Select Comfort – customer service failure

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you surely saw my interactions with Select Comfort customer service today. Here’s the entire story.

In October 2005 we decided it was time for a new bed. Not wanting to skimp on quality and being interested in getting a bed that would accommodate our different sleeping preferences, we opted for a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed. The bed we chose had dual air chambers and two hard wired remote controls, one for each side. The bed was shipped, we put it together easily, and began using it.

This bed has one major flaw – there is a piece of foam which separates air chambers. What this means is that there is very little support in the middle of the bed causing what is known as the “trench effect“. If you actually enjoy cuddling with your spouse in bed, this will be a problem as you will sink in the middle.

Select Comfort Sleep Number Bed cause of the dip in the middle, known as the trench effect

Select Comfort has a 30 day return policy on their beds, but when the bed and the foam separator are new, this problem isn’t as apparent. While this has been a minor nuisance since owning the bed, that’s not the root of today’s issue.

No, today’s issue goes back to June of last year. Within a very short time period, both remotes on the bed stopped displaying the number, and showed only a portion of the display, as such:

Select Comfort Sleep Number Bed Wired Remote Display Problem

Naturally, I contacted Select Comfort. They replied back with the following:

Thank you for contacting Select Comfort. We’re very sorry for the issue you’re experiencing with your remote. The wired remotes are permanently attached at the factory and cannot be replaced. When a remote display fails we replace the entire unit.

Please reply with your preferred shipping address and we’ll get a replacement pump on the way to you.

Fantastic! Never mind that technically the two year full replacement warranty was up in October of 2007, eight months after that they were still willing to replace the faulty part. This makes sense though for a couple of reasons. First, Select Comfort used to claim that their beds will last twice as long as a traditional innerspring mattress. This claim has been scrubbed from their website these days, but many articles, such as this one from Forbes, repeat the company’s claim. Knowing this tidbit, wouldn’t you expect the electronic component to last more than two years without needing to be replaced? Secondly, this part of the bed doesn’t get abused at all, or even used on a daily basis. We might have touched the remotes once a week at most to make sure the bed was still at the appropriate setting. Obviously this was a failure of the component, and they were willing to replace it. The new pump and remotes arrived shortly after and all was again working.

Until a week ago.

Amanda’s remote started having the same problem again. The above photo is actually of her remote, today. This was only one year after Select Comfort replaced the unit, which I thought was awfully quick to fail. I dug up my original email to support and replied back to it with my problem. This was the response I got:

Thank you for contacting Select Comfort. We’re very sorry for the issue you’re experiencing with your remote. The wired remotes are permanently attached at the factory and cannot be replaced. When a remote display fails we replace the entire unit.

Upon reviewing your account I’ve found that you are currently in the pro-rated portion of your warranty. This means that Select Comfort will cover 68% of the replacement cost for the defective component. Your cost to replace the pump under warranty is $144.00 plus tax and shipping. All warranty sales are considered final with a 30 day 100% warranty; after which it reverts back to your existing warranty coverage.

They want me to pay $144 to replace this thing a second time? I didn’t find that to be an acceptable answer since it failed so much faster than the first one. Interestingly enough, earlier in the week I got an email from Select Comfort saying you could now contact them on Twitter @SleepNumberHelp. I figured this was a good opportunity to try out this new support channel. First, I thought it might be interesting to see if anyone else was contacting them via Twitter, so I ran a quick search. Lo and behold I’m not the only one with this problem!

“anybody else have problem with their sleep number bed controls, the lcd has basically died so you can’t read the numbers,
4:29 AM Jun 9th
wagardner

@wagardner Does the remote still operate the bed? That’s definitely something we can help you with. You can reply, or call 1-800-240-0028
6:51 AM Jun 9th from web in reply to wagardner

not satisfied with Select Comfort. After 3.5 years it costs me $169.03 to replace the pump that they have problems with it and know it!!
9:33 AM Jun 9th

@wagardner Sorry you are unhappy. Any manu. defects are covered under the lim. prorated warranty. http://twurl.nl/rtfcos is warranty info
9:58 AM Jun 9th from web in reply to wagardner

@SleepNumberHelp too late. I paid with my warranty. I just didn’t expect it since they are discontinuing the controls because of problem
10:04 AM Jun 9th from TweetDeck in reply to SleepNumberHelp

@wagardner The wired pump units are discontinued due to new interference free wireless technology. Remote display is same for each.
10:10 AM Jun 9th from web in reply to wagardner

@SleepNumberHelp huh oh so going to have a problem again in 3.5 years because phone help said the digits were a problem
10:11 AM Jun 9th from TweetDeck in reply to SleepNumberHelp

@wagardner No – shouldn’t expect any more issues. LCD going blank is not common. I apologize if you were told differently.
10:13 AM Jun 9th from web in reply to wagardner

Hmm… interesting that someone on the phone (likely a rep that’s less conditioned to the official line) tells this person that it’s a common issue, only to have the Twitter rep turn around and say it’s not. Also interesting that they’re no longer making the wired units and are replacing them all with new wireless units! Could it be because they, in fact, do have a lot of problems? No, Select Comfort just wants to give you the latest in “interference free wireless technology”. Mmmhmm.

But wait, there’s more.

@sleepnumbersara Will there ever be help for the wired remotes that you can’t read the numbers on anymore??? Can’t tell my #, frustrating
8:51 AM Jun 18th from web

@jenlatimer We can definitely get your pump replaced to a wireless unit under the warranty terms. Give us a call! 1-888-248-0028
9:08 AM Jun 18th from web in reply to jenlatimer

@sleepnumberhelp It is a known problem, fixed already once. Not willing to pay over $100 for a known problem…
9:51 AM Jun 18th from web

@jenlatimer LCD issues aren’t common. Replacing w/ wireless unit would allow just remote replacement if issue returned, although unlikely.
10:06 AM Jun 18th from web in reply to jenlatimer

@sleepnumberhelp LCD might not be common, but I scored 2 bum units… only see lines where should be numbers… shame cause I love my bed
10:24 AM Jun 18th from web

@jenlatimer I’m sorry. We’d be able to cover a % based on warr. terms (based on year bed was purchased). Call us if you wish to replace.
10:45 AM Jun 18th from web in reply to jenlatimer

Now, since Select Comfort started twittering at the beginning of June, they’ve only interacted with a dozen or so people. Interesting that two people already have had pointed out this “uncommon” issue.

Nevertheless, I was going to get my turn. Here’s my tweetscript, starting here:

Hey @SleepNumberHelp and @jenlatimer – I also have the repeat wired remote LCD issue. 1st replacement was under warranty, 1 yr later – $144
about 12 hours ago from TweetDeck

What good is a $2000 bed that supposedly lasts twice as long as an innerspring that requires $150 in parts every yr, @SleepNumberHelp ?
about 12 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro Defects in the bed are rare. Sorry about the problem. We’d repl w/ wireless unit – cool new tech. Don’t expect further issues.
about 11 hours ago from web in reply to DerekPunaro

Dear @SleepNumberHelp, you’d replace w/wireless at who’s cost? You didn’t replace it with wireless the first time when it was under warranty
about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro Repl. under warranty terms. Repl w/ wireless is something rolled out just recently due to upgraded technology in those units.
about 10 hours ago from web in reply to DerekPunaro

If this is such a rare problem @SleepNumberHelp then surely you would replace for free since the last replacement you sent also failed.
about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro We have the warranty in place for such issues. Replacement parts carry a full 30 day warr. b4 reverting back 2 orig. bed warr.
about 9 hours ago from web in reply to DerekPunaro

And the only reason to do public customer support via Twitter is to showcase that you stand behind your products, @SleepNumberHelp
about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro We do stand behind our products. We also have fairness 2 maintain & cannot make exceptions 2 the warranty w/o doing same 4 all.

Well @SleepNumberHelp the only reason to not cover a replacement part as if it was new is because it’s more likely to fail than the original
about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro I’m sorry you feel this way. Please give us a call at 1-888-248-0028 if you’d like to set up the replacement.
about 9 hours ago from web in reply to DerekPunaro

I’m sorry, @SleepNumberHelp, did you mean I should call for my FREE replacement? Your tweet didn’t say.
about 9 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro Again sir, we can replace the pump for you under the terms of the warranty. Warranty info can B found @ http://twurl.nl/ry0fi3
about 9 hours ago from web in reply to DerekPunaro

But @SleepNumberHelp – there is precedent for free replacement outside the warranty period according to your own site http://bit.ly/NmdeC
about 9 hours ago from TweetDeck

“7 years after purchase the wired remote on mine gave… but replacement was within 2 days and free of charge to me.” @SleepNumberHelp
about 9 hours ago from TweetDeck

@DerekPunaro Please give me a call when you are able. You can ask for me, my name is Leanne and we can discuss further. 1-888-248-0028
about 9 hours ago from web in reply to DerekPunaro

At this point, I decided to take Leanne up on her offer and give her a call. I first ended up in the wrong queue, but they then transferred me to customer service where I got a regular rep. I said I had spoken to their representative on Twitter who advised me to call and speak to Leanne.

“I didn’t even know we had a representative on Twitter!” the rep replied. I advised her that they did, she had some very kind words for Leanne, got in touch with her on their internal IM system, and transferred me over.

We then carried on a very cordial conversation where I reiterated many of the above points again. She flat out said that neither she, nor her supervisors nor managers were allowed to work around the conditions set in their warranty. She said that this policy changed about a year ago.

“So wait, you’re saying that you’ve actually decreased customer service in the past year?”

She replied back that it probably had something to do with the economy or other such bullshit. Regardless, nobody could do anything to fix my problem if I didn’t want to shell out the $150. The option I had was to write to the president of the company.

Yes, that’s right. My only option for better customer service was to snail mail Bill McLaughlin, President and CEO of Select Comfort. Oh, the irony that a customer who reached out to a company’s customer service department via a hip social media tool was ultimately being redirected to mail a physical letter to the company president! This is a clear sign that your company doesn’t get it.

What use is it to even bother engaging customers via a tool like Twitter if the employees using it aren’t empowered to actually do anything helpful? I pointed out to Leanne that may fly when you’re only doing phone support, but this was a very public channel that anyone looking for info about their business would see. We’re they really willing to potentially lose sales because of rigid, don’t stray from the script customer service?

They were.

I realized at that point that this was obviously not going to go any further, so I thanked Leanne for her time and apologized that I was about to make her job more difficult.

“Well, there’s not much I can do about that.”

Oh, but there was.

