Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mattress Love

After a tumultuous 3 years of poor sleeping for John on a mattress that started failing the moment it was delivered we are finally sleeping like babies and I definitely learned a lesson in expectations.

For 10 years we slept on a mattress we bought used out of the newspaper (old school Craig's List.) It was cheap in every way, basically just a box with springs in the middle and fabric all around. Every couple years we would buy a new foam mattress to put on top of it and continued on with our firm but functional bed. Finally 3 years ago my parents couldn't stand it any longer and gave us a new mattress as a gift. And a much nicer one that we would have bought ourselves. It had a wonderful pillow top creating lots of cushion and dual sides, soft for John and firm for me. Unfortunately John's soft side got progressively more soft over the years until he was sleeping in a hole several inches deep. Actually he was huddled on the edge of the bed trying not to fall into the hole.

While I knew it was under warranty I assumed it would be a ton of work, they would want paperwork I didn't keep and I would end up frustrated and possibly stuck with the bad mattress. Then we dragged our feet so long I worried we were beyond the warranty time frame. Finally it got to the point that I worried John was going to start sleeping on the couch. I called ready to plead my story and see if I could get the process started. The manager I talked with couldn't have been nicer. They had just started doing warranties online. He gave me the web site and all the information I would need to fill it out, purchase date, invoice number, mattress name, etc. None of which I had. I went online, filled it out in about 10 minutes which included time to photograph the hole and attach the picture to the claim, and about 3 hours later received an email telling me to go pick out a new mattress. I was amazed and thrilled and couldn't wait to get into the store, hug the manager and order a new mattress.

(The hole was much deeper when you actually laid in it. John isn't pushing on the mattress at all here.)

(these pictures sealed the deal on the warranty claim)

So Isabelle and I head to the store where the manager is busy but a very nice man shows me a bed that he says is the newer model of what I have. I tell him it looks good, pay for delivery and added sales tax since we are now at a higher rate than we were 3 years ago and leave. OK I left a little perturbed about that last part but Isabelle was jumping up and down begging to leave and I was having a hard time formulating the argument for why that was completely ridiculous. It was $10, I was getting a new mattress, my hubby would sleep well and I could leave the store before the 4 year old drove me completely crazy.

Deliver day comes and we are giddy at our house. They pull the new mattress into the hallway and then pull our old one out. As they are sitting side by side I realize something very disturbing. The new mattress does not have a pillow top and is clearly not as nice as my old mattress! WHAT DO I DO???? The workers don't know about this and continue working. Should I stop them? If I do will John have to continue sleeping on the hole for an undetermined amount of time? Will they give me another new mattress that is correct or have I just been completely swindled?

While all these things are going through my mind the delivery men finish and hand me a slip to sign. Unable to process fast enough I accept delivery and let them leave. I tell John and while we are concerned we are just excited to have a new mattress without a hole. Maybe it isn't that bad. Maybe the pillow top doesn't mean anything.

My back was sore when I woke up the next day. But the mattress is new and will soften up a bit, that is what the sales guy said as I was leaving. My back continues to be sore for another week, and another and I am not sure what to do. I poll several friends who all tell me to go back to the store. But then I will have to have a fight with the store manager who won't want to fix it because they were just trying to swindle me and they clearly don't care about customer service at all.

Finally I am so full of frustration and anger over this whole thing I feel I must go in. I plan a time when Isabelle is not with me and drive over there. A snowstorm was going on and I almost wimped out but then I realized there would be nobody at the store and I would be sure to have their undivided attention. Plus nobody would see if I had to make a scene.

I go in with my paperwork and get to talk to Dave the store manager who was so nice in starting the warranty process. While I want to go in and start yelling I felt God telling me to give them the benefit of the doubt and just calmly state my problem. I did lightheartedly start by telling him I came for a fight but then calmly told him the situation.

Dave immediately knew what happened. Apparently our mattress had 2 versions, brother/sister mattresses if you will, and the sales guy had confused which one we had bought. Dave was ready to fix the problem but had to call his boss since it had been over a month since we took delivery of the wrong mattress. When asked why I waited so long I simply told him because coming in there was a "pain in the butt". He just nodded his head and made the call. While I wanted to throw out all the arguments I had run through in my head during the last month Dave seemed to be reading my mind as he calmly mentioned many of them to his boss. In the end Dave prevailed and yesterday the correct mattress was delivered at no additional cost. Who knew a bed could be so comfortable. John said he slept like a baby.

So what did I learn from this experience?

#1 Expect things to go well rather than assume they will be a problem.
#2Dragging your feet when you have a problem doesn't help but it can hurt.
#3 It is always better to give people the benefit of the doubt.
#4 Customer service is not completely dead in the United States.
#5 The pillow top mattress is worth the extra money.
#6 Dave at Mattress Giant in Eden Prairie is really great and you should definitely buy a mattress from him.

And now, with one less stressor in my life, I am off to bed where I am sure to sleep peacefully.

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