Post By TC
Time for an upgrade in Townsville
I have had several coffee machines over the years but they have all been mainstream appliances, Sunbeam, Breville etc. I currently have a Breville BES860 which I have had for probably six years. It is now on its last legs so I have decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a 'real' coffee machine. I think a small E61 style HX machine would suite my needs and there seems to be a number of these machines available for just over $2000 (Vibiemme Domobar Junior, Lelit Mara, Bezzera BZ10 etc). I imagine all of these machines would produce excellent coffee.
My concern is about servicing, repair and parts availability for these machines. I have not been able to find anyone in Townsville who sell these machines. Does anyone know if there are service agents for any of the major brands in the Townsville area? Are parts easily available for these machines? If the machine has an E61 group head are the parts common between the brands or is each one sightly different?
I want a machine that will last me for the foreseeable future and I don't want to have to ship it off to Brisbane or Melbourne to get it serviced or repaired.
The availability of a service agent and/or the availability of parts will be a determining factor in my purchase decision.
Feeling a little frustrated that I may have to spend $2000+ on a machine sight unseen and have limited backup.
G'day Dane and welcome,
The critical thing with espresso machine techs is to find good ones. Our machines are spread far and wide around Australia and can end up in the hands of techs we don't know when they become 2nd or 3rd hand. I continue to be astonished by some of the calls I receive from some people who call themselves techs when they call for support on a machine they have received for service and/or repair.
Rather than just popping down to the local bloke, my opinion is that you need to ensure you find a competent tech. If we don't have a relationship in place for the area, we'll call our suppliers for a recommendation and then call the tech to discuss the case and whether he can provide the repair service. As with all repairs under warranty, the importer provides or pays for parts- as is their legal responsibility. The reseller is responsible for labour if they are unable to provide it themselves. Google is not the way we choose technical support! Sometimes it is safer to travel or have your machine do so than choose a poor alternative.
We have seen plenty of machines which have been absolutely butchered by "techs" who clearly had no idea of what they were doing and the result was decidedly dodgy and sometimes dangerous repairs. My preference is to purchase meat, not repairs from my butcher!
First thing is to ensure you choose a simple and reliable machine. You may be able to take on some routine service work yourself as required as it's not too difficult. Some machines are absolute horrors to work on and others are pretty good. Sometimes we have to make tools to allow us to work on some gear due to bad internal architecture. Other machines can be full of proprietary parts that nobody has in routine stock. That's where open and honest discussion rather than sales pitch comes in.
I have first hand experience of repairs on all of the machines you mention and am happy to chat pros and cons with you. We sell some of them and have rejected others from our range.
I would also suggest that you might consider adding the Rocket Appartamento to your short-list if the budget is there. I reckon it wins out on internal design and down the track serviceability.
Thanks Paul, it's good to know how the warranty works. I will have a look at your buyers guide and be in touch.
Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee
Thanks for your reply Chris, I hadn't looked at the Rocket because it was just that bit more expensive and because my old machine had an integrated grinder I'm also going to have to budget for a new grinder. Having said that I will check it out because a little bit more now may be worth it down the track. I'll be in touch.
Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee