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Chicago Mattress Shopping Experience - Big Box, Verlo, Quality Sleep, Room & Board, Beloit Mattress 15 Feb 2014 15:07 #1

I just wanted to share my mattress shopping experience for others in Chicago that might be looking for a place to go. We tried them all...literally.

First, I started mattress shopping without having done the research. Bad idea. We went to all the "big box" stores - American Mattress, Back to Bed, etc. and then to the specialty ones like iComfort, etc. I thought if we spent $800 - $1000 we were going to get a phenomenal mattress. I was wrong and had some MAJOR sticker shock. Luckily, that was the case because had I not had to pay so much, I wouldn't have done the research and learned that I would be getting a crappy mattress for a lot more than I wanted to spend!! Anyways, I won't dwell on the shopping experience since nobody would shop there if they belong to this website, but let's just say once they started haggling on the prices and trying to sell me whatever mattress they could while spouting off all these random facts about it and how I needed to stick to the 3 S's....blah, blah, blah....I about lost my mind. You mean the price listed is negotiable? What is this, used car shopping? So the struggle began.

I wish I could say that it was all smooth sailing from there, but it wasn't. I still hadn't found this site yet and really had no idea. Randomly, one day at work, a substitute (I'm a teacher) overheard my dilemma and recommended Verlo in Naperville. I saw that they were recommended on here and wanted to share my experience because after what I went through, I wouldn't recommend them to ANYONE. I know they have recently been bought out, so it might be worth reconsidering recommending them at all and possibly updating the post on where Chicagoans should consider shopping.

So the Verlo experience. I walked in expecting a little less than the $1500 price tags at the big box stores since it was manufacturer direct. WRONG. Most were that much and more. Cue panic attack. After talking myself off the ledge and agreeing to hear them out (in the name of a better product for my money) I proceeded to spend 3 hours in the store on Monday night. I REALLY wanted to buy a mattress and be done since the process had been miserable so far. After hour 1, my husband joined me to test some out. At first, the salesman was very helpful. He explained each part of the mattress to me and how their warranty was different and the reasons I would be better off (not pro-rated, two-sided mattress options/benefits, better materials, etc.). However, looking back, I think he misinformed me in some areas because he said pocketed coils were atrociously bad and would fail and that no self-respecting mattress manufacturer would use them because they form imprints too easily and poke at you after a few years making you miserable. Only traditional springs were acceptable. Since having visited several more reputable stores from your website's recommendation, everyone else disputes that and uses pocketed coils.

Anyways, back to the shopping experience. Toward the end of the night, my tired and desperate self was determined to pick a mattress and be done. I kept going back and forth to the traditional mattresses and the gel/foam mattress options they had available. I like the feel of the gel/foam ones but didn't like that price tag at nearly $2000 by the time tax was included. I considered their latex briefly but didn't like the spring and couldn't get past the $2200 price tag. !!!! Again, I wasn't researched at the time, but now that I am, that price seems even worse considering what others offer. Long story short, approximately 20 minutes before they closed, we finally decided to just go with the gel foam mattress and he was going to add a layer of polyfoam to the top to make it a little softer. I like the sink in of their memory foam more but thought the price and support of the gel option would be better. I was nervous about if that would solve the problem, but I was getting tired and felt like I was out of options. Btw - that layer of foam added either $50 or $100 to the cost (which I now also feel is absolutely ridiculous). Anyways, he offered us the mismatch bonus of saving $100 if the box spring didn't match and was going to throw in the split queen but our total with tax was still just over $1900. It was WAY more than I wanted to spend but I was miserable and tired and just wanted a new bed. Our old one was 12 years old and was a cheap crummy one to begin with. We weren't getting sleep, have a young baby and I was at my wits end.

