My husband is a coffee connoisseur. I mean...LOVES his coffee. Before we bought our next drip coffee machine we were determined to buy the best (that we could afford, of course). We researched the various machines extensively, and read several glowing reviews about the Starbuck's Aroma machine. I was a little hesitant about spending $150 on a coffee machine, but if it truly makes good coffee, I believe it's worth it.
As a surprise for my husband I bought the machine one day. When I purchased the machine, I asked the salesperson, if I don't like the machine, can I return it. He assured me it would be no problem. The Starbucks website also said that I could return it with no problem.
My husband was thrilled to receive the coffeemaker. He followed the seasoning instructions exactly. For two weeks he tried to get a good cup of coffee out of it -- he tried buying ground beans (from Starbucks), grinding them himself, trying different types of coffee beans. Nothing worked. Finally, after two weeks, we broke down and agreed that it just wasn't worth $150. My husband was heart broken to say the least. I thoroughly cleaned the coffee maker and boxed it back up with all the original packaging.
When we arrived at the store (the same one I bought it from), the salesman asked us what was wrong. We said it just didn't work for us and that we just didn't like the coffee. The salesman then informed us that because we had used the machine, we would not be able to return it and that we would have to pay to have it shipped off and repaired under the warranty. When we told him that was unacceptable and we wanted our money back, he told us that we would have to wait 10 minutes until his manager came in at 2:30.
So, we sat and waited. When the manager came in, the salesman and she went to the back as he explained our situation. The manager came out to the front, did not speak to us and proceeded to walk across the street to the Taco Cabana to buy her lunch. She came back with a soda and walked up and explained to us again, that because we had used the machine, we would not be allowed to return it. We told her that was unacceptable and that we wanted to return the machine. The manager then told us that she would have to try the machine for herself "to make sure it worked."
She pulled the machine out of the box, took it from it's wrapping, and walked around the store looking for filters and beans, etc. As the coffee was brewing, she walked across the street again to Taco Cabana to go and pick up her lunch and walked back. She served several other customers (despite the fact that any of the three other employees in the restaurant could have helped them) while my husband and I sat there and waited.
When she was finally finished doing other things, she came back to the coffee machine, tasted the coffee and then yelled at us from across the store that we had not seasoned the machine properly. I yelled back across the store that we seasoned it exactly according to the directions. Her response?? "Yeah, well you have to season it more than the directions tell you to."
At this point I really was starting to get upset. I raised my voice again and told her that irregardless if the machine made liquid gold, I wanted to return the machine and I wanted my money back. She screamed at me from the other side of the store "Don't yell at me, I don't make enough money to put up with that."
She finally agreed to refund my money. (It had now been 30 minutes since she arrived in the store and we tried to get a refund from her). I asked her about the posted policy return that was at the cash register that indicated that if for any reason we were not happy with a Starbucks product that we could return it with a receipt within 90 for a full refund. She said there was a different policy when it came to the machines. When I asked her if her posted policy was different than the written policy, she snapped at me and said..."Look, this policy (while pointing to the posted return policy at the register) is only good for mugs and cups and stuff like that. It doesn't apply to the machines, Ok!"
Needless to say, I am livid about the whole experience. I have never been placed on "criminal trial" like that before when trying to return anything. It was humiliating for her to sit there and yell at us, while everyone in the store looked on. It was unacceptable that she ran across the street to get her lunch, while my husband and I sat and waited. It was ridiculous that she pulled the machine out to taste the coffee for herself.