Home > Journal, Opinion > The Kitchen, part…n…lost count

The Kitchen, part…n…lost count

Kika Czech republic has bad customer service. Now we are used to the very bad customer services and service attitude that would leave your average person speechless, but Kika Czech Republic takes this to a whole new level. The mistake is firstly trusting they will deliver a quality service, it is afterall an Austrian company, the items they sell are either made in Germany or Austria so it would follow that the service must be good. Think again. After this eexperience it is never likely that we will ever go back to Kika or recommend anyone to go there. Sad really since the quality of construction is good. The service isn’t.

Its back to the kitchen experience:

1. The design process was painful enough as it is, but you stick with it because the software looks good and gives a generally good impression of what the finished thing will look like. After four attempts we were satisfied. So far so good.

2. The initial survey is completed. The kitchen has to be redesigned because the outlet points are in the wrong place. So the kitchen has to be re-designed. This is no easy task since we have to go back to the store we had the original design made. This is now on the other side of the city, about 1 hour away by public transport. With a baby this is no easy task for my wife, but she has to get on with it.

3. 12 weeks later the kitchen arrives in Prague from Germany where it was made. Yes 12 weeks later. It will now take another couple of weeks for Kika to find contractors to install it.

4. December comes around and the kitchen gets installed. Without the hob, cooker, and extractor fan. These were not ordered by the designer. We have a kitchen but no cooking facilities. Eventually the contractors contact someone in the store. We find out that the delivery guy has mentioned that it is approaching Christmas and we will need a cooker to cook with over this time. He turns up in the afternoon with a temporary solution. At this point we are still trying to contact someone in the store to find out what is happening, any explanations. We are told that the manager will contact us. He never does.

5. My wife goes back to the store, another few hours of getting there and tracking down the manager. She points out to him that as the “responsible” person he should have, at least, contacted us and explained what was happening. She also points out that if the people can’t be bothered doing the jobs they are employed for then they should think twice about employign them. We are told that the cooking appliances will arrive in January because the Germans are on holiday until the first week in January.

6. January is here, we are informed that the appliances will be delivered.

7. The day arrives, this will be the final part of the kitchen installation. Except no. The contractors who bring the appliances will only install them, not hook them up to the electricity because they are not electricians. And we have to pay for the installation, even though the installation is part of the cost of the kitchen. We have the papers to prove that the installation is included. They still insist we can’t have everything working…because…the designer who messed the whole thing up in the first place now says we need to pay for them to sort out the mess he is responsible for in the first place. My wife’s blood boils.

8. The installers do not know how to connect the oven and hob up. They call the kitchen designer, who we find out is responsible for the whole installation project, and he tells them to follow what the previous oven is like. They take three attempts to connect the things up correctly. Or at least what appears to be correct.

9. The grand-finale. The extractor fan. They need to drill into the wall. And…you can guess what happens next…they drill through an electric cable. They didn’t expect to find a cable in the wall at this point – you’d think they would use the cable checking device they had in their tool kits. Its cuts off power to the kitchen, shorts out the mains. Again. They call a mate who will be available on Thursday to sort it out. God, please save us from these people.

10. They leave. The oven is not level and on an angle. We find that we can remove the hob and then slide out the oven. The oven is sitting on the electric cable. When we put the oven back it sits level and snug in the right position. The hob should have springs on the side so it can’t be removed as easily (i.e. fixed in place).

This is not the first “horror” story we have heard about KIKA CZ and how the installation and after sales services are rotten. I am sure (I hope) that elsewhere they provide better customer services. This is yet another example of how the Czech Republic is not adjusting to life after communism. We pay for the services and receive nothing but incompetence, apathy and indifference. Most customers would not complain, they would put up with it, this is the way its always been, take it and don’t say a word.

Just as an additional note I would say to anyone thinking about moving to Czech Republic, try again in about 15 years time. 15 years ago, people tell me, it was much worse than it is now. Given Czech republic as it is now I would say in 15 years time it will be tolerable to live here.

Categories: Journal, Opinion
  1. petra
    11 Apr 2007 at 22:58

    Sorry to hear that. Where are you from?is your country any better?
    I live in UK and this country sucks!you waited 12 weeks for kitchen? I waited more than 4 months for a sofa! Customer service, well if you are lucky to speak to someone who can actually speak English, is not good either.
    I do agree that shop assistants back home are not top notch, but we are getting there, and it really annoys me if someone from another country (obviously with better customer service) tells such rubbish! than GO HOME and come back in 15 years time, or is it more expensive there where you are from?
    By the way-kika=ikea. Ikea in UK is one of the worst. You have to get back for stuff, because they just have no idea what they talking about! so save more money and go there where you get better service. Koryna does good kitchens!

  2. DMe
    12 Apr 2007 at 09:38

    Hello Petra.
    Obviously you do not take criticism of Czech republic too well, if it is so good here then why don’t you move back, its a sunny day today.
    Customer services is such a massive revolution for the psyche here that you can feel the pain, in person, usually at the receiving end.
    Out of interest, did you consider complaining in person about your sofa, or cancel the order, there are so many options. Great idea.
    As for the UK, yes I am from UK and I do not have any romantic delusions that UK is such a fabulous place this is why I left a long time ago.

    BTW, Ikea = a Swedish company; Kika = an Austrian company, they are independent companies. Kika make excellent kitchens (made in Germany), it just gets spoilt by the (local) installers and customer services (a one man team) are fed up with taking so much negative feedback from customers because of this so tend, but we were told that we were lucky to have gone with Kika since they are better than most others here. This came from the customer service team, ouch! But at least he was honest.

    Regardless of our divergence of opinion, thanks for your feedback. If you read THIS entry you will see that I have do have good things to say about Czech Republic.

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