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This company offers sales and service of home and commercial coffee and espresso machines.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Seattle Coffee Gear meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
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Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Seattle Coffee Gear include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 10 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||8|
|Total Closed Complaints||10|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Victor Gehlen, President
Coffee Brewing Devices Coffee & Tea
Alternate Business NamesGehlen Williams Co
6911 216th St SW Ste A
Lynnwood, WA 98036 (866) 372-4734 (206) 744-3164 Directions
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (866) 372-4734(Phone)
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: PURCHASED AN EXPRESSO MACHINE. ALTHOUGH I WAS NOT AWARE THAT UNIT WAS REFURBISHED AT TIME OF PURCHASE, THAT IS NOT RELEVANT FOR THIS COMPLAINT. WHEN OUR UNIT BROKE, WE CONTACTED MERCHANT FOR REPAIR BUT WAS DENIED AND MERCHANT CLAIMS ON THEIR SITE & EXCUSE THAT ITEM IS COVERED UNDER MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY. HOWEVER UPON CALLING MANUFACTUER, SUCH STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE, AS MANUFACTURERS WARRANTLY IS VALID FOR 6 MONTHS FROM INITIAL PURCHASER OF SUCH UNIT, NOT WHEN MERCHANT RESELLS REFURBISHED UNIT TO A NEW PURCHASER
Desired Settlement: REPAIR UNIT REPLACE UNIT OR REFUND
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: This is an automatic coffee machine that stopped working and upon calling the company a customer service representative gave instructions over the phone trying to fix the problem. The instructions did not resolve the problem . i requested to send the machine to be fixed but the representative insisted that the what causing the malfunction is not covered under the warranty and I have to pay $100 to fix it. I send an e-mail complaining about company apparently not honoring their warranty and received a reply that they would cut down the amount to $ 50. I don't believe that I should pay anything because the malfunction is definitely not due to abuse or negligence. The machine was well maintained by me and the company should honor their warranty.
Desired Settlement: The company should honor their Warranty or make it clear to their customers when they buy these expensive machines that they are on their own and the only technical help is on the phone, then I am sure no one is going to buy these automatic machines.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/10/09) */ Hi, I'm so sorry that you have had a frustrating experience with your Odea Giro Plus! We strive to provide very helpful troubleshooting over phone and email, so that we can get your machine up and running for you. I'm glad to hear that we were able to provide troubleshooting to determine the cause of the the issue that you were finding with your machine. It sounds like your machine has a grinder clog. Since they come into contact with food materials and water, they will need maintenance and special considerations such as choosing the right materials, fine tuning, or even repair. A superautomatic machine like yours has a grinder built into the machine to grind and then brew espresso. This grinder uses burrs that are very close together to achieve a fine grind consistency so that you receive the right flavor from your beans. Because of this, this space can pretty easily develop clogging if the incorrect type of beans are used within the machine. This is why we call out so frequently that superautomatics need a dry bean, which typically can be found from a medium roast. A dark roast or oily bean will deposit these oils from the surface of the bean onto the burr surface as a residue that builds up over time. The oils from a darker roast can also bind the grounds together, so that they do not flow through the chute, and instead turn into a blockage that mimics concrete, stopping any grounds from properly being brewed. It will vary from machine to machine as to how long the machine can continue to grind before the residue impedes it, or before a clog develops. In the same respect as choosing the right kind of beans for your machine, it is important to find the right grind setting. Every machine will be slightly different or unique, much like every bag of beans or blend will be slightly different, and therefore require you to potentially change your grind setting. A coarser setting, for example, will allow the water to flow through the grounds at a faster rate to produce your coffee. A finer setting will slow down the water flow and will take a bit longer to brew. The important thing is to find the right grind setting for the beans that you are using to find the right consistency to your espresso. However, it's additionally important to pay attention to how the machine is behaving, and if you are experiencing a change in how your coffee is coming out, or the spent grounds in your dump box. While I cannot pretend to know the exact cause to the clog in your machine, both the grind setting and the type of beans could have been contributing to the clog developing. It sounds like we were able to determine that it is due to a clog. There are certainly steps that you can take to try to clear this on your own, which we walked you through. If (as it sounds) you are not able to clear the clog, unfortunately you would need to send the machine in for a grinder cleaning. At that point, you would need to send it to us, we can take it apart to provide a thorough, professional cleaning, and then we can send it back to you. As you have described, a grinder clog is not covered by warranty. Our