Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flat Beds - 1

For the last 10 years or so, the kids have been moving in & out of various flats, which has usually only involved me acting as removals van driver & "caution".
"Caution" means guaranteeing to put right any overdue rent or damage caused by offspring.
The worst part is having to copy out, by hand, a whole page-full of incomprehensible legal terms, conditions & liabilities, ironically designed to make sure you have really understood what you are letting yourself in for.

It has often involved me lending said offspring one or two months rent in advance when this has been required.
Which reminds me…

Quite often, the removal van activities extend to Ikea, But, Conforama etc to buy beds, wardrobes, shower fitting etc etc.

Only a few weeks ago, AA moved to a smaller flat, so had to buy a folding sofa bed & store her existing fixed bed with us for another day.

She researched the sofa-bed market extensively & decided exactly what she wanted – Ikea Beddinge sofa (well made, steel-framed mechanism) Havet mattress (suitable for everyday rather than casual use) Aubergine cover (practical colour without being drab brown) Underbed stowage box. Perfect!

So we took the Espace to Ikea & started ordering.
First problem was that the Aubergine colour (on display) was no longer available & was not going to be restocked.
So she reluctantly settled on Orange…
Everything else went OK & we loaded the car & dumped everything in the new flat.

A couple of days later AA said she had taken the Orange covers back & exchanged for Brown as the Orange took over the flat.
She also asked me to check the assembly of the mechanism as the bed did not open out flat, but both halves sloped towards the middle.
Like camping on a hillside, she said.
There was nothing wrong with the assembly, but the solidly-made mechanism had welded-on stops welded in the wrong place, which prevented full flat opening, for no good reason.

We assumed it was a quality problem & took the mechanism back to Ikea, where the (always friendly) after-sales people said they had had similar cases & gave us a credit-card to get a new one.
While we were there, we decided to look at the sofas on display.
They are all displayed in sofa mode, but when we converted them to beds, they were all sloping too!
After a lot of discussion (but no resistance or argument) they decided there was no solution & we took the whole lot back & got a full refund.

AA bought a less-well-made but flat-opening sofa from But.

I tried to contact Ikea France to point out they had made a mistake & were losing customers, but they don't have any e-mail contact mechanism, which I find astonishing.
Likewise Ikea UK & Europe, as they sell this sofa worldwide.
In the end, I found I could contact Ikea USA by pretending I had purchased via Ikea Direct, but the only response was a friendly-sounding "Thank you for your interest…"

I don't think they have learned anything.
Surprising for a company which seems so customer-oriented.

Parting thot: "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being." - Goethe

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