If you've ever wondered about mattress labels (and have been tempted to remove them), you should know that removing them is illegal, for some. Notification that the removal of mattress labels is punishable by law is not addressed to everyone. Actually, it's only for mattress manufacturers. Basically, these labels were designed to protect mattress consumers.
Some labels now say “do not remove under penalty of law except by the consumer, which is much clearer. If you decide you want to remove the label from your mattress, there is no legal sanction for you. But keep in mind that it could void your mattress warranty, depending on the manufacturer. The government saw through the anti-consumption tactics used by manufacturers and retailers to sell their products.
The government declared it illegal to remove labels from mattresses and prosecuted anyone caught selling or distributing mattresses without the labels. It was a tremendously beneficial move for the American public and for honest mattress manufacturers. If you have legally purchased the pillow or mattress, the answer is no. It is illegal to remove the label before the sale and delivery of a pillow or mattress to the final consumer.
Basically, that means that sellers can't remove a seal, label, label, or other identification from a pillow or mattress; only consumers can do that. The reason is that at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, mattresses were often sold with unhealthy materials inside. The label informed consumers of what was inside the mattress and prevented sellers from selling the mattresses without the label. UNDER PENALTY OF LAW, THIS LABEL SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER ANY NEW MATERIAL CONSISTING OF POLYESTER FIBER.
In recent years, federal and many state governments have reassured the minds of law-abiding citizens by amending mattress laws so that labels say “this label should not be removed except by the consumer. However, you can cut the tag without fear that the police on the mattress with boots will kick you in the door and take you to the gulag. If you ever find a mattress that is sold without this label, it is a fake product or is filled with questionable materials. A federal law requires that any mattress containing used filler be labeled with that information, but it is up to each state to design that state's standardized label and regulate the labeling of mattresses.
If you look closely at the label on your mattress, you may find that it says that you should not remove said label “under penalty of law. I can't be the only boy who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s that his family played a joke on after removing a label from the law. Take a look at your mattress label and you'll see there's a lot more to it than just the “don't take me away” warning. Sellers who remove or mutilate a label prior to the sale or delivery of a mattress or pillow may be held liable for a method of unfair competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
So what do you do if you're a morally ambiguous salesman with a bunch of unsold mattresses full of old, dirty rags? Apparently, you tear off the labels so that your customers have no idea what's inside the mattresses. As soon as the government became aware of these shenanigans, they demanded that the message “Do Not Remove” be included, by law, on every mattress label. At the end of the day, the labels are intended to give consumers assurances from the manufacturer that their pillows and mattresses meet consumer expectations. Although the labels are for consumer safety, the warning applies to the seller of the mattress.
The warning caused puzzlement among consumers, who wondered why the government would care what they did with the labels in the privacy of their homes. In the 1990s, in an effort to clear up the confusion, the warning on the label was officially changed to Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law Except by the Consumer. .
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