So, I now think it’s my duty to teach Select Comfort about the outs of using Twitter. In my estimation, Select Comfort must make considerably more than $150 per bed they sell. We’re talking beds that range in cost from $1000 to over $5000, and that’s before they upsell you on the expensive custom bedding and pillows. So essentially, all I have to do is prevent the sale of one bed to cost the company’s bottom line more than they would have by sending me a replacement to their obviously faulty not so rare now discontinued remote. So I set up two searches in TweetDeck – one that tracks their three online reps, and one that looks for “select comfort” and “sleep number”. Any time someone comments that they’re considering or have just bought a sleep number bed, I’ll jump in with something like this:

@mosb Consider returning your Select Comfort bed before your trial runs out! Parts break and once you’re out of warranty – big $$.
about 7 hours ago from TweetDeck in reply to mosb

Or this:

@radiochick57 Avoid the select comfort sleep number beds! They break and are expensive to fix!
about 6 hours ago from TweetDeck in reply to radiochick57

Maybe even a retweet, like:

RT @peg_adams: @MrsMcElrath We have a Sleep Number bed now and I wouldn’t recommend it. (@SleepNumberHelp)
about 6 hours ago from TweetDeck

Or my favorite, addressed to someone who was actually in the store looking at beds at the time:

@destinycherish Don’t buy a sleep number bed! The parts break and after the 2 year initial warranty, you’ll pay big bucks to fix it!
about 4 hours ago from TweetDeck in reply to destinycherish

Since my tweets are duplicated over at Facebook, I’ve already had a couple comments there:

Rich Mattingly at 3:46pm June 24
Well, I certainly won’t buy one now 🙂

Amanda Racette-Twentyfive at 5:00pm June 24
I won’t buy one either. Your work here is done. It amazes me how willing companies are to let bad press get out there. For instance, any WNY’er who is in the market for a fence, DO NOT use Classic Fence. I would sue them if I could – our fence looks way older than it should and it’s warped. They warranty their gates for 30 days. 30 days?!?

You see, Select Comfort, here’s the problem inherent in the system. I have as much access to your customers as you do on Twitter. Who do you think a potential customer is going to listen to more, an average guy that seeked them out to specifically warn them against purchasing a certain product, or the voice of the company telling them everything’s going to be alright, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain? In fact, interjecting my input directly to your potential customers is nearly effortless – I just sit back and wait for the search column to light up! I’m going to react to these people faster than you will, and I guarantee that I’ll cost you sales.

But hey, you know, that economy’s a bitch. So you should definitely continue to fortify your rigid customer service policies and crack down on all us people that, for shame, might expect your multi-thousand dollar product to last longer than a pair of jeans.

Good luck with that.

SCSS Stock Price

 

Don’t stop here…  be sure to read Part II: 

124 thoughts on “Select Comfort – customer service failure”

  1. Funny thing is, my wife is very unhappy with our current mattress, while I love it. She actually brought up the idea of a Select Comfort Bed to help settle the difference.

    Not any more though! Sorry, Select Comfort, but you just lost a potential customer.

    Hope it was worth the $150.

  2. Great write up. I would think at this point they just need to put the CEO on twitter no?

  3. I had the same problem with the Sleep Number remotes about nine months ago. Luckily the bed was less than a year old and they sent me a new no pump no problem Now I’m wicked worried that it’s going to happen again! I thought the Sleep Number system was a good long term expense, and it has definitely helped me sleep better. Hopefully it will hold out another few years. Thanks for posting your full experience with them.

  4. Once again, you can’t fix stupid. Twitter is the simplest of all social-networking platforms and yet some companies are utterly clueless with how to utilize it. I’ve seen Southwest KILL with twitter – they search all mentions of the company and I’ve seen them chat someone up whose flight was cancelled and get them re-routed – all via twitter.

    As far a Sleep Number Beds – no company EVER goes out of their way to upgrade hardware without there being a reason that will impact their bottom line. Early AeroGarden units had an impeller that failed after a year, usually just outside of warranty coverage. I’ve had to replace ours three times, WAY out of warranty, but AeroGarden has sent the replacement part free every single time because they know they screwed up. Newer units have an overhauled system, but they still take care of customers with older units.

  5. I’ve had my sleep number bed for just under 7 years, a 5000 model, without experiencing any problems with the pump or either remote. I guess I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that continues.

  6. A supervisor at Select Comfort customer service called me and said she was told to send me a new pump/wireless remotes to replace mine, free of charge. Glad to see they came around.

  7. Thanks for the tip. I was very interested in one of these beds! I also thought they had a 20 year warranty covering EVERYTHING. I just went through the same thing with my sons guitar hero wireless guitar. They only warranty the first one for 3 months. When the second one fails (the same way) after 2 months they claim it’s been 5 months and the guitar is out of warranty. Same twisted way of not servicing poorly designed/defective product. I will never bye from them again and don’t want to go there with SC. Thanks for your post. SC just lost another sale.

  8. just had to replace my pump unit.select comfort said they would pay 60% on the prorated warranty.i didn’t know these pump units had been defective. it cost me $214.95. my old coventional matress never let me down”like flat”.if you cant make a buck honest, hey,screw people.

  9. Just over 2 years old on Sect Comfort. 1 remote completely stopped working and other numbers don’t show completely. Can’t adjust air pressure period. They want $150.00 for pump that they admitted was bad from the beginning. Can’t guarentee new one will be new, maybe refurbished or used with 30 day warranty. Give me a break. They think they have you by the you know what because the bed is useless with out the pump. Another class action suite. I can see it coming people. Spend the extra few dollars and order the Eclipse pump and the adapters. This should about break Select comfort. Or have a bonfire and just cut your losses with at least some enjoyment. Possibly vireo burning and put it on U-Tube and send Select comfort the link. Post the burning pictures outside the store that sells them. Thanks people for letting me vent.

  10. Should have read this prior to my phone calls to Select Comfort. For the past 3 years the mattress (both sides) deflates. Rather than go through the hassle of disassembling the bed (make no mistake, it is a pain), we refill it every morning and night, and even during the night when the discomfort wakes us. However, yesterday I was over the frustration of yet another sleepless night and the body aches that accompany it.

    The anticipated longevity of the pumps is 20 years. However, from my personal experience, I expect no more than 2 years. Once you’ve passed the initial 3 year warranty, you can anticipate the cost of replacing the pumps/remotes at a pro-rated ratio. Today’s cost of the pump is $550 (+ shipping and tax). At a 68% – 32% ratio, my cost today would be $203.51. There is a 30 day out of the box warranty and then after that it would revert to the original mattress warranty. Assuming the replacement pump would last 2 years, I could expect to replace it again at a 60% – 40%. Personally, I’m not sure that it’s worth another $200.

    Our original purchase in January 06 was for $3572.97. Expecting not to need another mattress until 2026 and a good night’s sleep priceless, I thought we could justify this expense. However, the Select Comfort bed is a HUGE waste of money. The worst part is that if I want it to work as it’s supposed to, I need to keep dumping money into the thing as it depreciates.

    If you have $4000 of disposable income, I would suggest purchasing less expensive mattresses and replacing them more frequently.

  11. Sounded like outstanding customer service to me: good communication, responsive, fair, even replaced your defective unit for FREE after your 2-year replacement was up.

    I understand your frustration with components that fail but life is hardly risk-free and it seems completely fair to me to have the consumer assume some of the risk especially two years after purchasing the item. Yes, you were unlucky (even though you cite one or two other customers having a similar problem, thousands have not), but your article seems overly whiny.

    When you purchased the bed you should have reviewed the warranty terms and, if the pro-rated policy did not seem fair to you, not purchase the bed. The same goes with car batteries, electronics, etc. Electronics by their nature are fragile. I’d say 90% of electronic equipment I have purchased has not lasted more than 5 years, but instead of whining to the world and looking for a handout, I move on.

  12. i am having same problem with my remote as well. screen is almost completely blank. i refuse to call because i don’t want to pay more. As is i already spent more than i should on this bed. its a full and cost over 1300$. I should of went with a tempurpedic for the price. i would of never have to worry about their remotes.

  13. I have a problem with the control on one bed and the pump leaking on another. But here is the rest of the story.

    I own 3 Sleep Number Beds. I went into the store at the Burnsville MN Mall with 3 issues: 1. Mold appeared between the air bladder and the foam. 2. The same bed leaks air – doesn’t keep the firmness. 3. The screen on one of the hand controls doesn’t function. When I started to explain the 1st issue to the sales guy, he cut me off and rudely told me to call customers service (which isn’t open on the weekend). I was hoping they had a solution in the store – spray or pouder to control it. I got upset about his tone and attitude and he threatened to call security. (I’m 65 he’s 30 and twice as big as me). When I went to leave the store the other sales guy was blocking the aisle. As I touched him with my fingers to get past, he turned around and struck me in the chest (He’s also 30ish). They did all of this in front of other customers. I never had a chance to get to my other problems. Obviously these guys need some customer service training.

  14. I just wanted to let you know that I have had the wireless remote for three years with the bed, but it has the EXACT SAME problem!!! We have no LCD outputs what-so-ever. Our pump also leaks, and when we asked for help, they sent us hose ends to install ourselves! Terrible company.

  15. I am on my third pump – the original which failed in 15 months and I paid to replace, the replacement which again failed at under two years, and now on the third which also failed in about 18 months. I now pump the bed manually. I refuse to continue paying for faulty products. No satisfaction at all from Select Comfort. As reported by many others, they are firm in not giving any acknowledgement of the serious quality problem that they have. Or they are very clever in the way they have designed sealed pump/control units that fail right on schedule, which cannot be repaired and which must be replaced at exhorbitant prices.

  16. yeah these guys are tools. I have the same problem and just replaced the damn thing rather than deal with SC. I have written them a letter including the receipt for my new bed so they know I was serious about replacing it.

    I think they are not going to be around too much longer now that their dirty little secret is plastered all over the internet.
    Take care..

    jeff

  17. I own a select comfort bed and both of my controls do nothave a display. Called store and of course they said have had no problems. They told me to call the customer service 1-800-472-7185. I will do that tomorrow and will let you know how that goes. The store already warned me that it is pro rated after 2 years. Mine is 3 years and 3 monthes.

  18. I finally reached customer service after about 4 hours of trying and the woman told me that they would send me another unit with wireless remotes for a pro rated cost of 176.00. I explained that I had searched on the web and that there were many problems with the controls. She denied this and said you can’t believe everything you read. I asked to talk with someone else and she said there was no one else. She asked if I wanted to place the order and said no that I would be taking further action. If there is anyone out there that would have any suggestions please email me at gatorrocky@yahoo.com

  19. Had the same problem right out of the box, first pump replaced now no display has been for a while just hung in there. Now wife side of bed goes flat every night. kind of handy so took pump apart and notice hardwire remote plugs in, could be replaced. And where tube slips into fitting in pump develop hair line cracks that causes the leak.
    We’re back on our old mattress which we put in the spare bedroom. Feel sorry for our house guest when they come to stay

  20. Yep, same problem here. I’ve owned a dual queen 5000 for almost 4 years, and the displays on the wired remotes are no longer readable. They started failing after a little over 2 years. Other than not being able to read the numbers, the remotes and pump still work fine, though; and the chambers still hold air. We just need to adjust by feel now. I called Select Comfort a couple of weeks ago and got the same story… pro-rated warranty (which I was aware of), about $165 to replace with an upgraded single wireless remote pump since they don’t make the wired anymore.

