Customer Service in France

I have seen many complaints over the years (and have had a few myself) about customer service. Granted, I’ve had plenty of problems in the U.S., but France hasn’t really been known for “the customer is always right.”

I wrote about buying a new coffeemaker at Darty last month and the problems I had with it. What I didn’t say was that it was a Nespresso machine. Now, I don’t really drink, I don’t go out to dinner much but I have one weakness, and that is my love for coffee. When we first moved here I didn’t want to get someting like a Nespresso, because I was always a maniac for buying the best beans I could, grinding them fresh, making each cup as perfectly as I could, finding the “right” machine, etc.  However, when we bought all of our appliances at Conforama, they threw a Nespresso machine in for free.

I made a lot of coffee with that machine and decided to replace it with one that was a bit more sophisticated and automatically made Lattés and Capucchinos. The particular model that I bought has a separate milk reservoir and a separate milk/hot water pump. You can keep the milk reservoir in the fridge and just attach it to the machine to make your drink. It’s very cool and gadgety!

This morning, it made my first cup, although I had the impression that there was less milk in the latté than usual. When I made my “second breakfast” as all good Hobbits do, nada. No milk came out of the reservoir. I tried cleaning it, but still nothing, so I called Nespresso and a very nice young woman said to take the various bits off the top of the reservoir, soak them and try again using only water in the reservoir. I did all that and not only was there no water coming out, but there were lots of flashing lights, which over the years I’ve learned is a bad sign.

I called again and got a pleasant young man. He walked me through various test procedures and we soon realized that the problem was not the milk reservoir as we had first thought, but was the machine itself!

“Damn!” I thought; “I’m going to have to drive to Darty in Carcassonne and it’s really, really hot today.” But NO! They have a whole system set up! Someone will come tomorrow morning to take my machne and LEAVE ME A REPLACEMENT; they will then send my machine to their specialized repair facility somewhere near Paris and it will be returned to me NEXT FRIDAY! I have been told I do not have to pack it into the original box, as they have a special box that they will send. When I said I could still use my old machine and they didn’t need to send me a replacement, they told me it was more complicated, but that I didn’t have to use the replacement machine if I didn’t want to.

The repairs will be guaranteed for 6 months; although since I have a manufacturer’s guarantee that is good for a year, it’s not really a problem.

I have to say I’m seriously impressed. When my dishwasher blew its motor and I had to wait for warranty service on that, it took over a month all together.

Bravo, Nespresso!

Ciao for now.


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