Warning: Actual Consequences To Removing Mattress Tags

Through the ages, comedians have made unfunny jokes about the tags attached to mattresses and pillows, and the dire consequences that can (not) befall the person who dares to remove them. Bryan, however, discovered that there can be serious consequences to removing the tag. And it’s even worse if, as Bryan claims, you’re not the one who removed it.

Mattress shopping is an expensive, confusing, and stressful time. Not only do mattress companies do everything they can to help confuse the consumer, they can provide horrid support after the sale. In 2005, my wife and I purchased a King Sealy Engagement Plush Pillowtop mattress from Mattress Warehouse in Ashburn, Virginia. It was a bit more than we wanted to spend at nearly $2,000.00, but we saw value in the 10 year non-prorated warranty. To us, it was an investment in quality sleep. The mattress set was delivered promptly and my wife and I proceeded to enjoy our new sleep space.

Fast forward four years and the bed is a shadow of its former self. The pillow-top has basically fallen apart as there is very little support on either side of the bed where my wife or I sleep, whereas the center is full of support. Both my wife and I started dealing with nagging back pain nearly three months ago. It has become so bad that she moved into our guest room (where an excellent 13 year old Sealy resides). No problem, I thought, we are well within our warranty window and I can get the mattress fixed or replaced under the warranty.

One thing the salesmen, nor the manufacturers of mattresses tell you is that the law tag on the bed is REQUIRED for all warranty claims. Neither the company we purchased the mattress from, nor Sealy will even talk to us about the warranty without the law tag. This is even though the mattress must have been delivered without the tag as there is nothing on either of our boxsprings, nor the mattress itself and we didn’t remove it (the tag is still on that 13 year old mattress in the guest room). Neither company cares that we still have our original receipt and invoice, we just get no response or “there is nothing we can do”. An attempted EECB seems to be an epic failure without any response either.

So we are now out $2,000.00 due to two companies that don’t stick by their product. Needless to say, I will never buy another Sealy mattress again or spend a dime at Mattress Warehouse. But I at least hope by bringing this up to the Consumerist, others may not find themselves in the same situation. Whenever you buy a new mattress, always be sure to keep your receipt and invoice, and ensure that your mattress has a law tag.

Duly noted. The advice about keeping receipts and invoices applies to other major purchases, too.

Unfortunately, Bryan is quite correct: The Sealy warranty at the time Bryan and his wife purchased their mattress does, in fact, require that the mattress’s tag be intact. Here are their requirements:

In order for this limited warranty to be valid, you must:

1. Be the original consumer purchaser, and have purchased the sleep set from one of our authorized dealers in the United States or Puerto Rico;
2. Provide a copy of the original store receipt, or other proof of date, place of purchase and purchase price; and
3. Provide the law label from the defective product.

Warranty for purchases after June 2003 [Sealy]
Consumer Fraud: Where To File Consumer Complaints [VIrginia Attorney General]

We would recommend filing a complaint with the Virginia attorney general against the retailer that allegedly sold the tagless mattress. Small claims court may also be a good choice. However, it will be hard to come up with evidence of absence of the tag, so we wish Bryan luck and hope to hear how things turn out.

(Photo: Mykl Roventine)