DeLonghi Takes Six Months To Replace Five-Cent Piece Of Plastic

Marc’s top-of-the-line DeLonghi Combination Coffee/Espresso Machine was felled by a five-cent piece of plastic. Marc called DeLonghi for a replacement part, but was directed to their accessories website.

    “So I went to DeLonghi Accessories, and found that I needed to replace the entire milk tank assembly. I’m okay with this. $7.95 for a dollars worth of plastic but I’m still okay. Then I find that it’s $9.99 in shipping. So 125% shipping, but still I decide that it’s better than buying a new coffee machine, and it’s a small percentage of the $200 I spent on the unit to begin with.”

We would, too. Nothing stands between us and our morning coffee. Despite paying 125% shipping, after two months and one letter, Marc still had not received his milk tank assembly. Marc did what any of us would do. He wrote another letter.

Marc’s letter and DeLonghi’s puzzling response, inside…

Marc’s letter:

To whom it may concern,

This is my second e-mail. The first was never answered. You have been “processing” my order for 33 days. I paid $9.99 for shipping a $7.95 part that broke in my coffee machine from regular wear and tear, and you can’t even PROCESS is to ship it within a month? You certainly charged my credit card in a timely fashion. I see that on 12/6/06 a charge processed from FOX INT LTD BEDFORD HTS OH XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-6765. So you have my money, have charged me 125% to ship a part by ground, not to mention $7.95 for a milk assembly is already an outrageous amount.

If I do not hear from your company soon, I will have no choice but to 1) go elsewhere for my coffee maker needs and 2) spend my free time in 2007 informing as many consumer groups as I can about my treatment here, starting with, moving on to Consumer Reports,, and so on. I spent over one hundred dollars on your coffee maker, and this level of follow-up support is unacceptable.

Three days later, DeLonghi responds:

Thank you for contacting us in regard to your DeLonghi product. We are sorry for the delay in responding to this email.

We see we sent an email on January 4 to advise that your part is on backorder. We currently do not have an expected date from the manufacturer and it can take two to six months for parts to be received from Italy.

It is the policy of Fox International to charge the credit card at the time of purchase. This ensures that orders are filled in the sequence they are received.

We apologize for the delay and inconvenience this has caused you. We would like to assure you that we are doing everything we can in order to ship your order at the earliest possible date.

If you have any further questions or would like to check the status of your order in the future, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at,
or you can call us at 1-800-322-3848 Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Does anyone have an idea for a DIY milk tank assembly?

DeLonghi should at least refund Marc’s shipping expenses. While they’re at it, next time they should ship the part from Italy by plane, not pack mule. Cows produce 35 liters of milk in one day. Why does it take DeLonghi six months to produce one milk tank assembly? — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER