City inspectors find violations at stores that sell used and refurbished mattresses
SAN ANTONIO - Two years ago the News 4 Trouble Shooters showed how easy it was for furniture stores to sell you a used, dirty mattress. After our story the city started its first mattress store inspection program. Trouble Shooter Jaie Avila went through inspection records to see if they’re making things safer for consumers.
Since the program started in early 2016 code enforcement officers have inspected 384 mattress retailers across the city, and have given out 51 violation notices.
Some of the most common violations were: failing to separate used mattresses from new ones, not labeling used mattresses properly and failing to post signs telling customers they sell used bedding.
The city started the inspections because the State of Texas stopped policing mattress sales. The city ordinance goes even further than the state rules did.
Whenever they sell a used or refurbished mattress retailers have to give the customer an acknowledgement form to sign confirming they know the item is used.
“I think it's important that consumers know what they're getting and that they know that there's some standards of care that those mattresses are being cleaned properly," said Michael Shannon, Director of Development Services.
The city says all the stores that received violations corrected the problems quickly and never had to be fined.
A Rent-A-Center on SW Military Drive received several violations, including failure to keep records they were sanitizing used mattresses before renting them. We contacted Rent-A-Center but they did not get back to us with any comment.
Two Factory Mattress locations received minor violations for not posting signs and failing to keep records of those acknowledgement forms. Factory Mattress CFO Sarah Johnson told me the only used mattresses they sell are returns that were in customer's homes for a short time.
"Only products that meet our highest set of standards are acceptable for resale and are immediately sanitized. Once fully sanitized, the used mattress is given a yellow sanitization label and is then stored separately from new product, to be in full compliance with local and state regulations," Johnson told us in a statement.
The city says mattress stores will be inspected every two years.