IKEA Delivers Couch With Missing Cushion, Insists On Replacing Entire Couch

We’ve all received IKEA furniture missing screws, but Marc received a couch missing an entire seat cushion. He figured IKEA would quickly hand over a replacement once he pointed out their obvious mistake. Nope! Several employees helpfully explained that the cushion “comes with the couch,” and that finding a replacement was “impossible.” A resourcefully inept manager finally resolved the situation by insisting that they replace the entire couch.

Marc writes:

I’ve never written to your site before, but this story was so over-the-top ridiculous I had to share it.

In furnishing my new apartment, I recently bought a leather love seat from Ikea. For some reason, you can go in person to the store and order it for next day delivery, but you can’t do the same action over the phone. Calling-in routes you to Ikea Direct that draws its stock from a distant warehouse and takes much longer to deliver. Makes perfect sense!

My couch arrived the next morning wrapped in plastic and cardboard. I could still make out its vague chocolate-brown shape, which is why I was surprised to see a large blotch of white beneath the layers of plastic. I confirmed that it was the right couch with the driver and shrugged my shoulders when he said it was.

After an hour or two of building some of the other pieces that had arrived alongside the couch, I was ready to tackle it. I began to tear off the plastic and toss it aside like a yuppie on Christmas morning. Once all was torn away and done, I was presented with one leather couch that was lacking the seat cushion cover. Just a naked white cushion. I called the driver and asked him if it was still in the back of the truck. He said no and that it “came with the couch”, a phrase I would come to hear often over the following 72 hours. He said I should call the store. I dug through the packaging several more times in search of the wayward cushion cover to no avail. I called the store, but was routed to Ikea Direct, who told me that it would be no problem to send me out a new one. I told her I didn’t want to wait a week or however long it took, I was impatient and wanted it now! She said I would also have no problem walking into the store with my receipt for another one. I asked her if she could notate somewhere that I would be doing that so that they wouldn’t think I was some sort of thief. She chuckled that idea away and I added the task to my to-do list absentmindedly. This was Friday afternoon.

I didn’t make it to Ikea in Burbank until Sunday. I was told I would have to wait in the Returns & Exchanges line. When my number was called, I went up to the teenage clerk and asked for the various screws that Ikea always seem to forget and then explained the cushion situation. He nodded and disappeared to the back for a few minutes. He returned and gave me a handful of screws and smiled trimphantly. I reminded him about the cushion. He disappeared to the back for a few minutes and then returned and pulled up the product record on the screen. “It comes with the couch” he said definitively. I agreed, but told him that in this case it hadn’t. He seemed puzzled and disappeared to the back again. He came back and, turning the computer screen towards me for my benefit, he repeated that it “came with the couch”. After some back and forth, he disappeared to the back.

More than a few minutes passed. I saw him come out of another door a few feet away and begin helping another customer. Someone new popped up in front of me and asked how he could help me. I absolutely hate it when retail employees just pass you off without a word, without an introduction thus forcing you to repeat your story yet again. I explained myself to this Manager, and he said it “comes with the couch”. I clenched my teeth and tried not to scream. I recounted the timeline of the delivery. He said they would need to setup a home inspection or need photographic evidence. My jaw dropped. I told him I already had the expensive part of the couch and all I wanted was the cover. He asked if anyone could backup my story. I got the number from my cell history and he disappeared into the back to call it.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, he comes out from the back and hands my paperwork to yet another employee and walks right by me. I stop him and ask the outcome. He said they were going to take care of it. Immaturely, I asked if the driver corroborated my story, which he confirmed and walked away. The third employee told me to take a seat as it would be awhile.

It was awhile. An hour had passed since I first walked up. Manager returned finally and explained that another customer who had bought the same couch had needed a new cushion cover because theirs was torn, so an employee had yanked it off of the couch I would later buy. Manager said they were going to order me another one. I nodded and refrained from yelling “I told you so”.

