IKEA Employees And Customers Share 20 Wildest Meltdowns They’ve Ever Encountered

Published 2 years ago

Although many people enjoy shopping and long walks around the mall, some find it rather nerve-racking. IKEA visitors know how time and energy consuming shopping at IKEA is, due to its maze-like layout. No wonder why certain customer experiences get a little out of hand. According to this Reddit thread, IKEA customers losing their temper is not an occasional situation.

In the thread, Redditors have shared some unique and not-so-pleasant situations of themselves or others witnessing or even getting involved in at IKEA stores. From trying to return used pillows to almost causing a riot for taking the last slice of cheese in the restaurant are just a few things that can go horribly wrong, according to customers and employees at IKEA.

The thread has over 34,000 upvotes and over 11,000 comments, some of which are fairly entertaining. Scroll down to have a look at some of the most bizzare IKEA experiences.

More info: Reddit

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Image source: KtEire

Not an IKEA employee but I was at the IKEA in Wembley in London and basically ended up wandering through the shop behind a mother and daughter. The mother was probably about 80 and the daughter about 50.

They were bickering with each other the entire time and in the worst possible place (the section with the stacks of wine glasses in the aisle), the mother said something and walked off… and the daughter grabbed her by the hair and dragged her backwards. They both fell into the big display of wine glasses and smashed the s**t out of it. Didn’t seem like they got cut up but I moved out of there quickly as they were still fighting so didn’t see the end result!


Image source: DynamicIcedTea

I was on a lunch break and talking a walk through IKEA when I’m stopped by this middle aged man with his wife asking me where this particular table was. I replied that I had no idea and proceed to continue on my lunch break walk.

They man and woman then proceeded to hurl all kinds of abuse at me in front of multiple children about how horrible my service is, how I’m taking jobs away from honest working Australians and how I should be fired.

My deadpan reply was basically “That would bw problematic, because I don’t even work here, sir.”

I will never forget the deer in headlights expression they gave me for a split second. They then proceeded to mumble a “sorry” and ran off in search of their table.

I’m actually appalled by people’s attitude when they think they have power over you. And then it’s just funny when they realise they don’t.


Image source: IMeanIDontEvenKnow

This was my Ikea family meltdown. My then boyfriend and I were getting our own place just after college. Until then, we had both been using twin beds thanks to student living spaces and sharing a single twin was proving uncomfortable for two adult humans subjected to California summer temperatures. To fix this issue, off to Ikea we went.

Things start off ok. We start with lunch, admire the living room couches, move into kitchen wares. All so far enjoyable fantasy. And then we reach our destination, bedrooms. A sea of beds in a variety of price points greet us with brightly colored duvets. An experienced furniture purchaser I start scanning the price tags to narrow the options. I bring him to an attractive affordable model I think matches some of our bookcases. And this is where the trouble starts.

See up until now, I didn’t realize exactly how bad this man’s fear of decision making was. He stares at the bed incomprehensibly for literal minutes, refusing to talk about it. Eventually it is discovered that buying a bed means committing to delaying graduate school, never moving to the east coast, and having children with me. I don’t understand that logic and request explanation which is slowly and tearfully given.

We spent three hours in that Ikea and left with nothing. About a month later we went back and again after several hours bought that exact bed. He never went to grad school or moved to the east coast. We also did not have children and broke up a few years later. He took the bed.


I once overheard a young woman talking to her man in the furniture section. She was sobbing uncontrollably, talking about how if she doesn’t have all the best, fanciest, most expensive furniture, she’d be ashamed to have her friends over and that would trigger her panic attacks. Dude was calmly trying to compromise with her because he didn’t want to spend enough money to buy an entire house just on furniture. But she was having none of it. She started hyperventilating and had to lie down because she was going to faint. Dude was just looking around at people with this apologetic look while he tried to maneuver her into a chair.

All I could think was, “Wow. Poor bastard.”

Image source: thudly


Image source: ikeathrowaway168151

I worked at IKEA for 5 years selling sofas. One of my coworkers, let’s call him Jim, worked evenings and weekends in returns while his day job was teaching math at a local high school.

