Consumers Caution Urged For High Pressure Tactics, Return Hassles With Mattress Sales

By Tamas Mondovics

While violent scams are making headlines, the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency hopes to increase consumer awareness ahead of the upcoming holiday season and to help prevent crime as well as make wise purchasing decisions, including the purchase of a new mattress.

In a recent newsletter, the agency focused its attention on consumers, who often spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars purchasing a mattress to achieve the coveted good night’s sleep, and associated health benefits.

Entitled, “Need a New Mattress? A Guide for a Good Night’s Sleep,” officials said that the buying a mattress is becoming an increasing topic of consumer complaints with consumers unsatisfied with the quality of the products, high pressure sales tactics, and defective mattresses.

“Consumers should make sure they understand warranty terms, conditions and return policies in order to make an informed purchase decision, all of which really applies to a wide range of consumer goods” said Consumer Protection Agency chief investigator,  Kevin Jackson.

To help consumers further, the agency compiled a number of tips on what one should know before purchasing a mattress:

• Mattresses all have different names and labels at different stores making it difficult to comparison shop.

• Manufacturers or retailers change the names of models almost yearly.

• Mattress manufacturers make approximately 6 to 12 different models with substantially different quality and prices for each.

• Sales people may use high pressure sales tactics.

• Many retailers will allow you to keep the mattress for 30 days before you return it.

• Most retailers and manufacturers will require the original “law tag” affixed to the mattress.

• Many manufacturer warranties have a pro-rata factor in determining the refund or credit on a returned mattress.

•By federal law, reconditioned mattresses must display yellow tags with the words “used materials” printed on them.

For more information on buying a mattress, go to www.consumerreports.org and click on “Home & Garden.”