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  • FIRST POST
    ginger_jesus
    Mamas & Papas Murano cot bed - 30 for four wee replacement screws!
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 13, 10:41 PM
    Mamas & Papas Murano cot bed - 30 for four wee replacement screws! 13th Feb 13 at 10:41 PM
    Hi all - long time reader, first time poster, however my recent experience with Mamas & Papas has prompted me post this as a warning to others considering buying one of their cots.

    I have a Murano cot bed, a few years old now, but still in good nick. We're about to hand it on to some friends who have just had a new baby but on checking it I found I was missing four small screws to hold the side panels together. Not ordinary screws, of course, really strange headless ones. So I called the help line and asked to order replacement spare parts. Because the cot is now discontinued the parts are no longer held. Apparently two years is how long they hold on to these things for.

    The cot bed is designed to move from a cot into a bed, so it's likely that they will be used for more than two years for a single child, never mind younger siblings who come along, or the chance to pass it on to others. So comes the first question: is two years really long enough to hold spare parts for a product of this type?

    The discussion with the service agent indicated that a match for the part might be available from a parts kit from a more recent cot. On enquiring about the price for that I was advised it would be 30 plus delivery charge. 30 QUID FOR FOUR WEE SCREWS?!?! And no guarantees that they would fit either! Apparently the fittings pack is sold as a complete entity and you can't sell me the bits I'm interested in. So first they design in special fixtures which cannot be sourced at the local hardware store, and then they charge a fortune for replacements. That's what I would call profiteering.

    Next on suggesting that I would like to make a complaint, the advisor indicated that she could reduce the price to 15 plus postage, again for a full fittings kit that might not fit. I declined.

    Instead I did a wee bit of research, measuring the screws and the dimensions of the recess where they fit. I found they were standard I found they were 8mm M6 sized, but the only tricky part was the fact that the original fittings had no head on them at all. On closer inspection of the recess I found that it was in fact wider than the screw, so could potentially accommodate another type of head if I could find one.

    So off I went to EBay, searched on 8mm M6 screws and found a pack of 10 socket head screws for 1.60 with free postage. Yes, you did read that correctly. 16p each, giving me six spares should I need them again in the future. I thought at that price is was worth a punt in case they didn't fit, so ordered them, and a couple of days later when they arrived, guess what? They fitted perfectly. So much so it was almost as if the recess was actually designed for them in the first instance. Which I suspect they probably were, but M&Ps changed the design to lock in unsuspecting customers to their customer services team for overpriced spare parts.

    So I thought, "this really isn't on", and posted the story to the Mamas & Papas Facebook page.

    This is the response I got:

    "thank you for your post, we very much appreciate all feedback as it allows us to continually improve our products and services. We have passed your comments onto the relevant department who are looking into this and working on improving our spares service. We're really sorry that you have had a less than satisfactory experience, and we hope that this won't put you off shopping with us in the future. Thank you."

    I then asked how long that would take and whether they would be updating my thread when they had resolved it. This was their reply.

    "improvements to our products and services is continuous, there is no timescale. Unfortunately we will not be able to update your thread on any future improvements to the spares service. Thank you"

    Unhappy with this response and lack of commitment I posted the following:

    "OK, I like to think I'm a patient man. I can make the same enquiry of your contact centre on a monthly basis and post the results here if that helps. Hell, my phone contract is all inclusive so I could do it every evening and weekend. I can probably share the results on Twitter too if you like. In fact, maybe I'll set up a website and a blog and document it. That'll be good, eh? I'll also buy a bottle of champagne ready for the day that you can sell me four screws at a reasonable price instead of a full pack of stuff I don't need. Hopefully we can get there before my daughter turns 21 (she's 5 now). While I'm here I might as well ask who is in charge of spares policy at M&Ps so I can write to them too."

    Hence the blog

    mamasandpapasspares blogspot co uk

    And the website.

    www mamasandpapasspares com

    And now you get to share in it.

    So there you have it. It's their move. We now have to wait and see what happens next.
Page 1
    • keithdc
    • By keithdc 14th Feb 13, 7:49 AM
    • 229 Posts
    • 453 Thanks
    keithdc
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 13, 7:49 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 13, 7:49 AM
    Hi all - long time reader, first time poster, however my recent experience with Mamas & Papas has prompted me post this as a warning to others considering buying one of their cots.

    I have a Murano cot bed, a few years old now, but still in good nick. We're about to hand it on to some friends who have just had a new baby but on checking it I found I was missing four small screws to hold the side panels together. Not ordinary screws, of course, really strange headless ones. So I called the help line and asked to order replacement spare parts. Because the cot is now discontinued the parts are no longer held. Apparently two years is how long they hold on to these things for.

    The cot bed is designed to move from a cot into a bed, so it's likely that they will be used for more than two years for a single child, never mind younger siblings who come along, or the chance to pass it on to others. So comes the first question: is two years really long enough to hold spare parts for a product of this type?

    The discussion with the service agent indicated that a match for the part might be available from a parts kit from a more recent cot. On enquiring about the price for that I was advised it would be 30 plus delivery charge. 30 QUID FOR FOUR WEE SCREWS?!?! And no guarantees that they would fit either! Apparently the fittings pack is sold as a complete entity and you can't sell me the bits I'm interested in. So first they design in special fixtures which cannot be sourced at the local hardware store, and then they charge a fortune for replacements. That's what I would call profiteering.

    Next on suggesting that I would like to make a complaint, the advisor indicated that she could reduce the price to 15 plus postage, again for a full fittings kit that might not fit. I declined.

    Instead I did a wee bit of research, measuring the screws and the dimensions of the recess where they fit. I found they were standard I found they were 8mm M6 sized, but the only tricky part was the fact that the original fittings had no head on them at all. On closer inspection of the recess I found that it was in fact wider than the screw, so could potentially accommodate another type of head if I could find one.

    So off I went to EBay, searched on 8mm M6 screws and found a pack of 10 socket head screws for 1.60 with free postage. Yes, you did read that correctly. 16p each, giving me six spares should I need them again in the future. I thought at that price is was worth a punt in case they didn't fit, so ordered them, and a couple of days later when they arrived, guess what? They fitted perfectly. So much so it was almost as if the recess was actually designed for them in the first instance. Which I suspect they probably were, but M&Ps changed the design to lock in unsuspecting customers to their customer services team for overpriced spare parts.

    So I thought, "this really isn't on", and posted the story to the Mamas & Papas Facebook page.

    This is the response I got:

    "thank you for your post, we very much appreciate all feedback as it allows us to continually improve our products and services. We have passed your comments onto the relevant department who are looking into this and working on improving our spares service. We're really sorry that you have had a less than satisfactory experience, and we hope that this won't put you off shopping with us in the future. Thank you."

    I then asked how long that would take and whether they would be updating my thread when they had resolved it. This was their reply.

    "improvements to our products and services is continuous, there is no timescale. Unfortunately we will not be able to update your thread on any future improvements to the spares service. Thank you"

    Unhappy with this response and lack of commitment I posted the following:

    "OK, I like to think I'm a patient man. I can make the same enquiry of your contact centre on a monthly basis and post the results here if that helps. Hell, my phone contract is all inclusive so I could do it every evening and weekend. I can probably share the results on Twitter too if you like. In fact, maybe I'll set up a website and a blog and document it. That'll be good, eh? I'll also buy a bottle of champagne ready for the day that you can sell me four screws at a reasonable price instead of a full pack of stuff I don't need. Hopefully we can get there before my daughter turns 21 (she's 5 now). While I'm here I might as well ask who is in charge of spares policy at M&Ps so I can write to them too."

    Hence the blog

    mamasandpapasspares blogspot co uk

    And the website.

    www mamasandpapasspares com

    And now you get to share in it.

    So there you have it. It's their move. We now have to wait and see what happens next.
    Originally posted by ginger_jesus
    Wow... You seem very upset about 4 screws.

    What happened to the original screws? Did you lose them??

    Presumably it is rather uncommon for people to need replacement parts which form an integral part of the item... Hence it would be rather expensive for them to keep a supply of rarely used spare parts.
    • peter_the_piper
    • By peter_the_piper 14th Feb 13, 8:35 AM
    • 25,675 Posts
    • 32,233 Thanks
    peter_the_piper
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 13, 8:35 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 13, 8:35 AM
    They are not upset about the screws only that they were being screwed over the price.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
    • Ivrytwr3
    • By Ivrytwr3 14th Feb 13, 8:44 AM
    • 5,412 Posts
    • 9,566 Thanks
    Ivrytwr3
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 13, 8:44 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 13, 8:44 AM
    sorry, but since when is it a companies responsibility to hold spares 'just in case'? If you were that bothered about the screws then you should have took better care of them!!

