Why Does It Take IKEA Four Months To Replace A Defective Couch Cover?

Joyce has been waiting since December for IKEA to send her a replacement couch cover. IKEA admitted that the cover had a known defect, but since they were out replacements at the time, they promised to call Joyce a month later when new covers arrived. Joyce gave her information and asked for a reference number, but was told that one wouldn’t be necessary. Wouldn’t that have been nice?

fast forward 4 months – no word, so i call customer service. i get bounced to the national handling and they said they cannot find my report. (of course). and then they said they would need to “document” my case, so they were going to forward me to someone else. i got forwarded to anthony who said my problem was a “quality issue” which they do not handle over the phone. and he said i had to go back into the store to resolve it. i asked to be transfered to the store, so i could call them and not have to drive myself all the way over there to find out it is not in stock again. he said he could not connect me to the store because the store does not take calls from customers – that their purpose was to help in store customers only. i asked if i could get my case documented by him since that was why i was transfered to him in the first place and he said no, because it was a quality issue. so then i asked what kinds of cases does he document, and he said “not quality issues.” wow, thank you for being so helpful. so i asked again if he could document anything for me so i at least had a record and he said my case was too old since i bought my sofa more than 90 days ago and he only handles cases that where purchase was within 90 days. so i asked, ok, if i had purchased my sofa within 90 days, then he would be able to handle it? and again he said no cause he handled purchases made within 90 days except for quality issues.

so i gave up on trying to understand what his job was and asked again if I could be connected to the person who had forwarded me to him. and he said no. i asked why not, and he said he didnt know who forwarded me to him. i asked him if he could query my name since i had given all my information to the person i had spoken to previously and he said that they do not track customer service calls, they only record them (what the…? huh? i dont believe that for a second especially since ikea is a multi-national behemoth. they must have a well developed call tracking system) so i asked if he could transfer me to anyone else and he said no, that i had to go into the store because it was a “quality issue” and no one in his call center handles “quality issues”. i just do not understand how they could not call for me to even find out if my initial file was still there? is that too much to ask?

Don’t get too bent out of shape over IKEA’s terrible phone support. The bigger issue is the replacement cover that hasn’t materialized in months. Head back to the store and have a firm but polite conversation with the store manager. An apology and a little extra compensation wouldn’t be out of line.

ikea sucks [Joyce Lan Kim]
(Photo: acshepard)


Edit Your Comment

  1. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I’m sort of amazed that she didn’t go to the shop as soon as she realised that there was a problem. Ikea is a unique animal. They’re best dealt with in person.

  2. legotech says:

    Yeah, Ikea does cheap really nicely, but after the sale, their service breaks down….I bought a dresser that had the wrong hardware in the box…called and they shipped a new set right out…a different wrong set….so I call back again and they sent out ANOTHER wrong set. There happened to be enough correct hardware between the three packages to build the dresser anyway.

    I still love ’em…I just know figure its like wal mart…I get what I pay for.

  3. ideagirl says:

    JMO, but I think there is a reason that Ikea is spelled with IK…

  4. BugMeNot2 says:

    Probably took them forever to assemble it. Probably had a screw or two left over somehow, too..

  5. Pro-Pain says:

    You get what you pay for.

  6. When i have a problem wih anthing i bought at IKEA i just go there and they normally repalce it without a second thought. BUT i never had them send me anything and i am not living in the US …

    So yeah … maybe they are really good if you deal with them in person but suck if you need them to do some thinking on themself.

  7. DeltaPurser says:

    this guy didn’t go there for four months and all of a sudden it’s the most pressing issue around?! oh, get the hell out of here… rather than haggle with some poor customer service guy over the phone for half an hour, drive your ass over to the store and settle the issue once and for all. end of story.

  8. EricaKane says:

    Unfortunately, a half hour call is worth it considering that most IKEAS are the middle of surburban hell. Try getting out to the Rolling Meadows IKEA from anywhere in Chicago and you are looking at 1.5 hours each way…

  9. fuzzball21 says:

    I ditto the driving back to the store to fix it.

    I bought a futon and when I was assembling the frame, I discovered that I had TWO left legs, and no right leg. I called the store and they said to bring in the left leg and they would replace it. Worked like a charm. Two months later, the hinge on one side gave out. I took it back to the store, and they replaced it free of charge (they gave me an extra hinge to replace the other one in case it gave out as well.) I asked the manager what he could do about this situation because this was the SECOND time I had to fix the futon and dive 45 minutes each way. He gave me a $10 gift card and sent me on my way.

