Received Faulty Espresso Machine--Self-Repair or Return?

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
tglodjo

Postby tglodjo » Aug 02, 2018, 1:32 pm

I recently purchased a new dual boiler north of the $2k mark (Bezzera Matrix). I love the machine, but mine is one of only a few reported worldwide that has a faulty display/electronics panel. It's a touch screen that registers "phantom" touches and thus prevents important features such as auto on/off scheduling.

I'm well aware that if you buy a machine in this price range, you need to be willing to self service/repair. I'm certainly willing. However, I didn't expect to have to take the thing apart to fix it within the first month. The vendor (who has been great and is respected here) is getting a replacement panel from Italy and will send to me to replace myself (though the vendor will help me over the phone should I need it).

What would you do in this situation? I feel like it's taking a lot of trust to accept a $2.5k machine that arrived malfunctioning. I've followed all vendor policies for reporting. The vendor mentioned that a return would incur fees, though they really don't want to go that route because of freight shipping costs. When I asked about my other options (return, replacement, etc.) aside from self-repair, the vendor reportedly prefers to only address that after I try the repair myself. Also note that the self-repair is not as simple as removing a few parts to get to the panel--it'll require significant diassembly and reassembly.

(Please let me know if I've violated any guidelines. I've tried my best to abide by forum rules and use this customer service experience to seek advice rather than complain.)

gr2020

Postby gr2020 » Aug 02, 2018, 1:57 pm

I had to do some minor surgery on my GS/3 when it came, to adjust the switch that controls where in the paddle movement the pump would engage. The guys at LM (I bought it direct) walked me through what would need to happen, and they told me two things:

1. If I wasn't comfortable doing it myself, they would send out a tech to do it, and

2. If I _did_ try to do it myself, but somehow screwed it up or broke something, they would have my back and would send a tech to fix it.

So given that, I was totally comfortable doing it myself.

I think my suggestion would be...if you're comfortable doing the repair yourself, ask them if they're going to have your back, and how, if you mess something up. And if you're not comfortable doing it, ask them if they can send someone out to do it. That someone doesn't necessarily have to be their employee - perhaps there's a local Bezzera service tech that they could have come.

Myself, I would hate to have to ship it back. There's just so much that can go wrong, shipping a large fragile >100lb machine around.
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Blacktip

Postby Blacktip » Aug 02, 2018, 2:00 pm

Repair it yourself. Electronics are easy to install/replace. It is probably few screws and plugs. With any machine full of electronics, you will have to do replacement/installation at some point during your ownership.

CSME9

Postby CSME9 » Aug 02, 2018, 2:22 pm

If you are uncomfortable attempting the fix, send it back at vendors expense, ask if they have a local shop agreement that could handle the repair with the vendor provided new part.

Good Luck....

Nunas

Postby Nunas » Aug 02, 2018, 3:04 pm

If you can do it yourself then I'd do so. My experience with transporting espresso machines is that they often get damaged in transit...had it happen several times despite really good packaging.

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bluesman

Postby bluesman » Aug 02, 2018, 3:08 pm

CSME9 wrote:If you are uncomfortable attempting the fix, send it back at vendors expense, ask if they have a local shop agreement that could handle the repair with the vendor provided new part.

Good Luck....

Agreed! My problem with DIY repairs on new machines is that any subsequent problems could be construed as a warranty violation. Greg says (correctly, I believe) that "If I _did_ try to do it myself, but somehow screwed it up or broke something, they would have my back and would send a tech to fix it" about LM, but I'm afraid this is not so clear for other manufacturers and their resellers. My discussions (and one experience) with a few well known dealers suggest that they would not be so supportive. If you can get an enforceable promise that your dealer will in fact cover you if you have problems and have to send it back or get local service, so much the better - but without that, you're in the cold and dark if you have any subsequent failure that could at all be construed as related to your attempts at repair.

And I can promise you that some highly regarded dealers will, in fact, go far to avoid providing or paying for warranty service. The most frequent excuse is "that's common, don't worry about it". This is why I lived with a squealing OPV for the duration of the warranty on one expensive machine that I bought new from an HB sponsor.

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kolu

Postby kolu » Aug 02, 2018, 3:29 pm

Man, Matrix/Duo is tight inside, really tight. It's quite hard to get to the display assembly out as it is behind the steam boiler. Without proper (real) tools it's gonna be long and you also might easily end up in frustrating situation where you can't screw the thing back. Display is one of the first thing they assemble on the front chassis after they put the grouphead in place (I've been in the factory and seen the operation - we also disassembled the machine).
Also, you would need to remove the complete cable harness and the electronics board to get in there... As a technician I don't want to discourage you from trying to do the fix yourself, but you might fail and/or waste a huge amount of time.

If this would be Europe the vendor would be obliged to fix the thing on his own expense (incl. freight costs) as the delivered product is simply faulty.
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thecoffeefield

Postby thecoffeefield » replying to kolu » Aug 02, 2018, 3:54 pm

+1 vendor or manufacturer should have tested the machine before shipping, especially that the Matrix requires a pallet to ship so it's a PITA. I would definitely recommend returning the machine. Good luck

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civ

Postby civ » Aug 02, 2018, 4:16 pm

Hello:
tglodjo wrote:I'm well aware that if you buy a machine in this price range, you need to be willing to self service/repair.

I beg to differ.

You purchased a brand new and under warranty $2000+ espresso machine equipped with "cutting edge software and electronics" which for whatever reason does not work properly and you have to fix it yourself?

Sorry, but that does not sound at all reasonable to me.

In my opinion it has nothing to do with your willingness or your technical know-how.
I'd say that the dealer should step up and solve this issue at whatever cost and then fix things with the OEM.

Just my $0.02. (Hope you get it straightened out)

Cheers,

CIV
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russel

Postby russel » Aug 02, 2018, 5:00 pm

civ wrote:In my opinion it has nothing to do with your willingness or your technical know-how.
I'd say that the dealer should step up and solve this issue at whatever cost and then fix things with the OEM.


I agree. If the machine arrived less than 100% operational then the dealer should make it so at their expense. No consumer should be expected to perform repairs on equipment that combines water and line voltage...it's dangerous and a bad practice.
russel at anacidicandbitterbeverage dot com
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