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Seattle Coffee Gear / Faulty product and abominable service

1 2027 196th St SWLynnwood, WA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (206) 774-3164

I purchased a Gaggia Evolution cappuccino maker in August 2007; within 5 weeks it started to malfunction (water began dripping from the milk foaming device). I was instructed by Seattle Coffee Gear to contact their importer directly; it took several days and telephone calls before anybody from that company got back to me. I then mailed the "new" machine--at my own expense ($20)--for repair. When it came back to me almost 2 weeks later, it was not fixed. Another round of telephone calls and e-mails and sending the machine back to the importer; it's now been almost 3 weeks! Seattle refuses to refund my money and tells me that they will "try" to get the importer to send me a new machine rather than fixing the old one. In short, since I purchased this machine 14 weeks ago, it has been out of my possession for almost 5 weeks--and Seattle Coffee Gear (and their importer, Importika) have been SLOW and INCOMPETENT in rectifying the problem. I would seriously advise doing business with this company unless you want to go through the consumer nightmare I have gone through. Beware of their so-called product guarantees! All in all, pretty outrageous treatment for having spent $250 to make my own cuppa.

Va
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Comments

  • Vi
      5th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I would like to thank this customer for taking the time to provide this feedback. Our intent at Seattle Coffee Gear is to provide an excellent customer experience. While it is impossible to achieve this in every case, where we fall short we attempt to learn and improve our processes moving forward.

    This customer purchased a machine from Seattle Coffee Gear on August 10th of 2007. She contacted us on September 25th to notify us that her machine was leaking from the steam wand and she wanted to return the machine. We advised her of our 30-day return policy posted on our website at http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/returns.asp

    Beyond the 30-day return period, this machine was covered with a 2-year warranty. We provided the customer with the number to contact Gaggia to handle this as a repair issue. Gaggia repaired her machine, but it was not repaired to her satisfaction. She contacted us about this and we escalated with Gaggia directly to have her machine replaced with a completely new machine, which Gaggia has done.

    We agree with this customer that Gaggia could have been significantly more responsive in handling this issue. And, while we escalated on her behalf, we do not feel this issue was resolved by Gaggia in timely manner. We have been working directly with them to improve their responsiveness to our customer's needs.

    Ultimately, prior to this posted complaint, the customer was issued a brand new replacement machine. We have also issued a $20 credit to her account (the cost of her original shipping) and have extended a $25 gift certificate towards a future purchase.

    Victor S. Gehlen
    President
    Seattle Coffee Gear
    (866) 372-4734 (710)
    victor@seattlecoffeegear.com

  • Ja
      11th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    Here's what happen to me. BUYER BEWARE! THEY ARE NOT THE FRIENDLY TONE ON THE PHONE WHEN YOU CALL.

    THESE PEOPLE GIVE PURCHASING PRODUCTS ON THE INTERNET A BAD NAME!!!

    THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL GO THROUGH WHEN YOU DEAL WITH THIS COMPANY.

    Complaint:
    My order number is XXXX. I am returning the Ascaso Dream. It's been problematic since we brought it in to our house. It makes good coffee and then it doesn't. Hit and miss. It leaks all over the place from the basket when in position and then sometimes it doesn't. I've done everything but invite the Pope over to bless it. Please send information regarding the returning policy procedure. I would like to have a refund back on my card.

    Response:
    I'm sorry the machine has not meet your expectations. Our return policy is 30 days from date of ordering. We are now at 32 days.
    We certainly can help you with the issues you are having. Please call in and speak with our tech. help people. Most issues are easliy taken care of over the phone.
    --
    Gail Williams

    Hello Gail,

    Does this mean you are not going to refund my money? I placed the order on the 21st. It didn't even ship until the 25th. That's four days right there. The shipment finally reached my door on the 31st. I've been really trying to be open minded about this but it was a gift to somebody and it doesn't work correctly. I thought there was going to be a learning curve with this machine, but no...it's a defective product and now I just want my money back because the person who I was buying this for is perfectly happy with brewing her joe on the stove in the old-school canisters, which beats the heck out of battling the "Dream". So, could you please give me instructions on where to send this and the appropriate paperwork to download and fill out.

    Best,
    Jake





    Jake,

    I just realized that you have a refurbished Ascaso, not a new model. Our return policy for refurbished machines is 15 days (http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/returns.asp). The warranty period for refurbished machines is 6 months. Since you are outside of the return period, we need you to send the machine back so our technicians can make sure it is brought back into full working condition for you. We have prioritized your request and will get your machine back to you in short order.

    Please repackage in a double-box with padding between, as it was shipped to you, and ship the machine to the following address. Be sure to insure the package; you are responsible for the machine until it is received in our warehouse.

