Monday, October 3, 2011

The Saga of The Coffee Machine Repair

The last few weeks have been a  bit  frustrating & crazy  for me. Thus, not much blogging.
You wouldn't think it would be so hard to get my news letter out and get my next events planned & scheduled, but.... not so much. It's mainly all technical issues & the fact that Baby Huey (our code writer that worked for us for over a year), took our money and flew the coupe before he finished my Diva's Dishes website, has not helped at all. Another story for another time.

One time sucking event in my life recently, has been getting our freakin'  coffee machine fixed!
This story starts a few years back when Terry said he wanted to have a coffee machine that he could just get up and push a button and get a good cup of coffee, like in Europe. For those of you that don't know my husband, as mentioned before, he is an Engineer at heart & a bit of an old fussy English woman lives inside of him. He doesn't like to be bothered with anything, like opening a drawer in the bathroom to get the toothpaste. He thinks there should be something on the wall that you can just put your toothbrush under and it comes out. Which I did find for Christmas for him one year but it did not last. He is notorious for leaving draws open in the studio or when he is working on something, saying he may be coming back to it later, huh?
He is also pretty lost in the kitchen where to find things etc.

Back to the COFFEE MACHINE. Another thing about the two of us, is I seem to be able to take things as they come and fly by the seat of my pants. Terry on the other hand, has to research everything before he purchases anything. So we looked at all kinds of machines,  in stores & online. We priced compared looked at quality. Once again, being the an engineer Terry didn't want a machine with any plastic, we also couldn't afford or want to pay in the thousands of dollars for a big Italian machine plus, we needed or wanted the press the button & presto coffee! We didn't want to have to grind, tap, foam milk, empty the the espresso vessel etc.  One button and coffee that's it, that's what we were looking for. It was quite the search, to find one just like we wanted with as little plastic as possible. It is amazing that companies want in the thousands for a plastic piece of crap.  Since so much is made of PLASTIC now a days it did take some time to find and settle on a machine. We ended up with saeco Incanto S-Class Coffee Machine. This machine was one of the few that was mostly metal. A few pieces are plastic but the housing is all metal. Wouldn't you know it, the door that opens & closes so you can clean out the coffee grinds once it's full, is plastic and yes, it has been a problem from day one!  So the Engineer knows!

Fast forward a few years. The machine tells me when I need to descale it and clean it. The last few times I'd cleaned it, when I'd put the water tank back on & refilled it with water, it would keep telling me it needed water! I would cuss at it and mess with it & I would get it working again.. Well about a month ago, it just did it out of the blue and it would not work. Terry "the engineer" said the sensor for the water on our Incanto went kaput. The Seaco Incanto is not a machine you just toss, when it stops working. Also, not just anyone can fix these machines. So I started to research where I could get the machine fixed. I found 3 repair places in the whole Los Angeles area! None close by.  And so the Saga begins!

I found a guy in Woodland Hills which is about 17 miles away. I called the guy asked what he would charge and his hours of operation. He told me Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM. I drove out there the day before we left for our trip thinking, he could fix while we were away. Of course, when I got there, they were CLOSED for the week!
When we returned from our trip there was another guy in the Griffith Park area, which is about 16 miles away. I called  him that morning verified the address &  that he would be there all day. So I told him I would bring it by that day. I did a few errands then punched the address into my nav system in our Honda. The freakin nav was giving me directions that made no sense, so I called Terry. He said it didn't sound right and that he would check and get back with me. We figured it was just where I was at and the nav was trying to take me a crazy way. So I went home drop some things off and got back on the freeway thinking the nav's little brain would readjust. Not so much,  It still was trying to take me to another place! So  I turned around & went back home & got mapquest directions! At thas point I'm telling Terry, I just want to ship it to this other company that is about 30 miles away. He convinced me it would cost to much to ship, so back in the car & off to Griffith Park I go. I get to the verified address and it is a home and there is no parking and a locked gate. I call the guy. No answer, but a message saying they are open and will get right back with me. That was last week and I still haven't heard from him. I guess he has enough business.

So back home I go. I tell Terry I'm about to just throw it out the window! In comes Craigie our neighbor who manages the building next door. Craigie says he goes to  the area of the company I wanted to ship to, a couple times a week because he manage some buildings down there. So great, a few days later he takes it in for me says it is a real company gets a receipt etc.

A few days later I get in the car again, drive though downtown LA traffic almost to the Airport & pick the machine up. The guy puts it in the trunk of  my car mentioning, the floater (I'll get to this in a minute) & how that was a new one. He'd never seen anything like that before. Off I go back on the freeway & home again.

I get home and ask Terry to bring it in, as I'm dying for a cup of my coffee! He brings it in and sets it on the counter and immediately says "where is my floater"?! "What did they do"? "They better not have taken it"!!! Now let me explain the "FLOATER". Again, Terry being the "Engineer" and not wanting to be bothered with having to fill the water tank all the time, he asked Johnny our plumber who also was a bit of a tinkerer & inventor to hook up water to the machine and come up with an idea so it would refill automatically, thus the "floater".
It really was a brilliant idea. We would be filling that tank all the time if we didn't have it.

So Terry is freaking out and I'm trying to find the number to call the guy. I get hole of and ask where's  Terry's floater? While calling we noticed things didn't look quite right on the machine. That was because, he gave us someone else's machine, Really!!! He mentioned the floater and everything. Then he asks "what can we do"? I'm thinking you can now get your ass in your car and come pick it up and bring ours or you can spend the money and ship the two back and forth. He did not offer this option. He offered me some freak'n coffee! At this point I was not in the mood to get into it with him. We just wanted the freakin machine back and working!

So a day later, off I go, another 60 miles there & back. Wouldn't you know it, when we got it home it still said we needed to fill the water tank and would not work! I was ready to just pack it in! We got on the phone again and the guy that fixed it said "there is no way, it should work". Not that he tried it after fixing it, that it should work. Anyway, Terry got on the phone with him and got it to work, finally!
Ahh, a cup of coffee

I like my Espresso Grand Aroma better than the 70.00 Black Cat they gave me.
I did get my coffee that afternoon but of course I couldn't enjoy one the next morning because I was going to get a shot in my back and I couldn't drink or eat anything! Just my luck, ha, ha!

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