My regrettable purchase from Dreams

My wife and I needed a new mattress for our bed and after shopping around we decided to make a purchase from Dreams (a UK Bed and mattress store). The sale assistant seemed to know her stuff and we decided on a top-end mattress that cost four figures. I wasn't sold at first, mainly on the price, but with thousands of pocket springs and a memory foam topping that we were told would provide amazing levels of support and comfort we agreed on the purchase.

The sales assistant informed us that although Dreams offer a 40-day money-back guarantee, if we found fault after 40-days to just call in as they've never had any problem with this particular mattress and as Dreams is such a great company she was confident there would be no problem in resolving any issue.

Unfortunately problems started after the 40-days was up. The memory foam was losing its memory in multiple places and the bed was becoming lumpy and uncomfortable. We were waking with dead legs, aching limbs and back pain. We went to the Dreams store where we made our purchase and we were told that as the 40-days was up there was nothing that they could do and we needed to call their HQ.

We contacted Dreams HQ and they arranged for an engineer to come out and perform an inspection within two weeks. The engineer informed us that although the bed was slightly defective, it was not defective enough to be labelled faulty. He explained that it had fallen 19mm in several places but until it reached 25mm it could not be classed as faulty. He advised unofficially that if we continued to sleep on the mattress it would eventually be defective enough to warrant a replacement. We would just have to endure the aching limbs and back pain.

He submitted his report and Dreams closed the case. They were not prepared to progress the matter any further. Our next course of action was the Ombudsman. After a lengthy process they informed us that we would need to pay for our own inspection to be carried out by an independent tester but that as the industry standard would still apply they would also probably find the mattress to not be sufficiently faulty. I decided not to throw away more money for no guaranteed return so the mattress was relegated to the spare bedroom and the old one was put back in place.

Time passed and the mattress as they say was "out of sight out of mind". Well not really. I'd (stupidly?) spent a lot of money on this purchase and every time I saw the Dreams advert on TV saying "Because your sleep matters" it bugged me. I decided to have one last go at trying to get a resolution. I searched the internet looking for somebody high up in the company that I could write a letter of complaint to. I found the email address of the CEO of Dreams.

We composed an email outlining everything we were told by the sales assistant and our experience in trying to get customer satisfaction but failing. When we were finally happy with the email we clicked send. Ten minutes later we were surprised to receive a phone call from the CEO. He explained he'd just gotten out of a meeting (it was 8pm) and he'd read our email on his phone and was saddened to hear of our experience but not to worry as first thing tomorrow when he got into his office he would get it sorted. He said that you can't sell a second-hand mattress and as it's not right it should be sorted.

That night we thought we had finally found someone in Dreams that cared. That thought lasted until the next morning when his colleague phoned us. She was very polite but explained that as Dreams was a business they were not prepared to except a loss of any kind. So an exchange or refund, even a partial refund, was not an option. The best they could do was offer us 20% of our next purchase from Dreams.

Next purchase? Who in their right mind would give even more money to a company that has a huge chunk of your money already and all you have to show for it is a slightly-defective-but-not defective-enough-to-be-faulty mattress?

I composed an email reply to the CEO saying that it was good of him to call us back but that his colleague pointed out that they were a profitable business first and foremost and that my customer satisfaction was not a priority. He replied by email saying that although he understood our frustration, the best he could do was offer 35% off our next purchase at Dreams.

I wanted to write this so others to knew about our experience with Dreams. If you are thinking of making a purchase with them you should know that after those 40-days are up that you are on your own.

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Article date: 2nd March 2016

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