Life of Brian

In all of the vast Krups coffee empire, there is only one man who can help you: his name is Brian Bachman.

The only true indication of his existence is the holy dread whisperings of Krups’ CSRs and the endless repetition of Brian’s voice mail tape. An omnipotent figure shrouded in mystery, he is inscrutable, unknowable. Brian makes Krups agnostics.

For, you see, only one man in all of Krups can help a customer look up their order and figure out what happened to it. So when Glenn J.’s Krups coffee maker went missing on its way to his house, he tried to climb Krups mountain and commune directly with the Entity. In vain!

Glenn’s email, after the jump:

Long time luker, first time writer. I’ve enjoyed the site for months and months, and never figured I’d get to the point where I’d be the one writing in. We’ve all had our fair share of bad customers, bad companies, and even the occasional bad consumer, but this is the first case I’ve run into that actually justifies a formal bitching about.

The household coffee maker recently died, and my wife Julia started looking for a better replacement. After doing some researching, product comparison, and narrowing down, she finally decided on a Krups Home Cafe pod brewing machine. It wasn’t the cheapest on the market by any stretch, but my wife stumbled upon http://www.TryKrups.com that offered the ED209 of coffee machines that offered a payment plan, and a huge selection of free sample-sized flavored coffees. None of the other sites offered all the freebies, including free shipping, so we decided to go ahead and place the order. This was two weeks ago.

My wife received a confirmation email that listed October 16th, November 17th, and December 17th as the dates for the installment plans, listed the order number, and all the typical things an auto-generated email list. We figured with free shipping we wouldn’t exactly expect overnight shipping, but expected that within a week we’d get the new machine.

Two days later, my wife figured the prudent thing to do would be to call, confirm the order, and receive a tracking number just to be safe. My wife called their Customer Service Hotline (1-800-382-8217), and was told that they couldn’t reference her order number because sometimes it would take several days for their systems to show it, but that things would still process. That should’ve been red flag number one, but we gave them the benefit of the doubt because, well, it was Krups. A big hoity toity brand.

A week later with no coffee maker, my wife called in again and got the same spiel. Not one to put up with excuses (trust me), my wife asked for the supervisor, and after much prodding and insistence, was transferred over to a Mr. Brian Bachman. Or rather, his voicemail. A day didn’t go by that my wife didn’t call and leave a voicemail for this only supervisor in the entire shop. This past Monday she finally got Brian on the phone. You see, as the teleservice representatives will tell you, they can’t look up any order numbers, only Brian can. Quite the weight on one’s shoulders, to have an entire shop where only one person can verify, place, confirm, ship, or otherwise do anything with an order number. Brian apologized, of course, and said that there had been a problem in their system whereby random customer’s information just doesn’t get processed. You know, randomly. It’s still there, no worries about security concerns dear customer, but no one will ever call you and let you know because they can’t find the order. Nor can they look up order numbers. He promised that he would personally send out the package with a 2-day express. Red flag number two.

Here it is Thursday night, and no coffee maker. In fact, in six calls to Brian today (four by my wife, and two by me), every single time we were told he was in a meeting. That Brian is such a busy man! Meetings for 6 solid hours! On this most recent call, he flat out was avoiding me. The TSR asked for my name, then put me on hold. Then came back and asked me to spell it, then put me on hold. Then came back and told me he was in a meeting. Shocker.

In my last and final voicemail to Brian, I told him to cancel the order number. I don’t know which irks me more, the blatant lies and avoidance of a paying customer, the lack of proactive phone calls or emails, or the sheer amount of time we’ve had to waste in trying to get a simple household appliance. We’ve pretty much given up on Krups, not because of the brand, not because of defects, but simply because of flat-out awful customer service. I guess I’m hoping other readers might be able to bend Krups’ ear and inform them that their customer service sucks, and that they’ll not be awarding them with any purchases. I know the place is just a call center farm, and that there are likely other corporate numbers to try and run this up the flagpole too. We’ve already filed with the BBB, and would love to see something actually happen for the coffee-less little guys.

Comments

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  1. Jon Parker says:

    About a year ago my coffeemaker (a Black and Decker) died. I went shopping and found a nice Mr. Coffee model (ISTX85)with all the features I wanted.

