Sunday, July 01, 2018

A story about coffee machines

I don't live near a large shopping center so when my old Sunbeam coffee machine needed replacing I had to drive some way. I had done a bit of online research and discovered my machine was no longer in production but that a similar small Sunbeam got good reviews.  I bought one of those from Harvey Norman, refusing the extra long warranty the shop assistant was very determined to sell me.

I took it home and followed all the instructions for prepping a coffee machine but when I tried to make my first cup of coffee next morning the machine didn't work. No water throughput. So I called the Sunbeam people, got a number and took it back to Harvey Norman and swapped it for a new one, the same brand and model.
It was a Mini Barista and once again I took it home and prepped it and all seemed in order. I couldn't believe my eyes when I tried it the next morning and it didn't work. I took a video of it not working as it seemed so unbelievable, but the Sunbeam man didn't seem to think it unbelievable and just said I should ask for my money back.

Before I returned to the shop this time I went to the local library and looked up coffee machines in  Choice magazine. I was chagrined to discover that this machine got a very low rating when compared to others (so much for google 'research'). I made a list of the top four and set off again to the shopping center. I returned the machine for a cash refund then looked around for something else. None of the top machines were sold by Harvey Norman so  I went around the corner to a Bing Lee shop where they were all on display. I bought the one at the top of the list and although I was asked if I wanted extra insurance there was  no hard sell.
Breville Barista Express

My  new machine is a Breville, rather more fancy and expensive than the other but it works like a dream and makes much better coffee than my older simpler one. Despite all the driving I consider myself very lucky the two Sunbeams failed and I ended up with a much better machine. The experience taught me to do better research than just looking on google before buying such items and it also made me wonder about Harvey Norman, Would I have got my insurance back for the failed machine? Why are they selling only substandard models? Is that true for all their products? Questions, questions.

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