    The only reason I DIDN’T have a problem was because I kept my receipt, AND the assembly instructions, and took both back each time I needed to go. (The manager says that whatever your claim is, they are more likely to fix it without question if you have both.) I will continue to shop the Ikea Schamburg and save my receipts and assembly instructions or package labels.

  10. hatrack says:

    DeltaPurser: Did you even bother to read the story? First off the guy’s name is Joyce. Second she did contact Ikea and was told that they would exchange the couch cover as it was a known problem. They said they would call her back in about a month. Nowhere did I see her saying it was the most pressing issue around. If the couch cover is not there how is going to the store going to resolve anything?

    fuzzball21: The reason you didn’t have a problem has nothing to do with the fact you kept your receipt. You didn’t have a problem because they had replacement parts they could give you. The whole bloody point of the story is Ikea admits to the problem and it hasn’t been resolved 4 months later…Jeez!!

  11. blb says:

    you “what kind of case do you document”
    IKEA: “not quality issues”
    you:”i’d like to file a 100% performance failure report”

  12. @DeltaPurser: Just a suggestion, but from now on lets skip the unnecessary hyperbole and just type the acronym IBTV.

  13. rg says:

    You waited 4 MONTHS to call them back?! You get what you settle for. I can’t believe you’d rather talk to them on the phone than in person, how are you going to get your hands around their neck over the phone?

  14. DeltaPurser says:

    @SpeedyGonzalas: I’m afraid I don’t know what IBTV means… Care to enlighten me?

  15. boomerang86 says:

    I had something similar happen to me when I purchased a Karlstad sofa from the Paramus store last October; the color cover we wanted was out of stock. We paid for delivery anyway, and there was a helpful associate who kept in contact with us via phone and e-mail. The cover came in, couch was delivered BUT one arm cover had bad stitching. Called the store, they took my info. Less than two weeks later, a replacement arm cover is delivered via UPS.

  16. Buran says:

    @DeltaPurser: What, you’ve been around here for all this time and didn’t think of “I Blame The Victim”? It’s only the most prevalent attitude around here.

    Because, after all, no matter what crap some company pulls on you, it’s gotta be YOUR FAULT.

  17. properstranger says:

    I too had some problems with Ikea and couch covers.

    A couple years ago I bought a Nikkala couch and they told me they had the covers in stock but couldn’t find them. They said they would give me a call in the morning once they had a chance to go through their stock room. I called weekly for months and they still had not found the mysterious cover for my couch. Meanwhile my couch is coverless and the paper like material was deteriorating fast.

    When I asked whether they could order the cover from another store, I was informed that the couch was discontinued and that they would no longer be making covers for them. They wouldn’t refund the $115 dollars that I had already paid for the cover or the damaged couch because too much time had passed. Now im stuck with a $500 beige couch that has stuffing coming out of every seem.

    Needless to say I don’t shop at Ikea any more.

  18. fuzzball21 says:

    Part of the problem was that they DIDN’T have parts in stock for my futon. They opened up another and then kept it back there for spare parts. (I guess I should have mentioned that) The fact that this person waited four months to call back just seems to be part of the problem as well. Going to the store twice was successful for me.

  19. DeltaPurser says:

    @Buran: Aaaahhhh… Thanks for the clarification. I guess it’s back to Acronyms 101 for me :-)

  20. swedelibrarian says:

    Ya know, I’m sick of all these people saying “just drive into the store”… a lot of people just don’t live within an hour or 2 of an IKEA. I’ve had problems with them and the nearest one is 5 hours away… I would not expect that if something was faulty that I would have to drive 5 hours one way to get it fixed. Whatever happened to customer service?

  21. ChuckECheese says:

    I think the reason it’s taking so long to get her chesterfield cover is because I heard IKEA outsourced design & production to Jupiter (just look at their fabrics–they have all sorts of extraterrestrial colors and designs). Deliveries are slow from there because of the lack of optimal space trajectories and stuff.

  22. hatrack says:


    Sorry for the pissy comment I left yesterday. I don’t post on usenet or blogs very often. Guess that’s just as well.

  23. mk3 says:

    You would be amazed at how disconnected their internal systems are. Each store runs pretty much independent from corporate. They do “off the shelf” very well, but anything special order or backorder, you might as well for get it. They don’t document your case because their internal systems don’t have that feature.