Amazon hurts consumerism in Western New York

I just recently completed my move from Chicago to Brockport, NY.  Happily, all of our belongings survived the move more-or-less undamaged, and we are close to having everything unpacked and in its new location.  One problem we had during the unpacking was the box spring for our bed; there was no way that a queen-size box spring was going to make it through the small space occupied by our stairway.  The box spring is ancient and we had intended to leave it in Chicago, so purchasing a new one was in the plans.  I didn’t realize what a pain it would be.

I found a promising bi-fold mattress on Amazon for a very decent price and decided it would work well and fit up our stairwell.  Very shortly after placing the order, the price dropped by $30.  We had not yet received the package (and from the tracking data, it looked as if it would be delayed) so I contacted Amazon customer support and asked for the price to be adjusted.  Last year, Amazon caused a stir because they stopped engaging in price matching/protection; however it appears as if customers who are ‘favored’ somehow by the service reps can, in fact, get prices adjusted. So I asked nicely, was told no, and provided with the recommendation that I refuse the order and place a new one on line for the cheaper price.  I argued that the proposed solution seemed to be a waste of resources and presented the opportunity for me, the consumer, to spend my money elsewhere.  It was clear that I wasn’t going to win this battle and opted to return the box spring.  Before placing the new order, I decided to take a second look at my old box spring, especially watching a few videos on DIY split box springs .

 

Why do we call it a box spring if there aren’t any springs?

The upholstery on my box spring was pretty worn and damaged, so I didn’t mind tearing it off; if I’m going through the trouble of DIY split-box-spring-fabrication, then I can add re-upholstering to the project.  The top of the box spring is a piece of cardboard and the wood is held together with staples.  Nothing but the highest quality for us…

The stuff I made in 8th grade wood shop was of higher quality. (No, sadly it wasn’t.)

Using pliers, I could remove the staples without damaging the cardboard.  I used a hammer to remove the center brace, revealing some support material that was, oddly, two individual pieces.  I found this design strategy fortuitous since I only have a keyhole saw.  Despite the pathetically limited supply of tools, cutting the box spring in half was a straightforward endeavor.

Picture cropped to demonstrate that I don’t wear flipflops while using hand tools.

At this point, the project was effectively done.  The split pieces were easily transported upstairs.  Our bed frame has a center support that adequately braced the split box spring and I used a handful of (OK, the only four I found in my toolbox) wood screws to reconnect the piece of wood removed in the initial steps of the teardown.

The low ceilings in the new house won’t let me use the bed as a trampoline…fortunately.

The original cardboard was stapled to the wooden frame and we are looking for some better upholstery.  The dust cover probably won’t be replaced because the open frame appears to be an ideal location for a feline sneak attack:

Curse you, white shoelace!

So in the end, Amazon’s restrictive no-price-matching policy resulted not only in them losing a sale, but in me “upcycling” a piece-of-junk box spring into something that will serve a purpose for a few more years.  Makers-1, Consumers-0.

 

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BoB

The guy who runs this show.

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