    You asked how much, that was unacceptable to you and so you sourced elsewhere. To me that would have been the end of it and i would have moved on with my life over what is a very trivial matter.
    • alexjonsson
    • By alexjonsson 14th Feb 13, 9:07 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    alexjonsson
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 13, 9:07 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 13, 9:07 AM
    Wow, if this is all you have to worry about in your life I am very jealous. Here I am wondering how to house and feed my family, facing the prospect of my third round of treatment for cancer and two major operations this year - want to swap?
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 14th Feb 13, 10:14 AM
    • 3,766 Posts
    • 4,787 Thanks
    ThumbRemote
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 13, 10:14 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 13, 10:14 AM
    Wow, if this is all you have to worry about in your life I am very jealous. Here I am wondering how to house and feed my family, facing the prospect of my third round of treatment for cancer and two major operations this year - want to swap?
    Originally posted by alexjonsson
    Let me try to understand. Your argument seems to be: 'my life is !!!!, so the OP shouldn't act the way they have'?
    • meer53
    • By meer53 14th Feb 13, 11:06 AM
    • 8,741 Posts
    • 12,692 Thanks
    meer53
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 13, 11:06 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 13, 11:06 AM
    Wow, Mr Angry or what ?

    Lifes too short to get so worked up about 4 screws. You got some screws to fit, move on.
  • ginger_jesus
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 13, 11:33 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 13, 11:33 AM
    Hi all, me again. Thanks for your responses. Yeah, I guess I might be making a mountain out of a molehill, but the brush off I received from customer services is what set a fire under me. I've probably just reached the tipping point of a variety of shoddy experiences I've been on the receiving end of recently.

    To answer some of the points directly, there is a spares process, indeed on the assembly instructions for the cot it gives you the number to ring if you are missing any parts. That number's no longer manned, mind you, but the intent was there at some point in the past. The spares process is important because there's also the possibility that you might take receipt of a cot that's missing stuff in the pack. In addition, the unit is designed to be broken down into a smaller bed, and when you do that, not all of the parts are used in that form, so there is an increased likelihood of things going missing. They're also competing with the likes of Ikea, who offer an extended parts availability service, so I don't think it's unreasonable that they try to at least match that given that you're paying a premium for their products.

    I should probably underline a couple of other points too. The screws I got were pretty difficult to find (took me a good couple of hours of researching fixture designs and standards before I even knew what to look for) and they weren't a match for what was provided. It was more by luck than anything else that they fit.

    The biggest problem was the price for the spares pack and why they reduced the price so quickly when I mentioned the word complaint. Other people might not have had the time nor energy to look around to see what else they could do and just accepted it.

    So, the purpose of raising this here is not only to vent a little, but to try to put pressure on the company to change their policy so they don't try to rip off anybody else. I would like to see parts being made available for a period longer than two years for products which are likely to have a longer lifespan than that, and for individual parts to be sold at a reasonable price. I think that's pretty reasonable.
    Last edited by ginger_jesus; 14-02-2013 at 11:37 AM.
  • ginger_jesus
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 13, 11:36 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 13, 11:36 AM
    Wow, if this is all you have to worry about in your life I am very jealous. Here I am wondering how to house and feed my family, facing the prospect of my third round of treatment for cancer and two major operations this year - want to swap?
    Originally posted by alexjonsson
    Alex, I thought I should respond to your post individually. You're right, my problems in no way amount to what you're going through. You have my sympathies and I hope all goes well over the coming months.
    Last edited by ginger_jesus; 14-02-2013 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Typo
  • Dave_C
    Absolute rubbish customer service. Had a similar episode with my combi boiler heat exchanger. In both cases it should have been a simple matter of customer services looking at an engineering parts list and saying you want 25 mm socket head m5 screws or whatever.

    No need for the company to carry spares, just computer information. As a general rule a company will use standard screws wherever possible, easier to source and cheap to buy in bulk.

    Well done OP for solving the problem.

    Dave
    • cattie
    • By cattie 14th Feb 13, 1:29 PM
    • 7,707 Posts
    • 5,228 Thanks
    cattie
    My sister had a similar issue with a Mamma's & Pappa's cot bed, but she was lucky enough to have a real old fashioned type of hardware store not far from where she lives. She asked in there the owner was able to come up with some very useful substitutes at a fraction of the cot manufacturers required price.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
    • alexjonsson
    • By alexjonsson 14th Feb 13, 9:07 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    alexjonsson
    Thanks Ginger, although in retrospect I think my comment was a bit out of line. You have more than justified your reasons for posting (not that you should have to) the original post. In fact I do believe that Mamas and Papas should have a better spares policy. I think I just found it funny that you'd dedicated so much time to making two websites!

