Ikea | Worst Customer Service?

My house is furnished by so much lovely Ikea furniture, our styles and budgets seem to match up, so it should be win/win right? Well frankly, no.

Their furniture is lovely, their store and customer service is not. Let’s talk about the store for a minute. My closest one is Ikea Warrington, iconic for a while as is was the only one in the North West. It’s on the Gemini Retail Park alongside a huge M&S and adjacent to your more standard Next, Boots & McDonalds.

It’s essentially a warehouse which makes for a VERY large, windowless shop. It’s on two levels starting with the showroom, leading eventually to the marketplace and till point. The store’s main issue for me is that once you are in, you can’t get out. No matter how hard you try, you have to walk through every single section to get to the till and exit. On Summer days they will prop open some doors which means you can bypass the odd section, but otherwise, every single time, you have to walk through everything. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Now for those familiar with the Warrington store, yes, I know you can go straight to the marketplace bit but often I am not sure where things are OR I want to look at the furniture to make sure it’s ok. So I invariably HAVE TO GO ROUND THE WHOLE BLOODY THING.

Over the last few years I have had consistently poor customer service from Ikea and I wanted to share with you why my relationship with Ikea is firmly in the category: “It’s complicated“.

Incident Number 1

A few years ago, my parents bought a bed from Ikea, which included bed frame, headboard and mattress. It was all supposed to be delivered together, but sadly it was not. In fact there were 3 attempted deliveries, some that included the bed frame, but no slats, one that included just the mattress, and one that had other bits missing. My parents refused the three deliveries as they didn’t want to have to store odd bits of bed without having everything. After the 3rd failed delivery, my parents had had enough and decided to cancel the order. But Ikea refused to give them a refund over the phone and we decided to go into the store to complain.

Ikea said they couldn’t give my parents a refund until their 3rd party delivery partner confirmed they had the bed back at their warehouse. They said this might take 2 weeks. They wouldn’t even try to sort it out sooner, refuding to make a simple call which would have done just that. I have to admit I got frustrated, might have raised my voice and was more or less asked to leave. I’m not proud of that, but I honestly felt, then and now, that they were wrong. My dad hadn’t paid the 3rd party delivery company for the bed, he had paid Ikea who had failed to deliver a bed. Why should he have had to wait so long for his money back?

I wrote to complain about their service, but they rebuked my complaint as I had raised my voice to their staff. I am by nature, a very calm person and not a person that ever really shouts, so you can only imagine how frustrated I was!

Incident Number 2

In 2017 we bought some PAX wardrobes from Ikea and as they do many different designs and configurations, we visited the store several times to make sure we were happy. As always, we had to trail around the whole store each and every time. Yawn. We did eventually make our decision and almost skipped to Ikea one last time,ย  excited to make our purchase, I should have known better.

We schlepped around to the Wardrobey section and waited near the design area where there were usually Wardrobey peeps ready with their lukewarm advice. There was no-one there. So we waited for 5 minutes. Still no-one. I got fed up and M went to search. He couldn’t find anyone but eventually a young girl ambled towards me and proceeded to “assist” us in spending ยฃ1,200 on Ikea wardrobes. Her attitude and general manner was indifferent and if anything, irritated at our presence. We then asked about the fitting service, which was advertised on the Ikea website as 20% of the purchase price. Now this annoyed me, If I’m honest as I think this policy is very unfair. Why should how much I’ve paid for something impact on what it costs to fit? Anyway…as neither M or I can fit a thing, we had decided that we would just swallow the daft cost and get them to sort.

Turns out though, that Ikea DON’T fit, they employ a local company that we had to pay in cash on the day, which would be anything up to a week AFTER the wardrobe parts were delivered. The thing is, we had got gift cards to pay for our wardrobes and didn’t really WANT to pay CASH to a 3rd party company we didn’t know or have any choice of.

