A woman who purchased pillows to freshen up her home for Christmas instead discovered a dirty surprise, and is warning others to be cautious when buying from street vendors selling hand-made and home-made goods, after discovering that her newly bought pillows were stuffed with dirty sponge.
And from the accounts of other purchasers who responded following the video she posted on social media, the practice by these vendors is more of a rule than the exception.
The woman said she bought pillows from a street vendor plying her wares in Spanish Town, St Catherine. She said she became wary and checked her pillows when another individual who also bought a pair of pillows from the same vendor said they started smelling something foul after going home with their purchase. This person had checked everywhere in their house for the source of the smell, until they discovered it was coming from the pillows.
The woman bemoaned the “wickedness” of the vendor’s act, as she ripped open the seal on an animal print pillow casing to reveal huge chunks of yellowed, filthy sponge. In the almost three-minute long video clip, the woman also questioned whether the sponge was retrieved from among the rubble at the Riverton City dump.
“This is what I get for my money â€” dirty stuffing, dirty sponge,” she said.
A pair of pillows on the street is usually sold for about $2,000 to fit a double bed; $2,500 for queen-sized; and $3,000 for a king-sized bed. Comparably, 100 per cent cotton queen-sized pillows with recycled fibres and polyester filling are being sold at a popular large international wholesaler for just over $2,700 plus tax per pair; while the king-sized pair goes for just over $3,800, proving that factory made pillows aren’t substantially more expensive.
“Guys, beware of what you are buying on the street side. Don’t trust anybody. Nowadays you cannot trust anybody,” the woman stressed.
Some social media users in their comments under the video shared that they have also suffered similar fate, noting that unscrupulous persons have been ripping off unsuspecting customers for years.
“This happened to me last Christmas too in Spanish Town”; “That reach mi a few years ago” were two of the complaints.
“I bought two pillows and I was sleeping on them for a while. I decided to wash the pillows, but when me pull out the pillow stuffing, it was old clothes, underwear, et cetera, with a little sponge,” another commenter said.
Another person shared, “That happened to me when I was living in Jamaica. I bought a sheet set from a man downtown for Christmas, and when me reach home and open it to wash it, it was only piece of material on top and inside was dirty underwear and dirty clothes.”
Other people said they have found unusual objects inside the pillows they have bought on the street, like mango seeds and chicken bones. Still others lamented the health implications of pillows stuffed with old, filthy sponge.
“I think everyone should rip their pillows open and see what’s inside. Sometimes we are sick and doctors can’t find what’s wrong with us and this is one of the issues that can make us sick. Even mattresses, people recycle and sell them. If we should rip the outer layers off then we would be surprised to see what’s hidden inside,” one person advised.
The Consumer Affairs Commission has been urging Jamaicans to be extra vigilant when purchasing items, and to only do so from reputable sources.