BURNSVILLE, Minn. - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has revoked the accreditation of Minnesota-based MyPillow, lowering its rating to an F based on a pattern of complaints by consumers.
The BBB made the decision after reviewing Chaska-based MyPillow's "buy one get one free" offer, which violates the organization's code of advertising.
“Among other issues, BBB has attempted to persuade MyPillow to discontinue their "buy one get one free” (BOGO)/other discount offers without success,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Continuous BOGO offers, which can then be construed as an item's regular, everyday price, violate not only BBB’s Code of Advertising - which all BBB Accredited Businesses agree to abide by - but also other state and national organizations’ rules.”
BBB’s Code of Advertising requires that an offer need to be extended for a limited time, or it becomes a continuous offer and therefore the normal price of the product – not a sale price or free offer. In the case of MyPillow, the BBB says anyone can get the BOGO discount codes, and if a prospective customer calls the company without one, they can get the BOGO deal, regardless.
MyPillow owner and CEO Mike Lindell responded to the BBB allegations by stating he would not be able to stop the company's BOGO offer at this time, but would look at making changes in 2017. When pressed on what type of changes the company would make, Lindell was non-specific.
Lindell released the following statement Monday evening:
MyPillow was built on our dedication to our customers' satisfaction. We run sales and specials for our customers, so that we can give as many people as possible the chance to have a great night’s sleep. Naturally, I am terribly disappointed by the BBB's decision.
When I started MyPillow more than 11 years ago, I handled each and every customer call personally. To this day, I train all of our customer service representatives with one thing in mind, we take care of our customers because we owe them our success. We have sold more than 25 million MyPillows, but we will continue to treat each and every customer like they are our only one.
From myself and our 1,500 employees, we want to thank our loyal customers.
The BOGO complaint was not the only issue or complaint the BBB brought to MyPillow’s attention.
- “As Seen on TV” claims are sometimes listed on MyPillow boxes where the content is NOT the same as seen on the company’s TV ads. The company has made an effort to remove this, but it can still be seen on third party seller packaging (Walmart, Target, etc.)
- Photos of MyPillow on some boxes show the premium, gusseted pillow, when the box actually holds their standard pillow. The company has made an effort to correct this, but it can still be seen on some third party seller packaging.
- Claims of offering a “full warranty” when the warranty was not full (customers need to pay a fee to return the pillow).
- A pattern of complaints filed against MyPillow has been identified by BBB regarding customers’ understanding of the buy one/get one free offer. A substantial number of the 232 complaints filed against the company regard confusion on the offer.
“We are hopeful that MyPillow will modify their advertising and eliminate discount offers, since the pillows need to be sold at a “regular price” for the majority of the time,” Badgerow said.
This is just the latest bump in the road for MyPillow. In November Lindell agreed to pay a penalty of $1 million after a group of California County Attorneys took legal action against the company, alleging deceptive advertising. A consumer watchdog organization said MyPillow's website made unsubstantiated claims its products can cure snoring, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other health maladies.
Lindell agreed to the settlement, but insisted he made no medical claims whatsoever, saying MyPillow simply posted customer comments on the website. He told NBC News he is settling the charges simply because it makes financial sense, and is not an admission of guilt.