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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Forget France, Boycot SWEDEN

For those of you who aren't privy to my recent tribulations with the cheap furniture free for all that is Ikea, let me give you a brief run down. In lieu of procuring a truck of some sort and making the trek to either College Park or Potomac Mills, I ordered my bed from Ikea online for home delivery in early November, to arrive just in time for my late November move in date(note: aside from the grievances I'm about to layout, also be forewarned that home delivery from the internet costs about 4.5 times as much as home delivery if you go to the store and request it). I received confirmation emails, and replied to the ones it asked me to reply to. When 4 weeks had gone by and still no bed appeared at my door, I called to enquire.
Ikea Lady: "Oh, your order's been cancelled."
Me: "Oh really? That's interesting. By who?"
Ikea Lady: "By Ikea."
Me: "And why is that?"
Ikea Lady: "Because there wasn't confirmation to charge your credit card."
Me: "So when I hit confirm, submit, and replied in the affirmative to all of your emails, that wasn't confirmation?"
Ikea Lady: "Apparently not. Would you like us to reinstate your order?"
Me: "Absolutely not."

Flash forward to the Saturday before last, when I'd finally sorted through the mire of holiday exhaustion and found a few free hours in which I could wrangle both Sam and the blazer for a trip to College Park. After an ungodly frustrating couple of hours in that store with a layout that could only have been conceived by cyclopse with a really bad sense of humor, we finally got through checkout, got through the large furniture pick up line, and loaded our goods into the blazer and headed home. Psychological strife was, it seemed, worth it to finally be entirely moved into my house (it's been two months, I'm ready for removal of all cardboard boxes!).

But nay. Come this past Saturday, my mom and I had set aside the day to put the bed together and get things wrapped up in casa 3152. As I put the preliminary steps in motion and start opening up all of the boxes, I soon realized that the white washed Norwegian wood (save your Beatles jokes) bore nothing in common with the wire frame bed I had purchased. Yes, that's right, they gave me the wrong. freakin. bed.

Ups and downs with customer service agents at various levels of decision making endowment ensued. I was finally faced with the decision of whether to make another trip to that massive and pseudo-happy hell on earth, or pay $69 to have them come pick up the wrong one and bring me the right one. I went with the path of least resistance and am shelling out the 69 bucks for home delivery. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm seriously ticked off at Ikea in general and their appauling lack of customer care. They lack any drive whatsoever to actually help a customer through a situation that is the result of their own mistake. I suppose the argument would be made that you pay for what you get, and when procuring good through discount retailers, you can't expect top of the line customer satisfaction. However, it only makes good business sense to do all that is within your reasonable powers to rectify your mistakes and come away from transactions with a clean reputation in the eyes of your customers.

ANYHOW, that being said, I look forward to receiving my bed at a yet to be determined date in the near future, god willing. The moral of this story, if you couldn't tell, is if at all avoidable, do not shop at Ikea. And if you do, go in with all your wits about you and your self deffensive guns a'blazin, cause you're gonna need extra amo.

On an unrelated note, I'm having a nice day at work. We had a big brainstorming session and I helped come up with a really good resolution to a huge creative problem that we've been facing for a while. I'm reminded of the reasons I wanted to get into this line of work in the first place, and affirmation of your professional purpose never makes for a bad day at the office.

Happy Tuesday, one and all.


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