We did not make the bed, but we must lay in it.
June 23, 2008 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Our mattress was damaged in a (self) move and we have reason to believe that it is a manufacturing issue. We have to deal with the furniture store first. We do not anticipate this being an easy situation. Advice needed, please.

We are just looking for some general advice for getting a fair shake in this situation.

Less than a year ago, we purchased a foam-core pillow-top mattress from a chain furniture store. This was one of the few stores that would deliver to our previous rural address. At the time, the salesman had promised a free frame with delivery, it did not come, he then wanted us to pay for it, we had to complain, etc. etc. Eventually we got it for free but had to drive an hour to get it. So, I am sure the store has record of this.

We moved ourselves a week ago. When we laid the mattress down, it appeared that a layer of material (or foam or interfacing or whatever) below the pillow-top had bunched in the center of the mattress. The outside is spotless. We were careful in the move and did not bend/abuse the mattress.

We are in the process of contacting the store to have a repair person come out to look at this. We are about 1.5 hours from the store we bought it from, although the store has another location about 30 minutes from us. We had an appointment set up, but the store canceled it. Now, we can't seem to get a live person on the phone.

As delicate as a foam core can be, I don't think we should not be expected to move it. Ideally, we would like a replacement. This store is not known for its stellar customer service. We are looking for any and all advice on getting what we think is fair. I just want to be prepared. Especially useful woud be "insider" info on how things work-- for instance, does the manufacturer give credit to the retailer (thus the retailer is not really out any money for a defective product).

We are in Western New York, if that matters.
posted by oflinkey to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
A chain store? After so much hassle with them, I would send a carefully worded letter (polite but firm, detail all problems with every aspect of your interaction with them, not just the foam problem) via registered mail to their corporate HQ.

Be clear about what you expect -- a repair? How satisfactory must the repair be? Would you like a new mattress or $ back if it can't be repaired? -- and be reasonable; don't start off by asking for a new one, give them a chance to fix things.

The letter-to-HQ bit has got results for me where I was ready to go and burn down the store I was dealing with, and results to the point where I was kept a happy customer.
posted by kmennie at 1:45 PM on June 23, 2008

If the foam pillow top was fine before you moved it, and now is bunched up, its pretty safe to assume that it's your fault.

It's possible the mattress has special instructions in case you want to move it.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:02 PM on June 23, 2008

If the foam pillow top was fine before you moved it, and now is bunched up, its pretty safe to assume that it's your fault.

Which is probably exactly what they will say. You can try contacting Consumerist, they're often helpful.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:18 PM on June 23, 2008

The problem I see is that you bought it, it was delivered, it was fine. The mattress store's responsibility seems to end there. Since the damage occurred during a move, normally you might go after the moving company... but that's obviously you. Did you move it properly? Was it strapped in/on the truck safely? Did something lean against it? Although you were there, none of these things can really legitimately be proved either way. I'm sorry, but I don't see how the mattress company is at fault here.
posted by sharkfu at 3:55 PM on June 23, 2008

Response by poster: Just an update for anyone who cares--

The kind of insider information I was looking for happened to come from the inspector who looked at the bed: Leave the mattress tags on no matter what. Also, always buy or get the frame (some kind of frame) and never put the bed on the box spring on the ground. If either of those conditions is not met, the inspector will almost immediately reject the mattress. It is also worth it to use some sort of padding or cover between the sheets and the mattress. A sparkling clean bed makes a good impression.

For those of you who noted that since we moved it we caused the damage and it was our fault: technically, no. There were and are no special moving instructions for this bed. The kind of damage caused to the mattress was damage that should not have happened in any normal case-- even moving. A layer of foam tore loose and crinkled up under the pillow-top with no visible damage, dirt or even a scuff to the exterior. The inspector noted that we would have had to repeatedly "wring" the mattress just like a dishtowel to cause this on our own (impossible due to its size and weight, really).

Lesson: Be persistent with a chain store. Keep it extra-extra clean. Leave tags on. Always use a frame of some sort. The tag thing was the biggest surprise to me.
posted by oflinkey at 3:27 PM on July 9, 2008

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