Hamilton Beach Insists The Broken Part On Your Coffee Maker Doesn't Exist

Jim needed to replace the gold-tone filter on his $70 Hamilton Beach coffee maker, but the filter recommended by Hamilton Beach’s website clearly didn’t fit. When Jim called to complain, a customer service representative insisted that Jim’s coffee maker didn’t come with a gold-tone filter, and that if Jim thought otherwise, he was entirely out of luck and would need to buy a new machine.

Jim writes:

I’m writing to make you aware that Hamilton Beach is selling a product that you cannot purchase a replacement filter basket for, at all, in no way, shape, or form. It’s really too bad that we had to get this seventy dollar paperweight from Hamilton Beach before realizing how stupid we apparently are for wanting such an item. How foolish of us to think that we could actually get a replacement part for their coffee maker.

The model in question is the 47454, “Brewstation Deluxe” Coffee Maker from Hamilton Beach.

A few weeks ago after pulling the gold-tone filter for our Brewstation Deluxe from the dishwasher, I noticed that a hole had somehow been made in the metal fabric of which the filter is comprised. My wife ordered a replacement filter for the Brewstation Deluxe – the one that Hamilton Beach recommends as a replacement *on their website,* so we figured that all was in the clear. Once the replacement gold-tone filter arrived, it was immediately obvious that there was no way in Hell that this replacement was going to fit the coffeemaker. It’s too small on all sides by about 1/4″ to 3/8″ – and since the original filter basket had plastic tabs on the sides and back to make it sit flush in place, there’s no way that this replacement could possibly fit.

I called the number underneath the lid of my Brewstation Deluxe and spoke with a woman who spoke at first in a straightforward fashion, and became increasingly difficult as the point of the matter came to fruition. I asked her repeatedly if I could order a replacement filter for my Brewstation Deluxe, and her repeated answer was that the unit does not HAVE a gold-tone filter basket. I reassured her that, inside the box for my Brewstation Deluxe, was packed in plastic a gold tone filter basket that held the coffee for the coffeemaker. Again, she replied with the fact that there is no gold tone filter for the Brewmaster Deluxe.

The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: “Ma’am, I just discarded of my damaged gold tone filter basket for my Brewstation Deluxe, model 47454.”
HB: “Sir, there is no such gold tone filter for the Brewstation Deluxe.”
Me: “I just threw mine away, which is why I am calling Hamilton Beach for a replacement.”
HB: “Sir, that model does not have a gold tone filter basket.”
Me: “Are you calling me a liar?”
HB: “Sir, that model has no replacement filter basket.”
Me: “The Hamilton beach website says that the filter that I purchased to replace my damaged one does not fit. Is the website wrong?”
HB: “The website is wrong.”
Me: “So, a customer needing a filter basket is ostensibly permanently out of luck?”
HB: “Yes.”
Me: “So, I now have a seventy dollar coffeemaker that has no replacement filter, and I have to buy another machine?”
HB: “Yes, that is correct.”

Hmmph. Well, knowing what I know now about my big ol’ seventy dollar non-coffeemaking piece of shit from Hamilton Beach, I want to make sure that other Consumerist fans don’t purchase this product. What a waste. I can rig it so that it works, but that means destroying the fifteen dollar replacement filter to make it kind-of work. What a joke. Thanks for nothing, Hamilton Beach.

I hope this helps SOMEONE, because I’m pissed about this. I like my morning coffee! Now I have a replacement filter that HB SAYS works, but does not fit at all.

Does anyone know of a DIY solution that can shrink a gold-tone filter?

Comments

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  1. MisterE says:

    THANK YOU! I was going to buy one of these! Now, I won’t!!!!

  2. ARP says:

    I can related- I once bought a grill from Sears (don’t lecture me, it was a gift card) and the instructions were not in the box. So, after trying to find the instructions on-line, I called customer service to ask for them. She told me the instructions did not exist?! Meaning, there is no “replacement part” of instructions. She then asked if I needed any other parts. I responded that I have no idea since I don’t have the instructions to know what parts I’m supposed to have. She told me I would have to go the store where I bought it to get instructions. I went to the store and of couse, the people at the store told me to call the customer service number. I told them my quandry, but they didn’t care and repeated that I would have to call the customer service number. I came back later in the day and eventually, I found a helpful employee who found the instructions to one of the floor models. I photocopied it at a nearby drug store.

    • sarahq says:

      @ARP: I once bought a grill from Sears (don’t lecture me, it was a gift card….

      Ah, the way to tell a long-time Consumerist reader: the automatic defense of a purchase made at Sears. *bemused!*

      • Zulujines says:

        @sarahq: What’s wrong with Sears? I worked there when I was in high school and I don’t know how they ever made money. They gave the customers whatever they wanted. I once had to return ten year old blinds (with no receipt, of course) because the guy was disappointed they weren’t holding up better.

