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Great repair service in Los Angeles.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Great repair...  
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Chuck66
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 18
Location: Solera At Johnson Ranch
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Black & Decker (don't laugh)
Posted Mon Aug 11, 2008, 8:47am
Subject: Great repair service in Los Angeles.
 

I had a problem with my Isomac Millenium and couldn't find a repair outlet in the Phoenix area.  So I put the machine in my van and off we went to Los Angeles to Espresso Primo 5890 Blackwelder Avenue, just off La Cienega (310.839.3061).  I had spoken to the owner Ridha Benabid who said he was able to repair an Isomac.  What a fine experience this was.  Art, the service tech at Espresso Primo, cleaned the machine which had a lot of calcium in it (we have lousy water in Johnson Ranch, Arizona).  He also replaced a valve.  While my wife and I were visiting Ridha, he served us espresso and then pulled a shot on my newly repaired Isomac.  Crema like that hasn't been seen out of my Isomac for many, many months.  Ridha also gave us a pound of his freshly roasted espresso beans (the package was still hot).  While we were there, Art was repairing a very large commercial espresso machine from a well-known coffee supplier.  There were machines all over the place.  
Overall a fine experience.

Chuck Harris

http://www.espresso-la.com/
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729Zoom
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky with Doser
Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012, 3:02pm
Subject: NOT SO GREAT Re: Great repair service in Los Angeles.
 

This was the only review about Expresso Primo I had found before I took my machine here for service.  Kurt L at yelp had a different review that I didn't see prior: Click Here (www.yelp.com)  

In my case, I was also grossly overcharged for work they did not even do.

I requested descaling & REFURBISH of my Rancilio Silvia & was charged $185.00 but machine was returned with a screw missing & dirtier - old coffee grinds under lid, water tank, which was very clean prior, was now grimy - I couldn't believe it.  I refused to pay and left the machine to be redone.  When I got it back the 2nd time it was clean but, a week later when I went to froth milk for the first time, it wouldn't work.  

The owner allowed me to drive the machine back over and they found a tiny part on the knob was broken and they fixed it so the valve could be opened.  However, now the valve - even when turned as far off as possible - leaks!  The valve is EXACTLY what should have been checked and replaced as part of the refurbish that I paid for!  

For example, $186 was the charge for a refurbish of my dad's Expo Lever by Whole Latte Love and his machine was cleaned and tuned-up to "LIKE NEW" condition (true refurbish) and these parts were replaced:
New E-61 lever cam
New infusion valve
New discharge valve
New irrigation valve
New group gasket
New vacuum relief valve

I was charged the same but, other than a gasket (which is very minor and can be replaced at home in 5 minutes), no parts were replaced so I didn't get a refurbish but a descaling/tune-up.  Places like Seattle Coffee Gear charge about $95 to do this -  take apart machine, thoroughly check, descale via acid wash and replace minor parts like gaskets.  And I barely got this because pretty clear, that they didn't thoroughly check!

So I agree with Kurt on Yelp, STAY FAR AWAY!
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auxpomme
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Mar 2012
Posts: 92
Location: los angeles
Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Great repair service in Los Angeles.
 

so, what would be a good place in LA to go to? seattle coffee gear is such a drag to drive too. traffic on the 405 north can be terrible. seems like LA is more of a drinking coffee at a cafe rather than making it at home. I'm guessing it's because nobody can see you writing your screenplay while you're at home. In fact, if a screenplay isn't written at a cafe, does it make any sound?
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729Zoom
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky with Doser
Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 8:39pm
Subject: Re: Great repair service in Los Angeles.
 

I have a Rancilio Silvio espresso machine and called them direct (they have an office in Illinois) and they recommended a place in Montebello, CA so I will go there next.  It will be about an hour drive (in traffic - 28 miles from me) but there is NO WAY I would take it back to Espresso Primo even though they are less than 5 minutes from my house.  I wouldn't even go back there if it was free!   After years of no problems with the old gasket, the ONLY thing they replaced, as I had mentioned previously, has failed, too! Water leaks out over the basket every time I brew.  I honestly don't know how the hell they stay in business unless they make most of their money selling the coffee they roast there or, perhaps, they do OK with big clients, e.g. restaurants.  For anyone with a consumer espresso machine, I would call the company that made your machine and ask them if they have a place nearby or can recommend.

