the mazzer major: how to secure a reduced price

October 12, 2005 – 12:09 am

it’s the unfortunate economy of blogging: the largest amounts of blog-fodder leave little time with which to blog the stuff. so no, the days of deafening silence don’t mean the material is wearing thin. someone asked doubtfully, “you blog about espresso? every day?” well, yes. yes i do.

as you’ll recall, this blog purchased the mother of all grinders not still in beta-test mode a scant four weeks ago. won the bid for a bargain basement $170, paid $30 for ups ground shipping, then watched 19 days tick by without the advent of said grinder. turns out i’d bought it from one of those enterprising appliance refurb stores that had *somehow* found itself with a massive quantity of mazzer majors. headquarters: romulus, ny. well, then. hunted up the ups web site, got an estimate for ground shipping from there to here (3 days!) scraped up some e-mail addresses for top executives of ‘the advantage group,’ dialed in my best first-middle-and-last-name tone and wrote, in no uncertain terms, that i expected a refund on the shipping charges. paying for services that weren’t rendered, reasonable expectations of delivery, and all that.

result: instant callback! nice fellow in sales, one of those whose practiced voice tells you he understands, said he’d get right on it. some big cheese e-mails an apology and mentions how much he likes this part of the country, etc. their offer: a full refund of the $30 PLUS 15 percent off the purchase price of said chunk-o-burrs. that’s right … now the $800 machine is had for a bargain-subterranean $120. what gratified and amazed even more, though, was the explanation for the hold-up. apparently they test these slightly harangued machines one last time before shipping. mine showed cause for worry. back to the shop it went, only the official back-to-the-shop notifier system was not utilized in the proper fashion, and so the certified customer-delay-notification-system did not explode with the requisite courtesy e-mail, daily update, management alert, etc. figures. but the word was, they’d expedite the sucker as soon as it was buyer-worthy.

a company that tests its products repeatedly and responds at the executive level to customer bluster is one i will go back to. witness the opposite: the u-haul dealership that installed my trailer lights for the previously mentioned jaunt to delaware, wrapping the wires around the tailpipe so as to ensure that within minutes of driving they would melt like cheese slivers and the lights would permanently cease to function. $55 for this service, friends, and no refund, because, you know, they have wiring habits that they didn’t care to change when they have to deal with a custom-mounted trailer hitch. they actually blamed the error on me … hitch mounted in the wrong place, not responsible for what happens on the road, etc. i’ll spare you further ire.

anyway, nice fellow, that sales guy mike. asked him if the rumors were true about the origin of their robust stock of grinders, and he responded that he technically couldn’t tell me. but that they came from a well-known global chain of coffee joints. all i know is, the local charbucks no longer uses lineas and mazzers. in their stead: that razzle-dazzle push-button technology where a slight depression triggers disturbed carbon-fiber whirring noises from inside a massive super-automatic complex and then — splat — brew comes out. what will they think of next, eh? 10-second espresso shots? oh, wait

well, then. arrival of the burr-hunk is due today. still weighing the palatability of another overwrought welcome-to-our-home music video. probably not, though.