Reader Gets Sleep Number To Exchange Moldy Mattress

Like all those people who joined the class-action suit, Consumerist reader Russ has a moldy Select Comfort mattress. Unlike many of them, he was able to use it to get a new bed, and the old bed taken away, for free. Here’s how he negotiated with customer service:

Russ writes:

I called Select Comfort, and informed them that my 3000 series king bed has mold issues, both on the pad and the air chambers. I informed them that I’ve done my research and am fully aware that there is a pending class action lawsuit against Select Comfort for this issue, and as a result I want a new bed shipped to me with return shipping labels for the defective bed. The customer service agent placed me on hold for a minute or so, and then came back and agreed to my request. Select Comfort is sending me a new bed, with return shipping labels.

I’ve always had great success when working with them in the past, but thanks to The Consumerist, I pretty sure I got better service then I would have normally.

Keys to this reader’s success, he…

1. Researched the issue
2. Let them know he knew the facts about how widespread the issue
3. Explicitly asked for what he wanted
4. Read The Consumerist

…taking his experience from a 0 to a 100.

PREVIOUSLY: The Sleep Number Difference Is Mold


Edit Your Comment

  1. Noiddog says:

    I have a sleep number bed, but I haven’t seen any mold on mine. And I’ve taken it apart due to moving a couple of times. Where are all these cases primarily happening?

  2. MickeyMoo says:

    My uneducated guess based on a similar issue with my “Soma” bed (tubes of water in a foam cradle covered with a foam mattress like thing) is that it would be more likely to happen with folks who tend to perspire profusely while sleeping (or….) and who live in humid climates – moisture gets trapped and doesn’t have time to evaporate before your next use cycle..

  3. JohnnyScreamer says:

    I had the same problem with my Sleep Number bed, although the mold was not as bad as in the picture. I called Select Comfort and they sent out new air chambers and padding free of charge. I think we will need to keep checking to make sure we don’t get mold again.

  4. GRODY! That brings back nightmares I had about my waterbed as a teen. I always thought that would get a hole in it and grow some new antibiotic mold under neath it.

  5. velvetjones says:

    This is a good post but I want to point out that I got the same results just by calling and being nice. The Select Comfort people have been great. They sent new parts overnight, etc. I am now 9 months pregnant and I can tell you that even if it was still moldy you’d have to pry my a$$ from that bed, I think it’s the only reason I’m sleeping well at all these days.

  6. wrf3 says:

    I didn’t even have to mention the class action suit. Just called them, told them about the problem, they shipped out parts.

  7. homerjay says:

    What are they doing to the replacements that will keep the same thing from happening again?

  8. Deezul_AwT says:

    I need to call SC. After reading previous posts, I check out my bed. Mattresses and bad looked just like the picture. Never had the problem in the two years we had the bed in Georgia. But after 4 years in Northern Virginia, I got the mold.

  9. GeoffinAround says:

    @homerjay: Select Comfort is getting bailed by HP, who will buy & use parts from the moldy mattresses in their laptop repair division.

  10. homerjay says:

    @GeoffinAround: I don’t get it.

  11. whatdoyoucare says:

    Why would you want another one of their moldy beds? Unless they have addressed their problem(s), I wouldn’t want a replacement. But hey, good job for getting want you wanted.

  12. DadCooks says:

    Russ, Thanks for the “key info” that got results.

    Now…, I sure hope you tell us how long it takes for your new “parts” and return shipping labels to arrive.

    We have a sleep number bed, about 7-years old, that developed a problem with the side foam soon after we got it. Select Comfort sent “improved” replacements and told us to just toss the “bad” parts.

    With this new info, I am now going to check for mold.

  13. bohemian says:

    From what I remember the new parts were a different type of foam that mold won’t grow on as easily. There is still an engineering flaw in the entire bed design concept that is going to grow mold in certain conditions. Having more mold resistant foam will only lessen the amount of spores or how fast they grow. The problem is that the design causes condensation in the space inside the bed. Spending up to eight hours a night breathing in mold spores located near your face is not a good situation. Even the more benign types of mold can cause some health problems.

    Has anyone ever determined what strain or strains are growing in the beds?

  14. RodAox says:

    Congrats buddy…. But guess how many times Dell told me that the parts and the labels were on their way! So you are half way there… hope to see an update on this story such as that you received the requested items.

    Also someone that knows the law… Would this constitute (sending replacement parts for free etc) as admission of guilt ? Because reading that there is a class action law suit they might be reluctant to help….

  15. mspink98 says:

    @JohnnyScreamer and velvetjones-me too. I saw the original story, called SC, and had new parts in hand within a week. Only error was that they shipped a king size bottom pad and we have a queen size bed, but that was quickly solved also. No cost to me, and we simply tossed the old parts. I’ll admit that I went in expecting a fight, but started by being polite and asking nicely. I didn’t even end up having to mention lawsuits and courtrooms. Two friends who also have SC beds had the same experience as me.

    @whatdoyoucare-according to SC, they have since begun treating the components with a mold inhibitor. I’ll be checking once or twice a year to make sure, though. ;)

    As I was talking with my husband about this, we both agree that there’s probably truly nasty stuff lurking in every bed-think about the stuff we do in our beds, from drooling while we’re asleep to…um…other activities. It’s just that we can’t open up a traditional mattress and see it. I think ignorance is bliss for traditional mattress owners (including us, we have one in our guest bedroom that I never even thought of till recently, but I bet it’s gross).

  16. Deezul_AwT says:

    @whatdoyoucare – I’ve already dropped the money on the bed, why not get a free replacement. Unless you want to send me the cash for a new king size bed…

    And EVERY bed has nasties living all over it. Honestly, how many people WASH their beds or turn their mattresses?

  17. Ben Popken says:

    Russ writes: “The bed arrived on Friday (7/18/08), with the return shipping labels. Several people asked what is different about the new bed v/s the old one. First off, they are using a different material, and secondly they have inserted an anti-microbial material between the fabric and the air chambers. Plus I have a new 10-year warranty on the new bed.”

  18. Anonymous says:

    We found the mold problem after another family alerted us to the mold they found. It’s infuriating that we were not notified by mail about this problem. If the company had admitted the problem up front, I wouldn’t have joined the class action lawsuit. Tennessee customer.