The following advice on mattress returns and exchange should help you to return a faulty mattress. Or, it may help you to get it exchanged for another different mattress. Statistics on mattress satisfaction show that only 63% of people are happy with their new innerspring mattress and 81% with a new memory foam mattress. A good percentage of these may have returned their mattress.
It has been estimated that around 12% of buyers end up returning their mattresses. Many more would like to, but they are deterred by the returns policy of the vendor. It may be confusing, restricted or may even not accept a return. Some policies may be outwith the law, and buyers should understand their rights regarding faulty products. Other retailers and manufacturers are deliberately strict with their conditions to deter those who make spurious complaints and those who simply want a new mattress after a month or so.
Knowledge is King: Ask These Mattress Returns Questions
Most people need advice on mattress returns and exchange. First – know your vendor’s returns policy and second – know your legal rights. Legal rights tend to depend on your country of residence – and/or the country your mattress vendor operates from. Differences between the two can become messy – and expensive! It is much easier if you understand the vendor’s returns and replacement policy.
Here are some questions to ask. Make sure you ask them before purchasing a mattress and make sure you fully understand the policies below:
- A. Duration of the Returns Policy
- B. Exchange Policy
- C. Money Back Policy
- D. Cost to You of Returning the Mattress
- E. Do they Charge a Restocking Fee
- F. Do they Charge an Exchange Fee
- G. Terms and Conditions
Let’s cover each of these eight factors in turn.
A. Duration of Mattress Returns Policy and In-Home Testing
Irrespective of what the mattress returns policy is, whether fair or not, make sure you understand any time limits involved. If you accept the conditions of the returns policy, you cannot then make any returns that are outwith that policy. You must raise any questions prior to buying the product, and query any aspect of the answers you are unsure about.
Some companies offer an in-home trial period. This should last at least 30 days. That is long enough for you to establish its suitability for you. This type of test period is particularly important if you have an orthopedic condition. Not all vendors or manufacturers will offer an in-home trial because what do they do with the mattress after return?
There are Two Aspects of In-Home Testing:
- It is good for you in that you can try the mattress out properly, rather than just lie on it for a few seconds in the store. You get a decent period of time to decide whether you want to keep it or not.
- On the other hand, can you be sure that your ‘new mattress’ is new? How do you know somebody else hasn’t had it for a month before you? Or maybe even more than one person? Has it been treated properly for bed bugs or cleaned thoroughly of the other person’s skin cells and dust mites?
Sometimes an in-home trial period is not a good idea. Make sure you ask the question and even get it in writing if possible. Then, if you find evidence of prior usage, you can change it for a genuinely new one. Generally, it pays to try out a mattress before committing to keeping it for another 10 or 15 years.
If your new mattress does not offer such a trial period, then make sure you are aware of the time limit applied on returns. Guarantees are not the same. Guarantees apply to factors such as faulty workmanship and other issues with the mattress itself. They do not cover personal issues such as suitability for any health condition or your personal preferences.
B. Mattress Exchange Policy
Any advice on mattress returns should include a discussion on the mattress exchange policy. Many retailers will allow you to return your unwanted mattress. However, there is a big difference between a ‘Returns Policy’ and an ‘Exchange Policy’. The former allows you to return the mattress and then look for another supplier or vendor. The latter forces you to choose another mattress from the vendor’s range.
This is one reason why it is wise to check out the retailer’s policy on mattress returns and exchanges before buying! What if the retailer has no other mattress suitable for you? That’s a difficult situation to be in. If you know of this policy beforehand, you can make sure to check over the other mattresses available from that store. Then, if you had to exchange your mattress, you will have an alternative to fall back on.
It’s the not knowing – the failure to do your homework – that gets you into difficult situations such as these. This is true in all walks of life, so always make sure you have a fallback. You don’t want to check over the range of stock and find nothing else suitable.
C. Money Back Policy
So what about the money back? Vendors have no legal obligation to give you your money back just because you do not like what you purchased. You must have a good reason for wanting a full refund. When you paid for your goods you were entering into a contract, and you must have a good reason for breaking it.
Not all retailers are trying hard to let you know this. Almost half of the mattress retailers do not offer a money back policy. They may offer you store credit instead! That means if you buy from that store again you will get a money-off credit for that item. It may be another mattress but likely will not cover the full cost. In effect, they are forcing you to purchase something else that you didn’t want to buy in the first place. It’s up to you to establish the ‘money back policy’ of your retailer before buying there. Most don’t!
D. Mattress Return Fee
Assuming that your vendor allows you to return a used mattress (many don’t) they may charge you a return fee. This can be anything they like, within reason. $40 to $400 is not regarded by many as excessive. The higher figure will likely include the original delivery cost (unless you were charged for this when delivered). Not only that, but if the mattress return includes the delivery of an exchange, then the return fee may also include that.
E. Mattress Restocking Fee
The mattress restocking fee is an interesting one. It is different from an exchange fee or mattress return fee. What this implies is that the mattress is being returned to stock. Warehouse records have to be updated, and the mattress must be physically inspected, repackaged and then moved to the warehouse.
This infers that the mattress is to be sold again as new. But it’s not new! It may be contaminated with bed bugs, dust mites and many other contaminants – some human, some not. If your mattress retailer admits to charge a restocking fee for returns, ask why. Ask what work is done on the mattress before being returned to stock. Most will give a satisfactory answer. The mattress restocking fee should cover the cost of steam cleaning and decontamination to make the mattress like new again.
F. Mattress Exchange Fee
Do they charge a mattress exchange fee? Do you pay a fee over and above the difference in price between your original and your new mattress? Again, some do and some don’t. You should establish this prior to making your original purchase. If you have a budget then an exchange fee could conceivably take you above it.
G. Terms and Conditions
Always check the Terms and Conditions before returning any mattress. Some offer no returns or exchanges if the mattress is in any way marked or dirty. Some even insist the original labels and stickers must be attached. Many states that you void any guarantees if you clean the mattress yourself, rather than having it done professionally.
For this reason, it is strongly advised that you use a mattress protector, at least until you have decided to keep it. Make sure you read the Terms and Conditions from start to finish. Yes, it’s a bore, but do it – or get your better half to do it!
Advice On Mattress Returns: Conclusion
This advice on mattress returns and exchange is very important to anybody purchasing a new mattress, whether online or in a mall store. It should be easy to find Terms and Conditions on a retailer’s website when buying online. Not so easy when from a physical store. However, all you need to do is to ask and the vendor is unlikely to refuse. If they do, then simply buy elsewhere.
All of the above policies are available to you – either on the website, in a brochure or through the simple act of asking! Some people don’t like to ask, but just think about this: retailers are quick enough to ask you to pay and quick enough to wiggle out of any issue you have with them! Give them no wiggle room! They have the information so get it from them.
In conclusion, it is the retailer that should offer advice on mattress returns and exchange – you should not have to ask. But if you do ask then they are legally bound to give it to you. Do not be afraid to ask about your rights. Vendors, stockists, and manufacturers all have a legal duty to respond.