It occurred to me the other day − while trying to gauge whether a rubbed-raw measuring spoon was a tablespoon or half a tablespoon − that all the Tupperware I collected in my teens has a Limited Lifetime Warranty on it.
I vaguely remember a Tupperware Consultant spouting this information out as I thumbed through their catalogue, gorging on homemade dips at one of the many household Tupperware parties I’ve attended in my childhood.
As a supporter of my various family members’ at-home sales jobs, I would purchase kitchen items here or there and put them in my hope chest. Before leaving for college, I stashed this hope chest away in the attic at our farm, grabbing an item or two from it each trip I made home. Just three years ago I transported the rest of my Tupperware as well as other items stashed away by a starry-eyed teen in my two free Southwest bags on a flight home.
The measuring spoons I had been using since my early 20s, so they’ve survived a move from PA to Maryland, then Maryland to Florida, then Florida to Texas − roughly 11 years of use.
But I must have made one too many of my grandmother’s Strawberry Shortcakes because the blue labeling has worn off… leaving me to guess at the sizes (perhaps that is why those tiramisu Martha Stewart Cookies never turned out? Nah, but it’s nice to blame something besides my own lack of baking skills).
A quick inventory of my cupboards, and I found three other Tupperware items that were worse for wear: a container that had a spider web-like shattering on one side, a small bowl whose plastic lip has broken off, and a measuring cup that’s warped.
Sounds like it’s time to experiment: exactly how limited are these products’ lifetime warranties?
Items I Wanted Replaced Under Tupperware’s Limited Lifetime Warranty
During my online chat with a representative, I found out the following information:
“Tupperware® brand products are guaranteed by Tupperware against chipping, cracking, breaking, warping or peeling under normal non-commercial use for the lifetime of the product. If, due to unavailability, actual product replacement cannot be made, comparable product replacement will be made. Products noted with the “Q” symbol in our catalog are guaranteed for 1 year against defects in workmanship.”
Based on what the warranty covers, here’s the rundown of items I wanted replaced:
- Set of Measuring Cups (warped)
- Set of Measuring Spoons (peeling)
- Small, Microwavable Bowl with Lid (chipped)
- Large, Microwavable Container with Lid (cracked)
Tried Two Different Methods (By Mail, and By Phone)
I didn’t feel like tracking down a consultant (honestly, I would feel bad asking some random consultant to replace my items if I wasn’t going to purchase other ones from her/him), so decided to attempt replacements by both mail and by phone for comparison purposes.
During our online chat, the representative told me that I could either call 1 (800) 887-7379 and they will place a special order to send me the replacement with a $5.75 shipping and handling fee (this is a flat fee for the entire order, not per product replaced. Awesome!). I didn’t have to ship anything in, but the rep said to keep the items for 30 days because they could request to see them during that time.
Or, I could ship the item myself to their factory at the following address with me paying to ship them, but paying no shipping and handling fee for the new replacements:
248 Tupperware Rd, Hemingway, SC 29554.
- By Mail: I chose to ship the least expensive items to the warehouse, which were the small measuring spoons. I used a used envelope to mail them on February 20, 2016 for $2.54 (includes tracking) through USPS. Also, I included a letter with my name, phone number, email address, and mailing address.
- By Phone: This left the measuring spoons, small bowl, and large container to handle over the phone. On February 29, 2016 I made the call. I had to let the person know each of the model numbers (thankfully located on the bottom of each piece of Tupperware). One item was not available, so they said to call back in a few days to see if it was available then (it was). Since they did not have it, they waived the shipping and handling fee on this order.
Note: The third option, which I chose not to take, is to find a consultant to give the items to. If you’d like to do this, go to www.Tupperware.com and on the left-hand sidebar is an option to “Find a Consultant“.
The Leftover-Fresh Results
Just like the representative told me, the item I mailed took much longer to be replaced than the items I called in (42 looooooonnnng days. Good thing we had an alternate set of measuring spoons from my husband’s bachelor pad days).
The items by phone arrived much more quickly, but not within the 9 days they had quoted me. Two boxes arrived on March 13, 2016, 13 days later. One of the containers came with the wrong-sized lid, so on March 14th I online chatted with them again. The rep resent the correct lid − no shipping charge to me − and that arrived 10 days later on March 24th.
Altogether, I ended up spending just $8.29 out of pocket for products that would have cost me $59.85 (of course I had paid for them at one point; but with my family’s consulting discounts and 20 years’ worth of inflation, I think I came out ahead).
Also, they never asked to see the items I was asking to have replaced…so I still have them as well. Score!
Time to conduct your own Tupperware Cupboard Audit? Here’s a Few Tips
From going through the process, I’ve got a few tips for you:
- Batch to Save on Shipping and Handling Costs: $5.75 shipping and handling fee is per order, not per product. So go through your cabinets and get everything that needs to be replaced done at once to get the most bang for your buck.
- Ship Smaller Items Yourself to Save Money: If you have small items, then go ahead and ship them yourself as you’ll likely save from having to pay the $5.75 shipping and handling fee.
- Save Your Tracking Number: Get a tracking number from the USPS and save it in case the items are lost.
- Score Free Shipping Altogether: Going to a Tupperware party already? Then don’t forget to bring those items needing replaced. In Canada? Then the rep said you will need to find a consultant anyway in order to have your items replaced under the warranty.
- Save Time: If you really need those items quickly, then call them instead of using mail. The phone-call turnaround time is supposed to be within 9 days. The mailing option took them a total of 42 days to get me the replacement.
- Know the Functionality You’re Looking to Replace: They didn’t have one of my items, but I was able to ask for something that had a lid and was microwavable − the two things I had identified as most important to me.
Overall, I was very satisfied with my transaction. And now I’ve got a few updated pieces of Tupperware in my cupboards!
So, how about it? Are you going to do a Tupperware audit? Let me know in the comments below what items you’re getting replaced, and how the process goes for you!