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Londinium L1 Luxe Edition...... the New Zealand story.

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  • Londinium L1 Luxe Edition...... the New Zealand story.

    I posted the start of my story in the main Londinium thread but I wanted to finish the story up, so I have decided to repost the original part again into this new thread and finish the story.

    The original story is here (Post 96):

    I ordered and paid for my Londinium on the 25th November 2013 with the hope that it "may" arrive before Christmas if the 28 day delivery time was correct!!

    I ordered and paid for my Londinium on the 25th November 2013 with the hopethat it "may" arrive before Christmas if the 28 day delivery time was correct!!

    I assumed that they would have had all parts in stock and just built them up as the orders came in. Once Christmas came I knew that most businesses would be shut down over the holidays and I wouldn't hear or see anything till some time in January.

    I guess its understandable to only have a limited number of group heads in stock and then order more as required. I think Reiss just got caught short, demand exceeded supply.

    I emailed Reiss on the 3rd January and he told me that they were out of stock of the lever group and had to wait till the 18th for the Italian supplier to deliver more. In that email he told me that he hoped to be able to ship my machine by the end of January, so when it shipped a week later than that, I was happy, there wasn't anything that I could do anyway.

    I had told a few friends about the arrival of my new machine and most of them were more worried about its delays than I was but I did get a bit pissed one day and snapped at my wife when I told her I'd heard enough about the damn delays with the machine and to drop the topic!

    I never thought about asking for a refund, I wanted a coffee machine and even though I was pissed off, I was still happy enough to wait.

    My L-I arrived on February 14th, Valentines Day, but the story isn't all roses and candy.

    I guess one of the big questions is; "What if you decide to import a expensive coffee machine from the other side of the planet and it turns up damaged?"

    Well guess what, I found out! It went wrong, in fact,everything went wrong.

    As I carefully unpackaged my L-I I took photos of each stage but once I got it up onto the bench I noticed that everything didn't look 100%. The packaging was all wet, but not from the outside, it was wet from the inside out. The glass panel on one side was dislodged and was rattling loose. Worst of all the machine appeared bent. I know that sounds odd, but it looked like a heavy object had been sat on top of the machine and bent it! Also, upon turning the machine on I found that three of the copper pipes coming from the boiler were hissing and spitting water.

    I contacted Reiss straight away with my concerns and sent him a series of photos. Reiss replied almost immediately and asked me a few questions. With a bit of investigation and a closer look at the cardboard box and the polystyrene inside of it, it appears that indeed aheavy object has been placed (perhaps dropped) on top of the L-I box and damaged the machine inside. Further investigations revealed that three of the welds that hold the drip-tray onto the main body of the machine had been cracked. So the machine has taken a pretty large hit at some stage between Birmingham and Invercargill.

    Reiss asked me to go public with what had happened right from the very first day but I wanted to make sure that DHL was going to pay out on the damaged machine and not leave me with a bent broken machine due to some insurance loop-hole. He was pissed to say the least, absolutely fuming at DHL for damaging the machine, Reiss told me the machine was "stuffed" and that "this is as bad as it gets, we've not seen anything like this" and to "tell the coffeesnobs crew that you are getting a new machine - absolutely no discussion about it".

    I contacted DHL in New Zealand the next day and explained the situation and that I wanted to make an insurance claim. I was told that Reiss would have to make the claim and that I would have to send them photographs of the damage to support it. Meanwhile Reiss had been in contact with DHL in the United Kingdom and made the claim and told them to expect the photos.
    Last edited by idensie; 19 April 2013, 06:20 PM. Reason: Fixing formatting

  • #2
    Reiss has been helpful and supportive the whole way through this saga and from my experience I can assure anyone who is considering importing a machine (in my opinion) that if a similar situation was to occur that you wouldn't just be ignored and forgotten about.

    As you could imagine I was feeling pretty stink, the coffee machine that I had been waiting weeks for had turned up bent and broken! Reiss told me to make myself feel better thatI should adjust and tighten up the three leaking pipes and to try and get a decent coffee out of the beast. So that is what I did. It took me while of tightening and adjusting. I'd stop the leak at one pipe and it would start at one of the others, I'd tighten that one up only for it to start hissing out of theone I had tightened up previously, it was a bit of a mission but I got there in the end!

    So I had some fantastic coffees out of the machine, I even had friends around to admire it, even in its bent state (I think they just wanted a free coffee!). I do think the coffee I was using was over roasted.What I had was "Barista Deluxe" coffee, medium dark roast. It's what we use at the restaurant where I work part time. I've always said its over roasted and not great as espresso. I drink a mix of coffee - espresso,macchiato, long blacks, lattes, even caramel lattes! - just depends on the timeof day and how I'm feeling.

