Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dear Jura of Switzerland:

I think your coffee machine is a PIECE OF SHIT!!!

I arrived in Switzerland on October 6, 2000. The next day, before the container with all our personal belongings arrived from Chicago at our home in Reinach, Mrs. TBF and I went out to Manor and bought one of your coffee machines - the Impressa S-70 model to be exact. We had tried coffee made by a Jura machine while visiting Switzerland as tourists in March, 2000. When we found out that we were going to be relocating to Switzerland, one of the first things we talked about was buying a Jura machine. So, on the afternoon of Saturday, October 7, 2000, we plunked down 1,398 CHF ($1,063.93 U.S.) for one of your machines and carried it back to our empty house on the tram.
We settled into our new life in Switzerland and the sound of the Jura machine grinding those coffee beans was pretty much the first thing we heard each day. This "smart" machine told us when the grounds needed to be emptied, when to add water, when it needed to be cleaned (which I have done religiously), and when it needed to be de-calcified (which I also did religiously). The machine came with a one-year warranty, but I kind of figured that for the price we paid that the thing would probably never break down ("Swiss-quality"...right??). Especially since I was following the maintenance instructions to the letter. Right???
Then, in late September, 2002, the machine began to make funny noises. It seemed like the motor was giving out, the coffee didn't seem as hot as it used to be, etc., etc. So, I called Jura and arranged to have the machine repaired. They picked up the machine at our house, repaired it, and returned it to our house about a week later. When I opened the box, there was our good-as-new? coffee machine...along with a repair bill for 310.95 CHF ($236.61) since we were past the one-year warranty period! Ahhhh, but who cares about the cost? One week without the brown manna from heaven was too long, and I was just happy to have our beautiful machine back on its pedestal in our kitchen. Afterall, it was probably just a mechanical fluke and now surely the machine would hum along for another twenty years or so....right?
Zip ahead to late August, 2004....One day I suddenly hear that the blasted machine isn't sounding quite right. The "CLEAN UNIT" light came on, and I cleaned it. Clearly, that would solve whatever was ailing my machine....right?...hehe [nervous laughter]. After cleaning the machine, the "CLEAN UNIT" light was still on. I cleaned it again. The "CLEAN UNIT" light remained. Suddenly, I noticed that the stupid machine had a small puddle of water under it. I felt inside the beast, and a small rubber gasked fell into my hand. "AH-HA!!!" I exclaimed! "I'll just call Jura and order a rubber gasket. They can just mail it to me and I'll install it myself." Right?

TBF: [on the phone with Jura] "Ich möchte ein ersatzteil für meine Jura machine bestellen!" (translation: I would like to order a replacement part for my Jura machine!)

Jura Lady
: "Ein moment bitte!" (one moment please...)

TBF: [thinking to himself] "This is going to be easier than I thought!"

Another Jura Lady
: "Do you speak English?"

TBF: "Yes." [...hmmm, how did she figure that out?]

Another Jura Lady
: "We do not send out replacement parts. You will have to bring the machine to an authorized repair center, or we will have to fix the machine at our factory."

TBF: "But...this part probably costs less than one Swiss franc...[oh, what's the use?] OK, come pick it up...but you realize that this will be the second time in two years that this machine has been repaired. Is there any kind of warranty for the repair?"

Another Jura Lady
: "Yes. Your repair is guaranteed for six months."

The long and short of it was that this repair ended up costing 230.85 CHF ($175.66 U.S.)!

So here we are...it's November, 2005 and the "CLEAN UNIT" light came on this past weekend. I cleaned it...the "CLEAN NOW" light came on...and it started beeping at me. I cleaned it again...yup...you guessed it. Don't believe me? Here it is...

Tomorrow, I'm going to take matters into my own hands. Now that we've spent a total of 1,939.80 CHF ($1,605.73 U.S.) on this guaranteed piece of shit (not including cleaning and decalcification tablets, water filters, etc., etc.), I feel I have nothing to lose - it's not like I'll be voiding the warranty or anything. I'm going to take the top off the friggin' thing and try to fix it myself. If I'm unsuccessful, I'm going to take a sledge hammer to the thing, bring it to the dump, and give it the same burial as my old Dell computer. Then, Mrs. TBF and I are going to go out and...BUY ANOTHER ONE!!!!
You read that correctly...we're going to buy another Jura machine. The coffee is just so good that we can't imagine not having it every morning. We heard recently that the new machine costs even more money. We don't care. WE MUST HAVE COFFEE MADE BY THE JURA MACHINE!!! I guess Jura coffee is our heroin. You'll have to excuse me now while I go give la bella machina a kick...and then make myself a cup of coffee. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!! SWISS QUALITY RULES!!!

Forever yours,

The Big Finn


Expat Traveler said...

Well I sit here after having an adventurous day myself here in BC to find your funny speal on what I thought would be another attempt to send the darn thing to get repaired. I'm hoping for the best! Either way, I'm jealous because I haven't found anything across the atlantic that I liked. Maybe some angel will just drop one coffee maker like that for us as a wedding present. Wishful thinking at least. Haha...

cncz said...

I have a Jura machine at work. I LOVE it, you can put the crappiest coffee beans in it and the coffee still tastes good. When one of my boss' friends brings some of that fresh picked from the colombian rain forest whatever coffee, it is even better.

Our Service Light is always on at work (presser service)...I just turn it off and turn it back on. Love it.

Short version: no matter how crappy the machine is, the coffee is in fact too good to pass up, you are so right. Maybe your machine is just a lemon?

CanadianSwiss said...

I've had 2 Jura coffe machines in the past 10 years or so - the first one is still at my Ex's and working perfectly - and we never had many problems/extra costs. But I agree that this machine makes an excellent coffe!