True Story No29


All's well that ends well

Last week my expected cup of tea hadn't been delivered to the workshop.

I wandered over to the house to see if I could speed things up but was informed by my better half that the kettle had just gone pop!

It's a bright yellow (like this awful background colour) plastic Morphy Richards in which we invested a couple of years ago when the last chrome variety bit the dust.

This had been going for donkey's years and we needed a change.

"Something really fast", I'd said, and so as an impulse we got this bright yellow one as, at 3.1kw it had the wattiest element we could find.

Now it gone pop and the water inside was no warmer than when it had come from the tap.

I studied my supplementary white goods catalogue "Any Morphy Richard Part Supplied" so I rang CPC.

"What's the model number?

" I upended the kettle to see and poured water down my front before reading the number from the plate.

There was a delay, then…

"Are you sure?".

I repeated the performance and noticed that slightly less water ran down my front.

"That's not listed it'll have to be a special.

Give us 10 days and we'll send you a quote".

I put down the phone and studied the plate on the kettle.

This time only a few drops fell to the floor.

"Customer Service Number 0800……".

"That's free", I thought so I rang it.

After trying lots and lots of times the engaged tone finally went away and a nice young lady answered.

"You have to call 0870….. for spares, she said".

I rang the number and got an engaged signal.

Much, much later I got through.

"I'd like a 3.1Kwatt, 240 volt heating element for a …… kettle", I said.

There was a lot of clinking of tea cups in the background and laughter.

"It must be their tea break", I thought, "their kettle is obviously working OK".

"Wait a moment", a voice said so I waited, listening to half-heard chatter and chinking of cups against saucers.

After an age I heard the voice returning and the nice young lady said.

"That'll be £3.22 including VAT and postage".

"That sounds very reasonable", I remarked and supplied my debit card number.

Three or four days later a small Jiffy bag arrived.

I noticed it had a second class pre-printed stamp and inside was a piece of plastic labelled "Water Filter".

I wondered at first if it was possible that Morphy Richards had invented a unique way of heating water and saving money on a water filter by combining the two functions but that was only for a few milliseconds as I realised there had been a mistake.

Admittedly there was a note to say that, "part number so and so replaces part number xyz".

Presumably tea break was not a good time to order spare parts.

The cost of the filter was marked as 82p and post packing and VAT accounted for £2.50.

The second class Jiffy bag had cost about £2.30 odd!

As it was now Saturday I wasn't too hopeful when I rang the number on the advice note and of course I didn't get an answer.

On Monday morning I rang the number on the advice note about ten times before I got through…..

to a FAX machine.

I looked at the phone numbers again.

There were only two and both had small letters indicating "FAX".

I searched for the 0870 number and finally found it.

I rang and got "engaged".

I rang lots and lots of times but when the number did ring….it rang and rang and no-one answered so I rang again and it was engaged.

Then it rang and rang and no-one answered.

I gave up and tried the 0800 number.

It was engaged.

I rang again…..

and again….

and eventually it was answered by a recorded announcement…..

"if your phone is a….. press star if you want….press 1 etc. etc.

"They must have a different system for Mondays", I thought.

Anyway I pressed "1" and was rewarded with a nice young lady who listened to my tale of woe.

"Let's see if we have one", she said….

"Yes we've got a heating element…

unfortunately it's a bit dearer than the filter…

it's £6.92 including VAT and postage".

"That's OK", I said, "shall I send back the filter.

It'll cost you £2.30 odd for the postage".

"No", she said, "You can keep it we don't want it back.

It's for your kettle so you might as well use it".

"What about the money I paid for it", I said.

"Hold on", was the answer ….

and after a minute or two she came back and said "there'll be no charge".

"Thank you very much", I said, mildly surprised, adding, "By the way can you send it quickly it's for the workshop kettle and I'm in dire need of a cup of tea".

"I'll see what I can do", was the reply and the very next morning a 3.1kw element arrived "first class" in a Jiffy bag with three screws sticking out where it had been rolled through a post office machine.

CPCs quote hasn't arrived yet but I bet it'll be a lot more than £3.22!

PS Sorry about this ghastly colour! This is the closest match to the colour of the Kettle!

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