Early this year I attended my first plastic-novelties party (as my family so charmingly calls them) in over a decade. At the time I was very interested to see how popular Tupperware still is – or is again. Whilst it certainly is both a reliable and attractive product, does that warrant the cost? Does Tupperware work hard enough to keep their market share?
Despite some ambivalence on these questions, I recently found myself inviting 20 or so friends over for a demonstration of the new summer range. We watched the young demonstrator prepare and bake a (delicious!) one-cup coconut and sultana slice, which cleverly showcased the new baking range and promoted it rather effectively. However, since I’d hosted the demo as a favour-for-a-friend, there was no pressure to purchase anything – and this may have added to the relaxed ambience. It turned into a pretty rowdy afternoon of chit-chit, tasty treats and amused reminiscing over past Tupper-experiences.
A few people had taken the opportunity to bring along damaged items for replacement, but found out that this is now all done independently by customers online. The process sounded pretty straight forward so, bright and early on Monday morning, I duly went online to arrange replacements lids for a couple of my storage containers. Both are fairly venerable and the lids have developed small cracks in the corners, an eventuality covered by the “famous lifetime guarantee”.
What actually transpired was an enormous amount of dissatisfaction, time-wasting and heightened levels of irritation. I ended up sufficiently irked to compose a letter about the new “improved” replacement policy on the lifetime guaranteed goods and to email it off – still in high dudgeon.
After four days of no response, I did indeed turn to social media. I tried commenting on Facebook and also adding comments where other people, similarly irritated and dissatisfied, have voiced their opinions. Still no response.
If anything, the company seems to be doing a great job of devaluing a brand that’s worked effectively for decades (despite increasing competition in the market place) and alienating long-term customers. This is, at best, shortsighted.
If you’re of a similar mind on this topic, you could trying adding your voice to those already out there by putting a message up on the visitor comments section Facebook page – and by scrolling down and LIKING the relevant comments from others.
It’s time for Tupperware to earn their market share, rather than assume it’s secure.
For those who’re interested in this ongoing saga, but who may not be tracking it on Facebook, Tupperware did finally respond to my comments of 2 Oct … the issue is, however, ongoing.
Tupperware Australia/New Zealand: Hi Nik, can you please confirm what email address you sent your message to? You can also call our Customer Care team between Mon-Fri 9-5 on 1800 805 396 for a quick resolution. 6 October at 08:25
Nik Macdougall: The most obvious resolution to the problem is to reintroduce the returns-via-demonstrator option previously in place. Perhaps Tupperware could consider having BOTH options available to customers? That would be a win-win, surely?
… and please send me the email address you would prefer me to use – I will then forward the original letter to you. Meantime, here you go… (jpg of letter inserted)
6 October at 17:53
Tupperware Australia/New Zealand: Hi Nik, thanks for your letter. Our Lifetime Guarantee has not changed in that we will replace anything defective or faulty for a lifetime with no charge for the product itself. We do ask that customers pay a flat rate delivery fee of $8+gst per 5 x items which is purely for postage of replacement product straight to your door. In most cases, this is subsidised by Tupperware to keep the fee to a minimum. Many of our customers find lodging an online claim more convenient than going through a demonstrator. However, we are aware that some customers are not getting the full benefits of the new system and look forward to releasing some further options for how claims can be managed online in the near future. 7 October at 09:41
Nik Macdougall: Dear Tupperware, thank you for your reply. I look forward to hearing what the “further options” will be in the very near future. I will continue to highlight your responses to keep others who are interested and/or affected by your returns policy informed. Kind regards, NM. 7 October at 14:22
Tupperware Australia/New Zealand:
Good work Nik, there are many unhappy customers who deserve better. Would you like to share your comments with this group. Make our Tupperware replacements free https://www.facebook.com/freeourtupperware/
Thanks for bringing your group to my attention. I’ve joined and shared the info. Keep up the good work – it’s the only way we’ll wear them down!