Rant: Ikea

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We needed some bookcases for our living room. Anything from a non-Ikea/Freedom-type shop proves way too expensive. A browse of the Ikea website reveals they have simple 4×4 and 5×5 cubes bookcase in dark wood—they‘re affordable, and look fine. But then you start to deal with Ikea. You call to see if the item they advertise on their website and in their brochure is in stock and you get a five minute recorded blurb telling you about the website before you join the queue to talk to a sales person. Umm—I‘m using the phone, if I wanted to use the web I would wouldn‘t I? Then, of course, the 5×5 model is out of stock and won‘t be in again for 6 weeks. Six weeks?! Why does this happen every time I want something from Ikea?

The place astounds me; how does a business be so blatantly unconcerned with customer service, and yet have somehow developed some kind of untouchable reputation for quality and customer satisfaction?
Isn‘t the founder of Ikea one of the richest men in the world? Probably because he understood that marketing is everything. Give the public cheap, crappy quality goods dressed up as designer items, hire young and inexperienced staff, get the customers to do all the work (wait for six weeks, pick their goods up from the factory, build it themselves with the help of a badly designed language-free leaflet) and then sit back and rake in the profits.

Of course, we bought two of the other model and some other stuff and ended up spending $800. Now excuse me, I‘m off to watch Fight Club.

Ebay addiction

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A friend and I are both currently in the grip of eBay addiction. There was a time not so long ago when I scoffed at his watch lists and sniper bidding and coming in to work at odd hours to check upcoming auctions … and then I caught the bug. Isn’t there an eBay Anonymous or something? My only solace is that I’m hooked on one type of purchase (old games from my teens/early 20s years I’d sold back then and am now getting back for the nostalgia/collecting factor) and there’s a finite number of things to buy.

Something Fred said in an episode of ‘Angel’ the other night made me realise there were many others out there like me. She’s asked to check eBay to find something and replies in a panic: “No eBay! After the commorative plate incident I’m living clean.” So there’s hope you can kick the habit. Now excuse me, but I have to go check my watch list.

Modern life is rubbish


According to the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, between 1996 and 2003 house prices in Sydney rose by 100 per cent while average weekly earnings grew by just 3.6 per cent a year.

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