Disclaimer: This is my story (originally posted in mid August) and what I experienced. There is no intention of giving unsolicited legal advice. Experiences are to be shared so that people can judge and use any and all information they acquire. That being said…
I Almost Sued a Company!
Internet shopping always comes with the possibility of fraudulent businesses and unfulfilled promises. Long story short, I encountered one of these companies. Emma Matratzen GmbH is a mattress company all around Europe with lots of internet presence. They advertise their products in all the social media platforms as well as on classical media. They are proud of their product and flash their awards on every advertisement. On the other hand, you meet hoards of upset customers if you even pay a little bit of attention to the comments of this company’s advertisements online.
Well… I should have paid some attention to those internet testimonials. I recently moved apartments. I was in the need of a bed and ordered one from Emma Matratzen GmbH. They failed to send my bed and made me sleep on my couch for a month. When asked, they said they will not cancel my order either! The full version of the story is below. Let me move onto how I got my money back from Emma right away.
Here is the Algorithm of How I Got My Money Back From Emma:
This is what worked for me and my business with Emma ended in a record breaking 45 days. I see people are struggling for months/years with this company.
- Send Emma regular customer support requests, ask for updates on your unfulfilled order/cancellation/refund.
- Find and contact your nearest Customer Rights Office and ask for their advice.
- In a formal language, send Emma Matratzen GmbH an email formally asking for the cancellation and give them a formal 14 days grace period to refund you. Cite the following law + reason:
European Union Trade Law: [CELEX-No .: 32011L0083 ] Chapter 33, Items 37, 40, 42: The present contract is a business without the physical presence of the contracting parties, outside of the business premises of the entrepreneur. With this type of business the customer has a right of withdrawal in accordance with [CELEX-No .: 32011L0083]. If the withdrawal has been declared, the company is obliged to repay it.
- No matter what they say/do after point 3. remind them that you have given them the 14 days formal grace period and your decision is final.
- If they fail to refund you in the 14 days, contact your nearest Customer Rights Office again.
I feel like this is a solid algorithm. I hope you will not let them keep your honestly earned money.
Here is What Happened to Me:
This is a story as old as time. A company does some customer wrong, that customer has lots of quarantine time on their hands, and next thing you know, they decide to procrastinate on everything they are actually supposed to do and fight back. Does it make this a Don Quixote or an actual standing for your rights story? You decide.
I moved apartments recently and in that I needed to purchase a mattress. I decided to purchase a mattress from Emma Matratzen over the internet due to their 100 days no-questions-asked return option and the one award they keep flashing on their advertisements. It looked like a safe bet. I ordered a mattress on June 29th, 2020, to be delivered between 7th to 11th of July. This was supposed to be my new mattress in my new apartment. I found having a mattress in an apartment to be quite important. Silly me. This order got unfulfilled. I contacted the Emma Matratze GmbH through their customer support system many times and finally I got a new delivery date of 22nd of July. I have not received the order on that date either. I told them that I want to cancel this order on July 22nd for the first time to no avail. I tried to contact them many times through their online customer support but they did not respond to my inquiries.
After the second failed delivery date and unanswered customer support emails, I called the company directly and asked the representative what was happening. They told me that the mattress was in their warehouse, it was supposed to be sent soon. I was told that I was going to receive a tracking number on July 24th and receive the mattress exactly on July 27th, 2020 (jokes on me, this did not happen). I clearly stated that their business conduct was not appropriate and asked them to cancel my order. They told me that they will not cancel my order. Then I asked for a return and refund my order, if they will not cancel it. This company offers 100 days of no-questions-asked refunds. They said they will not refund my order either. To add insult to injury, the representative hung up the phone on me when I asked “What would you like me to? You are not sending the bed, not cancelling it, not giving my money back, what would you do if you were in my shoes?”.
Right after my phone conversation with the Emma Matratzen GmbH, I contacted my credit card company and told them about this issue. I was hoping that we can dispute this fraudulent charge at the credit card level. I explained the situation. They suggested that I contact their Risk Management Department and also to contact the Consumer Rights Office. Sadly, the Risk Management Department were late to respond and I did pay for a bed that I will never see. Hence, Emma Matratzen GmbH really got my money without providing any service and left me in an apartment with no mattress to sleep on.
