Simmons Fluffs Hotel Mattress Price By $500

UPDATE: Simmons contacted Charles today, and the situation has been settled. As some commenters here guessed, the confusion came from the sales rep misreading the number 3 for an 8 on the computer screen. Everyone can rest easy tonight, even if it’s not on a fluffy mattress.

Charles stayed in a nice hotel, and liked the mattress he slept on so much that he decided to order one for his very own home. Now, after a series of over-the-phone misunderstandings, he’s about to be stuck with a comfy bed at a price much higher than he was originally quoted.

I am writing to see if this has happened to anyone else. I recently stayed in a nice hotel and slept great on their bed. When I mentioned this to the front desk, they said that the bed was available for purchase from beddingconcierge.com. The site directed me to call an 800 number to order that hotel’s mattress directly from Simmons.

Simmons quoted me 1,349.00 for a king size with box spring. They also mentioned it would be $1,249.00 without the box spring. I ordered the box spring and gave them all my details. 5 days later, there is still no confirmation email and my credit card was charged 1,849.00. I called them back and the same person I had talked to before (Riley) said that 1,849.00 was the correct price and always has been.

Now I am stuck with this bed and my only option is to return it when delivered in two weeks or keep it at an extra $500. My open window to cancel before shipment passed because they changed all the “c” in my email address to “b” for some reason. I guess when I said “C” as in Charlie, she heard that as “B” as in Barley. So I never go the receipt.

The same dysfunction this person has that changed C to B must also be what changed 8 to 3 when talking since I confirmed price 3 times before ordering. Has this happened to anyone else? I still haven’t decided what to do with the bed.

Did Charles and the sales rep collectively mishear each other, or is this some sort of bait and switch? It’s only Charles’ word against the sales rep’s, with no written price quote or confirmation e-mail to back either side up.

What would you do in this situation? Keep the bed, send it back, or keep the bed and fight the company for the $500 price difference?

(Photo: quinnanya)

Comments

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  1. Coles_Law says:

    Unfortunately, with no reciept and no proof of a $1349 price, a chargeback will likely fail. Maybe EECB? If that fails, send it back.

    • egoebelbecker says:

      @Coles_Law:

      What are the rules when an online (or phone) company never sends the receipt? Who’s responsible? It may be worth a try, especially for the sake of $500.

      P.S. Is this some sort of exclusive model that cannot be purchased locally? Returning it or a chargeback might not mean you can’t get the bed you want for the price you expect. At least at a local store you have a better chance of not getting hustled.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      @Coles_Law:
      It sounds like they’re willing to take it back and refund his money, so why would a chargeback even be considered?

      • Stile4aly says:

        @Cant_stop_the_rock:

        A chargeback wouldn’t be considered in this case. If you have a pricing dispute with the merchant then you must return the merchandise per their guidelines. If you don’t adhere to their return/refund guidelines the bank cannot help you.

      • Stile4aly says:

        @Treasurer:

        You still have chargeback rights on a debit card (working in a debit card claims department for a major bank I would know). You have practically all the same rights as you do on a credit card, the only difference being that it’s your money that can be tied up in limbo (for a maximum of 10 business days) rather than the bank’s money.

        That being said, a chargeback really doesn’t apply here. You’ve received merchandise that you don’t want because of a pricing issue. It’s your duty to return the merchandise. The bank can’t force the merchant to change the price absent of proof.

      • Stile4aly says:

        @nucwin83:

        That isn’t how a chargeback works. Visa and Mastercard require a certain level of proof before a customer can issue a chargeback. For a “wrong amount” situation you need proof of the amount you should have been charged (ie a receipt or invoice). Absent that proof a chargeback will simply be represented by the merchant, case closed.

        A chargeback is a useful tool in certain situations, but it is not a panacea and it is not a substitute for working with the merchant for a good faith resolution.