    On another note: we’re trying to figure out how to fix the dip in the middle of the bed. We’ve purchased a good memory foam topper and it seems to help quite a bit, but we need to have both sides pumped up to capacity (the toppers work best on a firmer surface). Kind of kills the idea of having adjustable sides! I’ve also heard that using a body pillow on top of the foam centerpiece has been a good solution for some. Other than these issues, I still like the bed.

  21. Sorry, Mary, but I think you’re falling victim to the sunk costs theory. You paid a lot of money for an adjustable mattress that after 4 years has broken controls, sinks in the middle, and to which you’ve purchased a topper which renders the original point of the bed useless… and you like it? What’s still to like about it? You could have bought a $20 sheet of plywood for the same result.

    If you like it that much and want a second, I’ll sell you mine. Half price.

  22. Okay Derek, I have to give you credit for being right. I’m just trying to find the positives after spending so much money for the blasted thing!

  23. Great site, misery loves company!!! 9 months out of warranty and our hardwired remote has the same RARE problem. Same run-around pro-rated story. Let me know where to sign up for the class-action!

  24. My pump broke at 26 months. Select Comfort was rude and uncaring on the phone. I Opened the pump up and its a 3.00 part that broke. An easy fix but they wont sell me part and they tell me my warranty is void for opening pump. I asked her what warranty? Your crappy company wont even sell me the parts.

    Anybody have dual pump that is broken that you want sell me? if you do please e-mail me! mrjasonkarnes@aol.com. everyone else. DO NOT BUY A SELECT COMFORT BED. there warranty is not worth the paper its printed on.

    I am going to take a picture of the broken 3.00 part and my story and send it to the corprate office of ALL of there competitors.

    Jason

  25. Wow I do not know where to start on all this. I have to say that what you have done here is…well…AWESOME. I have a king 5000 (bought Oct. 9, 2005) and both remotes do not have displays anymore. My husbands side went out I would say 4mo ago (or at least that is when we noticed it). I just went to adjust my side last night and have nothing, nada, zip! At least he has a line on his WOOHOO lucky him. Up to this point we have not had any major issues. We do have to adjust every so often due to air deflation. We have had a few hurricanes that caused power outages (one over a week w/o power) and the bed pretty much held air but not fully. Everytime the bed looses air I b**ch about it — it’s no better than the air mattress we take camping! lol Not quite but I would think that a bed I paid $2500 for would work better.

    After reading all the above plus the consumer affairs site I am at a loss for what to do. I have a bad temper and I am not afraid to voice my opinion. I really do not want to get into a shouting match on the phone or in the store. I have high standards when it comes to customer service because I have worked cs for many years. What is that saying “do onto others as you would have done onto you”? hmmmmm

    We were also told that the bed and pump had a 20 year (non limited) warranty. Trust me we went over and over that fact because the mattress we were replacing had a limited warranty that had so many loop holes that we would of dished out between $400 and $500 to ship it (there and back) to the factory and that was just to see if the problem was covered. I guess shame on us for not reading the warranty part in the paperwork that came to us AFTER the 30 days were up. I understand items break no matter the cost BUT when you purchase an item under false pretences it doesn’t count. If a company makes a defective product they should replace it no questions asked (within 20yr warranty ect.).

    Now that I have vented I will bring this to a close. I refuse to spend anymore money for something that SHOULD be covered. I will be waiting for that class action lawsuit! I am even thinking of adding to your little twitter thing if I can. Stick it to them like they stick it to us — that is at least some kind of vindication!

    Any help, questions, or comments please send to spaceylace1111@embarqmail.com :o)

  26. What have you heard about the bed sinking in the middle. Customer service told me to take out the foam and shake it out but that did not solve the problem. I see it as a design flaw. If you sit in the middle of a raft, the same thing will happen.

  27. We’ve had our bed for about 4 years. Wired remotes still work ok, but the air pressure runs down, so by morning it’s almost flat. Does this more on one side than the other, if we swap the tubes, then it reverses, so it’s clearly caused by a leak in the pump. I saw this site, and noticed someone mentioned “eclipse” pump as a replacement for the select comfort unit. I checked e-bay, and they come up for sale there.
    Since we set both sides on 100 (firm) and we also have the memory foam topper (got a 4inch unit at costco), I’ll probably first see if I can inflate and manually plug the bladders with a stopper first, and if that holds, then we probably don’t need the controls anyway.

  28. Wow, this has really changed my opinion – now instead of feeling vaguely annoyed with my bed, I feel very lucky!! I got my select comfort bed in 2001 or 2002 (maybe before they started planned obsolescence/failure?). It has a wired remote – not dual remotes, it has the single wired remote with dual digital controls on the remote. I liked a firm bed, so I didn’t get the pillow-top type, just the plain mattress top, and I did discover over time that this was a little under-padded for my tastes. I received a down mattress topper as a gift, after a little experimentation wound up sticking it inside the mattress cover, right on top of the air chambers, and that’s been great.

    My only complaints have been the foam breakdown (expected, but it happens even faster than I expected) and trying to clean the damn thing. If I didn’t have small children, like would be cool, but even with waterproof mattress pads, etc., it’s gotten drenched with chocolate milk and had the air chambers peed on – and they won’t advise you on the best way to clean it, just say that they don’t recommend it. Well, yeah, obviously it’s best to keep it from needing to be cleaned, but once it gets to the point that it needs to be cleaned, some insight on what to use that won’t lead to the air chamber material braking down, etc. would be awfully useful.

    My daughter’s been begging for her own for a couple of years now, and I was thinking about it – but now I’m thinking that they’ve changed their product for the worse and we won’t be buying any of their newer products!

  29. Punaro,

    I have an interesting story for you and am glad to share to help educate consumers on SC business practices after owning a bed for only two weeks.

    I am not one to complain but found that in my opinion, unfair business practices, lack of customer service and false advertising are in place with Select Comfort (sleep number beds). My wife and I decided to purchase a sleep number bed as we were told by many people they were the best! We found out we were pregnant and the sleep number bed would may help her sleep better during her pregnancy. We purchased a bed in Paradise Valley Mall (Arizona)and all seemed well. We ordered, we were told that if we did not like the bed no problem! We had 30 days to exchange or return and we thought that was great! What we did not realize is that we initialled some fine print that stated “limited edition and specialty beds are exchange only and you only get a one time exchange in addition to a $200 charge to exchange”. We were pretty amazed as when we were initialing our paperwork, the sales person was speaking to us and was diverting our attention away from that clause and never explained that to us, just that we could exchange or return as advertised. We ordered a limited edition bed but unlike the other regular models, this was not in the showroom to test out but were sold on the fact it was better then one model and just a bit less then another and if a mattress pad was added, it equaled the next model up. We slept on the bed for two weeks, spent nearly $2000 between the bed and accessories and was told after going back into the store “just call customer service and I am sure they will help”. Well, after getting extremely frustrated with the lack of customer service and inflexibility, I asked for the CEO’s e-mail and sent the e-mail below to Mr. Bill McLaughlin, President and CEO of Select Comfort. What upsets me the most, is the they say you can not return a bed that is not even readily available in the showroom and there is a one time exchange with a $159 home delivery charge and a $199 exchange charge.

    After not hearing back from his office, I called and had to leave a message for one of his “CEO Assistants”. After playing phone tage with two of them, one of his assistants named John and I connected. We spoke and he said he would look into the customer service issue but he could not do a thing for me aside from waive the exchange fee of $159 but I would be responsible for the $199.00. Basically, I received the same stonewall I received in customer service where he was inflexible and uncaring attitude really upset me. After asking to speak to Mr. McLaughlin, he informed me that Mr. McLaughlin does not take phone calls. In my opinion, something is wrong when a CEO of any company will not speak to a customer. He stated that maybe we should exchange for a bed that is in the showroom. The issue I have is that is the other beds are double the price of the bed we were sold. I feel as if this is their version of a classic bait and switch. They bait you into buying this limited edition bed, do not allow the return like the bed in the showroom and force the customer into purchasing a more expensive bed. After looking online, there seems to be hundreds of posts on a multitude of different websites regarding their policies and procedures and it seems we are not the only ones that are sharing our horror stories.

    Quick Update: I spoke to a Howard today (another CEO assistant as nobody else will speak to me but these assistants) and I got the same story. He tried to educate me on what bait and switch is and as I mention above, although the B&S does not happen at time of the sale, it does happen in the process. My feeling is that this company simply does not care about their customers.

    Thank you for the opportunity to post!

  30. I have the same problem. I have the 9000 series. My side went out about 2 yr ago, now my husbands lcd screen is almost gone too. I called about a yr ago. I refused to pay anymore money on this bed. The pump still works so I just use the fill up button and then count down as I press the down button. I got the adjustable bed too, so I’m out $1000’s of dollars. Too bad, because I did like the bed. I won’t buy another one though. I hate bad customer service. BTW, the useless warranty doesn’t even cover the adjustable frame. It is a different manufacturer, so unless you buy an extended warranty through them it isn’t covered.
    I always complain when I go into a select comfort store. I love when potential customers are there to hear. I alway give them an earful. Thanks for this site.

  31. Bought a used 5000 series and the LCD displays are bad. Searched the web for info and found you site. Great documentation on the problem! Is the display a problem on all wired remotes or just the ones with the round buttons. Your picture shows the round button remote and that is what we have. I see the square button wired pump/remotes for sale on ebay. Wondering if they have a better track record.

  32. hey Wow,, I also just bought a lightly used( 4 yr old) Select 4000 ,, I did go try a few in the store ,to decide what version to get,, also researched and found a Co. (the originate rs of this design) online which is what I would buy if I were to go and buy new one after liking the concept, anyway ,,, I got it home,, and Low and behold,, no digits on the remote ,, just my luck. no one knows if these can be repaired , I seen someone noticed there is a plug after opening the unid up to remove it .. this was supposed to be a trial sorta speak before buying a New bed,, you can Bet what brand I Won’t buy ,, btw I seen replacement pumps that come with select comfort adapters w/ 20 year warranty might be worth it after reading about all these that go dead over and over again.

  33. I just purchased a brand new P5 and I already am very dissatisfied with the customer service. I was lied to by 3 different people. 1 salesperson, the delivery people, and a customer service rep over the phone. The each told me to submit my bill to my insurance. They will cover it. Well, between my doctor’s office and myself we must have made at least 50 calls to select comfort regarding the medical code needed to put on the insurance papers. Only to find out select comfort has NO medical number for their beds. Their beds are not considered for medical purposes. Well then why do they advertise its good for your back???? That should medical to me…

    I also was not happy when I purchased the bed I didn’t get any free pillows or at least a free mattress pad. I have shopped around and found that other bed manufacturers where offering either 2 free pillow or a mattress pad. select comfort said that I got the bed on sale and gave me a travel pillow with a stupid select comfort fortune cookie. Big deal HUH? I just spent 2000.00 and that’s all I got.

