EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - People have joked about them for years, those mattress tags stating "Do not remove under penalty of law." But a Metro East woman who removed hers literally lost sleep over it and thought she was out $1,500.
"I like to use the kitchen counter top to stretch," said Amy Murphy as she demonstrated what she does to fight off pain. "I do this a lot. Years ago, I played roller hockey so my back is not great."
Neither was her mattress, so Amy Murphy decided to buy a new one. She went to Mattress Source in Edwardsville, and on the advice of her salesman, paid $1,500 for a memory foam model.
"Because he says it's great when your back hurts and it will make you feel better," she recalled.
On top of that, it has a 25-year warranty. But within months, the mattress began to sag in the middle.
"Now every morning I'm getting up and I'm feeling exactly like I did with my old pillow top. I'm walking like I'm 100-years-old," she said.
So Murphy contacted Mattress Source, which came out and documented the sag similar to how she demonstrated to 5 on Your Side, using a string placed across the mattress and a ruler to measure the space between the string and the mattress.
"I thought, 'Well, how can you go wrong with a 25-year warranty?" she said.
But Murphy committed a big no-no, she cut that tag. You know, the tag that says "Do not remove under penalty of law." The mattress police never showed up, but a problem sure did.
"They told me it says on that tag if you remove this it voids your warranty," said Murphy. "I now call it the punishment tag."
She had her paperwork proving her purchase, but there seemed to be nothing the speech therapist could say to solve the problem, so she asked for help from 5 on Your Side's Mike Rush, who called Mattress Source, which was quick to respond.
Within days, "well, I have a brand new bed," said Murphy, with a smile.
It's even an upgrade at no extra charge; no unwanted sag, and yes, a new, never-to-be-cut, tag.
Rush: "So the big question is, how does your back feel?"
Murphy: "Better than it has felt in many, many months."
A spokesperson for Mattress Source says most manufacturers won't take mattresses back without tags, but this one agreed.
By the way, it's only unlawful to remove the tag before a sale. That's to protect buyers so they know it's a new mattress and what filler is inside. It is, of course, not against the law for the owner to remove the tag.