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  • Dual Boiler problem... and then a problem with return postage

    Hi All

    I am currently having a drama post my dual boiler being serviced. It is little bit of a story as there are a few factors so if you have the time I would appreciate your feedback.

    As the issue is still ongoing I will leave out the make / model of dual boiler and the retailer. If things get nasty I will be happy to fill in the blanks at a later time.

    Machine type: Dual Boiler
    Purchase price: $1500+
    Warranty: Standard 1 yr (I think)
    Machine Age at time of problem: 18 months
    Purchased: NSW
    Grinder purchased with dual boiler: Compak K3 Push

    So my dual boiler coffee machine had an problem with the steam wand, as the place of purchase retailer was interstate I took the machine to my local coffee machine technician. Upon inspection they insisted I make contact with the retailer about getting the machine looked at and fixed as a warranty job. At that point in time I had thought the warranty was 2 years.

    A short video of the problem was sent to the retailer, they insisted I send it back to them for repair. So machine was boxed up, lodged with Auspost including insurance to cover $2000 on a Monday, machine received 5 days later on the Friday.

    A few days later I was informed the water pump had failed and would not be covered under warranty, price to replace and conduct a minor machine checkup $220.

    Actual fact was the water pump had failed due to corrosion as per the picture below, taken by my local technician.



    The water used in the coffee machine has always been rain water or filtered water (sediment and carbon).

    The question is was it fair for me have to pay for the repair on the water pump?


    Anyway the story continues on from here and I thought the repair bill was a bitter pill to swallow...

    The retailer informed me the machine would be sent out on the Friday, with a 5 day turn around I should see it the following Friday. Truth is the machine wasn't posted out until the Monday 2nd Feb so it was unlikely to receive it by the end of that week, a little annoyed.

    This is where the story takes a turn... the retailer neglected to remove the old Auspost barcode even after a phone conversation with one of employees who insisted the old label was removed from when I had sent the machine to them. Because of this it was misdirected and reprocessed a number of times as per the screen shots of both the tracking numbers below.

    Auspost barcode from when I originally sent machine to retailer



    Their barcode when sent to return machine back to me




    **sorry not sure how to edit size of the pictures**

    So at this point in time on Friday 27/2/15 1300 (WST) I have been advised the machine will be delivered on Tuesday 3rd March (public holiday Monday). Three weeks from the retailer originally posting it! Whilst I might receive the machine what are the chances of damage, external or internal due to all the extra handling moving, loading, unloading in the last three weeks?

    My wife and I enjoy our coffee, hence the purchase of 2 grand worth of equipment. As such to fulfil desire for a decent coffee it has been costing us an average of $10 a day for take away.

    Do you think compensation for the inconvenience of an additional 2 weeks of waiting and wondering WTF is a fair ask? If so what would you be asking for?

    Regards

    Roly

  • #2
    Originally posted by roly7 View Post
    I am currently having a drama post my dual boiler being serviced....

    As the issue is still ongoing I will leave out the make / model of dual boiler and the retailer. If things get nasty I will be happy to fill in the blanks at a later time.

    Warranty: Standard 1 yr (I think) / Machine Age at time of problem: 18 months

    I was informed the water pump had failed and would not be covered under warranty, price to replace and conduct a minor machine checkup $220.

    Actual fact was the water pump had failed due to corrosion as per the picture below, taken by my local technician.

    The water used in the coffee machine has always been rain water or filtered water (sediment and carbon).

    The question is was it fair for me have to pay for the repair on the water pump?

    Anyway the story continues on from here and I thought the repair bill was a bitter pill to swallow...

    So at this point in time on Friday 27/2/15 1300 (WST) I have been advised the machine will be delivered on Tuesday 3rd March (public holiday Monday). Three weeks from the retailer originally posting it! Whilst I might receive the machine what are the chances of damage, external or internal due to all the extra handling moving, loading, unloading in the last three weeks?

    My wife and I enjoy our coffee, hence the purchase of 2 grand worth of equipment. As such to fulfil desire for a decent coffee it has been costing us an average of $10 a day for take away.

    Do you think compensation for the inconvenience of an additional 2 weeks of waiting and wondering WTF is a fair ask? If so what would you be asking ?
    I hope I have been able to paraphrase your enquiry down to the most salient points, and I'll now try and make my way down through them for you. My answer will be tempered by my extensive experiences as a coffee machine workshop owner.

    a) "...If things get nasty I will be happy to fill in the blanks at a later time...." It will be great if you can keep the lid on your emotions and sort this out with the retailer/workship/importer to a mutually acceptable outcome. Going public only exascerbates the situation and can turn the retailer/workshop/importer against you, so can be quite counterproductive.

    b) "I was informed the water pump had failed and would not be covered under warranty, price to replace and conduct a minor machine checkup $220..." i) Depends on if they have never or rarely seen this happen in one of thier machines OR, ii) if it is a common occurence leading them to believe there may have been a faulty batch of pumps used in a run of manufacture. If i) it will look like a legitimate water problem (ie not theirs) and you wear it, and if ii), if it were my workshop I would be morally obliged to supply a replacement pump under guaranatee and ask you to pay only for labour.

