Monday, May 26, 2008

My love/hate relationship with IKEA

Oh these lo, many years ( 7/12 to be precise), I have so missed living near an IKEA - the beautiful showrooms, the cheap household goods. But now we live just 20 minutes from this fabulous store. A few weeks ago we decided to stop by this wonder of a store on the way home from Salt Lake City. It was a bad idea. My husband had been eyeing the sleek modern couches at the IKEA website and since we were driving right by the store I thought it would be a good idea to stop in. I was wrong. It was almost 5pm when we got there, so everyone was already starting to get hungry. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot my husband had a bad feeling. I brushed it off. He is way more into decorating than he was when we live in Seattle.

But here is the problem - you can't just walk in the store, go the the couches, pick one, and go to the checkout. You have to follow the maze through the all showrooms, then you have to zig zag through the household goods and finally into the self service area and to the checkout. I didn't have a problem with it. I love looking at the cool set ups in the showrooms and I love wandering through the cheap household goods, but as soon as a we walked in to the store, Rand remembered what we were up against and announced "this is why I hate this store!"

Luckily the couches were first in the show rooms, but I just couldn't pick one. There was the nice more expensive one, but it only came in red and I wasn't sure I wanted a red couch. There was the slightly cheaper one in brown and the really cheaper one that pulled out into a chaise bed, but I hated the fabric on it.

Customer Service is not a strong point for IKEA and we couldn't find anyone to tell us how we go about buying a couch (that is if I could make up my mind...) we wound our way through the rest of the showrooms and the household area with our tired and hungry children and made it to the self service area, finally finding someone to help us. But they were not very helpful. They could not figure out which couches were in stock. I was thinking that knowing which couches were in stock would help me make my decision. But Rand ran out of patience and we decided to leave.

I was actually kind of glad to have time to think over which couch I wanted to buy. We made plan to rent a trailer to go get a couch the next day. You can read about what happened when we went to pick up the trailer here.

So we get IKEA and this time we are smart enough to drop our kids off at the play area. I am still undecided about which couch to get. We do decided to go ahead and get a table and a bench, too. We get to the self service area and get the table and the bench and wait to find someone to tell us for sure which couches are in stock and how to go about buying it and holding it so our Good Samaritan can come pick it up after he is done working. It turns out that IKEA won't hold purchased items for pick up - ugh! - so I call the Good Samaritan and he says he is almost done with his job and will drive right over. So we hurry to get the couch purchase settled, sign up for a line of credit - no interest for a year :) and off we go. I follow Rand and our new best friend in his red truck containing our fabulous new furniture. All is well...

Until we get home and open the box for the table and find out that the table has a screw coming through the top of it - aaaaah! I call customer service (remember not one of IKEA's strong suits) and go round about telling them that we need them to bring us a new part because there is no way we can bring the piece back - it won't fit in either one of our cars even if we take it out of the box. Finally after 2 days they decide to UPS us the part, but they won't guarantee that the part won't be damaged by UPS - OK, fine. But several days later, they call back and say the part they have doesn't match the part I described and that I will have to bring the piece back, but that they will give me a $30 gift card... OK, fine whatever. We ask around at church and find someone with a truck. Sheesh, that was difficult, but look at my beautiful new couch and table.

P.S. the part on the new table was exactly the same as the part on the old table except that it didn't have a screw poking through the top...


Tracy B. said...

Love the new couch and the table! I have never lived close to an IKEA, but they opened one in Orlando last November. Hooray! I have been there many times now.

Valarie said...

It looks great. Good choice! I have already started telling everyone that I want IKEA gift cards for my birthday so I can redo the kids room.