      • Shadowman615 says:

        @Cant_stop_the_rock: I imagine the return shipping costs are not trivial for a mattress and box-spring

      • Coles_Law says:

        @Cant_stop_the_rock: It shouldn’t. I was hoping to pre-empt the ‘chargeback crowd’. From the looks below, I failed.

  2. italianscallion33 says:

    He should complain to a higher-up. He doesn’t have to let this be between him and the stupid salesperson.

    It’s possible that they originally quoted him some sort of members price (like, you have to be a hotel owner to get the better prices, and they assumed he was at first even though he’s not). But that is just a shot in the dark.

    Call back and ask for a manager or something.

    • Josh_G says:

      @italianscallion33:
      I’d wager you hit it dead on and they are probably covering for their mistake. Either that for the salesmen just needs better glasses and mistook the 3 for an 8 on his screen.

  3. eskimo81 says:

    That’s what chargebacks are for.

  4. Chmeeee says:

    I would call again as a new customer and see if I could get a price quote, see if they provide the $1349 price again.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      @Chmeeee:
      Good idea

    • summerbee says:

      @Chmeeee: Definitely a good idea. In fact, I sort of want to try. OP, if you’re out there — what’s the 800 number?

    • Leksi Wit says:

      @Chmeeee: Also, do they record and/or monitor calls for “better service”? If so, have them yank the tape. This will require talking to a manager.

      But in the end, a good mattress usually does cost around 2grand. If the regular price really is around $1800 and the rep just misquoted the first time, you should keep it and enjoy the mattress.

  5. Treasurer says:

    Did the individual put it on a credit card to allow a chargeback, or did they put it on a “fake” credit card (a debit card)? This is why I don’t use a debit card for purchases – you use that capability.

    • Megalomania says:

      @Treasurer: He cannot and has no need to issue a chargeback because they’re willing to give him a refund if he returns it. A chargeback, like an EECB, is a last resort that will only exacerbate things if you use it like a magic get out of jail free card in every situation.

  6. tgrwillki says:

    Return the mattress and take your business elsewhere. Better Mattresses can be had for much less money.

  7. No_Moleste says:

    The entire mattress industry is incredibly shady. One massive scam to rip you off… If you can’t work something out before it ships, refuse the shipment when it comes. Don’t know if this will help at all but its worth a look…
    [www.mattressscam.com]

    • captadam says:

      @No_Moleste: I’ve seen mattress stores from coast to coast, and they are always having sales! Half off! Free frame! And the stores are almost universally set up in the same way: a big, empty expanse of bare mattresses set up for you to test drive, with a little desk in the back corner.

      Why??

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      @No_Moleste: @tgrwillki: thee’s a place here in Charlotte, called “The Original Mattress Company” (also in Raleigh NC under the name “Original Mattress Factory”)
      their entire sales pitch is based off of the whole “why pay more” and “buy direct” – they have an actual factory inside their stores… they claim to have superior quality for a lower price. I bought my mattress from them several years ago, and have been pretty happy with it.

  8. missy070203 says:

    I would return it….

  9. thepill says:

    At the very least, I’d try taking it up the chain of command. Maybe the call was recorded?

    If it isn’t resolved, I’d return the mattress on principle.

  10. henwy says:

    I don’t get the problem here. They’re not charging you for the return, right? Return the damn thing. It’s not what you wanted to pay for the item so don’t keep it.

    • PSUSkier says:

      @henwy: They might expect him to pay return shipping for it…. In which case that could add to a pretty severe degree to the cost. Unless he refuses the shipment upfront.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @PSUSkier: He would have to refuse shipment, but you can’t trust shipping companies. They will leave things even if you left a note to refuse. Because it’s easier for them.

  11. bkdlays says:

    Ok, I will make a suggestion that it the universal answer for 90% of issues on here. CHARGEBACK!

    Also you can refuse the delivery, which I highly recommend.

    In the meantime call your credit card company and let them know you didn’t authorize the charge and your done.

    Buy your bed somewhere else. Also file a complaint with the hotel for a shady deal. Done.

