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Kenwood makes stereos and speakers in Canada. Why not sell coffee makers in Asia?

It started in May with a small pool of water on the kitchen counter. Our coffee pot had a small crack that had been slowly growing over many weeks and the dam had finally burst. Damn.

Normally, I’d toss out the whole machine and start over. But, this was no ordinary machine. This was a designer Kenwood coffee maker that cost us over 100 bucks just a few short months before.

So, I found the local service centre email address and sent off a request for a replacement pot. A few days later I received the very helpful and cryptic response – ‘yes.’

Okay….”May I order one please”?

A few days later – “Yes. It will take 32 months to arrive.”

Me, immediately – “That’s almost 3 years? Where is it coming from, Mars?”

A few days later – “I mean 2 months. It costs 100 ringgit.”

Me, immediately – “Oh, that’s better. Please order me one and let me know when it arrives.”

A few days later – “Yes.”

And with that, I let the universe decide if we’d ever drink coffee at home again. Amazingly, exactly 2 months later, I had the shiny new coffee pot in my hands. And then two days after that, I had an even bigger pool of water on the counter. Wtf?

The new pot was fine, but the coffee maker itself was leaking like a sieve from the bottom. This was not right, so I fished out the receipt and the warranty and realized it was still covered for another few weeks. There was still hope!

The next day I drove the 36 minutes across the city to the service centre and proudly presented my warranty, bill and leaky machine. They gladly accepted and were in awe of my warranty luck.

A week after that visit, I made the journey back to pickup my newly repaired machine, and then sadly, a week after that, I found myself making the journey back again with another leak.

It was during this 3rd or 4th visit that I realized the staff knew by my name.

“Hi, Mr. Shaun. Back again? Aiyo…this machine is cursed.”

I felt like I should have been bringing in coffees for Mimi, Fairuz and the rest of the gang. But, I really couldn’t do that because, well, you know…(At this point, do I have to remind everyone that I’m unemployed?)

After the second leak dropoff, it was two months (just a few days ago) before I heard back that it was fixed and ready to pickup. By now, our French press was in full effect at home and I had almost completely forgotten that we ever had a coffee maker in the first place. I think it was a coping mechanism from the PTSD.

I reluctantly went to pick it up and at least say hi to my buds. Amazingly, the leak was fixed. Airtight. But, sadly, there was no heat. Not good for making coffee.

I admit I was ready to wave the white flag and throw everything off our 13th floor balcony. I was broken, belittled and befuddled. But, after some soul searching and swearing, I decided to give it one last push. I could taste the freshly brewed coffee beans.

Taking pity on me, the service centre staff set up a special, personal appointment with just me and the technician. They could tell I was getting desperate and I needed some extra attention – and possibly a therapist.

Sporting some sweet gold chains and a slightly popped collar, I immediately knew the technician was my ticket out of this coffee maker hell. I don’t know why because normally I hate dudes that look like him, but this guy was different. Yes, he was a shit hot, but he also oozed confidence in all things caffeine related. It seemed like he could roast a coffee bean in his armpit. He was my saviour.

In just 10 short minutes huddled in his little workshop at the back of the service centre, I watched him masterfully change a small fuse inside the machine and fire up my leakproof, Kenwood coffee maker for the first time in almost 6 months. It was glorious.

I’m happy to report that the machine is still humming along nicely a couple days later. I have no doubt that in a few months time something else will go wrong, and with the warranty now expired, it will end up in the trash.

But that’s okay. It was all worth it for the friends I made at the Kenwood service centre on the 3rd floor of Citta Mall on the west side of Kuala Lumpur. You may all be slightly incompetent at your jobs, but you brightened my day on every one of the 8 trips I made out to see you (and sigh at you). God bless.

Let’s drink coffee.

Shaun

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