warranty provides (just like many other manufacturers' warranties) that we will cover issues related to a component failure, but does not cover a maintenance related cause: "Warranty troubleshooting and repair does not apply to ... regular maintenance..." Unfortunately, the grinder has not failed in this case, but it may not have been fine tuned to the right setting of your beans, or if you were using an oily bean, too much residue may have built up. I understand that it is very frustrating that you have to send your machine in for repair. We have already discussed the details with you as far as shipping it to us, we can then repair it, and send it back to you. The cost for the repair is $100 for a grinder cleaning and brew unit service (since sometimes the brew unit can also be clogged due to too fine of a grind setting or the oils from an oily bean). This includes labor necessary to thoroughly clean all of the grinder and brew unit components, and materials such as backflush detergent, brushes, and other tools. In an effort to help you in this, as we understand that it is frustrating that it could not be remedied with our troubleshooting, and you have been using your machine for 5 months now, we have offered to provide you with a reduced rate for this service. As part of this, we have offered to split the cost of the repair, and additionally cover the return shipping to send the machine back to you. This is certainly a savings, and I hope that you will take us up on it! You would be responsible for shipping it into us and half of the repair cost for $50. We will cover the other half of the repair costs and the return shipping to get the machine back to you. This is outside of our warranty policy, and is in an effort to assist you so that you can continue using your machine. Again, I'm sorry that your machine has a grinder clog. While this is not covered by warranty, since it is due to maintenance of the machine, we are attempting to share this cost with you. I would like to set up a repair order for you so that we can take care of this issue for you. Please give us a call or email us if you would like to proceed with this offer and we can send you information for sending your machine in for repair. I would like to encourage you to send it in, and we can be sure to get your machine returned to you happy and healthy so that you can resume enjoying it! Kind regards, ******* Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/10/15) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) The very long answer is just a smoke screen and does shows that it is a company with too many hollow words and very little action. I do not agree to split the cost. After following all their instructions the machine did not work. The company should fix it with no charge since it is under warranty and proves they care about customers. Hollow statements will not do. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2014/10/31) */ Hi, I apologize that my description and explanation of the cause to your clog was not helpful. I was merely trying to explain how the clog happened, as this is not always clear. However unfortunate, a clog within your grinder is not something that is covered by our warranty, and is due to maintenance and proper use of the machine. Although we did troubleshooting, we also tried to provide help over the phone to clear the clog if at all possible. I'm sorry that we were unable to clear the clog over the phone. Considering that this is not something covered by the warranty, we offered to share the costs involved with sending the machine in for repair. I understand that you do not want to proceed with this option, another suggestion that I would have would be to contact a closer ***** repair center. This will reduce costs by eliminating shipping. Unfortunately the cost for the repair would be your responsibility. If you decide to take it to a different ***** repair center, please keep in mind that your warranty and warranty length will be the same. We can still provide warranty support by phone and email, and should it need to come in for repair for a warranty related issue, we will certainly cover that as per our policy and before your warranty expires. I am sorry that this is a frustrating experience, and we certainly support warranty issues should they occur. In this case, although the issue is not covered by the warranty, we have provided you with a suggestion to help the machine get the repair that it needs. Again, I am happy to set up a repair order for you and make notes about the offer that we have extended to you. If you choose to take it to a closer repair center, I can understand that too. I hope you are able to resume enjoying your machine soon! Kind regards, *******
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: Their customer service recovery procedures need to be totally revamped as does their machine refurbishment process. Whether due to negligence or indifference, the individual responsible for quality assurance of their refurbished machines decided it wise to knowingly place a broken drip tray attachment inside the grounds receptacle of the machine, reseal the machine, and ship it to the customer. Upon receiving the machine midweek, Seattle Coffee Gear was unwilling to promise the delivery of a replacement machine by the end of the week, claiming that it was akin to delivering a second free machine due to shipping costs. Management seriously needs to reconsider whether saving relatively small shipping fees is worth refusing to salvage a potential lifelong relationship with a customer. I'm sure there is a chance you will receive a perfectly serviceable machine from them; however, beware of anything goes awry with the machine as there should be no confidence in their customer service recovery.