This whole transaction ended with the irritated Ikea peep asking, “So no fitting then?” with cocked head. “Noooo” I sighed. Awful.

Incident 3

Last WEEK, I went to Ikea with my best friend Karen to purchase a new Kitchen cabinet. I chose it before we went using the Ikea website and was expecting a short transaction. We arrived, found the kitcheny bit, checked out the cabinet, chose a colour, found an Ikea person to order from. So far so good. Cabinet ordering going well, until we reached the supplementary questions. “Do you need some feet?”, Me: “No I don’t think so”, Her: “Well you won’t be able to open the cupboard doors”.ย  I gave Karen a look which I think accurately expressed “Well why did you fecking ask me then?”

So I agreed to feet, which she told us were around the corner, against the back wall in a variety of colours. Ok ace, we found the feet, picked a white pair, paid, picked the cupboard up from the off-site warehouse, loaded the car came home. Happy days…. I should have known better.

When we got home, M spent a fair old while putting the cupboard together, only to find I had the wrong feet and they didn’t fit. It was Sunday evening, so the next afternoon I went back to Ikea, found the Kitcheny bit and approached the Ikea Kitcheny peeps. I started to explain about the feet mis-match when she interrupted me

“Did you want Capita feet?”
Me: “No, I just wanted feet to go with the Matcha cupboard that I bought.”
Her: ” Well we have to order them.” Silence……
Me: “What does that mean?”
Her: “We have to order them and you have to pick them up from the off-site warehouse. I visibly sighed.
Me: “That’s really frustrating as I came yesterday and she told me that the feet were on the back wall — she told me that several times”.
Her: “No we have to order them,ย  Would you like me to?”.
Me: “Yes”.
Her: “Ok that’s done for you, do you know where the offsite Warehouse is?”
Me (very pink in the face by this time) “YES BECAUSE I WENT THERE YESTERDAY!!”.

No apology, it was clearly their mistake, but she just didn’t seem that bothered.

So Ikea, I challenge you to do better. Things go wrong from time to time with customer based transactions, but good customer service is about how you deal with them that makes the real difference. How do you train your staff? What makes them so indifferent to customers and providing a good service? Maybe windows would help in your store? Who knows?

I have experienced all kinds of service from many many retailers in my life and Ikea ranks pretty low on the scale. So come on Ikea – do better, it’s not enough to make every home in the UK have a MALM set of drawers or aย  Billy bookcase, you need to make your customers feel valued. Because I certainly don’t.

Gill x

 

Follow:

Windermere Boutique Hotel | Review

I am a very lucky girl. I have a very lovely husband. The two things mixed together with my birthday saw us having a 2 night stay at the Windermere Boutique Hotel as a SURPRISE birthday present from M. I knew we were going away, but I didn’t know where and I was NOT disappointed.

The WBH is situated on a hill about half way between the small Lake District towns of Windermere and Bowness*, it’s a larger corner house converted into a hotel. We arrived on one of the hottest days of the year (so far) and we were even more pleased to receive an equally warm welcome. We we offered a glass of complimentary Prosecco (which, as non drinkers, we politely declined) but were then thrilled to be offered a selection of soft drinks and/or fruit juices, lovely. This is the kind of the thing I love about good hotels, you immediately feel “looked after” and you can almost just breathe that sigh of relaxation.

After a few minutes, we were taking up to our room and accompanied by a rather large fan, as without asking, they knew the room on a very hot day, would be very hot. Again, lovely. We stayed in Room 1 which is also known as the “Love Snug” and my first impression was definitely “Luxe”.

The room had a luxury feel as the bed was velvet, it has lots of tactile rugs and fabrics, along with a dressing table, separate eating area, SAUNA and of course a Spa Bath with TV. I mean – what more could we ask?

We couldn’t of course use the Sauna as it was just too hot, but we would love to go back in the Winter as this would be heaven. We did however, give the Spa bath a go (lush) and watching the TV in the bath was nothing short of frivolous. I LOVED it.

