Ikea - Lacking Common Sense

You do your part, we do our part. I was going to call this post The Staff at Ikea are a Bunch of Fuckers. But I cannot necessarily blame the staff for the rigid corporate bullshit and red tape that has to be followed. Hence the title.

I took advantage of a day off from work and went to Ikea. I need to update my furniture and Ikea has always been a convenient place to get inexpensive furnishings. After eating most of my meals in front of the TV set I figured it was time to get a new table. I want a table that doesn't wobble. I also need a sturdy bookshelf. I have a ton of books and not enough shelves on which to store them.

If you have been to Ikea before you know it is a cavernous building with hundreds of rooms sectioned off to give it a homey and warm feeling. I walked through the store, took my notes, and examined each piece that interested me. I verified the measurements and moved on to the next room.
Before leaving I made sure to ask about delivery charges. There is not enough room in my car and just one of the boxes I was to purchase weighed in at 140 pounds (63.5 kg). The kind lady at the counter informed me that charges are $65.00 for delivery. Extra charges apply for more than 20 boxes.

Here's where the problem starts. I did not make the purchase. I went home.

Once arriving chez moi I browsed the Ikea website. I confirmed to myself that this was a good choice and the right purchase and I completed the order.
After I put my credit card through, Ikea added $99.00 plus tax for delivery charges. I did not pass the 20 box limit so it should still be $65.
Something is wrong here.

I called Ikea. The first guy I spoke to said it is $65 in store and $99 online. I have to pay for the convenience of shopping online. Convenience? According to the timer on my phone I've been on hold for 29 minutes. There is nothing convenient about this. He puts me back on hold so that he can transfer me to customer service.

For every minute I wait I know I will become exponentially more aggressive with the person who answers.
It won't be convenient for the person I speak to.

47 minutes in, (I have a speaker phone so I was able to do other stuff while I waited) I was finally transferred to customer service. Customer Service lady then explains to me, after the fact, the benefits of completing the order online instead of the store. Wrong play on her part. I now know there is a difference in "convenience" in shopping online compared to in-store.
I did not know it before they charged my card. And I had not seen any evidence of this so called convenience prior to them charging my card. Or after.

The representative’s offer to me was to keep the order or cancel the order. To which I replied "You are telling me take it or leave it?" For some reason she wouldn't answer.
I was not getting any satisfaction so I told her to transfer me to her supervisor.

No go. I was told specifically; her supervisor will not take the phone and would tell me the same thing.
I insisted she escalate the matter and she put me on hold for a tolerable two minutes, coming back to tell me her supervisor was not available. She would however give me the option of cancelling the order. I replied by asking her if it is in the best interest of the company to cancel my order without resolving the complaint? Again no answer.
She repeated that she did escalate my concerns and told me a supervisor would call me back within two to four days. I asked if she considers two days a reasonable delay. Again I was given a take or leave it option.
I cancelled the order.

Fast forward to today. I received a call from someone from the "Resolution" department. I was a little calmer today and I really tried to keep an open mind and listen to what the representative was saying.
She gave me a lot of the same crap. Mostly she kept repeating herself saying purchasing online is not the same as in store. I asked her for the purpose of her call as, while she did apologize four times she is repeating the conversation I had yesterday.

The mantra I heard over and over while I waited on hold yesterday was "At Ikea we work together to keep costs down. You do your part, we do our part. Together we save money for you."

My options were to go elsewhere, or go back to Ikea. My decision was based on two points. I can keep a chip on my shoulder but why inconvenience myself any further? And the purchase of a bookcase was my priority. I can easily find a dining room set at any number of stores. And I have to admit Ikea has great storage and shelving units.

I come from a world of call centres and customer service. I do not work the phones but I do receive the occasional escalated complaint or concern from clients. First you must listen to the problem, second, conduct your research, third, offer an explanation and /or an apology. The apology could simply be, I apologize for the confusion. In most cases the problem is resolved. My company had the forethought to empower myself and a couple of my colleagues to make decisions based on the company policy but also the needs of our clients.
The Ikea representatives by comparison were stuck on the acknowledgement portion of their speech. To be so rigid in your policies as Ikea is, so that customers walk away with such a bad taste in their mouth makes no sense. From here on end Ikea will not be my first choice. Why should I risk putting myself through this again?


  1. Ikea is such a painful experience, especially if things don't go as planned.

    Maybe one day the Ikea logo will join that group of defunct stores. If we're lucky. Something even worse will probably replace it.

  2. It's always more fun choosing your Ikea items than actually purchasing them, getting them home and building them! But, I agree - great bookshelves :-/