Desired Settlement: The receipt of a fully-functioning machine sent at the maximum shipping speed available to all customers.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/10/30) */ Hi, I'm so sorry that you are disappointed in our service! I understand that the machine arrived with a broken drip tray support. Unfortunately, this is a fairly weak point on the machine, and if the machine receives some shipping damage, or is jarred during shipping, it is a point that could receive damage. I'm sorry that this piece arrived damaged to you. We would absolutely not package a machine with this piece broken, and for the last 6 months, have even put special packaging in place for this body style to aide in the prevention of this piece arriving damaged. This modification to our packaging has been monumental to assisting these types of machines through shipping so that much less arrive with damage. I sympathize that this was not the case here, and that it still arrived damaged. Because our refurbish team is so aware of this issue, we cannot package and ship a machine if it has this part broken (or any other part for that matter). If it was broken at any point in the refurbish process, we would have repaired this piece. My only assumption is that the shipping company (*****) heard this piece break or loose in the package, and opened the box to secure it. I sincerely apologize that this has happened in any case, and I see that we offered to swap the machine for you so that we could get a replacement machine to you. Initially, it looks like you wanted to take this option, but after you dropped the machine off at ***** so that we could then send out a replacement to you, we discussed how quickly we could get the machine to you. I'm sorry that this was a disappointing encounter. With your original purchase, the shipping method that was selected was our free shipping, which gives an estimate of 5-9 business days. Our standard policy to send out the replacement a machine (in these rare circumstances where it's necessary) is to match the original shipping method that was chosen. For example, if someone paid for 3-Day expedited shipping, then the replacement machine would be shipped with this same expedited method. In our effort to ship the machine a bit quicker, we typically choose (in the case of Free Shipping only) to upgrade the shipping option to Ground, which is 3-5 business days, thereby cutting out the processing time so that the machine arrives a bit quicker. In this particular case, since we have no way to tell if ***** was trying to obscure the shipping damage, we offered to expedite the shipping a step further, to 3-Day guaranteed. This would have allowed the machine to still arrive to you within your original estimated shipping timeframe, something that we are almost never able to accomplish. I'm sorry that this was not quick enough for your expectations. We make every effort available to meet our customers' expectations. However, there are limitations that we have to consider, and I'm sorry that our offer to expedite did not meet your needs. There are a variety of ways that we offer as supportive of services as possible, from troubleshooting to repair, as well as helping to resolve issues should something happen with your order during shipping. I'm sorry that you decided not to receive a replacement machine, because I truly believe that with all of the support that we are able to provide, it would have made your experience in ordering from us more positive! The option was chosen to simply receive a refund on your order, I see that we have since received your machine in our warehouse and have processed that refund on our end. You should see that reflected on your credit card within the next few days. While I understand that this experience was not as you would have liked, we did try to resolve this for you by offering to expedite your shipping faster than we would in normal circumstances. We aim to provide great customer service and, when we simply cannot meet customer expectations, a complete refund. The refund has been issued and should appear on your statement shortly, if it hasn't already. Once again, I sincerely apologize that this was a frustrating experience for you. Kind regards, *******
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: In early August of 2013 I ordered a refurbished Talea Touch Plus superautomatic espresso machine. I had spoken with customer service reps about how relieable a refurbished machine is as I live across the country in Maine. The told me they are all checked and held to hgiht standards and I could buy with confidence. In December of 2013 the machine began leaking water all over our counter. I called and they tried to walk me through some assessemnt steps at home but ultimately needed to send it in. On December 10th I paid $50 to send it to the repair department of SGC. I never heard a thing until I called around the 28th or so. They told me (in a very unhlepful manner) that they machine was still waiting on a part. I mentioned that it would have been nice to at least know it go there OK and what was going on with it. This is a machine I use for lattes so not only did I wast expensive beans trying the diagnostics, pay for shipping back to the company but also am buying expensive lattes while I wait (which was the whole reaon I got the machine was to avoid having to buy lattes at coffee shops!) At this point I got frustrated and asked a cust. service associate about what would happen if it still didn't work. She was short and really had no sympathy for the situation or my concerns. I spoke with a manager who told me if there was anything still wrong when I got it back they would provide shipping to send it back. The machine finally arrived back at our home on Friday 1/10. When I opened the packaging the next day, it was missing the end of the steam wand. I called SGC and they checked only to find the wand on the bench of the mechanic who fixed it. They sent it 2 day mail and it was there quickly. I tried the machine and now the beans are being ground but the machine is telling me that there are no beans and dropping the grounds in the box without tamping them first. I have tried turning the machine on and off and it is still doing it. I called customer service and asked immediatly to speak to a manager as I am beyond frustrated now and she connected me with *** (the only empatheetic employee I have spoken with yet!) Who told me he understood my frustration but had little power in they way of refund or replacement. He told me he would email me a shipping label (WHICH I HAVE NOT RECIEVED YET) and that I can send it in. I told him I really don't want this machine at this pioint as it is costing me a lot of money in wasted beans, shipping and materials and spending 5$ a whack on lattes since I can not make them at home or buy a new machine. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE customer service!