Another couple minutes went by, Manager sent me over to the delivery desk to arrange the delivery of an entirely new couch. I objected saying it was a waste of fuel and time when all I needed was a cushion that could fit in a backpack. This was apparently impossible. At this point, now approaching two hours, I lost it. I told him that I wanted my initial delivery fee completely refunded as they had delivered a nightmare instead of a couch and that as Manager, he really should’ve done his homework and researched the issue before tacitly accusing a customer of wrongdoing with the implication that inspections and photographic evidence would be needed. I also pointed out that I had noticed the white cushion upon first glance but had assumed the cover was elsewhere in the packaging whereas an employee should’ve picked up on this immediately. All of a sudden, the Manager got all up in my face gangbanger-style and grunted that he hadn’t accused me of anything. I realized that he probably didn’t know what “tacitly” meant. Oops. I repeated that I wanted a refund. He exclaimed that he wasn’t charging me for the re-delivery. My jaw dropped a second time causing me to yank it up quick enough to fire back that it would be ludicrous to charge a customer for the store’s mistake.

The next morning, a new set of delivery guys came with the new couch. Before they could unload it though, I explained to them what had happened. They seemed puzzled. I told them that all we needed to do was swap out the seats, which we did. They were amazed at the store’s incompetence, which made three of us. As they pulled away, they yelled a hearty “thank you” for saving them (and their backs) the unnecessary loading.

It took a week of phone calls to Ikea Direct before I got my money refunded. Each time, the representative told me to wait for the Burbank store to call me for resolution, but to call back if they failed to do so. They finally did call me but were only willing to refund part of the fee, which I told them was unnacceptable. They called back and agreed to a full refund. I win!

This is exemplary of a common virus infecting corporate customer service. It is never good business to treat your customer like a criminal and to make an assumption without fact to back it up. The returns process is a tricky one in that it requires a good deal of actual skill, something that big box stores feel is unnecessary to endow their employees with. If you perform a return correctly, you retain a customer and their future purchases beyond the momentary loss of stock. If you don’t, you lose not just the money for the returned item, but potentially all the future purchases of an angry customer.

(Photo: Orin Optiglot)

Comments

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  1. mbz32190 says:

    Eh…I don’t know how I feel on this one. It seems to me that you didn’t explain to them that a cushion was missing from the order. Of course they are going to tell you it “comes with the couch” because they figured you are looking for a replacement piece and thats all they see on their computer (meaning no spares available). And the problem was resolved a few days later…that seems like passable customer service for me from a store as lowbrow as ikea.

  2. snowburnt says:

    So the store messes up and forgets to deliver cushions…Then they offer to get you a replacement couch, free of charge to you to make up for it…then eventually they agree to a full refund…I don’t understand what issue you have. It might be wasteful to deliver it to you, but if that’s what they do then that’s what they do. You are getting what you need for free and they’ve made up for their mistake. it sounded like the only reason it took two hours is because you were making a sour face and being difficult.

  3. brennan_bm says:

    @snowburnt I think it’s more the principle of how inept the customer service is at Ikea, rather than doing what would be easiest, just giving him a cushion, they make the situation harder than it needs to be.

    Seriously, I do not like ikea, it’s impossible to get any customer service there, it’s like they hire the most vapid 20 somethings who are never anywhere to be found on the floor.

  4. sketchy says:

    The first employee should have just grabbed a cushion cover from a new sofa and tagged that one, they did it for another customer, why not Marc?

    I can, however, understand the manager asking for a photo, what if someone stole a whole couch, Klinger-style?

    LESSON: When I had my IKEA kitchen delivered I went through it number by number and refused delivery of broken or damaged bits. Marc COULD have opened the sofa right away and told the delivery guy to take it right back when he saw the problem (although that does seem a lot more trouble than just asking for the cushion cover).

  5. JohnMc says:

    Replacing the entire couch would be the proper course. Consider that color runs for fabric is in batches. A couch made properly has fabric all of the same batch fabric run. Were IKEA to just cough up a cushion there would be enough difference to be noticed.

    Manager is making the right call.

  6. post_break says:

    @JohnMC I know what you mean, those runs arent always perfect. However I believe in this situation the manager wouldn’t even understand that mindset.

  7. Ouze says:

    Marc… it comes with the couch!

