A couple of weeks ago, my daddy asked me what I want for Christmas. I had my eyes on this bookcase and I showed him the model on the Ikea website.
Daddy dutifully trekked to Ikea the next day to fetch said bookcase.
He went to put it together on Christmas Eve for me, and guess what? There was a damaged piece, probably a forklift was the culprit. Damn it.
He went back to the store on Boxing Day to swap out the part. He lost the receipt. I am not even sure how this is possible, seeing as he keeps receipts for even the dumbest transactions like a fast food burger.
So, he has the hardest time at the store, and they were absolutely unwilling to do anything without a receipt. My dad is pretty charming. I was kind of surprised that he wasn’t able to get anywhere.
I went digging through his credit card statement, and as he paid for it with a new account, we didn’t have the online access set up, nor the first bill. Rats.
Undaunted, I went to the store last night (without the receipt still) and patiently waited my turn. It occurred to me that their policy is partially an inventory control thing…not necessarily a disbelief that you bought that product.
Their signs are posted ominously everywhere: Basically NOTHING can be done – NOTHING…without a receipt.
So when my turn came up, I got the young guy named Alex. Turns out, Alex is pretty rad. I explained the situation (this is a Christmas present, my dad lost the receipt, etc.) and asked for help. He was sympathetic, but told me that they can’t do anything without a receipt. I asked to talk to a manager. He talked to his manager, and then he offered to check spare parts. No cigar.
I then asked if he could just open a new package and swap with me. He told me that he could if he had a receipt. Meanwhile, through all this, he’s being pretty cool about it all. I really wanted the bookcase. I wasn’t trying to return the thing. Just that one piece! So, Alex was definitely on my side. I just had to figure out how to follow their red tape.
I reiterated that I really wanted the bookcase, but it is no good with this broken piece. On top of it, my dad had just gone out of town, and had just landed on the East Coast. I showed Alex the text.
Then Alex got smart about this. Whispering, “We aren’t supposed to do this, but I am going to make an exception for you. Get your dad to give you the last 4 digits of the card that he purchased this with, and I will try to find the receipt in the system.”
Guess what? This is not a very popular item, and so there were only 2 purchases in a 2 week period on it. And…HE FOUND THE RECEIPT. So, all he had to do was print that baby out, and get the piece retrieved for me.
Mission accomplished. Red tape bent. Happy customer.
Anything is possible. Even Ninja furniture exchanges.