Pros and cons of a “proper” coffee machine supplier versus an internet only operator

There are a plethora of Internet based companies that offer coffee machines and consumables for what appear very reasonable prices.  To the untrained eye it would appear that these deals are sometimes better than those offered by more “traditional” coffee machine suppliers.  However there are a number of factors that one should take into account before embarking on this route.

The first thing to consider is that typically these companies will demand payment up front rather than being able to offer any type of credit terms.  This obviously has a detrimental affect on your cash flow and can be a hassle finding a credit or debit card to pay on every time that you order.  We can offer an account with a 30 day credit term (subject to a credit check).  This makes ordering so much more straightforward.

The second point to consider, particularly in respect of machine purchases, is that the prices often do not include much in terms of warranty.  Any warranty is often added on top of the purchase price and sometimes if a warranty is offered you would have to return the machine back to the supplier (in the event that you have a problem with it).  Kenco Local Business Service have a team of their own service technicians in the field so if something goes wrong with your machine when it is covered we will visit you and fix it on your site.  This technical department also enables us to offer optional “proper” extended guarantees.

Often it is a very good idea to have an experienced salesman visit your place of work in order to offer some advice as to what system would be suitable for, and fit into, the area where you would like to place it.  Again most of the web based suppliers simply cannot offer this.  They may be based at the other end of the country and/or not have any sales team at all anyway.  We cover only London, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.  As such we can offer a full consultative service free of charge in order to ensure that you get the right system.  There is nothing worse than buying or leasing a piece of equipment and realising a few months later that it simply isn’t right for you.  At this point it is often too late: you are either stuck with it or have to spend more money getting the right machine.

Another point to consider is that a lot of these websites will have pictures of a great range of products.  The impression is given of a large company that holds a great many lines of products and machines in stock.  The reality is often very different.  You are likely to have to wait for orders because in fact they do not hold much in stock.  You often only know that you are going to have to wait after you have paid your money and you receive an email thanking you for your order whilst on the other hand informing you that you are going to have to wait days or weeks for it to be fulfilled.  We aim to hold in stock all of the consumables that you likely to order and if you order a machine we will always quote you a realistic lead time before accept the order.  If you are not happy with that lead time then you have the option to cancel the order.

I could carry on about this topic all day and there are other points to make, such as the fact that we will always set a machine up and install it where these web based companies often won’t and have no facility to offer this service, however I feel that I have probably made enough points.  Suffice to say the offers that are so prevalent on the web are often not as attractive as they first seem.  For some face to face advice and proper, personalised service back up please do give us a call on 01494 785808.

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