  8. Pipes says:

    Ah, IKEA, what trials I’ve had with you. I ordered a big set of furniture with them, and this is what I went through:

    - Decided to go for their home delivery. It’s cheap, I can say that much for it, AND they move the furniture into your home. I live in a 2nd floor duplex and I’m 135 pounds, so that was perfect for me. IKEA Pittsburgh’s delivery desk told me my furniture should be there in about 2-3 days. In 2-3 days my furniture hadn’t even been shipped from the warehouse. The true date for delivery was 2 WEEKS. I was supposed to live in a new apartment for 2 weeks without chairs, a bed, a table, a couch…NO FURNITURE whatsoever. I probably spent about 2 hours on the phone getting that fixed. They expedited and acted like it was a great favor for me. I know, “should have gotten it in writing”, but this was the DELIVERY DESK, and presumably that was a common question they should get correct.

    2) They delivered someone else’s stuff.

    3) They actually did deliver my couch. Unfortunately it was too big to fit up my stairs. Now, I was out of town at the time, so my downstairs neighbor had let them in and left them to their work. So, in light of the couch not going into my apartment…did they call me? Did they notify my neighbor so she could call me? Nope! They LEFT IT ON THE PORCH AND DROVE AWAY.

    I will never use IKEA again.

  9. Jacquilynne says:

    It seems to me that giving someone a couch cover instead of a new couch is what caused the problem in the first place, so expecting them to do it again kind of perpetuates the issue.

  10. tc4b says:

    This doesn’t seem worth blowing a gasket over. If this happened to me, and they offered to replace the entire couch, I’d say “Well, sounds wasteful, but it solves my problem.” And this passage: “All of a sudden, the Manager got all up in my face gangbanger-style and grunted that he hadn’t accused me of anything. I realized that he probably didn’t know what “tacitly” meant. Oops.” has the OP sounding extremeply pompous. Of course the manager was frustrated with you. Here he is, offering to fix IKEA’s mistake, and you still won’t let up.

  11. floraposte says:

    I’m three hours from IKEA, and thus outside of their delivery area, as well as being too far to turn around and return something. When I got home and took a table out of the box only to find that it was broken, it only took a few steps along the chain to get somebody who grasped I wasn’t coming back any time soon and who therefore offered to credit the table back if I sent a copy of the receipt in. And that’s what they did. So my experience of problem resolution was pretty good.

  12. superchou says:

    i love Ikea but HATE their service areas and their return practice is a total pain in the butt.

  13. Justifan says:

    probably costs the store about the same to redeliver a couch as a cushion. the trucks going to be sent anyways, and if they keep all the bits together its less mixups i guess.

  14. Mr_Mantastic says:

    @snowburnt:

    Dude. For the OP to have to go through this ordeal and wait two hours is ridiculous. It should have only required one phone call to IKEA. They delivered a couch, so they should have delivered the ENTIRE couch. Once they were notified that the couch was not in its entirety, the IKEA associate first corresponded with should have called the store and arranged for the necessary items to be delivered, then called the OP back with an ETA. It’s shouldn’t be our responsibility (the customer) to waste our time and gas to rectify their ineptitude. Customer service has gotten so terrible that this is now the norm. Spending two hours just to get a couch cover is ridiculous.

  15. SkiAliG says:

    While IKEA keeps spare screws and those weird wood things around, i doubt they have a collection of spare couch cushions. I agree with Jacquilynne – looks like someone cut corners before. Any major replacement from IKEA would probably involve replacing the entire item, just because of the way they package and sell their stuff.

  16. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    Pls, nxt tm lrn th mnng f “lng stry, shrt” nd S t. Wht wst f tm rdng ths.

  17. grouse says:

    “Manager returned finally and explained that another customer who had bought the same couch had needed a new cushion cover because theirs was torn, so an employee had yanked it off of the couch I would later buy.”

    This is why they did not want to just give you a couch cushion. They learned from their mistake the first time.

  18. ajlei says:

    I usually always tend to side with the OP on things, but this is a bit ridiculous. The way you write makes it appear as thought you entered Ikea with a bad attitude, which only hinders the process. I have gone through several returns at Ikea and they’ve all gone completely smoothly, even when the item I was returning was opened and didn’t have all the packaging with it.

    I’m also taken aback when you bring up the fact that the first clerk was a teenager, because, you know, a 35 year old with the same job description might’ve been able to tell you more. No, that’s why he got you a manager. And I know from managing restaurants that a manager would always want to ask the customer what the issue was himself, in case anything was miscommunicated. Your whole exasperated attitude about this really blows this out of proportion. Nobody was lying to you, or making promises they didn’t keep. They made an error and were trying to make it up to you, with your response being pigheadedness.

