The accreditation of MyPillow, a company known for its infomercials and celebrity endorsements, with the Better Business Bureau has been revoked and its rating lowered from an A-plus to F.
Based on a pattern of complaints from consumers, advertising problems, and a government action taken by California state agencies, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota's Board of Directors made the decision.
“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 the 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.”
The BBB’s Code of Advertising is 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, Badgerow said. 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, too, she said.
In response to BBB's advertising challenge, which was issued in August 2016, Mike Lindell, the owner of MyPillow, said he wouldn’t be able to stop the company's BOGO offer at this time, but would look at making changes in 2017. When asked on what type of changes the company would make, Badgerow said Lindell wasn’t specific.
Other issues the BBB brought to MyPillow’s attention are:
- “As Seen on TV” claims are sometimes listed on MyPillow boxes where the content isn’t 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, and other companies.
- Photos of MyPillow on some boxes show the premium, gusseted pillow, when the box actually holds its 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 isn’t full – consumers need to pay a fee to return the pillow.
- A pattern of complaints filed against MyPillow has been identified by the BBB on customers’ understanding of the BOGO offer. Many of the 232 complaints filed against the company were about 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.