    I was happy with the quality of the machine, it made fantastic coffee and I expect it would produce fantastic coffee for as long as I ever owned it, its just a f%#king shame it was damaged during shipping.

    Reiss has said that they paid an external packaging consultant to design the packaging for world wide shipping and that they moved to a higher density polystyrene that is load rated to take a force of 5 tonnes on a flat surface before crushing. My understanding is that the packaging will change (which it has) and machines will be shipped with the top half of the group removed to try and reduce the centre of gravity and the height of the boxes and hopefully offer up some more protection.

    I was told by DHL NZ that a customer care agent would be in touch with me and Reiss said that when he spoke to DHL there was no argument, they would come and pick the damaged machine up to be returned to the UK

    After several emails and phone calls between myself and DHL over the following week I packaged up the L-I, attached the waybill and shipping documents they had emailed me and returned it to the DHL depot in Invercargill. Unfortunately, when I got there the local agent didn't know anything about it and the machine wasn't going to get shipped without someone to invoice the costs to. The local agent suggested that I just pay the bill and claim it back from DHL, but that wasn't going to happen!

    I took the machine home, unpackaged it and put it backon my bench for another week while DHL sorted out who was paying the return costs.

    Another week past and several more emails were exchanged, then I was told that DHL would contact me to arrange pickup of the machine before 10am the next day, as you can probably guess, this didn't happen, I went to work at 10am, received an email about 1pm saying they were ready to come and collect the machine! Fat chance, I was at work!!!!

    They rang the next day (Friday) asking when they could come, I had just opened another bag of coffee and wasn't letting it go to waste so I told them not to bother coming as I was going to be busy for the next fewdays.

    I dropped the damaged machine off on Monday 3rd March,they still seemed a bit confused about the whole situation and had to ring head office, but this time at least I had a reference number to quote them.

    So I had my original L-I for 18 days before it was returned, it made fantastic coffee in this time, just a shame it was bent.

    The machine shipped back to London pretty fast, I sent it on the Monday and it arrived at Fracinos on Thursday! Great work DHL...;-)

    When I spoke to the DHL customer care agent I specifically asked about what would happen with the GST (goods and services tax) and importation fees that I had just paid on a machine that I would no longer have. I was assured that I would not have to pay the bill again, all I would have to do was present my paperwork saying I had already paid, this would then be transferred to the new machine and they would simple release the machine without any hassles.

    Man, was this customer care agent wrong on so many levels!

    To add insult to injury, my car was written off when it was parked on the side of the road on the day I returned my L-I back to DHL. It was one of those time and place situations. My car was parked on the side of the road (not in the normal staff car park) and if I hadn't been to DHL my car would never have been parked where it was and it may have never happened. Not Reiss's fault, not DHL's fault, shit happens, move on! Insurance paid out and we have a shiny new car now.

    Reiss shipped my replacement machine on Thursday 21March, it arrived into New Zealand on the 25th March and made its way to Christchurch (I live in Invercargill, 600km away) where it stayed for 24 days while we (Reiss and myself) argued with DHL because they were asking me to pay the Tax bill a second time!!!

    What the fark!!! You have got to be kidding, right? I specifically asked DHL about this happening and was told that it wouldn't be a problem.

    I refused to pay.
    Last edited by idensie; 19 April 2013, 06:26 PM. Reason: Fixing formatting


    • #3

      This is what the DHL tracking looks like when youargue with them over the bill:

      34 Delivered - Signed for by : IAN DENISE HARGEST 08:00
      33 With delivery courier NZ REGIONAL SERVICE AREA - NEW ZEALAND 06:34
      32 Departed Facility in CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 15:22 JD012059004140004353

      31 Processed at CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 15:21 JD012059004140004353

      30 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:09
      29 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:55
      28 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:42
      27 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:51
      26 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:39
      25 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:04
      24 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:01
      23 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:12
      22 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:17
      21 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:39
      20 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:59
      19 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:33
      18 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:14
      17 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 17:06


      • #4
        16 Shipment on hold CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 16:39
        15 Shipment held - Available upon receipt of payment CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 08:31 JD012059004140004353

        14 Arrived at Delivery Facility in CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND 07:57 JD012059004140004353

        13 Departed Facility in AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND 16:01 JD012059004140004353

        12 Processed at AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND 16:01 JD012059004140004353

        11 Clearance processing complete at AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND 08:52 JD012059004140004353

        10 Arrived at Sort Facility AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND AUCKLAND - NEW ZEALAND 08:33 JD012059004140004353

