I was shocked a little over a week ago when I phoned Diedrich for tech support! 

I was in the middle of doing up a larger order when my blower motor started cutting out! 

I phoned Diedrich to hopefully get some help on diagnosing the problem. 

Their policy now is to send out an email contract asking for your visa card # and wanting to charge a minimum of $250.00 for getting tech advice from them! 
Their comment was that so many people are buying used equipment and phoning them for help. 
I bought mine new, 4 years ago and they have all my information on file. 
I was told my problem could be one of two thing, and if I wanted to speak to the electrician and pay the minimum they would trouble shoot it for me. 

Does this not sound ridiculous? Shouldn't a company be standing by their equipment and customers? 

Very Disappointed Diedrich customer! 

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Replies to This Discussion

I too have had some unsatisfactory experiences with Diedrich. I'm a new roaster, planning to produce within two months, and have a little used 4 year old IR-12 and just received their new IR-1. I haven't had to talk to them (assuming you can get someone to talk to you) about the IR-12 yet, but boy-oh-boy was that purchase experience a ride. The roaster was delivered two months late, which I can understand with a new product, but I only found out that the delivery dates were missed after the fact. It took me a week to get a reply after the first delivery date was missed, and I tried for three days before I could get a reply after the next one was missed. I was informed by Shawn Contreras that he alone, the VP of Sales, traveling (often) around the world, was not only my sole and only point of contact within Diedrich but was also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. When deciding upon color I had asked his recommendation between two and he suggested, in addition to his opinion, that he send a hard copy brochure of the color chart. He also gave me a date range when he would be out of the country but assured that he would get my emails. I gave him my color choice (after looking at the chart I chose a different color altogether), during that date range, and then found upon delivery that he had painted it the color HE had chosen. I was informed that my "request to change the color" had arrived too late, yet he had given the dates! I was not even informed of this discrepancy. I was never informed of anything! I did receive a threat however...

The IR-1's completion was promised for two months after I had finalized the purchase agreement. I informed Contreras that I needed it by August in order to meet my time line (there's no way now to have anything developed and ready for the fall season here, one of the reasons I had timed things as I had). As I've said, I can understand teething problems with a new product, but after three and a half months of silence and another blown deadline (without communication) I let Diedrich know that I needed a roaster and was canceling the order. Well... the promised delivery date was only an "estimate", and Diedrich was of the opinion that they could deliver whenever they wished; if I wanted to cancel that was fine, but they were keeping the 50% of the purchase price that I had already paid. After all of the talk about how the roaster was delayed because of the demand, etc., well, you get the picture.

Sorry about the rant, but this is the first I've posted about it as I've wanted to cool off a bit. I did have an issue with the IR-1 out of the crate, and I did get a call from Jason the Tech Guy the day after I left a message. Jason is probably the only bright spot within Diedrich, as he was very helpful and pleasant. The issue was resolved simply, with a screwdriver, BTW. I can say with certainty that I will not be buying anything new from Diedrich again until there is a sea-change over there; I guess they pretty much need to change out the entire staffing, especially the execs. I have a feeling that Mr. Diedrich has little if anything to do with the company, for I have a hard time understanding how Diedrich could have succeeded with this current attitude. I think they are almost exclusively concerned with trying to produce and support those 400+ kg machines and could care less about us little guys.

I should have done more research, huh? I did like the way US Roasters operated on the phone (knowledgeable, helpful, no discernible BS), but I have never even seen one of their roasters.

OH, all of that being said, I so far do like the IR-1. I hope I never need service however.

it's almost funny (in a sad sort of way) to find this conversation after having these same feelings. Diedrich has some top quality equipment - I roast on a IR-24 that I love. But my concern is what will happen when it goes down in a way I can't troubleshoot. It's a fine line of depending on something who's service can't be totally depended upon. Scary spot, right?

I had the exact same experience of them wanting to charge for something (out of warranty, 4yrs old) that probably could have been taking care of in half a day. Because I didn't want to pay - and felt like it was bad practice on their part - I ended up having to pay a tech from Houston (that they used) to travel to me, spend two days working to find the problem and finally left after it started running again. It was an expensive lesson that I'm not sure how I would correct.

 

Just joining the rant because I appreciate knowing there are others out there.

 

Piper

does anyone have any experience with using private contractors once out of warranty?  