    I’ve gone through my fair share of customer service catastrophes, and yes, sometimes I’ve gotten upset, but I think we all know here is that staying calm and being polite and civil is really integral to having a good experience.

  19. Random_Tangent says:

    I’ve had nothing but great service from the Burbank IKEA. I’ve broken my share of strange particleboard furniture pieces and they’ve handed over shiny new replacements without so much as a glance at a receipt. (Including two 6-foot shelf pieces from the ridiculously hard to assemble Expedit shelves. It’s still in pieces on my porch. I’ll put it together when I move, sheesh.)

    Heck, I bought a bedframe off of craigslist that was missing a lot of hardware. I explained my situation to the woman behind the desk and asked if I could purchase the missing parts. She shrugged and said that it wasn’t necessary. Free bed parts!

    OP’s situation is frustrating, yes, but the situation was resolved as easily as it could be (even if it is a bit insane to have to deliver a whole new couch to replace a cushion).

  20. girlleastlikelyto says:

    @Jacquilynne: Exactly. Someone else is going to get a couch without a cushion cover now.

  21. coren says:

    So you made them have the exact problem they had before (a new couch sans cushion cover (What’d they do anyway, repackage the whole thing for that?)) instead of letting them do it the way they needed to handle it, and possibly set another customer up with the same problem? If getting an entirely new couch wasn’t acceptable to you, you should have stood firm instead of changing things after the fact.

    Also, while the manager shouldn’t have suggested you stole it (did he really suggest that, or was he perhaps trying to confirm what part was missing? Are certain covers different than others? I don’t know but it’s possible), you never really gave him the info he asked for – the driver never saw it either.

    Look, I know you went through an ordeal to get what you wanted, but you also didn’t help matters out along the way from what you wrote here.

  22. usmcmoran says:

    ikea business plan
    1-make cheap shoddy goods
    2-make mazelike warehouse to sell goods from
    3-(most important) make everything fit in thin flat boxes
    4-profit?

  23. bohemian says:

    Unless the item in question is also sold individually they probably have to replace the whole thing. I would have accepted the replace with new couch option and been done with it.

    So what do you do if you buy something from Ikea and have a major part missing yet you live 4 hours away?

  24. Robert_SF says:

    I think I can see the initial reluctance to just hand over a new cushion cover (which is what was missing) since it could be a scam from a customer for a free replacement on a cover that they ruined…however, I think once the customer had pushed the issue, the clerk should have been comfortable pulling a cover from an existing couch unit and handing it over.

    The comments that doing this is repeating a past mistake (by causing another couch unit to be missing a cover) are too focused on the effect and not the cause.

    The actual mistake in doing this (taking a cover from an existing couch) is not marking the couch as “not for delivery” and why, to prevent it from being delivered and showing how to make it re-available to deliver. Making a customer happy by quickly handling a complaint is not the error; preventing the couch with the missing cover going out is the error.

    CSR’s should have the ability and the lack of fear in using common sense to make customers happy. I think CSRs sometimes may have the ability, but are afraid of going to far to make the customer happy. Managers and policies should encourage and train employees on a customer/business balance in making it as easy as practical on everyone involved: the current customer, the business and employees, and future customers.

  25. DoctorVenkman says:

    Ah, IKEA. I worked at the Burbank store a few years ago. This brings back some memories. *tear

    The training at that facility is pretty ridiculous. They preach to their employees the “self serve” attitude, meaning that customers really help themselves, and you are just there for light backup. That idea seems to work great in Europe, but in the states, customers just aren’t accustomed to writing down the location from the label and searching for the item themselves. It tends to make the employees pretty disgruntled, since you aren’t trained to follow people around the store according to their every whim. I think they need to ditch that attitude for the US stores, and train the same as any other retail store, which is essentially “just help the damn customer already.”

    And, the couch cushion sort of incident happened on a daily basis. The simplest things turn into a nightmare. The manager could have just handed you another cushion, man, what’s the big deal?

  26. Dustbunny says:

    “I can haz cushion pleez?”

    Does every IKEA couch come with a cute kitteh? Because if so, I want one.

  27. Kierst_thara says:

    All you people suggesting that Marc should just shut up and take the couch frighten me.