Desired Settlement: I would like to be able to return this machine that is clearly not functioning properly on many different levels.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/01/28) */ Hi, I'm so sorry that you have had a frustrating experience with your Talea Touch!Â We strive to provide very helpful troubleshooting over phone and email, so that we can get your machine up and running for you.Â These machines have been very reliable, hard working machines that last for years.Â However, they are machines, and will need a bit of fine tuning, or even repair. Since you haven't had your machine for long, it is under our warranty.Â Our warranty process (just like many other manufacturers' warranty processes), is for you to send it into our repair center, and we then cover the parts, labor, and return shipping to you.Â Essentially, this not only takes care of the cost of the repair, but we split the shipping cost with you so you are only responsible for one direction. I'm very glad that you sent in your machine for repair.Â Our normal process is to let you know when the machine arrives and after we have checked it into our system.Â I'm sorry that this process was not followed, but we did check it into our system and allocated the part necessary for the repair to the order.Â Since we were out of stock on this part, you should have received a notification of the expected date for the part, and I apologize that this was not sent to you.Â Depending on how many machines we have to repair, our typical repair time can be anywhere from one to three weeks. During the holidays, we have a slightly longer turnaround as people try to have their machines repaired in time for get-togethers. The issue that your machine was encountering is unfortunately not something that could have been fixed over the phone or at home. Â Sometimes a component can fail on the machine that could not beÂ foreseen. ThisÂ doesn't mean that the machine is problematic, but it is certainly why we include a warranty. Â This is protection for you, so that you can get your machine working properly should something happen soon after your purchase. While your machine was here, we corrected this issue, tested, and cleaned your machine before arranging for it to be shipped back to you.Â Unfortunately, when it was packed up for shipping, the panarello was accidentally left out of the box.Â When you called to report that it was missing, we located it and sent it out to you as quickly as we could. I understand that your machine was having a problem when you received it back from repair.Â When you called in, we misunderstood that the machine was encountering the same issue and we put you in touch with our repair manager.Â Unfortunately, not much clarification was gained about the problem that you were having, so we set up a repair for the machine to come in again.Â I'm sorry that we did not follow up on the label or get the correct information in the first place. You and I have spoken since then, as the description that you provided in this case gave me the information I needed to determine that some over the phone troubleshooting would take care of the issue.Â When our tech repaired the machine, he used our beans to test the machine and ensured that it was working properly.Â This means that he may have made a slight adjustment to the grinder's setting to make sure that it would brew properly.Â He likely did not remember what the grind setting was originally at, so after cleaning the machine, it was not set to grind properly for your beans. Â Every blend of coffee will need a slightly different setting and over time you may find that you need to adjust the grind setting. Â With your helpful information, and by talking you through a slight adjustment to your grinder, the machine began working properly for you.Â As I discussed with you, sometimes it is a slight adjustment that will get your machine working over the phone so that you can begin enjoying your machine again! I very much understand the frustration that you have felt with your espresso machine and your desire to have it operating properly.Â Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions about your machine or its operation.Â We do try to work things out by troubleshooting over the phone, in an effort to avoid needing to send your machine in for an unnecessary repair.Â I'm sorry that we dropped the ball in our notification of your machine's repair status, but am glad that it was repaired properly for you.Â It is our goal to be as helpful and supportive as we can and I can see that, in this case, we have some room to grow. Â I very much appreciate your notes in this respect, as we are always working to provide the best service that we can. Â I'm glad that it is now working and you are enjoying coffee again! Kind regards, *******
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: We purchased a Saeco Incanto Deluxe Espresso Machine - Certified Refurbished machine from SCGs web site. Order XXXXXXXXX. It arrived, we unpackaged it, followed the instructions for first time use and immediately ran into a problem with the '"Ventilation'" sticking. It would pour the hot water and indicate the button could be turned back clockwise and would be ready. We did that '- repeatedly '- and every time it went right back to '"ventilation'" and wouldn''t let us go forward. I checked the operator''s guide -- no help for the ventilation issue. Went online and found that a *bunch* of other customers had this issue -- there are forums dedicated to the problems with this machine. I took their advice and reset to factory settings. Which seemed to at least temporarily fix the problem. So right out of the box '-there were problems. I pushed the button for coffee, the grinder began buzzing, then stopped. Grinder Blocked message came on. No help for that '--- the instructions indicated that we need a service call which we are NOT DOING and definitely not paying for. This company is located in Washington, we're in Illinois. We haven''t even used the machine yet and it''s this broken? In addition, we lost 1/2 a pound of espresso beans emptying it so we could try to clear the hopper. Clearing the hopper, by the way, didn'''t work either. We asked SCG for a return authorization, instead they called to talk to us about it, leaving us a voice mail. We wrote the next business day and again asked for a return authorization. They indicated they would authorize the return, but we HAD TO PAY RETURN SHIPPING. This is a heavy, heavy machine that *never* worked -- we're already disappointed and now we have to pay return shipping?
