Good Thing There’s No Such Thing As An IKEA Gift Card Balance Emergency

Have you ever had an IKEA gift card? Did you ever need to check the balance without being inside an IKEA store? Valerie wanted to check the balance on hers, which she thought should be a simple transaction using an automated customer service system or the retailer’s website. The problem is that IKEA has shut down its gift card request line: you know, the one listed on the back of the card itself.

I have a couple of Ikea gift cards for which I needed to check the balances. I log onto the website and find no option to do so. I check the back of the card, which provides the toll free number of 800-558-5961. I dial this number, only to be advised via recording that in order to check a gift card balance, I must dial 800-434-4532. Upon dialing that number, I receive an extensive menu, but none of the options mentions anything re: gift card balances.

I then refer to the website again, intending to file a complaint. The website offers the option to chat! I choose this option, only to be led to a page advising me all operators are busy with other customers, but does not give me my number in queue, hold time, or even the option to hold- it states “If you were attempting to chat with us and are receiving this page, all of our operators are currently assisting other customers. If this is not an urgent request, please send us an email and we will respond within the next 5 days.” 5 days for a gift card balance?!

So, I use the phone menu to connect to my local store, and wait on hold for 13 minutes before receiving an answer (this is at 5:45 on a Sunday night.) I am finally assisted by an associate who does not even attempt to apologize for my frustration, but instead tells me any requests for gift card balances take 24 hours unless I visit the store in person (over 20 miles away.)

I will now await whether I even receive the response in a timely manner. If I ever thought I would have this much trouble getting an answer to a simple customer service question that is answered immediately and conveniently by other retailers, I would never have requested an Ikea gift card and surely will never purchase one as a gift for anyone else.