    Because of what happened with the orignal torn cushion cover, the store is now one cushion cover short. Since they don’t have spare cushion covers, then yes, that means management is going to have to sacrifice a whole couch to keep this problem from happening again, but that doesn’t mean that Marc should have to take the whole couch off IKEA’s hands.

    I see no reason why the manager couldn’t have just grabbed a new cover from the ‘sacrificial’ couch, given it to Marc while he was in the store, and then made sure the rest of that couch got taken out back to wherever they dispose of or destroy unsaleable merchandise. Doesn’t that make more sense than packing up the whole damn couch, shipping it across town, making Marc wait for a second delivery and leaving him to dispose of the other couch, when it was the store’s mistake in the first place?

    Which seems like the simpler way of dealing with things here, people? I don’t think Marc was being unreasonable at all.

  28. gzusrox says:

    i had a problem with ikea once, they accidentally charged my card twice. when i called to make them reverse it they told me to call my bank.

  29. Difdi says:

    @Kierst_thara:

    I see no reason why the manager couldn’t have just grabbed a new cover from the ‘sacrificial’ couch, given it to Marc while he was in the store, and then made sure the rest of that couch got taken out back to wherever they dispose of or destroy

    As someone else noted, fabric runs can vary slightly in color. Given the attitude of the OP, I’d strongly suspect that if IKEA had simply replaced the cover, we wouldn’t be reading about IKEA replacing whole couches instead of a simple cover here on the Consumerist. Instead, we would be reading about how IKEA screwed the OP over by giving him the wrong color cushion instead of replacing the one as he asked.

    I would say that IKEA did their best for the guy, and it’s only his attitude that made this a bad experience.

  30. Keter says:

    I recently bought a sideboard from them that had chipped veneer on one door, and peeling veneer on another door. I took back just the doors, they opened another unit, retrieved the matching doors, and gave them to me. It took about 30 minutes. On my next trip to Ikea, I saw the same model of sideboard in the ‘As Is’ section, sure enough, with the defective doors on it. They had assembled the new unit with the defective doors and were selling it as a second. It was a good bargain for someone who isn’t as “detail oriented” as I. ;o)

    I think the real issue in the OP’s case was that the store was out of stock on the particular item, and didn’t communicate that properly to begin with. It’s entirely possible that they HAD to drop ship from the warehouse to get the item to him in a timely manner, or, more likely, they wanted the defective item to go back to warehouse, so the store didn’t get stuck with another defective unit in their inventory. Still, common courtesy should have prevailed and they should have sent him just the cover as requested.

    My only real issue with Ikea happened I purchased a kitchen base cabinet by pointing to one on the display floor and telling the clerk “I want that exact thing except for the countertop.” First she wrote up the order for the wrong size (30″ vs. 36″ wide, which I caught), took three trips back and forth to the indicated unit to identify all of the parts, and then sent me on with part numbers for what turned out to be only half of the hinge. The hinge I wanted had a soft-close feature, and apparently the hinge itself and the closer are two separate part numbers. She gave me the number for the closer only, and I didn’t notice that the packages, which show the whole hinge, included just the closer until I got home and needed the hinges. A trip to the store the next day revealed that the hinge I wanted had been discontinued…and I had to get different hinges that would not use the closers…but what really irritated me was that she must have known that the hinges had been discontinued!

  31. mariospants says:

    When I had a cushion issue with a Pottery Barn leather arm chair, the delivery guys brought me a complete brand new chair, which they plopped down next to other one and then proceeded to leave empty-handed. I STUPIDLY asked “aren’t you going to take the other one back? It’s a replacement, right?” They shrugged and took back the original (and really, I was being picky, nobody would ever notice that there was anythin wrong without a thorough inspection). With dawning awareness, I realized they were originally going to let me have two $1000 chairs for the price of one if not for my dumbass mouth.

    I know better now.

  32. Kierst_thara says:

    @Difdi: I think your argument that the manager insisted on sending a whole new couch because he was worried about colour variation is speculative at best. If that was the manager’s reasoning, then why wouldn’t he have explained that to Marc? Also, if you read further on in Marc’s letter, he states that when the delivery people brought the new couch, they just swapped out the cushion at that point anyways, so obviously the colour matching wasn’t a problem for him.

    But go ahead and paint Marc as having a bad attitude, just because he wanted a rational solution to a simple problem, instead of the time-consuming and wasteful one that the manager insisted on.

