Independently owned retailer Mattress To Go, in Shelby Township, Mich., recently donated mattresses, bed frames, pillows and mattress protectors worth more than $2,000 to a family that unwittingly purchased old, uncomfortable and bedbug-ridden renovated mattresses from a Detroit retailer.
The plight of the mother and three children came to the attention of Mattress To Go owner Jeff Scheuer when their story was featured on Fox news affiliate WJBK in Detroit.
“The beds that I replaced not only contained used materials, but they also contained bedbugs,” Scheuer said. “So I ended up providing this family with three new premium mattress sets, three bed frames, new pillows and complete bedbug-proof encasements for the mattresses and pillows. I was so happy that this family allowed me to help them out of their bad situation, and the smiles and hugs I received at the end of the day made it all worthwhile.”
In the news segment, which can be viewed at the Mattress To Go You Tube channel, investigative reporter Rob Wolchek explained that while it is legal in Michigan to renovate and sell used mattresses that are properly labeled, the family was unaware their beds were not new—the yellow label required by law was hidden beneath another label and the retailer advertised the beds as new.
“The story really made me mad,” Scheuer said. “These were people who had the least amount of disposable income and they were being victimized by stores selling mattresses that contained used components.”
In an on-camera interview, the retailer—Hassan Mattress in Detroit—acknowledged that it renovates and sells used mattresses but said it strips beds down to their innerspring core before re-covering them. In a follow-up news segment, however, Wolchek purchased a bed from the retailer and sliced it open, only to find a very old, complete mattress inside.
“I’m hoping that this publicity will result in others making donations to families in need, as well as raising awareness of these disreputable used-mattress dealers,” Scheuer said. “In Michigan, it’s legal to sell used mattresses, and Detroit isn’t the only area where these used products are sold. We have plenty of liquidators and warehouses—what our industry terms ‘dirty window’ shops—in Macomb County that renovate and sell used mattresses. The public really needs to be aware of this. In general, if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is, especially in the mattress business.”