We’ve just had our second bad experience with IKEA in as many months, and it’s becoming a regular occurrence that they provide exceedingly poor customer service and sub standard goods. Let me take you through the events.
In August we moved into a new place, and it’s huge (as we’re always being told by first time visitors) so we needed to buy a load of furniture. So early last month we took a trip to IKEA and spent most of the day there purchasing approximately £800 worth of goods. This included a bench, two bedside cabinets, a two-four drawer chest, a lounge unit, three DVD units, a bookcase a hallway wine rack and drawer unit and a few odds and ends.
When we got home to open everything we found that the lounge unit was missing the base struts to allow the unit to stand and the two-four drawer chest was missing the top, so nothing too small missing.
We were expecting guests for dinner that evening and we found we couldn’t build these units that were now sitting around the hall half built. Our instructions told us to call IKEA. Now if you try and call any IKEA number you’re pulled through to a central call centre, as I was when I called the Edinburgh store.
I received a reference number and let them know the parts that were missing and the urgency of the situation. This is pretty much what I was told:
If you go to the store now you can collect the items, otherwise it will be three to four days and we’ll mail them out to youIKEA Call Centre Staff
Not good enough. I purchased £800 worth of goods and paid for delivery. This was for the reason that nothing would fit in the car, I could not carry an entire unit top. Delivery also ensured piece of mind for me that the items would reach me in perfect condition, unlike posting an entire unit top with Royal Mail. That didn’t matter to IKEA, today if I drive out to collect or next week to wait for the items to be posted to me.
After some thought I picked a phone number from one of the orders I received and called the direct phone in the kitchen department where we bought the hall unit. I began explaining the situation and what happened, asking very politely if it would be possible for all the missing pieces to be sent out to us. Receiving nothing more than the standard response with some argumentative attitude thrown in against the customer, I asked to speak to the store Manager. Amazingly, on a busy Sunday I had just happened to catch the Store Manager on that extension.
I discussed the situation and said that I would have expected that delivery of the missing items wouldn’t be a problem, after all, according to the Sale of Goods Act (Revised) the goods were not sold as described or fit for purpose, so the customer should not be the one to be put out and feel aggrieved.
Can you believe that the “Store Manager” argued with me? His final decision, after I wouldn’t back down, as I expect where his normal bully tactics and awkwardness would lead, he said something very close to:
…well since you are the customer I suppose I should try and make you happy.Claimed Store Manager of IKEA Edinburgh
Well done, that would be the major rule of any Business would it not? Oh, perhaps it’s just to make money.
Unfortunately all that could be found in store was the top of the two-four drawer chest, so we accepted a delivery to us that very day, and an hour or so later an IKEA employee arrived to drop off the unit top.
Once we began to build more we found that the unit that just had the new top attached, that it was missing all six front facia strips. These are the pieces between the drawer units, highly noticeable and were also required to hold the unit together.
I made another call to the central number to let them know what had happened. We had received the top, but had now found these further six pieces missing, and were still missing the base sections for the lounge unit.
The call was updated and we were told to expect delivery within three to four days. Our dinner party that evening was ruined, and our house was filled with half built furniture.
Those days passed, and there was nothing. I called the central number and told them what had happened, again. It seems that no one can see the history of the call in that call centre. The woman I spoke to agreed with me that the situation was awful and marked the call us urgent. Apparently this made the call go to the front of the queue and would be seen by the warehouse staff first.
That made no difference and we found ourselves waiting a further three days for the missing items to arrive. Now, rather than just drop off the replacement pieces, they brought entire new units. This presented a few problems.
The previous items were half built and without packing; the drivers had been told to collect all replaced goods but could not pickup half built furniture; receiving complete new units introduced the possibility of missing items again.
However, the driver left us the goods, returned to their van and called their office. They were back within five minutes to collect all the parts and carry them back to the van.
Finally, we built the items and nothing was missing, over a week after spending our money with the company and entering into a standard contract for supply of goods.
We had received the worst customer service I’ve had in a long time. “Store Manager” arguing with the customer, items not quality checked, the additional hassle and loss of use of purchased goods with little assistance to remedy.
Now this weekend, because we may have both sets of parents arriving for Christmas Dinner (our first Christmas together and in our house) we decided we needed to get a good dining table with chairs, and our choice was dropped to IKEA for affordability, and to be fair, because we had seen some nice tables there before.
Getting in early to avoid the madness we picked a table and chairs, received good service from the staff in store to assist in deciding on the purchase, note that we had not parted with monies yet. We decided on the table and six chairs (over £300 in total. Running total with IKEA, over £1,200), and made our way to the checkouts with the goods.
The first thing, and I am sure totally contravening current legislation, was that every IKEA customer is now charged 70p for using any credit card. This is, as they point, to enable IKEA to use the money to give back to the customer. But wait a minute, IKEA are charging me, the customer, that 70p. When exactly is it coming back to me? Definitely not in hard cash or in customer service.
The worst thing about this is that the only notification of this charge is on the small signs shown to indicate which cards are accepted. This is the standard size, smaller than A4, and it is placed on the actual checkout itself, and looks exactly like any other sign that states what cards are accepted. There is no real indication or warning to the customers that are not standing right next to the till that they will be charged for the privilege of using their credit cards.
I paid by Switch, luckily I had the cash available. We made our way to the IKEA delivery service and arranged for the delivery the following day. When you arrange delivery it’s amazing, you are not charged 70p. “Why?” I asked the gentleman:
…because customers wouldn’t agree to it, it’s not fairIKEA Delivery Staff
Well done again, you have recognised that customers don’t like paying additional costs for using a credit card when other companies aren’t asking for it, and credit cards are probably the most accepted and used form of payment anywhere.
Sunday came, and the goods arrived after lunchtime. We unpacked and I could not believe it. We were missing the front leg section of one of the chairs, a complete set of screws for on of the chairs and there were no instructions for the table.
After spending all that money, and purchasing all those goods from one company, we’ve found a total of eleven pieces missing from four different pieces of furniture on two separate deliveries.
This time I didn’t even bother phoning any of the IKEA staff, we unpacked everything to make sure we weren’t missing anything else (we didn’t realise about the screws until later) and visited the store to talk to a young lad who didn’t even apologise for the poor quality of goods we received. However, he did give us new instructions and a new chair front.
I am never shopping at IKEA again. The poorest service I have received from a Company in a long time, and the worst quality of goods I have ever seen.