    Regardless of anything else, $220.00 in theory sounds like a reasonable charge to supply and fit a replacemet pump and do a machine check up all over.

    c) "The water used in the coffee machine has always been rain water or filtered water (sediment and carbon)...." Firstly, see b) above and secondly, kindly note the retailer/workshop/importer has no way of knowing if this is gospel or not, and what if there is a problem with your filtration or it is acid rain...not being facetious, but a lot of clients tell a lot of baloney when pulling all stops to try and get repairs done for nix. Unfortunately it wrecks it for everyone....

    d) "The question is was it fair for me have to pay for the repair on the water pump?..." Again, try to understand both sides, and note the workshop can only go on what they find in front of them at the time of diagnosis or repair. The rest is an unknown (like what water you say you use). And no one here can answer that for you without being privvy to the diagnostic sheet completed by the tech that is working on the machine.

    e) " what are the chances of damage, external or internal due to all the extra handling moving, loading, unloading in the last three weeks?..." Again no one can answer that until it actually arrives back into your care, and I sincerely hope it has been well packed as this is the bane of ALL equipment repairers and clients that have sent machine away regrdless of whether the consignment takes 1 day or 30 days...

    And of course this appears to be a timely reminder to all workshops to make sure that cartons are CLEAN of all previous consignment instructions before re using a carton to post back an item of equipment.

    f) "Do you think compensation for the inconvenience of an additional 2 weeks of waiting and wondering WTF is a fair ask? If so what would you be asking ?..." I would try not to get bogged down with intangibles and please be aware that asking such in a forum like this may dig up some respopnses that may stir you up and just make the situation worse for you. Beware the "I know my rights" rent a crowd that will have you seeking compensation from the International Court in The Hague.....

    The best you can do if you find the box is "badly addressed", is photograph all sides of the box and see what you can do in level headed discussion with them. In the unfortunate event the machine is damaged in transit then it would appear you have a case. If the machine is AOK, I doubt it as there is no guarantee real or imagined for the length of time it takes to make a delivery.

    I have given you some pointers in the above that should help you in any negotiation with those you are dealing with. If you are not satisfied with anything they have done ask to speak to a supervisor, manager etc. Stay polite, cool calm and collected, and note that threats (I'll go to "consumer affairs" and the like) will exascerbate the situation. Dont shoot yourself in the foot.

    Notwithstanding all the above, for future reference kindly note that you are now at a disadvantage in terms of seeking anything from the retailer/workshop/importer because the machine has already been repaired/consigned (and presumably paid). It would have been easier to negotiate a better deal for your repair before you paid and the machine was consigned.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by TOK; 27 February 2015, 06:13 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi TOK

      I did try to explain in a non aggresive way of the problems at hand, not very well by the sounds of it

      a) yep agree with you

      b) just needed that clarification that the cost was reasonable, in this case sounds like it was

      c) too true. Always someone else ruining it for the peeps with legit claims, hard to prove otherwise

      d) agree

      e) out of their hands I know but my wife and I having worked in the freight industry this is where my concern is at the moment

      f) not too convinced at the moment, reasonable delivery times with some fat 5-7 working days. The fact that the additional time was due to their mistake is what is annoying me. Had Auspost made the mistakes I would be taking the matter up with them.

      Otherwise appreciate the time you have taken for the feedback

      Roly

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by roly7 View Post
        Three weeks from the retailer originally posting it! Whilst I might receive the machine what are the chances of damage, external or internal due to all the extra handling moving, loading, unloading in the last three weeks?

        My wife and I enjoy our coffee, hence the purchase of 2 grand worth of equipment. As such to fulfil desire for a decent coffee it has been costing us an average of $10 a day for take away.

        Do you think compensation for the inconvenience of an additional 2 weeks of waiting and wondering WTF is a fair ask? If so what would you be asking for?
        I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. What I really cannot understand is why the local tech insisted that you send the machine for warranty repair, given the fact that what I see in the pics is an obvious case of leaking pump?
        It's clear that he thought such an obvious case of equipment malfunction should be covered by warranty but we're talking espresso machines here, a piece of equipment that we use every day for our own pleasure. That's a cheap Ulka vibe pump there and replacing it is a 10 minutes job, plus maybe another 30 for thorough testing with the machine at operating temp/pressure.
        I'm not sure how much a corner shop tech can ask for such a replacement in Oz, but the pump itself costs here in Europe anything between 10 euros (the common 15 bar Ulka EX5) to 20 euros (the Ulka EP8, usually employed for filling the steam boilers on some DB prosumer machines). Yes you have to shop around a bit for those prices even here, probably they are 2x in Oz. But still you paid more just for takeaway coffee while the machine was touring Australia, probably taking a bump here and there in the process.