    • korybing says:

      @bkdlays: Can you prove a chargeback when you have no receipt of the original quoted price, though?

      • GildaKorn says:

        @korybing: Don’t think it matters. I mean, he doesn’t have the receipt for the higher price, either.

      • nucwin83 says:

        @korybing: Can they prove he authorized the higher price? I’m pretty sure playing back the tapes of the CSRs will show that he agreed to the 1349 price. Lacking something like a signature or a recording of the customer agreeing to the higher price, I would hope that the credit card company would side for their cardholder.

    • coren says:

      @bkdlays: A chargeback is a bad call here. Aside from lack of proof, they’re fully willing to accept a return – now, if they weren’t, that would be a different matter..

  12. Anonymous says:

    I submitted this. Returning the mattress only get me, ANOTHER mattress. It is a custom built bed thing, stupid I know. I never planned to buy it but the quoted price seemed really low so I went for it. Purchased this on my Discover card. I have never done a chargeback before, so I am not sure how that is done. I’ve only been on Consumerist for a few months. But Today is my birthday, and I am now an example of how to be conned. I will donate to the tip jar to show thanks for helping, and I will call Discover to see what a chargeback is all about. Since they didn’t have my real email address, they have since mailed me a receipt.

    • mzs says:

      @ClaudioBrutus: The charge back process was pointless for me in two cases with Discover. Discover will surely agree with the company that since it was special order and you have no receipt that there are no grounds for the charge back. I feel sorry for you since I had my bad experiences as well, it’s worth your shot, but really the chances are very slim in your case.

      For example Discover agreed with the seller that me paying for return shipping (okay by me too) and being charged 30% restocking fee on an MP3 player (DOA) they no longer carried was fair. Why would they restock a SanDisk that does not even turn on? Oh so they can sell it to the next sucker.

  13. UX4themasses says:

    So the name is wrong on the invoice, the dollar amount is incorrect and you think you are stuck?

    It sounds like you don’t want to escalate for some reason which makes this even shadier. Is the hope that consumerist.com will somehow take up the cause and do your job as a consumer?

    1. Chargeback. You received no receipt and when you did receive a receipt it was for the wrong dollar amount agreed and the information is completely wrong.

    2. Call the BBB/Local AG. This is illegal to do as they have no proof of consent by the OP for the charge at that price.

    3. EECB is a waste of time with companies like this. It is the executives that are the ones telling this CSA they have to overcharge. I guarantee that there is a policy that required her to add the 500 for the box spring versus 100. She made an error and pushed it to the OP.

    Overall, this OP needs to get some testicular fortitude and stand up for yourself. Don’t come to the consumerist because you are too lazy. sorry.

    • katstermonster says:

      @UX4themasses: Oh yeah…I think we all missed number 2. He definitely didn’t explicitly consent to a charge of that amount. Challenge it!!!

    • lincolnparadox says:

      @UX4themasses: It certainly takes some testicular fortitude to simply quote all of the advice that came right before your post, and then blame the victim.

      The guy was asking for advice, not insults.

    • nakedscience says:

      @UX4themasses: “Overall, this OP needs to get some testicular fortitude “

      Are you kidding me? You need to get that stick out of your ass.

    • coren says:

      @UX4themasses: Chargeback is a bad bad bad idea here. It will likely fail, especially as they are willing to accept a return

      • David Schwartz says:

        @coren: It makes no difference if the chargeback fails or not. Whether or not your credit card company charges back the merchant simply determines whether your dispute is with the merchant or the credit card company. It doesn’t change the nature of the dispute. In either case, you do not pay the disputed amount until you are either sued or convinced you owe it.

        Some people have a double misunderstanding about a chargeback:

        1) If the bank charges back the merchant, they think that settles their dispute. It does not. The merchant still believes they are owed the money are are still fully justified in coming after you for it.

        2) If the bank does not charge back the merchant, they think they have to pay the bank. This is not true. If you do not owe the merchant (because of fraud, error, or any other reason) you do not owe the bank for the same reason.

