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Thread: Lelit espresso grinder (PL043, PL053): buyer beware!

  1. #1
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    Lelit espresso grinder (PL043, PL053): buyer beware!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I ordered a PL043 espresso grinder direct from Lelit (lelitespresso.com) with free shipping for $249. Customer service was initially fine, and the machine arrived quickly. After 2 days of very light use, the grinder stopped taking beans in from the hopper, the grind selector wheel wouldn’t turn, and the machine made a horrendous screeching noise. Beyond this the grinder was built very cheaply out of flimsy plastic and metal that wasn’t even molded properly (gaps at seams, blemishes, etc).

    I email Lucy at Lelit to explain my issue and ask for a RMA to return the item and I’m promptly given a RMA. I take a few pictures of the grinder, clean it all up, pack it in the orig packing, and send it off. All is well so far.

    Until they receive it. Remember that I paid $249 and had free shipping. Lucy tells me that they found nothing wrong with the grinder, and that my refund will be $204. The difference is that they’re not refunding my (FREE) “shipping” cost, and charging me a BS 15% restocking fee. They won’t budge on the refund amount.

    Fortunately I paid through Paypal so I filed a dispute… to my surprise, Paypal actually came to the rescue refunded me an additional $55. Given my horrible experiences, I’m sharing my story to inform those considering buying a Lelit grinder or espresso machine.

    DON’T BUY LELIT! The product is cheaply made, and their customer support is abysmal. They’ll try to screw you out of as much $$ as possible. Judging from multiple reviews/posts with essentially the same message, BUYER BEWARE!

  2. #2
    TC
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    Welcome bchains,

    Some mistakes here as I see it:
    • User inexperience. I have little doubt that the reason your grinder didn't work is that you choked it with coffee. This is a common trap for beginners
    • You chose to save a little and forgo the option of having a local business support you on your learning curve. The issue could have been solved in 2 minutes via email or on the phone.
    • The company which sold you your grinder actually offered a refund on goods which were not defective. What should have happened was that they should have charged you for return freight
    • PayPal came to your assistance when in fact they could have contacted the seller and found that you had returned a perfect grinder. These episodes will ultimately push fees up as you should not have been entitled to a refund.

    Rather than suggesting that everybody purchase another brand, I think you should be feeling embarrassed that your rant has pointed out yet another common episode of a new user blaming the tool rather than first looking at technique and seeking assistance.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchains View Post
    I ordered a PL043 espresso grinder direct from Lelit (lelitespresso.com) with free shipping for $249. Customer service was initially fine, and the machine arrived quickly. After 2 days of very light use, the grinder stopped taking beans in from the hopper, the grind selector wheel wouldn’t turn, and the machine made a horrendous screeching noise. Beyond this the grinder was built very cheaply out of flimsy plastic and metal that wasn’t even molded properly (gaps at seams, blemishes, etc).

    I email Lucy at Lelit to explain my issue and ask for a RMA to return the item and I’m promptly given a RMA. I take a few pictures of the grinder, clean it all up, pack it in the orig packing, and send it off. All is well so far.

    Until they receive it. Remember that I paid $249 and had free shipping. Lucy tells me that they found nothing wrong with the grinder, and that my refund will be $204. The difference is that they’re not refunding my (FREE) “shipping” cost, and charging me a BS 15% restocking fee. They won’t budge on the refund amount.

    Fortunately I paid through Paypal so I filed a dispute… to my surprise, Paypal actually came to the rescue refunded me an additional $55. Given my horrible experiences, I’m sharing my story to inform those considering buying a Lelit grinder or espresso machine.

    DON’T BUY LELIT! The product is cheaply made, and their customer support is abysmal. They’ll try to screw you out of as much $$ as possible. Judging from multiple reviews/posts with essentially the same message, BUYER BEWARE!
    I think to bag a product / company publicly like this for a one off problem is a bit over the top and if it is a user error way over the top, a lot of experienced suppliers have sold Lelit products for years and continue to do so so the product must be ok. In most cases these days with all the competition in the marketplace when a problem occurs all that is needed is a bit of understanding and communication and the problem is sorted for both parties so the end result is a win win. To publicly state Don t buy Lelit Buyer Beware on a one off issue like this is total nonsense.

  4. #4
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    Perhaps it may have been a wise move to ask a few questions about the problems you were having instead of flying into a rant with your first post... Sure the knowledgeable folks on here would have lent a hand...

    Love my Lelit combo, 4 years of daily use and never a machine problem only user error a few times...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I suspect we've seen the one and only post from bchains.
    TC and gonzo89 like this.

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    And with only the knowledge presented on this page to go by, on the contrary Lelit has gone above and beyond the call of duty refunding money for a grinder where there was no problem.

    I'd be thanking them for being so accommodating, instead of bagging them.
    TC likes this.

  7. #7
    TC
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    I feel that it's unlikely that the post is actually a real one and as Yelta has mentioned, it may well be the last we see of this member.

    When one post is made expressly to bad-mouth a product and the OP then disappears, it's not too hard to suspect that there may have been other motivations for the post. Sorta like companies who pay for advertorials to promote their product by talking down that of another manufacturer...
    Fresh_Coffee and Graeme like this.

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    I've seen some of those on Whirlpool - they usually get outed in similar manner to here - more experienced 'old hands' step in to correct the (let's be polite and call it...) misconceptions.

