This is the first time that I’ve ever written a customer review about anything. My experience with Ikea was comically terrible and I felt that writing a review highlighting my experience would give me a small sliver of recourse and hopefully save someone else from the exceptional levels of frustration that can go along with shopping at this retailer.
I bought a bed from Ikea on a Friday that came in two boxes. When I got home, the materials in box 2 very obviously did not fit with the materials with box 1. I called customer service to try to figure out what happened (why materials that were in box 2 were incorrect).
I spent an hour and 15 minute on the phone with multiple people. I found out that the model of the bed that I’d purchased had an old model and new model – however, the old model boxes were intermingled with the new model boxes on the merchandise floor, with no distinction – this is how I ended up with two incompatible boxes.
The Ikea customer service staff did not seem to hold any power or ability to help to solve their error. They were disconnected from the rest of the business – they could not communicate with the staff at the store or the delivery team when they need to clarify information related to my case. Most frustratingly, they were seemingly completely uninterested in working to fix Ikea’s error - it was more like a line to listen to customer complaints than a way to solve problems.
Ultimately, after significant pushing from me, they agreed to call me back the following day to coordinate a day for the box with the correct material to be delivered. Over the next two days, the call did not come. On the second day after my call, I decided to go back to the store.
I waited 45 minutes in the returns and exchanges line before speaking with anyone. It was 45 minutes only because a man in line with a lower number (we received numbers upon arriving) was exasperated – he gave me his lower number ticket and left in disgust – in hindsight, there is no doubt that I should’ve taken his lead.
When I finally got to the returns and exchanges counter, the attendants were again unempowered and were seemingly making an effort to be unhelpful. In addition, there were not knowledgeable about their products (at least the customer service representatives could understand the old/new model distinction). Ultimately, I was given a receipt and gift card to purchase the correct box 2.
I then went to the merchandise area to get the correct box 2. I waited roughly 20 minutes in line at the checkout counter. Once I got to the clerk at the register, he said that I would not be able to buy box 2 without box 1. For the third time (after the first time on the phone with customer service and the second time at the returns and exchanges counter), I explained what had happened. I showed him the receipt from the returns and exchanges counter (which was time stamped, showing him that I had been there just minutes earlier). He called some sort of authority figure in the store over who then told me that I would have to buy the full bed over again.
At this point, I was appalled at the egregiousness of it all. Rather than lose my temper, which didn’t seem productive (although may have been a little bit cathartic), I left the store. I went directly to another furniture store and bought a bed. I then went home and threw out my partially assembled Ikea bed – it was not worth returning to the store to return the bed – I would rather swallow the cost of the Ikea bed than face the prospect of dealing with such willful unhelpfulness again.
Ikea’s initial error was in faulty inventory stocking. However, the real failures were in (1) their inability or unwillingness to communicate among different parts of the business (customer service, delivery, returns and exchanges, and the checkout registers were all totally unable to communicate with one another) and (2) their unwillingness to work constructively to fix an Ikea error in order to help a customer.
I would shrug and say that this was an isolated bad experience – but the 45 minute line in the returns and exchanges section, along with people leaving the line in disgust, suggests that my experience is not unique at all. If you are looking for furniture: as a fellow consumer, I strongly suggest that you shop elsewhere to avoid the frustration that can go along with shopping at Ikea.