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. 🙈

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,  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 £1,200 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”.  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,  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 a  Billy bookcase, you need to make your customers feel valued. Because I certainly don’t.

Gill x

 

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An 80th Celebration & A Musical Surprise

So on Saturday we travelled to a little town just outside Wrexham in North Wales to celebrate the 80th birthday of on of our lovely family friends. She’s had a tough couple of years with one thing and another and so to turn up to find her enjoying a lovely party with an Afternoon Tea theme was a joy.

What was most unexpected was the surprise performance that her daughters had booked for her and I have to say I was blown away! They were called A Handbag of Harmonies:

They were led by the wonderful Matt Baker and after their heart exploding rendition of Shine by Take That (Swipe left on the above Insta to hear)… I was just blown away. They were incredible and if you are looking for something different for your next event, and you just want to smile for 20 minutes… then look no further. Loved every single minute!

G x

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My week in Salford (and lovely things to come)

As you know I have been working away in London for the last 5 weeks trying to get my head around a new computer system in order to train hundreds of Prince’s Trust staff how to use it. Well this week, that training started in earnest when I trained some of our staff alongside the lovely Laura from Dundee. I had the first day jitters initially, but by the second day they settled down and we ended up having a really good couple of days.

I have been doing IT Training for about 15 years on and off, but this is the first time I have ever trained people on a system I didn’t know inside out. But the fact that it seemed to go ok and the feedback was good, has given me so much confident that I feel good about the sessions I am doing solo next week.

Actually, next week sees me going to Leicester for the week and as I have never been I am interested to see what it’s like. I am going on my own, which means 4 x nights in the Ibis Leicester, but I am back on Thursday night so it’s not too bad.

Also, this weekend is our last “free” weekend before the Christmas hoopla kicks in.. namely:

So lots to look forward to and I think that this weekend I might pick up my vlogging camera. I have really neglected my YouTube Channel over the last couple of months due to work things but as Christmas approaches and VLOGMAS tickles my creativity – I think it’s time to start filming.

Happy days!

G x

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I’m done with London! | London  | Week 5

That’s it then, I am done with London! This final week was an extension to the original 4 and it really marks the start of the next phase. I have been learning a new computer system whilst I have been down South and from next week, I have the enormous task of training all our NW staff – it’s going to be fine *blinks very fast whilst nodding*.

But seriously, we had a great last week, still learning lots and trying to wrap our heads around lots of technical information. On Wednesday, I suggested to everyone that we all go out for dinner on our final night together, so we all went to Pizza Express Finsbury Circus and had a really good laugh telling stories and blowing off some steam.

As a non drinker and after a fab few hours,  I waved everyone off to the pub, whilst I actually went back to my hotel for a kip. The following day it was hilarious to hear that some of my colleagues had let off more steam than others…but we don’t need to talk about the photo that was taken in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night. My lips are sealed. 😜

It was bittersweet to leave as I am not a city girl at heart, but I’ve really enjoyed the experience and the challenge of travelling solo and staying in our capital city. The tube no longer daunts me at rush hour and I have 100% mastered how to take a wheelie case on and off escalators and trains without stopping  or missing a step. I rule!

Over the next few months I am training staff in Salford, Leicester and Birmingham, so watch this space to see how I get on!

G x

<< See week 4

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I Had a Wobble | London | Week 4

Week 4 in London has been a little tougher than previous weeks for a few reasons and I have to tell you that on Wednesday night, I had a little cry. Let me explain.

I am working on a project that is very time sensitive and even though I am working with a lovely group of people, we are under pressure to deliver training to over 900 staff in a short period of time. I have got SO much information to get my head around that at times I need a moment. I have to say that overall, I think it’s going well in that as each week goes by, I feel more comfortable with all the new info, but it’s very intense.

This week has been a little tougher as we went straight into pilot sessions for delivery and even though this went well and there were some friendly faces, it’s tiring as I feel like we were fully concentrating the entire day. On both Monday and Tuesday evening I had prep to do for the following day and so on Wednesday night when I had nothing to do, I floundered a little. I had been basically going Travelodge>Work>Travelodge for 2 ½ days and so with a night on my own stretching before me, I was just bumbling around my hotel room, wishing I had made better plans.

