Back in June 2010 (I don't suppose you remember this!) I was having a merry baking and roasting weekend when my food processor imploded.
I had got a bit tired of buying food processors which lasted a couple of years until their warranties had expired, whereupon their motors imploded. So I decide not to replace it until I could afford to buy a more expensive processor, with a more sturdy motor and a five year warranty. In the meantime I took to making things with my trusty wooden spoon and elbow power.
It is, however, a tad difficult to blend things with a trusty wooden spoon and elbow power, so at some point I decided to buy a Lakeland blender which was on special. And a bit later I bought a Sainsbury's hand mixer for about £5 - which is still going,although it obviously isn't very sturdy and needs careful handling but does when the spoon and elbow aren't quite enough. The Lakeland blender, however, has been going great guns. Until Saturday afternoon when I made made my apply katsu sauce, put it in the blender and was in the process of putting it through a sieve when I heard a strange cracking noise behind me. I turned around - and the blender jug had mysteriously developed several deep cracks towards its bottom.
This was not entirely convenient. So I emailed Lakeland to ask if they had any replacement jugs. I didn't want to buy an entire blender, partly because the motor of the current one appears still to be in fine fettle. But mainly because the blender and hand mixer were always intended to be temporary measures until I got around to buying a proper food processor. And you never know - that time might be approaching. Maybe. One day :-D
A quick glance at the Lakeland website had shown that the blender I had was no longer on offer. A new and different blender was in the catalogue. So I wasn't altogether hopeful. But no harm in asking.
And at about 8pm on Saturday evening my phone rang. It was (I think) Emma from Lakeland Customer Service, apologising for ringing on a Saturday evening (I didn't mind) and telling me that the blender I had had been discontinued at the end of 2010 and they only had a handful of jugs left. I could have one for £10, including postage, if I still wanted one. Which I did. And now a new jug is wending its way to me. More blending will be possible from the end of the week.
Lakeland has a reputation for excellent customer service. And in my view it is a reputation that is well deserved. But Emma (if that indeed was her name; I fear I forgot it in the excitement of getting my new jug) absolutely cemented it. I am a very happy Kitchen Elf.
I wonder if they would let me set up a franchise in Melbourne? I think Melbourne definitely needs a branch of Lakeland!