Excerpts, Letters to The Man, Testimonials

No More IKEA Emeryville for Me

IKEA Flags, San Diego (Thanks, Juan23)

Don’t get me wrong, I mean, I love shopping at IKEA . . . the drive to the mega-store, the search for parking, the endless meandering through furniture and accoutrements, only to find yourself facing the stark reality of a giant warehouse, asking yourself if the Black-Brown BILLY bookshelf, which looks so black in the warehouse, is really the same color you were looking at in the showroom, and standing in line, wondering just what kind of crap they put in a 50c hot dog. But once you pay, and you’re rolling out the door, you know you’re not far from the actual joy of wrangling your heavy flat-packed furniture up the stairs and getting busy with the allen wrench.

But yesterday . . . well, I have officially given up on the Emeryville, CA IKEA. Here is my tale, as told in the call-and-response format that passes for “customer service” via the “Internet” these days:

From: Danny Howard
Date: Jan 8, 4:43PM
Via: Web Site Feedback Thingus


My wife and I have enjoyed shopping at IKEA for some years. We are accustomed to long lines, and the need for patience. But today, your Emeryville store took the cake.

We can forgive that the flat carts were not supplied, the line was unmanned, I had to go to the loading area to fetch one. Okay. Too bad none of the staff seemed interested in mediating this problem.

But what left us livid, was that after we checked out, we wheeled our carts over to an open parking spot in the loading area, and I went to fetch the car, and drove all the way around the store, and got to the loading area, only to find that someone, over my wife’s objections, had taken our spot. They were not loading … they continued to occupy our spot as I was circulated out of the loading zone.

Now … I figured “no big deal, I’ll just come around again” but upon exiting the loading zone, there is no option to reenter the store parking lot. The street leads to the highway. That is very upsetting.

So, some time later, I managed to drive back to Ikea, drive all the way around the parking lot, all the way around the store, and get back to the 5-minute parking of the loading zone. The car that had taken our spot was still sitting there, several minutes later, and the rest of the loading lot was filled with PARKED CARS–unattended–just sitting there. NOT LOADING.

While waiting for me to make my way around, my wife asked staff why they were allowing the loading zone to be filled with parked cars. They replied that they had no authority of enforcement. She asked to speak with a manager. Nobody ever came to hear her concerns.

Fortunately, on my second try, the second-to-last spot in the loading zone was available. Had it not, I would have had to park in the FIRE LANE, in order to load our purchases.

We have never been fond of the Emeryville store. The store in Shaumberg, IL is much nicer, and we may visit East Palo Alto some day. But this I can say with some certainty: I will not return to the Emeryville store, unless I can be asured that the loading zone can be made available to people who need to load their purchases, and not to _ssholes that feel entitled to make their own rules, in the absense of management on Ikea’s part.

Thank you for listening.


A fire drill at Dallas IKEA? (Thanks, shesbitter)

IKEA responds:

Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 19:36:26 -0500 (EST)
From: customer_care@ushelp.ikea.com
To: dannyman@toldme.com
Subject: Re: Contact Us

Hello <dannyman@toldme.com>,

In order to provide you with the quickest response to your inquiry, this is an automated response. If this information does not provide a response to your inquiry, please reply to this e-mail so we can better respond to your request.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

If you change your mind after making a purchase, just bring the product back to your IKEA store unused within 45 days. All we ask is that you bring your receipt and the original packaging.

This return policy does not apply to cut fabrics, bedding (mattresses, mattress pads, comforters, quilts, and pillows) as well as products from AS-IS and items damaged after leaving the store. A fee of 30% of the purchase price will be charged for cancellations of custom upholstery.

You can be the first to hear about special offers, the latest web exclusives and more by subscribing to IKEA’s email list:


We hope this information has been helpful.

Best Regards,
IKEA Customer Care Center

Which, according to my careful, cynical, jaded reading, translates as “we don’t actually want to read e-mail, so this automated system will pretend that you are asking some basic question that is easy to answer. LALALALALALALALALA_THANKS_FOR_CONTACTING_IKEA_GOODBYE_NOW_LALALALALALALALA!!!!!!!!!!

Perhaps . . . perhaps I will be proven wrong . . . and perhaps . . . perhaps the Emeryville store does have a way to keep the loading zone ready for loading . . . but . . . I have, let us say, lowered expectations.

Anyway, I got a nice dresser, and tonight maybe I’ll drag the bookshelf upstairs. But for now, I have a Monday to attend to.

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