When I checked my IKEA receipt yesterday (Sunday, 9/18/2011) I saw I'd paid $49.99 for an item that I was sure came from a bin marked $19.99. I went straight from the check out to the Exchange area and got a time-stamped ticket, 16.35 (4.35pm).
It was an hour before my number was called, and for much of that hour there was only one person processing returns, although there were numerous IKEA workers in the area and dozens of customers waiting. There was no evidence of a supervisor or manager. While waiting I tried to call the store phone number on the receipt, but was cut off 3 times, I was on hold for the 4th time when I finally got to the counter. I said something to the clerk about having to wait so long, and she got angry and said she didn't want to deal with me, and told me to go stand at another (empty) counter.
I refused and said if you don't want to deal with me, call a manager. She called security--a uniformed NYPD officer--told him I was causing trouble, and went to work at another counter. I waited for the manager to come. In the interim I told the officer that I had done nothing wrong, I hadn't raised my voice, I hadn't cursed, and I was with my 6 year old child.
We had been waiting for another, it was getting close to dinner time and we had a 2 hour trip home on ferry and subway to upper Manhattan, and sure, I felt entitled to complain. Someone has to, otherwise all the staff there think it is OK to let people wait an hour to return a mis-priced item. I kept the banter up with the officer, I wanted him to realize that I had done nothing wrong and that the clerk had over reacted. Eventually the "front line manager" arrived and I explained what had happened to her.
My return was processed (An hour and 10 minutes after we arrived) and we left.
This morning I called the store to escalate my complaint. I said I want to complain about the wait, about the clerk's attitude, and about the front line manager's failure to manage the front line effectively. The individual told me that I should have complained to the front line manager yesterday.
I said, well, I complained about the unacceptable wait, and I complained about the clerk, and about being guarded by security when I had done nothing wrong, but how could I complain about the front line manager to the front line manager herself? I was told I should have asked to see the store manager! That's ridiculous, I said, I had already been waiting for more than an hour, I had a small child with me and it was dinner time--due to IKEA's terrible customer service I could not wait any longer. And I had already had the police officer called on me, I did not want to risk further encounters with the police in front of my child.
I am not from the sewer, thank you! (I didn't say that--but that's how I felt!) The customer service rep interrupted me and re-iterated that I should have pursued the complaint at the store, and although she suggested I write to an IKEA customer service address, she actually cut the call short before giving it to me. At no point during the call did I raise my voice or curse. What I did say was that I had done nothing wrong--I had spent my money at the store, I had waited patiently in line for an hour, but when I opened my mouth to complain I was treated like a criminal and the police officer was called.
It took 2 more calls to the store, the first of which was cut off as I was about to speak to an IKEA rep before I got that address in Baltimore, MD.
IKEA customer service STINKS. It's ridiculous not to be able to deal with customer service issues the day after, especially as far as the time constaints were concerned, these were IKEA's fault, not mine!