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Bed bugs from BRAND NEW MATTRESS?

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  1. makeitstop

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 6 2008 4:50:06
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    Hello.

    I am mortified.
    Two and a half weeks ago, I bought a brand new mattress from a reputable mattress retailer here in the San Francisco bay area. The mattress was delivered in its plastic wrap. I had been sleeping on an air mattress previously. The first morning after sleeping in it, I woke up with a big mosquito bite on my arm, except that it itched furiously. The second morning, I woke up with huge hives all over one breast. I thought maybe they were spider bites. About every 1-3 nights my boyfriend and I would get new bites. I started thinking we might have bed bugs.

    Tonight I finally found the proof. I've been scrutinizing my new mattress for the last 2.5 weeks and found nothing suspicious. But tonight, I saw a bug crawling on the mattress next to my sleeping boyfriend. I killed it and preserved it, and will start taking action with the landlord tomorrow.

    My question is this - do I have any recourse of action with the mattress store? I cannot prove that they are at fault, but I find it highly coincidental that the first night I am bitten is also the first night on my new mattress.

    The tag on the new mattress says that it was manufactured here in California just a couple days before I received it. But I also know that this retailer (from their own admission) does "450 deliveries on any given weekend day". That seems to leave a lot of room for cross contamination, hauling old mattresses in the same van as new mattresses, even if they are wrapped.

    I am furious and devastated. I saved up my money and borrowed money to get this $600 mattress, which is cheap by mattress standards. And now I will have a long ordeal ahead of me.

    What do I do? How do I get the mattress store to take me seriously? I am assuming they won't take any responsibility. Should they? What should I hold them responsible for, if anything?

    Also, we did not get a box spring because we were going to buy a platform frame. Where the heck could these bugs be hiding? Our bedroom is very minimalistic with hardly any clutter. It is a very clean room. We moved into this apartment two months ago and didn't have any problems until the first night on the mattress

  2. BugsInTO

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 6 2008 13:59:58
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    Hi - What bad luck! If it is a reputable business, they will deal with this fairly.
    But, you can't count on this. If they don't, their business is toast. It could have been cross contamination, particularly if they take away old mattresses. It could have happened during the manuafacturing process. It could have come from the workers delivering the mattress (if they came into your unit etc.)

    You may not succeed with the company. Certainly unlikely to succeed with the first couple of people you speak with. Escalate, and make notes of who you have spoken with. Get you information organized, do your research, take a deep breath and give it a try. Be philosphical and know ahead of tme what you want from the company in terms of settlement. If you got bedbugs from this mattress, then you are not the only customer this has happened to.

    Meanwhile, read the FAQ's and start on your treatment.

    Good luck.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 6 2008 14:30:47
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    It happens. Could have happened in a warehouse, where new items were stored near returned ones. Could happen in a truck if the truck also carted away used mattresses from customers (which many stores brag about as a "bonus" service!) Could happen if the truck was used for other purposes (eg moving truck, as many independent contractors deliver for companies).

    There is at least one lawsuit mentioned in this FAQ (under New Furniture Purchase) that is relevant. I say this not to encourage a lawsuit, but just so you are aware, in case all attempts at getting the company to make this right do not work.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 6 2008 18:16:39
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    Make your complaints in writing & consider getting a media consumer advocate involved, if they do not take you seriously.

    The local NBC affiliate in my area has a consumer advocate (Eight on Your Side) that is very effective with this type of situation. I would expect that a similar service is available in your area from a local newspaper or television station.

    Keep in mind that the mattress company is a victim too. People that have bed bugs often buy new mattresses, so that the possibility of cross contamination is constantly present, if the same fleet of trucks are utilized for delivery & removal.

  5. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 6 2008 21:31:40
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    makeitstop - 16 hours ago  » 

    The tag on the new mattress says that it was manufactured here in California just a couple days before I received it. But I also know that this retailer (from their own admission) does "450 deliveries on any given weekend day". That seems to leave a lot of room for cross contamination, hauling old mattresses in the same van as new mattresses, even if they are wrapped.

    Since your mattress was made only a few days before you received it, I wonder if it is a RECONDITIONED mattress? Those are legal in some states and maybe a store can call it "new" although it's really not as it's made from re-cycled mattress insides.

    I don't understand in this day and age how a store that sells mattresses can pick up old, used mattresses and put them in the same truck with the brand new ones. There should be a law against it.

    Please post on this thread what they are going to do for you. I'm so sorry that you are going thru this!

  6. makeitstop

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 1:54:36
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    Thank you all so much for your support! It means a lot. I am so exhausted from being unable to sleep and my nerves are raw. Your advance and encouragement is most appreciated.

    I did call the mattress store today. I asked to speak to a manager before voicing my complaint and was told he was not in. I then spoke to the salesman on the phone and he said he would escalate my call to his the regional manager and have him get back in touch with me. So far I haven't received a callback, but I will call back tomorrow if I haven't. The person I spoke to seemed very nice and professional and was not at all defensive. Maybe he's just a nice guy, or maybe they have received complaints from other customers. One thing is for sure - he didn't seem surprised.

