Where do I begin with this tale of heartbreak?
Young and in love, it all started when I first met you in college. Others had said you were cheap and easy, but I found your makeshift ways endearing at first. After all, I was inexperienced and curious and you, IKEA, were available.
After a light meet and greet and some friendly banter, you invited me into the sprawling bedroom area. You allowed me to experiment in an affordable manner, encouraging my quirky style, if you know what I mean. It all felt natural and safe – especially because the house you lived in was right up the street from me on Route 1. Within close proximity, I could always pay you a visit in person. You know, that cyber stuff was never really my thing; there’s just something about the human touch.
Anyway, years passed and I eventually graduated, moving to the expensive cities of D.C. and then New York in an attempt to be a grown up. Like any young woman might, I started dating the likes of Crate and Barrel and West Elm, enamored by the occasional thought of a Pottery Barn. However, when I finally moved into my very own place in NYC, I once again found myself feeling vulnerable, alone and, quite frankly, poor as shit.
Looking for an old friend to comfort me and fill the empty void that was my bare apartment, I began browsing online – and then I saw you. Rows and rows of icon candy in every category imaginable, staring right back at me, begging me to click. Wow, I thought to myself, looking at your shiny, appealing curves. You’ve held up well over the years, IKEA. It must be a Swedish thing.
After some excitable browsing, I stepped away from the screen satisfied with my selection and slapped down my credit card to pay.
This is where it all began to turn for the worse. A few days later while skimming my credit card statement, I noticed that you charged me twice. I immediately called you only to be received by your voicemail. So, I followed up with an e-mail instead, certain you would see it. I even tried bartering with your online receptionist, Anna, but she refused to help.
A few days later, I received all of my goods to my door, plus an unwelcome e-mail telling me that my second order was now ready to ship. I felt upset and tricked, but I knew you would still be there to assist. I’ll just pick up the phone and we’ll take care of this, I thought.
After all, whenever I was interested in making a purchase in the past, you never made me wait.
So, I called. And called. And called. And the first five times you hung up on me! I wasn’t sure if it was my phone service or if it was something I had done, but this “immediate hang-up method” continued to occur throughout our 23 day break up saga. It was ill-intentioned on your part, IKEA. It was hurtful. All I wanted was my money back.
After finally getting on the “on-hold” line for the first time, I waited 55 minutes until one of your cronies answered the phone. I explained my story and opened up a “case” and he said that the second order was now cancelled and I would be receiving my money back. My sigh of relief was short-lived. Two days later, the items showed up at my door step. No money had been refunded.
So, I wrote again. Seeing as I had yet to receive one response to any of my three e-mails sent over the course of a week, though, I knew I had to call again.
You were never a texter, I guess.
The second time, after an hour and twelve minutes of waiting, another one of your cronies answered the phone. IKEA would still give me my money back, but first they had to come retrieve the doubled goods. They would send their driver, FedEx, who would call me within 48 hours to notify me of a pick-up time. Unfortunately, 48 passed. Then another 24.
In the past, things had never been this convoluted when I was trying to give you my money. Nonetheless, I wanted my money back and also wanted the three enormous boxes out of my 150 square-foot apartment. So, what do you think I did IKEA? I picked up the phone uh-gain.
This third time, I waited an hour and twenty-four minutes! Finally, a third crony picked up. I briefed her on the details. She explained that yes, FedEx would still come and I would still get my money back, but not all $249, as I had to pay the $50 in return shipping. I was outraged. This was coming out of nowhere! So, I asked to speak with her supervisor. Alas, she put me on hold again. At the hour and forty-five minute mark, though, do you know what happened? I was disconnected, IKEA!
IKEA, do you know how that feels? I was tormented, submersed in the anguish of an unrequited call. I felt pangs of guilt and remorse for clicking on your candy icons to begin with. I dreamt of your voice, your on-hold music hijacking my dreams. I wondered how you could do this to me.
Three more calls later (each stealing away another hour of my life), the driver came in the night and picked up the goods. Of course, he only picked up two of the three boxes, leaving some cryptic note as to why the third box was not included.
Still, I have not received my money back.
I’m exhausted, IKEA. I’m tired and worn. I feel dejected and taken advantage of. Worst, I am forever changed. I will never be the carefree, lighthearted shopper that I once was. Instead, I will be guarded and ever-cautious, always on the defense. If you only knew the woeful pain of an unanswered text or call. If you only knew the pain of a broken promise, then, maybe you would know how it feels. But you don’t care, IKEA, and for that reason we have to break up.
So, as I bid you a final farewell, IKEA, I simply ask this: please, change your ways. Don’t hurt another like you’ve hurt me.
Your Jilted Lover, Kirsten
P.S. If you ever want to come pick up your things, you know where they’ll be (on the curb in front of my apartment). Also, if you ever want to give me my money back, you know my back account info. I know it’s a long shot, but I’d really appreciate it.