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Let’s set the scene – my mum is in her 60’s, retired and, due to health reasons, often has to use a walking stick or mobility scooter.

She orders a bed from Dreams. Not any old bed, but a top of the range, £2000 adjustable bed. Bearing in mind most people probably spend a couple of hundred, you’d think they’d be tripping over themselves to look after her.

Sadly not.

She visited her local store and placed the order. The bed, in due course, turned up. Unfortunately, due to a narrow hallway it wouldn’t fit 1, no matter what the delivery people tried (including the window). It was only at this point she found out about a 20% charge for returning it (it hadn’t been mentioned to her before and she only found it printed on the back of the receipt) – which they say is because “it’s no longer new”. It’s still in its plastic and hasn’t been used but, for whatever, reason they say they can’t see it as new anymore.

Only after agreeing to buy an alternative bed with a slimmer base did they knock this charge down to 10% (although they say they’ll have to charge 20% if they don’t order a replacement). So how can she make sure that this one will fit? Well, she can’t. She rang Dreams and said it wasn’t up to them.

So, she’s stuck. Pay 20% and go elsewhere or pay 10% and stick with Dreams, in the hope that the next bed will fit.

I checked the website and found that this 20% is now shown in their Terms & Conditions, so I rang them. It appears that this is because, due to the Distance Selling Regulations, if you order online or via the phone they can’t charge to refund the item – hence its now shown on their website (so beware of checking website for T&Cs before ordering from a store – they may not match!). Which is interesting. My mum is going to look into this further but it’s likely if she orders online, the store will charge her first refund at 20%.

During all of this, my mum has been met with disdain and generally poor attitudes from Dreams.

Sadly, she’s not the only one with problems. And there’s more.

  1. she wasn’t expecting this as the bed was smaller than the hallway – the issue was angling it through the door[]