UNITED STATES -- Have you noticed that there is no section or counter in any IKEA store that claims to be "guests' services" or the "courtesy counter" or "Customer Service"? There is not a single sign or direction anywhere in the store that directs anyone to such a location to have their questions answered, just small towers with an "i" icon at the top placed at various locations throughout the maze. You might be lucky to find a coworker within a few hundred feet of each of those "i" towers.
If you do find someone, hopefully you will get a well rehearsed quote from the Yellow Shirt People that customer service is throughout the store. They claim that all coworkers are trained to answer your questions (and solve your problems) at the point of contact. I find this difficult to digest but have been surprised with how much the coworkers know about their immediate areas. I found that any coworker was able to assist me and if there were honest issues that IKEA was at fault for, those issues were corrected. They have simple solutions for just about every situation.
However, the issues that I have learned from are "Contempt of concept". Some of us just don't fit into the IKEA customer profile and the rest of us just do not find the concept an easy way to shop. Maybe we're stubborn or spoiled. Maybe we think that because we are spending our money we should have service on a silver platter. Unfortunately, IKEA does not sell silver. That does not stop one from wanting to vent to the manager about something he has no control of or to threaten to call "Corporate" when we don't get what we want.
There is no real reason to ask for corporate or for the manager. Don't even bother. You can ask for a manager five times during one trip to the store and get five different managers with five different approaches to you as a customer. There is no one true manager that can be found. If there is a general manager, they must be traveling the world or be securely guarded inside their ivory tower somewhere. I know of no one who has heard from the offices in Sweden. I'd like to meet someone who actually has spoken to a "regional or district manager". Those don't exist. IKEA is not that type of retail.
It is not North American retail where anyone with a complaint used to be able to get in touch with the manager's manager, etc. Anyway, how would anyone get anything done if they have to sound complaints or comments every working hour? Your comment or concern is most likely nothing they never heard before. Of course, it feels good to get it off your chest. But understand that it is their concept. We choose to accept it when we enter their locations. Someone with a real problem or issue that needs to be solved needs to know were to go to get that issue solved.
At IKEA one just wonders around aimlessly looking for "Customer Service" or a coworker that looks like they can be interrupted. Some problems that need to be solved are found to be "User Error". You may have lost that screw. You should not have used a power driver to tighten that cam lock. You could have thrown the hardware away. You just might be an idiot for buying this stuff in the first place. You do get what you pay for and sometimes you deserve what you get. Not too many larger retail or big box stores are worried about you; there are plenty of other customers going through their check outs to make up for what you don't spend.
IKEA coworkers and managers are there to protect the company's policies which protect the profit, alienating a customer is not a loss to them. Their "Cult Like" following only replaces that lost customer two to one. If you ever get an audience with a supervisory figure, speak in a rational way. You might be surprised as to how far kind words go. Be careful, never pull the "I'm a good customer" or "I've spent $$$ here" because the only dollar that is important to them is the dollar that they are protecting at that moment. Playing the "I'm a Good Customer card" gets you a brick wall almost immediately, if not the brick upside your head.
Who cares how much money you spent? The issue is with this one item here and now. So what makes shopping at an IKEA successful? KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING! My first few trips to IKEA were so frustrating I am shocked that I continued to return. I could not figure out how to buy anything if I wanted too. You must do your homework before you go. Don't get half way through the store before you decide you have no clue how to shop there. Do NOT come into the "exit" if you have not been to the store before. You will only frustrate yourself and annoy every customer and coworker you interrupt trying to find your way upstream.
Do stop in the ENTRY lobby, study the shopping tools, and study the maps. Read the price tags. Walk the store the first time without picking up something. Get your bearings. Learn the shortcuts. Read the overhead directional signs and follow the arrows on the floor. Take a break and breathe. Sit on the furniture and get a visual of where you came from and where you want to go. You are inside of a walled in amusement park for shoppers and it is far too easy to get overwhelmed.
DON'T buy anything at all on your first visit! NEVER! Just get a catalog, pick up the little paper forms that describe the items in detail. Measure the displays, measure your boxes and by all means, MEASURE YOUR CAR, TRUNK or BACK SEAT if you are going to transport the items yourself. Do not expect any coworker anywhere in the store to know if a certain item will fit in your car. The store is IKEA not KIA, they don't know one type of car from another and are far too busy to worry about how you're going to get your crap home.
GO HOME, figure out where that new item is going to fit, measure your space and know that the item you are going to purchase will be what you want. Yeah, there is a "No Nonsense" return policy. But that is the store's description not the customers' translation. The return policy is straightforward. YOU MUST HAVE A VALID RECEIPT! Do not read between the lines or assume anything. Your merchandise can be returned if it is still in the original packaging as it was when purchased, not opened, never assembled, never built and then taken apart.
And what ever you do, never open bedding products for any reason if there is any doubt that you will be keeping it. DON'T even open bedding just to see if it will match your style. Oh, and there is no exchange vs. return. It is a return, period. You can not "exchange" your unwanted item unless it meets the actual return policy and you have your receipt. You must have a receipt for all transactions! There is no reason for IKEA to even have the word "Exchange" posted.
You are not allowed to go shop for the replacement item to bring it back to the return counter for exchange. Your return is done first and then you are sent off to go through the entire shopping process again, either with a refund or a new gift card. If you have "Fight Club" syndrome and you just can not live without shopping at IKEA; BRING HELP! Do NOT expect to enter the store, provide a list or point a finger to a yellow shirt and expect eager coworkers to gather your purchase up for you. Do not be the only adult in your group with a bunch of rowdy children.
Do NOT expect to push your baby stroller and your merchandise cart at the same time and do not expect someone else to push either one for you. Do NOT expect to have help loading the items in the self serve warehouse. Do NOT expect to get to the cash lanes and ask a cashier to go get an item for you or to have a sales person bring an item up to you. Do NOT expect to have help loading your vehicle. Now have fun. Drive to IKEA, park in a large parking lot, loose your car in that lot. Enter the store, get lost in that store, study your price tags, follow the map, and write down the name, price and location of your item.
Follow the direction tags on the bottom of your price tags. If it says to see a coworker, FIND A COWORKER. If says to continue to the warehouse then make your notes and move on. Locate the larger trolley carts in the warehouse, get your cart and head to your aisle. Load your item, check the number for the correct size and color then head to the cash counter. And heaven forbid the item be out of stock. You can not pre-pay, order or arrange to have the item held for you when it does come into stock. And when it does, you have to start your shopping trip all over again.
Now, have your entire product selection ready to check out and all of your questions answered by the time you get to the cash lanes. Once there, it's too late. The lines will be long and coworkers will be doing what they can to get everyone cashed out and on their way. Pay at self check out, and forget about bagging your merchandise. IKEA is "green" and will not provide disposable bags. You can buy reusable bags like at your grocery store. Truck your purchase out to the loading zone and load your car, drive home and build your new item. Be happy with the process. If you get home and find that you made a mistake, you have no one to blame.
Don't expect sympathy from the store because you picked up a red table but wanted a blue one. Don't even try to play the card "But that is what your coworker put on my cart". You're an adult, be responsible for your actions and cut your losses. You shopped from a SELF SERVE WAREHOUSE. Whatever help you got (if any) was just courtesy assistance. Don't expect the store to come to your home and exchange the items you don't want just because it is furniture. If you expect that service; buy your furniture from a high line, high quality, and high price service center... and pay for it.
No one made you make the choice you made. No one made you drive out of your way to get to the store. You made those choices so you have to live with them. No one made you promises. You can have fun at IKEA but you have to do your part. You're paying for soft pine, cardboard and plastic; expect to get what you pay for. But again, DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
FRISCO, TEXAS -- My husband and I bought a Hemnes 3 drawer chest last weekend at the Frisco, TX IKEA. We had our 15 yr old grandson with us. We brought the chest home and when we opened it yesterday and laid all the parts out we discovered that the drawers were missing and there were no instructions. I called customer service IKEA and was transferred to a "After Sales" customer service line where no one was available and so I had to leave a message.
This morning we boxed up the chest and drove the 40 miles back to the store (closest one to us). When we got to the store we saw where NOW there are signs saying "Note this comes in 2 boxes". These signs were NOT there when we bought the chest. Between three of us we would have seen them and they were very noticeable today. While I was waiting my turn in the Customer service department I noticed a man who had brought the very same chest in and had to be given the second box which he apparently didn't get the first time either.
Since it took us 40 miles to get there, along with gas spent and a toll road I asked the man at customer service (who had explained all we needed was the second box) if we could exchange it for one of the 5 I saw in the store that were already assembled. There were 3 in the warehouse and 2 on the showroom floor. He said "no you can't do that." I explained we had gone to great trouble to bring the thing back and that she signs were not posted last week. He said "Well, there are signs in the store that said be sure and get your second box." I told him that when we purchased the chest that sign was not there. He said "Well, I don't know if it was there or not".
He said the only way we could purchased an assembled one was if it was in the "Returns and buy as is" section and he didn't think there was one back there but he would go check. He was gone for a few minutes and came back up with the second box with the drawers and said "Here you go all you need is this". I asked him if he didn't think that the cashiers should be aware or made aware when an item has a second box and should check before the customer leaves. He said "Well, most of the cashiers are brand new and don't know to do that".
I asked if he was aware of Ikea Frisco's customer service reviews. He said "Yes". I said "They aren't very good". He said "That's because the only people who say anything have something negative to say and that satisfied customers don't write a review." I told him that that I wrote positive reviews if I thought it was warranted. My point is not that we were not allowed to purchase an assembled one after the trouble, time and money it took us. It was the response we got from this young man. Not once did he say "I'm sorry about that."
When I asked him if the cashiers should be aware of the system of the number of boxes he didn't say "Yes, ma'am I will bring that up with my manager". His flippant remark about the cashiers being new and didn't know and his flippant remark about the Frisco's store's customer service review is the reason that store doesn't have good customer service reviews. We had the choice of keeping the chest and accepting the second box or returning the item.
Because of this guy's lack of customer service I decided I didn't want to mess with it. What if there was a part missing from the second box? There would be another 80 mile round trip, toll road fee, time and gas spent. In addition, on our way home I realized that I had a message on my phone from a customer service representative from the phone call I made last night. They left no extension but a message telling me that I probably had only got one of two boxes and I just needed to return to the store for the other box. When I tried to call that number back I was redirected to the 888 main number which I called in the first place only to get another recording.
Needless to say I did not bother to leave a message. Now, just as the young man said, I will be one of the people with something to complain about. Had he even bothered to ask someone if we could purchase one of the assembled chests, apologized and acknowledged that the cashier could have caught that mistake I might have been writing a positive review.
I was in the market for a new dining room table and chairs. I had spent the last two months ogling a particular table and chair from IKEA on their website. I was toying with the idea of buying online, but after reading reviews here about their IKEA shipping nightmares and the realization that the cost of sales tax PLUS shipping would be way more than the 10% sales tax in Cook Co., I opted to make the trip to my local IKEA, shopping list in hand. Below is my review of the experience.
Parking: A-. Pretty standard for a large store. To my surprise, I actually got a space just across from the loading area, which would prove useful as you will see below. Finding what I wanted in the showroom: C+. While the chair I was looking for was displayed, the table was not. I was feeling slightly panicked until an employee informed me that the table was available, just not on display in the showroom. Once I got the table reserved in the warehouse, all I had to do was pick up my chairs and make for the checkout. Simple, right?
Getting what I wanted from the self-serve bins: D. The bin that contained my chairs was behind a pillar. That, combined with the fact that I was constantly being bumped into by a group of people and the low lighting in the area, made my job more difficult than it should have been. Fortunately, the chairs were light (only 12 lbs each) and I was able to get them with a little body contortion. The other issue was finding a box that wasn't partially opened. I don't know about you, but I equate a damaged box with potentially damaged or missing items.
The carts: B+. Loved the flatbed trucks maneuverability while in the store. Liked it a little less when it came time to unload things from the cart. Checkout: D-. The only words to describe this was total Bedlam. People were weaving in and out of lines and there were people crossing lanes by cutting around people already in line. This was a total mess. The one thing I did like was the fact that the stylus for signing the screen was on the left-hand side. A rarity for a southpaw like myself. Getting my table from the warehouse: A-. There were no problems with this. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes.
Loading the stuff: D+. The only thing that saves this category from total failure is that the chairs were light and I was able to put two in the front seat and two in the back seat on the floor. The hard part was just getting the things to my car in the first place. Remember that I said that my parking space came in handy? Since there were no ramps allowing me to push my chairs to the car on the hand truck, I had to leave the cart on the loading dock, race to my car and pull it up to the loading dock. All the while keeping one eye on my chairs and the other on the lookout for people who wanted to walk behind my car as I was backing out.
Loading the table was the worst part of all. It weighed 99 lbs and since I refuse to back my car into a parking space (I'm terrible at it), I had to slide the table off the hand truck (this is where that easy maneuverability was more of a curse than a blessing), off the loading dock and around the back to my car. I then had to use my 5 years of nursing experience with moving large people and equipment to lift the box and slide it into the car. It fit -almost. The last 3-4 inches was hanging out of the trunk and I couldn't get the lid to close. Thank goodness I prepared for this and brought a bungee cord to secure the lid for the ride home.
IKEA staff's willingness to help a person with their loading issues: F. When I picked up my table, no one asked if I needed help loading. I know they emphasize customers doing most of the work, but come on! I am a relatively small woman. Not weak-looking by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm only 5'4" for crying out loud. An offer of help would not have been rejected. There were staff milling around all over the loading area. Did any one of them step up and offer a hand? No, of course not. They like to say "you do a little, we do a little." What they should say is, "you do most of it, we'll do the bare minimum."
As I said, thank goodness I've moved far bigger things on my own. Returns: C-. When I got home, I realized that one of the chairs I had bought was the wrong color. So, I had to return to the store the next day and exchange it. The wait for returns was about average. I had number 78 and they were at 61 when I arrived, but I still got up to the counter within 15 minutes. Thank goodness there were places to sit. The low score comes from the fact that they would not let me do an even exchange because I was not exchanging for an item in the same color. Never mind the fact that it was the same style of chair, same price, just stained a different color.
They had to do a return, credit my card (I'm still waiting for the money to hit) and I had to go and purchase the correct chair. So, I had to walk back into the madness that was an IKEA store on a weekend, return to the bin behind the pillar, find a box that wasn't damaged (an even bigger challenge than it was the day before), check that I had the correct color (I checked 3 times) and return to the insanity of the checkout lane. This time, however, I used the self-checkout. Much better. My overall experience with IKEA: C. I'll probably give the store another try at some point in the future, but next time I'll try it during the week.
ONE BEARD STREET, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- Having been to Ikea many times in various states and always having fair customer service I was appalled at the treatment and downright rudeness I was shown today at Ikea's Brooklyn location. I showed up this morning to exchange something I bought 2 days ago from their As-Is section. I bought it primarily because I didn't have time to go through the whole store looking for furniture with my one year old in tow. When the item did not work in my space I looked at the receipt and there was no reference to "exchanging" as-is furniture.
The only reference says no refunds; therefore I loaded the item and my son in the car and drove 35 minutes to the store. Arriving at the store I was told to take a number in which I would proceed to wait 45 minutes to see a sales associate. She was very rude, informed me that they will not take the item back; I tried to explain I just wanted to exchange it for another item in their as-is section. Finally she called her manager which was just as rude and was actually laughing with the girls making a joke of us.
She called the two store managers which explained to her I would have to wait. After waiting for nearly one hour (with my 1 year old) the store managers John and Jason who told me that, yes I was correct that it did not say on the receipt, nor was it posted on the wall behind the counter stating their policies however there is a small sign stating it in the As-Is room.
I explained that one would only see that sign if you happen to go all the way in the room; as I did not because there happens to be so many items, they spill onto the space behind the registers. I tried to explain my point when he abruptly said "I am done talking to you" and told me if I wasn't buying anything I needed to leave. He then called security to escort me out. Wait... this 6 foot 250lb plus man is scared of little 5'6 125lb me and is calling security? Are you kidding?
I asked for the corporate offices address and number. He refused to give me the address instead one of the other managers gave me the 1800 # and he said I could go online and find out for myself the address. When asked what the names of the sales associates/mgrs I spoke to he refused to give me the information saying "I am the only one you need to know and my name is Jason" as he laughed.
I cannot tell you how ignorant and rude this individual was and he is representing the company. This is an embarrassment in this economy. I don't know how any company can survive with this type of disregard to the customers! We are the ones who keep their doors open! Think twice before visiting and purchasing at this location!!!
While I am not a huge fan of cheap furniture, I have to admit I have owned more cheap furniture than not in my lifetime. I'd personally much rather have a second hand bookcase made of real wood over the put it together yourself sawdust and glue model you can find in the same price range. I am also not a "fan" of made in China garbage that is sold so cheaply that you think how do they make it, ship it and sell it and make a profit when it's only 99 cents?? But all that said I have to admit I surprisingly LIKE IKEA.
I will be the 1st person to say, inspect what you are thinking about buying, but of the IKEA items I have purchased through the years, I have to admit they have been worth what I have paid for them. I am not saying everything is or has been of fantastic quality, but it was "worth" the price I paid.
My husband bought me a table and chairs more than 15 years ago, and the table was in the range of $200, and it's still fully functional, some minor damage due to our own fault, and the chairs that he purchased to go with it for $5.95 each is long gone. A $200 table should be expected to last 10+ years, but I think most would agree that a $5.95 chair won't be around as long, and if it were even the most thrifty of us would be shocked.
I enjoy the IKEA shopping experience, but my favorite is the "AS IS" section of the store. It's mostly markdowns on items that were previously in the showroom, or items that have been returned, as well as some great markdowns on items that won't be there next season. Now be forewarned, look carefully before you buy. This is non-returnable merchandise, more than likely it will have a ding/dent/scratch as well as a spot of adhesive where they had display tags on it. I also recommend reading the percentage of discount that is typically on the "as is" sticker and compare to the catalog.
Let me explain. A display cabinet that marked down from 45% of the retail but missing the doors and the shelves isn't a bad discount, when they sell the shelves in the store you can easily say that's a decent discount... But then once you have purchased this item you find the cost of 2 shelves is only about $12 less than cost of a brand new one with all the pieces. Now had I been smart, I would have looked this item up in the catalog first and found that the cost of the 2 replacement shelves were so pricey.
I still shop IKEA and I still shop the AS IS section, but I grab what I "think" I want, and then sit and look it up to make sure it's what I want at a price I want to pay for it. If it turns out it's missing more pieces or more damaged than I thought, I haven't bought it yet, I can still put it back. Always buy items you have seen, wiggled and inspected in the showroom, you will then have a better idea of what type of quality you are getting. Good Luck!
STOUGHTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I purchased $600 worth of flooring for my condo. I made my purchase at IKEA of Stoughton, MA. This was "click and lock" flooring and the product was supposed to be very easy for a DIY project. After hiring two separate people to lay the flooring, I decided that I needed to return the product. The people that I paid to help with the floor were knowledgeable "handy-man" types that had experience with many kinds of home projects. Both said that the product was deficient. As we laid a few rows of flooring, the first row would begin to pop up and come apart.
Since the store advertised that you could return this product for any reason, I did not think I would have a problem. I had $500 of my purchase on my credit card and paid the rest in cash. Therefore, I was only looking to be reimbursed for the $500 and was willing to take a loss of the other $100 that I had paid in cash. The reason: even though I had lost the original receipt, I had a print out from the bank that clearly spelled out the purchase that I had made - the date (10/19/08), store code, my credit card numbers, and even the exact time of the purchase, 12:20!
When I returned to the store, just two weeks exactly from the date I purchased the flooring, I was met with their "STORE POLICY" regarding returns. Without the ORIGINAL receipt you cannot get your money returned, regardless of any other kind of proof of purchase!
I spoke with two people in Returns & Exchanges. The second of the two was very curt and in the space of about 30 seconds, stated that without the original receipt I could only get a store credit for the returned merchandise and that, additionally, I could only get the "sale price" of 49/sq. ft. - that was the sale within the last 90 days. She did not even have to look up any price list or the name of the product, etc. That told me that this store was completely familiar with this defective product and had probably had several exchanges, which allowed them to be so familiar with its "sale price".
I had paid $1.99/sq. ft. I explained that they had no other product that worked any better than the one I had purchased, as they carry only click-and-lock flooring. They didn't even sell a carpet product that I could put down. I was stuck with cement sub-flooring in my home, with no money to be able to put another type of flooring down. They gave me a store credit for $228 and said that if I found the original receipt, I could bring it back to be exchanged for cash.
I feel that this is outrageous. I know very well how businesses work as I am a Marketing Director for a healthcare facility. Their statement that they needed an original receipt was explained as the only way they could be sure that I had indeed purchased the merchandise at their store and how much I had paid, etc. Well, I feel that I proved that.
Additionally, I showed that actual cash had been released through my bank to IKEA, so that they had confirmation that they were actually paid for the credit card transaction. If the situation had been reversed and I had used a credit card that was not good and the transaction did not follow through, you can bet they would be looking for payment from me. In that case, the original receipt would mean nothing to them! I have a basement level condo and no flooring...it's getting cold.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Dear Readers, Used to a decent treatment by Ikea employees in other parts of the world. The experience in Charlotte is awful. Disrespectful, arrogant and a reason to stay away. Besides that Ikea has the attitude to let customers wait... and wait. Perhaps business is too good. Perhaps some lessons for the local management team would serve the customers. Including a crash course friendly customer behavior with a NC SMILE. And in case local management get angry... this is a opinion of a customer.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Overcharged at register, did not notice till back at home. Tried to get refund on phone, called every week for 2 months. Phone waits usually 40 minutes, then the people that answer cannot reach the actual store (the store has to issue the refund). They 'leave messages' nothing ever happens. Why can't the 888 number issue refunds? Why can't the store answer the 888 call center people? Idiots wle.
USA -- I bought an IKEA dresser and have had to take it apart to the frame, tighten screws, put in support L brackets every year. On top of that the bottoms are so flimsy, you can really only use their dressers for children's clothes. Their furniture is cheaply made junk with a modern exterior. Don't be fooled like most of the twenty-something crowd is by IKEA.