Customer service is thriving — at least all the way across the country. Here’s what happened: I love my Mukka Express stovetop cappuccino maker from Italian company Bialetti for my first cup of morning coffee. In fact, I’ve got two of them so I can mix and match parts and not wait to brew a second pot. They’re simple coffee makers that depend on steam, pressure and correct assembling, so when one of the valves — the critical part of Mukka Expresses — stopped working, I went to the Web site, http://www.bialetti.it/uk/index.asp, and ordered a replacement. It got to my house quickly but it didn’t work. Since I had two Mukkas, I checked every part combination to make sure it was the new valve that was faulty and not another part or user error, and it seemed to be the new valve that was the problem. So I e-mailed customer service and within an hour — literally one hour — got a reply from Karen Wilson of Bialetti customer relations with Bradshaw International, a cookware-distributor in California. She kindly offered advice and a free replacement, which came a few days later and worked perfectly. I got better and quicker help from her in California that I have from retailers less than a mile from my house. But it’s good to know that courtesy and helpfulness are still around if you know where to look. So I’m back to two pots of Mukka a day — with a much more pleasant outlook.