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Not keen for IKEA

February 16th, 2005 · No Comments · Internet, Stupidity

IKEA may make inexpensive furniture that doesn’t utterly suck, but they certainly make a commerce web site that does suck.

First irritation: when browsing the site: non-obvious navigation. For instance, after clicking the “Bookcases & Storage Solutions” link I completely did not see the “Storage systems” link.

Second irritation: to order something online, you must create an “account”. I utterly hate sites that make me jump through hurdles to do business with them. A customer should be allowed to create an account as a convenience, but it should never be required. This is made worse by how awkwardly the account creation process works. On my computer at home, when I filled in the form and click “Save & Create Account” I got a dialog saying “The account will shortly be saved.” After clicking OK I was sent to the main IKEA page, completely outside of the ordering process. When I tried to create another account from a different computer (because oddly, the account that will shortly be saved doesn’t work) it doesn’t do anything after the dialog. You can’t proceed and you can’t use the account.

Third irritation: The IKEA online ordering system is completely unable to tell you how much your order will cost. Tax and shipping? Who can tell! Here’s the less than comforting text shown on the page where you are supposed to give a credit card number and click “Place my order:”

Merchandise total for this order. Our online advisors will email you to confirm your order, actual shipping and handling and tax totals, and full payment process.

I have no idea what happens if you actually go through with this bit of blind faith, because I don’t give out my credit card number and click “Place my order” until I know how much I am going to be charged. I won’t mail a signed blank check to IKEA either.

Whatever the logistical dilemma IKEA has which prevents them from calculating tax and shipping that every other company on the Internet has solved, they shouldn’t ask for a credit card before they contact me with a firm quote. While they may currently not actually process the order until after I confirm the quote (and I do suspect they do that) I’m not willing to find out by trying it.

So off to the store I’ll have to go to make my purchase, which I would have had to do anyway, since one item on the storage system I need to get is only available in stores. Why? Only IKEA knows.

I swear IKEA is a store that succeeds in spite of itself.

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