  3. Canino says:

    All the online descriptions for this model say the goldtone filter is permanent and separate from the water filter. From Amazon:

    -Permanent Gold Tone filter and water filters included

    So I guess Hamilton Beach figured since it’s “permanent” that they would need to manufacture one per coffee maker.

    Is there a part number associated with that item in the manual? If so, try to just call and order that part number instead of explaining what it is or what it’s for.

  4. Ron Draper says:

    I don’t think it was appropriate to provoke her by asking her if she was accusing you of being a liar, but I can fully understand your inclination to ask that.

  5. bcsus83 says:

    I’d be taking that sucker back to the store I bought it from if at all possible. If not possible, I’d be back on the phone w/ customer service and escalating my call to every supervisor I could get ahold of until I reached someone who could help me—either get me my money back on the $70 paperweight that sits on the counter in my kitchen, or gets me the part.

  6. U-235 says:

    This is simply the filter you put the grounds in correct? If so you could always just use the disposable filters. I’m sure you could find one the right size.

    • EdnaLegume says:

      @U-235: great idea, unless of course the whole reason he chose that coffee maker was it’s washable filter to eliminate the need to buy disposables,(which aren’t free) and you know, add to the waste in our country… i’m jumping to conclusions but for him to get this bent on a washable filter, i’m guessing disposables don’t quite cut the mustard.
      that and the fact HB sucks donkey butt for their response.

      • nebraskabill says:

        @EdnaLegume:
        Not free, you get get like 1000 of them for a couple bucks, if you can waste $70 on a coffee maker you can afford some filters. My coffee maker was $15 and it works like a charm. I pay more in a week on coffee then filters and a coffee maker can ever add up to.

    • theblackdog says:

      @U-235: If that coffeemaker is as small as it looks, where are there filters small enough to fit inside it?

      • U-235 says:

        @theblackdog: Ah, but since they are paper you can just smush them in; and if necessary trim them. I would think they would make small filters though, they come in all different sizes.

  7. mbz32190 says:

    Just buy a new one and return the old one in the box and say it is defective (that way it won’t get put back on the shelves). Kinda of unethical, but if the company isn’t gonna help you out, let them eat the cost.

  8. krispykrink says:

    This is why I avoid products from company’s that resort to mini-infomercials to sell coffee machines, toasters, and a frakin’ blender.

    Ditch it! Grab any cheap cone shaped filter machine that takes standard #2 or #4 cone filters. You can get gold-tone metal filters that fit these standard sized machines that last quite a long time. In fact, I’m still using a 5 year old el’cheapo 10 cup machine Gevalia gave me for free. Dropped an off the shelf metal filter in it and it’s making pot after pot of black gold every morning 5 years going.

    • Ajh says:

      @krispykrink: I believe the particular draw of this coffeemaker is that it makes 1 cup of coffee.

      It’s something I’ve long considered buying but decided to just drink tea instead and when I really want coffee …buy it.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        @Ajh: I think it makes a pot of coffee, but stores it internally and dispenses the amount you need. It’s not one of those weird pod machines that just makes a cup at a time, because those don’t take grounds unless you use a special adapter, they take expensive one- or two-cup capsules. Craziness. I’m a coffee snob… if I wanted one cup of drip at a time I use this gadget that sits on top of a mug and holds a small paper filter and grounds… you pour hot water in from a tea kettle and get a cup of coffee. Mine has laster for years. [shop.melitta.com]

        Mine requires paper filters, but here’s one that has a built-in stainless filter: [www.alwaysbrilliant.com]

      • Ereshkigal234 says:

        @Ajh: There are tons of cheap and useful coffeemakers that make one cup or a full pot. We have the Hamilton beach Stay or Go Deluxe Thermal coffee maker. Also has a standard coffee filter system that you can *gasp* get at any standard home store/ grocery store.

        I’m thinking this person just needs to get a hold of the higher ups or quality assurance group. In normal cases, if you take it to the right people and explain the problem, and you’ve already tried their fix.. they will either replace the entire unit or give you the option for a free upgrade from their line of products.

  9. Smashville says:

    I had the nondeluxe version of this once…leaked like there was no tomorrow…

  10. Aladdyn says:

    I bought a hamilton beach food processor because I was looking for a food processor that cut thick slices, and the picture on the box showed distinctly thicker slices then the other processors. When I got home and opened it up I found out that the pictures shown were of slices made with the optional thick slices blade, which I would have to pay extra to get. I double checked the box and it didnt say anything to imply that the pictures were from an optional blade. Annoying company all around I guess.