        9 Departed Facility in LONDON-HEATHROW - UK LONDON-HEATHROW - UK 15:12 JD012059004140004353

        8 Processed at LONDON-HEATHROW - UK LONDON-HEATHROW - UK 12:37 JD012059004140004353

        7 Arrived at Sort Facility LONDON-HEATHROW - UK LONDON-HEATHROW - UK 05:21 JD012059004140004353

        6 Departed Facility in EAST MIDLANDS - UK EAST MIDLANDS - UK 22:46 JD012059004140004353

        5 Processed at EAST MIDLANDS - UK EAST MIDLANDS - UK 21:54 JD012059004140004353

        4 Arrived at Sort Facility EAST MIDLANDS - UK EAST MIDLANDS - UK 21:01 JD012059004140004353

        3 Departed Facility in BIRMINGHAM - UK BIRMINGHAM - UK 20:04 JD012059004140004353

        2 Processed at BIRMINGHAM - UK BIRMINGHAM - UK 18:03 JD012059004140004353

        1 Shipment picked up BIRMINGHAM - UK 16:47


        • #5
          I was told by DHL that I would have to apply for a refund from Customs and that DHL didn't do this for their customers. I went through the process, scanned all of the documentation and send all of the emails collaborating that the original machine had in fact been returned to the UK so that Customs could process my refund.

          A few days later DHL emailed again suggesting that I ring Customs to speed up the process, I rang and spoke to a client services officer who told me a completely different story. Customs could not refund me the money as I had never paid them it in the first place, DHL had. I paid DHL and they paid Customs on a "broker deferred account" so when the refund was processed DHL was going to get it!


          Reiss and I argued with DHL NZ and DHL UK and suggested that they should just release the new machine, they pay the GST bill and they were going to get the refund when it was processed but they didn't want to budge and neither would I.

          A couple of weeks after applying for the refund I receive a phone call from DHL asking how things were going and if I had received my refund from Customs yet. I hadn't, and I told her that she would be the first person to know when I did. She asked me if I was happy with what was happening and I actually had to hold back the laughter, I told her that I wasn't happy but as it stood there was nothing more I could do, other than wait.

          Sure I could have paid the bill, it was about $570 but I wasn't paying on principle. If I had paid a second time I think it would have been very hard to get my refund back from DHL so I just said stuff it, I'll wait.

          Reiss emailed DHL UK again and tried to put some pressure on them to speed things up, he even offered to pay the Customs bill and I could pay him back when I got the refund but it didn't get to that stage. DHL emailed me saying that they had received confirmation from Customs that the refund was going to be processed but that it may take 4-6 weeks and that they were going to do me a favour and process iturgently as a "special request", so I'm assuming Reiss had some influence over DHL UK who pulled strings at DHL NZ and got the ball rolling.

          The only catch was that it cost me an extra $48.07 in fees that I was told I had to pay twice and couldn't get a refund on.

          The whole process was dragged out by DHL but to Reiss's credit he stood by me, regularly checking in to see what was happening and doing the best he could at his end to get a company on the other side ofthe world to release my machine to me. My "coffee machine" folder in my inbox has over 80 emails in it from Reiss. I have never had a problem communicating with Reiss, he often replies instantly and considering Ilive on the other side of the world this could be at 6am, 6pm, midnight or even 3am in the UK!

          I think to be fair I have probably been one of Reiss's most difficult customers and he has repeatedly apologised to me for the problems I have encountered. I would say he'd be keen to see the back of this particular deal.

          I don't hold a grudge against Reiss, actually I don't have any problems with him at all, his customer service is fantastic, his bluntness when he was online in the earlier forum discussions was acceptable to me, he tells it like it is, honestly defends his product, what's wrong with that?

          My grudge is with DHL, they damaged the machine and then miss-informed me about the ease of re-importation and the GST issue.

          I will do all that I can to avoid using DHL in the future.

          I have read most of the comments about the L-I on thevarious forums but I what I don't understand is how someone could receive a machine, be unhappy with it, but not even contact Reiss to complain.

          Perhaps my expectations were lower than others but I didn't really have any issues with the build quality. I did look at the welds inside the drip tray corners and think they could have done with a polish, but I'm a practical person and realise that this would have been difficult and add extra time and costs to the build. Iw ould also like the engine bay of my car to be polished, but get real people, no-one is ever going to see it.
          Last edited by idensie; 19 April 2013, 06:31 PM. Reason: Fixing formatting


          • #6
            You have to remember that these machines are built by people and each machine is going to have a character of its own, a scratch or dent in the boiler or a blemish in a weld is hardly the end of the world.

            For the price I paid I was expecting high quality, but not a Rolls Royce. If you are after a Roll Royce or a Bugatti Veyron buy a Slayer or a Kees Van Der Western Machine,if you want a BMW or a Mercedes Benz get a Bosco or an Quickmill if you want a high quality machine that does the same job at a fraction of the cost, lets call it a Lexus or an Audi, get a Londinium.