    Now that I have the bed I put a bed skirt on the foundation just as you would on any other bed. Well with the select comfort bed, because there is some kind of rubberized stuff on the foundation cover and the mattress cover has some stuff on it that when you put the bed skirt in between the 2 the mattress shifts down towards the foot of the bed a good 3 to 4 inches in only 2 days. Well after numerous emails I finally got a rep that sent me a part and I called their repair dept and took a day off of work (today) only to find out that the part they sent is for an adjustable bed and it has nothing to do with my bed, or my problem. So I just lost a days pay, (because they do not deliver or make repairs after 5:00pmcst or on Saturdays) for nothing. They keep telling me to BUY some Rubbermaid shelf liner or rug grippers and put that between my bed skirt and the mattress. That will solve the problem. I can’t believe that after spending 2K on a bed that the company is aware of a problem with bed skirts they don’t have a remedy for that problem.

    So now the bed costs me 2k, 2 days pay and now I have to go BUY something (spend more money) to correct a problem they should fix.

    I will NEVER recommend their product to any of my family or friends, not for the product being defective, but for the lack of customer service. This company select comfort is way to independent, so with the way I see it, they don’t need anymore money. If they don’t want to service the existing customer’s they already have, they surely don’t need anymore.. I’ve been in customer service for over 30 years and never did any of the companies I worked for treated a customer as poorly as select comfort treats their customer’s. When the companies were wrong they somehow either fixed the problem at their expense or made amends in a monetary way. Just to keep that customer happy and have that customer recommend their product to others.

    The warranty is not 20 years. Read your book carefully. That’s a farce as well.

  34. Bought mine 7/8/2008……today – both of my remotes went bad…….sent email to customer service. Lets see how they screw this up. I will update.

  35. I can’t read the display on my remote. I went online to look for a replacement and I can not believe I would have to replace the entire pump. So this is an “uncommon problem”. Not from what I am reading. I would not recommend this bed to anyone. I never had to wonder if my old mattress was going to let me down.

  36. I used to work at Select Comfort. I couldn’t stand being trained to lie to people all day, being trained to be a mindless Select Comfort robot. They try to brainwash their employees. They have monthly meetings with videos from “corporate” telling you how excited to be to work for the company and how great it is and how much you’re helping people, but the focus was to do and say anything for a sale. Its like 1984 and the 2 minutes of hate.
    I ended up suffering an injury and I had to be out of work for a month. I brought the doctors information, and told them what I needed. They said that it wasn’t possible, that I’d be fired, so I’d be better off submitting a resignation. I was only 20 years old, and looking back, that was probably illegal for them to force me to resign when I had medical reason for requesting leave. One more strike against their “character” as a company.
    It was the worst place I ever had to work, ever. They are liars, and they are only CAPABLE of spouting out the “script” when it comes to customer service. Even in sales we had to follow that script, and if anyone asked a question during the shpeel, to keep from going “off book”, we had to say “What an EXCELLENT question! I will answer that for you in just one moment, but FIRST, let me show you THIS!!!!!” The customers just get lead around, their questions ignored or covered up, and any answers provided are vague and in Select Comfort company jargon.
    They practically force you into buying a bed if you want to work there, they give you an employee discount, but ONLY if you buy within the first 3 months of your employment. Then the managers, the other sales people, the regional managers, they all ask if you’ve gotten your bed yet and when its coming in and how you need the bed to be able to truly understand its wonders in order to sell it better. Needless to say, I got one, and I’m stuck with it, and I NEVER had that kind of money, I’m a young adult trying to survive right now.
    I just called customer service today because, like so many others, my chamber is falling flat. I owe 46 dollars on my account, and then its paid off. I was told “until your balance is paid off, we can’t do anything with your warranty.” So, I’ve given you thousands, and the $46 dollars is on automatic draft from my account, but you can’t help me. The thing is, even if they DO help with my warranty, I’m still going to have to pay hundreds to replace the “Firmness Control System” (Told you it was brainwashing!!!! I can’t call it the control box or pump to save my life!) Its horrible, HORRIBLE! So if anyone has any doubts, or just thinks that an upset customer is being vindictive, know that this guy is just trying to save you from wasting your time money and energy on a worthless company that is only looking out for itself. They couldn’t care less about their customers. Please PLEASE avoid them at all costs.

  37. Same problem, remotes. UGH. I guess I can’t expect the company to do anything about it. How about a class action suit?

  38. Surprise! I got the same response as everyone else:

    Dear Richard,

    Thank you for contacting Select Comfort. We apologize for the delayed response and the issue you are experiencing with your pump. Upon reviewing your account I’ve found that you are currently in the pro-rated portion of your warranty. This means that Select Comfort will cover 64% of the replacement cost for the defective component. Because your remotes are hard-wired into your pump unit, we will automatically upgrade you to a wireless pump unit at no additional charge. Your cost to replace the pump under warranty is $99.00 plus tax and shipping. All warranty sales are considered final with a 30 day 100% warranty; after which it reverts back to your existing warranty coverage. If you would like to place an order and choose to pay with a credit card, please contact us via telephone at 1-800-472-7185 with your credit card information, as emails are not secure.

    I apologize for the issue you experienced with your Select Comfort bed. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further concerns.

