Magnetic mattress pads attract consumer alert from California consumer protection watchdogs
California Department of Consumer Affairs Director Kathleen Hamilton and Attorney General Bill Lockyer are warning consumers to think twice before purchasing high-priced “therapeutic” magnetic mattress pads pitched at sales seminars across the Golden State.
A Department of Consumer Affairs investigation reveals the magnetic mattress pads are marketed at “dinner seminars.” While there, consumers – often senior citizens – are offered a free dinner as part of a sales pitch for products that can cost $800 or more.”
Magnetic mattress pads are marketed as having health benefits, but for many consumers who’ve contacted us, the products are a pain in the pocketbook,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Director Kathleen Hamilton. “We’re urging consumers to use caution, ask questions, examine marketing claims and check out the track record of these companies.”
Attorney General Lockyer said: “My office has seen a surge in complaints about these companies, especially from seniors and those with arthritis and circulatory problems who are particularly vulnerable to promises of relief. Not only should they thoroughly check out the history of any company they are considering doing business with, they should also obtain advice from their doctor or health care plan before making a costly medical decision.”
More than 80 consumers have called the Department to complain they’ve had difficulty returning the mattress pads purchased at dinner-seminar events. Consumers are often enticed with the promise of a 90-day money-back guarantee, only to discover the company has gone out of business, leaving purchasers with no way to recover their investment. The average loss reported by each consumer is close to $1,000.The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau of the Southland have received similar complaints.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs cautions consumers to be wary of sales pitches touting medical benefits for magnetic mattress pads. An independent evaluation by the California Department of Health Services has found no scientific evidence showing these pads are capable of providing any therapeutic health benefit. Such claims must ultimately be reviewed and marketing approval given by either DHS or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Also, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of bedding products with filling materials (which include mattress pads with polyester fiberfill or quilting) sold to Californians must be licensed. The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation enforces the regulations requiring these products to meet fire-safety standards. Mattresses and mattress pads sold in California must also have a label that lists the materials used inside.
While a vendor of magnetic mattress pads may be licensed by BHFTI, this doesn’t mean the product has been approved as a medical device with medical benefits by DHS.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has prepared consumer tips to assist those considering the purchase of a magnetic mattress pad. The tips are available in the “Fact Sheets” section of the Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Web site: www.dca.ca.gov/bhfti.
Nathan Montery contributes and publishes news editorial to http://mattressreviews.co. Choose from a large variety of mattress types and get a good night’s sleep!