We have this not-so-secret society here at work called The Brotherhood of The Disc, an amusing name for the 5 of us that banded together to pay top dollar for a Bosch Tassimo coffee maker. The “Why’s” of our purchase can be found here. So it’s no secret that we love our Tassimo coffee, none of the hassle of who will make the coffee, how much do we actually have to make and then or course who will be left to clean it. The reality is that we are 5 Geeks working on too many things at once and having one less issue to worry about was the perfect solution. We save money by not buying into the Timmie/Starbucks $5 Latté trap and we get to drink the same great coffee whenever we want regardless of weather and monthly finances.
There was only one little flaw in our Tassimo plan and that was the machine itself…
You see the problem with the Bosch machine is that I don’t think it was devised to make that much coffee on weekly basis. I personally drink about 3 cups a day and I think most guys do as well. So that’s 15 cups per day and 75 cups a week. We’ve almost had the machine a year so you’re looking at about 3000 cups already. That is a lot of coffee I know… And you know what? We like Latte and Cappuccinos, so that doubles the cycle as you have to make the coffee first and then run another disc to make the milk. The Tassimo makes it’s coffee by almost instantly boiling the water and pressurizing it through “a series of tubes” and rubber gaskets and eventually flooding the disc with near boiling which brews the coffee, tea or other hot beverage and then sending the mix through another gasket and into your cup. What I haven’t mentioned and is probably the coolest part is that the disc itself tell the Tassimo machine how much water to send through a bar code that the electronic Barista reads with it’s own little reader. This last part is completely irrelevant to our issue but it sounds so cool that I mention it whenever I can.
So back to our problem, if you make enough coffee the main rubber gasket that sits between the disc and the Tassimo itself starts to cook due to extreme heat exposure and then becomes brittle and breaks down. Kind of like of car tires break down quicker the faster and harder you drive them, racing car tires rarely last more than a race and of course you can’t exactly apply Armour All to your Tassimo coffee maker as you would your nice set of Pirellis. This is exactly what happened to our gasket, 5 Geeks jacked up on programming juice trying to feed their fix is apparently the equivalent of F1’s Monte Carlo circuit, it’s a brake and tire killer.
As you can see here, we procrastinated so long about the problem, mainly because I could not find the receipt in order to bring it back to the store where we bought it. The gasket has completely disintegrated and the last few cups of coffee would cause so much leakage that you barely got half a cup of what you really wanted to drink.Well our main man Adi finally broke down and called Tassimo directly, probably due to the fact that we had banned Chai and hot chocolate until the issue was resolved. We thought it was only the gasket than need to be replaced and didn’t even realize that this whole plate came off, had we of known it probably would have the service call a lot easier. As it turns out this is basically a $3.00 CAD part, of course shipping was $10.00 but as we are all old eBay users, we are used to being screwed on shipping. They had originally quoted us 10 days for delivery, but it arrive the next day via what we can only imagine express shipping ($10.00 well spent). Who knows if the fact that we mention the Tassimo on this blog had anything to do with it, most likely not; or if it was because the service rep knew she was dealing with a become geeks in need of a caffeine hit, but we’re very glad for the great service and the speedy response. We really should have called them ages ago, but then this post probably wouldn’t not have been any near as interesting: We have a problem, make a call, new part order, problem fixed, we drink more coffee and read Engadget.
What is really interesting here is that a company that definitely sells a niche product has identified that the main thing that makes them stand out is that their customers are looking for a product that turns something as mundane as making coffee into a unique experience that is not only more efficient but technically impressive. Now, with that in mind, imagine if their customer service had been your typical call center outsource to India experience. Instead, we got to speak to someone who ran down the problem with us and made sure we got service as good as the coffee we drink.
Take note Canadian service industry, with the economy as bad as it is (you may drink now), now is not the time to start cutting on service in the same way as you have been cutting back on production costs over the past 20 years. Be upstanding! Be typically Canadian and apologise for something that is totally out of your control, but make it right and make sure your customer is happy with the service your providing. And if he’s not, then FIX IT! Consider using a good customer service system like Salesforce. Can you really afford to continue to lose customers because of cheap products and bad service? Of course not. With only 35 million potential customers, you can’t afford to piss anyone off. Our Neighbours to the South have 10 times our population and if one single person is upset on Twitter, it becomes a national issue. They’re not perfect down there either, but we should be striving to do what we have always done in the past and do better than them. Let’s prove to the world once again why we are consistently being voted one the greatest countries in the World to live in EH!