Our new house is much bigger than our house in DC, so we needed to buy a couple of pieces of furniture. The main things we needed were a couch (since we gave ours to my sister), an office desk chair, another guest bed, a kitchen table, a coffee table, and two night stands. After searching a bunch of different furniture stores, we found a couch, bed and office chair that we really liked at IKEA. If only it were as simple as seeing them and then buying them...
The Value Added Tax (VAT) is something that all Brits know and hate. It's a 20% tax (similar to our sales tax) that is added to pretty much everything. I am fortunate enough to be able to avoid paying VAT on some large purchases, and since these were kind of major purchases, we definitely wanted to save ourselves the 20%. Getting the VAT discount is a hassle though. I'll save you all the boring details and skip to the good/incredibly frustrating part.
This Saturday Dan and I arrived at IKEA with our check from the VAT office made out to IKEA in the exact amount of our purchases (minus VAT). It was November 5th, or Guy Fawkes night and we had big plans to attend our first bonfire on the Stray in downtown Harrogate with a bunch of friends. We really thought the whole IKEA process should take an hour at most. That would give us plenty of time to get back home in time for the party. That is NOT what happened.
Instead, it turned into a three hour nightmare! Apparently, IKEA is trying to phase out checks, so no one knew what to do with ours. We had every manager try and figure it out. It literally took hours. Luckily we had an awesome cashier who was really patient and willing to help (thanks Hannah!).
That wasn't even the only problem. In the midst of trying to figure out the check issue, we were told that even though we were having our items delivered, we still needed to get everything off the shelves of the warehouse and then bring them to the delivery window. What?! We're supposed to haul a huge mattress, sofa, bed frame, etc. through the store only so we can drop it off for them to deliver?! Apparently, yes. That's the way it works.
|Where's Calli? Stuck in an IKEA nightmare.|
So...after three incredibly long hours at IKEA, we were finally done. Sadly, we missed the fireworks and bonfires. But at least our house is coming together nicely. Here's hoping we make it to Guy Fawkes night next year!