One day a woman comes to the counter trying to return some pillows. Generally speaking, they didn’t take returns on pillows for sanitary reasons. She also didn’t have a receipt and the pillows were clearly used and absolutely disgusting. Jim tells the customer that he’s sorry, but our return policy states we only accept products within 30 days of purchase, with the receipt, and unused in the original packaging.

This did not sit well with her and she began to scream at Jim. She was spiteful and cruel. Jim had come to the US from another country years ago and while he spoke perfect English, still had an accent. She mocked his accent and told him to speak English. She repeatedly shouted that he was stupid and would never amount to anything. He was too dumb to get a real job, etc.

Meanwhile, her teenage son is in the background. He’s pleading with his mother to stop shouting at Jim. He’s begging her to give it up so they can go home. Eventually she turns around to shout at her son and ask him why he cares so much. “That’s my calculus teacher…” There had already been a parent-teacher night scheduled for a few weeks later, his father went alone.


Image source: ansteve1

Former Uber driver here. I had a pickup request at an Ikea. For the record this was after you could specifically request SUVs was rolled out. So I pulled up to the pickup area in my Prius and this there was 2 people, mother and daughter, waiting for me. When I park I see they have an entire bedroom set. I ask them if they have a second car coming and she was like no I need you to load it up in your car. So I start folding my seats and she said “No! My mother needs to come too!” I told her “I can’t do that I don’t have room for everything.” That was when she threatened to email Uber over refusing to help her.

Like b***h I can take your mom or your furniture not both. request an SUV or pay Ikea $50 to deliver it for you. Quit being cheap. It’s not my fault you went to Ikea without a car or a game plan for getting it back.


Image source: TA704

I used to work at IKEA and have so many stories from there. I think a memorable one wasn’t a family fighting, but it was 2 women fighting over my service. I was helping one customer and it was a super busy weekend, so I’m sure all the employees were pretty busy. As I was helping her, another woman came up and interrupted us. They started arguing and one of them called the other woman a cow.


Image source: gonegirl6

I work in the Smaländ area in Ikea, for those of you who don’t know Smaländ is a free service where you can drop your children off for an allotted amount of time while you shop around.

A few days ago I was signing in a parent for them to drop off their kids. We have 2 requirements that allow kids into Smaländ. 1.) They have to meet the height requirement 2.) They have to be fully potty trained, no pull-ups or diapers. After checking with her to see if her children met the requirements she responded rather defensively that her daughter was wearing a pull-up but was fully potty trained. After I kindly told her that her daughter would not be able to enter Smaländ today because it’s against the policy she grew furious. It then escalated to us calling the manager who calmly explained the policy once again and apologized for the inconvenience… BUT IT DIDN’T STOP THERE. This lady continued by yelling and pointing at my manger “don’t tell me you’re sorry for me, because if you were you would let my children in” in which my manger replies “oh no I’m not sorry for you at all I’m sorry for your children.” and she stormed off with her children.


Image source: kathide1

I used to work at the entrance (greet people and give directions and information) at an IKEA in Austria. That ikea is open till 9pm during the week. At 8:45pm a young austrian guy(its relevant for the story) comes up to me to ask me where he could find a kitchen item and if i could look it up on my computer. While talking to him, 3 people approached my desk, extremely stressed, shopping cart chock-full, one of them interrupted the young man I was talking to and said to me:”You! Where is the checkout!!??” The young man, slighty annoyed still politely told the group to wait a second. After he was gone, the man of the group winked to me and said:”what a nervous and rude boy,”. I told him that I think its ruder to interrupt (I know, I usually dont). He then said sth to me like “now you are rude” but wanted to leave, when suddenly his wife completely loses it. Called me ALL insults the German language has, red faced, tense body, fists, I thought shes going to attack me. The woman then accused me of being a “racist b***h” because she was (I think) Egyptian and the young man was Austrian. Her husband had to drag her out of there to the elevator, she screamed at me the entire time. I think she screamed at me for 10 minutes. My hands were shaking when I picked up my phone to call my manager to warn him that there might be a complaint later…


Image source: shizzlingmanizzling

shizzlingmanizzling said:
I used to work in IKEA in my student days, the Glasgow, Scotland store.

