Last winter I went to my local Ikea and purchased a dining room set, a table and four chairs. Since I own a compact car, I had a friend take time to bring his truck and help me out.
I picked out the ones I wanted in the showroom, got a salesperson to help me, pointed out which ones I wanted and had him print up a receipt for it (it was one of those Ikeas that has a warehouse across the street where you pick up some things). I paid at the register, and with receipt in hand, went to pick up the box. I double-checked the box number with the number on the receipt, just to be sure and they matched so I figured I was golden.
We got them back to my place and unloaded, and he headed home. It was getting pretty late but I decided to assemble some of it that night and when I opened the dining room table box, guess what? Wrong table. It didn't match the chairs in color. It wasn't even close. Although the numbers on the receipt and box matched, the salesperson had entered in the wrong number into the computer in the first place. It was a similar model but different color (rather hideous in my opinion). I knew that Ikea delivered so I called their customer service number thinking I could have them, next time they were in the area, do a quick swap. After all, it was their mistake, and getting access to my friend's truck again was out of the question for at least 2 weeks.
When I finally got on the line with a real person, I explained about the mix-up and requested that they do a swap with one of their delivery trucks. The guy on the other end of the line gave me a very hard time. He said that I should have checked the box numbers before leaving. I explained I HAD checked the box numbers and that the salesperson had entered in the wrong number into the computer in the first place (it was only off by a few digits).
Therefore, the only way for me to verify that the table was the correct color would have been to tear open the box right there in the warehouse. He said, "This is your fault. If that is what is necessary to verify then that's what you should have done. This is not our problem."
I about blew a gasket. What kind of company says "It's your fault we made a mistake"???. So, I asked to speak to his manager and was placed on hold for about 20 minutes. Finally, the manager came on the line and I was still fuming. I explained the situation to her and she very calmly said, "We'll have a truck in your area in 3 days, and we can swap the tables then. Is that ok?" I calmed down a lot and said, "Yeah that'd be great. That's exactly what I wanted in the first place." She said, "Well you still sound pretty angry about this whole situation."
I explained, "It's not the fact that your salesperson made a mistake. That happens and I completely understand it. That's not a big deal. The problem was your employee who I was just talking to told me that this entire situation was my fault." The phone was silent for several seconds and then she said, very icily I might add, "He said WHAT???"
She apologized profusely for that employee's behavior and I'm guessing someone got severely reprimanded that night, maybe even fired. I hope he didn't lose his job, but to be honest, if he did, he brought it on himself.
While the experience started out negative, it turned very positive at the end and this is a big compliment to the fact that, even though some of its employees may be surly from time to time, the manager I dealt with is clearly very good at what she does and extremely helpful. I only wish I remembered to get her name so that I could write a letter to the company to commend her.