3OYS: Tempe couple sold used, dirty mattress covered with new material

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz -- A Tempe couple thought they bought a brand new mattress set. And what a deal they thought they got! $150 bucks for the box spring, the mattress and delivery. But when they discovered what they really bought, things got ugly.

"Hey, hey! Get your hands off the camera; don't touch the camera." 3 On Your Side was caught right in the middle of a confrontation between an upset couple. "This is what you do to people? And a mattress business. You trick people; you steal people's money?"

Shariff Allom and Jennifer Duff bought the mattress set weeks earlier at this business run out of storage shed, just off of 40th street and Washington.  But once they got the new mattress set home, they say they realized it was infested with bed bugs. Shariff said: "Just a couple nights ago I got bit on my hand, so I got up and started looking around on the bed and I found a little bug."

"We were, like, disgusted," Jennifer added. "We immediately took a shower."

The couple first contacted 3 On Your Side back in March when they explained how they paid $150 for what they thought was a new mattress set. While they knew the price was pretty inexpensive, they feel they got more than they bargained for.

Shariff told 3 On Your Side: "We found, like, twigs and pieces of trash so it must have been outdoors. The people who had it before threw it away and then these people went and got it and covered it up."

Determined to get to the bottom of what they were sleeping on, they gave the mattress a closer inspection. What they found was disgusting.  It was a dirty, old, used mattress wrapped in clean fabric and made to look new.

Shariff and Jennifer showed 3 On Your Side the mattress set inside their Tempe apartment. "The tag here says all new material, whatever it consists of."

"We don't know where this mattress has been or who's been on it or anything and that's, like, we sleep on that," they say.

This isn't the first time 3 On Your Side has seen something like this. Back in February, a Valley woman says she purchased a mattress from a completely different business and later discovered it was also infested with bed bugs, used and stuffed inside new fabric to look new.

Jennifer said: “When this happened to us we went onto the website,  and we saw  another story on there, and we were like, oh my gosh."

Shariff and Jennifer say they're going through a similar situation. And after discovering what they had really purchased, they went back to that corner lot, and the 3 On Your Side team went with them. "Why are you guys selling mattresses like this ?  It’s disgusting."

"Where does it say new mattresses?"
"On the mattress buddy."
"What are these, used?"

It was at this time when another guy with the mattress business showed up and told the salesman to just give the couple their money back. "$125 for the set and $25 for delivery."

They not only got their cash back they also got an apology from a man believed to be associated with the mattress business. "i''m sorry, man," he said.

The couple then said: “So, like, are you guys continue to sell these to people ? The tag on here says new!”

Jennifer and Shariff say they're not in search of a new mattress set and say they’ve learned that you sometimes get what you pay for.  "Never again," they say. "Never again."

In the industry, these mattresses are referred to as a reconditioned mattresses. But, they have to be labeled as reconditioned.  That mattress was labeled new, which it clearly wasn't.

BBB Tips for Mattress Shopping:

1) Shop Around. mattress prices and quality vary.
2) Ask if the retailer sells used bedding.
3) If you want a new mattress, make sure it has the appropriate tag.
4) Make sure you look at the tag on the actual mattress you are buying before you leave the store or before the delivery person leaves your house.
5) Ask the retailer to write new on your sales receipt so that if the mattress turns out to be used, you'll have some recourse.
6) Avoid retailers with mattresses that don't carry tags
7) Ask about retailer's return and refund policies, and get copies in writing

To file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's office visit: