For customer satisfaction, eat chocolate / Para la satisfacción del cliente, coma chocolate

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I THOUGHT I’D TAKE THE train to Plaza Mayor and have a spree at the outlet mall. Maybe even walk the 15 minutes from there to IKEA. Or just walk the 45 minutes from home to Parque Miramar, the shopping mall within our municipality. San Geraldo even talked about driving to the outlet mall (so he could buy a new casserole at Le Creuset). But we then read of the crowds, not mobs but too many for comfort.

So, I’m sticking to my local random walks until after Three Kings Day, 6 January. That’s the traditional Spanish gift-exchange day — although many people now [also] observe Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

SPEAKING OF IKEA, I tried yesterday to shop online. They required my first and second surnames. Like many non-natives, I don’t have a second surname. But the form required two and wouldn’t let me move on until I entered both. So, I entered my one surname in both spaces. I expected better from IKEA.

I then entered my payment info, which was accepted (always a relief), and I placed my order. The site went into a permanent loop. I tried three times. I checked the FAQs, but every set of words I entered gave me no results. I phoned. I sat on hold for 25 minutes. They constantly, and I do mean constantly, thanked me for waiting but their technology didn’t provide info on how long the wait was anticipated to be. I expected better from IKEA.

I hung up. My last order attempt had run in a loop for 45 minutes. I cancelled again. A pop-up screen asked about my experience. I answered in detail and said I had expected better from IKEA. I immediately received a response telling me to check the FAQs or call customer service for help. I laughed and had some chocolate.


PENSÉ QUE TOMARÍA EL TREN hasta la Plaza Mayor y me divertiría en el centro comercial y los outlets. Tal vez incluso camine los 15 minutos desde allí hasta IKEA. O simplemente camine los 45 minutos desde casa hasta el Parque Miramar, el centro comercial dentro de nuestro municipio. San Geraldo incluso habló de conducir hasta los outlets (para comprar una nueva cazuela en Le Creuset). Pero luego leemos sobre las multitudes, no las turbas, sino demasiadas para nuestra comodidad.

Por lo tanto, me quedo con mis paseos al azar locales hasta después del Día de los Reyes, el 6 de enero. Ese es el día tradicional español de intercambio de regalos, aunque muchas personas ahora [también] celebran la Nochebuena y el Día de Navidad.

HABLANDO DE IKEA, AYER intenté comprar online. Requerían mi primer y segundo apellidos. Como muchos no nativos, no tengo un segundo apellido. Pero el formulario requería dos y no me dejaba seguir hasta que ingresara ambos. Entonces, ingresé mi único apellido en ambos espacios. Esperaba algo mejor de IKEA.

Luego ingresé mi información de pago, que fue aceptada (siempre un alivio), y realicé mi pedido. El sitio entró en un bucle permanente. Lo intenté tres veces. Revisé las preguntas frecuentes, pero cada conjunto de palabras que ingresé no me dio ningún resultado. Yo llame. Me senté en espera durante 25 minutos. Ellos constantemente, y quiero decir constantemente, me agradecieron por esperar, pero su tecnología no proporcionó información sobre cuánto tiempo se esperaba que fuera. Esperaba algo mejor de IKEA.

Colgué. Mi último intento de pedido se ejecutó en bucle durante 45 minutos. Cancelé de nuevo. Una pantalla emergente preguntó sobre mi experiencia. Respondí en detalle y dije que esperaba algo mejor de IKEA. Inmediatamente recibí una respuesta que me decía que revisara las preguntas frecuentes o que llamara al servicio al cliente para obtener ayuda. Me reí y tomé un poco de chocolate.

Sweetness from San Geraldo. Dark chocolate wafer tubes. Too good to have in the house.
Dulzura de San Geraldo. Demasiado bueno para tener en la casa.
• San Geraldo got fancy with his chocolate banana bread. Chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. Four bags for three loaves of bread.
• San Geraldo se puso elegante con su pan de banana con chocolate. Trozos de chocolate y chispas de chocolate.Cuatro bolsas para tres barras de pan.
After our banana bread last night, Dudo gets loving from San Geraldo.
Después de nuestro pan de plátano (y chocolate) anoche, Dudo se enamora de San Geraldo.
 “Did I say you could stop?!?”
“¿Dije que podías parar?!?”

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

41 thoughts on “For customer satisfaction, eat chocolate / Para la satisfacción del cliente, coma chocolate”

  1. I had a gynaecologist once who left a piece of chocolate on the examination table on top of your paper robe with a note to eat it because you will scientifically feel better and therefore have a better experience. I wouldn’t say the experience was any better but i did eat the chocolate. We went to ikea and plaza mayor today! You’re right, as we were leaving it was packed! They have a Carl’s Jr so we treated ourselves to American crappy food. Yum!

      1. Jennifer:
        I was going to say “Me too” but … well, I guess not… Although I suppose could just get a gynaecologist to give me a chocolate (and nothing else).

    1. Kathleen:
      Glad you shopped before the crowds arrived. I have never once eaten at a Carl’s Jr. Is my life incomplete?

