Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dear IKEA...

Dear IKEA,

I’ve decided to take a break from coming to your store – perhaps for a year, perhaps forever.

Shopping at your IKEA store in New Haven is very bad for my health. It dramatically increases my stress levels; it makes me angry to the point that I want to hit someone in the parking lot with my car to relieve my frustration of shopping in your store (and I almost did this successfully the last time I was there).

The lack of bags, and the way your staff rudely tells its customers they no longer carry them, is the biggest bogus idea I’ve ever heard of. When I asked why a few months back, an “IKEA co-worker” simply shrugged her shoulders as if to say “that’s not my problem.” She then proceeded to tell me lies about changes in state statutes that would require all stores in Connecticut to stop carrying bags – she was not too pleased when I corrected her, and I still had nothing to put my items in.

As I stood there at the end of the check-out line with dozens of tiny little items piled up on top of each other and nowhere to put them, the co-worker informed me that I could go back inside and grab some giant blue bags that were for sale.

I ended up shoving my stuff back into the cart and wheeling it out to my car, where I quickly threw everything into the trunk higgledy-piggledy – not caring whether anything broke.

At my last visit, the “co-worker” cheerily informed me of the boxes available at the exit – all the way across the bottom floor. So, I am supposed to leave the items I have already paid for, while the cashier piles the next person’s stuff on top of mine, to run across the store and get some boxes? I’m pretty sure most of my stuff would be gone by the time I came back.

Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem paying for bags, or even bringing my own bags from home. But it’s kind of hard to do when you’ve never even told anyone they won’t be available.

If you aren’t going to have bags, and you are doing this for what to you seems like honorable reasons, then put a huge sign up BEFORE people get to the registers saying “We do not offer bags – go grab a box now!” Or offer boxes by the checkouts, instead of leaving your customers stranded with a pile of crap they now wish they had never bought in the first place while the cashier – again – shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head to inform you that this really isn’t his problem. He really just wants you to leave the store, no matter how much crap you have to struggle with.

And don’t even get me started on the quality of the products you sell. As if this isn’t indicative in itself by the amount of recalls your store has due to strangulation hazards and other dangers, let me tell you about some recent problems we’ve experienced.
The Malm bed my husband and I bought last year was missing every single piece required to actually put the bed together. When we called the help center to see how we could get the darn screws or plugs, we were told that we could just drive back down to the store to pick up these parts – 30 miles away. After much hassle, the person at the other end agreed to ship us the items, which came about a week later. In the meantime, we were sleeping on the floor.

The blinds we bought for all our windows include a part you are supposed to attach to cover up the hinges. Since the Velcro included isn’t strong enough, this part has fallen off on every single blind we have bought. Despite using double-sticking tape – and finally, Superglue – the little wooden slip will fall of, mostly in the middle of the night, scaring the crap out of us and the cats.

For Christmas in 2005, I had made a Swedish dish using anchovies bought in the IKEA food market. It gave me food poisoning, and I was throwing up for three days, unable to go to work.

The caviar I bought on my next trip had already expired, and it was oozing some strange-colored material that certainly did not belong in the tube.

And now, your store employees tell me, you don’t even accept batteries for recycling. So what good are you?

You don’t have shopping bags, your staff is rude and uneducated, you sell furniture that’s crap with missing parts, and you try to poison me with your food products.

Perhaps I should have used the blinds to try to strangle myself instead of shopping in your store – it certainly would have been a lot more pleasant.


Anonymous said...

never buy caviar in a tube!

Anonymous said...

all these things I have exprerienced myself, except that our Malm bed is making noises as soon as you even think about moving... Since our floors are crap as well, using the bathroom at nicht ends up in a little concert of noise, much fun... But one good thing is that German IKEA stores do offer bags, both plastic blues ones and paper bags, at the check-outs. You'll have to pay for these of course... Still, I do love IKEA, weird, hu?

Love, Julie

Anonymous said...

This must be an american problem...IKEA here in Sweden is fantastic. They don't have the highest quality but you know that already when you go there...don't you?? I've bought several firniture there over the years and have NEVER missed a screw!!
/Annika L