IKEA kitchen 5 months late - house not useable
PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY -- The summary - IKEA failed to deliver my kitchen cabinets for 5 months (over an entire holiday season) during which time 4 of the six rooms of my house were unusable. And they are unrepentant. They say I should not have ripped out my kitchen based on the delivery date they gave me.
In their lawyers say that if I publicize what they did, they will sue me for libel and slander.
Some details follow......
This is an explanation of the problems I am having with IKEA Elizabeth and their credit card company Household Bank.
I October 2001, I ordered a kitchen from IKEA in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I was to be delivered during the first week of November 2001. To make a long story short, I did not get the last piece of cabinetry delivered until March 2002. This disrupted my entire small house for the whole time because they failed to notify me that item after item would be back ordered and during that time my kitchen, dining room, living room and guest bedroom were disrupted or not useable.
I tried complaining to the Better Business Bureau, but they said they had many complaints against IKEA and that IKEA did not even respond to their letters.
I filed with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs in February or March of 2001 for a complete explanation of what happened. More than I year later, they gave up.
About 4 months after all the trouble began in Oct/Nov 2001, I refused to make any further payments on my IKEA credit card because I believed they had breached their contract with me. I filed all the appropriate complaint letters with the IKEA credit card division but they would not keep the debt on hold while I negotiated with the Consumer Affairs Division or during what is now a lawsuit against IKEA.
In the meantime, IKEA stopped carrying their own debt and Household Bank took over. I have notified them more than six times by phone and mail, that this debt is in dispute and that I will not make any payments until it is through the Department of Consumer Affairs and that I would then sue if an agreement could not be reached. I am now suing IKEA. However, that could take a long time. Household Bank will not hold the debt in a disputed status. They ask IKEA and IKEA tells them everything is OK and that I owe the money.
My formerly excellent credit rating is now destroyed and shows a large debt that is unpaid since October 2001. I have asked the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs for help with Household Bank, They referred me to the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission referred me to the Comptroller of the Currency (because it is a bank incorporated with an NA status). The Comptroller of the Currency does not return my calls and tells me there is nothing they can do and do not return my phone calls.
The FTC web site said I should call the attorney general?s office for my state. I did, they transferred me to Consumer Affairs, I called back to the AGs office and when I explained to them (after the phone rang for the better part of 30 minutes) what had already happened, they said they could not tell me anything other than ?this is the United States, you can sue anyone.? I found this far less than helpful They suggested I call the Newark Star Ledger. I did call them too, but they have not returned my calls.
I contacted my congressman and he suggests that I contact the state consumer affairs department. HEEEELP.
I am at my wits end. It would seem to me that if I am doing everything I can to contest this using all the appropriate channels there ought to be some way that the credit card company should have to stop making efforts to collect from me and stop ruining my credit rating.
So far not a single state or federal agency has been able to do a thing for me.
A fair outcome would be that IKEA would compensate me for my damages, I am only asking for about 10,000.00 in my lawsuit. This is the portion of my mortgage that would cover the 2/3rds of my house that were unusable for the five months during which they failed to deliver the kitchen.
As for Household Bank, they should have to stop all efforts of collect the debt until the court case is settled and should have to remove all negative content from my credit record.
An apology wouldn?t be so bad either.
Thanks very much for your support.
Susan A. McKenney