  2. A lot of businesses are discovering that they need to upgrade their online services. And hire real people to answer the phones.

  3. Ikea might just have to dip into their profits to provide real customer service… do many other online shops.
    I wish my dentist would provide some chocolate before every visit…….maybe I’d relax more.
    Dudo: ‘Please sir, may I have another?’

  4. Should call it customer disservice. All too frequent occurrence these days. Does require chocolate.

    OTH – If SG adds any more chocolate to his recipe, it will have to be called chocobana bread.

    1. Mary:
      You’re right about the chocobana bread! That’s how SG rolls. As for IKEA, they’re way too big to fail like that. I’ve been ordering online large and small lately and not one problem.

  5. Perhaps, because it’s IKEA, you have to put the website together, following wordless instructions, in order for it to work correctly?

    Carlos would have a field day with Spanish IKEA website: his name is Carlos David Matteo Harris Perez Rincon.

    1. Bob:
      Shoot. I never thought of that. Maybe I should go online and tell them I’m missing some parts… like my entire order. The two last names issue has come up before but never with an organisation the size of IKEA. My last name doesn’t flow with anything.

  6. 3 bags for the bread, 1 bag for just snacking. and those chocolate tubes look dee-lish! give SG hell, dudo!

    1. anne marie:
      If we’re going to have one bag for just snacking, SG will have to buy 5 bags. Everything else went in the bread. The chocolate tubes were TOO delicious. I told SG to not buy them anymore. We could inhale them (and just about did).

  7. There is nothing worse (well, almost nothing) than trying to get a web site to work and failing. We have terrible times with American sites because they sometimes insist on a zip code, and won’t accept a UK postcode. (I’m sure you’ve struggled with that as well.) Anyway, I’d expect better from IKEA, too!

    1. Steve:
      We have that same problem with American sites. Drives us crazy. But, yeah, IKEA has no excuse.

    1. Mcpersonalspace54:
      When we lived in Connecticut, we used to receive boxes of chocolate for Christmas. We kept them all in a cabinet in the family room. I remember being home one day (and depressed). Every time I walked by the cabinet, I reached into a 2-pound box of chocolate and had another piece. Finally, I said fuck it. I sat on the sofa with the box on my lap and finished it off all at once. Probably about 1 and a half pounds of chocolate.

    1. Debra:
      I agree completely. And all this really good dark chocolate doesn’t even give me heartburn.

  8. “you can’t always get what you want. but you just might find, you get what you need.” in this case, chocolate! Better luck with IKEA next time.

    Covid cases and deaths are increasing markedly here in Belize after we had been doing well for so long. Two northern districts that border Mexico have been totally locked down again and stringent regs with stiff fines are in place starting Sunday night. Belize is scheduled to get its first shipment of vaccines in April. That’s what we need. And want.

    You and SG stay safe. And for god’s sake, will you pay some attention to that poor cat!

    1. Wilma:
      So sorry bout the Covid news from Belize. It was going so well. I read the other day that our vaccine distribution will begin 27 December. What a relief. And obviously we’ve got many difficult months ahead. Stay safe and healthy.

    1. Parsnip:
      Thanks so much! I’m glad you found me, too, and I you. And I’m glad I can make you smile!

  9. Your story is yet another reason I hate and never shop on online. These days, I just don’t feel uncomfortable with my info online.I have, with certain sites I trust, but even then I have to really want something badly. Your stash of treats look delish! But now I know San Geraldo is a tried and true cook…Le Creuset! Their products and cookware are excellent. My aunt let me use her stock pot once for soup…she didn’t tell me I needed to houseboys to lift it!!!!!!!!

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      We regularly shop online and rarely have problems. It’s definitely helping with Chuck these days. SG has a large Le Creuset casserole that’s getting tired. It’s the second he’s had in all our years together and it’s time to replace it. I wonder if Deedle’s is impressed with the Le Creuset pot. A few months ago, the fact that he had a whisk surprised her! And, yes, the thing weighs a ton, which is why I didn’t buy one for him the last time I was on my own at the outlet mall. Not a package I’d want to haul home on the train!

  10. All that chocolate looks great! I like SG’s style of cooking, I’d love to try his chocolately banana bread.

    By the way, Mitchell, I dropped a Christmas card in the mail to Chuck this week. Given how overwhelmed the USPS is these days maybe he’ll receive it by Valentine’s Day. 🙂

    1. Jennifer:
      Thank you on behalf of Chuck! He will be elated … whenever it gets there. And that reminds me I did NOT send him a Christmas card.

    1. Urspo:
      As a matter of fact, they do… although their passports don’t indicate any surnames at all.

  11. It’s always wise to eat chocolate. Every time I have to call a business, I get the same message: We are experiencing unusually high call volumes blah blah blah. It takes forever to get through to someone, who then says, I can’t do that.


    1. Janie:
      IKEA is the first problem I’ve had in a while. Even Public Health is managing to keep up.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      It’s a good thing I’m not trying to order an insulin pump (I don’t know what I’d do with one, but it’s what came to mind).

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