This is how I found the contact info for Rancilio:  
Click Here (www.ranciliogroup.com)
Rancilio Group North America, Inc.
1340 Internationale Parkway #200
Woodridge, IL 60517
U.S.A.
Ph. +1 630 427 1703
Fax +1 630 427 1713
www.ranciliogroup.com
info@rancilio-na.com

The place Rancilio recommended as their authorized service rep is:
Atech Espresso & Coffee Svc in Montabello.  
7801 Telegraph Rd # H Montebello, CA 90640
323-720-1682
Click Here (www.yellowpages.com)

My guess is that they also do other machines.  IF you go, post back about this place because it is hard to find places it seems.
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Michael_Teahan
Senior Member
Michael_Teahan
Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Vac Pot: Vintage for collecting only
Roaster: None
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 6:03pm
Subject: Re: Great repair service in Los Angeles.
 

In the interest of full disclosure, we are very familiar with the work of both A-Tech and Espresso Primo and have found them both to be highly reputable and qualified service agents.  Both work primarily with commercial machines and I think that Espresso Primo may actually have more experience with smaller machines.

I have been around this business for a while and understand that in the residential espresso machine market, there are often unclear expectations about what exactly refurbish, repair and restoration mean.  There is a lot to this story that isn't clear.

$185.00 to decalcify a machine, tearing it down and tanking the components even for a Sylvia is a bargain even if nothing else had been done.  This is not a quick fix or maintenance issue like running decalcifier through the boiler from the tank.  This is a real job.

As far as the refurbishment is concerned, it all comes down to expectations.  This Sylvia's gaskets were changed and the solenoid valve cleaned (not replaced) and the pump checked.  Replacing a steam valve would not have been included in any refurb, but to be fair, would have been checked.

The Sylvia doesn't have the same components as the E61 Lever Group and doesn't have a vacuum valve.  Quite frankly, the work necessary to rebuild the valve assemblies of the group is much less than a decalc of the boiler.  We used to do it here at the office for our warehouse machine and it took about a half an hour during lunch.

But then, we have done it a few times.

The nice thing about the E61 machines is that windex and a couple of paper towels make them all look like new.  Comparing the two service experiences based upon the work done is not appropriate.

I spoke with Ridha from Espresso Primo about this post and he is never happy when a customer has an issue.  What the poster neglects to mention is that Ridha did make every effort to make the machine right, even sent her home with coffee--and his coffee is actually really good.

Upon realizing that he not going to succeed in making her happy, refunded all of her repair bill.

Leaving this post unamended does a disservice to a good company and leaves a tarnished reputation difficult to repair online.
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729Zoom
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky with Doser
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2012, 7:09pm
Subject: Re: Great repair service in Los Angeles.
 

When making my last post I had not yet received my refund and do appreciate that I was refunded.  

With that said, I still can not recommend this repair service based on my experience.  

There ARE valves on this machine and I specifically discussed the need to replace any worn valves with the owner prior to bringing my machine in - it is all documented in e-mails.  And if there was any misunderstanding, it is because the owner didn't communicate to me that he wouldn't replace worn parts including valves, as I was expecting as part of a refurbish.  I was definitely not asking for just a descaling when I called for an estimate.  When the machine was first returned dirtier than it was when I took it in, I took it back immediately and when I got it back a 2nd time I found the frothing knob was broken and the VALVE couldn't be opened to release steam.  I took it back again and they replaced the clip on the knob so the valve could be opened.  But once opened, the valve then leaked.  This was the reason I took it in - to have the machine thoroughly cleaned, checked and worn parts/valves replaced.  The only thing they did replace was the gasket (a $5 part that can I can replace).  It made me uncomfortable to have to finally demand my money back but when even the gasket began to leak, it was the last straw - the old gasket didn't even leak!  

This experience, coupled with finding a review on another site from another customer complaining of a similar situation, you can understand how a person could come to negative conclusions.  Perhaps the owner (yes, he seems like a very nice man and the coffee they roast is great) will oversee to ensure his techs are not so sloppy in the future.  ?  Yes, I got my money back but, no, I can't say I got the service I requested.  And, no, I don't agree that it is a bargain to decalcify a machine for $185 and change just a gasket at all on ANY machine.  Neither the gasket or valve leaked prior so this is why I was so upset and even though I got my money back, I can't recommend this service.  But I am glad I got my money back.
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