Breville After-Warranty Service - please post your experiences

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BobStern

#1: Post by BobStern »

Based on my experience described below, I suspect there has been a change in Breville's practices for servicing machines after expiration of the 2-year warranty.

I hope it will be helpful for people to describe their experiences in the last year or two with after-warranty service, especially if you have found helpful individuals at Breville or successful techniques for problem resolution.

My recent experience in brief:

After a $300 flat rate repair, my 920 (double boiler) was returned with no evidence of any work having been done, and with the principal problem as bad as before. In response to my emails asking what parts were repaired or replaced, the Breville customer service rep Victor Bailey merely replied that the unit was repaired without stating what specific components were repaired.

The repair was not performed at Breville's US headquarters in Torrance, CA, but at CoreCentric Solutions in Carol Stream, IL, which performs warranty service for numerous appliance manufacturers.
https://production.corecentricsolutions ... background

Details:

My BES920XL is almost 4 years old.

The principal defect prompting the repair order is voluminous water leakage around the seal between the portafilter and the group, making the machine completely unusable. The leak was unaffected when I replaced the white silicone seal ring and the black, hard plastic inner shower screen with two different new sets. I also tried two different Breville portafilters with different filter baskets.

Before returning the machine, I reinstalled the silicone ring and black inner shower screen that were there when the leakage began, before I tried installing the two new sets. When I received the machine back from repair, I removed those parts and saw that they clearly were my old ones, since the silicone ring had darkened substantially with use. The leakage problem remains exactly as it was before Breville's service.

I enclosed with the machine the following problem description. I don't know yet whether problem #1 was fixed because it is a slow leak observable only over a long time.
1 - Leak at seal between machine water inlet and cylindrical outlet of water tank. (Tank itself holds water for hours without leaking.)

2 - Leaks badly at group head. Collar at group head possibly out of alignment because portafilter is difficult to insert and remove.
Portafilter and basket show no signs of wear.
Replacing white silicone ring did not help.

3 - Small leak at top of boiler above group head. Residue from leak is much more obvious in the enclosed flash PHOTO than looking at it in normal lighting.

pcrussell50

#2: Post by pcrussell50 »

OT, maybe I can post this in the five years on thread? Bob. You appear to have worn out the plastic insert around the group collar. That happens to some machines and not others. Near as I can tell, and this is just a theory, is this happens more to people who tighten their portafilter tighter than others. I have never had one wear out, but I tighten my portafilter to the barest minimum of tightness. Replacing it is a fairly big job, tantamount to removing and replacing the group. From what I have seen about Breville, they do not like to do big jobs like that. For big repairs, they usually send a warrantied factory refurb. Or if you are lucky and they are out of them, they send a brand-new machine. Depending on how much of a DIY'er you are, you can buy the newest group design for about $100 (which also comes with a new portafilter). This one has four screws around the rim and makes changing out the group collar a snap. As compared to changing the old style group collar, which is a pretty big job.

I think your case was mishandled somehow because I don't think they would spend the time it takes to do that job, for only $300. If they had understood what was going on, I think you would have had a factory refurb, or a new machine. Lately, I don't know anyone who got a refurb. They have all been brand new. Including me... see below...

On topic...

My experience. I got my first BDB in Fall of 2011 when they were brand new. Had that one for two weeks and then Breville replaced it for free after people were complaining that they were getting 9 1/2 bar on the pressure gauge, when the package said it would be 9 bar. Bit of a joke, nowadays, but Breville honored it no problem. That was on-warranty. Then a little over a year later, January 2013, I started getting a stuck vacuum breaker (did not know what that was at the time, or how easy it was to fix. Silly me.) It was ever so slightly off warranty, but they honored it and gave me a new machine. That became the machine I had for "five years on" in that thread. That one I did all the DIY maintenance on, including o-rings and solenoid. It was working great all the way until summer 2018, just before I converted it to Slayer/needle valve profiling. Mechanically, it was perfect. But it stopped pre infusing. (Had I already been Slayering with it, I would never have noticed, because I do all my pre infusion through the needle now). Anyway, they charged me $350 for the "repair or replace" program. After about a week, they called me and told me they couldn't fix it and that they were out of reforms and were therefore sending me a brand new machine. That is the one I have now.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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BaristaBob

#3: Post by BaristaBob »

Hi Peter and Bob S.,

I'm reading your repair report with great interest. I'm only just three years in on the BDB with never a problem. Matter of fact, with the monthly cleaning routine I just performed yesterday, I popped the top and did a thorough examination of all the hoses for leaks, etc. I'm glad to say...no problems that I can spot, so clean and shiny...except for the tube coming off the OPV, stained with coffee...totally normal. Group head components look good, not stellar...but hey, it's three years old and performs 3 to 4 times a day, about 350 days a year. Still using the original white (well stained as you said Bob) gasket...though I have a spare if it ever starts leaking. As Peter mentioned I too use a light touch when locking in the pf.

