When a customer service representative at Amerisleep makes a massive pricing error on a mattress, Kimber Ashrafi wants the company to hold him to it.
How massive? We’re talking a $1,759 discount. Oops.
This story highlights the need for basic tolerance and understanding of human fallibility, even when it happens on the other side of the counter.
People make mistakes. That’s a fact. In this case, the error was quickly corrected and Ashrafi suffered no damages. We were puzzled by her continued pursuit to force the company to give her something that she has been told was a misunderstanding.
Should we have assisted her?
An Amerisleep representative makes a massive pricing error
Ashrafi contacted our team because she was angry that Amerisleep had botched the delivery of her mattress and headboard. She had paid several hundred dollars extra for the specialized delivery service, called “white glove.” This service included pickup and removal of all debris associated with the delivery.
Instead, the delivery company arrived on the wrong day and was far from a “white glove” service. Ashrafi described a scenario in which the delivery people were assembling her bed “in the dirt and grass” of her front yard.
At this point, I was onboard with Ashrafi’s case.
She immediately called Amerisleep to file a complaint. Because she was having floors installed in her house, she could not take delivery of the bed that day. So Amerisleep agreed to pack it up and bring it back on the originally scheduled date.
An Amerisleep representative makes a mistake
Ashrafi then went on Amerisleep’s online chat feature and spoke to one of the representatives named Eric. She asked for help. She complained about the lack of the “white glove” service and was concerned that her furniture may have been damaged during this initial delivery attempt.
Eric apologized and said that Amerisleep could not provide “white glove” service in her area. He told Ashrafi that her fee would be refunded. When she pressed the issue, he then said that she would be offered a 50 percent discount on part of the order. He told her that Amerisleep would be refunding her a total of $1,759.
We will issue you a refund for the white glove ($299), along with a 50 percent refund for the adjustable bed ($1,440). Total refund being $1,739.
Ashrafi’s total order was $4,528.
This huge discount seemed completely out of line with the “inconvenience” that she had suffered. The delivery was attempted one day early. That can certainly be annoying. But, in terms of her other complaint about the lack of white glove service, I discovered that she had been informed before the delivery that it was not available. She had already been assured that she would receive a refund for that service. So for a one-day early delivery attempt she was being offered a $1,739 discount.
All signs pointed to the Amerisleep agent making a mistake with the refund.
A quick correction by this Amerisleep agent: “I made a pricing error”
This chat occurred at 2:09 p.m. At 2:55 p.m., Eric came back, corrected himself and said he had made a mistake:
I want to let you know that I misunderstood my upper management communication and we are simply not in a position to offer this type of deal.
We are offering to refund your order in full for the inconvenience, but cannot sell the adjustable bed any lower.
Please kindly accept our apology and let me know how you would like to proceed.
Ashrafi did anything but “kindly accept” Eric’s apology and began a campaign to hold the company to his mistake.
By the time Ashrafi had contacted Elliott Advocacy, she had already escalated her complaint to the top level of the company. She told us that the CEO had responded to her. She said that he was firm and told her that she would not be receiving this giant discount.
When I read Ashrafi’s request for help I pointed out to her what the company was offering to make her whole. The company offered her two options:
- Cancel the entire order and receive a complete refund.
- Accept delivery and have the white glove service payment refunded. The company also threw in an offer of a discount for accessories.
A fair and reasonable resolution to this mistake
When Ashrafi contacted Elliott Advocacy, I thought this seemed like a reasonable resolution to her complaint about this agent’s refund mistake gaffe. I did not see any damages that we could mediate.
Ashrafi disagreed with my assessment and continued to press the issue.
“My question to you is that since the original delivery was totally screwed up … and then they promised the discount in writing, how can [my request be rejected],” Ashrafi asked. “I am just asking for what he promised — the discount of $1,739.”
I reiterated that the best resolution here would be to void the transaction and receive a refund.
Two months later, Ashrafi was still on the pursuit of this compensation from Amerisleep. She posted in our help forum asking for further suggestions.
I was surprised that months later she was still on a quest to receive this mistakenly-offered discount. In her post on the forums, she indicates that she did take our advice and return the furniture for a full refund. Now she wanted to repurchase the furniture and apply the “discount.” She provided a chat transcript that showed that she is threatening the company, telling them that she received advice to post her story on a public message board.
Our advocacy team never suggests these tactics. The company refunded her completely. She can choose to use them or not. When a company makes a mistake, apologizes and makes the consumer whole we call that a successful case.