We moved recently and had to buy some furniture. The price tags on a few things at Ikea made it a wonderfully affordable experience, but a few items were too large and had to be delivered: a bedframe, a mattress, a wardrobe, and two bookcases.
Now, I guess paying for the Ikea home delivery service might be similar in a lot of places, but in brief: you go into their self-service stock halls, heft your items on to a trolley, wheel them to the cashiers', and then bring everything and your receipt to the home delivery counter. Once it's all sorted and paid for, they take the trolley off you, so that both your hands are now free to go get a cheap hotdog. Then because all Ikea offers is an all-day slot, you go home and wait excitedly in your empty house doing nothing.
Ikea UK outsources its delivery services to various private companies, so they pass the delivery information to those contractors, who then collect the items and do the rounds.
Unfortunately, as we've discovered, this poses a number of problems. And because an item was damaged and had to be exchanged (Ikea sends the delivery company around to your place with a new item), and Ikea's customer services are a farce, we've had to deal with them over and over. And over.
One: We note on all our large deliveries that we live on the second floor. The dudes who delivered our Ikea stuff made sure to moan and groan every step of the way up, and heartily complain that there is no lift. And then not too subtly hint at a nice tip. This is laughable as the two flights of stairs are actually half the height of a normal flight - it's a low flat with older residents. And as the second floor is the top - there is no lift.
Two: Every delivery team seems to strongly disagree with Ikea's and the customer's understanding of "door-to-door delivery". While both us and Ikea think the destination door is our flat's front door, the delivery people insist that "front door" means the entrance to the whole block. Or in the case of the guys who came to exchange the damaged item, "front door" is equivalent to "on the street". They insisted that we should have "carried the item down to the pavement" in anticipation of their arrival. Even if it's an all-day slot. Then maybe because this is all invaluable advice, cue more graceless whingeing for a nice tip.
My partner got these burly guys to clam up by offering to call his small wife down to help instead: "and believe you me, she WILL carry it."
Three: Either these delivery guys are careless, or the whole process introduces too many possibilities for damage, it doesn't matter. But what annoys me slightly is that the delivery guys do seem to know which side of the item has taken more than just a beating, and they intentionally turn it over so we'll just have to discover it much later when we need to assemble something. The joiner who renovated our kitchen had plenty to say about damaged Ikea deliveries: at his last job, a delivery guy unsuccessfully tried to hide some damage by leaning on the item with one hand. Of course all the while hinting at a tip.
We asked our joiner about the tip issue, and he firmly said that we shouldn't be tipping them unless they had to climb five flights and more: he himself brought in our new kitchen furniture.
Whether it's Ikea not paying these contractors enough or these people acting too awesome for their jobs, I don't know. It doesn't make sense for someone to agree to a job in delivery if they don't like carrying.