We ordered 80 items from Ikea but it only delivered five

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We moved into a new house in mid-November, and placed a £600 order of essential items with Ikea, including a cot for my four-month-old daughter. After postponing the initial delivery date, Ikea delivered only five of the 80 items. There has been no communication. Its customer service lines are disabled and there has been no response to emails sent to its – well-hidden – complaints inbox. I can’t afford to buy another cot in the meantime, and I am at my wits’ end.

AS, London

It will be cold comfort to know that it’s not just you. JT from Kingussie has also turned to Your Problems in desperation after placing a “click and collect” order with Ikea on 21 November.

“I was supposed to receive my collection pass on 25 November, but heard nothing and the tracking order link just says that it is being processed,” she writes. “After waiting 30 minutes on webchat I got through to an operator who cut me off after six seconds! No response on Twitter, either.

“Judging from the hundreds of replies to tweets from disgruntled customers, I can see it is obviously having problems fulfilling orders and providing a satisfactory level of customer service, yet is still happily taking money from people.”

The store’s Trustpilot score has plummeted to one and a half stars following a surge of negative comments in November. Ikea has, it seems, been sabotaged by its own success. A year of captivity has unleashed an unprecedented appetite for home improvements, while Covid restrictions and supply-chain turmoil have caused havoc with both stock and communications.

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Ikea said: “We continue to work hard with our supply chain to increase the availability of our products, we have recruited more people into our customer support centre, we are focused on improving our technology and systems, increased our delivery and click and collect capacity, and created more ways for customers to shop with us and receive their purchases.”

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Covid chaos may be beyond Ikea’s control – its fault lies in the fact that it’s not warning customers. Its home page has been luring custom with festive deals and without mention of delays.

When I pointed this out, it told me it was in the process of updating the website and, indeed, a skinny banner appeared at the top of the page last week to alert customers.

But it can get things moving when a headline looms. Both AS and JT were contacted within a day of my intervention.

AS has received her order and JT has been refunded and given a £50 voucher, because the curtains she ordered are unavailable.

John Lewis customer AD of London is in a similar situation, except that she was offered an outrageous solution.

“I ordered a set of three Le Creuset saucepans reduced from £465 to £279 in the Black Friday sale,” she wrote. “They did not turn up on the delivery date, and I’ve now been told this was due to a stock error. I can accept a refund, or pay the full price for the set since it’s now back in stock.”

This brazen audacity will cost John Lewis far more in goodwill than the £114 it hoped to wrest from you. It’s now honoured the sale price, but sent the wrong item. The correct set is apparently on its way.

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