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The Truth About That "FREE" Trial Period On Your Mattress

We're sure you hear enough horror stories about mattress buying, so much so that you attempt to find a store that has a nice long “FREE trial period,” right? Well, you better read the fine print. And yes, I mean read it. Don’t just take the salesperson’s word for it.

You can Google all day long and find stories about people that have shopped for mattresses with long trial periods only to find they are practically stuck with their sub-par mattress. It's very important to know the details of the trial period in question.

So if it isn’t free, then why do some mattress companies call it a "trial period?" As it turns out, just because it is a trial period doesn’t mean it is free. It means trial, test, see-if-it-works. But if it doesn’t work, then you return it, right? Not always. There is a difference between a 100% money-back guarantee and just a trial period. You can have one without the other.

The “Upgrade”: Sometimes you can “return” a mattress but the sales rep will just “upgrade” you. Have you ever noticed that there is never a “downgrade” to a cheaper price with a refund? It is always an upgrade to a more expensive mattress. Mattress sales associates are taught to never give refunds. Instead, they are instructed to “upgrade” the customer to a better mattress, which in most cases means more commissions for the salesperson. The store doesn’t really care if you are happy, they want higher sales, so they “upgrade” you to a better quality in hopes that the mattress will appease you. With this sales tactic, you end up paying MORE, and you still don’t know if you will like the mattress or not. Sometimes the trial period is written as an “upgrade” option only, or worse yet, that very annoying “Store Credit” option. Seriously, do they think we are that stupid? That means you aren’t giving me my money back.

The Restock Fee: One of the sneakiest tactics in the return is the unknown “Restock Fee." Mattress markup is ridiculous. There are mattresses out there that aren’t worth 1% of what they are charging you for them. More often than not the retailer wants a sure thing, so they will make the restock fee their cost. Can you wrap your brain around that? Chances are fairly good that the mattress you spent $3,000 on only costs $300 to manufacture, which, funny enough, is the exact amount of the restocking fee. Go figure. If you read the written trial period details before you buy, you will need to be aware of the restocking fee. If it isn’t in the original paperwork and they try to slap you with a restocking fee, fight it. Don’t let them steal your hard-earned money.

The Avoidance: The most infuriating tactic of them all is avoidance. The salesman has to talk to the manager, who mysteriously is out of town or on another line EVERY TIME YOU CALL! Hello? When did it become okay to avoid customers? When did the world turn on its axis and the customer didn’t come first anymore? I guess I missed that memo because nothing boils my blood more than being ignored as a customer. If I am a customer, a patient, or a client, then I am paying you! So pay attention — I am buying your time. So don’t be bashful. If you are being ignored take a stand and walk into the store and park your tired butt on a mattress until the manager comes to you. Eventually, they will have to get off the phone and come to help you.

That isn’t covered under your warranty: Okay, so here I am going to pause and explain that there is a difference between a warranty claim and a comfort guarantee. A comfort guarantee is just that — all about comfort. But a warranty guards against structural defects and craftsmanship. As I mentioned in a previous post if your engine goes out on your car and it's under warranty the dealership will take care of it. But if you suddenly don’t like the color after six weeks they aren’t giving you your money back. That being said, if you have a mattress that has a comfort guarantee, don’t let them send someone out to your house to check the bed for warranty issues if you just don’t like it. They will say it isn’t a warranty issue and that just makes for a more difficult time trying to get them to honor the comfort guarantee.

So if you purchased a mattress from a company that offers a “free trial” and you can actually return it — have you ever thought about what happens to it? After all, it isn’t a new mattress anymore. Some places are less than honest and will put it back on the showroom floor and sell it as new again. YUCK! If they put your return back who’s to say that the one you purchased didn’t get returned by someone else that didn’t like it? That should keep you up at night.

Other places will send it back to the manufacturer, which leads to another question — what do you think the manufacturer will do with it? Resell it of course! No one is in business to lose money. But you can’t sell used mattresses in most states unless you have a special license. So how do they get away with it, you may ask? Well, I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret in the industry that we here at Pike's Mattress think is sneaky, underhanded, and just plain gross. They can’t sell the mattress because it is used, but they can sell a trailer to some unscrupulous furniture store and, oh, it may happen to have mattresses in it (cue the eye-roll).

Have you ever heard one of those ads on the radio or seen one on TV that says “our prices are so low that the manufacturer won’t even let us say their names!” As Jeff Foxworthy used to say “Here’s your sign." Or, if you have ever seen a place that only has one of each mattress in stock and only in the one size on display? Or the most obvious is the one that has “AS IS” and “NO WARRANTY” stamped on the mattress label? The manufacturer does that because the mattress is used and they are required to do so by law in most states.

At Pike’s Mattress, we do things differently. We are mattress tailors, so if your mattress is too firm or too soft or you sink into it too much, we can make alterations to it. There is a small alterations fee and you will be charged for materials added but it is a fraction of the cost of a new mattress and it will be more tailored to your comfort needs and is a much better alternative to just picking out another mattress that you HOPE will work.

So the next time you think you are shopping in the right place just because there is a “trial period,” think again. As I always say, look for an independent manufacturer. There are a lot fewer of us than there used to be and we work 20 times harder at making our customers happier because we are local and we care.

I hope this post helps you in your search for a better night’s sleep. You deserve it! #YouDeserveSleep. God Bless you and goodnight, my friends.