In my previous post "Everything is crap" I promised to write more about Ikea once the legal stuff was all over. Well, it is, so here goes.
Almost exactly a year ago, we had some furniture delivered from Ikea. One of the delivery men dropped the furniture on the hearth of our almost brand new and expensive limestone fireplace, and broke it. When we pointed out the damage, the other delivery man then became quite rude and abusive, denying all responsibility and shouting a lot.
We contacted Ikea, thinking that they might be concerned about this. Not a bit of it. They pointed out that the furniture was delivered not by Ikea, but by a separate company. I had always thought it was a bit strange that, if you go to Ikea and buy furniture that you want delivered, you have to queue up again after you've paid for the furniture and pay separately for delivery. Now I know why. It is so that your contract for delivery is with the delivery company, and not with Ikea itself, so Ikea can quite legally deny all responsibility when things go wrong.
Of course, denying responsibility and being legally correct is one thing. You might have thought that they would also care about good customer relations. In my book, having your delivery company cause damage worth a 4-figure sum to your customer's property and then having nothing further to do with it isn't a particularly smart way to build customer loyalty.
Well, we contacted the delivery company (Allways Express), and asked them to pay for the damage. They wrote the occasional letter acknowledging receipt of our letters, but nothing that made it look like they were going to pay, and after a couple of months of this we got a solicitor involved. Allways Express continued to make endless excuses, despite threats of legal action, but eventually, almost exactly a year after they broke our fireplace, we finally got a cheque from their insurance company.
You have to ask why it was such a big deal for them to pay up, given that they were insured in the first place.
Anyway, I'm glad that we finally got paid for the damage that was caused (although we have not even remotely been compensated for the huge amount of time it's taken to pursue this).
Needless to say, I won't be shopping at Ikea again.