Wednesday, 19 December 2007

IKEA Dubai V IKEA Athens

No, it's not a football match!

18 months ago I went to IKEA Athens with the intention of furnishing my home in Skopelos. Now, reasonably, there are no signs in English in IKEA Athens and very few assistants who speak English. We asked at Customer Services for help but got a fairly terse "Ohi" (No).

We spent four and a half thousand Euros in IKEA that day. We ended up with 57 IKEA boxes of various sizes and weights. Whilst Mrs Dubaibilly and I were in the warehouse finding the stuff we wanted not one of the warehouse assistants lifted a finger to help and only reluctantly told us where to look to find an item we were having trouble with. We then had to pay another 750 Euros to get our stuff delivered from Athens to Skopelos. It took a full week to get there. Once we got it there, it cost another 30 Euros to have it brought to our house and then I spent over a week putting the stuff together -to be fair, it looks fine and will be OK for us until we retire.

Yesterday, Mrs Dubaibilly dragged me around IKEA Dubai. We spent four and a half thousand dirhams (about a fifth of the amount we had spent in Athens). In the warehouse an IKEA guy was most helpful - lifting boxes for us and arranging our two trolleys and even offering to push Mrs Dubaibilly's trolley to the checkout for her. They offered us free delivery AND free assembly of our stuff, anywhere in the UAE!

People who live in Dubai often bemoan the lack of customer service in the city - all I can say is "Go try shopping at IKEA Athens".

It's the same company but on different continents - IKEA Dubai really does win, hands down!


CaliforniaKat said...

I keep telling people that IKEA Athens is a lot more expensive than IKEAs in other countries, but you wouldn't know it by the way people are shop raging.

dubaibilly said...

Hi Kat, I went to your site today - it is incredible - where do you get all that info - I think I shal rapidly become a regular visitor!

CaliforniaKat said...

Hey ya!!! I tried desperately to leave a follow-up comment, but sometimes google related applications don't let me log in or won't complete anything I command, which is on top of the OTE ADSL -- Grrr!

And thank you for the kind words and adding me here. You've been added to my blog worship already. I'm quite enjoying your posts!

The information was accumulated over 10 years of torture... I mean my life in Greece as a non-EU citizen doing heaps of bureaucracy and writing it all down. I started the site in hopes someone might be spared some time, pain and frustration.

CaliforniaKat said...

Btw, I just read your post to my fiance, and he laughed something horrible.

When I took him to the USA, he was in shock over people saying hello and being nice to us, giving us discounts on everything without asking and helping us with everything. Needless to say, getting him back on the plane to Athens was difficult.

I had to hear about how much everything sucked for weeks after arriving home. He's sufficiently beaten into submission again.

Anonymous said...

find it hard to believe that no one spoke english in IKEA! of all the european countries Greece has the higher level of languages spoken per capita. I my self speak four languages. So, quit complaining about everything since its not our obligation to speak other languages but a need..
And enjoy Skopelos because a lot of us can't!
As for the last comment, trully you should meet the helpfull smiling greeks, because there are out there, a lot of them..

dubaibilly said...

Wow, Beltenbros, haven't you got a chip on your shoulder then!

Firstly, I didn't say that no-one spoke English I said very few, this implies that some did.
Secondly I'm not complaining about everything - I find very little to complain about in Greece - I'm simply comparing the level of service of IKEA Athens against the level of service of IKEA Dubai and, having tried both I find IKEA Athens wanting. Now, as it is almost certain that you have not tried both you are not in a place to comment because you do not know how high the level of service in IKEA Dubai is!
Thirdly, I will enjoy Skopelos because I own a house there and will eventually live there.
Fouthly, my last comment was about IKEA so I don't really understand what I mean.

And finally, it's my blog and I will say what I like and if you don't like what I say you are most welcome not to bother coming here.