I'm hoping that when my BDB takes the deep six, I'm fortunate enough to receive the very best treatment like Peter received, and not suffer the misfortune that Bob received. I'd have a long discussion with Breville customer service in CA to sort this out. Best to you Bob and keep us abreast of the situation.
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

BobStern (original poster)

#4: Post by BobStern (original poster) »

pcrussell50 wrote:You appear to have worn out the plastic insert around the group collar. ... Replacing it is a fairly big job, tantamount to removing and replacing the group. Depending on how much of a DIY'er you are, you can buy the newest group design for about $100 (which also comes with a new portafilter). This one has four screws around the rim and makes changing out the group collar a snap. As compared to changing the old style group collar, which is a pretty big job.
That's what I guessed the problem was. I'm a low-level DIYer: Replacing the OPV some time ago was within my competence, but replacing the group collar appeared overwhelming. The boiler above the group is surrounded on all sides by wires welded to terminals on the boiler. It wasn't clear that it would be possible to replace the group collar without cutting some of those wires. Do you have a link to instructions for replacing the group?

Two possible explanations for my bad experience:
(1) The telephone rep may have written up the problem incorrectly. When I phone Monday I'll ask them to read me the trouble report they submitted to the techs. The telephone rep should have written it up correctly because he even asked me if I had tried replacing the white silicone ring. However, when I mentioned a 2nd problem with a slow leak from the water tank that I characterized as minor, he got much more concerned about that, so maybe he forgot to write up the main problem.
(2) The 3rd party service provider in Illinois may be slipshod. When your BDB was replaced 10 months ago, did you ship your old machine to Torrance, CA? They sent me a FedEx label to ship mine to Illinois, and it was returned from Illinois. The return label identified the service provider as CoreCentric.

p.s. I started a new topic because of the automated warnings for threads exceeding 500 posts, and because I hoped a new topic might attract some people to describe their warranty experiences.

Bret

#5: Post by Bret »

I sent my BDB to the Illinois location via the provided shipping box/prepaid label. At the time, they told me that the techs have 3 days from its arrival to assess/fix, and if they can't get to it or fix it in that time (or they determine the repairs are too substantial) it goes direct to the Replace process. I asked if they will tell me what the problem was, and the fixes applied, and was told that they don't share that information.

In my case, the next thing I heard was that they were going to replace. No info about whether they even looked at it or just busted the 3 day deadline. I was offered a refurb in the standard steel/silver finish, but since mine is the black version, I was also offered a new black one if I preferred. The silver refurbs were readily available, but I would need to wait an extra week or two for new black versions to be in-stock at their California location. I opted for the black, and received a new-in-box unit with the full set of new accessories (PF, baskets, etc.)

My other experience was with my original 900A, and that was a straight up replacement with a 920, as they weren't repairing 900s any longer.

So I can't really speak directly to the repair experience itself, other than what I was told by them: they don't tell us what is wrong with the units we send in.

BobStern (original poster)

#6: Post by BobStern (original poster) »

Thanks, Bret. That gives me time to ask my wife before I call Breville whether to accept the black if they offer me the same choice.

pcrussell50

#7: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to BobStern »

And Bob, when you contact Breville, I would consider going straight for the jugular (IOW cut straight to the chase), with what you already know. Tell them you are an active member of a large online espresso community that has included Phil McKnight himself in the past, and you have a pretty good idea what the problem is, and that it's a big repair that involves removing and replacing the group.

Consideration: some time in 2017, Breville went to a new group design that makes it easy to replace the worn collar inserts without tearing the machine apart. If Breville no longer deals in the older groups, you will probably get a new/refurb machine. Also, since it is such a big job, I don't expect them to actually do it, even if they still have the old group collars in stock.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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doublehelix

#8: Post by doublehelix »

Sent my 4 y.o. 920xl for repair in October 2018--both hot and steam valves were leaking and internal leakage, as well.
Cost: $400
Sent to Carol Stream and it was repaired...but the OPV was set to 13 bar......
SO-
I returned it and they sent me a brand new machine. NICE! Was working great until the hot water tap starting leaking, last month. You get a six month warranty on repairs.
SO-
I contacted Brevile and was told I need to descale. Hmmm...I run Pavlis water through my machine, no scaling is possible and read horror stories about failing descaling operations-- and Breville is not terribly specific about the exact descaling protocol you should follow....i.e.-- should you use citric acid, sulphamic acid, etc...
AND- I was then scolded by Breville for not using tap water and not maintaining my machine.

Hmmm...at this point, I've run out of time and patience.

Overall, a good experience, but not perfect.

pcrussell50

#9: Post by pcrussell50 »

Personally, I lean a bit more towards the DIY side whenever possible. Were it I, I would remove and open up the needle valve and see what's up. If it's nothing you can fix, I would at least be armed with something to tell Breville. They accept pictures and video too. So if you open it up and it's for sure not scale, you can show them, and maybe stick in a little bit about how the online community has seen the pictures and they don't think it's scale either. That way they know the "world" is watching and waiting to hear a resolution.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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doublehelix

#10: Post by doublehelix »

..not a bad idea...just don't have the time to pop it open and it's still under warranty. Worse comes to worse, I'll seal up the water tap, or do the Slayer conversion you and Jake have been advocating.