The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs sued Sleepy's Inc. and 1-800-Sleepy's, charging the mattress chain with violating the state's Consumer Fraud Act by selling defective merchandise and failing to keep its delivery promises.
The state's five-count complaint was filed in Bergen County Superior Court, and The national chain operates 72 retail stores in New Jersey and routinely advertises its products in television and radio commercials, advertising circulars and newspapers, the suit noted.
"Beds and mattresses are not cheap. They can cost consumers hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of dollars," Consumer Affairs Director Reni Erdos said. "When bedding retailers attempt to take advantage of consumers, as we allege Sleepy's and 1-800-Sleepy's have done, consumers stand to lose a lot of money, not to mention their peace of mind."
The complaint lists a number of allegations, including:
- misleading consumers regarding the companies' exchange policy and consumers' right to receive a refund;
- failing to deliver merchandise on the contracted date of delivery and failing to notify consumers of their inability to deliver the merchandise as promised;
- delivering defective and/or damaged merchandise;
- delivering merchandise that was different from what consumers ordered;
- refusing to provide refunds to consumers who complained that they received defective merchandise;
- promising, then failing to send, an inspector to consumers' homes to inspect defective or damaged merchandise or only conducting inspections after extensive follow-up by consumers;
- failing to respond to dissatisfied consumers' telephone calls, letters and/or email messages in a timely manner;
- failing to specify the duration of a sale in an advertisement; and
- advertising that a sale contains "The Lowest Prices in Our History" when, in fact, the same merchandise has been offered for sale previously at the same price.
"Companies that do business in New Jersey are expected to deal with consumers in a fair and honest fashion and to adhere to the State's consumer protection laws," Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. "Where we find abuses in the marketplace, we will work to ensure that companies responsible for violating State law and harming consumers are held accountable."
This is the second time in recent months that Consumer Affairs has brought suit against a bedding retailer. In December, Consumer Affairs filed suit against Rockaway Bedding alleging the retailer engaged in unscrupulous business practices by, among other things, selling defective merchandise to consumers and engaging in fraudulent advertising.
"Sleepy's was extremely surprised by the allegations in the complaint and immediately commenced an investigation to determine the source of the allegations," the company said in a prepared statement.
Sleepy's has 300 store locations nationwide.