Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wanna Buy A Mattress? - Beware School Fundraising Gimmick

Ohio Company Sells Mattresses At Weekend School Sales

LABELLE, FL. -- Plastered illegally throughout LaBelle are yellow plastic signs advertising a Saturday mattress sale at the local high school. Only saying "help the kids" there's no company name or indication of just how or who is being helped.

Custom Funding Solutions LLC of the Cleveland, Ohio area is behind the gimmick. CFS recruits area mattress sellers around the country and gets permission typically from school athletic coaches to set up a mattress display and take orders for mattress sets priced from $199 to $1900.

The school athletic department gets about $50 from the sale of a $199 says one school coach, and a larger commission from pricier units. Brands sold are Restonic and Southerland, both with not such a great consumer rating.

CFS was started in 2006 by Joseph J. Matejka Jr., and incorporated in Ohio in 2008. The Cleveland Better Business Bureau says Matejka formerly owned Cleveland's Best Furniture Direct which "went out of business with an unsatisfactory record with the BBB due to unanswered complaints."

The Ohio furniture company, says the BBB, was a "close-out mattress outlet."  All sales were final and there were no refunds. It ceased operation in 2008. According to the BBB, customer "complaints alleged non-delivery of ordered items and difficulty in reaching the company once orders were placed or purchases were made."

The LaBelle High School sale is being run this weekend by Richard "Jay" McCreadie of Fort Myers, a former employee of Matejka's mattress company. McCreadie owns Mattress & Furniture Wholesalers LLC in Fort Myers, doing business at the school sales as "Custom Fundraising Solutions of Florida." McCreadie started the mattress sales company in 2009 after closing down SW Florida Furniture Direct Corp.

McCreadie formerly worked for Matejka at Cleveland's Best Furniture Direct. He says the mattress being sold at the school sales are not "close-outs" but are manufactured for each order. There is a $50 delivery charge added to the mattress prices, and the company's sub-contracted delivery service will not pick up old mattresses unless they are in good clean condition.

Among the brands being sold are Restonic and Southerland, according to McCreadie. The Restonic brand is typically sold at these high school fund raisers by CFS and has developed a poor reputation from buyers. And not to be left behind, Southerland mattresses also garnered bad reviews from purchasers.

Prices at the school sales typically start at $199 for twin size mattress set and go up to $1900 plus delivery charges.

Our advice: If you want to help the local athletic department when you see one of these school mattress sales events in your area of the country, just write a check to the school as a donation. If you really need a mattress, carefully compare brands and prices before you buy one at a local high school gymnasium or cafeteria.

34 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. An anonymous reader has posted repeated comments here saying the article was written by a relative of the local furniture store. I can attest I am not related and the local furniture store has not been an advertiser on Southwest Florida Online for some time.
    -Editor

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  3. Anonymous8:36 AM

    You say you're not related to anyone that owns a furniture store, but on the left side of my screen, I see ads for 4 different mattress companies including Sealy, ebed.com, bedinabox, and Sears mattresses. Obviously the coaches that work with this company have vetted them and continue to work with them. Have you personally been to one of their sales?

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    1. Anonymous6:37 PM

      So uneducated. & its ridiculous for you to think others are uneducated as well.. Should we (readers/HARD-working Americans) ASSUME you work for this so-called 'fundraiser' company??

      Delete
  4. Note; Advertising seen by readers depends on what words they were searching and what pages they land on. The editor does not control what ads are seen by readers, and has no interest in any advertisers, most of which are national companies.

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  5. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Matejka has put a new spin on the same scam used at his former company. His prior furniture company was actually a franchise operation of PMD Furniture (Power Marketing Direct, owned by Jeff Hoskings) You can find numerous articles on the illicit business practices of PMD and Hoskings.
    If you check Matejka on Linkedin, a number of former PMD franchisees have been enlisted by Matejka and are now running this fundraising scam of CFS. These are the bad people in the world that will do anything to get other people's money and not have an ounce of compunction in doing so.

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  6. I fell for a similar gimmick in San Diego and bought $600 Southerland mattress. A year after the mattress began making sounds and the firmness has lost.

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  7. I bought a Restonic from CFS in May of 2012. It is a piece of crap. It is creaking and has a whole in the middle. Stay away from these mattresses.

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  8. Anonymous3:20 PM

    This fundraiser raised $3500 for our band program, so I do t really think that it's all that bad.

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    1. Anonymous12:10 PM

      Just because it makes money doesn't mean it's a great product. It's taken advantage of people's hearts by using school kids as their prop. Horrible if you ask me.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9:46 AM

      No one asked you Don....

      Delete
  9. This blog seems like a hatchet job. You only mention two manufacturers but the customfundraisingsolutions.com web site also lists Simmons, Therapedic, Englander and one that I've never heard of called Symbol. There are links on the web site to each of them so I doubt that these are bogus claims. You also only looked at the former business when you looked at the BBB report. You failed to mention that the BBB report on this business is A+ with only 4 complaints in 7 years and all of them have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Such selective reporting makes you look "some kinda way" to anyone who can click a mouse and get all the information.