    Thank you,

    Keri Coppin
    Select Comfort
    Customer Service
    1-800-472-7185

  39. If only information had been available like this when I bought my unit! My king size bed will not inflate. I studied for months before I bought mine 6 years ago. Don’t buy this bed!! Wondering if I can get anything on Craig’s list for the plastic frame. Thank you for taking the time to warn others. Intelligently written article.

  40. Just to let all you guys now, all things cost money and expensive things usually need to be maintained. I did find out from the company that they do have a new policy on the motors. If you ever have to pay any portion to have your motor replaced, then you never pay again. So if you pay $150 for a new motor in 3 years and then need a new one again in another 2 years or 4 or 6. Then those motors are considered already paid for and you are not charged again. So they do seem aware of some issues.

    I just want to point out that some one earlier mentioned that you send 1/3 of your life in bed. So how much time do you spend in your car? If you’re like me and commute then most of your time is spent either driving or sleeping. So how much do you spend on your care monthly for gas, oil changes, new tires or just routine maintenance? So heaven forbid you have to spend $150 on your bed every 2-3 years (worst case scenerio) when you spend more time in it than you do your car. And you paid about 10x more!

    Some people replace their WHOLE mattress every 3 years and drop at the minimum $1000 each time.

    Just saying….

  41. Thanks for the info, Krista (sales rep for Select Comfort). However, I disagree with your/the company’s line that a $2000 bed should either require “maintenance” every 2-3 years, or that anyone in their right mind would replace a mattress that is supposed to last “twice as long as an innerspring” every three years.

    So it appears now, that Select Comfort’s position is to buy two motors every time you buy one of their beds. Fantastic vote of confidence in their product. It’s like a reverse warranty! “Buy one and when it breaks, buy another, and if it breaks again then maybe we won’t charge you a third/fourth/fifth time (unless we change our policy again).”

  42. wish we would have had this info BEFORE we bought our twin mattresses with wired remote that is blank!

  43. Krista from Select Comfort – Before we bought this bed I had only changed my mattress TWICE in my lifetime. $1000 every three years may be the “norm” for people who make more money, but for our family we found our mattresses lasted QUITE a bit longer. And with sales that include the box spring for $1 you’ll only be paying at most $600 for a pretty decent mattress which will last you at least ten years.
    I have been having issues with the “Comfort” portion of this mattress from about six months after purchasing it. My Husband and I can no longer sleep in each others arms due to the trench that lies between us. And now I am seven months pregnant again, and even WITH the memory foam mattress topper we decided to buy to make the bed more comfortable, I have the most trouble sleeping I have ever had during pregnancy.
    It’s an air mattress that sits on top of a plastic platform which requires constant adjustment. This product is inconsistent, uncomfortable and disappointing. You have our $2000+ dollars and when we tire of sleeping like college students we are going back to a regular mattress with a REAL bed underneath. There is no need for further comment from the Select Comfort company regarding this matter, and please take us off your mailing list too, although the pricing of your products does make me giggle.

  44. Wow people! You assume a lot (and you know what they say about people that assume). First off, I’ve never heard such a bunch on whiners in my life. Second, I don’t work for Select Comfort ( I actually work for Barnes & Noble… gotta love the Nook). I just love my bed and did a lot of research on it before I bought it. The sales people in the store were helpful and answered all my questions honestly. I love my bed and have had no issues and I’ve owned it about 4 years.

  45. Oh, my apologies Krista. I didn’t know you didn’t work for Select Comfort anymore. You obviously did in May 2009, since a ten second google search brought up your engagement announcement and your IP address confirms you’re writing from Little Rock.

    Congrats on the wedding! Sorry Select Comfort didn’t work out for you, but I’m glad you’re enjoying your bed. I hear Select Comfort “strongly encourages” all their employees to own one. Sleep well.

  46. Yes , I have the same problem with my controller and have called their support line just to be told the same shame full responce. I also have a problem with my mattress as it inflates all across but after a few days it seems to lose air only on half of the mattress so I must sleep on a area of only 12-14 ” wide or you slide down to the foundation. They told me I would cost me about $700.00 for that mattress replacement. What a big disappointment. I would never recomend this company to anyone.

  47. We purchased a “factory second” Sleep Number 5000 for approx. $2200 in Oct ’05. We were “upgraded” to a wireless remote as part of the deal. The bed was ok, not spectacular though, and definitely not worth what we spent. About two years later my wife began waking up with a sore back, and noticed her side of the bed was slowly losing air. She would fill the mattress back up, and within a few days it had deflated again. Customer service sent us new air fittings for the tubing, which didn’t fix the problem. SC offered to send us another pump pro-rated at $250, at which point I told them where to shove their crappy bed. I promptly took the cover off the pump (oh no, I voided the warranty!) and discovered a crack in the fitting where the tubing connects to the pump. I purchased an epoxy designed specifically for plastic repairs, smeared it over the crack in the fitting, and let it cure overnight. Problem fixed for $5! The problems didn’t end there though; a short time later the wireless remote display started dropping pixels, and new batteries didn’t fix the problem. For the past two years, the remote has only displayed about 20% of the pixels, so we have had to adjust the pressure solely by feel. All in all, this bed has been the worst purchase I have ever made. To “rcknsol” who commented that the consumer should share responsibility, and those people who have experienced problems are “unlucky,” what planet do you live on? Those of us who have experienced problems are victims of poor design and lack of quality materials, and we have found a venue to vent our frustrations. I’m certain there are no shortage of dissatisfied Sleep Number customers. Bottom line – Sleep Number beds are horribly overpriced, poor quality, glorified air mattresses.

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