Though showrooms continue to display fully assembled furniture, customers have been at a loss on what to do with the boxes of rectangular simulated wooden pieces once they arrive at home. Due to a shortage in little steel Allen wrenches and screwdrivers normally packaged with each piece of furniture, IKEA's manufacturing facilities have been shipping the products without them.
Most customers who have figured out how to tie their shoes or drive a motor vehicle, have been getting by with the sparse set of tools they already have at home, or by making a trip to the hardware store for the missing 99 cent tool. Others are not so fortunate. Nick Tweezerton from IKEA's customer service department says, "Yes, we're getting numerous calls from people claiming that their particular furniture product looks nothing like what they saw in the showroom. Apparently some assembly instructions have gone missing as well, so people are trying to use the pile of wood as is from the box."
One customer interviewed commented, "It was disappointing, yes. It was an attractive stack of wood after all, but we sure couldn't stack any books in it. The store model showed lots of nice little square holes for storing things. We could have used it to sit on I guess, but I always got a sharp pain in my ass when I did." Tweezerton responded, "Yes I remember that customer. We advised him to remove the bolt bag that was taped to the board, and his pain went away. Mine didn't, but his did."
When asked about IKEA's plans for resolving the shipping oversight, Tweezerton replied, "We've advised these customers to return to their local store and we'll provide the missing tools. They will have to go buy a clue on their own."