    The tag on my mattress says: "all new material" and made by Serta on 10/18/08. So, I don't think it is reconditioned.

    In retrospect, I think it was VERY naive of me to let them deliver a mattress to me in the same truck that they haul used ones away in. I will never, ever make that mistake again!!!!

    I'll be talking to the apartment manager tomorrow, and hope they will cover the extermination costs. I do not want a new mattress as I feel the contamination has already occurred. Strangely, the mattress shows no evidence of bed bugs at all, so I have no idea where they are at. I would however like compensation for laundry costs and the huge amount of time involved to launder everything. I also don't want this to happen to anyone else.

    It seems there should be a law (in light of the growing epidemic of bed bugs) prohibiting used and new mattresses sharing a space. I am sure it is just a matter of time before instances like this increase and stores are forced to change policies.

    I'll keep all of you posted! Thanks again!

  7. Blue_Ox

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 2:51:47
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    It seems to me you would still be left with the problem of having people "try out" a mattress in their home before they are allowed to return it to the store within a certain number of days, no questions asked. I don't know what happens to those lightly used mattresses but I wonder if some stores just pass them off as new.

  8. faye

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 13:15:38
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    makeitstop - 11 hours ago  » 
    Thank you all so much for your support! It means a lot. I am so exhausted from being unable to sleep and my nerves are raw. Your advance and encouragement is most appreciated.
    I did call the mattress store today. I asked to speak to a manager before voicing my complaint and was told he was not in. I then spoke to the salesman on the phone and he said he would escalate my call to his the regional manager and have him get back in touch with me. So far I haven't received a callback, but I will call back tomorrow if I haven't. The person I spoke to seemed very nice and professional and was not at all defensive. Maybe he's just a nice guy, or maybe they have received complaints from other customers. One thing is for sure - he didn't seem surprised.
    The tag on my mattress says: "all new material" and made by Serta on 10/18/08. So, I don't think it is reconditioned.
    In retrospect, I think it was VERY naive of me to let them deliver a mattress to me in the same truck that they haul used ones away in. I will never, ever make that mistake again!!!!
    I'll be talking to the apartment manager tomorrow, and hope they will cover the extermination costs. I do not want a new mattress as I feel the contamination has already occurred. Strangely, the mattress shows no evidence of bed bugs at all, so I have no idea where they are at. I would however like compensation for laundry costs and the huge amount of time involved to launder everything. I also don't want this to happen to anyone else.
    It seems there should be a law (in light of the growing epidemic of bed bugs) prohibiting used and new mattresses sharing a space. I am sure it is just a matter of time before instances like this increase and stores are forced to change policies.
    I'll keep all of you posted! Thanks again!

    Did you check your box spring? Whether the box spring is new or not, the bugs could have initially been on your mattress and then found their way into the box spring. Or if your box spring is also brand new with your mattress, maybe they were already in the box spring when they were delivered.

  9. barelyliving

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 14:11:42
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    A confidential source told me that a warehouse near me got infested because of their deal to take away your old mattress when you buy a new one. I think it's pretty likely that a new mattress could get infested that way.

  10. barelyliving

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 14:14:00
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    PS I live across the country from you, so it's not the same warehouse.

  11. makeitstop

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 20:12:44
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    hi Faye,
    I didn't buy a box spring. I like platform beds, and our plan was to buy a top mattress followed by picking out a new platform bed (which due to its design does not need a boxspring). However, it would make a lot of sense to look there if I did have a boxspring.

    My landlord is charging us $200 for an exterminator to come next Wednesday. I am glad it isn't more money, although I wish I didn't have to pay. I also think Wednesday is a long time to wait.

    I have begun laundering my items on hot, drying on hot for about 65 minutes, and sealing them in contractor strength garbage bags.

    Last night I got about 15 bites. I am absolutely miserable. My entire body feels like one itching, feverish welt. I only slept for a few hours and find myself really overwhelmed and upset.

    I am still mystified as to where they are coming from. We unscrewed the outlets and saw no trace, we've gone over the mattress with a fine tooth comb. We have very few possessions as I just moved cross-country and sold almost everything before moving here. Luckily, it is less spaces to look for bugs. But still - no idea where they are at that they were able to do so much damage to me last night.

  12. makeitstop

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 20:15:08
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    Barelyliving, that is indeed some terrifying news. When it comes to light to the consumers that these business practices may have only made sense in a world with lots of DEET, protocols are going to have to change.

    To me, used mattresses should be treated with a HAZMAT suit. No joke - eradicating bed bugs is miserable, expensive, time consuming, and immensely disrupting. Those damn things should be burned instead of stored in a warehouse with new products.

  13. makeitstop

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 7 2008 20:16:19
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    Blue_Ox - 17 hours ago  » 
    It seems to me you would still be left with the problem of having people "try out" a mattress in their home before they are allowed to return it to the store within a certain number of days, no questions asked. I don't know what happens to those lightly used mattresses but I wonder if some stores just pass them off as new.

    Good point Blue_Ox. Yikes!


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