SALLY SORTS IT: Ikea left my new kitchen in a mess for 16 months

We ordered an Ikea kitchen in December 2021. We were told it would be delivered in February 2022 and installed the following week.

Delivery came early, with short notice and without worktops. It turned out that the countertop was out of stock. The installers installed the kitchen anyway and left it unfinished.

Since then we have lived on a construction site. The last time we heard from them was last November.

I have emailed the CEO of Ikea Europe (Javier Quinones) and received a reply from a customer service specialist who, I quote, “works at the highest escalation point at Ikea and Javier has asked me to look into the matter for him”. ‘. Please help because we are getting nowhere.

LR, Cambridgeshire.

Kitchen nightmares: A reader has been through more than a year of problems and delays with his Ikea kitchen… and it still hasn’t been fixed

Sally Hamilton replies: That’s how much Ikea promises to escalate the complaint to the very top. Nothing much seemed to be happening – a bit like the kitchen installation itself.

Your problems started in mid-January 2022, when Ikea informed you via text message that the kitchen would be delivered more than a month early with only three days’ notice.

This meant you had to shelve the work you did to turn your garden office into your daughter’s bedroom so you could store the kitchen furniture there.

You had no choice but to take two days off work to organize everything, and your daughter had to stay in her rented house for an extra month.

Then the delivery came without worktops. You were told that the countertop was out of stock, so you agreed to accept a temporary one until the style of your choice is available.

You paid Ikea recommended installers £2,000 to install it, but they said it would be pointless to do splashbacks, runners and trim as they would have to be removed to make room for your worktop.

You tell me your kitchen resembled a construction site for months, with bare concrete walls and exposed – albeit safe – electrical appliances. Your emails were largely ignored.

In August 2022, you were told that it would probably be better to order another countertop. You were flexible and went to a store 60 miles away in Milton Keynes to pick one up.

A few days later your luck seemed to turn around when Ikea said your original choice was back in stock and they would install it. But you were told it had run out again four days later.

In late August, when you couldn’t wait any longer, you told them to return to the second choice countertop.

Finally, at the end of November, installers arrived to put in the secondary worktop and splashes – but they didn’t fit.

The Ikea fitter called the office, gave the correct measurements and left. After that you hadn’t heard anything and you were left without a working kitchen.

I asked the Swedish shopping giant to pay urgent attention to your matter, because it was exceptionally bad service to leave you and your family living on a construction site for well over a year.

I urged the company to ensure the work is completed promptly and also to compensate you for the terrible experience which was a kitchen nightmare more than worthy of a visit from Gordon Ramsay.

My intervention finally seemed to make Ikea boil with gas. In a few weeks the work was completed in May to the standards you said you were happy with.

As an apology, Ikea refunded you around 25 per cent of the £6,700 total cost of the project – £1,750 compensation.

I thought it was a fair offer, but if you don’t agree, you can still take your case to the Retail Ombudsman at

Straight to the point

In April I ordered two magnolia trees from Gardening Express, but when they arrived the roots looked very dry.

I was asked to do a bark test (scratch the bark back to see if there is green living tissue) which showed the trees dead. I have asked for a refund but Gardening Express will only give me a voucher. Please help.

MP, Chelmsford.

Gardening Express has now issued you a full refund of £66.97.


In May I ordered four underwear and a pair of black mules from Ambrose Wilson’s catalogue, but they never arrived.

EE, Essex.

Ambrose Wilson apologizes for the delay in resolving this issue and has now issued you with a full refund of £91.79.


Our landline stopped working on August 24th. We have called BT customer service several times on our mobile and the neighbour’s phone, but we are still waiting for the problem to be resolved. Please help.

JW, Brighton.

BT apologizes that your landline was down due to a lightning strike in your area. It fixed your landline for free and gave you new phones.


In July, my wife and I bought new phones from Carphone Warehouse and switched service providers from ID to Vodafone.

We were told that a message would be sent to us confirming that our number had been ported, but we never received it. We asked Carphone Warehouse to cancel our contract with Vodafone but they have not done so.

DC, by email.

You have now decided to keep both mobile phones and Vodafone tariffs. Carphone Warehouse has refunded your first month’s bill.

What can be done about our son’s mortgage after his shock death?

Our son, who was single with no dependents, lived alone in East London.

Early on January 7th, he called us in a daze but before we could find out more, the call was disconnected.

When we re-dialed, we only heard sirens and doctors dealing with the aftermath of the accident.

The police told us a few hours later that our son had died after crashing into a building. We are expecting an investigation next month.

I am stating this against the background of the problems we have had dealing with our son’s mortgage lender, Barclays, to whom he owed £155,000.

I have put two simple questions to Barclays: Can we continue to pay his monthly repayments and/or can we pay back the balance so that his mortgage does not go into default?

It’s been a complete mess with no one able to answer these questions. Can you help?

DM, Dorset.

Sally Hamilton replies: What a terrible experience to lose your son in such a violent way and not knowing the background of how or why it happened makes it even worse. In the meantime, you have tried to tie up your son’s finances as best as possible.

More than six months after your son’s tragic death, Barclays still couldn’t answer your simple question.

I asked the bank to review your case and give you the answers you are looking for.

It took two weeks from Barclays but they finally confirmed they would send you a redemption statement showing how much was left on the mortgage and you could redeem it as you had wanted to do all these months.

A spokesman for Barclays said: “We sympathize with the family of our late client. A statement of redemption has been provided in this regard, but we typically require the grant of probate to confirm the executor of the estate.’

Although you were happy that the problem was finally resolved, you were upset that the bank did not explain at the beginning that a will was necessary.

As for thoughtlessly addressing late letters to your late son, the bank said it was only complying with “statutory requirements” that they must be sent in the name of the deceased pending probate.

No apology for bothering you with the correspondence, which is disappointing. Even if these rules are in place, banks can certainly sweeten the pill for those left behind.

However, you told me that as soon as you received the foreclosure statement, you discharged your son’s mortgage and were going to put his place on the market to try to move on from your traumatic experience.

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email – include a phone number, address and a note to the crime syndicate giving them permission to speak. To Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. The Daily Mail cannot take legal responsibility for the answers given.

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