This weekend we undertook an Ikea makeover on another room of the house–this time, the bedroom. After months of consideration, comparison, measurement, and discussion, we picked out three pieces of furniture to update the room–bed frame with headboard, secretary desk, and a large shelving/storage unit. I took a four-day weekend so we’d have plenty of time to build, move, re-organize and recover.
We did the shopping last weekend and had the big items delivered. The idea was to build all of it this weekend, but we couldn’t stand the wait, so we built the secretary right away last Sunday.
During the week, Ken got the headboard built and mounted to the wall, so by Friday, we only had two (very big) items to do: the Expedit 5×5 shelves, and the Oppdal bed frame.
At 11:00 we started on the bed, happy that we were getting it all done on day one, and would have the rest of the long weekend to enjoy.
First off, the bed was by far the most difficult build we’ve ever done. It was fiddly, had several different types of screws and bolts to differentiate, and required a lot of crawling around on the floor.
It took four hours, and we were aching and exhausted by the end. We had absolutely no inkling of disaster until we slid the bed frame up against the headboard, and discovered it was about six inches narrower. We dismissed that as a design element, so the truth didn’t hit us until we put the spring box on and it wouldn’t slide in–we’d built a full size bed, not a queen. AARGH!!!
The next several minutes don’t bear revisiting–we cycled through all the stages of grief and several of madness. My first instinct was to go out on Saturday and buy a full-size mattress–ta-dah, problem handled. Of course there was no way we could comfortably sleep on a full-size bed, but that’s beside the point; there was no way we could deal with building another Oppdal frame, either.
Once we calmed down a little, I called Ikea customer service to discuss our options, and the woman I talked to was sympathetic and encouraged us to return the bed–which would mean dismantling it, and we’d need to be careful, because we couldn’t get a refund if it was damaged. So we spent about an hour undoing everything we’d just done, slowly and carefully. Of course, problems happened anyway, the biggest of which was two boards that split at the ends. In my depressed and exhausted frame of mine, I decided that meant we couldn’t return it, and we were just out the money for it. Ken had the idea to put it up on Freecycle, so at least someone would get some good out of it.
We slept on it–the problem, of course, not the Oppdal. Saturday morning, we headed back to Ikea to buy the right size bed, and decided that it couldn’t hurt to talk to the customer service desk about a refund. We would be completely honest about the damaged pieces, and the worst they could do was say no, which would leave us right where we were.
So we talked to them, and the woman at the service desk didn’t say no. She said, “Do you have your receipt?” Yes. “Bring it back, we’ll refund you.” Second major shock in eighteen hours. “But it’s our dumb mistake,” I said, not really arguing, just not believing what I was hearing. “Doesn’t matter,” she answered. “You have your receipt, it’s within 90 days of purchase, and you’re not happy. Bring it back, and we’ll give you your money back.” I was so close to tears that I couldn’t say anything for a moment. She just smiled warmly. I finally said, “You’re building so much customer loyalty right now!” and she said, “It’s how we do business.” So we went home, packed up the pieces of the wrong bed, and drove right back to return them. There was a different person at the counter, and he was just as sympathetic about the mistake, and processed the refund without question. (In case you’ve lost count, that’s three for three on kind and helpful service people.)
It was an incredible customer service moment. It transformed the whole experience for us. It not only made me feel better about this instance, it made me feel better about every dollar I’ve spent (and will spend in the future) with Ikea. For a few minutes, I wondered if I wouldn’t maybe like to see about getting a job with them, even. For sure, I’m enthused about shopping with them a lot more in the future.
The second Oppdal build was so much easier. We knew what we were doing, we got a second power screwdriver so we could work in tandem, and our friend Corvus came over to be a third set of hands and eyes on the project. It only took about two hours the second time, and we were nowhere near as sore and tired as we had been on Friday. We slept very well indeed last night.