New accusations against hot tub dealer

June 25, 2008 10:57:45 AM PDT
You may recall Michael Finney's report a couple months back about a spa dealer who really "soaked" his customers.

We had numerous complaints about this company, but once the 7 On Your Side report aired, many more came forward claiming this dealer took their money and then took off.

Peggy McGregory should be relaxing in her hot tub this summer. But she is still without the $6,000 spa she paid for a whole year ago. Sally and Milton Hughes are still without their $7,000 spa.

Even 7 On Your Side demanded answers from the spa dealer who took their money but never delivered.

"They say you took their money and they don't have their hot tub," asked ABC7's Michael Finney.

"Okay, well I did not take their money and not deliver their hot tub. It's in the works right now," said Jim Gerard from Coast Spas.

Now we know that wasn't true. Still no hot tub for Sally and Milton and no tub for Peggy either.

"These are the two people that I have to get resolved quickly now and I'm working on it," said Gerard.

"These are the only two?" asked Finney.

"That is what we have right now," said Gerard.

"There are no others?" asked Finney.

"Uh, no," said Gerard.

Well, now we know that wasn't true either. 7 On Your Side has received 15 complaints from consumers all saying the same thing. They paid Gerard in cash and never got a hot tub.

"Are you shutting down because it's beginning to look a little empty in here," asked Finney.

"No, we're not shutting down," said Gerard.

"You're not shutting down?" asked Finney.

"No, we're not," said Gerard.

Well that wasn't quite right either. Gerard's flag festooned dealership is now locked, vacant and abandoned. The only customers are angry ones.

"We said I think we've been ripped off, we're calling the sheriff's dept," said Jan Graham.

Jan and Douglas Graham went to Gerard's Coast Spa dealership just this past January, totally unaware of all the angry customers before them, who never got their spas.

"I felt the company was ok. It had been there a long time," said Jan Graham

Gerard gave no hint of a problem. He offered Jan and Doug a great deal.

"I'm giving you the rock bottom price, if you pay by check," said Graham.

They gave him $7,000 on the spot, but the delivery date came and went. Four months later, still no spa.

Then Jan and Doug saw the 7 On Your Side report about Sally, Milton and Peggy.

"We watched that story and went uh oh, we're one of them," said Douglas Graham.

The Grahams even recognized the rubber duck and bath scent that Gerard gave his other unlucky customers. They got them too.

So 7 On Your Side went looking for Gerard and another conversation. With his store shut down, 7 On Your Side went to his Brentwood home. It is still open, pretty nice too, but he isn't there.

"To scam people from last April, May, June till January and still be in business, it's pretty ludicrous," said Douglas Graham.

Not far away, Sally and Milton had enough. They went out and bought another spa and that meant spending a lot more money. But today at least they can soak under the stars.

"I think we stayed in it an hour the first night," said

"The hot tub feels good, the loss of the money feels bad," said Sally Hughes.

"We lost the money, but at least now I can sit in here and not dwell on it. I can dwell on how good I feel," said Milton Hughes.

And since 7 On Your Side knows where Gerard lives, we'll return.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office told 7 On Your Side they now have 17 complaints against Jim Gerard. He has not returned our phone calls asking for comment, but we would like to hear from him.

Click here for the previous 7 On Your Side report on Coast Spas in Castro Valley.


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