I took advantage of a cyber Monday (November 26th) deal and ordered a sodastream. I was so excited, seeing as how I had wanted one forever. I got the confirmation email and then I waited.
I never received a shipping notification, so a few days after my order, I called them. They told me that it was ready to ship, and they were just waiting on UPS to come and pick it up, but that I would have it within 10 business days.
Okay, so I wait. Finally, I get an email. It says that due to the overwhelming amount of orders they received on Cyber Monday, they were a little behind. But they say that all machines will be shipped on or before December 8th. This email would be all well & good if I hadn't received it at 5:26pm on December 7th.
December 8th comes and goes... I call Sodastream and the customer service rep was less than helpful and pretty much tells me to go away and that it will be here by Christmas...
Okay. So, I wait.
I finally leave a message on their facebook page. I'm asked to give them my order number and they tell me they'll look into it and get back to me ASAP. I never hear back from them. I repeatedly leave messages and I get NOTHING in response.
I call multiple times, and I'm always given a BS answer (i.e. "the machine is ready to ship, they just haven't assigned it a tracking number yet", "the machine has shipped, they just have to input the tracking numbers manually, and they haven't done that").
So finally I'm told that it hasn't shipped yet, but it will be here by Christmas. I'm not holding my breath, and I'm fed up, so I decide to cancel my order, since they had yet to charge my credit card. However, I'm told that the person I'm talking to can't cancel it (this is before 5:00pm on a Friday...) and I'll need to call in tomorrow and speak to a manager to cancel it. So I call back the next morning, and of course there are no supervisors there, but the customer service person I'm talking to cancels the order for me (so why did the the guy the day before tell me only a manager could...). I even get a confirmation email for the cancellation. So, I figure I'm done with these lying, deceitful, dumb-asses.
The next day Graham and I are out doing some last minute Christmas shopping and I check the Amex and see that sodastream FINALLY charged my card. I really love having a charge on my card for the same day I get a cancellation email, btw.
Monday morning I get to work, and there is a package waiting for me. I open it up, and it is the freaking sample kit of flavors. I know I should be happy that I finally received something from them, but honestly it made me more furious. I call them and they say they are shipping the items as they become available. BUT WHY SEND A PACK OF FLAVORINGS WHEN I HAVE NOTHING TO FLAVOR?!?!
FINALLY, two days later, the sodastream arrives. Honestly, at this point I was so aggravated, I wasn't sure I was going to keep it. These things are not cheap to maintain, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to give them anymore of my money. So I sat the box on the kitchen table and glared at it for days.
Two days later I get to work, and I have another package from sodastream. Are you freaking kidding me? It took me 19 days to get one, and then two days later I get a second one? I post about it on Facebook, and a guy I knew from high school responds that a friend of his ended up with three of them. No wonder this company has supply issues. What's even more frustrating was when I called to let them know they sent me an extra one, the woman I spoke to told me I was responsible for paying to send it back. Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me?
Eventually I gave in to my curiosity and I opened it. I wasn't wanting to like it, but I did. The first flavor I made was the diet cola. It didn't taste exactly like Coke or Pepsi, but it was really good. We sampled nearly every flavor they sent us, and enjoyed most of them. We didn't try the root beer and one of the energy drink flavors. Graham's favorite is the Dr. Pete (Dr. Pepper) and mine is the diet pink grapefruit. It tastes like the grapefruit Izze and is so, so good.
It's very simple to use, and isn't nearly as expensive to maintain as I thought it would be. I used it for the first time a few days before Christmas, and I've only replaced the CO2 container once since then. Bed, Bath & Beyond lets you trade your used CO2 tank for a new one, and charges $14.99 for the new one (and they let you use a coupon!).
The bottles of syrup range from $5-$10. I bought the Dr. Pete for Graham, and the diet grapefruit for myself. Once I ran out though, I wanted to see I could use things I already had on hand on make soda. It worked PERFECTLY. The orange-tangerine Mio makes a delicious orange soda, and the strawberry-lemonade Crystal Light is just plain delicious.
All in all, I'm really happy with my soda stream. I would recommend one to anyone... just buy them from a retailer, not from the company directly...
I do have to clarify something though. I wasn't angry that it was taking a while to get the machine. I understand that they sold a hell of a lot more machines than they planned on. It was for me, not a gift for anyone so I didn't need it by a specific date. I was angry that I was lied to over and over and over again. I worked retail for 7 years, and have been in customer service in other jobs the entire time I've been employed since I was 16. And I believe that a paying customer deserves more than that. Be honest. That way people who needed it by a certain date could have made other arrangements (on Facebook a lot of people were upset that their machine wasn't here by a certain date when they were gifting it). No one likes being lied to. If I had been told that first time I had called "look, we sold more machines than we planned. We're not sure when it'll ship", I would have understood completely.