Selling isn’t Everything

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Some of you may remember that I have had several problems recently with electric appliances bought at Ikea when we revamped the kitchen almost four years ago.

Thus in January the glass-ceramic cooktop went bust while in April it was the oven which stopped totally and whose door was blocked when I tried to run the self-cleaning cycle before Pesach.

I didn’t contact Ikea the first time for various reasons but just replaced the glass-ceramic by an induction stove. When, however, the second problem occurred I wasn’t amused, to say the least, and thus phoned their after-sales service.

I talked to a lady on the phone who did not seem very concerned by my problem and just told me the warranty was over so this wasn’t their responsibility any more. However she’d call the local Whirlpool dealer who would get back to me in the next 24 hours.

After three weeks had elapsed and nobody had called, I decided to phone Ikea again. This time another lady suggested I phone them myself. When I subtly hinted that I was annoyed at the dubious quality of the electric appliances they sell, she replied that I should contact another service but failed to give me their phone number.

I was quite irritated by then and thought I’d better phone the repairman a friend had suggested. Just as she had explained, when I called him, he answered, apologised that he was busy but promised would phone me back within the next 10 minutes, which he did. We arranged an appointment for last Friday. This guy arrived, on time, fixed the problem in less than 20 minutes and charged me 10% of the cost of a new oven. Which came as a pleasant surprise since I expected the worst. He was friendly, worked efficiently and cleaned the area where he had worked when he was finished. The oven is now back to normal and I was able to bake my challot after his departure.

A few key-words and clicks on the Internet seem to point to Ikea’s faulty ovens and poor after-sales service. In comparison, Apple were quite helpful, courteous and efficient when my Iphone broke down two weeks ago.

Big and small businesses alike might be well-advised to keep in mind that we are not only one-day customers but potential buyers for a number of years and that most of us have a memory.