There's one place where almost all of us spend some time every night: sleeping on a mattress. Choosing the right one can be difficult, but it turns out, trying to return the wrong one is even harder.
People stretch out on mattresses in department stores all the time, trying to find the right one. But, what if you buy one from a salesman in your home and you don't check it out until it arrives?
That's what happened to one Chicago woman, who, with some help from FOX 32 News, will be getting a good night's sleep and a $5,000 refund.
"And this part here, because of the way it sags when you're lying on it, try to get out, I almost fell out of my bed twice," Easy Rest customer Dolores Cabrera demonstrates.
Two months ago, Dolores Cabrera of Riverside and her sister purchased two Easy Rest adjustable sleep system twin beds. Cabrera's doctor had told her she should sleep sitting up,
"The acid reflux backs up, and I get real bad burning in my throat," she says.
The remote-controlled, motorized bed seemed like the answer, even though she was ordering it, without having tried one out. Another of her sisters owned a double bed from Easy Rest and was happy with it. Plus, at her home, the salesman reduced the price for two beds from about $8500 to $5,000. But after one night, Cabrera wanted to send the beds back.
"We noticed that we were sagging on the beds," Cabrera explains. "She was sagging on hers, I was sagging on mine. I got cramps during the night in my legs and I had to get up in a hurry because the pain was so bad."
The next day she called to cancel her purchase and get a refund, but she was reminded that her signed contract said she has five days to cancel -- five days from the date she ordered the beds, not when they arrived. The beds hadn't arrived until two weeks after they were purchased.
"And I said, how can we cancel something if we don't even have it in the house?" Cabrera argues. "You know, why would we cancel?"
Easy Rest did offer a free in-home service call. Cabrera claims the servicemen showed up with foam inserts that were covered with dirt and twigs. She took pictures as proof.
"You know, it looked like it might have been sitting on a shelf and collected dirt on it," she recalls. "And then, to have all those, I call them twigs, all along the side and top, I mean it was disgusting."
Cabrera has since filed complaints with the attorney general. Easy Rest, based in Baltimore, declined to discuss her case on camera, but did say in a statement that the company refuses returns because "by law, bedding, even if slept in for only one night, must be taken apart...inspected for stains, odors and infestations prior to being reassembled and resold. We do not believe any consumer should spend their hard earned money and receive a previously used bed so we do not accept returns."
The company named four other major bedding companies which follow similar practices, and added, "all of Ms. Cabrera's issues could have been resolved if she had allowed us to service her bed in the manner we had suggested.
The company added that it sells more than 12,000 beds a year to happy customers and it stands behind its product."
As for Cabrera, she'd rather stand behind the product than try to sit or sleep on it.
"I like a bed to sit on. You know when I'm in here watching television and stuff, I cannot sit on it because it forms a pocket in here and it hurts the lower back, I like sink into the mattress," Cabrera says.
In the eight days since Dolores Cabrera's first interview with FOX 32, reporter Larry Yellen had been exchanging emails with Easy Rest about her case. This morning, the company contacted Cabrera and told her that she would be allowed to return the beds and that she'd be getting a full refund of her $5,000.
FULL STATEMENT FROM EASY REST:
Our company is very transparent about our cancellation policy and we state in large type on the contract that our bed is not sold on an in-home trial basis.
By law, all used bedding, even if slept in for only one night, must be taken apart and each interior component must be inspected for stains, odors and infestations prior to being reassembled and resold.
We do not believe any consumer should spend their had earned money and receive a previously used bed so we do not accept returns. Household names in the bedding industry such as Tempurpedic, Select Comfort and Serta adhere to the same policy and refuse to accept returns on adjustable beds for this reason. We stand behind our product.
All of Ms. Cabrera's issues could have been resolved if she had allowed us to service her bed in the manner we had suggested. We sell more than 12,000 beds a year to thousands of happy customers and we wish that we had been able to include Ms. Cabrera among them.