Throughout our 2 night stay, the staff were friendly, courteous, helpful and I really did feel like nothing was too much trouble. I even saw one of them take theย  breakfast order of other guests :

  • “Orange Juice – LOADS”
  • “3 x poached eggs on a single slice of brown bread” (very specific that one)

And then my favourite “I don’t want a full breakfast, just..” then he named each individual cooked breakfast item they offered, except toast” but added “but with fried bread”. The lady taking the order politelyย and didn’t even flinch at the fact that Fried Bread wasn’t actually on the menu.

Overall, we loved our stay, our room, the staff and the food. What more could a boutique hotel offer – oh yes – ๐Ÿ†“๐Ÿซโœ… DONE!

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ Windermere Boutique Hotel – DEFINITELY coming back

G x

*about a 10 minute walk to Bowness downhill and about 15 minute walk to Windermere uphill

Follow:

Natural Hair Stage 1 | Grombre

So in my last post I talked about whether or not to go grey. I have been thinking about this a lot and typically I have started to notice SO many people whose hair is at various stages of grey or white. I think that the biggest change for me will be to see my hair in its natural state. I have literally been colouring my hair since I was 15 years old so honestly have no idea what it will be like once the dye grows out.

The first thing though, was to go and see my hairdresser to see if there was anything we could do to ease me into the transition – the short answer was yes, but also no. My hair has a red dye on it and so my hairdresser suggested that we strip that our and put something a little flatter on it in terms of colour to help things blend a little.

As you can see from these pictures, my hair does grow quite quickly and so I think within a year, I should have seen significant progress, I might even been entirely dye free! ๐Ÿ˜ I think my hair is the most grey on top and most noticeable around my parting, but at the back I think it’s still fairly dark. I guess I will find out.

I plan to document how it goes, if only for my own sanity if nothing else. A whole new world. I personally think I will look like Storm from the Marvel comics…

via GIPHY

G x

Follow:

Shall I Go Grey? | Life Update

“Shall I Go Grey?” is not a question, I imagine, many men outside of show business EVER ask themselves. They just DO go grey and that is the end of that. But it’s a question that has popped into my mind of late.

Mum aged 39.

I myself have been going grey since my early twenties, taking after my mum, who started with a small tuft of grey at the front of her hair that slowly spread backwards. I have actually been colouring my hair since I was 15 and I’ve had it every shade of red, brown and black that you can think of. I even went blonde once, but it turned yellow and I looked like someone from the Simpsons…. post a photos you say. erm NO.

Recently though, I’ve got a bit bored with constantly having to colour my hair, I am sure it does it no good and so I have honestly thought about stopping. Of course, the internet was the first place I thought to consult about this decision, which naturally led me to Instagram and in particular to the grombre account, which champions women who go grey early:

All the women featured on there look fantastic and I have to be honest, this does spur me on. Of course I do have some concerns…

  • Will I look old. Not older… but OLD?
  • Will I be able to wait it out until my whole head is grey before I cave and dye it?
  • Will people judge me?
  • What if I hate it?

But one thing I always try to do in life is give things a go. So I might speak to a local hairdresser about a transition plan so maybe it’s not such a tough adjustment for me, but then I might just go for it. If I do hate it, I will just stop.

Also, the colour of my hair doesn’t define who I am! It doesn’t even define my age. I’m almost 44 and basically a girl who laughs at fart jokes. The lack of pigmentation in my curls doesn’t change that one bit.

Tally Ho!!

Gill x

 

Follow:

Frazzled by Ruby Wax | Review

On a warm Thursday night, M and I went to see the famed American comedian, loved by many, especially people my own age who first remember her in Girls on Top! (Go on, google it, I’ll wait).

ANYWAY, Ruby is the self-proclaimed poster girl for Mental Health, after Comic Relief asked to use a photo of her that subsequently ended up all over the Tube!