  33. morganlh85 says:

    What I want to know is WHO in the hell wrapped up and sent for delivery a couch that OBVIOUSLY was missing a cushion cover?

  34. puka_pai says:

    What I want to know is WHO in the hell wrapped up and sent for delivery a couch that OBVIOUSLY was missing a cushion cover?

    Exactly. Marc shouldn’t have been the one to find that the couch was missing its cover, it should never have left the store that way in the first place.

    And, yes, I agree that concerns about color-matching are speculative at best. In a “real” furniture store you might encounter this, but probably not at IKEA. It’s also a simple thing to ask, “Marc, the color might not be exactly the same. Is that okay? If not, then we’ll have to deliver a whole new couch.” Marc seems like a reasonable guy to me, as long as the cover was, say, brown like the couch and not black-brown, he probably would have gone for it and walked out happy.

    Simplest thing? Give Marc a cover as they already did for a previous customer, stick that couch in the back with the big sign that says “Not for sale! Duh!” and order the replacement cover from the main warehouse. If it matches well enough, put it on and stick it back into stock. If not, then just like Keter’s sideboard, it gets put into the “As Is” area and somebody who doesn’t care that much gets a good deal.

  35. Meathamper says:

    Never, ever, ever trust IKEA delivery to pick up your sandwiches without bacons stolen.

  36. tcolberg says:

    Lets get this clear, there’s probably NO SPARE CUSHIONS to be had. The IKEA store doesn’t stock spare parts like a seat cover, and can’t order specific parts either. If there wasn’t an extra sofa in the warehouse, replacing the missing cushion means ordering a new sofa.

    The IKEA system is set up so that everything comes as one unit/box, with the only spare parts necessary and available being the screws, pegs and whatnot.

  37. Dyscord says:

    Well someone at Ikea is dumb for wrapping a couch missing a cushion in the first place, but it sounds like they were trying to rectify their mistake. Taking a cushion off of another couch and marking it as “Undeliverable” might have worked too.

    But they offered the OP a brand new couch free of charge. I would have just sucked it up, waited for them to deliver it and took the couch.

  38. snowburnt says:

    @brennan_bm: it seems that way, but as other people have mentioned, it is policy of Ikea to do it that way. it is possible that he is inept because he didn’t explain why they do it, or the OP just didn’t ask the simple questions. hard to say at this point but I don’t see anything wrong with this since in the end the OP got what he needed without spending any extra money. Most of the time wasted sounds like the OP being difficult.

  39. alexiso says:

    I’ve had a similar problem but our return to IKEA was fine. We purchased 2 end tables and one end table came with a broken shelf. We made the trip back to the big I and they gave us a new part, no problem. The only thing was, they took it out of another box so the missing-IKEA-parts circle goes on another day.

  40. woot says:

    I love IKEA and have had nothing but great experiences, but this story illustrates a widespread problem with customer service where the common-sense resolution is thrown out the window to apply some sort of formulaic approach (e.g. replace the entire item vs. doing something simpler that the customer actually wants).

    Last week I bought a grill from Walmart (of all places). There was a piece missing. I just wanted that piece. The department manager agreed it would be “stupid” to replace the entire grill and force me to have to physically bring it back to the store. He simply took the part from another grill and handed it to me. Simple, effective, and exactly the right way to handle it. Doubtless this was against policy, but thankfully some people still go out of their way to understand the problem, empathize with the customer, and use common sense.

  41. I’m amused by this, and I’ll tell you why.

    I go in to buy 15 different tiny kitchen utensils and those bastards won’t give me a plastic bag to put them in

    BUT THEY’LL REPLACE THIS GUY’S ENTIRE COUCH FOR A MISSING CUSHION COVER.

    W T F.

    I don’t shop there anymore, neither should you, OP.

  42. Mazda Eric says:

    I wish my couch came with a kittah

  43. LoriLynn says:

    I think describing it as a _nightmare_ might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I can see where it would be frustrating. I returned a broken bit of a dresser and they gave me a new bit with no hassle. I think I would have accepted the new couch idea, personally.

  44. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I would say that IKEA did their best for the guy, and it’s only his attitude that made this a bad experience.
    @Difdi: If selling him a couch with a missing cushion cover, passing him off to two different employees (and making him repeat his problem) and taking an hour to resolve the issue is their “best” then IKEA has serious problems. I don’t think making the customer lose more paid time off (assuming Marc even had any) because of their mistake is the best possible solution.

