IKEA – The World of Home Furnishing

English: Logo of Ikea.
English: Logo of Ikea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A good product should be accompanied by good service & customers’ satisfaction.

Undoubtedly IKEA, featuring Scandinavian modern style furniture and accessories, has taken the world by storm with composite warehousing showrooms sprawling on an international scale.They are home decorating specialists providing interior design ideas and homewares, including furniture and accessories for the bedroom, office, children and kitchen.

However, be aware of their trappings & extra expenses that will throw you off your wonder!

Thought we were the only unfortunate victims, but since I have come to know of others who weren’t compensated for dissatisfaction & mistakes made by IKEA installers, I thought I should go public for the sake of others thinking high & mighty of IKEA.

Like many people IKEA appealed to our dream of making-over our age-old kitchen. First, their showroom display enthrals you . . . their design pleases you . . . and then their price floors you. Compared to others, IKEA was the thing to go for!

Everything was professionally carried out. We started off with the qualified kitchen designer calling at our home to inspect & measure the lay-out of our old kitchen. Equipped with a laptop, he soon came up with the design to suit our needs. Of course, there was a non-refundable fee of $99.00 to be paid for the service. From this professional visit, the estimated price of $10,000 plus was quoted for the cabinet units required with the specially made-to-order bench top. I must stress that the designer knew full well of our needs & requirements.

We decided & proceeded. After a week or two, IKEA packaged units were delivered to our home. We thought we had the good fortune of securing the ‘excellent’ service of a well qualified carpenter who happened to be a lady newly migrated from Germany. Her installation fee was quoted as $2,340.

The shocking thing was she had only dollar sign in her head . . . kept reminding us that she was very well qualified . . . her time was valuable as much as $100 an hour & “every single cut” she had to make with her saw would cost us $50.00 extra. IKEA kitchen units are all modular type & any handyman could easily assemble them anyway. So you’ve got to make sure, you don’t have to deviate from the design to incur additional costs. Incidental & additional purchases are often unforeseen.

By the way, lest you forget, IKEA’s quoted price does not include all appliances & accessories. Rangehood had to be bought & installed separately by another with the chute opening through the roof.

Vertical blind dangling crookedly from the top. Measurement & installation skill went wrong!

In the process of installation, the vertical blinds of our bay window were roughly handed & when the bench top was finally fixed, the blinds couldn’t be drawn & opened as before. They are touching the bench top surface even now & hanging down as being too long to fit. We complained that we would have to incur an unnecessary expense to refit another set of curtain blind. But this was ignored by IKEA who claimed not to be their responsibility.

Cubical void too small to fit our old microwave oven. Had to purchase another alternative to place therein, as well as an additional IKEA cabinet

Another area of our dissatisfaction & complaint has to do with the size of the cubical void intended for our existing microwave oven. We found our oven too big to fit in. We complained that we had to buy a new one in order to fit. The designer was made aware from the start when he came to measure up. So what happened, we had to buy another modular unit with three drawers specially for our microwave oven, and I had to assemble it myself.

An additional cabinet purchased especially for our old microwave oven

IKEA modular units are never made or equipped to fit kitchen with bay window. Yet, we were assured that there would be no problem. But problem did arise when we were left with two open corner areas, rather unsightly. We had to get another carpenter, who happened to offer a cheaper service to solve the problem. IKEA again claimed no responsibility. That was over $300 drained from my wallet which should not have to incur.

Left corner void of the bay window cabinet
Splashback short of measured requirement. Exposed gap beneath the rangehood

   Associate mis-measured the size of the required splashback over the cook top area & left us with an exposed area uncovered & unprotected from cooking loil & grease. Again, IKEA would do nothing. Of course, the splashback is an additional area of expense , costing us about $1,000 more. As it was made to order, there was considerable waiting time & delay because of Christmas holidays.

Another area of delay had to do with the made-to-order laminated bench top which costs in excess of $2,300 plus.

Right side of the bay window void

Talking of extras, not pre-warned, are the services of the electrician & the plumber. Apart from having the problem of coordinating them in the whole process of installation, there was this additional costs of $2,200 & $1,000 respectively. Headaches don’t come by cheaply!

Knocking off the wall & cabinets of the old kitchen was going to cost us some $500 extra with the IKEA team. So I got it done ahead separately for just $100.

The installer left a lot of uncleared rubbish & dust . . . gosh my time for clearing them was not considered. This was expectedly part of the service which was not rendered. She said her vacuum cleaner was out of function.

We told the kitchen designer that the wall cabinets must all cover right up to the ceiling. But when assembled & done, there was this gap which would be good hide-out for dust, cobweb & insects. Another additional cost of $240 was incurred. (Below: Picture on right)

Sealing the ceiling gap cost additional $240

Where is the service?

The onus of responsibility rests entirely with the customer!

You deal with IKEA at your own risks!!

Last but not least, we started the IKEA project in the first week of October 2011 & it didn’t finish till March/April 2012 . . . a considerable delay & inconvenience.

In business, goodwill & image take a long time to build

It takes great expenses too through advertisements

Preservation of them will indeed be most important

Lest competitors & ill-will come along for the kill.

The Charm of Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria lies in the southeastern corner of Germany. With its unique diversity of attractions, its scenic beauty and unspoilt nature, its romantic castles and medieval towns, its beer halls, traditional festivals and oompah bands, its excellent cuisine and hospitality, its pleasant climate and its cosmopolitan high-tech capital of Munich, Bavaria is undoubtedly the prime holiday destination in Germany, no matter at what time of the year you come for a visit.

Bavaria has it all: exciting cities, exceptionally rich in history and traditions such as Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Augsburg or Bamberg, embedded in peaceful rural countryside with rolling green hills and extensive forest land, crystal-clear lakes and a beautiful frescoed village now and then. You will also find friendly little guest houses, top class resorts for hiking, skiing and water-sports and cosy restaurants where you can expect sumptuous meals with steaks exceeding the size of the plate. All this at very affordable prices.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Bavaria’s state capital, Munich, is one of the most prosperous metropolises in Germany. Its Alpine character and Mediterranean verve, its world-class museums and art treasures, the Hofbräuhaus and famous Oktoberfest, traditional customs and high technology, beer gardens and haute cuisine, operas and boisterous nightlife, all make it so popular with visitors from all over the world.

The most distinguishing architectural feature of Bavarian towns is the painted houses – like Walt Disney pictures drawn from the fairy wonderland. (View slide show below).

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