    I brought it home and it brewed absolutely perfect coffee. Sure, it leaked water from the inside, but hey. It did the same the next day. And the next. On the fourth day it died in the middle of brewing.

    I called Mr. Coffee to complain, and had an absolutely perfect customer service experience. They were nice, friendly, and agreed to ship out a replacement the next day. Three days later, I got my replacement. Again, it brewed perfect coffee, and aside from the leakage, I was happy again. For two months. Then it died again.

    This time I didn’t even bother calling. I tossed it in the trash, went to epinions and amazon to do some research. The Mr. Coffee model that I had bought had a one star average on epinions.

    I bought the highest rated model at the time, the Cuisinart DCC-1200. Aside from a tiny pour area, it’s a fantastic machine. Brews excellent coffee every day. It was $80, but I used a $20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond to drop the price a bit.

    The lessons to be learned here, and the reason I’m posting this are below.

    1. Buy Cuisinart. My mom has a different model, and she’s also very happy with it.

    2. The best customer service in the world won’t rescue a horrible product.

    3. Do your research. Even for fairly inexpensive appliances I look up consumer reviews. Life is too short to be messing around with things that don’t work.

  2. Jess A. says:

    I’m curious as to why Glenn & his wife didn’t attempt to escalate their complaint beyond this one contact name/telephone number. They could call or write Krups Corporate, for starters. They’ve got a name, which gives them complaint leverage. The BBB is a great place to lodge a public complaint, but I don’t think they do consumer advocacy that would help to settle Glenn’s issue.

  3. glenn_j says:

    Just as a follow-up…Within about an hour of leaving the final voicemail to Brian, and about twenty minutes after I emailed Ben here, my wife received an email from TryKrups.com with a brand new order number. Apparently they just gave up on the first order number, the supposed 2-day shipping, and just decided to make us a whole new order even after I’ve told them to cancel our order. So, enter round-two of phone calls and voicemails to get this straightened out.

    To Jon Parker: I’ll admit we pretty much did the same thing. Our original coffee maker was a cheap no-frills 1-star machine. That’s why my wife did her research this time around and had settled on the Krups. Her parents have had the same model for well over twenty years now, so we trusted their reliability and features.

    To Jess A: In fact I did log the issue with Krups via their website (I know, when will I learn…), so we’ll see what happens. I expect a generic email back, hopefully followed by a live body offering me a coupon or some similar pittance.

    In terms of consumer advocacy I know I’m a small fry in the scheme of things because I won’t end up out of any money, I know Amex will work with me to fight any disputes, and if Krups does man up and send out this second mysterious order, I’ll simply refuse the package. I’m not out anything monetarily, I’m just out of a lot of time and patience.

  4. glenn_j says:

    Just as a follow-up: Within about an hour of leaving the final voicemail to Brian, my wife received an email from TryKrups.com with a brand new order number. Apparently they just gave up on the first order number, the supposed 2-day shipping, and just decided to make us a whole new order despite telling them to cancel our order. So, enter round-two of phone calls and voicemails to get this straightened out.

    To Jon Parker: I’ll admit we pretty much did the same thing the first time around. Our original coffee maker was a cheap no-frills 1-star machine. That’s why my wife did her research this time and settled on the Krups. Her parents have had the same model for well over twenty years now, so we trusted their reliability and features.

    To Jess: In fact I did log the issue with Krups via their website last night after doing some more poking around, so we’ll see what happens. I’m expecting a generic email expessing their concern over my issue, followed by an eventual phone call where someone offers me a coupon for my troubles.

    In terms of consumer advocacy I know I’m a small fry in the scheme of things because I won’t end up out of any money, Amex will work with me to fight any disputes, and if Krups does man up and send out this second mysterious order, I’ll simply refuse the package. I’m not out anything monetarily. I’m just out of a lot of time and patience.

  5. K-T says:

    I would go for the TASSIMO by Braun. i have never had a problem with my machine and the customer service has always been great. It works on the same kind of principle as the Krups pod system. If you order it from http://www.TassimoDirect.com you can pay for it in payments plus they will give you two free boxes of t-disks (your choice) and two stainless steel travel mugs and shipping for free. They are always adding new coffee and tea flavors and the prices are reasonable. I know that on Oct. 14th they are having some huge online “houseparty” for the system and the deals are supposed to be even better then. i think the free boxes go up to four. and if you register your machine on the site then you get another two boxes free.

    you can also set up automatic home dilivery of the t-disks. Any order over 30 bucks has free shipping. I have been using this machine daily for about 10 months and have never had a problem. When they sent me out a order of t-disks too soon, i called them up and they said refuse the order when the UPS guy gets there, or just write “refused” on it and have UPS pick it up. and they credited me back as soon as they got it.

    well that is just my 2 cents.