        The bank is (in a sense) like the merchant’s collection agency. If they think the charge is not legitimate, they will not collect for the merchant, but they can still collect on their own. If they think it is legitimate, and you don’t, you shouldn’t pay the bank just as you wouldn’t pay the merchant.

  14. captadam says:

    Why, oh, WHY is the mattress-selling business so damned shady? Without fail!

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      @captadam:
      I agree. You pretty much have to buy a mattress with the understanding that you WILL get overcharged, no matter where you go (we’re talking about nice mattresses – not the recovered pee-pee mattresses sold as new that those bargain stores carry in which case, you are DEFINITELY NOT getting a deal).

  15. theblackdog says:

    I’d return the mattress and look elsewhere for it. Didn’t someone point out a few months ago on consumerist that manufacturers tend to make the same exact mattress but slap different labels or model numbers depending on the store it was going to?

  16. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I’ve been told by a long-time retailer that the retail mattress business has one of the highest profit margins of any retail business. That’s hard to believe with the sheer number of mattress outlets and advertised discounts. It’s a very strange business, I think. I’m glad I won’t need to buy another mattress for quite a while.

  17. Brazell says:

    WHAT THE HELL CONSUMERIST?!

    It’s 9:00am on a cold, rainy, New England day and you’re showing pictures of someone passed out in a ridiculously comfortable looking bed. This should be a freaking crime.

  18. SeanMacATL says:

    I guess it occurred to no one on here that $1349 and $1849 look a LOT alike on a crappy computer screen. To be frank, it’s the reason I CTRL+Scroll-up the size on my excel sheets at work (I want a new monitor!!!)

  19. ztoop says:

    Just get a membership and go to costco. They have fine mattresses at the correct price – i.e. what the stores should charge. My wife and I both purchased mattresses at one time (before we were married), I spent days finding the cheapest price for my mattress, and she went into costco and got a slighly fluffier mattress from the same manufacturer (with same 10 yr warranty, and mattress class) at the same price I paid.

    • ztoop says:

      @ztoop: The bigger point was, that my mattress was on sale, and that price was only available for about a week, and then it was $200 more (which was still cheaper than at a typical mattress store).

    • chazcarr says:

      @ztoop:

      I have one, this is a custom order bed. Not for sale anywhere else. Except it probably is under a different name.

    • larkknot says:

      @ztoop: Sam’s Club is just as good as Costco – I just bought a kingsize Serta Eurotop mattress and box spring for about $778, plus that weekend they were running a promotion for a $100 gift card with purchase.

  20. pop top says:

    Stories like this make me dread having to buy a new mattress. I’ve been looking to get a new mattress for a few months, but I keep putting it off because of this kind of stuff. I’ll have to check out that Mattress Scam site though, it looks interesting.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So the Mattress was $1249, Box spring was an additional $100. So what about shipping and taxes? Or do they not apply to phone orders where the OP is from?

  22. Joyce Godsey says:

    sounds like a set up, in collusion with the hotels. call your credit card company. cancel it and refuse delivery. bait and switch is illegal. these guys aren’t going to get an straighter.

  23. frank64 says:

    I bet you get a phone call if you refuse delivery and they offer you the cheaper price.

  24. mavrick67 says:

    Got a new king mattress a Sams club, Serta Pillowtop, under $700. would never walk into a mattress store again

  25. takes_so_little says:

    Count my vote for RETURN (if no cost to you) and shop somewhere else. I would also include a friendly letter. I don’t doubt the peons f’d this up, but it’s possible that the higher-ups might appreciate knowing this kind of thing is going on and lost them business. I employ an independent contractor from time to time in my business, and if I knew he screwed up an account with incompetence, I’d definitely want to know even if I had already lost the account.

  26. William Brinkman says:

    This piece has a really great title.

  27. Crim Law Geek says:

    Maybe a call to the hotel that refereed you. The hotel’s referral to these a-holes reflects badly on the hotel. Presumably the hotel is a good client of the shady mattress company, and maybe they have some pull.