            There was a comment on one of the forums about how many (insert car brand name here) leave the factory with bent chassis? I would say none and I don't think that any Londiniums leave the factory with a bent chassis, dented panels or leaking pipes either! This is obviously shipping damage and from what I have seen and read, Reiss has been more than happy to replace damaged parts.

            I do have issues with people who ordered a machine and it turned up 12 days later than they expected!! Get over it and harden up. My original L-I delivery took 11 weeks! it was ordered on the 25 November 2012 and delivered on the 14 February 2013. I had it for 18 days before returning it and the replacement machine arrived on the 19 April 2013, 21 weeks after my original order!

            Check out this comedian, I've seen the guy live and he is pretty good. Heath Franklins impersonation of Chopper Reid (an actual Australian criminal/gangster/hit-man). This is what I think a few of the unhappy L-I buyers need to do...


            (caution, contains offensive language and is not appropriate for the workplace or young children).

            Anyway, my new L-I turned up in the new improved packaging, with the lever group removed. I'm not sure if its a fully new machine or if the internals from my old machine were just re-built into a new chassis, that is what it looks like from some of the not so-perfect lacquer around some of the nuts and pipes that I had to adjust last time, anyway I'm not sure if it matters really. The box was beat up a bit, but no worse than you would expect. The machine was straight and the glass in the panels was in place and intact. There was however a dent in the drip tray (I know this has been mentioned before and I understand the packaging has been improved to prevent this happening again). There was also a split in the white guide ring between the seals on the lever piston, I wasn't sure if this was suppose to be there so I took some photos and emailed Reiss. He replied instantly, ringing me to assure me that this was how it was suppose to be and that he would get a replacement drip tray sent out ASAP.

            I still think that the biggest issue is the risk of shipping damage but so long as you are prepared to work through any issues you have directly with Reiss I think any potential customers would be fine ordering a L-I. Is the machine perfect? No. Is it good value for money compared to other more expensive lever machines, Yes, It hink so.

            Perhaps the packaging could be improved even further and maybe the next step would be to go to double boxing with a layer of foam balls to absorb any unexpected impacts.

            And finally...

            Was it all worth it I hear you ask, my mind says fark that, too much stress and hassle, but my heart tells me a different story, yes,do it again, you're not going to gain anything in life by playing it safe, live on the edge, take some risks, and if they don't pay off, move on, shit happens. I guess we wouldn't be here (on this forum) if we didn't think the cost of owning your own coffee machine was worth it. So the answer is an emphatic HELL YEAH, I'D DO IT AGAIN. I mean, NOTHING can beat the buzz of owning your own espresso machine and making the"perfect" cup of coffee when ever you want.

            P.S. I just want to declare that I have no commercial interests, don't know Reiss from a bar of soap and couldn't give a damn if you brought a Londinium I a Bosco or a Bezzera Strega.
            Last edited by idensie; 19 April 2013, 07:26 PM. Reason: Fixing formatting, correcting comedians name


            • #7
              Wow.....Hope it all works out well from here.


              • #8
                Londinium L1 Luxe Edition...... the New Zealand story.

                Thanks for the update. Good to see that Londinium Espresso looked after you.


                • #9
                  There are a couple of threads on CoffeeSnobs about the joys of dealing with courier companies. It's bad enough for cross country trips, across the planet is far worse as so many more people have to handle it.

                  The Londinium will be prone to these sorts of stories until it gets shipped on a skid or in a crate. It's just too heavy for a single box and couriers will roll and drop something they cannot easily lift by themselves or get a forklift under.

                  I'm glad that you have sorted the worlds longest travelled machine, I'm still waiting to hear some good news about mine...

                  Enjoy your coffee!


                  • #10
                    Glad to hear it ended well. Enjoy!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Andy View Post
                      There are a couple of threads on CoffeeSnobs about the joys of dealing with courier companies. It's bad enough for cross country trips, across the planet is far worse as so many more people have to handle it.
                      Here's a slightly more positive story about import to NZ, but not a Londinium:

                      Shipped from Padova -> Milan -> Liege -> Auckland -> Christchurch via TNT.
                      Vendor packed the original OEM carton in their own oversize heavy-walled carton, with polystyrene beads between the cartons to hold everything tight. then strapped firmly to a wooden pallet, then well stretch wrapped.
                      Transit time from date of order to final delivery was 10 days. Shipping cost for TNT (regular) Express service was EU 100 - which for 37KG GW was remarkably inexpensive IMO.
                      Seamless, efficient, and apparently very careful service across the planet - everything in perfect condition.


                      • #12
                        C'mon! ..... You gunna tell us what it is????