I am taking the unusual step of posting a caution about one of our members. NOTE: See post #11 in the thread where this caution has been removed.
As many of you know … Custom Sleep Design is a recommended member of this site and they manufacture a premium mattress that is unique in its design. It is customized through a type of zoning and layering that allows it to “fit” the needs and preferences of the people on the mattress very accurately. Because of its design … it also allows for the exchange of layers or zoning sections which can customize the mattress to finer degrees than is possible with other designs. This zoning and custom design is part of the reason for its higher price (there is a lot of “wasted materials” because full layers of the same type are not used in the top layers and the exchange of layers can lead to a lot of “extra” latex layers being used before a customer reaches their final configuration).
When I first invited them to become members here … I had had many conversations with Bob over the last several years (before I started this site) and had come to think highly of both him and the mattresses he was producing and even though they were in a higher price range than many of the choices here … like the other members here their “value” IMO was among the best in the country. Even before this site was started … they had supplied many customers with some great “custom designed” mattresses.
They were a young company less than 5 years old however which means that they could be subject to growing pains and cash flow issues that come from growth that would already be solved with more established companies. As they grew … these issues have become more apparent but worse yet they have led to a rather serious decline in their communication with their customers as they sought to “gain time” to meet their commitments. This has led to some frequent instances of over promising (as a delay strategy) and under delivering (when reality repeatedly caught up to them). While I certainly understand the pressures of any new business, I don’t understand lack of communication even if it is just to pass on news of longer delays. Good communication is part of a premium manufacturer IMO and they have fallen short here.
I have kept in touch with them on a regular basis during their challenging times and because of this I know there has been no risk of a consumer losing money and that there are specific plans in place to correct these cash flow issues so common to younger companies that will allow for better delivery time of their mattresses and exchange layers. These strategies and plans however have taken longer than they expected and even though some parts of them have already happened and resulted in some partial improvement … they have not yet been fully implemented and there have still been some extended delays which is rather distressing to me (a post today for example about a member here that has been waiting over a month for an exchange and 4 months after a purchase still hasn’t reached their final configuration).
I had a conversation today with Bob who indicated that next week, the next step in these plans should happen and result in significant improvement however “next week” has been promised on several occasions before. I also told him that I believe he needed to do something for the people who had purchased his mattresses that bought and paid for premium service including delivery times and layer exchanges and haven’t received it … no matter what may happen from this point onwards. In effect … they have received less than they paid for IMO and it would be reasonable for these customers that were caught in CSD’s challenges to be offered some type of rebate.
Normally I wouldn’t make a post that was this specific in terms of what I believe is necessary now but I think that the ongoing pattern of poor communication and less than promised performance justifies it.
So until “next week” is reality … I would suggest that the members here avoid making a purchase from CSD until the plans are confirmed to be reality and that once again they can go back to under promising and over delivering. For those who choose to make a purchase because of the quality and design of the mattress they make … I would make sure that part of the purchase agreement is a specific commitment to delivery times and any necessary layer exchanges and a specific price adjustment if they are not able to live up to the commitments they make at the time of the purchase. I also believe that those who were caught in these circumstances should be offered a meaningful rebate to make up for the lack or performance and service that was part of the reason for their purchase in the first place.
None of this diminishes my belief in the quality and value of the mattresses they make and sell … but part of their value is the service they provide as well and if this is not up to par or involves unreasonable delays that the customer didn’t initially agree to … then the price they paid needs to be “adjusted” IMO to make up for what they received.
Bob also told me that he has hired a new customer service person that will officially start next week (and a second will be added soon as well) who will make sure that any customers that have been left waiting for a mattress or a layer exchange are called and told what the “real” expected time frames will be.
I look forward to the time when things are back to what they should be with a premium manufacturer who offers premium service (and the type of service they offered when I first knew them and for some time after) … and hopefully that will be next week. Until it is reality though and not just a promise, I wanted to post this caution for those who are considering a purchase and to let the members here who are affected by these circumstances know what I have suggested be done to make up for the lack of performance, service and communication they have received.