Wallingford Woman Seeks Help Returning Furniture

Pilgrim Furniture’s seven day return policy is put in print, as is the Department of Consumer Protection’s statute, which restricts customers from returning bedding once it’s delivered to a home.

But Loretta Withington and her sister Doris told NBC Connecticut Responds they needed an exception, as life isn’t that simple.

After all, Doris Withington spends most of her days helping Loretta fight multiple sclerosis, and most of her nights helping them pay the bills.

“She’s been having trouble lifting her legs into the bed,” said Doris. “We have other sisters, [and] because I work nights, other sisters come over to help her get into the bed. And that’s basically the problem. We thought with the adjustable bed, she would get a better grip.”

In late November, Doris bought an adjustable bed from Pilgrim Furniture in Southington. As soon as it arrived, the Withingtons noticed the bed sat too low, so they asked for an adjustment.

“She was still having trouble getting into it,” said Doris. “And we decided it just wasn’t working out.”

Doris felt pressed against time, so she called Pilgrim within the seven day return window. She says a service manager told her they could not accept the mattress or its frame, citing Connecticut Public Act 0422, Section 21A-231, subsection 9, which says both units are bedding, since the box spring is attached to the frame.

Once bedding enters a home, it’s considered used. If a customer returns it, stores can only resell it as such.

“And I understood the mattress I would have to pay for,” said Doris. “But I didn’t understand the frame. We were told it would be able to be returned.”

That’s when Doris asked NBC Connecticut Responds for help. Shortly after contacting Pilgrim Furniture, a store manager contacted the Withingtons.

“He was really willing to work with me which was nice,” said Doris. “He wished that it had gone through him before it went through [NBC Connecticut], but the manager I spoke to was the service manager and she just kept repeating over and over again, ‘It’s part of the bedding, it’s part of the bedding, it can’t be returned.’”

The store manager told NBC Connecticut Responds it was clear to him, after speaking with Doris, that he didn’t want to add another burden, and he would make an exception.

Within days, he ordered a service crew to pick up Loretta’s bed, and gave Doris a full refund.

“We’re just happy,” said Doris.

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