Saturday, July 25, 2009

Home delivery. Yeah right.

I have many things to get done this weekend. One of them is to buy a bookshelf. I decided to drive down to IKEA. My friend tagged along as well.

It's the weekend, so we weren't surprised to see heaps of people milling around in the store. From previous experience I knew that in IKEA if you are looking for something specific there's a good chance you are not going to find it straight away. They have the knack of making you walk through aisles of retail forest with stuff that scream out 'I am on sale! Buy me!'. You are forced to drift around with the tide of people turning left and right until the sense of direction is lost and you feel like you are in a maze. People around me (mostly ladies and ara-tickets (kids)) were just ambling along, scanning displays/stuff - they didn't appear to be looking for anything particular. Just checking out stuff, anything and everything which was labelled 'On Sale' or 'Buy me!'.

However, we were men on a mission. We are here to buy a bookshelf and we are not looking for other stuff. We reached the aisle of bookshelves. We found a display of the model that I wanted. I had a huge decision to make on the choice of colour - woody brown, charcoal, blue or white. That's a lot of colour options for a bookshelf. I was pondering a bit. My mate was shocked that I am *actually* spending a few seconds to decide on the colour. "Sriramaa, its just a freakin bookshelf!". "Alright, Alright". I took a pick. This achieved, we had to find our way to the warehouse end of the maze to find the pre-packed bookshelf. The warehouse had racks that almost touched the clouds. We somehow managed to track down the rack which had the pre-packed bookshelf. I also realised the package was big enough to carry home if we are driving a Ute or a trailer. Our Mazda6 wont do it. So, home delivery it is!

With the bookshelf model number in hand, we gouged our way to the counter with the big sign saying 'Home Delivery'. There was a Middle-Eastern looking, middle-aged guy at the counter.

"Hi. I'd like buy this bookshelf and I want it home-delivered. This is the model #". I handed out the model # chit.

He looked behind us as if searching for something. "Where is it?"


"Whatever you want to buy"

"Um..its in the back. At the warehouse."

He gave a muted laugh, waving his hand and nodding his head "No no no. It doesn't work like that. You have to bring to us"

"Err. It's your warehouse. It's in your store"

"That is right. You have to bring it from the warehouse to there". He pointed in the direction of checkout counter.

"...and what do you do?"

"We home deliver". He said with a beaming smile.

I paused. My friend chuckled.

"you see, all you gotta do is to transfer the bookshelf from the warehouse and put it on a truck. After all, that's what home delivery is for. Right?"

In a stern, matter-of-fact tone, "For delivery, you have to bring your item to the front counter. That's the company policy" he said, pointing at a poster on the wall.

I am glad my Uncle or my colleague wasn't there with me. They would've lashed out the "you can shove it..." phrase and stormed out of the door. This convo tested my usually-calm temperament as well. This is like going to a restaurant and the chef says if you bring all the raw materials, I'll cook a meal for you. It doesn't make sense to me.

I took the pragmatic approach and decided, for now, to accept the harsh truth. There's no point throwing a tantrum. Like I said before, I am on a mission. I want to get things done.

So, we re-enter the maze with a trolley making our way past hordes of people. We located the towering rack again and loaded the ~80kg package on the rickety trolley. The pack was kinda big. The wheels of the trolley made a 'queeek queeek' noise as we careered along the aisles. My friend was in the front waving people to make way. Thank God he came along. I crashed into the steel storage rack once (no damage to anything) and narrowly missed piles of merchandise.

We reached the loooooong queue. It was almost the peak-hour of the day. The line we were standing in had women in varying stages of pregnancy. With the glacial rate at which the queue was moving, at least few of them would've delivered before they had a chance to pay for their purchases.

I also observed the idea of making people walk through almost always works. Most people in the queue had trolleys loaded big, bulky, brassy stuff - most of them were 'on sale' items. Some of things in their trolley were useful, most things they probably would not need or never use. At one stage, it almost looked like a competition of who arrives at the checkout with the biggest pile of stuff.

I paid for the bookshelf. The bookshelf was delivered in the evening. Armed with a screw driver and a craft knife, I rip opened the packaging. It's the wrong colour bookshelf. I chose charcoal, they've given me the woody colour. Hmph :)

No. I don't wanna go back. It's just not worth it. I am happy at least they delivered the correct-model-wrong-colour bookshelf instead of a sparkling white wash basin or something.

Kashtam! No wonder we are called Kashtamers. IKEA - Indha Kadaiya Ezhuthu Ada ! :D


  1. Good to hear that IKEA works the same way everywhere around the globe :)

  2. I thought of IKEA is a super brand. and i guess thats limited to the design !

    I wish they could pay some attention to their processes as well. This as 'stupid' ( not that Obama has made it a fashionable word) as Stupid can get !

  3. Hahahahahaha... varying stages of pregnancy? Kashtamers :P

    That's hilarious :P

    And that's just how Ikea works, you don't argue their logic, and you hope you dont have to go back through the aimless maze.

  4. Hey Sriram, you hv put it so nicely:-)!

    Even i never had a great experience with IKEA...with jumbled arrangement of things to long queues.....It's not a shopping exp we would want to remember!!!!!

  5. kamana sharma, kokonad, :)

    kavi, welcome! thanks for dropping by. yea, they cud do a lot better with their customer service. when there is demand, they seem to take kashtamers for granted. not good.

    fd, :) thank you. yup, i didnt argue. i am not sure if i'll be able to do that next time.

    viji, true!

  6. this reminds of a bkshelf i purchased from IKEA. it was just sitting there and i didnt even open it. ever. its lying in my uncle's basement now. hope he is at least using it. :-|

    having said that let me categorically state that i love IKEA.

  7. also loved the pics from the national park. out of curiosity, wht does Woolongong(spelling?) mean?

  8. anjana,


    i dunno what wollongong means. wollongong city council website says it is the aboriginal word for "the sound of the sea". there seem to be other meanings too. people call w'gong as 'the gong' (just like woolongabba - the suburb where brisbane cricket stadium is - is known as 'the gabba').

    funny names eh? :)

  9. i have a question.

    you said the ass holes made you go to the ware house and bring your bookshelf down to the counter.

    NOW. presumably, they took the book shelf that YOU brought to them and just delivered it to your house.

    Why in the world would you get the wrong coloured one.
    intha kelviku vidai therinthum nee kooravillaiyenil un thalai vedithu sitharividum

  10. lol

    abhaada...i was hoping someone would ask me that. initially, i thought i made a mistake by bringing the wrong one to the counter. then i compared the model # in my delivery receipt to the model # that was delivered to me. they were different! these guys mucked up somewhere in the middle.

    btw, i called back and got the right coloured bookshelf delivered. for free, ofcourse. :)

  11. U are very much justified in choosing colors man. You cannot have ramarajan colors in rooms. It would definitely lead to myopia or hypermetropia.

    I think you shouldn't be complaining. Back here, you may have to give the seller directions too. Or in most cases, travel in his truck during the delivery. ;)


  12. Sriram,
    Curious to know what is IKEA?
    is it some retain chain??

    "No wonder we are called Kashtamers."

    LOL :)

  13. witsy,

    ramarajan colours - lol. bright green translucent shirt with a shiny gold chain along with pattu veshti. the karagatakaran was the poster boy with our villagers.

    yea at least they found my place alright.


    its a furniture company.