  11. CyrusOpeth says:

    The gold filter is a permanent part of the unit, like the power switch or the heating element. It’s not an accessory.

    You’re asking them for a repair part, but the number you call is ready to handle inquiries only for accessories (disposable filters and the like).

    I’m guessing they don’t HAVE repair parts ANYWHERE in ANY system at Hamilton Beach. They don’t make things that get repaired. They make disposable appliances.

    Same thing with the power cord, for example. If it broke in some fashion, the people you’re calling won’t be able to help you replace it.

  12. cjones27 says:

    Not trying to blame the OP, but I have some customer service duties at my job. Saying “Are you calling me a liar?” is a quick way to irritate a CSR, and hit a brick wall in your attempt to get something fixed.

    We’re not calling you a liar unless we say “Sir, you’re a liar.”

    • dialing_wand says:

      @cjones27:
      Sadly, however, that is your (all CSRs) problem once you actually lie.

      IE: HB: “Sir, that model does not have a gold tone filter basket.”

      You’re in the CSR business, CS a little please. It may sound heartless but your companies are making us deal with you, so deal.

      No empathy from me; though I’m always very polite until I’m talked to like a machine.

  13. jpdanzig says:

    I agree with the other reader who suggested reading the manual to double-check the information on the HB website.

    If it confirms that the gold-tone filter is replaceable and offers a part number, I would try calling HB again, and if you get the same ninny who don’t know nuthin’, insist on talking to her supervisor or higher until you find someone who does know.

    If the manual makes no claim about replacing the gold-tone filter, then it appears the owner is indeed screwed.

    I’m so happy my old Kitchenaid 4-Cup Coffeemaker still works great after all these years (and UNhappy that KA doesn’t make 4-cup models any more!)

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      @jpdanzig:
      I looked at the online manual and, indeed, it shows the goldtone filter. It does not list a replacement part number, though. Even so, the manual alone proves that the coffeemaker uses the goldtone filter.

  14. the Goat says:

    I don’t drink coffee so maybe this is a dumb question. Is it normal to have to replace the “gold tone filter” multiple times over the life of the coffee maker? Every coffee maker has replacment filters you can buy?

    It sounds to me like the guy in the story broke his coffee maker and is upset they wont sell him the one part he needs. 99.9% of things you buy today you can not get replacement parts. If one bit breaks you have to get a whole new one.

  15. ratsgnawingatmyface says:

    The filter is $12.83 at Amazon.com. Pretty easy fix to buy one there.

  16. IIRC, someone had a problem with a coffee mug on Consumerist many moons back. They didn’t get in touch with customer service, but rather the R&D deptartment or the Quality Assurance dept. They ended up conversing with the guy who designed the product, and they sent him a new piece. Perhaps they could try that channel and get in touch with someone who has hands on experience with the product described.

  17. Meathamper says:

    There must be some company out there that sells new parts for electronics and home appliances. Do a Google search for ‘coffee maker parts’ or something.

  18. Canino says:
  19. Canino says:

    @Canino: Oops – click link above for the filter and order online.

  20. MyPetFly says:

    This isn’t a blame the OP post, but the letter to HB wasn’t really written in a way that’s likely to get any help. There’s a difference between expressing disappointment or frustration and unneeded attitude. Aside from that, I hope he’s able to get the situation resolved.

  21. bubbledumpster says:

    Just a note. This post asks “Does anyone know of a DIY solution that can shrink a gold-tone filter?” but I’m pretty sure the problem is that the replacement part the OP received was already too small.

  22. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    the manual can be found here:
    [useandcares.hamiltonbeach.com]

    [and it DOES say the permanent gold tone filter basket is top rack dishwasher safe]

    each of the parts which are replaceable have individual phone numbers listed next to them. there is no indication in the manual for a way to replace your filter basket.

    the “fits all brewmasters” coffee filter suggested on the hamilton beach website
    [www.hamiltonbeach.com]
    does NOT match the appearance of the one shown in the manual for the 47454. as the OP indicates, the rim of the filter is a different shape
    sadly, i don’t see anything online that does match it.

  23. mikemar42 says:

    Coffee makers are over complicating a simple task. If you want good coffee easily made why not try a French press, or a pour over brewer. Hamilton Beach never portrayed them selves to be a reputable company anyway.

    • Smashville says:

      @mikemar42: I don’t think everyone is a coffee “enthusiast”. I own a french press and a coffee maker. However, for the french press, you have to ground the beans, clean the filter, boil the water, etc…coffee maker is more dump and go…for your on the way to work fix…a French press is for more when you have time to sit and enjoy your coffee.

