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Sansaire sous vide - my experience as a warning!

So for anyone thinking of ordering a Sansaire sous vide machine, I though I'd let you know that based on my experience, DON'T!

I ordered the unit in October and received periodic updates via email and on their website. I was excited to see in early February that the units were finally shipping and more excited to see that they charged my credit card on February 13, as I thought I'd be getting my unit shortly.

Well, they didn't ship it until March 5, and it didn't arrive until March 11, but I was still excited as I'd spent months reading about sous vide cooking and telling everyone I knew about this wonderful machine.

As soon as I received the unit, I unpacked it, filled a pot of water, and plugged it in. Needless to say I was disappointed when I turned it on to find out that the display didn't work.

I emailed Sansaire immediately and received no response. I emailed them again twice yesterday and finally received a response, asking if I had removed the sticker on the display (yes, I'm not an idiot!).

I replied that yes, I had, and that I'd tried the unit both in and out of a pot of water, and the display definitely didn't work.

Needless to say, I have still had no response from them and since there is no phone number to call, my only next step is to call my credit card company and dispute the month old charge.

I am so upset and disappointed that I waited 5 months for my sous vide machine and ended up receiving a defective unit that they seem to have no interest in replacing.

So if you're thinking of buying one, hope that you receive a unit that actually works, and don't expect them to be in business a long time with this kind of customer service.

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  1. Polyscience is the only way to go with sous vide.

    10 Replies
    1. re: dulcie54

      i dont know about that... my anova is pretty solid in a home kitchen, and i have quite a few friends who are using them in pro environments

      1. re: JBroida

        I have had the anova since Christmas and am very happy with it

      2. re: dulcie54

        Are you referring to the CHEF or the CREATIVE?

        I have an Anova and I'm very happy with it. Excellent temp stability and very strong circulator. Well built and great customer service as well

            1. re: scubadoo97

              I have the professional though when I bought it, it was the only option they had available. It isn't the quietest thing in my kitchen but not horrible either.

              1. re: thimes

                The Professional is seriously more robust than the Creative.

                With immersion circulators dropping to the $200 level they won't be selling too many Professionals to home cooks. I see the price coming down a bit more in the future.

                The Polysci Creative really has nothing over the lower priced Anova except the name and it's resemblance to the Professional model and at $100 over the Anova and the Sansaire there is little incentive for the home cook to buy a Polyscience circulator.

                One thing I can personally say about the Anova is their customer service has been excellent

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  The change in price points has seriously changed the sous vide market. They were the only game in town when I bought mine.

                  I am very happy with my professional but can't say it is the one I would buy in today's market. If there was a less expensive one on the market I would have gone with that but I also had "upgraded" my sous vide contraptions a few times before jumping into the circulator market . . . but my professional can handle a larger water bath than I typically use . . .

                  1. re: thimes

                    I think the Anova can handle 22 liters of water

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      I have the PolyScience Creative and it is excellent. Sounds like the Anova could be pretty good too.

        1. +1 on the Anova.
          I'm very happy with it.

          1. Same experience as Carnut, overall the product feels flimsy and under-designed.

              1. Very sorry to hear that.

                I'm also very pleased with my Anova so far.

                1. Mine works fine and does the job perfectly. Sorry you're having such a bad experience with yours.

                    1. I have Anova and the SV supreme. Both work well.

                      1. OP: Any update? Did they get back to you? To this point in the story it's slow customer service (from a brand spanking new company) and an initially defective product.....both of which suck but also happen. If they continue to be unresponsive, that's a big problem. But if they replaced the defective unit (or otherwise helped you troubleshoot) then perhaps it's not the dire cautionary tale you've told so far?

                        1. I have to admit i've had the opposite experience with Sansaire customer service. After a week of use, my Sansaire went a bit trippy and the temperature readout was all over the place. I took a brief vid of the wild readout fluctuations and sent to their customer service and got a response the next day - they asked me to send back the defective unit at my convenience (via pre-paid FedEx) and they arranged for a replacement unit to be sent immediately. I received my replacement unit 2 days later, and i sent back the defective unit a week after that. Pretty quality customer service from my experience!

                          1. So I handled a Sansaire at Sur La Table a few days ago. It is significantly lighter and less top heavy than my Anova. At first I thought it was a non-functional display sample. The clip hinge seems a bit flimsy but it can mount to more oddly shaped containers than the Anova. Because of the large base and weight distribution, I would feel comfortable resting an unsecured Sansaire at the bottom of the pot. I would never do that with the Anova. The Sansaire construction is all plastic. The controls, while simple and intuitive, do seem rather cheap.

                            1. I have both the Anova and the Sansaire. The Anova is reliable so far, whereas the Sansaire simply died the other day with no indication of any issues. Will be trying the warranty route, since it's only a few months old, but I am very glad I have the Anova. Plus they shipped in days versus having to wait (same as poster here).

                              1. I have owned 2 Anova units since November. Never had a single problem. Love them both, and they get a lot of use.
                                They are the best $200 immersion circulator on the market, better than pricier models even.
                                I ordered one of the Anova kickstarter ones as well, we'll see how that model does, but I think the original model will be better. I'd like to get my hands on an Anova professional model but I'm going to wait for the market to settle down a but more before I make any large investments like that.

                                1. Sorry to hear of your trouble. I would contact "The Haggler" at the New York Times and relay your story. He is very good at ratting out this kind of abuse and getting a good response. Not perfect, but good. He publishes an occasional article in the Sunday Times business section.

                                  Any company doing business in the US must have a US based office. I see a Seattle Washington office with a phone number. 425-202-6252. I'd have an attorney (or you) call that number every day until satisfied. I'd also blog your problem all over the internet. And let them know you will be doing this. Good luck. I know I'll be buying a sous vide machine soon. It won't be a Sansaire based on your experience.

                                  One more. Did you buy it direct or through a dealer? If through a dealer, then get on them. To help, I will look up Sansaire dealers on the internet and let them know I will not be buying from them based on your troubles.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Enigma3

                                    Sur La Table is the only retailer (they sell it through Amazon too).
                                    They did not retail it when the OP bought it. he got it as a kickstarter reward.
                                    Either way, I think the Anova is a superior product.

                                  2. Speaking of sous vide, I've lately been catching up on the first couple seasons of Top Chef, which I missed first time around 'cause I didn't have cable, and just started season 4. In season 3, Hung was kind of mocked a bit by the other chefs for "sous vide this" and "sous vide that", and they showed him doing it with a ziplock bag, a stock pot, and a thermometer. Now in season 4, Blais brought along with him as part of his "personal pantry" a more formal setup, but still it's clearly a matter of some commentary by the other chefs. Now just a few years later we amateur home chefs can and do have our very own (and I bet the Top Chef kitchen comes already equipped)!