Halifax’s The Coast notes that due in part to concerns about the spread of bed bugs, the local Simmons Mattress Gallery store will no longer have a Comfort Exchange program, which previously allowed customers to return mattresses for a set period of time.
…Simmons Mattress Gallery (172 Chain Lake Drive, 450-0233) president Jordanna Caine gave us the heads up that her store has discontinued its ‘Comfort Exchange’ program, where customers can return purchased mattresses within a prescribed period of time, ‘partially in response to the increasing number of bedbug infestations in many areas of Canada,’ she writes. ‘We also believe if the consumer is sold the right bed in the first place, offering such guarantees shouldn’t be necessary.’
She adds: ‘We will also no longer remove old mattresses from people’s homes as we do not want any of our factory new mattresses and foundations coming into contact with any possible contaminants. This includes not only bed bugs but also dust mites, smoke, pet dander, mould spores and other allergens. We find more and more people talking about allergies and sensitivities and so bed bugs aren’t the only issue for most people.’
As noted above, The store will also no longer cart away used mattresses in its trucks, though delivery people will apparently still drag them to the curb if needed, according to information found on Simmons Mattress Gallery’s website:
Our delivery team can move your old mattress and foundation to the curb while delivering your new mattress.
That’s not such a great idea either. Keep in mind that some cities (like New York) require mattresses to be sealed in plastic before being left for sanitation workers to lift, because of the dangers that they might be exposed to bed bugs.
Given that Simmons Mattress Gallery’s delivery people will still take mattresses to the curb, they need to be trained on how to handle them without contaminating their own clothing (and thus, potentially, the truck or the new stock remaining inside it). No matter what steps they take, even if they are dragging or carrying already-wrapped mattresses, there will be some risk.
Unfortunately, many mattress stores still offer comfort exchange guarantees, and many will still remove your mattress in their truck alongside new deliveries.
Another concern is stores which use trucks for their deliveries that are also used for other purposes. Over the years, I have bought mattresses from two chains which operate in New York City and each used contractors in unmarked trucks to deliver their goods. Drivers confirmed that the trucks were used for other purposes at other times (which could include moving the contents of people’s homes, to cite just one risky example).
Every store should give a lot of thought to the risk of transmitting bed bugs, get expert advice about bed bugs, and consider employing stringent policies to prevent their spread.