At IKEA, Even Jumping Your Car Is A Self-Assembly Process

We were so excited yesterday to go to IKEA that we left the lights on and our car battery died.

We asked around the unloading dock if anyone had jumpers but nobody piped up. An employee directed us to a customer service reception area. We handed them our license and they gave us a portable car jumper kit.

As we trudged through the snow to go do the job ourselves, we thought with a grin, “This is so IKEA.”

Don’t get us wrong, we enjoyed jumping the car, it’s just amusing that the ethos behind the self-assembly business model trickles all the way down to the parking lot.

— BEN POPKEN
(Photo)

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  1. VG10 says:

    “As we trudged through the snow to go do the job ourself, “This is so IKEA.””

    so you left your lights on at IKEA and expect them to come out and fix your car for you? Come on. I think it’s great IKEA has the portable car jumper kits, thats more than what most stores have. bravo IKEA.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Don’t get us wrong, we enjoyed jumping the car. It was just amusing that the business model trickles down all the way to customer car troubles. I should add that to the post. Yes, I shall.

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    Most stores would expect you to get your own help with car troubles, unless you happened to coast into an Autozone or O’Reilly’s or something. I didn’t even know that Ikea had a car-jumping kit. Pretty cool.

  4. MeOhMy says:

    I’m impressed that they have the booster block at at all!
    While I appreciate the artificial irony made by the connection between Ikea and giving you a booster and a slap on the back, I imagine it’s more about not getting blamed/sued if an Ikea employee screws up and blows up the whole car.

  5. kerry says:

    @VG10:
    Oftentimes places that have large parking lots will have parking lot security vehicles with jumper kits the security personnel can assist customers with. I know the hospital I work for does.

  6. @Ben Popken: I like the portable car jumping battery things. Only needed to use it once but didn’t need to ask strangers for help.

  7. VG10 says:

    @kerry:

    kerry, at first reading before ben added to the article was that it seemed that he was upset at the fact IKEA didnt come fix his car for him, but after the editing, that’s not the case.

    I do know about some security persons driving around will help you with this. myself, i keep a $15 walmart 10′ jumper cables along with rope, tools, flashlight in my truck for just said emergencies. however, i havnt gotten a chance to use anything yet. :

  8. Ben Popken says:

    I should add that was a friend’s car. If we actually owned a car of our own, you can be sure we would have our own jumper cables.

  9. scoobydoo says:

    What was the car starter thing called? Jůmper or bőőster?

  10. Brie says:

    @scoobydoo: classic. :)

    I like thinking that IKEA *knows* its customers’ll be there for four or five hours and that someone’s car is bound to die in the meantime.

  11. karmaghost says:

    I appreciate the post. The store I work at is super customer friendly (it’s their entire business model, actually) but they won’t jump cars. We don’t have cables, but even if you bring your own, they won’t let any of the employees (not even the ones that give a “helping hand” in the lots) use their cars to help, if they’re on the clock.

  12. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’d say it’s rather cool that they have boosters that they lend out. Sure, so spending two hours with a soldering iron and 3 sizes of allen wrenches putting it together before you can jump start the car might be a little frustrating, but hey, it’s all part of the IKEA experience.

    Besides, it’s quality Swedish electricity that makes your car exhaust smell like Lingonberries.

  13. faust1200 says:

    Nice. I would have never thought to ask Ikea about my dead battery. I had a dead battery once but fortunately I get free roadside assistance. I discovered my 3-4 year old battery needed to be replaced. It wasn’t cutting it in the cold winter. I believe it takes at least a few hours to kill the battery with the headlights. How long were you in Ikea?? Maybe it’s time to pony up for a new battery, Ben…!

  14. @dwatne_dibbly: Besides, it’s quality Swedish electricity that makes your car exhaust smell like Lingonberries.

    mmmmmmm lingonberries…..

  15. Trai_Dep says:

    Whatever you do, do not approach Ikea while experiencing heart palpitations…

  16. Kornkob says:

    @karmaghost: That’s probably related to insurance or work rules in your state/county. While it’s nice to help out customers when they have problems unrelated to any services you offer, there is risk associated with it that one’s insurance or work regulations might not tolerate.

  17. acambras says:

    Yeah, in several instances I’ve had mall security, etc. refuse to help me with a battery due to insurance liability (I seem to inadvertently leave my lights on several times a year).

    If you own a car, the best thing to do is always have the essentials on hand (jumper cables, tire iron, jack, spare, extra quart of oil) and know how to use them. That way if you need a jump start, you already have the cables and the know-how — all you need is to find a nice person who’ll pull their car up to yours for two minutes.