Burnsville, Minn – January 2, 2017 – Based on a pattern of complaints from consumers, a Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) advertising challenge, and a government action taken by California state agencies, Better Business Bureau’s Board of Directors revoked MyPillow’s BBB Accreditation on December 15. Subsequently, the company’s BBB rating was lowered to an F.
“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 is very clear on free, discount or BOGO offers (as is the Federal Trade Commission’s rule): the offers 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, anyone can get the BOGO discount codes and if a prospective customer calls the company without one, they can get the BOGO deal, regardless.
In response to BBB's advertising challenge, which was issued formally in August of 2016, Mike Lindell, the owner of MyPillow, stated 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.
Other issues BBB brought to MyPillow’s attention were:
· “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.
BBB was created on the cornerstone of advertising review and continues to monitor advertising to protect both businesses and consumers. Businesses that advertise unfairly affect other businesses in their industry in a negative way. And consumers need to be able to trust advertising in order to make wise purchasing decisions.
For more information on BBB’s Code of Advertising, visit bbb.org/code-of-advertising/.