When Savings Cost You More Than Money

Imagine you’re about to buy a fancy new car, and notice the logo on the glove box reads “Bill’s Discount Air Bags.” Or you’re being wheeled into emergency heart surgery, and out of the corner of your eye you see the doctor opening the package of instruments labeled “Stent-O-Matic.”

Are you feeling more or less comfortable about your health and safety?

Customers complain about odors, texture, and poor performance of the "Bob-O-Pedic"

Bob-O-Pedic: Customers complain about odors, texture, and poor performance

The same is true with mattresses. They’re just as important to your daily health and fitness as any item you own.

Sure, the ads sound tempting. Buy the “Bob-O-Pedic” and get the same quality as the major brand for a fraction of the price. The commercials are careful to avoid any specific claims or direct quality comparisons, instead posing a rhetorical question to the viewer (paraphrasing) “How much worse can it really be?”.

Um, much worse.

Customers have posted a mountain of complaints online citing terrible odors, oily textures, and worst of all, poor performance resulting in pain and numbness. Despite warranties promising 20 years of coverage, buyers complain that Bob’s refuses to resolve legitimate customer complaints.

Cheap Chinese products are flooding the US home furnishings market. Flimsy wood furniture with cheap fasteners and poor workmanship, low-grade leather that cracks and tears, and questionable fillers. Industry insiders talk about Chinese-made memory foam containing lead and stone dust to give the false appearance of higher weight, which commands a higher price.

Before “saving” on a Chinese-made memory foam mattress like the Bob-O-Pedic, consider these facts:

  1. According to the Washington Post, in just four months during 2007, the US government caught 298 shipments of tainted products from China.
  2. Many of these seized shipments were food products, contaminated with illegal pesticides, dangerous bacteria, banned antibiotics, and cancer-causing chemicals. Other tainted items included counterfeit medicines, toxic cosmetics, and (famously) children’s toys laden with lead.
  3. In September, 2008, Chinese milk products were tainted with the industrial chemical melamine. Six infants died and 300,000 people worldwide were sickened by over 800 tons of tainted milk. A Chinese court determined that it was deliberate; 22 different factories added melamine to milk to give the appearance of higher protein levels.  In January of 2011, Forbes Magazine and others reported that due to “incompetent” Chinese product safety officials, over 2,000 tons of the tainted milk was still in the distribution chain.
  4. In January of 2010, Yahoo reported children’s jewelry was tainted with alarmingly high levels of cadmium, a dangerous heavy metal that can cause cancer and hinder brain development in children.
  5. In Spring of 2010, several states reported that tainted drywall imported from China (priced 85% lower than domestic sources) was emitting foul odors, and causing respiratory illnesses for homeowners, and even causing wiring to corrode.

And that’s just the stuff that was caught! Imagine how many other tainted products pass through every day. Then ask yourself if you want to spend 1/3 of your life with your body pressed against a Chinese-made mattress that comes from a country willing to poison its own babies for profit.

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1 Response to When Savings Cost You More Than Money

  1. I purchased the Bobopedic lite for my daughter when she was 2. 6 years latter we made the connection to her never ending medical problems. I am extremely mad that this product is allowed in the US.

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