that.

I doubt I will ever hear back from them – I do KNOW for a fact that I will never do business with them again.

Your mileage may vary – you make the call – but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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