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    • SongOfStorms
    • By SongOfStorms 10th Apr 18, 11:09 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Refund from Dreams Beds?
    • #1
    • 10th Apr 18, 11:09 AM
    Refund from Dreams Beds? 10th Apr 18 at 11:09 AM
    Hi Guys,

    I thought I'd run something by you all as a bit of a sanity check and also for advice from peoples experiences with Dreams (or any bed retailer in general).

    Ok, a bit of back story, I'll try to keep it short. We visited our local Dreams branch as they'd come highly recommended by what we now assume are largely shill reviews on Google, TrustPilot et al (I say that because they're copied and pasted across various sites, how many people do you know that would actively seek to do that?).

    We went through their 'Customer Journey' and ended up purchasing a bed and divan set for around 1300, and took out the 8 year warranty. A few weeks went by and it had arrived. Once the delivery guys had left, we noticed that one of the small drawers was essentially stuck in place as the cutout for the drawer wasn't square. Fair enough I thought, these things happen. Contacted Dreams and they replaced the divan.

    After about a month, the mattress had started to sag noticeably where we lay on the bed. We thought it may have just been the memory foam or the quilting 'bedding in'. A couple of weeks later the sagging had gotten worse and a lump was developing in the middle. We contacted Dreams.

    Dreams sent out an 'independent' upholsterer to come and take a look. A week or so passed and the upholster arrived to do his report. He took a measurement of the sagging on the mattress with a piece of string and a piece of card with the depth measurement. Hardly accurate, but he advised that this is what Dreams ask for. He also advised that the threshold was 25mm and this hadn't met it. In order to find the cause he took the mattress off the divan and poked around for a bit he found a small part of the divan's top board that wasn't quite as strong as the rest and decided that it must be the cause. It was at this point I decided this guy was not an upholsterer. I work next door to one. We discussed repairs and our options. He filled in his paperwork and left.

    Dreams got back in touch saying that the report had found that there was a fault with the divan and that we'd requested a replacement. We didn't get a copy of the report at this point.

    A lot of to-ing and fro-ing happened via email as we hadn't said that we wanted a replacement. I know from personal experience that divans don't get sold on or repaired, they go to landfill. I didn't want that, so I requested a repair if he thought it would help. As they were being so obtuse I started demanding a refund. It's actually really funny reading back through emails, as I'm asking them just repair when they want to replace the whole thing at their expense, and they're getting annoyed at me!

    A week or so later a man in a van came to industrialise my divan. Not that it needed it. During our large email bout leading up to this, I got them to state in writing that I would get a refund if the repairs did not work.

    Naturally the repairs didn't make the slightest difference to the mattress. The sagging continued and has now started to deform at the edges, too. We can't even cuddle in bed anymore as the large lump in the middle makes us roll apart! Here starts the real problem. We contacted Dreams again and it has started a new case, with a new handler. We requested that they refund the amount for the mattress and the extended warranty as the rest of the bed is fine. We got a snooty email back saying that they'd have to get someone out to inspect it and we'd only be entitled to a replacement, if anything.

    So far I feel I've been very compliant with their processes and their inability to provide any sort of customer service. I've had enough, and for a good few reasons:

    • The test that Dream request seems reasonable at face value. Lay a line over the bed and you'll see the deviation from perfect horizontal. The issue is that now the bed has started to deform at the edges, the actual measurement is less that it was initially, meaning any report they do is in their favor. I think it's important to keep in mind that their policies and thresholds are not legally recognised, and whether or not the bed is satisfactory is down to the layman's expectations.
    • The threshold in this test is 25mm. The top layer of the bed is 20mm of memory foam. It isn't unreasonable to expect that it is impossible to achieve 25mm without a total failure of the springs. Their own test, by design, can't be met in this situation. They know this.
    • The test doesn't take into account that due to the fact that the outer deformities have pulled the top quilting taught, the measuring card just sits on top of the quilt giving the impression that the sagging is much less than it actually is. Not only that but fitted sheets no longer fit the mattress. It's a nightmare to make the bed, and keep the sheet on for more than 30 seconds without it popping off the mattress. It used to fit, for reference.
    • In addition to the technical issues, I also take issue with the misleading tactics that Dreams used to sell me the bed. Usually when I buy something I laboriously check every detail online and compare everything. But as I'd heard so much about the way Dreams tailors the experience to each person, I thought the 'experts' would know best. I wanted the hard work doing for me, for a change. More fool me, I can take the blame for that decision. After additional research of trademarks and patent numbers etc, I found that Dreams sell re branded Sleepeezee mattresses for triple the price. I'm not bothered about the money so much, as I'd be spending the same regardless of bed I bought, but it does indicated to me that the mattress they were touting as a premium brand with exotic materials is in fact one of the cheapest king sized mattresses out there and obviously the quality reflects this. Under the Consumer Rights Act I can reasonably and legally expect to receive an item worth the amount I paid. It's in there. I elected to pay 1300 for a bed, because the last one I had, adjusting for inflation, was still good after 10 years.
    • My second issue with their tailored service, is that I'm 6'2" and at the time of purchase I was roughly 18 stone and in good shape. I'm not a small guy. Since then I've spoken to actual industry professionals who say I shouldn't have been sold anything less than 2000 springs? We've since demanded the report that the engineer initially carried out and this stated that both of our builds were 'Small'. I quite literally towered over the guy, I've no clue how he could consider either of us to be of 'small' build. I believe this indicative of some sort of agreement the inspection company (I won't name names) has with Dreams, and if it isn't then I was still missold the mattress. They also ask if you're a side or back sleeper, as obviously this dictates the firmness or 'tension' of the bed you require. We're both side sleepers, yet were still sold a medium tension (which is on the firm side of medium, in all honesty).
    • The extended warranty we purchased was for 8 years. I've refused a replacement as it is evident that the poor quality of construction and materials isn't an anomaly, it's the norm for this mattress. I'm not going to allow them to send me a new mattress every 6 months. On general principle, but also to be somewhat environmentally responisble.
    • Lastly, we've both developed back pain which is only alleviated by sleeping on the sofa or on another bed. The problem with the sofas is that you develop other aches and pains! My other half has starting seeing a specialist who believes that the bed would be a reasonable factor in the back pain. This only started when we bought the mattress.

