The Miele CVA 6405… a Lemon?

Miele CVA 6405

Miele CVA 6405

Today, I came close to deflating the tires of the Miele service representative who was ill-equipped to repair my Miele CVA 6405. After being informed that the technician, who never gave his name (but I will refer to as Larry), would be departing without resolving my issue, I felt the immediate need to inflict harm on someone or something. The cute red VW service van with the words “Miele… White Glove Service” was the obvious target. I thought, if the tires were flattened, Larry would have no other option than to repair the machine. I chickened out.

I might mention that this is the second CVA 6405 that I have owned over the past six months. Miele replaced the first plumbed-in wall unit after the electrical brain failed. (Yes, I paid to have the unit installed twice by my contractor.) The second unit, installed in January, began to act up in early March. Miele could not schedule a technician to repair the new unit until the fourth week of March. On March 24th, a new technician, who I will call Curly*, arrived to fix the machine which was no longer heating or frothing milk. Curly, knocked on the door at 3:30 for a service window scheduled from 2:00 – 4:00. Having neither the tools nor the knowledge to repair the machine and sensing the evening traffic on Highway 580, Curly, packed up his gear and called it a day.

Feeling frustrated by the situation, I called Miele’s 800 number. March 24th was Holy Thursday, and Miele was closing for Good Friday, a holiday that I assumed related only to religious institutions. I was wrong. That brings me to beg the question, what businesses close on Good Friday in 2016? Oh, yes, the NYSE, NASDAQ, and Miele. Apparently, Jesus has a strong influence on the financial markets as well as Miele.

To contact Miele’s technical service one can only call an 800 number or send an email. The 800 number feeds calls to regional service centers. At 5:00 on Holy Thursday, I reached Moe (Chris Chavez) at Miele’s Long Beach service center. Moe was the last man standing in Long Beach and had no manager or support to assist my case. Moe assured me that Miele would assign their top person in the area to repair the machine, but I would have to wait until April 11th. April 11th would be the magical day that I would once again experience delicious coffee drinks on demand. That day has come to an end, and the machine is no closer to being fixed. Neither Larry, Curly or Moe could fix the machine. So much for the Three Stooges.

At this point, I should disclose that I work for a company that I love, Williams-Sonoma and that I sell Miele coffee machines. While the machine, WS offers differs slightly from the CVA 6405, the unit, in fact, delivers the same excellent coffee beverages. I have sold many Mieles and now wonder whether I can continue to stand behind the brand. Miele, if you are paying attention, I am building a house in Maine. I can assure you, that I will not be installing a plumbed-in Miele CVA 6405.

12 April 2016

No resolution. Rob, a representative from Miele’s customer assurance, left me a message about the “situation” and how to resolve the problem. He asked me to call him back. I did call him back… six times, but Rob could not avail himself. Perhaps Miele has too many issues and too few people to execute resolutions.

Miele has forgotten that the relationship with the customer goes beyond the purchase of one of their products. Imagine spending $2500 on a new MacBook Pro and the device kept crashing during the first three months of ownership. Apple, in my experience, stands behind their products. Moreover, Apple is accessible to the consumer. Have I ever purchased a “lemon” from Apple? Probably, but the customer support, service and overall pleasant interaction I have had with Apple’s associates continue to bring me back to the store.

At Williams-Sonoma, we have a phrase, “going home with the customer”. The customer who spends $3 on a vegetable peeler is no less important than the customer who spends $1999 on a Miele. All customers have to feel good about their purchases regardless of the cost. While I don’t follow up with the $3 customer as often as I should, I am darn sure that every guest leaves the store armed with the knowledge that the WS team is there to support their purchase.

*I forgot to mention yesterday that Curly quit after Miele spent $100,000 for his technical training in Florida.

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