At this point I was already sleeping on my couch for weeks. Now think about this, you have a new apartment, new life, new hopes, a new bed frame, a new box spring, new sheets but no mattress… for weeks.
I decided enough was enough and contacted the Upper Austria’s Customer Rights Office on July 29th. Exactly one month after my initial order. They told me that I was in the right and that I should cite the law and ask for my money. I wrote a formal email to Emma and told that I have the Customer Rights Office involved, and they have guided me to give them a formal 14 days to cancel my order and fully refund me. Trust me, you’ll start getting responses from Emma Matratzen GmbH once you tell them that you contacted the Customer Rights.
Emma replied with the same shebang, how they have the mattress advanced in the shipment process, whatever and ever. But you have o understand that they are so sneaky and will do anything to keep the money. Here is the BS they suggested I do to get my refund (even after I told them that I have the law on my side):
- I wait for the shipment to arrive,
- Reject the delivery,
- Wait for the shipment I rejected to go back to Emma,
- Then wait for them to start the refund process.
This is for an item they failed to ship after a month. Oh, the idiocy of this company’s practices! How dumb do you think I am? I flat out rejected this and reminded that they have been given a 14 days grace period to refund me and that was final. And in each email from that point on I reminded them that they have been given this grace period to refund me and I expect my funds reinstated by the end of August 12th.
I interacted with couple of Emma Matratzen victims on the company’s Instagram page. I told them that I had enough of this company and I already contacted Customer Rights Office on August 2nd or 3rd. I advised everyone to do the same.
Surprise! Surprise! My comments disappeared on Instagram and furthermore, on August 4th, I got an automated email from Emma saying my mattress is on its way with a DPD tracking number. This is 15 days after I first asked them to cancel the order and a week after I got Customer Rights Office involved. This was easy though, I told Emma that they sent a mattress into the void and I would reject their shipment even if it comes and their grace period was still in effect. I contacted DPD and told them that I will reject the item and this was Emma Matratzen GmbH’s pitiful attempt to delay my cancellation and refund. DPD cancelled the shipment for me. After I told Emma I even got their shipment cancelled, they finally (and unwillingly) told me that they will refund me.
They still waited till the literal end of the grace period. I got an automated email from Emma stating that they started their refund process and that I will get my money back on August 12th at 20:20 (8:20 pm). I got my money reinstated couple of days later. In my mind they still failed to finalize the refund in time. I am callused by now though. After all this is Emma Matratzen. No surprises here. They seem to suck at everything business related. They are late, but at least they have done one thing that they were legally obligated to do. All in all, I finally got my money from the claws of this fraudulent company and I am happy now.
Postlude and Reflection
I kept on thinking if my expectations were too high in the times of Covid19. Then again, all the other companies I purchased stuff from delivered their shares to my apartment on time. Moreover, I was not the one that put the delivery estimates on Emma Matratzen’s website. If only they wrote:
If you purchase this item on June 29th 2020, we will lie to you constantly, force you to the brink of a legal battle with us, and maybe ship your order on August 4th after you asked us to cancel it many times.
I would have decided not to order it. Instead they wrote, guaranteed delivery dates to be in 7 to 10 days.
To make it even more clear that shipping a mattress is/was possible even at this time: I actually ordered a mattress from another company on 27th of July and got it delivered on 29th of July successfully, while I was still trying to get my money back from Emma.
I also thought about sharing this online or not. I am not known for being an activist. I do not know myself as an activist. This time though, I found a huge database of people that fell victim to this company on social media platforms (especially on Instagram and Facebook, but Emma Matratzen seems to actively suppress bad publicity especially on Instagram, so this group of people keeps on changing), on https://at.trustpilot.com/review/emma-matratze.de, https://de.trustpilot.com/review/emma-matratze.ch, and the list goes on. I felt the need to share my experience at least with them.
I hope this story would entertain someone, or maybe even give the courage to take a step against wrongdoing.