    I've recently spoke to our credit card provider, as they processed the payment. Even though the bed was long paid off, they've agreed to investigate. However, they will need an 'independent' report.

    I feel that I've got a lot of ammunition, but I'm not entirely sure where I should be firing it. These independent reports companies throw at consumers are for liability purposes, I've worked in those sorts of places, so I know why they are done, but I'm wondering if this should be a straight cut consumer rights complaint. They admitted a fault. Took action that they didn't need to take as the fault was with the actual mattress, not the divan, and still continue to refuse to acknowledge that the mattress is at fault. The mattress is 'faulty' because of poor construction, not because its a single bad bed in a batch.

    I don't want to spend my time and efforts barking up the wrong tree, but I do want to come at them with an organised demand and rebuttal, full steam ahead. Is it a refund by a complaint that I'm chasing, or even misselling? I just want this over and done with, so the most efficient resolution. My lawyer advised that I have a case either way I decide to go, but I don't want to have to take them further than small claims, but I will if I have to.

    What's the best next step? Furniture Ombudsman? Trading Standards? Small Claims? Credit card provider? Newspapers and social media?

    As someone who manages a customer facing technical service desk, if someone had had such a drawn out and unpleasant experience with us, I'd have given them what they wanted long ago. It's the right thing to do morally and for PR.

    Wall of text, I know, but we're desperate to get this sorted so we can buy a proper mattress.

    Your input, questions and experiences are welcome!!

    Last edited by SongOfStorms; 10-04-2018 at 11:43 AM.
Page 1
    • Greta Sharbo
    • By Greta Sharbo 10th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    Greta Sharbo
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 7:36 PM
    . My lawyer advised that I have a case either way I decide to go, but I don't want to have to take them further than small claims, but I will if I have to.

    What's the best next step? Furniture Ombudsman? Trading Standards? Small Claims? Credit card provider? Newspapers and social media?
    Originally posted by SongOfStorms
    Post might be a bit too long for many here to read.

    If you've got a lawye don't they have a suggestion as to what to do? What do you mean by further than small claims?

    As to whether you pursue through s75 or direct with Dreams is up to you but you will almost certainly need an independent report either way. Have you got one? (Not sure from the OP?).
    • SongOfStorms
    • By SongOfStorms 11th Apr 18, 9:35 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:35 AM
    Thanks for the reply.
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:35 AM
    Hi, Greta.

    Thanks for the reply, I know its a LOT of text, but I tried to keep it brief and missed quite a lot of things out! I totally understand people not wanting to read it.

    My lawyer is really my last, last, last resort. And obviously there are costs attached to that. The advice I've been given all points to Section 75 which I'd already started anyway. Naturally we are replacing the mattress with one more suitable or any mention of medical issues in court would be met with the question of "why did you keep using it?"

    By 'further than small claims' I simply meant skipping small claims court entirely and building a case. Obviously risky and expensive. Not a route I want to take.

    I'm fairly certain that my Section 75 claim would be rejected on the grounds that the damage doesn't meet THEIR criteria for refund or replacement, should another report be carried out. This is why I'm getting my own done. The original, oddly, measured the damage to the mattress, then blamed the perfectly functional divan for the fault, yet didn't mention that the mattress should be replaced too.

    I was hoping some people may have had similar experiences on here (well, I'd hope not really). I know a lot of people have been through the Dreams meat grinder and eventually have given up. It's a shady company behind the scenes with few assets against it, it is propped up on a month to month basis, which should worry staff somewhat. I've been told by disgruntled ex employees that's why they need to drag these issues out to such an extent, but take from that what you will. I do know, however that they have an unwritten 'no quarter' policy on refunds, from a source that is credible, however.

    I think they've found a way around the legalities of these 'expert reports' by making the 'design specifications' and policies extremely elastic, to the point that a pile of raw materials would be deemed fit for use.

    Thank you for your time, though!
    Last edited by SongOfStorms; 11-04-2018 at 9:38 AM.
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