Krups is krap

Krups is krap
The stickers with my name on them were put there by the service centre… I’m gonna be collecting them like WW2 aces did when they shot down enemy planes.

A year and a half ago, Naomi’s mother gave us this Krups fully automated espresso machine, and being espresso addicts, we were thrilled. We set the machine up in the dining area, read the manual carefully, bought our favourite beans, and enjoyed several cups of coffee before the damn thing broke down a week later, a week outside its warranty period.

To get a Krups machine repaired in Singapore, you have to take it yourself to their contracted service centre, run by a company called Richland Group Limited, whose website will tell you absolutely nothing about repairing coffee machines.

Some more, they’re located in a warehouse type building in Changi, so, bringing your machine there is a bitch unless you live in Changi. The first time I took our machine to be fixed, it cost about $80 including parts and GST, and the lady there told me that the machine would be under a month’s warranty after that.

Just under a year after that, our fully automated espresso machine’s LCD display read “Service 1” when I turned it on one morning. The manual said if the machine’s LCD display read “Service n”, to try unplugging the power, then plugging it back in and turning it back on. It didn’t work, so it was back to Changi, to Richland Group’s massive warehouse building, and to pay $80 including parts and GST to get it fixed.

The engineer attending to me said that an “O-Ring” needed to be replaced. So I just shrugged and paid and brought the machine home a week later to enjoy our espressos again.

It’s been 3 weeks, and yesterday morning, after the fully automated espresso machine had fully automatically ground a handful of arabica beans, it made this horrendous noise not unlike that which a lawn mower makes when you run it over a mound of pebbles, and it refused to stop making that noise until I unplugged the thing.

I’ve tried plugging it back and turning it back on, but it’s still running over that mound of pebbles.

I’m fed up, and wondering if anyone has the same problem with any fully automated espresso machine, and whether they’re from Krups, because at the Richland Group Limited’s service centre, the shelves are chock full of espresso machines that have been sent for servicing and repair.

Coffee & Espresso Machines - Small Domestic Appliances - Krups International
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Their man in Singapore

No headbangers
Sign – Peninsula Plaza

“Our man on the internet”, Lancerlord sends a link to a short Times UK article by a Ben Kiggell listing things to do and places to eat at in our great city.

Some of the attractions and suggestions he lists are nothing short of hilarious.

Eat here


A meal at one of the many open-air hawker centres is a great way to try local food. For a top-end experience, we love Flutes at the Fort (www.flutesatthefort.com.sg).


Must do


The Botanical Gardens are amazing. Less obvious, but a real gem, are the walking tours detailed on www.singaporewalks.com. There’s a different one every day of the week.


Avoid


A lot of what pass for tourist attractions in Singapore – the Merlion at Marina Bay and the world’s largest fountain at Suntec City – are pointless. Don’t waste your time.


Top shop


Lim’s Art & Living in Holland Village (00 65 6251 5151) doesn’t look like much as you walk in, but is absolutely bursting with decorative, functional buys.


A to B


Taxis are inexpensive and usually plentiful, but call and book at peak times and when it’s raining.


Insider tip


At night the little side street next to Lau Pa Sat hawker market is closed to traffic, filled with tables and chairs, and turns into “Satay Street”, where a dozen stalls grill satay in the open air.



Flutes must be so top-end that I’ve never heard of anyone else say anything good about it. And Lim’s Art & Living? Hahahahahhahaha. Dude! The full name of the shop is “I am Mr Lim and I make a Living passing these things off as Art to Ang Mohs… Pte Ltd”.

But alright, a couple of correct tips: Merlion and Fountain of Welfare at Suntec are pointless.

For a sort of interesting “walk” though, I had a chance on Saturday to walk through Peninsula Plaza, and was amazed to find that it’s become “Little Burma”. There are Burmese shops on every floor, selling all manner of Burmese goods, services and high-speed internet access.

And it’s just great, the sights, the smells (omigod the building needs proper ventilation), the sounds. And don’t you just love it when the city gets divvied up into different ethnic enclaves, just like in days of Empire?

The Indians on Serangoon, the Chinese on the River, the Filipinos on Orchard, and the Americans and Europeans at Lim’s Art & Living.

Ah… Gotta love this city-state.

Invisible tandem bicycle

These boots are not made for walking!

While others might be wondering if Anwar really did sodomise his aide and whether that should be any of our own darn business, we were busy laughing at Mac the Dog, who unfortunately has had to try on a pair two pairs of boots because the vet thinks he might be allergic to grass.

We bought a set of black boots because it was the only one available in what we thought was Mac’s size (Size 3 for a Jack Russell Terrier, if you need to get a set yourself), and right now I’m very thankful that we didn’t get the army camo patterned ones, fashionable though they may be, because last night one of the boots fell off as Mac tried to scrabble his way to mark a tree.

Although we really shouldn’t be teasing our pets and laughing at their expense, it really is too good not to share when your dog looks like he’s got boxing gloves on all paws and while they’re on, walks as if he’s peddling an invisible tandem bicycle.

It only got less funny when he almost tipped his backside over his head walking down the stairs.