I previously owned a Smoothie Elite mixer which wore out after almost daily use for two years. I did not get any response from Smoothie when I wrote and called them about replacement parts, so I decided to take my business someplace else. After reading mostly positive reviews on the Back To Basics Smoothie Maker, I thought I would try it. It is a Big disappointment compared to the Smoothie Elite I previously had. Problems: 1) The top must be locked into place to run the unit. Unfortunately, the top is easily disengaged and the unit stops when adding anything through the hole in the top; 2) the unit has an auto start feature when putting a glass under the spout. Unfortunately, the opening is too small and too much pressure is required to get the valve opened. You manually have to hold a second lever to get the valve to open up to get the smoothie to flow out; 3) because the motor always operates when the mixture is flowing out the spout, as the level gets low, the blades splatter the bulk of the mixture high up against the walls of the container, defeating the purpose of "helping" the mix to flow out. Therefore, you have to remove the container from the mount and pour it out manually; 4) the actual effectiveness of the blades and mixing is much less than the Smoothie Elite.
The annoyances of this unit compared to the ease of use and greater effectiveness of the Smoothie Elite are enough that I am putting the Back to Basics Smoothie Maker "out to pasture" and buying a Smoothie Elite again. I just wish they had better customer service....
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