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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.

The instructions for the mattress say: Saplings crib 84 x 41 cm sq. Amby Hammock 88 x 30 cm sq.

So comes the first question: 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. 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.

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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. 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.

Yes, you did read that correctly. 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? So much so it was almost as if the recess was actually designed for them in the first instance.

Durham 79 x 38 cm sq. Dolls prams Baby Annabelle 58 x 30 cm. We have passed your comments onto the relevant department who are looking into this and working on improving our spares service.

This is the response I got: 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.

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  • This was their reply. Unfortunately we will not be able to update your thread on any future improvements to the spares service.

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    Thank you" Unhappy with this response and lack of commitment I posted the following: 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.

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  • In fact, maybe I'll set up a website and a blog and document it. That'll be good, eh?

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    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.

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