We booked to go and see her as due to me working for a Youth Charity, I have an interest in mental health and also I have always thought Ruby was an enigma. Tickets booked, off we go.

The event was at Pyramid & Parr Hall in Warrington and we parked on Golden Square Car Park. (Top Tip, GSCP is open nightly till midnight and is free from 4pm onwards on a Thursday!). We had fairly good seats near the front in the stalls.

The first half of Ruby’s show was her basically interviewing herself and talking to us a little about her own depression and then some thought about mindfulness. It was all very interesting and in case you are wondering if Ruby has ANY clue what she is talking about, she got a Masters not too long ago from Oxford in CBT and Mindfulness.

I found Ruby’s delivery a little chaotic and I sometimes wondered if she had just lost her “place” in the show sometimes. However, this got better as time went on and it has to be set, the whole thing was funny from start to finish. I won’t spoil it for you, but she tells a joke about Melania Trump that is the funniest thing I’ve heard this year!

via GIPHY

The second half is Q&A, which I have to be honest, isn’t my thing. When we went to Ant Middleton, people had filled in questions on cards on their way in and Ant (or Ant’s team) had chosen some for him to answer in the Q&A section. This made it entertaining and Ant could answer questions that had a theme. Ruby just took questions cold from the audience, it didn’t go well.

I felt that a couple of people who asked the questions just wanted to let Ruby know that they knew about mental health too. The people at Parr Hall weren’t very organised with the microphones, so every time a person was selected, it took a little too long to get the actual question. But the thing that made is awkward in the extreme was that one poor man stood up to share his own mental health struggles and without breaking the confidence of the room, they were pretty traumatic. Ruby tried to re-assure him, effectively asking him not to share more, but rather go and see her backstage after the show. However, the man was overwhelmed and it took Ruby several attempts to stop him further sharing some inappropriate and personal details with a few hundred audience members.

Then finally, the last “question” was someone who just wanted to ask Ruby to visit a local charity.ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ

But I did actually really enjoy Ruby’s show, a unique touch were the scented cards on everyone’s seat which we used in a section of practicing mindfulness. So glad we went, 7/10.

G x

 

Follow:

Why we gave up Daisy | pupdate

So a question I have been asked a lot since I posted that we returned Daisy for re-homing, is why? I have really debated about whether or not to post this, but what I am about to share is still quite raw and so I am disabling comments on this post.

I have always been someone that loves dogs, some women’s wombs twang when babies are around, for me, it’s always been dogs. We lost Peggy dog in 2013 and it took until now (2018) to feel ready to adopt another dog. We searched various animal rescues for a while, but nothing felt quite right and so we took a decision to get a puppy.

We selected a breeder and after a single visit, we met Daisy an 11 week old Cockapoo and I fell in love. We then went on holiday for a few days to celebrate a family birthday and then came back a day early to collect our new fur baby.

This is the point in the story, where it’s supposed to get a bit happy, mischievous with a wave on social media posts showing how cute our puppy was,ย  lots of little laughing about all the cute things she does.
Below is an example of what actually happened:

Daisy just never settled with us, she was hyper from morning till night. We fully immersed ourselves in our furbaby,ย  giving her 100% of our attention, even getting up every 2 hours in the night to take her out for a potty break. We worked hard on her toilet training, bought her a plethora of chewing toys, 3 different sized crates and registered her with our local vet and puppy classes.

But Daisy didn’t settle.ย  Daisy had 2 speeds, either full on go, or fast asleep. When we could eventually walk her, it was limited to 2 x 15 minute walks a day (due to her age) and we thought this would tire her out. But especially at night, this would make her MORE hyper and one night at 10:30pm I had to physically restrain her after almost 3 hours of being awake and either playing/walking/zoomying. Puppies are supposed to sleep 18 hours a day!

