Wednesday 19 December 2007

Technical difficulties?

Vic and her sister Clare and Daisy and her cousin Noah were at Ikea today. Lucky them. As mentioned a few times previously, Ikea sell some wonderful, excellent products. It is unfortunate that the only way to get hold of these products is to buy them from the worst shop in the world.

The new Ikea in Holywood — the first one on this island — has just been open a few days. Vic and co had been there an hour or so when an announcement came over the tannoy telling everyone to leave the building immediately as they were "experiencing technical difficulties". As if the engines had failed and the shop was going to sink or something. It seems that these technical difficulties affected the lifts, as everyone had to get out via the stairs. So Vic and Clare had to carry a double pram downstairs with two kids in it while, typically, hundreds of Ikea staff looked on, walked past them, ignored them, and just generally helped in no way whatsoever. They weren't alone, of course: loads of mothers had to lug prams down the stairs with no help.

Ikea always offer the excuse of low prices for their appalling customer service. Everything they do badly, they claim that that's how they keep their prices so lovely. So I'd love to hear their explanation for this one. Exactly how much money did they save by having their staff leave the building without helping any of their customers? Assuming that they have a standard evacuation procedure and were following it, how much money do they expect to save by refusing to help any of their customers get out of the building in the event of a fire? I'd've thought the costs of the resultant court cases would be quite high, but presumably Ikea's accountants have run the numbers and decided otherwise.

Once out in the car park, of course, Ikea spotted a genuine emergency that their staff did need to help with: customers still had their shopping bags with them. This was an obvious case of mass attempted shoplifting, and Ikea sprang into action, taking everyone's shopping off them and carrying the bags back into the store — proving, incidentally, that it was not considered dangerous to do so and that the customers had not therefore been inconvenienced for safety reasons.

The place is run by bastards and scum, it really is.

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