  6. glenn_j says:

    Just as a follow-up: Within about an hour of leaving the final voicemail to Brian, my wife received an email from TryKrups.com with a brand new order number. Apparently they just gave up on the first order number, the supposed 2-day shipping, and just decided to make us a whole new order despite telling them to cancel our order. So, enter round-two of phone calls and voicemails to get this straightened out.

    To Jon Parker: I’ll admit we pretty much did the same thing. Our original coffee maker was a cheap no-frills 1-star machine. That’s why my wife did her research this time around and settled on the Krups. Her parents have had the same model for well over twenty years now, so we trusted their reliability and features.

    To Jess: In fact I did log the issue with Krups via their website after sending the email in to Ben here, so we’ll see what happens. I’m expecting a generic email expressing deep concerns in which their first available person will contact me, followed by an offer for a coupon to make up for my troubles. Call me jaded, at this point.

    In terms of consumer advocacy I know I’m a small fry in the scheme of things because I won’t end up out of any money, I know Amex will work with me to fight any disputes, and if Krups does man up and send out this second mysterious order, I’ll simply refuse the package. I’m not out anything monetarily. I’m just out of a lot of time and patience.

  7. LintMan says:

    Are you sure that trykrups.com is actually affiliated with Krups, and not just a third party reselling Krups products (or a scam)? Does the main Krups site link to trykrups.com?

    I’d advise keeping a careful eye on your credit card (if that’s how you placed your order), especially since you cancelled by voicemail and have no confirmation or acknowledgement of that.

    I also second Jess A’s suggestion to contact Krups Corporate. Even if it’s a legit offer from Krups, they might be using a shifty subcontractor for order fulfillment.

  8. He says:

    The whois info is different for krups.com and trykrups.com, but searching the web for trykrups turned up this on their main site: http://www.krupsusa.com/krups/Products/product_iframe.aspx

  9. Josh Smith says:

    TryKrups.com doesn’t appear to be affiliated with Krups officially.

    Domain Name: TRYKRUPS.COM
    Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
    Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
    Name Server: NS2.GEODNS.NET
    Name Server: NS1.GEODNS.NET
    Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK
    EPP Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    EPP Status: clientRenewProhibited
    EPP Status: clientTransferProhibited
    EPP Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Updated Date: 18-Apr-2006
    Creation Date: 13-Apr-2006
    Expiration Date: 13-Apr-2007


    VS Krupsusa.com

    Registrant: Make this info private
    Krups North American, Inc
    7 Ruetn Dr.
    Closter, NJ 07624
    US

    Domain Name: KRUPSUSA.COM

    Administrative Contact :
    ZENNARO, Claude
    indom@indom.com
    GROUPE SEB / SEB DEVELOPPEMENT
    BP 172
    ECULLY Cedex, fr 69134
    FR

    Technical Contact :
    GNMC
    rm-hostmaster@ems.att.com
    424 S. Woodsmill Rd
    Chesterfield, MO 63037
    US

    I had a Krups coffee pot explode last spring and I am still waiting for contact back from the company. So getting a reply from Krups USA may not be easy either.

  10. Jess A. says:

    By the way — as far as coffee maker reccomendations, I’d say look into Melitta. They make a variety of excellent machines, have good warranties, and their customer service is excellent. (They replaced my coffee maker twice, after a weird wiring issue in our apartment fried it.)

  11. Yep says:

    Holy crap. Their tagline is “Krups. Beyond Reason.”

    Who the hell let that one by? Did they translate it from German or something?

  12. Coffee snobs prefer French Presses.

  13. factotum says:

    Coffee snob poseurs might prefer French presses, but real coffee connoisseurs use a pump-driven espresso machine, Melitta stovetop espresso maker (especially if they camp or hike), or an Aerobie.

    If you like bitter, gritty sediment in your coffee, by all means, keep using the French press.