Ugh, there are very few times when I let myself get frustrated by large corporations (I’ve resigned to the fact that they may just not put as much emphasis on certain things as smaller companies do) but tonight, Ikea has baffled me.
So, here’s the story. I wanted to buy a blanket from Ikea. Not just any blanket… a blanket that doubles as a nearly perfect green screen. Yes, I have found this specific item and now I want it. So, I log on to Ikea‘s website to check stock and hopefully, order online to have it shipped to my house. Easy enough right?
Yay! Found the blanket and now, I’ve added it to my cart.
Woot… Now, to check out and get my blanket shipped to me.
But wait. What’s that little icon with the cross through it.
Ohhh, I can’t actually buy it online. Darn.
So, I pick up the phone and call the Montreal Ikea and get an operator.
Me: “Hi, I’m sitting and looking at a product that I want but it’s at the Montreal location, in stock, and I live in Ottawa. How can I get that product?”
Operator: “You can’t”
Huh. I can’t get a product that I clearly see on the website. Even though that took me back a bit, I press on.
Me: “Oh. Well, can I get it transferred between stores?”
Me: “Umm… Okay, why does it allow you to add it to a shopping cart for online shopping?”
Operator: “Well, some people make a list, print it out and bring it into the store.”
Me: “No, they don’t really… Do they?”
Operator: “I don’t know. You can buy some products online but not all of them.”
Me: “Where do the products come from?”
Operator: “A central warehouse.”
Me: “Okay, how can I get that central warehouse to send a blanket to Ottawa?”
Operator: “They can’t.”
Operator: “Because they don’t carry that item.”
Me: “Okay, so why can’t I buy it online again?”
Operator: “Because we don’t take credit cards over the phone or Internet.”
Me: “But you just said some items can be purchased online and hence the reason the Ikea website says Buy Online.”
Operator: “Only some items can be bought online.”
At this point, I’m confused. Like… really, really confused.
Me: “So, does Ikea not want to sell any product?”
Operator: “Well yes, if you travel to that location you can buy the blanket.”
Me: “I need to drive 2.5 hours for a $24 blanket? Really?”
Me: “Wow. Okay. So, does Mia Cullin, the designer of said blanket, realize that she’s missing out on potential sales due to Ikea’s distribution issue?”
Operator: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Yeah… Okay… I’ll go find a green screen / blanket somewhere else and I’ll be sure to notify Miss Cullin as well. Thank you though for your time.”
Does anyone else not think that Ikea has a MAJOR distribution issue?
I don’t understand why they can’t transfer stock between stores. I don’t understand why only some items can be purchased from the warehouse but not others. I don’t understand why they’d prefer to piss a customer off rather than find a way to get product into the hands of the consumer.