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Ikea workmanship has left me all in bits

It fitted my wall units but they fell down … now they won’t pay for all the damage

Back in January I bought two double wall units from Ikea and arranged, through Ikea Services, to have them assembled and installed. Some months later both units fell off the wall, causing considerable damage to my property, smashing everything inside them and showering me and some friends with glass shards.

Ikea and its main contractor, EDL Services, will take no responsibility for the poor workmanship, nor any of the consequential losses.

I think that I am legally entitled to be put back in the position before the incident, but Ikea has only offered to have the (now damaged) units refitted by the same fitters (at my cost) and give me £500 of Ikea vouchers.

I have refused this offer as I cannot pay contractors to repair the damage with Ikea vouchers! Also, the broken and damaged items were of higher quality than available in Ikea. One was a valuable handmade Italian bowl.

EDL has said that it did the work correctly and I must have overloaded the cupboards (they contained wine glasses, mostly). The workmanship is supposed to be guaranteed for one year, and it claims this on both the Ikea website and EDL’s. I am at a loss to know what to do next. SC, London

Ikea used to form the basis for many letters sent to Guardian Money, but we then saw a noticeable drop in correspondence about the Swedish superstore. More recently, a few letters have again started to trickle in.

You paid £120 to have the cupboards installed. You have taken independent advice that shows the job was not carried out correctly – the only question in our mind is to where the liability rests.

You contracted the installation with Ikea Services, although when the sum appeared on your credit card bill, it had been debited to EDL. Having looked at the website, we think most reasonable people would conclude you had hired Ikea to do the work.

Once you add the cost of replacing the items that were destroyed, and making good the damage caused, you think that you are around £2,000 out of pocket. It makes Ikea’s initial £500 offer look rather underwhelming, not least because it doesn’t include any damages for the fact that you suffered a rather nasty cut during the episode.

Hopefully, though, you will not have to go to court. After we raised the matter with Ikea, it is now treating your complaint properly.

It has refused to discuss its offer in detail, but said this: “We take customer satisfaction very seriously in relation to the services we offer and our independent service partners are carefully vetted to ensure they consistently offer quality workmanship. We have launched an investigation to find out what caused this incident.

“We naturally want our customers to be happy with their purchases and we are in contact with SC to resolve this matter to her satisfaction.”

We will report the outcome.

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