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‘Broken and frustrated’ mum’s bed-buying saga

Fighting delays, faults and poor customer service to get a faulty bed replaced

‘Broken and frustrated’ mum’s bed-buying saga

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Dear Which?

Caroline Varney-Bowers
Caroline Varney-Bowers

I’ve been strong throughout a combination of lockdowns and my son’s cancer treatment, but I’ve been left feeling totally broken by a very frustrating exchange with Mattressman.

When my son finished his treatment at the end of August 2020, I promised him a new bed. I got him a nice new memory foam mattress and went to Mattressman in Norwich to order him a divan base, as I figured it would be a good solid bed base.

We were originally told delivery would take five or six weeks. But, due to how difficult things were last year, delivery took more than 12 weeks, which we understood and accepted.

Within three weeks of it being delivered the bed frame broke on both sides. The quality of the bed was disappointing – when looking at the damage I knelt on the top of the base and my knee went straight through it.

I contacted Mattressman 20 days after the bed was delivered to ask for a refund or a replacement and was told to wait while it spoke to the manufacturer about the damage. Three weeks and several phone calls later I was only offered 20% off a new bed and told to dispose of the broken bed myself.

It just feels so wrong. They said it must have been hit with some force but it’s just had normal use for three weeks. It will cost me a fortune – not only was I refused a refund, but I’d have to pay for a council collection to get rid of the broken bed and still buy a new one.

I don’t have faith in the product anymore and I want a refund, especially after this experience. What can I do?

Caroline Varney-Bowers

Put to Rights

Which? consumer rights expert Adam French says…

I’m so sorry a company can put you through this at such a difficult time. Delays, shocking customer service and poor communication can create an enormous amount of distress – especially when it involves something expensive such as a new bed.

From your description, it sounds like the bed frame is faulty. The Consumer Rights Act gives you a clear early right to reject goods that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described, and get a full refund.

The Consumer Rights Act is also clear about who is accountable, the retailer is responsible for putting it right if it sells you a faulty product – at no further cost to you.

You have 30 days from receiving ownership of a faulty product to demand a refund, after that you must give the retailer an opportunity to repair or replace it before you can demand a refund.

After we spoke to Mattressman a replacement bed was delivered and the faulty bed was taken away.

A spokesperson for Mattressman said: ‘Once the customer’s issue with their bed and the details surrounding it were brought to our attention, the manufacturer’s judgement was reassessed by our directors and the bed was replaced within 24 hours.’

The story didn’t end there, however, as the replacement bed was also of poor quality. You have now been refunded and your son is finally getting a comfortable night’s sleep. Our intervention seems to have done the trick as you told us: ‘Mattressman went to the other extreme of all-out helpfulness’.

Need to know:

  • You have 30 days from taking ownership of a product (this could be the date of purchase or the date it was delivered to you – whichever is later) to claim a refund if it is faulty.
  • After this time you have to give the retailer an opportunity to repair or replace it before you can claim a refund.
  • In the first instance, write to the customer services department politely and objectively, so you have a written record as evidence. Then escalate if you’re not happy with the response.
  • Quote the relevant laws (take a look at our Consumer Rights advice guides for help), and say what you want to happen – a refund, repair or replacement.


Get in touch.
If you’ve got a consumer rights problem you need put right, email us at yourstory@which.co.uk

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