Tassimo miracle? IT ARRIVED

31 Oct

Friday was a very long day for me.  We had to drive to New Orleans for an appointment with a surgeon, and the twin spans weren’t even moving.  We ended up turning around, leaving the interstate, and using Highway 90 to get into the city.  I have no idea what the problem was, but after 45 minutes of not moving more than a car length, it was determined that we might not make it on time, despite leaving several hours early just-in-case.  My big plans of going to the appointment, leaving, stopping at Sam’s Club and a few other stores to pick up last minute items for the baby shower and campfire cookery demonstration were falling by the wayside fast, and not enhanced one iota with the fact that I needed to bake the desserts last night.  I bought a cake from Sam’s Club-chocolate bundt.  They are always very good, dense, and moist.  Today, however, they were overshadowed by THE most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever tasted, as well as the first time I liked frosting that I hadn’t made myself!  (Try www.frostingshop.com to see who made them.)

We didn’t get home until around 7 pm, and there were still unmade cheesecakes for dessert to handle.  I’m quick, and I had already laid a game plan in place to reduce the time investment–we did the cheesecakes in premade crusts rather than the springform pans.  The really big surprise was the box waiting for me, which soon proved to be from Tassimo.

I didn’t have time to deal with it last night, or all day today either, as the baby shower was my primary focus.  I was a bit amazed to see it was waiting for me on Friday evening, since I was anticipating a potential email giving me a tracking number on Monday.  No one at Tassimo seemed aware that this machine had been shipped either.  One curious missing item from the box was the cleaning disk.  It appeared to be the standard shipping of a new Tassimo, and included the filter, manuals, etc. but no cleaning disk, which is required to start using the machine according to the directions that came with the machine.  When I received my cleaning disks, they did not have anything familiar about them, as if I had never seen one before.  Therefore, I’m wondering if they are normally omitted from the standard retail package.  That might explain why I didn’t have one…if it wasn’t included the first time either.

The machine requires about an hour to set up to brew the first time, and it is noisier than I remembered it being.  That might well be because of now being in a travel trailer rather than a traditional wood framed home.  Lots of things SOUND noisier in here because of the smaller space and less sound deadening by the walls.

I brewed myself a Jacobs Latte Macchiato and a Kenya Carte Noire for GM.  I’d not had any Jacobs t-disks before, and I must admit, I prefer Maxwell House over Jacobs at least in this instance.

I found it amusing that the letter from Tassimo inside the box threatens me with being billed if they do not receive the old machine back within 10 days.  Does that mean I can bill them since I didn’t receive the replacement in a timely manner?

All in all, I’m glad to have the replacement, surprised it arrived on Friday, and still have  a bad taste in my mouth from the entire Tassimo customer service experience.  I would still recommend Keurig over Tassimo on that count alone.  I also  have little faith that this replacement machine will live longer than a couple of boxes of t-disks, even though I use bottled filtered water exclusively in the machine.  (I did in the previous machine as well–I prefer the lack of flavor from the bottled filtered water.)  I doubt I would go through the hassle again of obtaining a replacement.  It cost me more in aggravation than buying a Keurig to replace it would.  Having read the reviews of many people who have had even worse experiences with their Tassimo machine than I have, its actually probable that this new replacement will be dying a slow death around the new year, as a 90 day lifetime does not appear to be particularly uncommon.

I guess I’ll have a Tassimo day around the end of each month, celebrating its short anticipated lifetime.  In the meantime, I can enjoy excellent coffee at about $2 + aggravation per cup, since each time I touch the machine, I’m going to remember how much aggravation it took to get it here.  I’ll stick to t-disks that are available at local Walmarts & Targets, or available through Amazon, since I know better than to ever even dream of ordering direct from Tassimo.  I will never buy them in bulk either, since the machine is unlikely to have a very long life, and gives little to no warning of impending death and won’t be replaced with another Tassimo.

So drink your coffee and smile…I can have my single cup of latte, cappuccino, regular coffee, or decaf at night without resorting to instant.  On the mornings when we are in a hurry,  I can have a cup of coffee fast, rather than waiting for our very cheap ($9.95) drip coffee maker to cycle through and dribble our coffee into the pot.  (It too gets bottled filtered water, and has been slow since its purchase about 30 days ago.)  And someday, I’ll own a Keurig, which is cheaper initially, a bit slower to brew (but still pretty fast), uses cheaper K-cups with a wider variety of coffees available, can use a My K-cup with my Folgers Black Silk or fresh ground coffee, is considered more reliable by consumer reviews, and produces only a slightly inferior cup of coffee.  My mom is actually buying the mini version of the Keurig machine, which takes up very little counter space (important in a travel trailer but her regular  kitchen is still fairly small too.)  Since she will have a few months (at least) headstart on me with her new machine, I’ll get the nitty gritty from a regular user that I personally know, rather than just faceless reports from people who may not follow up their initial review later on in their ownership of the machine.  That’s important to me too.  I want to know how well small appliances satisfy at the 3 month, six month, one year, or longer marks.  Many times, like with the Tassimo, I am initially THRILLED, only to have things go south later on and my opinion changes without me updating a review I had put somewhere earlier in the process.  I probably review as many as fifty items in a month, ranging from books to appliances to products to restaurants.  Remembering to change something means that something very unusual happened–like being furious about customer service that made no customer service almost preferable or something that has performed so far above normal expectations that you feel over the moon about its performance–like a helmet that actually saves your life during an accident.

I have actually written to companies to thank them for a superior product that performs each and every time without variation.  I believe in positive reinforcement, whether its for a child, a dog, or a company.  I made sure  to compliment a manager at a Kentucky Fried Chicken last week–that restaurant  sparkled with cleanliness, each and every employee had a smile, and every employee appeared to be genuinely concerned about their job performance.  That indicated to me that the manager was excellent and far above the norm in motivating her employees and ensuring everyone performed well.  I have NEVER been in a fast food restaurant that was better run!  (If you are ever traveling I-10 through Mississippi near the Alabama border, try KFC off of Exit 69 [Highway 63] south of the interstate on the east side of the divided highway.   Even the buffet is above the norm in quality, cleanliness, frequency of change-outs on the food, etc.)  I’m actually going to suggest we try KFC for our next group meeting for Get Ready Go, and had inquired about the feasibility of doing so with the manager.  At only $5 per person, it makes for a very inexpensive location, and this particular one can easily accommodate a group of 12-15 people, whereas we found the KFC on Highway 90 in Pascagoula (Denny Ave) to be unsuitable to have a group meet there.  Compared to the other KFC just a short distance away on Highway 63 in Moss Point, it’s a noisy dive with indifferent employees.

So when you encounter good service, good employees, good products, etc.–don’t forget to tell them so!  Encouraging quality service & products means more than just griping when it isn’t the way it should be.  It means compliments, tips, letters of appreciation, future purchases, good word-of-mouth advertising, and excellent reviews.  For every negative review and complaint, I try to make sure I have at least two of the other kind, just so I don’t become a grumbling unpleasant customer who is always unhappy.  Fortunately, I’m frequently blessed with reasons to smile, and really rarely deal with the kind of service I have received in the past from Tassimo, Microsoft, Sprint, etc.

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