The Mattress Busines
(leave off the extra 'S' for extra 'Sucks'!)
This week I got fed up with my old mattress. We had alot of good years together. Maybe 10. And many wild adventures (Unfortunately most of them sleep related where I'm naked except for a viking helmet in my 3rd grade classroom) but it had to go. It dipped so far in the middle that it started to feel like I was sleeping in a taco shell. Plus Roscoe peed on it. Twice. One for each side.
I was excited about buying something new. Especially something fun like a mattress. I walked into my local Sleepy's and was greeted by a grinning salesguy. I asked him if sold beds. That's the kind of dork I am. And then I plopped down on the first bed I saw and rolled around on it. I have no shame with stuff like that. Flipping and flopping all over the thing. He told me it was $7,000. I practically did a back handspring off of it and asked to see something else. I didn't want to taint my comfort level by starting high up. I'd rather lie on the worst bed and work my way up. I told him I needed to see something cheaper and he countered by telling me that the $7,000 mattress was now 50% off. Wow. I didn't realize I was such a good negotiator! I told him that was still too much... (and at this part of the story I'm going to stop talking about numbers. because I don't want to feel like I spent too little or too much and get yelled at by y'all for being an idiot. I know I'm an idiot. Read on and I'll prove it.)
I flopped down on a cheapy bed and asked him the price. He told me the sticker price. And I said, 'Is this one 50% off too?' He told me no... it's 30% off. I asked him why they don't list at as 30% off then. He told me prices change from day to day. Apparently. I asked him to bring the price down even more. And he did. I flopped around on a few more mattresses doing this lazy bargaining. Him saying a price. Me countering. Him not totally agreeing. Me asking to do better. Him doing better. Me asking to do better. Him doing a little better + a free foam pillow. Me asking for better. Him telling me he couldn't. Me asking again. And him magically finding out that he could...
He hit me up with cheezed out sales techniques too. Bragging about stuff like, 'They design these beds so you don't have to flip the mattress anymore only rotate them....' (Aka these mattresses are not flippable because the underside is just flat.) And 'This has latex in it which makes you cooler in the summer'. Aka this has latex in it for better or worse. Anyway, I buy something that's in my price range + a mattress pad and they deliver it the next day. And they take my old mattress away. I was sad to see it go.
I unpack my new 'mattress' pad and it felt like a diaper. It made plasticy noises and I immediately put it back in the bag to return it. Gross. Then I flopped around on the mattress. I didn't like it. I picked up the side of it and it was really light. Like I could pick it up and spin it over my head. That couldn't be good. I got upset. I got mad at myself for not researching stuff more and impulse buying a major purchase. But I knew the mattress industry was sleazed out and comparison shopping is near impossible. Like if you see a Sealy Night Coaster mattress in one store... you won't find that same mattress anywhere else. That sort of crap preventing the consumer from really shopping around.
Anyway, I knew I was in trouble. I had to return this horrible mattress and get something better. I headed back to Sleepy's the next day forgetting to bring along the mattress pad. I walk into the store and the guy I bought from the mattress wasn't there. Just two women. I told them I bought a mattress the day before but hate it. She told me she was sorry but there are no returns ever and no exchanges allowed for 7 days. She told me that they wanted to make sure that I definitely was unhappy with the mattress. I told her I was definitely unhappy with the mattress. She told me to come back in 7 days. I told her I also wanted to return the mattress pad. She told me they couldn't accept it. And that's where I went into my retail psycho mode. I've done it before.
Anyway, I told the lady that I refused to sleep on a mattress I hate for 7 days just to come back here and tell you something I already know. She got on the phone (talking to nobody probably) and told me they could arrange for an exchange today as a favor. Breaking their policy. Thanks for caring. But told me there was $250 'Comfort Charge' or something for the exchange. Wonderful. I didn't realize when they were referred to 'comfort' -- they were referring to their own.
I picked out another mattress which was a decent level higher than the crap mattress I bought in the first place and we did a bargaining dance. I knew I was at a disadvantage negotiationwise because they had me by the balls... because they already had my money. I asked her for this. She told me they could only do that. I told her could you do that please? She told me she'd check. I asked her to waive the comfort charge. She got on the phone to nobody and told me she could do that somewhat but not totally that. I asked her to waive shipping charge. She told me she couldn't but she'll take $100 off whatever. Back and forth back and forth back and forth.
Then when I finally didn't get my way I explained to her that I was a nightmare customer. The type of person who will never stop till he gets his way. The guy who'll stand outside the store and be a jerk yelling about how it sucks at Sleepys. That I would never stop and I would cause problems for everyone. And that I wanted to avoid doing that because I wasn't in the mood. I flashed her my Manson lamps to reinforce my honesty about being crazy. She got back on the phone and eventually we reached an agreement that still pissed me off-- but good enough that I won't hate my new mattress every time I lay down on it.
And now it's here. And I do like it. It's fine. They credited me for the mattress pad and told me to just keep it. (Anyone want it? Trust me. You don't.) All in all I probably got mugged for $300 extra for my own stupidity. But who knows. Any store that's willing to drop the price on something 50% at the drop of a hat... would they go 60%? 70%? Who knows?! Maybe I got ripped off for more. I'll never know and I don't want to think about it.
And that's the point. Sleepy's. Dial a mattress. 1-800 Mattress. All that crap seems to have settled their business on doing their best to rip off the consumer. The dumber the consumer is (I lean toward the more dumb side for sure) the worse they are to them. Like, does someone go into Sleepy's and buy a bed at full price? Assuming that price can be trusted? Heartbreaking. And Sealy's and Serta which seem to pump all their money into keeping their brand names respectable are all in cohoots with this crap. Serta and Sealy. Sertainly Sleazy. It's hard for people like me to act like an asshole without proper cause. I'm nice and I like people. I like fairness. And I like trusting people at face value. And I don't like having to change that attitude.
And, although I don't trust the government, where the hell is the government regulation with this?? Isn't it overdue for them to step in and force these companies to produce a line of products all with the same name so they can be comparison shopped? Shouldn't it be illegal to have a price tag on something that can be sold for over 50% less just based on how pushy the consumer is? Where's Ralph Nader when you actually do need him?
It's enough of this crap! On top of it I hate haggling! It makes me feel weird and they tap into that consumer insecurity! And using the sleaze tactic of making someone feel like they just saved $2000 when in reality they just got ripped off for $500. It's awful. What the hell is with the mattress business? Why is it soooo shady and so different than any normal furniture business? Since when did they get to live in some weird mattress dimension outside the norms of retail business?
The mattress business is awful and the mattress companies should be ashamed of themselves and punished. And yes, I know I'm an idiot.
PS. Am I the only one who finds their jingle 'Trust Sleepy's.... for the rest of your life....' creepy?