Back in 2012, I paid IKEA to deliver and assemble some furniture. That led to the following Facebook post:
“You didn’t build that” (Ikea came to assemble some stuff starting yesterday at 1 pm. They left at 9 pm and here is the state of affairs…)
The two guys returned today at 945. We will see how far they get! So far I have not had to do anything other than watch in amazement at how much work is entailed even for two experts.
Friend: I don’t get it. Been buying IKEA stuff all my life. Always put it together myself, never any missing parts and always quick to do. A couple of hours at most for a complex wardrobe. Maybe these professionals aren’t that at all; bunch of random guys plucked off the street to go put together stuff for people?
Me: The guys seem to speak Portuguese better than speak English, but I wouldn’t say that this impairs their ability to unbox and slam the stuff together. They have electric screwdrivers and they have done enough of these before that they need not refer to the instructions in most cases. On the other hand, they put a Besta wall system door on a Stuva kids’ bookcase.
Folks: To close out this epic tale… IKEA sent two Mandarin-speaking recent immigrants from China back to the apartment today with a few boxes of spare parts. They were able to fix the remaining issues that I had not managed to fix on my own/with friends. IKEA customer service is amazingly well trained. I would call them and wait in a phone queue for about 45 minutes. The person who answered would invariably make me feel like the most important customer in the world. They’d promise to call back or send someone out. They never did these things, but I didn’t mind calling again because I felt so good after every conversation.
(One thing that I did learn from the experience, after attempting to sit in a dining chair after the two-day visit of the Brazilian crew, is that there is apparently no translation into Portuguese for “torque that bolt down”.)
Currently I’ve got a set of six IKEA chairs and enough hardware for perhaps three chairs. M4 and M6 machine screws/bolts have fallen out over the years and were apparently thrown out by the cleaners. I found an IKEA replacement parts site where screws and bolts are sent out “within a few days” for free, but it seems to be only for customers in the Netherlands. [Update: the Google couldn’t find the corresponding U.S. page, but a reader posted it in the comment section below.]
A lot of IKEA hardware isn’t standard. Where does one find replacement bolts for out-of-production IKEA stuff?
Separately, we visited IKEA recently. The 68 governor’s orders so far here in Maskachusetts have been boiled down by IKEA to “wear a mask at all times, even when outdoors and more than 6′ away from anyone else”:
(I personally disagree with this interpretation of what our laws would be if the Legislature had passed these restrictions as laws. The very latest from MA is that masks are not required outdoors unless you’re closer than 6′ from another human.)
The good news is that you can “do your part”:
Looking up an item’s warehouse location requires waiting in line to use one of the terminals that hasn’t been decommissioned, thus forcing you to spend more time in a crowded indoor environment (but bandanas and simple paper masks will prevent viral transmission!).
The CDC says that COVID-19 is not spread via surfaces, but the restaurant is closed for three days per week for a good scrubbing:
You’ll wait roughly 1.5 hours in the middle of the afternoon to be seated for lunch at this restaurant, from which many tables have been removed and the remainder are mostly vacant:
They’ve made special multi-tray trolleys so that a single authorized person from each group can go up to the cafeteria line.
- “You didn’t build that” (Wikipedia)