Edward Parker’s Lavatools Javelin Pro cooking thermometer is broken, and the company says it will fix it under its warranty. So why isn’t it fixed?
Q: My Lavatools Javelin Pro cooking thermometer stopped functioning recently because of moisture in the unit. It has a lifetime warranty. I returned the thermometer to Lava Tools with a prepaid shipping label.
Lavatools was very responsive at first but hasn’t replied to any of my emails requesting an update. I’d like to know if they can fix or replace the thermometer.
Lavatools does not have a customer service phone number or an address, only an email. I believe it’s a California company. I would like to get the thermometer replaced since they are quite expensive. A way to contact the company beyond the customer service email might be helpful. — Edward Parker, Andover, Mass.
A: You’re right, the Lavatools Javelin Pro is pricey. At $45.99, it’s a professional-grade cooking thermometer with some impressive reviews. But unfortunately, the warranty information you have is incorrect. The warranty specifically excludes “water entry”, which means you can toss your Javelin Pro into the recycler.
Unless, of course, someone at Lavatools told you the thermometer would be covered under its warranty. If that’s the case, then Lavatools should honor its word. As I review the paper trail between you and the company, it looks like someone at the company may have left you with the incorrect impression that the warranty covered your thermometer.
I strongly dislike warranties like this. The list of exclusions is a mile long. It includes, “normal wear and tear, water entry, abuse, misuse, accidental breakage, negligence, defects caused by modifications, repair and servicing not made or authorized by Lavatools, damage caused by handling, operating, storing, or using the product outside the intended uses described by our product literature.”
Wow, doesn’t that make you wonder what is covered?
How to reach Lavatools
Lavatools also seems to have gone to great lengths to hide its mailing address. You’re right, the company appears to be based in California. Its corporate headquarters appears to be located in an apartment building in Los Angeles. I’ve published the names, numbers and email addresses of the Lavatools executives on my nonprofit consumer advocacy site.
Lavatools’ preferred contact method is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), which I think is fine — as long as someone responds to you. But taking your thermometer back followed by weeks of silence is unacceptable.
I contacted Lavatools to find out the status of your Javelin Pro thermometer. The company owed you an explanation. Was your thermometer covered under the manufacturer’s warranty or not? Lavatools responded by sending you a new, fully functioning Javelin Pro.