 

the company i roast for just bought out a roastery from a retiree.  the mechanics are quite simply if you have a knowledgable general mechanic/engineer.  wondering if anyone has tried this avenue rather than dealing with a tech direct?

Follow up with a quick bit of explanation.

We recently moved our roaster to a new facility and started to have a few quirky issues with air flow.  At first I thought it had to do with the new longer chimney we installed.  It's about 23', so it should be within the capability of the fan motor.  After thoroughly cleaning the roaster and looking up the chimney for obstruction, we were still having problems.

With all of the complaints about Diedrich's customer service I thought I would take my chances and call. In my 5 years with our IR-12, I had yet to find the need to address any issues. When I called I had to leave a message but got a return call within the hour from their tech Jason.  He was very helpful and stayed on the line with me for 20 minutes as we did some troubleshooting.

There was no mention of charging for the service and the help offered turned out to successfully solve the problem. 

Turns out my newly installed chimney cap had nearly sealed itself shut with chaff even though I had previously looked up the chimney from the roaster end and saw light above and the pipe itself was clean.  I cleaned the cap out and removed (permanently) the screen from the inside.  It's been roasting perfectly since.

My point with this is that I had a very satisfactory experience with Diedrich and their tech support.

Another quick aside. I did replace the tired, noisy fan motor in the process thinking it may have something to do with it.  I found an exact, brand new replacement from an eBay seller for $80 shipped.  

Great to hear Chad! 

Maybe Diedrich is getting the message? 



Chad Kimm said:

Follow up with a quick bit of explanation.

We recently moved our roaster to a new facility and started to have a few quirky issues with air flow.  At first I thought it had to do with the new longer chimney we installed.  It's about 23', so it should be within the capability of the fan motor.  After thoroughly cleaning the roaster and looking up the chimney for obstruction, we were still having problems.

With all of the complaints about Diedrich's customer service I thought I would take my chances and call. In my 5 years with our IR-12, I had yet to find the need to address any issues. When I called I had to leave a message but got a return call within the hour from their tech Jason.  He was very helpful and stayed on the line with me for 20 minutes as we did some troubleshooting.

There was no mention of charging for the service and the help offered turned out to successfully solve the problem. 

Turns out my newly installed chimney cap had nearly sealed itself shut with chaff even though I had previously looked up the chimney from the roaster end and saw light above and the pipe itself was clean.  I cleaned the cap out and removed (permanently) the screen from the inside.  It's been roasting perfectly since.

My point with this is that I had a very satisfactory experience with Diedrich and their tech support.

Another quick aside. I did replace the tired, noisy fan motor in the process thinking it may have something to do with it.  I found an exact, brand new replacement from an eBay seller for $80 shipped.  

I hope so Derryl.  Maybe they're reading Barista Exchange;)

I guess I was fortunate enough to not get caught up in the same issues you had.

My fleeting thought about the motor was inspired by your former comment in having a hard time finding a replacement.  The motor I had was a Dayton that I replaced model for model.  I didn't seem to much of a problem locating one.  Sorry for your issues.  Mine was still running, but sounding a little rough once in a while.

Thanks for the reply and happy roasting.

Chad

   
Derryl Reid said:

Great to hear Chad! 

Maybe Diedrich is getting the message? 



Chad Kimm said:

Follow up with a quick bit of explanation.

We recently moved our roaster to a new facility and started to have a few quirky issues with air flow.  At first I thought it had to do with the new longer chimney we installed.  It's about 23', so it should be within the capability of the fan motor.  After thoroughly cleaning the roaster and looking up the chimney for obstruction, we were still having problems.

With all of the complaints about Diedrich's customer service I thought I would take my chances and call. In my 5 years with our IR-12, I had yet to find the need to address any issues. When I called I had to leave a message but got a return call within the hour from their tech Jason.  He was very helpful and stayed on the line with me for 20 minutes as we did some troubleshooting.

There was no mention of charging for the service and the help offered turned out to successfully solve the problem. 

Turns out my newly installed chimney cap had nearly sealed itself shut with chaff even though I had previously looked up the chimney from the roaster end and saw light above and the pipe itself was clean.  I cleaned the cap out and removed (permanently) the screen from the inside.  It's been roasting perfectly since.