Long story short, we checked out and left. I got home and something wasn't sitting right with me so I started doing a little more research. The reviews on Yelp were mediocre, which made me nervous and it was at that time that I discovered this website. My husband and I stayed up REALLY late agonizing over the decision and neither of us felt super sure about or comfortable with both the mattress we had selected, nor the price tag. We agreed that we would sleep on it and if we still felt uneasy in the morning (even after sleeping on our terrible mattress) that we would cancel the order first thing, think about it some more and if we came back to that option, would just pay the extra $100 (we would miss out on the mismatch sale then) because it would be better than getting something we weren't happy with, especially at that expense.

Morning came and after leaving late for work and several phone calls back and forth, we decided we just didn't feel comfortable with it and were going to cancel the order. We had expressed some concern the night before and were told by the salesman we had 24 hours to cancel so we could come back the next day with our own pillows or whatever we wanted to be comfortable with it. After all, he said, it was about the customer service and that's why spending the money and going local would get us a better product and overall experience. My husband called 5 minutes after they opened (so our order had been on the books for approximately 30 minutes total between the time they were still open the night before and the time they had been open in the morning). He politely explained our discomfort and expressed a desire to cancel the order. As any good salesman would, the man tried to save the sale and offered to give us another $100 off (!?!?!?!?! Apparently they DO negotiate.), etc. but my husband insisted that we needed to do a little more research and be more comfortable with our decision. We could always reorder it later if that ended up being our choice. At that point, the salesman got extremely hostile, started yelling about how much time he had spent with us the night before and talking about how he had already ordered the materials so what was he supposed to do with them now? We were appalled. A) We were told we had 24 hours and he wanted us to be completely comfortable with our choice and B) Why is that my problem? Are you not a mattress manufacturer? Will you not have someone else come in and order the same mattress in the near future and use it then? It's not like the materials are unusable, if in fact, you had ordered them in the extremely short time-frame that our order had been valid. Furthermore, were we not told that customer service was huge here? After asserting himself several more time and insisting the order be canceled, the man indignantly took our credit card number and as SOON as the last number had been given, HUNG UP on my husband!! What?!?!?! My husband waited a few minutes before calling back to cool down and politely called again asking for a confirmation number that the order had been cancelled. The salesman abruptly told him, "Call your credit card company." and hung up on him AGAIN!! We ended up having to call our credit card company, explain the whole story to them and put a dispute on the charge to ensure it had been handled properly because there was no way we were calling back there again.

What a mess!! Needless to say, I'm really glad we cancelled the order and I would NEVER go there again nor would I ever recommend someone else do. I don't know if it's always been that way or the guy lied (he said he had owned the stores for 15-20 years or something) but if their business model has changed after their buy-out, it hasn't changed for the better. And if he is, in fact the owner, the guy we dealt with who claimed to be, was among the biggest jerk we encountered in this entire process.

So that was Verlo. I thought both you and your readers might want to know. If I can find the time, I still might call corporate and complain. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER.

And while that was by far the worst, our shopping experiences were far from over....I will continue in my next post.

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Chicago Mattress Shopping Experience - Big Box, Verlo, Quality Sleep, Room & Board, Beloit Mattress 15 Feb 2014 17:13 #2

Hi Mellissa,

Thanks for sharing "part 1" of your Chicago experiences :)

It's unfortunate that you had such a negative experience at Verlo. They are independent franchises so the level of knowledge, experience, and service can vary from store to store ... but they are typically in a "better" quality/value range compared to most mainstream choices and they are transparent about the materials they use in their mattresses which is why I normally include them in the various lists around the forum because their transparency allows consumers to make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses based on their own criteria and the parts of their personal value equation that are most important to them.

Having said that ... while I would be disappointed or perhaps even frustrated if I was a manufacturer or retailer in similar circumstances (I think that would be "normal") ... disappointment or frustration is part of "life and business" and I completely agree with you that that's certainly not a justification for treating any customer the way you were treated. I would be upset if I was in your shoes as well. Every manufacturer or retailer knows that "they win some and they lose some" because each person may have different reasons for choosing the mattress that they end up choosing or even changing their mind if that's inside the framework of the policies of the store you were dealing with.

I'm looking forward to hearing about the rest of your Chicago experiences.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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