Monday, June 23, 2008

Well, they're trying.

I called IKEA today, this time with a receipt. After we took care of ordering the parts I needed, this young lady asked if there was anything else she could help me with. Did I ever have a response! I explained what had happened the last time I called, and how disappointed I was, especially after how enthusiastic we were immediately following our visit. (This is unusual for us after spending quite so much money in one place - we're usually a little bummed, no matter how happy the shopping experience). So she talked to me. She listened to my complaint, and actually had some decent responses. First, I was mishandled. Even without a receipt, they could have sent me the parts, provided I used a debit or credit card. The only way they couldn't have helped me over the phone was if I'd paid cash. If cash had been the case, I would have had to go to the store. Given what part I needed, they would have let me help myself to a pile of the little bolts. Apparently IKEA used to be a little more generous and easy-going, not require receipts for anything. The receipt policy was blamed on Ebay, according to my new friend. She told me there's an entire IKEA section on Ebay, as well as a good market for IKEA products at garage sales and second-hand stores. What they were having problems with is people purchasing defective/broken/used items, and returning them to a store for either replacement or parts. She said it wasn't uncommon for them to tear open a box for a large item, pull out whatever part the customer needed, and then dispose of the remains. (I take this to mean they put it in their discounted as-is section)

So, the parts should arrive in 7-14 days. I am still going to send a letter to the Customer Relations department at their headquarters, but I will be fair and tell them how the situation was resolved. IKEA has apologized for the previous person's mistake, and will be talking to others to ensure proper training on returns and parts. They apparently have recently hired a large number of new employees, and I just happened to get one who hadn't been entirely or properly trained. The first person wasn't exactly rude, simply inexperienced, and didn't know how to handle a customer who started out as nice, but then turned into angry-woman-wanting-immediate-gratification. Sigh. I've been that first person before, so it's easy to put myself in her shoes and forgive it.

I'm glad they worked with me and also explained/apologized. Now I can shop there again. I think that's what was more upsetting once I knew I had a receipt - I didn't want to have to give up the chain entirely over $.10.

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