Good looks mask a feeble spec, poor design, dreadful quality and bad customer service - Do not be tempted.
Positive Product Points
Stylish cubic design and stainless steel skin look great. It is cheap.
Negative Product Points
Cheap - and nasty. The beauty is only skin deep. Good looks mask a wimp of a machine within. Basic design faults and poor quality mean it will soon break down - then you can stop drinking coffee for a few weeks while they repair it. Rinse and repeat.
My wife liked the look of this and thought she could rely on the Gaggia name. She bought it me for Christmas. 1) I noticed the poor performance: the 750 Watt heater is so under powered it is impossible to make a cup of hot coffee without resorting to extreme pre heating: I finally learned to pre heat the cups and milk jug with boiling water from a kettle. Making more than 2 cups takes ages as the machine takes so long to re heat. 2) The water tank is very difficult to remove if you wish to clean or empty it. 3) The poorly aligned buttons started to catch behind the metal facia. 4) The steam button soon failed - it would not stay pressed down - I learned to use a cocktail stick to jam it in. 5) The pump button failed. I sent it back for repair. Gaggia customer service was very poor - disbelieving phone operators and no communication after the machine was sent away. A few weeks later the machine turned up - poorly packaged, but "fixed". 6) The steam button failed for a second time. They had seemingly replaced the buttons with identical ones knowing they were faulty. It went away for repair again. 7) It arrived back again poorly wrapped, but this time, suprise suprise, it was damaged in transit. 8) I rang up to complain and a recording sent me to an answering machine. They have not bothered to return my call.
Like an old east European car, bad design and poor quality means it has seemingly spent more time in the garage than on the road. All very sad. We trusted the Gaggia name, but in reality it counts for nothing. I am one angry customer. Other reviewers have had remarkably similar experiences. My advice is steer well clear.
House of Fraser were a totally waste of time. Faulty products are nothing to do with them, I was told - they did not even offer sympathy. When I took my faulty machine back to the shop they sent me back home with Gaggia's phone number. You'd be just as well off buying it from a dodgy bloke in the pub. Gaggia UK customer service was useless. When dealing with them my advice is to be bloody minded and take on a siege mentality from the start. It seems to be the only thing they understand.