    Seattle Coffee Gear
    Attn: Josh
    4210 196th St. SW Ste. C
    Lynnwood, WA 98036

    Thank you,

    Gail Williams




    Hello Gail,

    Thanks for the quick response. My request is for you to refund my purchase, not to get the same machine back that is complicated and laborious to use that spits out luke warm coffee at me. Please find a way to prioritize that request and I will be once again a happy customer.

    Best,
    Jake




    Hi Jake,

    As I mentioned in my previous email, our return policy for returns on refurbished machines is 15 days. The machine is under the 6 month warranty period and we will be happy to inspect the machine and make any repairs needed to insure it is working properly.

    --
    Gail Williams




    Hello Gail,

    As one would expect, you should inspect the machine. When I first called SCG about machines I really got the impression of a "mom and pop" shop. After ordering online, I had called twice to see when it was being shipped. First time I called they said it was that afternoon. I called the next day and the gentleman on the line told me he was looking at the box and FED EX was picking up as we spoke, All the indications of a small business and a laid back atmosphere. Once there was a bump in the road, the trusted default of a bureaucratic attitude becomes the face of your business. Which is fine too, if that's the company I was willing to deal with but it's not fine for internet shoppers who search for quality products and services.

    Is this truly the best you can do? Your return policy should be equal for used and new products. Selling shoddy products to unsuspecting customers especially over the internet is not only a disservice to the internet market but to the longevity of your company.

    I ask again, is this the best you can do for me?

    Best,
    Jake

    Hi Jake,

    I have spoken with Josh our Technician and he spoke with you a day or two ago about the spurting brew head. He offered to send you a replacement brew head gasket and walk you through the installation. If you are reluctant to do this we are more than willing to do this repair and check the machine out thoroughly. Had the problems been brought to our attention within the 15 day return period I could give a refund, but we are more than 30 days out.

    Our 6 month warranty on refurb. machines is the standard for our industry. I do believe we are doing our best to give you prompt service on this issue. The best alternative I can offer is if you purchase a machine of equal or greater value we will apply the value of the Ascaso towards the purchase. You would be responsible for the shipping in both directions for the Ascaso. The replacement machine would still qualify for the free shipping.

    --
    Gail Williams


    Hello Gail,

    That seems fair enough but why can't I just get refunded? Setting a higher standard in your industry should be a goal that will make you a leader in this market. Going out of your way for your customers, despite your rigid return policy, would go a long way to create good will.

    I ordered the machine on the 21st. It reached my house on the 31st. I had only five days to try to give this a chance? Once again it was a present and the person isn't happy with it at all. The cost of shipping the machine and insuring it is more than fair on the customers behalf. I am only asking for a refund for a defective product, which is not unreasonable to break policy for. Nothing is in stone.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Best,
    Jake


    IT ENDED THERE, NOT TO HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN.

    If I don't donate this expensive machine to a charity organization or give it away, I will be sure to deliver it in person the next time I am in that neck of the woods. I am not going to have a potential chunk of landfill sitting in my garage for ten years and then get tossed.

  • Ne
      4th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Wow. You sound very disgruntled...Your posting reveals, however, as consumers you have no idea how warranties and repairs work. It sounds like this company (which I plan to purchase my machine from) went above and beyond what most companies would do for their customers. You even admitted that you were outside of their return period...HMMMMMMM...

  • Se
      28th of Dec, 2008
    +2 Votes

    Gail doesn't have the most people friendly demeanor. They do offer a good selection and decent price though (as long as you get a functioning machine).

  • Se
      1st of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have dealt with SCG & Gial in particular & I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they have been absolutely fair with me in my transaction. After reading these posts I have to say that SCG acted in a professional manner in accordance with their clearly stated policies. I acutally had to exchange a piece of equipment (within the stated time period) & was pleasantly surpised at how amicable Gail & the staff at SCG responded. I have dealt with Victor, Gail, Kat, Dane, & Josh & I would recommend them to a friend without reserve. I would state that unlike Nordstroms, you probably can't exploit their return policy & bring back a set of tires, but aside from that they are nice folks who ulitmately want you to be very happy with whatever purchase you decide to make.

  • Do
      13th of Jul, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I have a very similar experience with this person. Seattle Coffee Gear is good until you have issue with the product. I purchased La Pavoni espresso machine from Seattle Coffee Gear. It does not work after a little over couple months of use. The help I got from SCG is extend to having phone number for US distributor who asked me ship the product to them on my expense - This is how much SCG cares about the customer. They did not even give me a toll free number of the distributor until I asked. I asked SCG to pay for shipping but their "policy" is that customer has to deal with the manufacturer directly no matter what. If La Pavoni US distributor had good customer service, it may have been better without SCG got involved. They are far from customer service.