    ThumbRemote, my life is not quite as bad as you think, although yes it's a struggle at the moment. I wasn't actually presenting an argument, just offering to swap. Nevermind.
  • ginger_jesus
    Well, they got back to my facebook thread today asking me to drop them an email with my contact details and they'd get in touch. This is what I sent them:

    "Dear M&Ps,

    I have recently been discussing the matter of over-priced spare parts on your Facebook page. You asked me to provide contact information for you to get in touch with me. Please do so - my number is xxxxxxxxxx.

    The outcomes I am looking for are simple:

    1. I would like M&Ps to reconsider your position with respect to the timescale for which spare parts are held to one that is more reasonable and in keeping with the lifespan of your products, even if they are discontinued.
    2. To reconsider your position with respect to selling individual spares as opposed to over-priced packs.
    3. To ensure that standard components are built into the design so that if needs be customers can pick up what they need from a decent hardware store.

    I look forward to hearing from you."

    I also alerted them to the fact I'd found a pile of their senior staff on LinkedIn and was ready to write to the MP for where their HQ is based. Will post here again with an update if and when they call me.

    Interestingly, the stats on my blog tell me it's being read as far afield as the US and the Philippines!
    • aldredd
    • By aldredd 15th Feb 13, 10:08 AM
    • 918 Posts
    • 659 Thanks
    aldredd
    Not a fan of M&P either - had a similar experience getting replacement wheels for a pushchair (they wear *really* quickly!). When we purchased it, we were told it was about a fiver for a replacement set of rear wheels - but when we needed it doing, we were told they can now only replace them as part of an overall service of the PC - at about 30 quid from memory.
    No thanks
    • maninthestreet
    • By maninthestreet 15th Feb 13, 10:18 AM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 13,286 Thanks
    maninthestreet
    OP - are you sure the screws aren't available elsewhere at a much lower cost? Do you have a picture of the screws you can upload?
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
    • aldredd
    • By aldredd 15th Feb 13, 10:27 AM
    • 918 Posts
    • 659 Thanks
    aldredd
    OP - are you sure the screws aren't available elsewhere at a much lower cost? Do you have a picture of the screws you can upload?
    Originally posted by maninthestreet
    it's a long post - but eventually he does get to the point where he purchased them elsewhere and they fit fine.
  • ginger_jesus
    OP - are you sure the screws aren't available elsewhere at a much lower cost? Do you have a picture of the screws you can upload?
    Originally posted by maninthestreet
    I haven't taken a pic yet, but I will do. As I'm a new user this site won't let me post links to show you either otherwise I would have shown you from the assembly instructions. The difficulty was that there was no head on the screw at all. They are used to secure the sides, so have to fit flush with the edges of the panels. I had a good chat with our local hardware store owner and he reckoned they're be impossible to find other than from the original manufacturer. Hence my web research. If I'd lost the barrel nut that it fitted into on the other hand I would have been totally screwed, no pun intended.

    The screws I eventually bought were 8mm M6 allen head cap screws (whatever that means). It was only because the drill hole was slightly wider than the screw I though I might have gotten away with it. If I hadn't I would have had to drill out the hole to a bigger size, but that would have risked the structural integrity of the design and hence the safety of the cot.

    I have to say, I'm not a particularly handy or technical person, so this was all new for me.
  • alphabet soup
    I used to work for M&P and am painfully aware of how crap their customer service is.

    I had one of their car seats, but when I washed the covers one day, one of the pieces went missing. I called them up to ask about buying a replacement, and was told that they don't provide replacements for those parts, as removing them is a safety issue. When I queried this (i.e. why on earth are you firstly able to remove them, and secondly why don't they tell you not to in the instructions?) they hung up on me. Charming. I ended up buying a whole new 'used' car seat on eBay for a fiver, just so I could nick that one part.
    • Kingsd316
    • By Kingsd316 15th Feb 13, 2:18 PM
    • 1,321 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    Kingsd316
    Which screws were they?


    http://www.mamasandpapas.com/downloads/product_manuals_pdf/Furniture/Murano/Murano%20Cot-Bed%20instructions.pdf
  • ginger_jesus
    Well done sir. Page 2 item D - the screws that fit into the small barrel nuts.
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