Baratza – customer service that is in a league of its own.
Not long after they came out with the Vario I was lucky enough to get one. It was better than I had expected right from the start. The coffee that came out of it was on par with my Super Jolly, which is an expensive commercial grinder (although I found it used for very little).
Now about 3 years later I found that it was not working quite the way I wanted - the grind had become inconsistent and unpredictable. I called their number and asked them about getting it fixed. Instead of going with some stop gap measure they offered that if I would send it back they would send me a refurbished machine for free. Now the important point here to me is that this machine was not under warranty and had not been under warranty for a very long time – well more than a year, probably two. They did not care. They sent me a replacement for free.
The replacement looked great and worked well, but when loaded with beans had an odd sound that was not there when you ran it without beans in it. It ground coffee exactly the way one would expect from a Vario – producing excellent shots of espresso. The sound went from rare to fairly common to constant and then the grinder stopped. This was, of course, a grinder that I had been given for free so I called them up in hopes that if I paid for postage both ways they would agree to fix it or send me a replacement. They would not hear of it. It was not, however, that they would not replace it, it was just that they would not let me pay postage either way so I am now expecting a replacement at no cost to me. Again what amazes me is that they are taking on considerable expense to keep a customer happy who has no right to expect anything for free and who has made that quite clear to them. They are not giving in to get a disgruntled customer off their backs. Insteasd they are being proactive to make a happy customer happier.
I wish more companies had this type of customer service, but they are in a small club if not alone in the world of elite customer service. Can you imagine living in a world where this kind of service was the standard? I can’t.