      • mikemar42 says:

        @Smashville:

        If you really need a quick way to make coffee use a pour over brewer with a paper filter. Buy pre-ground beans. Boiling water is really not that much to ask if you just toss a pot on the stove or a bowl in the microwave. The time it takes to fill up a machine, and clean it would be pretty equal to the time it takes to make pour over coffee.

  24. northwest says:

    I just went through this about 3 weeks ago. I also ordered a replacement part from a web site that listed a filter that fits all Hamilton Beach makers. It was wrong. I eventually called up Hamilton Beach and they sold me a new permanent filter. It cost a few dollars more, but it works.

    I do think it’s problematic that many web sites advertise replacement filters that don’t work on this machine. Most people would not think that there’s a difference between a permanent filter and a replacement filter. Hamilton Beach should have anticipate this and made this part available to people in stores that sell the machine.

  25. Trel says:

    Is everyone missing the “users model 80674 replacement water filter” line right UNDER where it says it includes one?

  26. Huh, I got the older style Hamilton Beach brewstation – it came with a filter, but after the 3 months or whatever amount of days we had it, I just took the filter out. Works just fine without the filter, machine is 3+ years old and we make coffee 2+ times a day, every day.

    I’m surprised you can’t use your coffee pot without the filter. That would be serious implications for the company, if you couldn’t replace the filter. That’s like buying a car and not being able to service your brakes or change the oil.

    Of course, you CAN replace their filters.

  27. @verucalise: Pressed submit too soon. Sorry, folks.

    Even IF your coffee pot needs that filter to use… unless you have really shitty water, why didn’t the OP just remove the filter and replace the basket filter until he got a new one? Then the coffee pot was still functional, and not a $70 paperweight.

    (this is based on my filter design for my coffee pot, I could be horrendously off the track on this one)

    But, I feel for the OP besides. You don’t pay $70 to go thru hell just to take advantage of its perks. It’s not a $5 dollar general coffee pot, it’s expensive. And ANYONE who’s used those brewstations, knows how addicting they are. I wouldn’t give up mine for any other coffee pot made.

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      @verucalise:
      I don’t understand your post. It sounds like you are talking about the water filter, not the coffee filter. The OP is talking about the goldtone coffee filter – you can’t run a coffee maker without a filter (unless you like grounds in your pot). Water filters are optional, though.

  28. Ninjanice says:

    I almost bought this coffee maker, but saw the poor reviews online and opted for a different (cheaper) model. I’d maybe see if the OP can use the manufacturer’s warranty for the filter basket. I know most warranties won’t cover “accssories”, but apparently HB is touting this as a permanent part. Hamilton Beach may be able to find a filter that works if their other option is having to send a whole new unit for warranty replacement. You could also see if there is a part number on the filter basket itself and google it. I’ve found lots of parts this way. Parts that CSRs have claimed didn’t exist…

  29. Quimosabe says:

    If it were me, I would go back to the store and buy a new one. Then go home and switch the coffee makers, take the defective one back and tell them it doesnt work and you want your money back. That way you get a functioning coffe maker and the company gets the short end of the stick since they were completely unhelpful

  30. meadandale says:

    Buy a SwissGold filter basket. They probably have a size that fits your model.

  31. vermontwriter says:

    I just ran into a similar problem with a Mr. Coffee 12 cup coffeemaker. The removable filter basket, it holds the coffee filter and grounds and has the lever that allows you to get coffee before the pot has completely brewed, was missing. I’d bought it on clearance sadly and figured I could just buy that missing part.

    My first call ended rather pleasantly with the woman telling me that I can just look up an authorized service center online and that I’d be able to find a list of service centers in my state who would have the replacement part. So I did that to find there are no dealers in my state. So I called back and another woman took my call telling me that I could easily order the part from an online dealer. So I went to the Web site she gave me and they sell replacement carafes or permanent gold filters but not the removable filter basket.

    So I tried once more and the woman then told me that they don’t sell that removable part as a replacement part and all I can do is buy another coffeemaker or see if one of their competitors has something similar that might fit. Odd that they referred me to their competition for a part that should be really easy to replace.

    In the end, I use a paper towel fit into the entire area where the removable basket would go and then a secondary paper filter. It’s not perfect, but at least the majority of grounds are kept from my coffee.

  32. tyep says:

    Ive had one of these for 15 years still brews perfectly. Best investment I ever made.
    [www.bunnomatic.com]

  33. SiennaVitulus says:

    While I think that Hamilton Beach screwed up here, I also wanted to point something out: The material those “permanent” filters are made of are the same you’ll find in a coffee press, and those are meant to be washed by hand so that no damage occurs. Just something to keep in mind if you buy something like this in the future.

  34. mrearly2 says: