Not only is there a fairly limited range of electrical appliances in Cyprus - although considerably better than used to be the case - but it's often quite difficult to get things repaired or replaced. Even when under guarantee.
We've had particular problems with our blender, which we bought just over a year ago. We had several to choose from, for a change, and made the decision based on what it looked like. And it does look good in the kitchen. But even from new, it dribbled slightly from the bottom, from time to time. By June this year, it was so bad that I couldn't use it. We could see the problem - broken plastic at the bottom. So we took the blender to be repaired. I had the receipt, and we did, eventually, get our replacement at no cost since it was undoubtedly still under guarantee. But not without considerable debate.
About a month ago, it started leaking again. And once started, it got worse and worse until, once more, it was unusable. I discovered a crack in the base of the jug.
We could, of course, have taken it to Orphanides to be repaired once more, but neither of us was keen. We really don't like conflict at all. And perhaps it was my fault, for having used soups that were too hot (not that I'd made soup for many months), or ice too cold.
So, after a couple of weeks of putting it off, I did some research online, wondering if we could find a suitable spare part. I came across Belstar Electrics, who claim to supply spares and accessories for kitchen appliances. I searched for my blender model, and sure enough they were offering the jug base, at about £15. Would they deliver to Cyprus, I wondered? If so, it would be much easier simply to order one than to go to the trouble of taking it to Orphanides, and then arguing over the €20 they would try to charge us.
Belstar did indeed deliver internationally. With postage it came to around £20, but we thought it worth trying.
Alas, they did not have a suitable part for our deceased juice extractor. But they wrote a very nice email, within a few hours of me writing my query. I was most imppressed.
In the mailbox this week our replacement base was awaiting us. It was extremely well-packed; the part was in a double layer of bubble-wrap, and was then also padded in a small box with polystyrene beads. The small box was then packed inside a slightly larger box, held in place with more polystyrene beads. Parcel tape held it firmly closed.
The base fits perfectly. The blender no longer leaks.
While I hope we won't have too many more broken appliances, I shall certainly plan on using Belstar Electrics again if we do.