My point with this is that I had a very satisfactory experience with Diedrich and their tech support.

Another quick aside. I did replace the tired, noisy fan motor in the process thinking it may have something to do with it.  I found an exact, brand new replacement from an eBay seller for $80 shipped.  

Hello! I am the owner of a new IR12 and have had many questions concerning the setup of the new roaster. To date Diedrich has handled all of my concerns. Sometimes I get an email and other times I will receive a call back but they have always gotten back to me. I will be starting to put into production so I may have additional concerns. I will keep the board posted.

Tim

I've purchased an IR-1kg and 12kg from Diedrich last year and have found the tech support team (Naomi and Jason) to be excellent. I had a small problem with the IR-1kg and after a few emails and suggestions the problem was solved. Of course I'm still within the warranty period but I do understand that Diedrich cannot offer an open unlimited support period for customers. What I would like to see is a user to user forum on their website where Diedrich roasters can communicate with each other. A dedicated roasters forum would allow Diedrich roasters to solve each others problems and issues and everyone would learn in the process.

Hello Kevin,

I like your idea. Please keep us posted if the idea develops.

 

 

Dean here. We had Diedrich (a.k.a. Died Rich...ironic, isn't it?) for eighteen years. They are wonderful workhorses and the parts are easily found and replaced at Grainger or elsewhere.  The issue is that a few years ago Steve Diedrich, the owner, became seriously ill and had to turn more of the day to day management and policy decisions ovber to others. Since that time the customer service has really gone downhill and yes you have to pay for it. But to be fair, most companies only give you a one year warranty at best these days anyway, and you always have to buy service contracts. Think about it, in this era of Economics Uber Alles companies have to calculate all costs, so service tech time has a value. The old days of friendly, free support are sadly just about gone, as money has trumped values and this dynamic has crept into almost all things transactional.  I advise any one buying a Diedrich or any other machine to ask up front about service and service policies. Actually, 250 per year is not unreasonable if you have a real problem, or need four times a year just to check in and tweek something. Besides, what do you charge your customers for coffee these days? It ain't what it was a few years ago, is it?

Dean 

I agree with almost everything you said, but...

I do think there is still room for that friendly "lets get you back up and running ASAP" and we will figure out your bill later!

Especially if it is coming from a customer that bought new, paid on on time, and hasn't been a pain in the A**.

I personally think that this is the way to win back (bring back) manufacturer in North America. Otherwise lets build cheap throw away roasters built in China like everything else. 

As for what I charge my customers... We go the extra mile and beyond with customer service, we want to build long term solid relationships.  It is with these relationships that allow us to compete with the big boys! 

 

Cheers! 

Derryl 

 

 

 


dean cycon said:

 

 

Dean here. We had Diedrich (a.k.a. Died Rich...ironic, isn't it?) for eighteen years. They are wonderful workhorses and the parts are easily found and replaced at Grainger or elsewhere.  The issue is that a few years ago Steve Diedrich, the owner, became seriously ill and had to turn more of the day to day management and policy decisions ovber to others. Since that time the customer service has really gone downhill and yes you have to pay for it. But to be fair, most companies only give you a one year warranty at best these days anyway, and you always have to buy service contracts. Think about it, in this era of Economics Uber Alles companies have to calculate all costs, so service tech time has a value. The old days of friendly, free support are sadly just about gone, as money has trumped values and this dynamic has crept into almost all things transactional.  I advise any one buying a Diedrich or any other machine to ask up front about service and service policies. Actually, 250 per year is not unreasonable if you have a real problem, or need four times a year just to check in and tweek something. Besides, what do you charge your customers for coffee these days? It ain't what it was a few years ago, is it?

I have to agree with Derryl. I totally get how problematic service would be on old roasters but it was more in the Customer Service approach of the additional fees to help troubleshoot. I'm not exactly sure how you would word it - but I know there is a way I'd hear it that wouldn't be so off putting in the midst of catastrophe as 'if you need our help you have to pay for it' sort of dialog. I thnk the User Forum is an excellent idea and would take a lot of pressure off Diedrich. Most I've been a part of have been have involved the best learning.

 

Diedrich, want to start something???

 

BTW - I still sing the praises of Diedrich as a roasting machine - my loyalty lies in the product, not in the ineffective communication of a service plan.

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