    I never heard how sorry they are because the machine is broken after little over two months and I have to pay for shipping.

  • Sa
      5th of Aug, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I would not EVEN buy a bag of COFFEE from Seatlle Coffee Gear.I could write a VERY long complaint about my experience with Gail and Victor, but i do not wish to spend my good time...Just be AWARE!!!...Ken

  • No
      16th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Wow, thanks for the heads-up...I was about to spend $2500 on the Gran Dama machine by Delonghi...but after reading this, I think I'll get it from a "big box" retailer like BB&B or Macy's. Sure, Seattle Coffee Gear offers free shipping, a 5% discount, and no tax(for e-commerce) and are offering freebies for purchasing from them, but after my "sniff test" of this company by researching what others had to say on-line about them, I now know that:

    1. The 5% discount is probably because I'm receiving it second hand...someone else has had their grubby mitts all over what I expect to be MY OWN coffee maker. If I'm spending $2500 on a coffee maker, I reserve the right to want to be the only pair of hands that has touched it. Or at least tell me it's "certified pre-owned"--and discount it deeper.

    2. Free shipping -- I'll probably pay for it when I send back said "pre-owned/touched" machine beacause the last person who had it broke it and they tried to fix it; or it was returned within their clearly-strict-and-firm-as-stone return policy window.

    3. Freebies - Well, as someone else said, they reserved the right to substitute "like" products with what was in stock--but when she called them after they told her that and asked to purchase that particular freebie that was out of stock, they magically had one appear.


    So, I won't get the freebies. I won't get 5% off, nor will I get free shipping. I will order mine from BB&B, pay full price, pay for the shipping, and pay state sales tax (my kid goes to public school anyway--so it's my duty)...but for $2500; I will have the satifsaction of knowing, that if I get a bum machine, BB&B will take it back, and give me a new one.

    And this, my friends, is how Wal-Mart has snuffed out the Mom & Pop stores of the world. They can and will take the loss and keep you as a customer. 80/20 Rule...and it seems that the complaints for Seattle Coffee Gear are 20%.

  • Do
      16th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Good decision. I like your thought about a well known name retailer. One of conversation I had with SCG was this; When I said hypothetically, if I bought a product from Best Buy and it does not fucntion after a month, they would take care of from there. SCG answer was "We are not Best Buy". I meant Best Buy as a good retailer in that context so, there answer is like this "We are not [a good retailer]"

  • An
      9th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Don't use this company for anything!. If you are upset then Gail and Victor will call your home to yell at you and tell you that you are not a nice person!! Can you believe that owners of a company would call someone to yell at them for any reason, what terrible customer service?!?!?!

    I had fraud on my bank account, someone used my credit card to purchase something on their website, so I called them and LISA told me there was NOTHING they could do to help me. Then Gail (co-owner) called my home to yell at me about how I spoke to LISA. I was unhappy that no one would help me, so of course I was mad. Then Gail hung up on me after we talked because she refused to listen to me. Then Victor the president and owner called to tell me how fraud work (like I didn't know) the told me that he was sitting next to Gail as she spoke to me and I am not a nice person. I told him that I wasn't a nice person right now (I said something a little more colorful) and that he should understand that I had money stolen from me. He then continued to make me seem like the person in the wrong, until I told him that they were harassing me calling me at home and I would call the police if they didn't stop harassing me!

    My husband was so mad, he called them back and they tried to blame everything on me! How could any owner of business call someone at their home to yell at them, even more lie about the transaction not going through when even the bank confirmed that the transaction was completed.

    DON'T USE SEATTLE COFFEE COMPANY!!! USE ANYONE ELSE!!!

  • Ny
      19th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I wish I had seen the above track record of Seattle Coffee Gear (SCG). Gees, what a disreputable internet retail company. I ordered a Technivorm coffee maker and Baratza Virtuoso grinder. The entire order was a sad and stressful comedy of bumbling incompetence and abysmal service from beginning to end. I googled SCG with the word complaints and found about 1 1/2 internet pages of complaints. I performed the same googling of their online competitors (Roastmasters, Clives, Boyds, Sweet Marias) and did not find a single complaint. The online sector of this small company has serious problems. My story is creepily similar to the ones above.

