Piglet put the kettle on Piglet put the kettle on,
Piglet put the kettle on we all want some tea…
Except we won’t have some tea because the pigging thing won’t work.
A couple of months ago we had a problem with our kettle. Now in the grander scheme of things a dodgy kettle is not the end of the world. However, to me it’s very much a matter of principle when I buy a kettle or indeed any appliance and it breaks six months later. Yes, I know we live in a throwaway society but if something has a two-year guarantee I expect it to work for two years, not six months. Are you with me on this?
I did consider recycling the kettle as a plant pot to grow some herbs in. However,Mr. Piglet looked at me and laughed and was about to throw it away when I suddenly remembered we now file all receipts for occasions such as these. (This is not the first time this has happened).
Clutching the receipt and broken kettle we returned to the shop and Mr. Piglet presented it to the customer service assistant while I went off shopping. Mr Piglet returned with a wad of A4 size paperwork in return. Have they not heard of save a tree?
“Where’s the replacement kettle?” I asked as I stared with disbelief at the paperwork.
“They are going to send it off to be repaired,” he shrugged.
“What, it’s only worth nine euros; it will cost them more in effort, postage and admin.”
“How long is it going to take?”
Another shrug. Mr. Piglet has now acquired the perfect Portuguese shrug when he does not want to answer a question.
For people who’ve never witnessed the “shrug” the shoulders hunch towards the ears while the palms of the hands turn heavenward, no doubt hoping for divine intervention. The shrug is accompanied by a blank expression, a smile or a sigh depending on the nature of your complaint.
I grab the wad of paperwork and return to the customer service assistant. I know the girl can speak English so I did not even attempt Portuguese on this occasion.
“My husband’s just returned a broken kettle.” I said tapping my foot slightly with frustration. Not directed at her, but more with not having an immediate replacement.
“Please can you tell me how long before we get a replacement?”
“A MONTH!” I said incredulously. Sometimes I can be quite scary. Probably hormones.
“Yes, a month.” She said tentatively.
“Why so long?” I asked, feeling more than slightly puzzled.
“Because we have to send it back to the technicians to be repaired.”
“But it’s going to cost you more than the kettles worth, that can’t be good business practice. You can plug the kettle in here if you don’t believe the kettle is broken”
My words fell on deaf ears and were met with the “shrug”.
At this point I’m wondering if it’s a ploy to get me to buy another kettle, I am losing the will to live and life’s too short. However, it’s a matter of principle. I stand my ground.
Another shrug “I’m sorry.” She says smiling apologetically which immediately calms me down and alleviates my frustration. Have you noticed a smile goes a long way?
“If you bring the kettle back within two weeks, we can replace it straight away; otherwise we have to send it away to be mended.” She explained patiently.
Six weeks later (that’s a Portuguese month) Mr. Piglet returns to collect the kettle. They can’t find the paperwork or our kettle.
Come back next week.
Two weeks later we return. The paperwork and kettle have gone AWOL so they give us a new kettle.
The moral of this story is: if you share the same ideals on a “throwaway” society don’t buy small electrical appliances miles from where you live in Portugal and keep the receipts for two years.
Does this sound familiar or is it just me?