July 5, 2012
Here's something every first-time Ikea visitor should know: the cheaper a product, the more assembly it's probably going to require! Even small footstools require at least four nails to be drilled in before they'll stand up, so you can imagine the kind of time and patience it'd take to put together furniture for an entire house.
We didn't even try. Instead, we chose to hire Ikea Furniture Assembly Service, a company we found on Kijiji. While there are many Ikea furniture assembly services online (there's even one that Ikea has exclusive tie-ups with) we chose this particular company over all the others: they clearly stood out, with their prompt response to our enquiry, their ready availability (my email said 'asap!' and they responded that they could be there within hours for immediate furniture assembly, and be back the next day for the less-urgent pieces) and their more-than-fair prices (we sent them a list of every single item in our house and they replied with an overall quote that was lower than any we'd seen or hoped to expect!)
The owner, Ivan, was in constant communication, and offered to further discount the price for a review on their G+ page. This made me very happy. As an ex-employee of Google, I'm always happy when anyone understands G+'s uses as a marketing medium. I also believe that when a company offers to knock money off in exchange for a review, they're very confident they're going to hear good feedback. It's always a great sign.
I had no idea just how good their service would be. I truly believe this company's even better than the one Ikea endorses. Michael came over at 5:15pm sharp and went right to work. He had all the tools he needed with him, they were a very professional set and helped him get the job done in minimal time. It took until 11:30pm (!) for everything to be assembled, we had a lot of stuff... but Michael never seemed to tire, and, in fact, said he'd leave only when everything was fully done.
I particularly remember a couple of moments, when Michael realized that there was a more effective way of holding a piece of furniture together (eg: by nailing the cushion on a footstool to the footstool's base). He went back to the piece he'd already worked on, took it apart, and put it back together again. We know that we'll be using sturdy, well-finished pieces thanks to Michael. He was also really helpful with proactive suggestions on lighting and wall mounting.
Though it was 11:30 at night when he finished, and he had a 3 hour journey before he'd get home, he flattened all the furniture boxes, taped them together, and even offered to sweep the floor (not that there was any mess, he was very careful to always work on a covered surface and keep his tools on a separate cloth). This was easily the best customer service I've ever seen and I'm going to do my best to make sure they're re-hired by anyone I know!
PS: I'd take pictures of our beautifully assembled furniture but the internet companies aren't as quick to respond as Ikea Furniture Assembly Service and they'll only be here next week :)