Every evening it would take almost an hour to settle her down enough to go to sleep with me always having to sit on the floor near her bed so she could fall asleep in between my legs. Then, like a baby, I would have to delicately transfer her to her bed and I couldn’t move as she would just wake up. I had to wait until she was 100% sound asleep before I could get into bed myself.

After 16 long days M and I had a very tough conversation where we both admitted we weren’t having fun and maybe Daisy wasn’t the dog for us. We called the breeder and they agreed to take back. I couldn’t bear for things to be pro-longed, so we took her back immediately. I cried as I handed her back over and as we got back in the car, we both just gave in to all the emotions. Heartbroken.

Most people have been very kind to us both about what happened, others no so much, but there is really nothing I can or want to do to change people’s opinion of me or my decisions.

Adopting Daisy took was a decision we didn’t take lightly and deciding to give her up was just devastating. I do hope that there is a doggy out there for us, I haven’t lost hope, one day.

G x

 

 

Follow:

Heartbroken | pupdate

Saying goodbye to Daisy…

This is such a sad post to write.ย ๐Ÿ˜ข This weekend Michael and I had to take an incredibly hard decision regarding Daisy. It had become very clear to us that she just hadn’t settled with us and we were all a bit miserable. We therefore decided to return her to the breeder for rehoming.

We are just so so very sad that I can’t really talk about it or say too much more, just that we are heartbroken that it didn’t work out. Maybe somewhere out there, there is a dog that is meant for our family. Someday.

Gill x

 

Follow:

She’s home | pupdate

Wow! We have finally done it, we have dog, well a beautiful cockapoo puppy we have named Daisy. She has been in our home for almost two weeks and, well man ALIVE it has been quite hard. I mean wonderful, but SOOO Tiring.

We knew it would be hard work, but not ever really prepared for just how much! Having a puppy for us so far has been like having a toddler in the house, but one that wants to chew and bite everything, is teething and is incontinent!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

We of course trawled the internet for advice about how to start looking after her as well as asking various lovely friends what they did and how they coped. Us mining for help and advice was a blessing and a curse as even though everyone’s advice is very good, it can vary and I have to say for the first 48 hours we floundered in relative chaos.

However, after a couple of days we settled on a few small “rules” to start us off. Basically:

  • Take her outside every hour on the hour for a potty break during the day.
  • Big “potty party” every time she wees or poos outside, i.e. lots of praise and cuddles.
  • No big deal if she has an accident indoors.
  • Bed at 11:00 and outside every 2 hours during the night till 07:00.
  • Feed her twice a day, once around 07:30 and again about 18:00

So as you can see, that’s pretty full on. M and I were shattered as Daisy is teething and so wants to bite and chew everything. Also, everything in our house is new and so she wants to sniff and explore every inch. We have had to move everything out of the way so that an interested Daisy cannot grab it.

She wasn’t able to go out at first as she only had her final injection 4 days after she arrived and couldn’t go out for another week after that. This led to us all being a bit stir crazy, but one other bit of fab advice we had was to flood the floor with toys for her to chew. This did help to re-direct any unwanted chewing or mouthing. Which was a lot!

Almost two weeks in we aren’t letting her out every hour, but mostly after a big sleep, big play, food and if we think that she is indicating at the door. We just try to limit the chances of her having accidents in the house. She is doing great, not totally clear of accidents yet, but this is one area that’s going well.

The one where we are still struggling with is the crate. One universal bit of advice is that dog’s do best if they are crate trained. Daisy wouldn’t go in it at all at first, then we started to feed her in there as well as place her water there too. She now will go in and will tolerate a little bit of time with the door shut, but then she gets agitated and starts to cry (which I could cope with ) but then she also starts to bite the door and get distressed. She also pulls her bed out of the crate constantly, so the crate training isn’t going great. We’ve just got to keep going.

But Daisy is in fact a puppy, a baby and maybe we aren’t doing too bad. Maybe she will never take to the crate? But one thing I can tell you, she is 100% cute – show you some photos… well ok then!

 

Follow: