The Baratza Blog

HOME

Bill Blinn

May 10th, 2012 By admin | Comments: no responses

In addition to being a technology writer, I sometimes consult with clients on marketing and communications. Today I had an experience that I sincerely hope no other firm ever emulates because it would mean that my input is no longer needed. To be truthful, I wish that every company I’ve ever dealt with as a consumer or an adviser would take this approach.

Here’s the back story: Several months ago, I bought a coffee grinder that I use at the office. This morning I decided to clean it but when I took it apart I discovered that one of the parts had broken. The manual that came with the grinder provided an e-mail address for support.
Time: About 6:10 am. I wrote:
Good morning,
I purchased one of your Maestro grinders about 6 or 8 months ago. When it was empty today, I decided to disassemble it and clean it. The plastic piece that encircles the ring burr is cracked into two pieces and, from the looks of the surfaces of the breaks, it appears to have been broken for a long time. What do I need to do to obtain a replacement part?

The company (baratza.com) is in Bellevue, Washington. At 12:15 my time (or 9:15 in Washington), Pierce Jens replied:
Hi Bill,
What is a good mailing address? Your grinder is young enough, I would like to send you the part for free.
Pierce Jens
Baratza Support
3923 120th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Ph 425-641-1245

I replied with my mailing address and 6 minutes later (SIX MINUTES LATER!), I received a reply:
En route today. Let me know if you have any further questions or issues.
Pierce Jens
Baratza Support
3923 120th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Ph 425-641-1245

The coffee grinder isn’t a high-priced unit. As I recall, I paid about $100 for it. It would have been more cost effective (or apparently so) to just ignore my request or to tell me that a replacement part would cost $25 plus a $15 shipping fee. But the company clearly stands by its products and is sending the replacement part I need without request for proof of purchase (which I could easily have provided).

It’s a mystery to me why more companies don’t operate this way and the only conclusion I have been able to reach is that most companies are run by short-sighted fools. Fortunately, Baratza’s owners have empowered its employees to do the right thing.

What a novel concept!