One thing we all need to be super careful of…and this is not a criticism of owners, or our members just human nature of manufacturers and people on forums. I have seen various posts on forums over the years which, if a manufacturer reads them, must be quite disheartening. It’s taken me almost 2 decades to get manufacturers to open up to me and also listen, instead of just listening to retailers (whose understanding of problems and needs are different to yours). The whole community has benefitted from this in the field of grinders, home roasters and espresso machines. I’ve done a lot more behind the scenes than most people realise. This doesn’t just cover faults, but also basic design of these devices and sometimes new ideas.
I want a forum where we can feel free to discuss things without fear or favour, but with that power comes a certain responsibility. An unwritten standard of online behaviour because it’s not something that can be mandated. When posting something that with retailers and manufacturers can read, sometimes people do it to have a pop at them. I saw that so often as a mod on CFUK, one post wonders ranting about their experience. or don’t buy this machine is’s defective whatever…those posts can remain long after any issues are resolved. The search engines make sure of that.
The reason the “truth” isn’t always out there is because:
Now I say this in a light-hearted way, but if you think about it, the best way to get them to close up again is to react inappropriately when there is an issue with a machine, grinder or roaster. I can’t judge inappropriately for you, because I am not you…but if a comment is made for the right reasons, in a constructive way to benefit everyone, then it’s probably fine.
I’ve tried to open up much more with the detail over the last few years, and it’s either been used to knock a machine, grinder, roaster by those who want to knock it, or been reacted to in a way I didn’t expect. I would, love to share more, but sometimes I am quite reticent. The ECM Puristika issue being one example, there are posts on other forums that are something if ECM read, really are not helping at all. Not containing themselves to the issue, but huge speculation and comment on ECM quality (which is excellent, by the way). I am quite frankly super reluctant to go into the details of exactly why it happens and how it can be easily fixed….
I would not like to lose the links I have to the manufacturers, or their trust because they benefit everyone. The Lelit issue was immediately accepted by Lelit when I contacted them, and they started work on the solution immediately. The ECM issue was followed up just as quickly. However, always remember I speak to the owners of these companies and sometimes within the company itself that information takes time to filter down through the ranks. So replies from them shortly after may appear to be denying any problem exists, or have no knowledge of my discussions with the owner, and retailers are even further down the chain.
The open Vlog of the Sandbox Smart 2 is one of the first times I have been able to open up an evaluation (I wish the community was ready to see some of my past evaluations of machines).
So when we post, let’s set an example to others on the internet and post as if we are standing in front of the owner chatting about his machine. Let’s be constructive, kind and cut them a bit of slack if it’s deserved…they are trying to solve the problems. Recently a Londinium owner came onto the forum, I and others tried to help him. We didn’t comment negatively about Londinium or the machine quality etc..we just got on with working the problem. Comments did start about Londinium support, which I immediately stopped. Simply because, I can’t for a second believe, Londinium don’t want to support their customers.
I’ve seen enough uninformed and unpleasant comments made on coffee forums to last me a lifetime….we have a chance to make something different of our community, something more considerate. I remember a recent comment,
if everyone comes over, doesn’t this just become the new old place?
I hope to god not…the old old place, was bad enough, the old place we cleaned up, but the commercial pressures were not good (If VS had not taken over I was thinking of walking anyway, but that’s another story).
However, I’d like to hear what you think?