    In SCG's first shipment to me, they forgot to include the coffee grinder that they had charged me for, and amazingly shipped instead a brew-through lid for a different model coffee maker...something I didn't order. They tried shipping the grinder a second time. By that time, I'd discovered I'd been sold & shipped what appeared to be a used/re-stocked Technivorm; it had a deep gash in the metal finish, scratches on the water lid, stains on the water tank, and warranty registration card and info were missing. I phoned & told them the order had become so much trouble that I wasn't sure I even wanted the grinder anymore, that I may want a full refund. I told them I'd think about it and call back in 30 minutes; I did so and told them to proceed with shipping the grinder. Instead, SCG re-called the grinder and it was never delivered.

    So, I asked for a full refund for this order riddled with errors and bad service. I was told that I had made the "error" of waiting beyond their 5-day company policy of reporting problems. Five days or ten days doesn't matter, I was shipped a used and scratched-up coffee maker and charged $179 for a coffee grinder I never received. At one point, I asked for an immediate refund for the coffee grinder because I had never even recieved it--of course SCG (Gail) refused. They offered me a refund minus shipping, claiming they were trying to work with me because I waited longer than 5 days to open the freight. An order rife with bumbling SCG staff errors and used scratched-up equipment, and they still want to nail me for shipping. Any other (reputable) company would've offered me a full refund and apologized profusely for all their mistakes.

    After many emails, SCG (the infamous Gail) astonishingly said SCG would ALSO charge me shipping of the grinder that was never delivered to me. Gail was adamant in emails that they had shipped it and that I refused it. Subsequently, I spent 2 hours on the phone with FedEx, multiple calls, and FedEx provided me with written documentation that the shipper (SCG) recalled the coffee grinder and it was never delivered. I emailed the documentation to Gail, and of course, I did not hear back.

    My experience with SCG has been one of the worst customer service I've ever received, online or in person. It included numerous emails and phone calls over a period of several weeks and numerous promises were made and broken by SCG staff: "I'll check into it and call you tomorrow morning." SCG's most frequently-used stalling line was: "I'll have the shipping manager look into it." No return calls as promised, and never did hear from that "shipping manager." And I wonder, is there really a shipping manager in a 5-employee business? I don't know for certain if SCG sold me used equipment. The Technivorm I received sure looked like it--it had too many issues to have been new. With my and other's similar experiences, there is apparent unscrupulousness in SCG's business culture. Or maybe the company is simply too small to absorb the costs of their numerous staff errors, hence they might be trying to force these costs off on the customer.

    I ECHO THE ABOVE, BUYER BEWARE OF SEATTLE COFFEE GEAR. YOU RISK INCURRING INCOMPETENT STAFF & HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, RISK BEING CHARGED NEW-PRICE FOR POTENTIALLY USED EQUIPMENT, AND WORST OF ALL, YOU RISK LOSING YOUR MONEY AND HAVING NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT.

  • Jo
      13th of Feb, 2013
    +3 Votes

    So far, with all my orders, I haven't had any problems. I read a lot of these and it sounds like little violins. Honestly folks, this is how it works when you buy things online. Guess what, its not best buy and yes, you will have to pay to ship it back. No, just because an item is scratched up doesn't mean SCG sold you used equipment, it means it was scratched up. I've had the same thing happen with Amazon or buying things at Big Box stores. Things happen in the factory and sometimes, products gets scratched. If your product breaks a few months after you get it then guess what?! Either you broke it (which is easy with this type of equipment) or the manufacturer built a defective product. Its not the fault of the person who sold it to you. Seriously? This is one of the side effects of a wide reaching, accessible internet. Please don't complain unless you have a real problem.

  • Sh
      28th of May, 2013
    0 Votes

    .i purchase a mini cyber cam from your company before one month but its not work many time i call ur company but there was no response plz exchange my product nd give my money if u not give money back then i complain ur company in consumer protection court...

  • Wa
      4th of May, 2015
    -2 Votes

    All the models ( Seattle Coffee gear ) sells. Buy on Amazon. Buy a new one and put the broken one back into the box and return for a refund. Broken one Seattle coffee gear sold you. Order it new on Amazon and swap it and return it. Problem solved. Thell never know. Seattle coffee hear is amazons problem now. They just put the problem on The manufacture .

  • Wa
      4th of May, 2015
    -1 Votes

    The one you ordered from Seattle coffee gear. Reorder the same item on Amazon swap the broken one for the new one. Return it back to the company. I do it all the time they never catch me.

  • Wa
      4th of May, 2015
    -2 Votes

    Hey you want to know what I did recently. I had a broken hard drive from Western Digital and I went to target and I swapped it and then I took the broken one back and they never caught me. But you want to know what else I swapped a 500 GB for a two terabyte society needs to pay for their mistakes.

  • Pa
      24th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    Gail Williams is the old lady who got thrown off of an Alaska Airlines flight for berating a Trump supporter. It's all over the internet. She is an evil skank.

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