Bed and Mattress Warranty
Bed and mattress warranties explained.
It’s accepted practice to receive a warranty with your new bed. For beds, the manufacturer will offer warranty against manufacturing defect. The warranty is usually for a period of 10 years, sometimes shorter (no shorter than 5 years) and sometimes longer. I have known warranties to be offered for as long as 25 years. For mattresses, the manufacturer will usually offer warranty against manufacturing defect for 12 months, sometimes longer. Warranties do not replace your statutory consumer rights.
A popular misconception is that if you have a 10 year warranty for example, you can go back to the store after 9 years and expect a brand new replacement bed if a fault has arisen. This is not the case.
Recently, a customer of ours became upset because after ‘about’ 4 years, her ottoman bed had developed a minor fault. The lid had become misaligned and simply needed some adjustment. I say ‘about’ because she couldn’t provide a proof of purchase; a prerequisite for all warranty claims.
We offered to repair the lid, but her expectation was for us to replace the whole bed with a new one.
If our customer could have proved her date of purchase, any warranty claim would have allowed for the use she had already had of the bed. In this example, the manufacturer provided a 6 year warranty, so with a claim in year 4, under the terms of the warranty, a ‘usage’ charge would apply.
This means that 4/6ths (or 2/3rds) of any claim settlement would be deducted to allow for the time the customer had used the bed. One should not expect to use a bed for 4 years for free.
Warranty document wording is based upon existing consumer law and certain caveats are included. If a bed becomes unsanitary or stained, this will void a warranty. This is why it’s important to buy a mattress protector with your new bed. Actually, I recommend buying two; one for the bed and one for the laundry, then alternate weekly.
If the bed is not used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, this will also void the warranty. A customer of ours bought a super-king size ottoman bed, designed as two halves that join together. He decided not to join the halves and used the beds as two singles. When a fault developed, the manufacturer didn’t honour the warranty.
Compare bed warranties with warranties of other products. If your washing machine develops a fault after 4 years, your appliance supplier is unlikely to offer you a direct replacement. Imagine going back to Mercedes with a 4 year old faulty car, a repair may be effected, but a new car would not be offered as a solution.
Warranties are provided as a reassurance that products are made to a standard. However, they are designed to protect both the consumer and the retailer. If a fault arises within the first 12 months, a replacement bed will usually be provided. After 12 months, some of the responsibility transfers to the user. As time moves on, so the customer’s responsibility increases and the usage charge applies.
If you ever need to claim under a warranty, please be sure to keep you original invoice to prove your date of purchase, ensure you keep you mattress clean and use your bed in line with manufacturer’s recommendation.
Most bed warranty claims are made within 3 weeks of the bed being delivered as most manufacturing faults become apparent soon after the bed is delivered. Very few warranty claim, in proportion to the number of beds sold, are ever made, so manufacturers often side in favour of the consumer if a case is borderline.
As a retailer I have a duty to honour warranties. I like to look after my customers if an issue arises because customer service is important to me and I know happy customers tell their friends. Sometimes though, expectations have to be managed and rules explained. Retailers have rights too.
Your Author, Jerry Cheshire, is proprietor of award winning bed retailer Surrey Beds. He has been selling beds and mattress for over 20 years and has sold in excess of 30,000.
Follow him on Twitter @thebeducator