Bought the Brita white aqua chiller in March 2008 and it has been used regular. Now it has failed and is not chilling. Instead of blowing warm air out of the back it is blowing cold. The blue chill light never comes on now. Have contacted Brita about this issue and waiting for response, Obviously the chiller was not fit for purpose but I am expecting Brita not to accept their responsibilities and put the situation right. Having been a Brite filter user for many years I am a bit suprised at the situation arising.
Having read the other reviews of this product on here, I am in agreement that this product is a great idea in theory, but the problem comes when you try and obtain a replacement filter cartridge. Breville never seem to have these in stock, and, unbelievably in this day and age, they dont accept orders by phone (paying with a card) but only cheques or Postal Orders! So you have to send off a written request along with your payment and then wait and wait and wait for the replacement to arrive. The last time I ordered a replacement filter I waited about 4 months, so decided to order 2 at a time and make sure I always had one spare.
Doesnt matter to me now anyway, I have bought Brevilles new water filter unit that uses Brita filters, which can be bought in most hardware stores and supermarkets!
I bought mine through Amazon in September 2005 and was delighted. Norfolk water does something strange to tea but this product rectified that.
The problems arose when the filter "retired" after 2 months. Now this is probably down to the quality of the tapwater and so far as I am concerned is not the issue. I sent away to Breville for two (having found that nobody else sells them!) and have waited ever since.
The worst part is, they cashed my check for £21 on November 10th!
It seems to me that a product that is so dependant on seemingly unobtainable filters should not be on the market.
My wife and I have both spoken to what we laughingly call the "customer support department" and on one occasion were told "they are going out today" - needless to say they did not. Two weeks later they said they were due that week!
I would not trust anything with the Breville name on as they clearly have scant regard for their customers.
I really am only responding to the review posted by smurphy2002 who thinks this product has a number of serious faults.
I have to disagree, having used my filter intensively for the past six months it has proved flawless in nearly every way.
I am a complete fusspot when it comes to food and drink, yet to me (and all those who have drank the water from it) it tastes exceptionally clean and clear, having almost no taste from the word go - certainly not the plastic taste mentioned by Smurphy.
I can only think that users experiencing the plastic taste have skipped giving the tank a good wash prior to use, but then I am only guessing there.
I probably should also mention that I only paid £49.99 for my filter from Amazon, though it did take an age to arrive.
As for the buttons, mine have behaved themselves well: It has three on the top of the unit and one on the edge facing you.
The buttons on top consist of a central button to pour which is accompanied on either side by buttons that allow you to select from either cooled and filter or just filtered water.
The front facing button allows you to push a glass against it to dispense water. One slight flaw is that the pump is fairly intensive so it will continue to dipense a small amount of water after the pour buttons are released, however you are soon used to this.
As far as the "organic taste" mentioned in Smurphy's review I think this may be more likely to occur in an environment that has a large amount of daylight and could be therfore be algae - My dispenser is well away from direct sunlight and I have had no upleasant tastes or odours evidenced in the water from it, though it is now time to change the filter.
In conclusion then, I think it is brilliant, water tastes far superior to jug filters I have used and, to my taste, better than some plumbed in systems too.
I have total confidence in the safety of our tap water, but it really does taste revolting, so I have always preferred filtered or bottled water. I have used a Brita jug filter in the past, but it takes up room in the fridge and changing the filters is a faff. So I thought this was my perfect solution. Wrong!
When I looked at this product, it promised many things that fitted my requirements:
Sits on your work surface, no loss of fridge space.
Chills the water as well as filters it.
Holds a great deal of water - 3.5 litres.
Filter only needs changing every 6 months.
So I paid a whopping £100 (you can get it for £80 if you shop around) to Argos Extra for this item, hoping it would be worth it. Wrong!
When I received it I followed the instructions to the letter as regards to flushing it through with several tanks of warm then cold water. Despite this the water had a distinct plastic taste to it for several weeks, which was very off putting. This eventually disappeared although it took some time to feel confident about drinking it.
There are 2 pour buttons, a manual one on the top and an automatic one that you hold your glass against to catch the water. After having the appliance for a few weeks the automatic button started to stick, so that when I took the glass away, the water continued to pour at speed, frequently resulting in flooding my work surface. This was a bit of a liability so I returned it and asked for a replacement.
When I received the new one, I then spent several weeks flushing it through, as it had the same strong plastic taste to the water as the first one. Then the button started to stick again! As I could not bear the palava of flushing another one through, I resolved to live with it, deciding to use the manual pour button on the top of the filter.
Still pleased with the overall results, i.e. filtered, chilled water at the touch of a button, I then hit another snag.
After about 2 months of my family using the filter regularly, I noticed the water was tasting a little odd. I ignored this, as I do have a very sensitive sense of taste. But it wasn't going away. The water had developed what I can only describe as an "organic" taste to it, i.e. not artificial or chemical in any way. It wasn't quite mould, but a sort of vegetatable taste. It was more pronounced in the morning, when the water had been standing. What concerned me was the tap water did not have this taste before it went into the filter. The only conclusion I could draw was that something was "growing" within the filter which was causing this, and I didn't think it was healthy to drink.
I wrote to Breville asking for their comments. I did not receive a reply. I then phoned their customer services who could only suggest I send it in at my own expense (this would cost about £10) and ask them to "investigate".
OK, I should have followed this up. But I never got around to writing a letter detailing the problems, and never seemed to find a box to pack it in. So after several months I dumped it in the bin and put it down to experience. After writing this review, I can only hope that others might benefit from that experience!
Short name: Breville AF4