Can Someone Say Something Negative About a Grinder or a Grinder Vendor Here?

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LewBK

#1: Post by LewBK »

I see that a thread here on Kafatek's customer service was shut down. But when I'm shopping for a product, I want to read the positives and negatives about it, and I find reviews of customer service and how a manufacturer handles problems with individual purchases extremely valuable. In fact, I would say part of the value of a high-end product that I'm purchasing is the expectation of customer service. It is something that I factor into the price of things when I'm purchasing them new, especially high end costly products like grinders. I know that HB has industry sponsors, but wouldn't the better ones want this sort of feedback and to respond to it publicly if accurate or inaccurate?

I think the elimination of negative posts about a vendor makes me trust HB less, not more, as a resource for making coffee decisions. I don't want to think that HB is a site where every vendor that advertises here lives on Lake Wobegon and is thus above average. I mean no offense by this remark. I honestly believe review/product sites have more integrity and gain more trust with consumers when they have both the positive and the negative about products. I think the best vendors would see negative feedback as valuable information, and do what they can to rectify the situation if true or defend themselves if the feedback is inaccurate. Nor do I think such feedback being relegated to a private forum will help consumers in general. I apologize in advance if these remarks cause offense.

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happycat

#2: Post by happycat »

When Dan posts the rules, it really is worth reading them through.

I do so from time to time and realize I could certainly be better myself.

Guidelines for productive online discussion

Giving yourself a time out also helps. Once emotions cool, things no longer seem worth fighting about.
LMWDP #603

LewBK (original poster)

#3: Post by LewBK (original poster) »

That's the thing. I looked at the rules regarding this particular Kafatek customer service issue and I have no dog in this fight. I didn't post in that thread. Nor do I have an interest in Kafatek in particular. I'm not angry. I just find the rules themselves a bit disheartening.

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MNate

#4: Post by MNate »

Haha, Dan's flow of how the complaints go is so true! I hadn't read that until now.

It's really hard to judge a company by online complaints. Every company is going to have a few. Looking at repair and mod threads may seem helpful, but some of these threads have migrated now to the manufacturers' own closed forums so I don't think you can say, "wow, this company has no issues!" Or "this one has so many!" We just don't know.

LewBK (original poster)

#5: Post by LewBK (original poster) »

I think there is a value to free and open discourse, even occasionally when it is hostile or negative. While I agree completely that it's "hard to judge a company by online complaints," I think it's impossible to judge a company accurately without them. When I'm shopping, I find the one star reviews as valuable as the five star ones. I make my own assessment about whether I think an online complaint is legitimate or just from a difficult shopper who is impossible to satisfy. But I always want to know how companies handle complaints. If all I see is five star reviews, I immediately think the reviews are slanted and possibly fake. It makes me distrust the source of information, and I see the reviews or comments more as advertising as opposed to open and honest discussion of a company's merits and drawbacks.

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Jeff
Team HB

#6: Post by Jeff »

I don't have any gripes about terminating a thread when it becomes non-productive.

I just read, on another forum, quite a rant on pricing of a certain accessory. The first few posts and responses were informative. The rest were annoying to wade through and provided no additional value, at least to me.

In my opinion, there is a difference between making a decision that the quality of responses add little more information and retaining the thread to that point, compared to other forums that will either or both delete negative information or ban the user entirely.

Here's an example from a non-coffee supplier of some, well, interesting behavior ("Kamado" barbecues) http://kamadoquality.byethost10.com/kqrjstory.htm?i=1
I was lucky and got one of the better "Sacramento" production before he fled moved to Mexico, so I have first-hand experience with it.

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HB
Admin

#7: Post by HB »

The short answer to your question is yes, someone can say something negative about a product or vendor on this site. But there are limits and they're explained in the Guidelines for productive online discussion.
LewBK wrote:I think the elimination of negative posts about a vendor makes me trust HB less, not more, as a resource for making coffee decisions.
The thread you cite 10 months later, horrible kafatek experience. What to get now? went on for almost two weeks and more than 50 posts. That's hardly an example of "elimination of negative posts about a vendor." :?

As noted in the Guideline's Public complaints about customer service, we ask that members "Please use these forums only as a last resort for complaining about vendors." Experience has shown that such reports follow predictable steps. It was clear to me that the OP had thoroughly explained their side of the story (#1), members had chimed in (#2 and #3), and the last post covered step #4. The last two steps require the vendor's involvement; that is unlikely in Kafetek's case, so it's a safe bet that the thread would cycle on steps 2-4 until it ran out of steam or a moderator closed the thread.

My last post in that thread invited the OP to contact me if they wanted to add additional information. I doubt they will based on their report 10 days ago:
arekieh wrote:I sold it, thankfully found a buyer only a few hrs away so shipping was very cheap.
He hasn't posted or even logged in since.
Dan Kehn

PIXIllate
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by PIXIllate »

I, for one, appreciate the "light touch" administration practiced here. In a world where everything seems to only be allowed to exist in the extremes I think the idea that there is a point where productive discussion ends and internet griping and speculation takes over is a valuable distinction. I'd rather be saved the time and extra clicks.

Thanks Dan, I'm sure this site feels like a thankless task at times.

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BaristaBoy E61

#9: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

happycat wrote:Giving yourself a time out also helps. Once emotions cool, things no longer seem worth fighting about.
Excellent advice regarding HB and many other things in life.
LewBK wrote: I find the one star reviews as valuable as the five star ones. I make my own assessment about whether I think an online complaint is legitimate or just from a difficult shopper who is impossible to satisfy. But I always want to know how companies handle complaints.

I always read the 1-star reviews first for this very reason.

Compared to other sites (non-coffee) that I visit, this site is thankfully very well moderated. I greatly appreciate that; it's part of the reason I'm still here.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

LuckyMark

#10: Post by LuckyMark »

Lew, I think we all view things through our own lens and life experiences. My take, from way over here in Australia (with 230V and also high import duties) is that the original poster had a poor after sales experience with the vendor so A) wanted to let people know as he was annoyed and B) explained the experience so he could get alternate choices and why the vendor couldn't be on his list. Most people understood and accepted his poor experience without judgement and moved straight to part B with alternate grinder choices. I thought the OP and moderators were all very even handed. Later, fans of the vendor posted and while I disagreed with them (I think the backup & problem resolution is part of the package) I believe the right decision was made to close the thread as it would turn into a bunfight from there. People who are neither the vendor or OP were getting emotional for no reason. So from my viewpoint the moderation was very, very fair. I received info I needed about the customer experience and had an interesting read about alternative grinders. I totally respect that may not be your viewpoint, but just wanted to throw another viewpoint into the mix