Thursday 1 March 2012

The fun of Ikea

This is an old post, preserved for reference.
The products and services mentioned within are no longer available.

I just thought I'd share my experiences on a recent trip to Ikea, and the ridiculous trail of events necessary to get a set of shelves.

Last week I decided I needed some shelving and had been recommended the Broder range of shelves. I went to the catalogue for more information but struggled to find anything as there wasn't an index, so you basically have to look right through the book until you see a room with the thing you want in. Hardly the easiest process.

So I went to the website where atleast I could search. I found the parts I needed and checked stock at my local branch (Gateshead). All items were showing green 'most likely in stock'. Sounds good, so I went to the store and to the shelving / storage section to look at the shelves to see if they were any good. I couldn't find them. I eventually found a staff member who told me they were in the bedroom department. So I went to the bedrooms department and found the Broder display. They looked suitable so I went to buy them.

All the metalwork items on the printout from the website had isle locations which makes that easier, but the  wooden shelves said 'contact staff for purchase information', so I found someone and asked and was told they were upstairs in the marketplace.

So I had to find a working lift (2 were out of order) and take the pallet trolley up to the market place, weave my way through all the breakable items to find the shelves. Luckily I had asked before picking the other items or I would have had a trolley full of metalwork at the time.

When I got to the shelves, the 1200mm versions were out of stock, even though they said they were in stock on the website, and even on the internal system when the staff member checked. She took my contact details and said someone would email me when they came in (still waiting by the way).

The lift by the down escalator was out of order, so I had to go backwards through the market place to the one working lift.I then had to pick all the remaining items, rails, feet, brackets etc. which was fairly tricky balancing act to keep them all on the trolley. Once I had them all balanced, I had to go through the checkout and take them all off again to be scanned. Then balance them all on again to go out.

An aside at this point, my Ikea Family Card wouldn't scan properly, the same had happened last time, and as with my last visit, I was told to go to the website and order a new one. I had looked last time and I looked again when I got back this time. I eventually found something that said 'card lost or stolen'. Near enough I thought. There it said, pick a new one up next time you're in store and tick a box on the application form saying 'replacement card'. Shame the people on the checkout weren't aware of that.

Back to the shelves. I had parked as close as I could in the car park, but most of the close spaces are for disabled drivers or 'parent and child'. I couldn't use the loading bays as I couldn't leave my purchases untended whilst I collected the car. So I had to push the trolley to the car across the incredible rough car park rattling all they way and constantly having to readjust the balanced heap on the trolley as it was vibrated apart by the cobbled car park.

It seems to me that no one at Ikea has thought any of this through in terms of how they expect someone to do this. Surely there has to be easier ways than that? It's all a bit of a mess really.

At least I can be sure I won't have to go through it again if I want to extend the shelves sometime in the future as they are likely to be discontinued when I go back anyway, just like almost everything else I've ever bought there.

2022 Note: The Broder shelves were indeed discontinued when I went back for more shortly after.