Customer service Product reviews

Ikea BROR review

I’m a first-time Ikea customer. This experience has been exasperating.

I ordered an Ikea ALEX desk, which arrived in good condition. I can’t say the same about the BROR system. Ikea markets BROR as being suitable for living rooms and garages. The reality is that Ikea’s quality control on the BROR pieces is so bad that the system can only be considered appropriate in industrial settings. Even then, I’m at a loss as to why a product sold as new can have so many defects. You’ll notice that the BROR cabinet depicted on its web site is in mint condition, without a scratch, scuff, dent, or chip anywhere.

So far I’ve put together two sets of BROR posts and three BROR shelves. The posts and three shelves arrived in good condition. The fourth BROR shelf arrived with two bent pieces.

The front/back bracket is bent on the BROR shelf.
The lip is bent on the underside of the BROR shelf.

The BROR cabinet has turned into a fiasco. At $99 a pop, I’d expect them to arrive in new condition. Nope. Here are pieces from the first cabinet box I opened. (I haven’t unpacked the other two cabinets I purchased. I don’t have room in my apartment for all the defective pieces.)

Top of BROR cabinet. This mark doesn’t come off.
The BROR cabinet isn’t square because the side panel arrived completely bent. There’s also a scratch under the screw hole.
Deep scratch on the BROR bottom shelf.
Scuff that can’t be removed on BROR side panel.

I was glad that IKEA quickly shipped me a replacement cabinet. Unfortunately almost every piece in the replacement was also damaged.

This is hard to see in the photo, but the replacement BROR cabinet has a bent corner on the side panel.
The rear panel of the replacement BROR cabinet has a scuff that doesn’t come off.
This is the bottom of the BROR replacement cabinet that IKEA shipped to me.
This is the interior of the bottom shelf of the replacement BROR cabinet.
Paint chip on the top of the replacement BROR cabinet.
This is the botched paint job on the top of the replacement BROR cabinet. It’s visible from the front.
Bent shelf in the BROR replacement cabinet that IKEA shipped to me.
One of the doors of the replacement BROR cabinet arrived bent.

Aside from the abysmal quality control, here’s what else is going wrong with your customer service:

1. “We are experiencing higher than normal contact volumes and unable to take your call at this time.” Ad infinitum. I tweeted yesterday and sent customer service an email this morning. When a company can’t address customer service issues in a reasonable timeframe, then it’s time to staff up.

2. It’s been three days since the replacement BROR cabinet was ordered, and you still haven’t emailed me a FedEx shipping label to return the first cabinet. I hope that you can appreciate that I have defective BROR pieces all over my apartment. Unpacking the remaining two BROR cabinets is not a practical option at this time.

I hope to update this post so that there’s a happy ending. Ikea, please put yourself in my shoes and address this in a customer-centric way. Your policies aren’t helping me.

Update 6/12/19: On 6/10/19, I spoke with a very helpful supervisor who processed a second exchange of the BROR cabinet. Today I received an email stating that Ikea tried to call me and would “like to proceed with a resolution.” I use Google Voice, and it shows no record of a call attempt from Ikea. I had to dial 13 times to reach Ikea customer support. Another helpful employee explained that Ikea canceled the order for the third cabinet because it wants me to examine the other two unopened BROR cabinet boxes and pick up all the damaged items at once. As I’ve explained several times to Ikea representatives, I cannot examine all the parts because I simply don’t have room in my apartment. The two unopened cabinet boxes contain 18 large pieces of steel. The Ikea back office thought that saving on their shipping expenses was more important than pleasing me, after I’ve spent hours of my time on this fiasco. The representative placed the order once again, along with an order for a replacement shelf. The original BROR cabinet is being picked up by FedEx tomorrow. I am supposed to receive a shipping label for the damaged replacement cabinet within 72 hours.

Update 6/16/19: I received a replacement BROR cabinet and shelf on 6/14/19. The shelf arrived with two of its brackets floating around in the package. None of the shelf pieces were damaged though. I opened the BROR cabinet box today to find damaged pieces. One of the doors had its magnet ripped off, along with a dent. The bottom panel is scratched and dented. I did not examine the rest of the pieces, since we’re not off to a good start. I will call Ikea tomorrow.

The second replacement BROR cabinet door arrived dented, with its magnet broken off.
The second replacement BROR cabinet bottom shelf arrived with two large scratches (one shown here) and a dent in the corner.
Another view of the dent in the BROR cabinet bottom shelf.

Update 6/17/19: A helpful Ikea representative processed the return of my entire BROR purchase. The order will be picked up at my apartment. Incidentally, I looked at another piece in the second replacement BROR cabinet, one of the sides. I stopped taking pieces out of the box at the point where three out of four pieces were damaged.

One of the sides of the second BROR replacement cabinet.

Update 7/1/19: The BROR pieces were picked up on 6/21. According to the Ikea reps I’ve spoken with, they were dropped off at the Brooklyn Ikea on 6/22. The Brooklyn store still hasn’t processed my return. To process the return, someone needs to examine the merchandise. I’ve never had a store take more than a few days after receiving merchandise to issue a credit. The last Ikea representative I spoke with told me, without a hint of irony or remorse, that I should visit the Brooklyn store to get a better sense of when my return will be processed. (This would be about an hour trip for me, each way.) She said a return can take 15 business days to process, but she has no idea when it would actually occur. No idea. Today I had a preliminary talk with Citibank about disputing the charge.

Update 7/2/19: I called Ikea today and was told my refund was processed, for the amount I was expecting.

One reply on “Ikea BROR review”

Hello! I can’t say I had a better experience with BROR! I bought my BROR shelves at IKEA in Kaunas (Europe) and I had the same quality control problems you had. But since that day I had time and I really needed to organise my equipment, I fixed all the bented pieces one by one… it was a tough work to be honest, I spent almost all day on doing this but in the end it worked. For sure I won’t buy another BROR again!

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