Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sealy finale

A Thanksgiving theme, in part. We can be thankful that some retail establishments stand up to their role in offering quality products over time. Defective products can reflect upon their reputation; sometimes, one might think that they're caught between two immovable forces: shoddy production and design practices on the one side, discriminating consumer on the other.


A bedroom stands empty since the retailer removed the mattress and refunded the purchase price. The consumer is now venturing, again, upon a quest for a good mattress; perhaps, the events described below will allow for a more informed decision.

Too, additional information, such as that provided by sleeplikethedead will be part of the decision process. It is interesting that the particular manufacturer rates low in customer satisfaction.


So, what happened with this consumer? Firstly, a mattress set was delivered in June, 2010 (yes). As the delivery folks were setting up the bed, the lift strap broke. That is, the mechanism provided to allow one to move the mattress failed. Ought the consumer have accepted this set?

A few weeks later, the second set was delivered which then allowed the consumer to become acquainted with the bed set. Ah, what was a firm mattress had obvious soft spots. How could that be?

These earlier posts depict what occurred as the consumer tried to find out what was what. Is firm 'firm' in the modern parlance?
  • - Sealy snafu (Feb 8, 2011) -- It took from July 2010 until February 2011 to get Sealy to send out someone to look at the mattress. This was after several go-arounds with their filtering process (is this to weed out those who don't follow through?). And, the first complaint was registered within five days of starting to use the mattress.
  • - Sealy saga (Feb 15, 2011) -- Sealy went from a point test to one that averages across a fairly large expanse, perhaps due to an excessive amount of returns. The averaging test made rejection a whole lot harder for the consumer. However, using weights in a consistent fashion allowed the problems to come to fore in a measurable, repeatable fashion.
  • - Sealy shimming (Feb 26, 2011) -- The net result was that there had to be shims put on the mattress in order to prevent sinking into the soft spots. That is, in order to provide a sleeping platform, the mattress had to be reinforced in several areas.
  • - In April, the retailer (not Sealy) honored the consumer's analysis (described in the above posts) and decided to replace the mattress. When it arrived, the consumer accepted the mattress with only a casual review. However, before use, the consumer did have a closer scrutiny, and the mattress was found to be full of flaws. It had soft spots, even without use. It had mangled sewing (even Sealy admitted this). However, they had to send out the guy, again, before doing anything. That whole process took some time.
  • - So, this time, Sealy said that they would replace the mattress (before, it had been the retailer who stepped up). In the meantime, a shimmed Sealy (Stearns and Foster) was in use by the consumer. The replacement mattress, this time provided by Sealy, was scrutinized before the consumer would accept it. Why? Sealy's policy makes it obvious that the only way to reject is to scrutinize for flaws prior to signing. Was the mattress acceptable? No. Hence, the mattress went back.
  • - At that point, we were talking four flawed mattresses (the user satisfaction rating is low, the consumer found out). Why are so many flaws overlooked? You see, it's hard to do the proper lookover while crew is awaiting one's decision. Besides, there is the social pressure to not make waves. And, some of these things are not easily seen. Where is the quality control inspection at the plant that ought to be looking for these obvious shortcomings?
  • - Since the time of that latest delivery attempt, early summer of 2011, the consumer has been in discussion with the retailer. They do offer the brand and have to give their stamp of quality. It was obvious that four strikes ought not to be ignored.
  • - So, the decision, finally, was for the consumer to return the thing and get refunded.

That event puts the consumer at square one, again. Frustrated, of course, in having to go through this whole thing, again. The final choice from the upcoming decision process will be reported once it has been made. In fact, there may be a post or two during the interim.


You see, this is under 'oops' since there are several involved. On the consumer's part, one big 'oops' was thinking that brand reputation held up in the modern day. Will we ever get back to how it was before? Too, brand loyalty (the consumer has used Sealy for years) is not the way to go either, evidently.

What 'oops' there are on the manufacturers side we'll not go into, though we could. That is their issue.


What ought Sealy do? Well, pressure test, for one thing. We hear that they spend oodles on research and development. What amount of this effort goes into testing? Of course, if they're doing 'lean' they ought to be making (the building process) their product so as to not have to test (ah, that is the ideal; can it apply in a case like this?).

Sealy, perhaps, is learning something. They are offering 'core support' which looks like an engineering improvement. It would be interesting to find out when this was first offered. As well, there are other modern offerings that indicate some thoughtful design.


Why did the National Sleep Foundation pick Serta? Does that mean anything?


03/03/2012 -- Decision made, after much research, and looking. Se*** (guess). 

Modified: 03/03/2012