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 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.