Franke is the US distributor for La Marzocco and as far as I know there is no more ESI. That said - I believe Franke bought the distribution part of the business but not any portion of La Marzocco itself - just the ongoing distribution rights. If I'm mistaken please correct me but that's the impression I have.
I wish I could say that the level of customer support couldn't possibly get worse but I suspect it can. If you have a thorny technical issue and are patient it is possible to get connected to Brian C or even the guru John B and you'll get the superior technical service one always got prior to Franke entering the picture. But to order some parts? Forget about it. They are chronically understaffed, have incredibly long wait times with really loud crappy distorted hold music and don't reply consistently or promptly (sometimes not at all) when you attempt - at their suggestion - to order parts by email.
I'm beyond frustrated by the situation and even mentioned it to the folks at the LM factory when I visited there in February. The response I got indicated that they (LM) were aware of the issues and hoping to get it resolved but it has continued to spiral downwards.
It's a darn shame. I've been in the retail, wholesale and technical support business in a variety of ways for over thirty years and the staff at ESI (when they were still ESI) set the gold standard for excellence in customer service. There isn't one single company I've ever dealt with that could compare and now Franke is the absolute worst of any company I deal with on a routine basis.
Important note: I don't blame specific individuals who work at Franke as all have been consistently polite when I do get a chance to talk with them. But I think there are some issues with cost management and corporate culture that have screwed up what was once a really good thing.
New York Central Coffee Roasters