are the subject of another blog complaint to Pesky People about failing their disabled customers. David blogged back in May that IKEA don’t like their disabled customers very much. That resulted in Gateshead store installing the proper induction loops and improving disabled access.

I was emailed by Mikki McDonald about Ikea Bristol and how she had been waiting nine weeks for them to return her walking stick after leaving it behind after falling ill. She even had to buy a new one because she couldn’t walk without it.

Mikki asked if I could help get it back for her after their promise to post it didn’t happen.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if IKEA spent some of the $23.1 billion net profit they made in 2009/2010 on improving it’s customer services and disability access (including Disabled Awareness training) for all it’s stores. Why not throw in lost property books for their Ikea Bristol store – they can certainly afford it (see below).

Mikki wrote:
“I’m a disabled woman who uses a walking stick.

On Saturday 27 August 2011, a friend drove me to Bristol Ikea. We arrived at lunchtime so began by having a meal at the restaurant where my friend enjoyed her favourite Swedish meatballs.

For me, as a pescatarian, there wasn’t much choice and I settled on a smoked salmon plate with grated root vegetables which looked a bit tired & wasn’t very nice so I left half of it.

Some fifteen minutes later as we had started to shop, I began vomiting which continued some eight or nine times by which time the first aiders in the store had taken me to their first aid room and called paramedics who gave me an anti-emetic injection.

I was feeling pretty ghastly as I was helped (I think in a wheelchair) to the car.

With my friend, staff helpfully organised paying for and getting our shopping into the car. I asked several times where my stick was and was reassured that everything was in hand.

However, when we got home I realised my stick was not in the car and rang Ikea. My call was taken by a woman who told me that my stick was still in the first aid room & that I should ‘pop along anytime’ to collect it.

I explained that I was disabled, unable to drive myself at that time,lived in Berkshire and couldn’t ‘pop’ anywhere without my stick so asked for it to be posted to me which she said was not possible.

I asked to speak to a manager, a helpful young man who took my details & assured me my stick would be posted to me.

It is now 19th October 2011 and I still haven’t had my stick back so have had to incur the cost of buying another. I expected better of Ikea.
Mikki McDonald

Update 24 October 2011:
Full marks go to Ben in Customer Services for sorting it out with the Bristol store and ringing me back within hours of calling this evening.

First of all they didn’t know where it was or if they still had it – that also included losing the lost property book (security only had one dated from mid-September 2011 onwards and not before). I didn’t dare ring Mikki with that news until they had double checked.

The good news is they found her walking stick. It was still languishing in the First Aid room! Keeping it company were two other walking sticks that should be with their owners.

It’s being posted to Mikki, I did ask IKEA:

  • Why not put the boat out and hand deliver it to get it to her sooner rather than posting (after all she’s been waiting 9 weeks)? They can’t.
  • Why not offer a goodwill gesture for not returning her walking stick promptly, being out of pocket (never mind the difficulty getting around), and the hassle caused to Mikki? She needs to write in or email to request compensation.

Mikki who’s delighted to be reunited with her walking stick and she’s asked that her comments in the blog post be the email to them. Done.

Unfortunately this is another example of why we are developing  Go Genie!

IKEA really could have done better especially with that $23.1 Billion they made in net profit in 2009/10.

Useful tip on phoning IKEA: It’s hard to find the contact number for each store – when you do ring the 0845 number (watch out if using your mobile it’s more expensive) you are connected to an automated switchboard.

  • Press Option 5 for Advisor followed by
  • Option 5 (again) for Customer Service.

Otherwise if you are like me and are Deaf  you will end up ringing three times to get the right option. Grr. Alison