I live in a soft water area, so never get any 'furring' in my kettle.When i first got my Tassimo I didn't have the tablets, but eventually the red light came on telling me to descale.Although in constant use during the day(I'm addicted to coffee!)I'd only had the machine 3-4 weeks. I carried on using the machine but eventually got fed up of the red light, so I went through the descaling program using just water(I was waiting for the tablets to be delivered)and low and behold the light went off! Since I got the tablets i've used them...but only use one tablet, and even then only alternately with just water. I've used this machine now for over a year with no problems. I think they are programmed to show the red light after so many uses, regardless of whether it actually needs it. As proof of this, I had a Tassimo prior to this one, but it was the Braun one(very similar in design)and although it did advise about descaling, it had no warning light. I used that one constantly for 2 years, day in,day out, and never descaled. It's still in the loft as a spare(works fine)as I prefer the look of the Bosch, and it actually makes a hotter drink. I know it's a different situation if you ARE in a hard water area and everything gets furry deposits, then you will need to be more stringent.My last washing machine lasted 11 years, and my present one is now 13 years old and going strong, and i've never had to use "Calgon?"