        Of course, this isn't supposed to serve as an excuse for the very poor customer service that you received so far from your retailer. What I'm saying that on machines which don't have warranty seals and require mailing for warranty, any kind of minor/cheap malfunctions are cheaper and far more convenient to handle locally, if spare original parts are available at a reasonable cost.

        Ah, and charging 220 dollars for replacing that pump is robbery, plain and simple, no matter how you look at it. Even if it was entirely your fault (which is not- the photo clearly shows that the pump leaked on the motor, a malfunction that cannot be traced to hard water and so on ).

        I also have to disagree with TOK on the affirmation he made about the seller being unable to establish if you used soft water. Disassembling the mechanic part of these pumps is a 2 minutes job and you can instantly see if the water formed any deposits on the piston, valves and springs.
        And again, your photo is crystal clear, the pump leaked bad, the only sensible thing to do would have been to replace it under warranty at no cost to the buyer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AdrianN View Post
          ...charging 220 dollars for replacing that pump is robbery, plain and simple, no matter how you look at it.....
          I understand the figure relates to supply and fit AND CHECK MACHINE (my abbreviated nomenclature), in which it is entirely appropriate.

          People that dont run workshops dont have "the nose" for what offering service costs, with appropriate margin applied to derive a fair and reasonable income.

          There are minimum costs required to open the door and switch on the light abd turn on the phone in the morning regardless of what an individual job costs out when just taking the cost of a spare part and time spent by a techie into consideration. A small job such as swapping out a water pump will cost the workshop more to do, than the apparent charge for actual time spent. That is why a) the workshop will charge retail on the pump AND b) there will be a minimum charge for labour and a flat fee for workshop materials regardless of whether the job actually took less time in labour charge/hour, than the workshops "minimum charge".

          And of course lots of companies are starting to go to "fixed price service"...

          Look when I go to some other tradie I have to fit in with their pricing structure if I want my job done. If their minimum price is $100.00 regardless of whether the job oinly took 15 minutes or 60 minutes, I make the decision if I want my repair done by them or not.

          If I decide the price is not acceptable, i can cut off my nose to spite my face and leave with job not done.

          Reiterating, the workshop is entitled to fair and reasonable recompense for the offering of the service, and the price charged for the job as described by the OP, is entirely fair in this country You learn pretty quickly in the worshop business that doing clients favours just distributes your hard earned income straight back into the clients pocket. Yet people that work in and run workshops also have families to feed and clothe and school...

          Comment


          • #6
            All you arguments make sense to everyone even remotely familiar with running a business. We need however to factor in a few things:

            1. The machine was under warranty. Seems like a minimal courtesy towards the client to offer bottom prices when asking him to pay a repair while the product is under warranty, even if the reason for it is rock solid (which isn't the case here)

            2. 6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Nov 2014


            Other sites list median household income in Australia at 66.000 Australian dollars per year, that would average about 130 dollars per working day (and I put 250 a year which is rather low) for a working adult. And that is a national average which includes top management and what not.

            I'm not going to argue from the other side of the world what should be the minimum price for a repair on an espresso machine in Australia, I'll just take your example of 100$ minimum for as much as 1 hour of work. Getting from this to 220$ while the only part replaced was a cheap Ulka pump doesn't really look like a fair price, at least to me.

            Anyway, the whole thing should still be seen in the context of this particular case: machine under warranty, obviously leaking Ulka pump. I don't dispute the fact that 220$ for an hour could be a fair price in Oz if the tech has to troubleshoot some weird malfunction of the electronic board, or to rebuild an old pressurestat and so on. Let me put it this way: if I had a machine with warranty seal, brought it to the vendor's service to be fixed under warranty and was asked this kind of money for replacing an obviously leaking Ulka pump, I'd never buy from that vendor again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AdrianN View Post
              I'm not going to argue from the other side of the world ....
              Yes- probably prudent. But then don't argue!

              Bottom line is it was a stuffed pump and I'm with TOK. I also agree it should have been covered as a warranty repair. I suspect that Australian Consumer law would also support the OP.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi AdrianN

                Thanks for your insight. Yeah the problem is here in Oz is price full stop! I wasn't exactly happy to pay what they were asking but as the work, or what little work their was was done already that would have made for a standoff. The wife and I just wanted to get it home again, take away is never as good as home made. Plus I don't have to drive to the cafe down the road.

                If I'd had the slightest idea that the repair bill was going to be $220, plus postage... Let's call it $300 + 5 weeks without the machine I would have stuck to my local guy.

