Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s investigation into consumer complaints that Sleepy’s deliveredÂ used mattresses instead of new onesÂ has expanded to include allegations from 25 customers that they were sold mattresses that had bedbugs.
Sleepy’s adamantly denies selling used mattresses and says it is impossible for any customer to have had a bedbug infestation from its products. It says it has satisfied most of those who had complained to the company.
“Sleepy’s performs over 2,000 deliveries of bedding per day, and, to date, there have been no substantiated reports of bed bug infestations generated from Sleepy’s merchandise,” Adam S. Blank, the firm’s chief operating officer and general counsel, wrote to Blumenthal.
The scope of Blumenthal’s investigation was made public by Blumenthal after Connecticut Watchdog filed a state Freedom of Information request for all documents he has sent to and received from Sleepy’s. Links to all the documents can be found in the box to the left.
Blumenthal said Tuesday evening that Sleepy’s has provided his office with the 25 bedbug complaints it received from Connecticut customers fromÂ October 2008 through Aug. 21, 2009. Prior to October 2008, Sleepy’s did not keep track of such complaints.
Blumenthal said his office will investigate each allegation and will continue its probe into whether Sleepy’s sold any used mattresses as new.
Sleepy’s is the nation’s largest retail mattress chain and has nearly 700 stores in 13 states and in the District of Columbia. It has more than 70 stores in Connecticut.
The documents from Sleepy’s also claim to show that the original complaint that began this investigation was unfounded because the customer, Jeff Maier, reported the problem four months after his box spring had been delivered.
Maier, of Norwalk, however said he reported the problem as soon as he learned of its cause.
“There is a very simple explanation to why it took 4 months,” Maier wrote to me Tuesday evening in an e-mail. “The determination that the culprit was the box springs from Sleepy’s was made when Stern Environmental Group’s exterminator did his initial extermination and investigation of the bed bugs.
“The mattress and box springs were purchased in mid July 2008 and the initial extermination was done in mid Nov 2008.Â This was the first possible date for the extermination to be done due to Stern Environmental’s busy schedule.Â It was at this first extermination visit by Stern that the box springs were determined to be the source of the bed bugs.Â This explains the 4 months during which we were unsure of where the bed bugs had come from and it is also why we did not contact Sleepy’s until immediately after this initial extermination,” he wrote me.
His explanation was backed up partially by a report from Stern that states that it inspected the box spring in November.Â A copy of that report as well as my original column on this issue (which contributed to my being fired by The Courant) can be seen here.
Blumenthal said that he cannot recall in his 18 years as attorney general ever having received a customer complaint against a mattress retailer alleging that bedbugs were delivered with the mattress or box spring.
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