Boo! IKEA did some annoying stuff to me

At the time, I had recently moved from the United States to Germany. I was lucky and found an apartment with some flatmates. The next thing to do was buy some furniture for my room.

The motto was “the mattress must come quickly and everything else can come slowly.” And that was exactly the way it happened. I easily bought a mattress and brought it back to the apartment on the first day.

Next were big things: bed frame, desk, and clothes rack. Ordering online and scheduling delivery was easy. But a week before the delivery I had to reschedule because I had another appointment on the same day. So I called customer support and explained the situation. The date was moved with no problem. Perfect!

The delivery date comes. I wait for the bell to ring.

And wait…

And wait…

And wait…

And it never rings. Something is wrong here folks. The online tracking reveals they tried to deliver to me last week.

After explaining the situation to customer support, the easiest way for me to get the money back (including delivery fee) was for her to cancel the order and for me to make a new order — whatever, perfect, thanks! And how long will it take for me to get my refund? She replied, “About a week or so.” I got the reference number for my case and was on my way.

A couple weeks passed. No refund yet.

I went on vacation for a month. Still no refund.

I waited another month. Nothing.

I called ’em again. And explained the situation again. Customer support said the system will not allow them to give a refund until an internal investigation is completed.

But customer support did offer to mark it as “priority.” Which was nice. I admit that I got upset on the phone. When I examined my feelings, it was not directed at the employee, but at the higher-ups who designed the system.

Like my virtual ticket was gathering dust in some task tracking system. Going untouched for two months. Probably bouncing between departments or subcontractors in a political game of “not my fault.” Individual people did their best to ignore it.

But at least now it was marked as “priority,” so everyone knew that I didn’t forget about my money.

At this point, after waiting two months, I felt like no progress would ever be made. After hanging up the phone, I checked my bank’s policy about credit card charge-backs. I completed all the necessary documents and submitted them.

And I got my money back.

The lesson here is that credit cards offer some nice customer protections.

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