Ikea Canada: WTF?

A few months ago, we needed more desks for our office, so I figured I’d order them from the Ikea website. Easy to do, except that the Ikea.ca store doesn’t work with US credit cards, and our corporate card is a US card. So I bite my tongue about the craziness of e-commerce in Canada, knowing it’s not just an Ikea problem, and I use my personal card, and will deal with expensing it internally. Annoying, but oh well.

Then I’m blown away because delivery takes eons, because the desks have to come from the “online distribution center” in Quebec (“it’s Canada, so it’s got to be close, right?”), and not from either of the two warehouses within 20 miles of the delivery address (who do have the items in stock!). But I’m busy, so I live w/ the delay. Environmentally criminal, but oh well.

This month, we need more desks, and I’ve learned my lesson, so I know to take time out of my weekend to go to Ikea, order the desks and chairs. After about 45 minutes in the store, it looks like we’ll have delivery on Tuesday morning. A few high-end desks and what seems like their most expensive chairs, but I have a soft spot for Ikea, and their furniture is working out fine for us.

Turns out the chairs aren’t in stock, so they have to be scheduled for delivery a few weeks out and delivery has to be charged separately. Annoying, and a bit more expensive, but oh well.

Monday, they call and say that we hadn’t talked about delivery times (we had), and we reschedule it for the same day/time. Seems disorganized, but oh well.

Tuesday, they come and call my cell to let us know they’re downstairs, but I’m on the phone on an important call, and I thought it was someone else, so I figure I’ll get the message when I’m done with my call. By the time I get off the phone, I’m told they went on with their route, and I need to reschedule another delivery, which will cost me $75. Frustrating, but I blame it on the olympics and how it’s messing with deliveries everywhere, and blame myself for not taking the call, but oh well.

I call back to reschedule, and I’m told that I need to go back to the store to reschedule, because I need to pay for another delivery. WTF? After a bit of back and forth with the CSR, I ask to talk to a manager, and I’m told to do that I need to go to the store. WTF? I then ask about canceling the order, and I’m told that, you guessed it, I need to go back to the store.

Oh, if I want to lodge a complaint, I can do it on their website. I’ll definitely be sending them a link to this page.

I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend. What I’m not sure of is where I’ll get the next batch of furniture from. What a totally horrible customer experience, just because they don’t have a system for paying over the phone (or, hey, the internet?!?!) for silly delivery fees.

Visite au Québec visit

(The title is a a cute translating trick I picked up in a Tim Horton’s)

La semaine dernière, j’ai eu le plaisir de faire une présentation sur Thunderbird à la CLLAP (Version PDF, version Slideshare)– la conference sur les logiciels libres et les administrations publiques.

Last week, I had the pleasure of giving a talk on Thunderbird at the CLLAP conference on free software in public administrations (PDF version, Slideshare version).

It was a memorable event for a couple of reasons: first, it was my first presentation in French, a language I grew up with, but haven’t used much professionally. Second, I had my first experience with “molecular gastronomy”, in the form of a passionfruit sorbet hollow sphere, made in a blown-up balloon swirled in liquid nitrogen.

C’était un évenement mémorable pour deux raisons. C’était ma première présentation en français, quelque chose qui me tracassait un peu. C’était aussi ma première experience de la gastronomie moléculaire, sous la forme d’une sphère de sorbet aux fruits de la passion, réussite gràce à un ballon tourné dans un bain d’azote liquide.

Thunderbird est bien connu, évidemment, dans le monde du logiciel libre, et j’y ai retrouvé des amis (Inverse, Linagora, Messaging Architects) qui sont très intéressés par l’avenir de Thunderbird. Pour beaucoup des 200 personnes dans la salle, c’était clair que l’integration des fonctions d’agenda est vivement attendue.


  • Québec à beaucoup de charme – un mélange d’histoire européenne dans un contexte qui me rappelle la nouvelle angleterre. Il faisait un temps magnifiques, et j’y ai retrouvé les couleurs d’automne sur la cote Est.
  • On y trouve du très bon pain (les cafés, par contre…)
  • J’apprécie les dérivées des patisseries traditionelles françaises, du genre pain-au-raisins sans raisin mais à l’orange ou au citron, ou le pain au chocolate avec des bananes.
  • Malgré quelques différences d’accents, et quelques mots qui me laissaient perplexe, je crois avoir compris, et été compris.

It was nice to get immersed in French again, even if I come out a bit confused at times.


Jane got robbed on her train ride back from ETech.

That brings to mind my experience with a vancouver thief, which, it turns out, did not end there, but I never updated this pseudo-historical record of random events.

On closer inspection of the garage, we found that in addition to stealing two bikes, they’d left a glove. Weird. We called the cops after a couple of days to report the theft for insurance purposes, and gave them the glove (“DNA testing, you know”).

The night after the cops came, we (oops) hadn’t locked the garage, and someone came back and rummaged through everything again, presumably to recover said glove, since they stole a pair of ski mitts. They also took our halloween candy from the freezer, and still didn’t take the vodka.

Just before ETech, we went for our last nighttime ski trip. Came back at 11:30pm or so, parked in the back to unload the gear. The light was on, which was odd. The door was open, which was worrisome. There was a strange man inside, which was infuriating. I yelled at him (very loud, it turns out), clearly scaring him more than I was scared, even though he had a box cutter (probably mine). He mumbled that he was leaving, and I let him go, which seemed the only safe thing to do.

Turns out:

  • while the garage was locked, a window wasn’t latched. He unscrewed the hinge and broke the hinge open, then climbed in.
  • he was slowly cutting up the fibers inside the security lock which was attaching my new bike to a cart in the garage (good thing I was feeling paranoid!). Another 20 minutes and it would have been gone.
  • he stole my skanky smelly used-all-winter-in-the-rain sneakers (size 12) and left a pair of much nicer Skechers (size 8 ). Oh, and he left an umbrella

I’m quite convinced that all of these visits are just from one guy, not very bright, who has luckily for him stumbled onto us, a family that needs a few losses to really lock down our security, because life in jail just isn’t much fun. I think we’re secure now. Sigh.