We’re not as young as we used to be

posted in: Life and things | 2

While I suppose we all know we’re not as young as we used to be, there are times when that fact is underlined with a few exclamation marks added.

This has been one of those times.

Pete and I decided several weeks before Christmas that we would replace our adjustable beds, the sort which can change their configuration at the press of a remote – the back up if you want to watch TV, feet up for circulation etc etc. We visited Harvey Norman, Betta, Beds R Us etc and decided what we wanted. Our main requirement apart from the obvious ones of comfort was that we didn’t want a bed made in China. Harvey Norman in particular does its best to support ‘made in Australia’ brands as much as it can – not always easy.

We settled on Sealy. The mattresses are made in Australia, the metal bases and electronics are made in Taiwan. That was fine. We learned something very interesting – all the retailers had their own subtly different versions of Sealy mattresses, each with its own unique-to-the-retailer name. Seems an odd way of doing business but… that’s how it is.

We could have bought the beds from any of the local stores and they would have been delivered and set up. But we could also buy them online at a much cheaper price. Who doesn’t like a bargain? There was only one issue – Beds Australia does not deliver in Queensland north of Caloundra (a long way south of us). Still, the cost of freight on the price of the beds still left us well in front. We were told the beds would be ready on 4th January. So, in the weeks approaching Christmas we tried to find a freight company which would pick up the beds from Sealy’s factory in Brisbane and deliver them to Hervey Bay. Getting answers out of local companies is hard enough at any time but in these covid days, what with staff shortages and the holiday period, we had no success. We looked at each other, shrugged, and agreed we had no choice but to hire a van and pick them up ourselves.

That led to another frustrating round of net surfing as we went through the various vehicle rental companies. Let me tell you, people, there are an awful lot of companies with god-awful websites that they also do not keep up to date. According to the websites, nobody had a van available. In the end, we drove around to Budget (whose website said they had nothing but Corollas or similar) and talked to a person! He said we could hire a van whenever we liked, come in when we were ready.

Needless to say, that 4th January date slipped as well. We didn’t mind. It wasn’t as if we were sleeping on the floor. In the fullness of time, we were advised the beds were ready. Except they’d been made in Sealy’s Sydney factory, not in Brisbane. <sigh> Sealy admitted their mistake and sent the beds to Brisbane for collection – in due course, in the fullness of time – covid and all that.

At last, the message arrived from Sealy. The beds were in!

We picked a day (last Wednesday) and hired the van. It would be a long day, close to a 900km round trip. Since we were going down to Brisbane, we took along my old computer to give to my nephew. That necessitated going into the heart of the city, something I hate, even with Google to help navigate the roads. Google reckoned we’d be at my nephew’s office at 10:30. A couple of missed directions later, we arrived at 10:45 with elevated blood pressure.

Onward and upward. We went to Wacol to pick up the beds and went home.

Platform next to wheelbarrow for scale

Steel-framed beds are not light. Each frame weighed 65kg. Two young men loaded the frames and mattresses into the van for us but it was up to us to get them out and into the house. Being not-as-young-as-we-used -to-be, we’d bought a dinky like platform on castors, purpose built for moving furniture. It certainly helped but even so, I have been reminded of muscles I’d forgotten I had. The mattresses are not quite as heavy but they’re certainly not light weight, see picture at top.

We left setting the beds up until the following day, when we shifted out the incumbent beds (also heavy) and vacuumed the carpet where they’d been. (That’s always an interesting experience.) Then we manoeuvred the beds, on their sides on the little platform, down the passage and into the bedroom, stopping occasionally for deep breathing breaks. From there, all we had to do was put in some batteries (in case of power outages), screw on the legs, and plug the beds in. All done. Now for the big test. We pressed a button on the remotes for each bed.

One bed worked, the other didn’t.

Off to the manual for troubleshooting. Nothing worked – even when we started again from basics. Time to ring Sealy support.

Remember what I said about god-awful websites? It’s the same with manuals. The Sealy support people explained that you have to pair the remote control with the bed before you put the batteries in. That small fact is not in the manual. Consequently, the support people spend so much time explaining to frustrated customers that they have created a detailed document to send to people like us. Imagine how much time (and frustration) they would save if they updated their manual. It’s only about 20 pages long so it’s not as if reprinting it would cost them that much. But then, I’m not an accountant, to whom such things matter. How come the other bed worked, I hear you ask? The answer, of course, is who knows? A trick of the setup process. Maybe I pressed a button on the remote at just the right moment?

So… the beds are in place and they work.

I’m not too sure about our bodies. As they say in the meme, it was much more fun being twenty in the seventies than being seventy in the twenties.

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And here’s a picture to finish.

2 Responses

  1. Laurie A. Green

    What an ordeal! Glad all is finally settled now. Seems we’ve had a few buying experiences also go south like this. And yes, I can relate. >> “…it was much more fun being twenty in the seventies than being seventy in the twenties.”

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