Illy Francis!Francis! X5 membership program...problem


New member
Jan 7, 2007
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I joined the Illy Espresso membership Program and got the Francis!Francis X1 machine. It's an upgrade from the X5 machine/program and costs considerably more.

Turns out, the machine is a very pretty toy.

Mine needs to be repaired after using it in my home for just 60 days.
When I called Illy, their Tech Support department told me they would send me a return kit: a postage pre-paid box in which to put the machine and send it back to them for repair.
I told the tech that I haven't been very happy with the machine anyway and that maybe I could upgrade to the Pasquini Livia machine/program they offer.
He transfered me to Customer Service because he thought that should not be a problem.

Turns out, it is a problem.

All they'll do for me is "Let me out of the current program and let me sign up for the new one." No credit. No discount. Send their broken machine back to them and they keep the $360 dollars I already paid them for it. (The machine was to be paid for in three monthly installments)

I've been buying parts for my Unic Diva from Illy for a few years now and use lots of their coffee. I feel like they're not being fair with me. Their excuse is that the machine only has a 30 day replacement warrantee when purchased through the Program.

I understand a deal is a deal but a little flexibility would really have gone a long way here.


New member
Dec 8, 2006
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You are right: a deal is a deal. Consider that the machine is a complex machine, and you have used it for 60 days, so a break-down and repair is not un-heard of. A new car can have a flat tire the day you drive it home and that is not a warranty repair, yet it is worth repairing at your expense. Also consider that higher quality/more complex machines are both repairable and worth repairing - unlike a $50 machine. Furthermore, your "broken machine" is also a used machine. Selling it (repaired) on e-bay or pawning it will return considerably less than your "new machine" purchase price.
The vendor can buy a new machine for inventory rather than buy your used machine back from you, so the value to them is less than wholesale cost. Perhaps you can give the repaired machine to a friend or family member, or take it to your workplace to use.
It seems like your vendor is providing reasonable service, but if you hope for even better customer service try re-contacting them with your preferred alternative proposals. The vendor's Customer Service staff may not have authority to offer you anything better than the deal they presented. Try calling your vendor and talking to the Customer Service Manager or the owner...they may be more receptive to your request for a machine up-grade. I am sure they would appreciate your continued patronage, but remember any accomodation they make for you is "goodwill" on their part.
Perhaps they can provide another machine that is refurbished/repaired like yours. Perhaps they will accomodate you with a "goodwill allowance" that is better than the Customer Service department's first offer, after they receive your machine for repair (and they find it is well cared for, and perhaps has a minor repair cost). Your "goodwill" value to them is higher if they know you purchase coffee frequently and if they know you recommend their business to other potential customers. Your complaints, comments and praise of their equipment/service in venues like this forum, press and other media also add/detract from the "goodwill" value.
If all your efforts with them fail to meet your satisfaction, I suggest you then find new coffee and equipment vendors...You seem prepared to put your money where your mouth is, so do some coffee and equipment research and taste test some coffees to find something you like.

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
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Well said CafeBlue. Programs like this are mostly to the benefit of the supplier and not the customer, i.e. machines like these are made a dime a dozen and generally do not hold up to continued use like a commercial machine, therefore, breaking down much sooner. Most purchase these type of machines trying to duplicate what they experience from a professional coffee/espresso shop, and when reality hits that it's just not the same then buyers remorse set in. Good point about good will, however, a warranty is a warranty, and most will not back off on this issue. CiaoNY I would suggest that if you want to find a commercial type machine to look on places like eBay or Craig's List and find something of higher quality (used) and something that is 110V, and maybe a pour over type. They are out there. In most cases they do not come with a warranty and you usually have to buy as is, but you might run into something good...Good luck... 8)