RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An Amelia woman called 12 On Your Side - at her wits end over a bed she bought, didn't like, and couldn't return. Without the refund, she would be nearly $2,000 in the hole.
Back in June, Sherry Biringer bought a bed from Sleep Number on Midlothian Parkway in Richmond. She paid nearly $5,000 for the mattress and adjustable base. She says she had a severe back injury and used insurance money from her husband's recent death to buy the bed.
But once it was delivered, she was dissatisfied.
"60 seemed to be too soft, 65 seemed to cause my back to hurt, so I just wasn't satisfied with it, period." Biringer said. "After 10 days, I called them. I was not satisfied with the bed. They told me I had to wait at least 30 days before I could request a return."
Once the waiting period was over, store management told her she could return the mattress - but not the base, which cost about $1700. They picked up the mattress, sent her a refund check for that and left the base, citing the contract that Biringer signed when she made the purchase that says bedding collection products cannot be returned for a refund.
"When I went in there, I was still in a state of shock over losing my husband and no, I didn't read all the fine print," Biringer said. "It tells you in the smaller lettering that this is non-returnable, but I didn't read everything. I think for this much money, this should have been in large print or verbally discussed."
Her brother-in-law was with her when she made the purchase and also says the sales person made it sound easy to return the product, not mentioning the stipulation.
"'If you buy a bed from us, if you're not happy for any reason, you get your full money back. It's not a problem,'" Biringer's brother-in-law Durant Davis says he heard.
That's why Biringer called 12 On Your Side. Investigator Eric Philips reached out to Sleep Number's corporate office to discuss the situation.
A spokesperson explained that while she wasn't familiar with this situation, it's standard for sales associates to verbally go over the contract - including the no-return policy - and that the terms of the purchase are made clear.
However, about a week and a half later, Sleep Number contacted Biringer and told her they would, in fact, receive the base back and refund the rest of her money, minus a $300 restocking fee. The company also sent 12 On Your Side a statement which said in part:
"At Sleep Number, we are committed to delivering a positive experience for all of our customers, so we're sorry Ms. Biringer was not happy with the return policy on our adjustable base. A satisfied customer is our top priority, so we're pleased we found a solution that she is happy with."
"I'm very happy with the outcome, but I know it would never have happened if I hadn't gotten Channel 12 involved," Biringer said.
If nothing else, it's an important lesson to always thoroughly read purchase contracts before you sign on the dotted line.
"I appreciate what you've done and hopefully this will help other people," Biringer said.
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