Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fishing for a Sleep Number bed

Tobey and I sleep on a king-size Serta pillow-top mattress we bought just a few years ago. This is the fourth bed we have owned in the ten years we have been together and it just isn't working out too well. We decided this morning to go to the mall and finally get the Cadillac of all beds: the Sleep Number Bed. By the way, I think I am a 40, so there Lindsay Wagner.

A few months back we took the Sleep Number tour de force at Countryside Mall. We tried every bed, looked at the pluses and minuses of each and weighed the price tag. So today we attempted to bite the bullet, so to speak.

We went back in the Sleep Number store and of course they rearranged everything and had new models now and we had to start from scratch on which model we wanted. I wanted the souped-up Pinto model, el cheapo, but we picked out the midline Toyota Camry one at $3600. We avoided the Ferari model at close to $5,000, which did not include the box springs or bed frame. They also had a special going on that we could either get $300 off of our purchase or get 24 months of interest free financing.

Initially, we had planned on just buying the bed from our savings but since they offered the free financing we figured what the heck and decided to go that route. Tobey gives the salesperson all of the information and we wait to get our approval and find out when the bed will arrive. At that point the salesperson tell us we had been declined. Declined? Declined. The salesman reviewed the credit information and scores and said he had no idea why were declined. He called someone at the finance company that apparently was clueless as well. So there we sit on the foot of a Sleep Number bed: declined.

After the inital shock wore off I said: Excuse me, but that is not even possible. We have never been declined for anything. We just got approved to buy a second home as an investment property and your are telling me we can't finance a bed? There must be some mistake and oh was there. In my opinion it is called Bait and Switch.

Then the salesman tells us that they have two ways to finance: the 24 month, advertised free interest plan or the 3 month free interest plan(which goes to 22% after 3 months and is a 5 year plan). We qualify for the latter. I said that something was fishy in all of this because we can go to any car lot and without a dime, drive off in a new car of our choice, we can finance a house but again: we can't finance a bed? Something just isn't right here. The salesman says that with the economy being what it is they are finding it harder to get people approved and besides, cars are the easiest things to get financing for. Really? Really. What about houses then? Isn't the housing crisis the cause of the 'economy being what it is' and again we can buy a house and land but no bed. Something is fishy.

At this point I had to leave the store before I made a scene. The salesman wanted to ask the other salesman if there was anything else they could do to help us and Tobey stayed behind to discuss it further with them. They had a few suggestions: buy it outright, put it on a credit card or finance at the higher rate, which they pointed out was the same as the rate JC Penney and Sears charge their customers. No wonder we don't have credit cards with them I thought.

In the end we left empty handed and feeling a bit brow-beaten and abused by the Sleep Number Bait and Switch tactics that they were using. To makes things worse, a few weeks ago we received a flyer in the mail advertising Sleep Number beds at reduced prices some place else, actually about 1/3 of the price we were quoted today. But I threw the flyer away and boy, I am really wishing I hadn't done that. As it stands, if they call back and said they made a mistake in the financing, I really don't think I would go in to make the purchase. I am just not all the jazzed by a company that is taking advantage of the economic crisis to deny credit to folks who have good credit simply so they can make even more money by offering a higher percentage rate and a longer pay off time.

**Postscript: I just googled the bank that does their financing and surprise, surprise, it is the same bank that finances JC Penney, Lowes, Wal-Mart Discover, Dillards and Home Depot. I am actually glad now we didn't go through with the financing as there is a list of complaints a mile long about this company on the Consumer Affairs web site.



Oh wow - It is nice to see that Sleep Number cares enough about its reputation to hire a company to scour the internet just looking for bad things said about them. Hello people. Please let Sleep Number know I am none to happy with them and that all my thousands of readers are going to ban your product......If only.

It sounds like the ads for 0% financing on cars, then you read the fine print - "for well-qualified customers only."

Well-qualified meaning Bill Gates and Bernie Madoff.

Also - from what I read on e-pinions, at least half the people who bought Sleep Numbers hated them after a year or two, and several had problems with mold growing in/on them. And apparently their customer service is atrocious.

Look, Supper it cash! Take it from your bald buddy!

Papa?? I aint changing you from Rockin Rob to Papa!

Good points Martha!

wow..sounds like quite a day.

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