When it was newly opened an elderly Irish guy and his wife stopped me and asked where IKEA was, I explained that they were in IKEA and they couldn’t understand. They had arrived at the ferry port in Ireland that morning and decided that they’d go on a day trip to somewhere they hadn’t been before. When they arrived at the port in Scotland there was a dedicated ‘IKEA’ bus. They thought IKEA was an actual place in Scotland and didn’t realise it was a shop.

I walked away trying not to p**s myself laughing as I could hear them blaming each other for the mistake!

stevemachiner replied:
Jesus, this might have been my folks.


Image source: sleepypunk

An older gentleman in our baths department ranting about how “cheap” the furniture is, banging on things, etc. Tried to slam a drawer but it soft closed on him. Oops, your tantrum was foiled by quality furniture.


Image source: Pranxta

My favourite has got to be the family of five ranging from maybe 15 – 50, incredibly vocal middle eastern family that had almost zero English skills between the them. I had the unfortunate task of informing them through a translator that the bunk bed they had ordered was in stock, but was in the air in the self serve area and not currently available so they could come and pick it up after close. We’ll that wasn’t good enough for them and all five of them threw themselves onto the ground and just flat out began wailing. To keep this in perspective. They had ordered this bed at 2055. The store closes at 2100. They had to wait an extra 10 minutes maybe 15 minutes to get their product. When they see that wailing doesn’t seem to be working for them, they begin to take items of other people’s trolleys and taking them outside to their car all while yelling at the top of their lungs. At this point security are with them trying to calm them down. 10 minutes into this, the bunk bed has been brought down and is ready to hand out. Even after being informed that their order is ready, this family carries on for another 30 minutes and security was forced to call the police. 10 minutes later, the police walked through the door and the family immediately stopped everything they were doing and just simply walked out of the store and left. It was an interesting sight for us and a pretty terrible experience for all the other customers there at the time.


Image source: kinc2044

Not a family but relevant I think. I work in the bistro area and I once had a customer scream and threaten a coworker when he was told he couldn’t get a cup for water. We only have one cup in the bistro, it cost one dollar and is counted as inventory so we can’t give them out for free. When my coworker told the guy this he flipped out said IKEA is pure s**t and we are operating illegally by not providing him water (we aren’t there’s a water fountain to the right). He begins to call my coworker a piece of s**t approaches me and ask for a cup I tell him the same thing which only angers him further. Once I point out the water fountain nearby he says he won’t use it because he isn’t a ‘peasant’ and says he’ll come back to deal with me and my coworker for trying to profit off his dehydration. Needless to say I never saw him again and my coworker and I shared a good laugh.


Image source: danielmark_n_3d

danielmark_n_3d said:
For the life of me, I do not understand the relationship nuking ability that Ikea seems to have. My partner and I have gone several times and have a riot each time. Even putting it together is not too much of a strain. So tell me- what the f**k are people doing there that does this?

Robestos86 replied:
Ikea is to relationships what wind is to fire, it destroys the small, it kindles the great.


Image source: ganget

The first one was during the breakfast at IKEA which is only 1 euro. So I work at IKEA food and saw a woman flipping to another older woman about taking the last slice of Cheese. Which will always be refilled in a matter of seconds. The slice is only 1 of the 7 things included with the 1 euro breakfast. She then totally lost it and was shouting at the older woman, calling here a racist and that she was going to beat here up outside, “come fight me b***h” after that already insane reaction she continued with here rage and started at the 3 managers that came to de-escalate the situation. In the meanwhile the older lady was all in tears and brought to safety in the co-workers restaurant in the back. It really made me angry at the time that you can’t really do the thing you want with your IKEA clothes on.


