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.

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18 thoughts on “Selling isn’t Everything

  1. What an excellent post. I am sorry you had to go through so much frustration with everything.

    You are absolutely correct in speaking about consumer purchases…if we are satisfied with a company’s product, we normally will return to buy more from the company.

  2. Ikea just opened a second store here in Israel. I have not bought anything major there but their philosophy seems to be to sell (relatively) cheap and hope you will get tired of your stuff and buy newer stuff more often. That might work for curtains or tablecloths but for appliances you expect longer life. It’s good to hear real-life experiences with companies and learn who we can trust.
    Thanks for the heads up!

    • Actually when Ikea sell cheap stuff I feel I have made a bargain and I don’t really feel sorry if/when I get tired of them. Buth both the cooktop and the oven were Whirlpool stuff so I expected better quality and after-sales service.
      Hope this post helps people when they make decision about buying more expensive goods at Ikea.

  3. I have had bad experiences with Ikea (products bought over ten years ago in New Jersey).

    Go with quality. The service repairman may have charged you a fair amount, but he sounds reliable. I bet he knows what works well (whatever he hardly ever needs to fix). Good for you for using social media to complain – that’s the best way to get companies to respond. If they can’t provide decent quality at a decent price, they shouldn’t be advertising that they can.

    Quality isn’t always the most expensive – there are some high quality discount places, too (I love everything I have ever bought from Campmor, for example).

    • I actually didn’t think the bill was that bad considering that the oven works and I agree with you that he seems very reliable and I was hapy with his work. I am sorry it sounds as if I am complaining about the bill.
      Discount stores have not been in existence for very long here so I guess there is room for improvement.

  4. I have not found IKEA to have very good customer service in the store, and now I see they’re no better after you’ve bought from them.

    I don’t know if IKEA is as tech-savvy as some other companies, but friends of ours in the US had trouble with their Thermador oven for years, and when they were finally ready to give up on it, one of them put out a rant on Twitter about it. Within 24 hours, he received a call from Thermador, who offered to replace the oven for free and start their warranty from the beginning. Now our friends are happy Thermador customers.

    Might be interesting to see what (if anything) IKEA would do if you put something on Twitter about them and their lousy service. I’m willing to bet nothing, but our friends were pleasantly surprised.

    I’m glad at least your stove is up and running again. Nothing’s worse than being unable to cook!

  5. IKEA – meh!

    Good for some things (ie, that don’t have moving parts), bad for others.

    I agree – their customer service is shocking.

    I am very glad that you got everything fixed…

    PS. Whirlpool don’t have a great record for durability here in the UK…

  6. We have never had problems with Ikea’s customer service (so far), but then … we wouldn’t think of buying electrical appliances there.
    To begin with we always check out makes and then go to a shop that specialises in electrical appliances, or a good discount store.
    Also, Rachel is right about Whirlpool, they have a poor name.

  7. The kitchen furniture was bought in Ikea so it seemed logical to get the oven and cooktop there too, at the same time.
    Rachel is right about Whirlpool, they have a poor name.
    How come they still sell so many items then?

  8. Pingback: Weekly Review with Narrow Street « Ilana-Davita

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