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Self Assembly, or is it just Screw Yourself?

Ikea. The Scandinavian Mecca or inexpensive furniture you build yourself. And as Mecca, I mean thousands of people milling about like a sea of humanity all struggling to find enlightenment, or at least a nice lamp. But, if you have to build a brand new kitchen (like we have to) and don’t have unlimited funds (again, like us), Ikea is the place to go.

In mid-November, we went to Ikea in Munich to pick out a kitchen set. We examined all of the different options, sat there with a piece of graph paper, a pencil and a ruler and figured out what we could fit into the apartment, and in the end we made our selection and placed the order, requesting delivery and installation services for this week in Cologne. We were assured it was no problem, paid the freight, and was told that we could just pay for the pieces and the assembly upon delivery.

Fast forward three weeks. For some reason, I decided to check the status of the order… which was now saying we had a delivery date of May 2018. Now, if they said May, 2005, I might be concerned, but with such an outrageous number, I figured that there was just a glitch on the website and would check again the next day.

The next day…

I checked the website, and it still said May 2018. At this point, I decided to call. So, I grabbed the invoice, the order number, the phone number for the local Ikea and prepared myself to ask, in German, how I could get the order delivered faster than 2018.

20 minutes later, they actually take me out of the queue and inform me that the order cannot be delivered because the sink faucet was recalled. I ask if they were ever planning on calling the number on the order to tell me that, and by the laughter on the other end, either I was mis-translating my request or the idea of proactive customer service was just humorous to them. 5 minutes of them checking on what my options are (I think the Muzak was the German equivalent of “Muskrat Love”) and I was told I could cancel the order, wait, or change the faucet. I elected to change the faucet, which to their credit they changed on the phone for me, and was told to check the web in the morning to see the new delivery date.

Next morning. Checked the website. May 2018. Checked the calendar. December 2004. Hm, still looks like a bit of a wait. Call Ikea. Wait in queue. Regret not having a cordless phone. Get a person. Get confirmation that the delivery date would be the week of the 20th of December. Confirm that the delivery year is 2004. Confirm that the calendar is the standard Gregorian calendar. Cross fingers.

Last week. I get a call from the delivery company to set the 21st as the delivery date. Excited by the fact that this means only one week without a kitchen sink or stove, I thank them thoroughly.

Yesterday, I get a call at 8:07 confirming delivery between 11am and 1pm. I run out to get bagels and light fixtures, rushing to get back by 11. 11 passes. 12 passes. 1 passes. At 2, I call and get a “kommt gleich” – the German brush off meaning “it’s coming”. A few minutes before 3pm, Moe, Larry and Curly pull up with the kitchen.

5 minutes later, they’re asking for the payment and getting ready to leave. I ask when the assembly and installation will start. They tell me that they don’t do that, and Ikea never ordered the installation. They leave and give me a number to dial to set an appointment.

Call 1: busy.
Call 2: busy.
Call 22: it rings! Crap. Muskrat Love again. Finally a person. Ok – ask in German when the installation can be. They say they can squeeze us in for next Thursday. So, it looks like another week of restaurant reviews for the website.

Ikea, Take our products and go screw (it together) yourself.

Posted in General Ramblings.

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