  28. vladthepaler says:

    Best refuse delivery of the mattress. That’s an awful lot of money to fork over to a company which is at best incompetant and at worst dishonest.

  29. Deranged_Kitsune says:

    I say return it and never do business with them again. Let them know explicitly that their bait-and-switch and sales incompetence is what lead to it. An EECB might work, but be mindful of the return window and send the mattress back within it, unless you explicitly see a refund of the difference show up during that time. Even so, this would be the last time I’d do business with Simmons.

    The only way companies like this will learn is if their bottom line is impacted. Nothing else will get through to them.

  30. Sean Killeen says:

    I was also curious about whether shipping & taxes have been taken into consideration in this situation.

    If they have, then it sounds like a bait & switch scam. If you’re willing to spend some time, I would put call them first, speak to a manager (or a few levels up), and calmly and politely explain the situation and that if you don’t receive the price that you were quoted you will file a chargeback, refuse delivery, and report them to the Better Business Bureau and other local consumer centers near them and near you.

    This way, you give them the opportunity to make it right and they’re made aware of the stakes, too, and your calmness throughout the matter will allow them to take you seriously and want to help you out.

  31. robotrousers says:

    If the mattress is as good as he says, 1849 is a good price. Especially if he ordered direct from the manufacturer.

  32. coren says:

    What hotel did the OP stay at? I’m gonna do some digging here but I need that tidbit first

  33. BlueEyesTM says:

    It depends if he still wants the bed or not.

    If he can live without it (and the huge increase in price), when it arrives he should “REFUSE” delivery. Have it returned to sender. They will have the bed back in their possession. Reason: unauthorized charge amount. He should also contact his credit card company. A chargeback isn’t that difficult to do, so long as he gave the company the chance to fix the problem themselves (ie: fix to quoted price), and has not accepted or returned the merchandise already.

    If he still wants to keep the bed, start with filing a complaint (online) with the Better Business Bureau. More often that not, this is all the leverage you will need. But in the event that the company ignores the BBB, go to your local courthouse and file a small claims action against them. Once again, very easy to do and many courts allow you to file an action online. The forms are usually very simple. You pay a small fee (which you can get back if you win), and show up and explain what happened. They’ll have to send someone from their company to speak for them, but they cannot use an attorney in small claims court. And while he’s a it, supenoa the salesperson he made the deal with and who sent the receipt to the wrong email address. Sometimes just being served with a small claims action will motivate the company to ‘make things right.’

  34. chazcarr says:

    the hotel was NYLO Providence

  35. chazcarr says:

    Returning the bed simply gets me a new one (must be returned for a defect reason) not a refund.

  36. QrazyQat says:

    I go with the buy some other mattress option. Get a firm foam mattress and a 3″ memory foam topper (as recommended by Brad Pitt!). Works great and should cost no more than half the price of his original quote.

  37. RobertBaron says:

    I think he could be pretty much screwed since there’s no paper trail. All he can do at this point is continue arguing with CSR’s until he gets to someone who can fix it. In the meantime, he shouldn’t accept delivery of the mattress.

    If all else fails at the point, and he has not accepted the mattress and the company continues to try and charge him in some accept, then he should initiate a chargeback, file a complaint etc.

    Some other thoughts as well… That additional 500 could also be taxes and shipping.

    Also has the OP called again as if a new customer and asked what the price of the mattress is? If

  38. Aaronjk says:

    This kind of situation makes Skype with the “Pamela” call recorder sound so good. Wouldn’t it be nice to tell them you have a recording of the call… even though they record everything “For quality assurance” and that you want the quoted price!!

  39. H3ion says:

    Why does the woman in the photo have a stranglehold on that poor kitten?

  40. KMan13 still wants a Pontiac G8 says:

    what confuses me is not how they misread $1349 from $1849, but then how did they get $1249 for without a boxspring? did they misread that from $1749?