The Tale of a Portmeirion Mug

I found a packet of microwave salted caramel pudding in James’ bedroom. Becky gave it to him, and I have absolutely no idea why his bedroom was an ideal place to keep it, so I moved it to the kitchen. It sat there, in the cupboard, tempting me to eat it, while I waited several weeks for him to return from uni.

When James eventually came home, I mentioned the pudding, and asked what his plan was. He said he’d forgotten all about it, but as I’d reminded him, perhaps I would like to share it. This seemed an excellent idea, so we read the instructions, and found it could all be made in a mug, it simply needed us to add some melted butter. I have some very nice mugs, bought ages ago, with flowers on, so we used those and followed the instructions. It wasn’t particularly difficult, and within moments I had a mug of delicious salted caramel pudding.

However, when James lifted his own pudding from the microwave, the mug was full of cracks on the outside of the glaze. The pudding was fine, but the mug was ruined.

Now, the mug was a Portmeirion mug, so not cheap, and rather a favourite. It clearly said on the bottom that it was suitable for use in a microwave, so I felt a bit miffed. I considered returning it to a shop that sells Portmerion stuff, as I figured they would simply return it to the supplier who would replace it. However, as I bought it a couple of years ago, and had no receipt, it felt a bit dishonest. I decided to contact Portmerion directly, via their website.

I sent an email, admitting I had bought the mug a long time ago, and explaining the situation. I expected them to reply that it was past the date they guarantee crockery, and possibly, if I was lucky, send me some money-off vouchers.

However, the following day, I received an email asking me to send photos of the mug. Luckily I hadn’t thrown it away, so took some pictures on my ipad. They weren’t very good, and you could barely see the cracks, but I sent them anyway. The customer services rep said the photos were fine, and she would send a replacement.

A week later, a big box full of bubblewrap arrived, and there were two mugs, exactly the same as the one that had been ruined. Wasn’t that nice?

Too often in life, we feel that people are rude, that big corporations don’t care, that things are unfair. Which is why I wanted to tell you my story, because sometimes people behave well. Sometimes companies do honour their guarantees.

When I decided to write this, I was also going to tell you the story of my tumble-dryer, which has been nothing but an expensive nuisance. But I think I won’t, I will leave this as a positive article. Have you ever received excellent customer service?

I hope you have a satisfying week.


Anne x


Anne E. Thompson is an author of several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in bookshops and on Amazon.
Thank you for reading.


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