Image source: zombie_physician

I was working in the kitchen accessories department and this middle aged guy asked me where the cheap white plates are. So these are the lowest price plates that come in one color and are sold straight off the pallet. But they changed the color from white to light beige a month ago.

I explain this and this guy starts raising his voice at me, telling me he owns a restaurant and that I go back there and bring him more white plates. At this point I know I’m not dealing with a rational person here, but I go to the computer and check if there isn’t in fact a pallet of the stuff just so he sees I’ve tried helping him. Even shown him the big fat zero on the screen. He gets red in the face and starts telling me how I’m personally responsible for the gas he spent driving here on his Audi A8. Asked me if I know how much gas an Audi A8 burns. He’s yelling now, the whole floor is looking our way and I’m doing my best to not laugh but I realized I’m already smiling and that p****d him off even more. The convo went something like this:

“You’re gonna pay for the gas I spent driving here.”

“I doubt that sir.”


“That’s a good idea.”

I wasn’t even trying to be rude I just really wanted this guy to do this, but then he asked for my manager, yelled at him basically repeating everything including his Audi A8 gas mileage, everything. He ended up buying the light beige plates.


Image source: Altephor1

Obligatory not an IKEA employee.

Was at an IKEA one day getting a dresser. Was walking through the small item section (between the showrooms and the warehouse, for stuff like plates and such), saw this guy looking in this bin for shower curtain rods (or maybe just regular curtain rods, can’t remember). The bin was empty, but there was a nearby shopping cart with one in it. It was clearly someone’s shopping cart that they had left sitting while they went to get something else.

The guy took the curtain rod from the cart and was leaving when the guy came back and caught him. The guy refused to give the curtain rod back to the original person and a physical altercation ensued. Yes, two grown men fought over a cheap IKEA curtain rod until security/employees came and broke it up.


Image source: [deleted]

mandatory not me, but my buddy works at Ikea.

a man and a woman, in their mid-20s come to the store. they look like the average people who’d you see stepping out of 2-seater high-end BMW, with attitude to match.

they ask my buddy for help and ask a lot of questions about couple of pieces. they end up wanting them, so my buddy gives the the warehouse codes for the items.

the man is like ‘?????’. they’re apparently new to ikea, so my buddy explains the items are to be self-assembled at home. the guy gets real angry and starts lashing out about this kind of shit being below his paygrade.

my buddy suggests they use their installation service. the guy is first like ‘okay, finally some service’, until he learns it costs extra to have them assembled by the service.

the guy goes into a rage and yells ‘I’M NOT PAYING! I’M NOT PAYING! I’M NOT PAYING!’ and causes a huge scene. The lady comps him. he throws the sheet of paper at my buddy (but it’s not crumbled so it kinda just floats away) and marches out, promising not to ever step that s**t store again.


Image source: almightywhacko

I am not am employee, but as a customer I had a pretty intense experience.

My wife and I had gone through the showrooms and were just about to enter the area where you pick up your boxed furniture kits. There weren’t any of the flat sleds, so everyone was waiting around for more to be loaded. I was there for a good 20 minutes and I was second in line.

Right around the 20 minute mark one sled comes down the conveyor and a guy from the back of the line walks up and says to the guy ahead of me:

“I guess your getting the next one.”

Of course the guy in front of me was like, “Hey man, I’ve been waiting and this cart is mine.”

The other guy then proceeded to pull a knife, grab the guy in front of my by the collar and hold the blade to his neck while saying “I’m pretty sure you’re getting the next one.

So yeah, I almost saw a guy get stabbed over a fight for a shopping cart in IKEA.


Image source: leahd26

Not a meltdown, or an employee, BUT — I was in an IKEA when a random lady grabbed my hand, pulled me over to the bookshelf section, and told me all about the number of books she hoped to fit on one, color scheme of her bedroom, etc. it was pretty weird but I gave her my best advice on bookshelves and made it back to my boyfriend, who was about 20 feet away looking at me with “should I come save you?” eyes. IKEA is a weird place man

Violeta Lyskoit

Violeta is one free soul. She feels the most alive when traveling to new places and seeing the beautiful world out there.

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