The Mattress saga continues...
Regular readers of my blog will already know that my new dream mattress - the one that cost over £650 and purchased back in April - is as far from being heavenly as the Devil himself. It has become the most frustrating purchase of my life. Not only was the first mattress faulty in that it had a large crater in it which I fell into while asleep, but the replacement mattress also happens to be faulty. I know... I couldn't believe it either.
Sealy mattresses are all handmade in Cumbria and take six weeks to make, so all that time I had to make do, sleeping either side of the looming dent. I was not a happy girl. At the same time as having an imperfect and shorter night's sleep I was also having to put up with my opposite neighbours from hell having all night parties and purchasing 3, yes 3 Staffordshire Pit Bull cross terriers, who decided to wait til I had actually fallen asleep to have dog fights. Nice.
After a hideous wait, I finally had my replacement mattress delivered. I had only slept on it for a few hours when I had the strange feeling that my feet were higher than my head. I rotated the mattress, got back in and prayed. No... there was also another dent in the middle as well as the mattress sort of sloping off at the end. 'Shite' was not the word I used but it will suffice here. I rang the bed shop the following morning and told the manager. He sighed and said he would put me through to their new bed expert. "Oh" I said, "What happened to Stan?". Stan had been the mattress salesman I had dealt with the first time around. "We fired him, he was incompetent" he said casually. Oh. So, I was put through to Duwayne. It started fairly well on the phone, apart from not quite understanding anything he said to me. Duwayne had a very strong Jamaican accent mixed with South London street talk. Now, I like to think, living in multi-cultural London, that I can decipher most accents but Duwayne not only spoke with an accent but he threw in a lot of Jamaican Patois slang as well. I kept asking him to repeat himself but to no avail. Finally, we managed to understand each other enough to get a date in the diary for him to come and test my mattress. The following Sunday I awaited Duwayne. The first sign that things weren't going to go as smoothly as I wished, were the 4 times he rang me asking for directions to my house. Stupidly, I thought he may have actually made a note of my address and even more ridiculously thought that he may have bothered to look up my address in the A to Z or even...god forbid, the internet to find the best route??? But no, Duwayne had left his house (in Brixton... only 2 miles away) with just my name and phone mumber. So he was proving quite rapidly that he was not the tightest spring in the bed shop!
I started to get a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach when Duwayne rang to say he was lost in my car park! Without thinking, I grabbed my iphone, put it on top of my stereo in the bedroom and set it up to record our entire conversation. I actually thought it was quite a genius idea. It would be evidence if things went awry. Duwayne finally arrived looking a little flustered and muttered an embarrassed apology. He then began to look at my bed from all angles, standing up, squatting down, took a series of photographs, measured the dip with a ruler and bounced up and down on it a bit. I tried to explain the main problems with it... the sloping mattress, the lack of support in the centre and the fact that it sounded, when pressed, as if it had a giant crisp packet sewn into it. He laughed raucously at everything I said and wrote it down in his notebook. Half the things he said in return I didn't understand or misinterpreted because of his accent. When I later played the recording back, I was in fits of giggles because all I seemed to do was complain a bit and then say "sorry" or pardon".
At one point, Duwayne looked at me very seriously and said "Missus Sallarr (I had already corrected him on that one about 10 times), I agree wiv you the mattress is faulty innit, so I fink you should get a new one from us riiiiight?". I agreed relieved, then protested immediately saying there was no way I would trust the Sealy mattress for a third time and that I either wanted a different product or my money back. He rubbed his chin, shook his head and said "awwwwright Missus Sillar... we be giving you a new mattress. Our new model is so bling right, its got a silver cover and evryfink, it's totally sweet. You will luv it riiiight?". I laughed saying I didn't give a hoot what it looked like, I just wanted it to be good. He said "Oh it's good Missus Sallar, don't you worry, it's got a bog ting innit?" "Sorry?" I said. Duwayne smoothed his hand over my mattress and said again with a knowing look "It's got a bog ting. You know?". I wasn't at all sure, no. "What?" I said. He frowned and said really loudly and slowly "A bog ting. It protects the mattress from bed bogs!" Ohhhhhhhhhh. So the new mattress had some sort of mattress protector to prevent against bed bugs! Right. A fit of giggles from me and he said "I is trying to member wot the mattress is called." He rubbed his chin again and said "Oh yeah... it's called the broccoli." Oh God, here we go again. I pointed out that I was sure the manufacturers would not name their product after a vegetable but he insisted. "I fought vat was weird too innit. And I hate broccoli". I discovered a few days later, the actual name of the new mattress was called the Brockley.
Duwayne left and I was satisfied we had come to an agreement that my mattress would be replaced or I would get my money back. I didn't hear from him for 4 days even after repeatedly calling the shop and leaving messages. I finally got through to the manager who said Derranne (so I'd totally got his name wrong too) had been off sick but had written his report saying he was in total agreement with me and that there was a fault with the mattress. They were just waiting from head office to see how to proceed.
A few days later I get a call from an independent mattress tester telling me they needed to look at my mattresses. They had been hired by Sealy themselves as they had severe doubts upon receiving Derranne's report. Noooo, this can't be happening. I was at my parents house at the time of receiving this news and was upset to say the least. I rung Derrane to ask him why they doubted his report and he cut me dead and said "Missus Sellis, did you know it is illegal to record someone's conversation without them knowing?" Gulp! Oh my God. In my frustration days earlier, I had told his colleague that I had evidence that Derranne had agreed with the fault. Stupid stupid girl. The colleague must have told Derranne. He continued "Missis Sallar, i was in the Jamaican police force for ten years and i know my rights. What you have done is a serious offence innit!" Oh shit. "Miss Sollur, if you use this against me there will be consequeces riiight?" I must have gone very pale. All my parents heard me quietly say was "Derrane, are you threatening me?" He laughed heartily and said "Noooo, is awright, I'm just saying is all, innit?" Scary scary Jamaican Police man. Not funny! My Father was having none of it and offered to write, what our family call "A shocked and bewildered" letter to the management. It was brilliant. Beautifully written, sufficiently appalled and incredulous at their behaviour and hitting just the right tone. And it worked.
The next day I got an apology, an email and lots of bowing and scraping. BUT... I would still have to have my mattress tested by the experts in order for me to get a full refund. So the bloody mattress saga continues. I am now awaiting Alan, the mattress inspector, to give me his verdict! I will certainly NOT be recording this conversation. Alan could be ex bloody SAS for all I know!