                That said and done I am yet to receive it as it's still in the post (4 weeks after being sent from vendor). You know what AdrianN it probably would have been quicker to send to yourself for repair!!

                Roly

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AdrianN View Post
                  All you arguments make sense to everyone even remotely familiar with running a business. We need however to factor in a few things:

                  1. The machine was under warranty. ...
                  Warranty: Standard 1 yr (I think)
                  Machine Age at time of problem: 18 months

                  So strictly out of warranty it would seem, however:

                  Originally posted by TOK View Post
                  ....b) "I was informed the water pump had failed and would not be covered under warranty, price to replace and conduct a minor machine checkup $220..." i) Depends on if they have never or rarely seen this happen in one of thier machines OR, ii) if it is a common occurence leading them to believe there may have been a faulty batch of pumps used in a run of manufacture. If i) it will look like a legitimate water problem (ie not theirs) and you wear it, and if ii), if it were my workshop I would be morally obliged to supply a replacement pump under guaranatee and ask you to pay only for labour.
                  Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                  ...Bottom line is it was a stuffed pump and I'm with TOK. I also agree it should have been covered as a warranty repair. I suspect that Australian Consumer law would also support the OP.
                  Originally posted by TOK View Post
                  ...I have given you some pointers in the above that should help you in any negotiation with those you are dealing with. If you are not satisfied with anything they have done ask to speak to a supervisor, manager etc. Stay polite, cool calm and collected, and note that threats (I'll go to "consumer affairs" and the like) will exascerbate the situation. Dont shoot yourself in the foot.

                  Notwithstanding all the above, for future reference kindly note that you are now at a disadvantage in terms of seeking anything from the retailer/workshop/importer because the machine has already been repaired/consigned (and presumably paid). It would have been easier to negotiate a better deal for your repair before you paid and the machine was consigned...
                  I never said the OP should like it and lump it, I have given him advice on what to do but noted he is now at a disadvantage so lets not get overly argumentative, the OP needed to see each side of the story and did in fact ask for the advice.

                  ***********************

                  I also agree with the OP in retrospect the machine would have been better in the hands of the local service provider, and I am appalled the machine still has not arrived. That in itself will help him if he decides to seek some recompense...my only hope is the machine is not damaged in transit which will just make matters much much worse...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A few years ago, a friend of mine had to send his Sunbeam EM6910 away for warranty repair. A month later with no contact, he called them and was informed that it was ready to go. 2 weeks later it turned up with a badly dented side panel due to poor packing.
                    Back on the phone with the service agent and they sent him a "new" machine. After promptly breaking down 1.5 months later, he decided to stuff the warranty and I looked at it instead.
                    The machine was a refurb with terrible workmanship. Leaking seals and incorrect materials used on several components. I fixed it up and it's still going, now 2-3 years later and onto it's third owner.

                    Moral of the story is that there's some dodgy workshops out there who do anything to make a quick buck but probably ends up coming back to bite them. I hope your machine arrives safely and in good working order.

                    Consumer law is a big thing these days. There's no need to make threats about "going to consumer affairs" though as it's generally a given that you will in the event of unsuccessful negotiation with the manufacturer. The first thing you should do is contact the manufacturer and ask if they will extend the warranty out of goodwill for your product. Most of the big brands will accommodate their customer with inquiries like this, or so I have seen in my business.
                    18 months for an expensive dual boiler coffee machine that isn't a Breville (which by the way has a 24 month warranty) is not acceptable. You are within your rights to expect that your machine will last longer than this before needing major repairs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Quite sure warranty is 2 years on the BDB.

                      Cheers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by artman View Post
                        Quite sure warranty is 2 years on the BDB.

                        Cheers
                        24 months is 2 years the last time i checked hehe. The OP's machine is not a BDB though, I was just using it as an example. Some manufacturers are even reducing their warranty periods. Sharp TV's used to be 3 years, now it's only 1 year. Think it might have been costing them too much money.
                        The cheaper TV brands are still offering 2-3 years warranty but the big players, Sony, LG, Samsung and Panasonic as far as I know only offer 1 year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oops sorry. Read it is 18 months old and thought it was the DB.

                          You could still argue under consumer law you would not expect a critical failure after just 18 months.

                          Cheers

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey All

                            Thanks for your thoughts and stories.

                            Yeah a little daunting to think how many times the machine has been handled, on and off trucks in the last 4 weeks. Apart from cosmetics would it be easy to recognize any abnormal rattles / loose parts? **I know it would be hard for you to answer not knowing the brand of the machine**

                            Considering who the vendor is I'd like to think they have done exactly as they said they would and nothing malicious! They have a reputation to withhold and something like that could be very bad for business.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yeah might have to follow up with the manufacturer about the time frame for critical failure. I did consider the Breville and Sunbeam but thought going this other brand would outlast those by a long shot... not to be

                              Comment

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