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.

The delivery came early, at short notice, and without any worktops. It turned out the worktop was out of stock. Fitters installed the kitchen anyway and left it unfinished.

We have lived in a building site ever since. The last time we heard from them was last November.

I have emailed the chief executive of Ikea Europe (Javier Quinones) and received a reply via a customer care specialist who, I quote, is ‘working at the highest point of escalation within Ikea and Javier has asked myself to look into this on his behalf’. Please help as we are getting nowhere.

L. R., Cambridgeshire.

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

Sally Hamilton replies: So much for Ikea promising to escalate the complaint to the very top. Nothing much seemed to be happening — a bit like with the kitchen installation itself.

Your problems began in mid-January 2022 when Ikea told you by text that the kitchen would be delivered more than a month ahead of schedule, with just three days’ notice. 

This meant you had to shelve the work you were doing to turn your garden office into a bedroom for your daughter so you could store the kitchen units there.

You had no choice but to take two days off work to organise it all and your daughter had to stay in her rented house an extra month.

Then, the delivery came without any worktops. You were told the worktop was out of stock, so you agreed to accept a temporary one until your chosen style was available.

You paid Ikea’s recommended fitters £2,000 to install it but they said it would be pointless to do the splashbacks, running boards and finishing because they would have to be removed to make way for your worktop.

You tell me your kitchen resembled a building site for months, with bare concrete walls and exposed — although safe — electrics. Concerningly, any chasing emails you sent were largely ignored.

In August 2022, you were told that it would probably be better to order a different worktop. You were flexible and visited the store 60 miles away in Milton Keynes to choose one.

A few days later, your luck seemed to be turning when Ikea told you that your original choice was back in stock and they would install it. But you were told it was out of stock again four days later.

In late August, unable to wait any longer, you told them to revert to your second-choice worktop.

Finally, at the end of November, the fitters arrived to put in the second-choice worktop and splashbacks — but they didn’t fit.

The Ikea fitter rang the office, gave them the correct measurements and left. Since then, you had heard nothing and had been left without a working kitchen.

I asked the Swedish retail giant to give your case urgent attention as it was exceptionally poor service to leave you and your family living in a building site for well over a year.

I urged the firm to ensure the work was completed without delay, and also to compensate you for the dreadful experience during what was a kitchen nightmare more than worthy of a visit from Gordon Ramsay.

My intervention seemed to finally get Ikea cooking with gas. Within a few weeks, the work was finished by May to a standard you said you were pleased with.

As an apology, Ikea refunded you roughly 25 per cent of the total £6,700 cost of the project — a reimbursement of £1,750. 

I felt it was a reasonable 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 proved the trees were dead. I have asked for a refund but Gardening Express will only give me a voucher. Please help.

M.P., Chelmsford.

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


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

E.E., Essex.

Ambrose Wilson apologises 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 24. We have called BT customer service several times on our mobile and using our neighbour’s phone but are still waiting for the issue to be resolved. Please help.

J.W., Brighton.

BT says it is sorry there was a fault with your landline, which was caused by a lightning strike in your area. It repaired your landline free of charge and gave you new phones.


In July my wife and I bought new phones from Carphone Warehouse and swapped provider from ID to Vodafone. 

We were told we would be sent a message confirming our numbers had been transferred but we never received it. We asked Carphone Warehouse to cancel our contract with Vodafone but it has not done so.

D.C., via email.

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

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

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

Early on January 7, he phoned us in a confused state, but before we could find out more, the call terminated. 

On re-dialling, all we could hear were sirens and medics dealing with the aftermath of an accident.

Police told us a few hours later that our son had died after crashing into a building. We await an inquest next month.

I’m telling you this as background to the problems we have had in dealing with our son’s mortgage lender, Barclays, to whom he owed £155,000.

I have asked Barclays two simple questions: Could we continue to make his monthly repayments and/or could we repay the outstanding amount so his mortgage would not go into arrears?

It has been a complete shambles with no one able to answer these questions. Can you help?

D. M., Dorset.

Sally Hamilton replies: What a horrible experience to lose your son in such a violent way, and not knowing the background as to how or why it happened makes it even worse. Meanwhile, you have been trying to tie up your son’s finances as best you can.

More than six months after your son’s tragic death, Barclays was still unable to provide an answer to your simple query.

I asked the bank to look again at your case and give you the answers you were looking for. 

It took Barclays two weeks but it finally came back to confirm it was sending you a redemption statement, showing how much was left to pay on the mortgage and allowing you to redeem it as you had wanted to do all these months.

A Barclays spokesman said: ‘We have every sympathy with the family of our late customer. On this occasion, a redemption statement has been provided, but we would typically require a grant of probate to confirm the executor of the estate.’

While pleased that the issue has finally been resolved, you were vexed that the bank did not explain at the start that probate was necessary.

As for the thoughtless addressing of arrears letters to your late son, the bank simply said it was following ‘regulatory requirements’ that say these must be sent in the name of the deceased until grant of probate is received.

There was no apology for the correspondence upsetting you, I’m afraid, which is disappointing. Even if these are the rules, surely banks can sweeten the pill with more tactful messaging to those left behind.

However, you told me that as soon as you received the redemption statement, you cleared your son’s mortgage and plan to put his flat on the market so you can 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 [email protected] — include phone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given. 

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