Desired Settlement: We want to return this item and have SCG give a full refund -- our entire amount paid for this unit that never worked -- *and* we think it would be good customer service to pay for return shipping for an item that never worked. They ship via UPS, they can prepare a return UPS label -- AT THEIR EXPENSE -- and send it to us PDF so we can adhere the label to the box.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 6, 2013/09/11) */ Hi, I'm so sorry that you have had a frustrating experience with your Incanto! We strive to provide very helpful troubleshooting over phone and email, so that we can get your machine up and running for you. These machines have been very reliable, hard working machines that last for years. However, they are machines, and will need a bit of fine tuning, especially when they first arrive home to you! Sometimes, it is easiest to explain or walk you through something over the phone. As I have previously communicated with you, the Ventilate message is very common. This is an indication that the boiler has been properly drained (preventing shipping damage), and the machine needs to be primed. Priming is a standard procedure that should be done with any espresso machine when it first arrives at its new home, so it will pull water through all of the water pathways and fill the boiler properly. Sometimes, the machine will sense that it does not have the proper water flow. This is often an indication that there is an air bubble within the line that needs to be cleared. It can take up to 3 or 4 tanks of water for the bubble to clear out of the line, so I'm glad that you were able to clear that message, either through resetting or by running enough water through. The grinder block message that you received is a concern. I'm not sure how many brew cycles you were able to get through the machine. This message indicates that there is something in the grinder that it is not able to grind, such as a rock or a screw. There could be a couple of causes for this. Based off of the information you provided, and because you stated that it seemed to happen right away when the machine tried to grind/brew, I am looking forward to getting this machine back so that we can examine what happened here. While we generally try to troubleshoot to get the machine up and running, or exchange for a replacement, I understand that you are not looking to receive the machine back, or swap to a replacement machine, and would just like to return it for a refund. We have already created a return authorization for you and sent over an email with instructions on how to pack up the machine. Additionally, since I am very interested in determining what caused this grinder message and because it happened right away, I have sent over a label so that we can get the machine back here. It looks like you have received this label from UPS, as the machine appears to be on its way to us, according to the tracking information. Once we have the machine here, we will inspect it and then provide a credit back to your card. In the future, if you are interested in checking out different espresso machines, we would be happy to help with any questions you may have. Once again, I truly apologize for the frustrating experience you've had. We pride ourselves on providing quality products to our customers, but recognize that sometimes issues do arise. We will be refunding you as soon as we are able to receive and look at the machine, so I would like to encourage you to let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. Kind regards, ******* Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 12, 2013/10/04) */ (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.) Final Business Response /* (4000, 10, 2013/10/03) */ Hi, I apologize that this has been a frustrating experience. After sending a UPS label (so the machine could return to us at no charge), we did receive your machine and then processed your credit within 2 business days. At that time, on September 17th, we emailed to let you know that we had processed your full credit back onto your card. As promised, we did not deduct any fees and the refund was for the full amount that was originally paid. On our end, the credit was completed on the 17th. Unfortunately, not all banks process credits back to accounts in a timely manner, though credits will usually be reflected on your account within 10 business days. While I can certainly understand that this can be quite frustrating, please understand that this processing time by your bank is based on their policy, not ours, and takes time. You should now have that credit reflected on your account. Please let us know right away if this is not the case and we would be happy to provide the transaction ID so that your credit card company can ensure the credit is properly applied to your account. Again, I apologize for the frustrating experience that you had with the machine. We received your machine and processed the credit as quickly as we could. I know that the bank's delay in processing the credit on their end can be trying, but I appreciate your patience and am more than happy to provide any information your bank might need if the credit has not yet shown up on your account. Kind regards, *******
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|3/28/2013||Problems with Product/Service|
|10/31/2012||Problems with Product/Service|
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|9/3/2012||Problems with Product/Service|