I think on Wednesday, the city was grinding on me a bit and quite honestly I think it dawned on me that in that moment that I missed home. M was at his running group and so when I thought he would be back, I asked him to FaceTime me. FaceTime doesn’t work that great, but even just seeing his gorgeous face for a minute made me burst into tears. I just had a cry for 5 minutes which honestly gave me the relief I needed and after a brilliant chat with M, I felt 100% better. He reassured me and said all the right things to make me feel better and carry on kicking ass!

I don’t think it helped that the previous night I didn’t sleep that well and I was tired. And I need my sleep.

4am accidental photo

Thankfully my wobble didn’t last long and he had me laughing before the end of our call – thank god! I have one more week in London and then not too much travelling after that. I have the odd away weeks in Leicester or Birmingham, but I will think about that a bit nearer the time!

But even though my week was a bit harder, I did have a good week. I achieved lots and the work thing is going ok. My view from my hotel room showed the lights of the city and seeing M on Thursday night when he picked me up from the station made me feel so loved, that I could have burst! I loved him even more when he suggested a Nandos. He know’s me too well 💜 G x

Morning London!!

A post shared by Gill Lysons 👩🏻‍🏫 (@gilliblogs) on

<< See Week 3

>>See Week 5

 

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Les Miserable is an actual joy! | London | Week 3

Week 3 in London done! Breaking news is that my stay has been extended by another week. I don’t mind too much, I think because I know it’s not forever, that I am more able to cope with it.

This week was VERY special as my very lovely husband paid for me to go and see my most favourite musical, Les Miserable. So on Tuesday, I made my way across London and visited the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. The performance was SOOOOO amazing and much more than I even expected. The revolving stage, the barricades and the exceptional performances from all the actors was just breathtaking. I cried like a baby and the only thing missing was my Michael, who is the most generous and kind man ever. Thank you Michael, a little bucket list thing ticked off. 💗

I worked VERY hard all week and on Wednesday evening, I needed a moment of calm, which oddly enough, I found in Marks & Spencer! M&S is a very familiar place to me as we have a massive one quite close to home. Oddly, the bras, knickers and general surroundings made me feel sort of “at home” so I treated myself to a new bra and felt better for it. Being in the capital and in such a busy city is such an alien thing for me and can be overwhelming at times. When I leave my hotel in a morning, it’s like joining a high speed motorway rather than stepping out onto the pavement. The pace of the people borders on manic and it does take some getting used to. But my hotel is nice and the team I am working with are all in the same position and super supportive.

So 2 more weeks in London and then the fun really begins. Aarrgh.

G x

<<See Week 2

>> See Week 4

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Weight Loss October Update | Getting Healthy

So as you can see, my weight loss has slowed a little, but it is still progressing, as I have now lost 35 lbs/2 ½ stones/15.87 kgs. Not bad eh?!

Weight loss is often called a journey as it has bumps in the road and of course, I am going to be honest and share mine with you. September was a funny month for me as I struggled to focus on Weight Watchers due to my impending secondment to London. Overall I lost 3.5lbs, which is good and so I am not going to beat myself up too much.

My secondment started just over 2 weeks ago and again, my Weight Watchers is a little harder to stick with as I am away from home and can’t cook. But to try and allay too much damage I have fallen into the following routine:

Breakfast in my Travelodge: 2 x pieces of brown toast with a small amount of Jam on each & fruit salad & a cup of tea.

Lunch: A Boots Shapers Sandwich with a low fat packet of crisps.

Evening Meal: Various

Snacks: Fruit

So as you can see, I mostly do OK, but it’s the evening meals that are tricky. In our first week in London, as I am working with a group of other staff members from around the UK, we all did something together most nights. However this week, we all did our own thing. There are also MANY temptations throughout the day as our group are feeders and there has been cake and biscuits every single day. I haven’t had one, although I have had the odd Percy pig when I was struggling a bit with energy.

One thing I did come across in my Timehop App, was a still from a vlog I did a couple of years ago and I really noticed the change in my face:

Changing Face

So even though my weight loss has slowed, there have been semi-unusual circumstances and I HAVE managed to keep it going. But of course I couldn’t finish this blog without sharing my amazing London Bridge victory!

and I really wouldn’t have had the confidence or fitness to do this at the beginning of May. Go me. x

 

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Halloween Decorations 2017

Happy Halloween everyone! Whilst I am away in London, thought you might like to see our decorations from the weekend. G x

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