Monday, 19 January 2009

IKEA HELL - why do we bother?



So it's the first day in five weeks of school holidays that we've had childcare for the full day. Finally we sit down together and start to plan our stand at next month's trade fair and make a list of things we need to buy.

Item one: six IKEA shelves. But oh dear, the IKEA website says they are out of stock. So I ring up to find out when they will have more, and the operator reminds me of that character on Little Britain ("computer says no"). But apparently they ARE in stock, despite what the website says. But only eight of them, and no more for another 3-4 weeks.

This sets us into an immediate panic, as our trade fair is in 4 weeks and we need six shelves. Paul hooks the trailer up to the car and makes the 1.5 hour trip from the country into Melbourne. And when he gets there, yes, you guessed it, no stock! And worse - 80 units are due in tomorrow.

Unsympathetic warehouse manager shrugs and of course does not apologise for the complete failure of IKEA' s stock inventory system. Nothing can be done. Nothing for it, but to make the trip all the way again tomorrow, probably with the kids this time. And what if we get there before the stock arrives? Or if it doesn't arrive at all?

I understand IKEA's cash n' carry business model, and I appreciate that the lack of basic customer services like delivery means that we get to buy affordable furniture, but really, can't they at least sort their computer system out so that their warehouse manager, website and customer service team are giving consistent information? Surely this can't be good for sales - but then again, does anyone ever give up on IKEA? I wont give up, we will be driving another 3 hours every day until we get the blasted shelves...

I wondered, can it be true that people really keep forgiving IKEA endlessly for the shoddy way that they treat us? I think it must be.

Which led me to undertake some scientific research on Flickr. And my thoughts are confirmed - the IKEA Lover's Group has 3075 members and the IKEA Hater's Group has only 8.



IKEA WAREHOUSE HELL, originally uploaded by tesselate.

13 comments:

Libby said...

I am right there with you, I had a visit to ikea just last week and suffered the same little frustrations as you yet I still love ikea. Actually I don't think it's love, for me it's more of an addiction.

CurlyPops said...

I hate ikea. The whole process of walking through the entire shop to find one measly thing drives me nuts!

beccasauras said...

Facebook may have a I hate Ikea group, people that hate Ikea wouldn't put photos on Flickr, would they? I still get nauseas when I go to Ikea, I had morning sickness when I was there over 5 yrs ago, and the place takes me back every time!

Sarah F said...

I am so with you on this one. Ikea has to be the most frustrating experience - with kids even worse. And yet I too keep going back - although I have mastered the art of getting someone else to go for me.
How hard can it be to get all their computers giving the same message - they are obviously saving money on computers too!!

messenger said...

oh how exhausting, what a pain in the neck and the petrol, and the heat... and yet we know that it seems of little consequence to 'them'. They're really too big to look after the individual aren't they!? Write a letter!
If i knew you better I'd invite you to drop in for a rest and let the kids have an icypole on the way! Good luck tomorrow.
Nicole/messenger

Kitschen Pink said...

Oh honey i hope you get your shelves! I never ever ever go to ikea witha shopping list - so I'm in the love group. Because I just always find stuff which is better designed and cheaper and wonderful and cheerful... yep - I've got it bad! But then I try not to go more than once a year and never ever with a credit card...or a van!! t.x

posiepatchwork said...

Gorgeous Allison, i feel your pain. After spending much of our setting up house/ having babies time interstate (read 4500km from the nearest Ikea) it was with mixed feelings & blessings that i approached Ikea 2 trips ago from Canberra to Sydney. Yes, 4 children, 1 4WD trailer & no assistance, i spent $1K on shelves, desks, lamps, more desks, circle rugs, another desk & desk chairs. OMG, i actually had my baby boy (aged 4) pushing a trolley through the car park on his own. He was rather marvelleous. i had the flat bed trolley truck style trolley, very heavy & i finished up with bruised shins.
i forgave them, as i struggled, i did save zillions of dollars. Considering we move every 2 years criss crossing the country, i have found Ikea a worthy investment so i don't cry when removalists break a loved antique, i can just sigh with relief that it was 'only from Ikea'.
Good luck with the shelves & like there are DIY men who put together your flat packed housewares, is there anyone willing to physically confirm stock for you in store?? i feel your pain. Can anyone buy & construct or deliver to your next trade fair for you??
Happy wrap up to school holidays!!
i would if i could, love Posie

ButtonsByLouLou said...

I have the same love hate relationship but the stock levels confusionis my biggest hate as well! Surely it could all be on the same system.
By the way, LOVE your stuff. Lou.

alex brooks said...

It's meant to be the most frustrating place on earth! IKEA makes you love it all the more when you have finally bought it, packed it, unpacked it, discovered 1 screw is missing, abused a person wearing a bad red t-shirt and bought a hotdog for $1.

Hurrayic said...

I know what you mean. We are still Ikea fans even with some mishaps that cost us 2 hours (each way) worth of car trips at times. Now we have an Ikea within 10 minutes of us, so the pressure is off. So sorry this happened to you.

Shannon said...

I hope your story had a happy ending!

MissyP said...

Oh Allison, great post. your pain is tangible! Mmm, similar thing happened to me just last Thursday... After numerous phone calls and being told diferent things by different people each time, it also was a mad dash to the store. Fortunately my story had a happier ending... We arrived just in time to put my beloved Expedit shelf on the trolley, to watch the last few disappear before our eyes. Any later and we would have missed out. I do love the place but try to go there as infrequently as possible. Cheers, MissyP.

Y-Fighter said...

I have had *so* many IKEA rage incidents over the past few years (wardrobes missing parts, beds never in stock...) and did at one time vow never to go back there, but I keep getting sucked in. Their customer service is non-existent. They don't care how far you've travelled or that you called the store before setting off to make sure what you want is in stock. I never believe what I'm told any more, even once in the store, until I actually see all the parts on the shelves for me to take home. IKEA is only worth visiting for cushions, batteries and photo frames!