    So you made them have the exact problem they had before…
    @coren: No he didn’t. The delivery guys were going to bring in the new couch and take away the one with the missing cover. Ikea was going to get a couch with a cover missing whether or not Marc just swapped out the cushions. Making the delivery guys carry out the sofa really wouldn’t have changed anything.

  45. Daniels says:

    Is this guy’s first time shopping at IKEA? This is how they replace stuff. Always. Unless it’s a huge item, usually they don’t even make you send them back the defective one. I ended up with two lamps for the price of one because the first one was chipped. Here’s an idea: know the return policy of the store you’re shopping at before you shop there.

    American consumers are disturbingly selfish and spoiled.

  46. Todbartod says:

    Sorry to say it, but your first mistake is buying a couch from IKEA. They aren’t exactly known for producing high quality furniture.

    But at least he has learned the lesson to never accept delivery without examining everything. It’s much easier to refuse the delivery and have them send another couch than it is to try and navigate customer service to get a replacement cover for the cushion. Once you sign that line that affirms that everything has been delivered, you will have a harder time trying to prove there were any damages or missing items.

  47. coren says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Yeah they did – now they have a new, undelivered couch without a seat cover, instead of being able to return the couch that was incomplete.

  48. Superawesomerad says:

    So let me get this straight.

    IKEA offers to eat ~$800 in order to satisfy a customer it inconvenienced.

    The customer throws a tantrum because IKEA (which, let’s not forgot, is a company that operates on razor-thin margins and happily concedes to cutting every possible corner in order to offer rock-bottom prices) isn’t bending over backwards in exactly the way he wants.

    Still, it must have taken balls of steel to stand up to that gangbanger home-furnishings manager, Marc.

  49. RifRaf says:

    A bit wasteful/excessive on some level, but seriously how many companies would give you a a brand new replacement for something as small as a pillow? I don’t really see the downside – some places probably would have given hell for that pillow.

  50. citrus538 says:

    I had a bad experience at the same exact store. Drove 2 hours to my girlfriend’s new place for the weekend. Drive another 40 minutes to Ikea Burbank to help her buy furniture. Drive another 40 minutes home to discover a part had holes drilled on the WRONG SIDE. It’s too late to fix, go home for a week while my girlfriend languishes without a bed.

    Go back the next weekend. They don’t have any more in stock. They do now know when they will have more in stock. They will not call another store to have them deliver it or put it on hold. They did give me a helpful sheet showing me where I could drive another hour to reach an Ikea that DID have it in stock. I am angry.

  51. j-yo says:

    The whole concept of IKEA is that they keep prices low for you with their “self-serve” method. I’ve shopped there for years and have never had a problem returning anything or getting any replacement parts. We’ve purchased loveseats, chairs, tables, lamps, desks, even flooring. But you have to be pretty self-sufficient, persistent, patient and articulate about what you want. All in all, I’ve had better service shopping there than I ever did (note past tense) at Wal-Mart.

  52. chiieddy says:

    Odd. We just got a bunch of furniture. One of our pieces was missing a drawer slide. So we went back to the store and they went to the self-serve area, opened a box of the same product and pulled out the part we need and handed it to us. This was yesterday.

    • jennj99738 says:

      @chiieddy: And then Ikea will sell that piece to someone else who ends up with no drawer slide.

      The problem is that someone wrapped up a useless couch and sold it to someone in the first place. If the guy had accepted the new couch, the old one without the cushion cover would have been put back in the warehouse and delivered to some other poor schlub. That’s the problem. That and getting handed off several times. I hate that.

  53. kwe1009 says:

    Ikea delivered our sectional couch and after they left I realized I was missing a piece. I called the store and filed a “case” and received a call the next day. The lady apologized for the mix up and set up a delivery of the missing piece. When the delivery people arrived they tried to give me the entire couch. I explained that I only wanted the missing piece and I signed for that piece only. Two days later I got a call from Ikea wanting to know if there was something wrong with the couch since I “declined delivery” and she wanted to know if I wanted Ikea to refund my money. I am an honest person so I explained the situation and no, I did not need a refund. She thanked me for my honesty. I wonder how often this happens and people end up with a “free” couch.