Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ikea - A Bad Idea

“Ikea’s customer service department is currently closed. IKEA customer service can be reached every day from 9am to 9pm.”  It was 9:11 a.m.

This shouldn’t surprise me. Yesterday’s adventures in trying to give IKEA money were no better. I called one store to request a piece of furniture that is available in two other stores, each over 5 hours driving from us. With two and half year old triplets at home, I rely on the value and (sometimes) quality of IKEA’s merchandise. But I am gravely disappointed in the service.

When I spoke with the store's service gal, she told me the item I wanted could not be brought in from another location. “That’s just our policy.” She agreed with me and said she didn’t understand it either, but could not help me and I should go to another store. I don’t know if she meant another IKEA or another retailer. I’m pretty close to going to another retailer.

She then told me that only Seattle and Houston ship furniture, so I should try calling them. Guess what? They DO NOT ship out of state.  Of course they don’t.

Next I tried the online ‘Anna’ customer service. The answers from her came up so fast it was hard to believe that the system was actually registering my questions. Instead it appears that it picks up on key words and gives standard answers. It suggested I check stock availability online. I typed in that I already did that, and the response was, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t talk about things like that”. Huh??

Now I am willing to purchase it over the phone and have a friend pick it up for me, and I get the phone message with which I started this letter. But as you might guess by now, IKEA will not take a phone order. And if I call the catalog order phone number, I am guessing I would have to pay shipping that I would not have to pay IF I could actually get the item AT the store. It’s kind of ironic that IKEA will not take my money every possible way I have tried to give it. But with a catalog order they will happily take a little more of it. The customer service gal from San Diego was quick to tell me that she is “Sorry for the inconvenience”.  I couldn’t’ disagree more. She was not sorry. It was a scripted answer that only served to cement my rapidly growing annoyance with IKEA.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. The internet is littered with sites and comments like these. So what is it IKEA? You're a franchise? You're cheap? You don't care? That should not be the customer’s problem. In this kind of economy, and frankly in any economy, who can afford to turn away business? Apparently IKEA.What a bad idea.

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