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  10. A check today (Sept 22/ 2014) shows Custom Funding Solutions LLC is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. The original story was from 2012 and we stand by our recommendations as stated in the story.
    -Editor

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    Replies
    1. I didn't say that they are "accredited", I said they are "rated" A+ Here is the link to the BBB that you seem unable to find. http://www.bbb.org/cleveland/Business-Reviews/fund-raising-games-merchandise-supplies/custom-fundraising-solutions-llc-in-westlake-oh-25001512 Click on the "Overview" tab to see the rating.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous9:15 AM

    I'm working this company to raise much needed funds for our football team and just say where they have raised over $10,000,000 for schools nationally. I've seen that customers SAVE money through this company and it's been a win-win for everyone. What's your beef with them. Here's where they were featured on Yahoo!: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mattress-fundraiser-breaks-10-million-201200331.html;_ylt=A0LEV0bMVIhUq8cAQ3dXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzcDBoZWVpBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDA3N18x

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  12. Note that the link cited is actually from a press release written by the company itself. I'd not take it too seriously as to how any particular school is going to raise big bucks as a result of letting a mattress company set up shop at the school for a weekend.

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  13. Anonymous9:40 AM

    Funny how you selectively edit the posts. You just removed mine. I guess this about your opinion and not the truth. How's life in the Obama administration?

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  14. Anonymous6:24 PM

    This is not only a scam in Ohio it is as well right here in Lancaster, New York. I was told on November 1st that I would have my $1000 mattress in 3 to 4 weeks... One excuse after another as to why it still isn't here the first week of January when it was supposed to be a Christmas present guaranteed delivery. Extremely poor customer service with no apologies whatsoever when I demanded every penny of my money back and my order cancelled. I'll be sure to let every baseball mom know about this scam for sure!

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  15. Anonymous11:00 PM

    HUGE SCAM!! Owners pocket the majority of the money. Make a donation to the school and buy a mattress from a reputable store!!

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    1. Anonymous7:36 PM

      Very true. CFS takes 15% and the CFS dealers take about 50%. Schools get about $100 per set. Hardly as good as they advertise.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8:59 PM

      How do you know this?

      Delete
  16. Anonymous12:15 AM

    Total scam

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  17. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Just bought a Simmons mattress. I took a picture of the info card and went home to research it. I got ripped off. I paid $300 MORE than I could buy it online. What a scam. I will be calling the school Monday. I am glad I found this site. Has anyone else had this happen to them?

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  18. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Yes, same thing happened to me and they refused to refund my money. They said all sales are final. I paid almost $600 more for the set I bought than I could have gotten it for elsewhere.

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  19. Anonymous10:48 PM

    With all these complaints why are they still doing this. I googled mattress fundraiser today before going to a sale near Philly today. Glad I did.

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  20. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Southerland Mattress is the worst mattress I have ever purchased, they refuse to warranty it and the center is caving in after only 3 months of sleeping on it. This company are crooks and will gladly take your money, give you very low quality product and ignore you when the product needs to be warranty! BUYER BEWARE, do not make a bad decision and buy this product STEAR CLEAR!

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    1. Anonymous10:49 PM

      Crappy no name mattresses or over priced brand names? Seems Like a double whammy. Why work with these guys?

      Delete
  21. Anonymous1:02 PM

    This fundraiser has got to be the biggest scam ever. This company is making so much money and giving the schools barely a fraction. Mattresses are complete crap!! Beware!!!!

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    1. Anonymous11:19 PM

      The folks at CFS are aware of this blog. They are worried their gig may be up soon. Too bad. What will the old pmd cronies do next?

      Delete
  22. Anonymous8:14 AM

    Another weekend, another set of scammers.

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  23. Anonymous7:14 PM

    As an athletic director in Illinois I found this while researching mattress fundraisers. I have heard a lot of things and wanted to find out the truth. I have NO idea now. It seems like a good, not great, fundraiser. I think at the very least we need to demand more money for each sale. Does CFS really make 2x as the school? My superintendent will not allow this if that's true. How do I get this information?

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  24. Anonymous9:00 PM

    The most successful of the CFS scammers, I mean dealers, are off to Saint Thomas on the backs of the schools they rip off. I thought it was all about the kids, right? Yeah right!

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  25. Anonymous10:43 AM

    That's just the tip of the iceberg. Those trips take place several times a year. They are out for themselves, not the schools. The mattresses are crap and they sell them for four to five times what they get them for. CFS is making more than four times what they are paying the schools. False advertising is just the beginning of what they are being investigated for....BEWARE!!

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  26. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Crazy! Who is allowing these people into the schools? School administrators need to be made aware of this scam

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