Pillow fights are fairly common among the younger set but now adults are mixing it up pretty well over a certain kind of pillow, namely MyPillow, a heavily promoted product that is advertised incessantly on TV, cable and the internet.
The Minnesota-based pillowmaker has previously been sued for making health claims it couldn't support and for not paying New York its share of the sales tax the Empire State figured it was due.
And now, in perhaps the cruelest blow, MyPillow has been defrocked, as it were, by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) because of complaints about its "buy one get one free" offer and its BBB rating has been lowered to an "F."
“Among other issues, BBB has attempted to persuade MyPillow to discontinue their "buy one get one free” (BOGO)/other discount offers without success,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota, in a news release. “Continuous BOGO offers, which can then be construed as an item's regular, everyday price, violate not only BBB’s Code of Advertising - which all BBB Accredited Businesses agree to abide by - but also other state and national organizations’ rules.”
Other issues BBB brought to MyPillow’s attention, Badgerow said, were:
- “As Seen on TV” claims are sometimes listed on MyPillow boxes where the content is NOT the same as seen on the company’s TV ads. The company has made an effort to remove this, but it can still be seen on third party seller packaging (Walmart, Target, etc.).
- Photos of MyPillow on some boxes show the premium, gusseted pillow, when the box actually holds their standard pillow. The company has made an effort to correct this, but it can still be seen on some third party seller packaging.
- Claims of offering a “full warranty” when the warranty was not full (customers need to pay a fee to return the pillow).
- A pattern of complaints filed against MyPillow has been identified by BBB regarding customers’ understanding of the buy one/get one free offer. A substantial number of the 232 complaints filed against the company regard confusion on the offer.
“We are hopeful that MyPillow will modify their advertising and eliminate discount offers, since the pillows need to be sold at a “regular price” for the majority of the time,” Badgerow said.
MyPillow owner and CEO Mike Lindell, who personally appears in many of the advertisements, said he was "terribly disappointed" in the BBB's decision.
"MyPillow was built on our dedication to our customers' satisfaction. We run sales and specials for our customers, so that we can give as many people as possible the chance to have a great night’s sleep," Lindell said in a statement.
"When I started MyPillow more than 11 years ago, I handled each and every customer call personally. To this day, I train all of our customer service representatives with one thing in mind, we take care of our customers because we owe them our success. We have sold more than 25 million MyPillows, but we will continue to treat each and every customer like they are our only one," Lindell said.
Oddly, ConsumerAffairs -- which daily receives hundreds of complaints about everything imaginable -- has thousands of complaints about pillows but none about MyPillow. The company even got a good review in 2012 from our Daryl Nelson, although subsequent reader comments included some complaings about pricing, advertising and general suitability of the pillow, which some said was no better a place to lay one's head than a $4 Target pillow.