In the middle of 2021, I bought a coffee grinder. I looked around, read the reviews, and ended up getting a KRUPS burr grinder (cost c£35). So far, so good.
Just after Christmas 2022, the grinder stopped working. Dead, nothing, not a bean. A quick check, and yes, it is still well within the standard 2-year warranty period. Great.
Now the fun starts.
After some exploration I found the form to raise a case with KRUPS. A barrage of questions followed, some a little bizarre. Plus requests for various external photographs. And a request to clean it properly. Some of the questions are in the exchange below.
After a few days of this (seemingly trying not to take ownership of any issue) KRUPS said it would be collected for repair and back in about ten days. The grinder was duly collected and sent off to KRUPS’ agents, Staffords. Then silence.
A few weeks later I cracked (after all KRUPS had said it would be back in ten days) and rang up Staffords. They said the motor assembly was broken and needed replacing. Secondly, there were quite a few people in my position. But thirdly, KRUPS could not supply the spare part needed for ‘several months’ so nothing could be done. They said the lack of parts supply was due to Brexit (I don’t know if this was a Staffords or a KRUPS view, or simply an easy excuse).
Leaving aside why I had to be the one to initiate contact, Staffords were helpful on the phone, but said I would have to contact KRUPS to assess what the next action was (other than simply waiting for months).
So back I went to the KRUPS online forms and from there a long set of interactions with a customer service agent. I will spare many of the details (and the name of the agent as I do not know if they have any ability to act here or have simply to follow orders) but essentially:
- Yes, the product is broken and is under warranty.
- Yes, there are no available spare parts so I would need to wait for months.
- Yes, this is inconvenient.
So, I discussed fitness for purpose, reasonable time and duty of care to customers. Stonewall; then an extension to the warranty offered for six months (is this a hint that several months is at least six?).
Back I went asking for a replacement rather than just sincere apologies (as opposed of course to insincere ones). The response was, there were no replacements available, nor would there be until April.
I then pointed out that on the KRUPS website itself, the item was for sale – via Amazon.
Why could they not replace mine with one they could buy from there? Apparently this is beyond KRUPS as the product they source has to come from France. I have no idea what this information has to do with anything.
And so the end of the road was apparently reached. Case closed.
This saga about sums up what more and more companies seem to think about their customers. The onus is placed on the customer to solve a problem of the company’s making. In KRUPS case, the product appears to be prone to breaking according to their agents (so not fit for purpose), is not available to be repaired for months due to their supply chain problems and despite there being stock available in the UK it is not available to me, unless I buy a new product (and the price seems to have jumped c60% in 18 months). In short, tough, suck it up and we (KRUPS) don’t care.
When I buy stuff, I expect it to work and for a reasonable time. If it breaks during this time, repair it. If it can’t be repaired, then replace it. And do this reasonably quickly. I don’t expect the issue to be left for months or become my problem. Apparently KRUPS disagree and I need to learn to just wait. I’ve learned my lesson about them; you can make your own mind up.
And yes I know this is a first world problem and a broken coffee grinder is not that earth-shattering, especially given some of the things some companies (thinking of utility and water companies) get up to. But customers deserve better.
Looks like the company has also mispelt its own name.
Hi Leigh, how frustrating! Highly recommend Sage grinder – more expensive but totally worth it
I wholeheartedly agree with you Leigh. Online retailers are reluctant to make customers aware of their ‘distance selling agreement’ rights. There is now a changed expectation of the manufacturer, not the retailer in rectifying product issues. Combined with the disappearance of customer service desks in larger bricks and mortar shops, this is symbolic of how frustrating sorting out refunds, warranties and faulty items remains.