Editor’s Note: the following is a personal account of our experience with The Bedroom Superstore. The reader should be aware that this document constitutes a series of experiences and opinions, not legally binding statements of fact.
Additionally, it is important to note that exhaustive research on the part of this editor has yielded no evidence whatsoever to support the rumor that the Bedroom Superstore is under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency for dumping dioxin-contaminated upholstery foam in economically depressed urban areas. Furthermore, the widely disseminated assertion that the CEO of The Bedroom Superstore keeps a herd of Patagonian Alpacas wearing Victoria’s Secret lingerie in his basement—in his purported words—”just for cuddling” would also seem to have little to no veracity.
It is just this sort of irresponsible rumor-mongering that has SPOILED the Internet for serious journalism, people! I mean, really!
If you live on the Left Coast you’ve seen the ads a thousand times. Top-quality bedroom furniture! Rock-bottom prices! And no payments or interest until The Second Coming of Christ!
The Bedroom Superstore will run a sale for any holiday—Labor Day, Memorial Day, Groundhog Day, Anniversary of the Challenger Disaster, whatever—and saturation-bomb the airwaves with ads for it. When you think about it, how could Margaret and I not buy a bed from them? It was a statistical inevitability, really.
We were in the market for a bed to replace our steadfast-but-rapidly-approaching-some-sinister-form-of-Oriental-torture-to-sleep-on futon with something a little more, well, like something you’d want to sleep on. Preferably with a bunch of drawers conveniently situated in the base for storage of blankets, weapons, etc. As luck would have it, this very style of pedestal (often referred to as a “captain’s bed”) seemed to have gone completely out of style only minutes before we set out to find ourselves a new bed. We could not find one to save our lives. Until we wandered into The Bedroom Superstore one afternoon.
Now, I’m not going to take a lot of time describing the little annoyances: other than the lickspittle sales rep who urged us to “tell your friends about us!” (and hey, whaddayaknow, here we are telling our friends about them), there were few annoyances to report anyway. Everything was fairly straightforward, and in case you haven’t been shopping for a new bed in the last ten years or so, let me warn you in advance: do not do it unless you are prepared to walk away with a new bed. Simply lying down on a contemporary mattress will leave you ready to sell your own grandmother into indentured servitude to get one. When I lay down on the model of mattress that we eventually bought, I experienced multiple spinal orgasms. It felt like my back had turned to butter. I’m pretty sure I drooled on it.
To top it off, they had just about exactly what we were looking for in the showroom: a big oak captain’s bed pedestal with matching headboard. (We actually didn’t buy the headboard until later, which was a dumb mistake. We thought we’d do fine without it. Look Bub, save yourself some time and damn the expense; buy the matching headboard. If nothing else, it saves you from getting head prints on your bedroom wall.)
The E-Z credit terms allowed us to walk away with a bed that cost as much as my first car, with no interest due for over a year. The bed was set to be delivered about a week later.
At 8:30pm November 19th—the day of our scheduled delivery—a couple of friendly guys pulled up in a Bedroom Superstore van. They had brought with them our King size mattress and pedestal, but no footboard, no decking, and the rails for a California King (Ours was an Eastern King, the difference being the length of the mattress and a couple of hundred dollars).
“Oh well”, we thought, “mistakes happen.” We called the service center and arranged for a new delivery date for the proper pieces of the bed. Since we couldn’t set the mattress on the pedestal without decking, we had the delivery people take everything but the mattress away so that we would have a place to sleep.
On the second delivery date, November 23rd, we once again took our bedroom apart to allow for easier access. The delivery people showed up promptly, bringing with them the proper pedestal and decking, a defective footboard, and, once again, the rails for a California King. We had the delivery people set up the pedestal, the decking, and the footboard (we didn’t notice until later that it was defective) and with great patience, we once again called the service center to arrange a new delivery date.
On the third delivery date, December 1st, we took our bedroom apart for the third time. We were supposed to receive our eastern King rails between 3:00 and 7:00pm. Realizing that the first delivery had been a little late and that there must be a lot of deliveries to be made this time of year, we waited until 8:30 that evening before calling the service center. The response we got was “Oh, didn’t they call you? They were supposed to call you about 9:00 this morning and let you know. Your rails didn’t come in. Are you sure they didn’t call you? They said they left a message on the machine.” (“Oh, that was from the Bedroom Superstore! I thought they said, ‘Bedroom Scuba Store’. We’re also expecting delivery of a diving bell.”)
I must admit that we were a little less polite with the service center at this junction. We were, however, civil when we spoke with the service manager and arranged to have the rails for an Eastern King as well as a new footboard ordered and delivered.
Because we were now seasoned veterans, Margaret called on the afternoon of December 7th to confirm that our bed rails and footboard had arrived and that they were scheduled to be delivered the next day. She was assured by the young woman who answered the telephone, whose name, sadly, she didn’t write down, that our Eastern King rails and footboard had been delivered that day, that they had been set aside specially, and that we would receive a phone call confirming our delivery time that evening.
The service center called, they confirmed that our bed rails and footboard had arrived, and gave us a delivery time of between 4:00 and 8:00pm Saturday, December 8th. Because we had a party to attend that evening, Margaret asked that they call us an hour prior to the delivery actually showing up so we could arrange our schedule.
The next morning we took our bedroom apart for a fourth time. We were supposed to be at a party at 8:00pm. We called the service center somewhat before 7:00 to find out where the delivery people were and were told “oh, they’re running about an hour late, I’ll call you when they’re on their way”.
After scrambling to rearrange our schedules so one of us could be here when the delivery arrived, the delivery van finally pulled up at 9:00pm. The service center called to tell Margaret “they’re on the way” just as the van backed into the driveway. The delivery people walked through the door with a box marked “Bed rails CaK” and no clue about the footboard that we had been assured, less than 24 hours previously, had been delivered. The bed rails, of course, were for a California King.
The short version of the story (oh believe me, Honey, what you’ve experienced so far is no way no how the long version) ends as follows: after spending a day tracking down the regional manager (who just happened to be the guy who sold us our bed) at one of the Oregon stores, I managed to get a hundred bucks off the cost of our bed, roughly a third of what I felt we deserved and probably less than half the cost of our labor in taking our bedroom apart our futhermucking times. The most galling part of this whole experience was being told by more than one set of delivery guys, “well, don’t think you’re being singled out or nothing; this happens a lot.” I also learned that, had the regional manager not driven back up to Seattle to oversee the re-issuing of our delivery order, we would have received the wrong rails AGAIN. Every time the wrong rails were returned to the warehouse, someone would re-enter our order using the exact same product codes.
It may shock and amaze you to learn that The Bedroom Superstore has undergone bankruptcy reorganization at least twice.They seem to have at least a couple of unresolved complaints with The Better Business Bureau in every state where they operate. To top it off, their Web site has been down for several weeks.
It may be that they will go the way of Smith’s Home Furnishings, another company of ill repute that did business in the Puget Sound area. One can only hope. Though my blinding rage over the incident has mellowed to sullen resentment over time, I can still find it in me to hope that there’s a special corner of Hell reserved for the people who run that company….a corner with really, really uncomfortable beds.
The author wishes to thank his wife for the use of her letter of complaint to The Bedroom Superstore, large portions of which are excerpted in this document.
The bed in question. Despite this experience, we do loveth it so.