    There are also a number of vendor horror stories about Paypal - sellers get the money taken from them and there is no requirement to return goods. Some of them quite valuable goods - a violin comes to mind and the vendor wound up with no product and the $2000 handed back to the buyer.

    Is there any basis to his claims about workmanship? My impression from reading on here is Lelit are quality products - is there a lot of plastic involved?

  9. #9
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    The post is a real one, it's a cut and paste of Bryan Hains's coffee geek review (his only post on that site too) and was found dropping a line of his text into google.

    This post also came from west coast USA and I suspect that in a rage of frustration bchains has tried the "splattergun forum attack" where you find as many public places to slap a company you can to give yourself some level of satisfaction.

    The restocking fee is a very common return policy in wholesale environments here and certainly common in retail in the USA where this was purchased. The restocking fee of 15% was also listed in their terms and conditions as was the free shipping refund.

    - If the item is returned for any other reason you are responsible for the return shipping costs and may be charged a restocking fee of 15% of the purchased price.

    - Returned orders which qualified for free shipping will have the shipping charges deducted from the refund amount.



    Sometimes it might seem to make sense to slap a company in public but as suggested in this thread there is a fair chance that a couple of "how do I" posts on this forum might have yielded a far better outcome for all.
    amdweb82 likes this.

  10. #10
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    The way I see it, the whole thing is just a simple case of the chicken before the egg conundrum.

    You see, clearly the OP'er was just venting their frustration because they hadn't had their daily fix of a wonderful syrupy espresso (you can see where I am going with this can't you); all he had to do was turn on his newly bought Lelit, grind some beans and let the golden brown liquid pour away all his frustrations and then everything would have been just peachy.

    Let this be a lesson to all new coffee machine owners, make sure you pour yourself at least one shot of coffee before you break your machine, so that when you go to return your product and find out that there were other conditions that applied to the sale, you won't be so uptight.

  11. #11
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    Well spotted Andy.

    My Lux grinder (same as the Lelit as far as I can see) is 10 years old and still going fine. It's now semi-retired and lives in my office where it gets to grind for my coffee plunger. :-)

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    Andy, first time posters should be axed if they are bagging a product and the thread deleted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteman View Post
    Andy, first time posters should be axed if they are bagging a product and the thread deleted.
    Maybe... typically I would rather we all work together to find the real problem and a solution.
    I think most of these types of threads get back on track pretty quickly with input from all the good people on CoffeeSnobs.

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    I had a laugh.. I remember choking a grinder back when I first got into coffee making around 12 years ago. Our thing died in the hands of a moron, that moron being me. It was a cheap grinder from Target and thus was not a costly mistake. The reason why I am posting here is my has just died, lasted a very long time since new. Well I shall look around and read a few reviews of the Lelit before I make my choice.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    My old Lelit combi is in great condition after so many years, and the grinder burr's seem to really last. It is a very common mistake for new owners of this grinder to not realise that you can remove the two stoppers on the top burr in order to calibrate it to your liking.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Many years ago, I was the proud owner of a coffee grinder, one of those devices with rotating blades, the idea being you put your beans in the top, positioned the plastic top, and let it run until you thought it had done it's job, a very basic machine.

    At that stage I owned a couple of horses, I had heard soy beans were a good fodder supplement, however they needed to be crushed, thought to myself the coffee grinder should be up to the task, WRONG, loaded the soy beans, started off OK then a rattling noise gave me the the clue something was amiss, the beans had ripped both arms off the shaft, my coffee grinder had gone to god, the inexperience of youth.

  17. #17
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    Lelit Pl 43

    I have had trouble with the same grinder. Its the first grinder I have owned, so perhaps I am also a moron. (No sarcasm intended). Mine has been back to be repaired once already and i had to pay for the courier both ways.

    So could someone tell me, what does "choking" mean?
    Am I failing to care for my blender? There is nothing in the instructions about this.

    In my frustration, I have now taken the lelit apart, but really don't have the time to repair it myself, if I can work out how to do it, so I am off to buy myself another one from somewhere.
    I wont be buying another lelit either. It really hard to adjust and makes such a mess on my bench.
    Robyn.

  18. #18
    TC
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    Hello Robyn,

    I suspect that if you had to pay a courier both ways, there was nothing wrong with the grinder as a warranty repair would cover freight in at least one direction.

    My thoughts are that the tradie is blaming the tools. You're on a learning curve and a little tuition from someone who understands the process would most likely go a long way.

    Good luck as you learn.

    Chris

  19. #19
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    My first grinder was PL053.
    Definitely not made of 'flimsy' plastic, or much plastic at all. Very solid and 'old school' build quality throughout.
    All replaceable parts, easy to assemble/disassemble, everything had a fairly good quality feel.
    Very good price point for good burrs and stepless adjustment.

    Having said that I also had problems within 2 months, it clogged up with old grinds & stopped, and required a new pusher arm piece which might have broken before, causing the jam, or after, because of the jam.
    After that I was much more careful with the cleaning out, however it still jammed fairly frequently, and later I had to replace a 2nd part which broke despite my best efforts.
    I ended up leaving the chute screw out as it was a PITA to operate and it required the chute removed for cleaning often.
    I believe the coffee path & transmission design isn't really perfect.

    Current grinder - no such problems, bit of regular pipe cleaner work and she's been happy for years. So that says to me that the Lelit could be better.



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