Couple finally has hot tub delivered

August 22, 2011 7:48:02 PM PDT
A few weeks ago, 7 On Your Side reported on a Bay Area couple who got "soaked" when they bought a hot tub. There's been a positive outcome to the story.

Hot tubs are supposed to relive stress, but this situation only caused stress. The couple forked over $4,000 in cash and what they got for it was a year full of excuses. Then they came to 7 On Your Side for help.

The previous story showed Jerry and Wendy Berggran standing where they once had a soothing hot tub in their backyard.

"We'd go out and sit in the hot tub on a nice evening and chit chat and have a wonderful time," said Jerry.

The spa was getting old so Wendy surprised Jerry with a new one. She went online and ordered a hot tub from Direct to Home Appliances of San Francisco.

"I was going to have the mood lighting put in it, a waterfall, popup speakers," said Wendy.

Wendy paid $4,096 up front last August with delivery promised in December. Jerry went ahead and tore out the old spa to make room. Then, they had a huge letdown.

"They sent me an email saying that it had been delayed," said Wendy.

Direct To Home said the couple would have to wait until February to get their spa, but then there was a delay until March, then April. Then summer came, but the spa did not.

"I'm getting a little disturbed by now because the excuses had been the same," said Wendy.

Finally Wendy gave up and demanded a refund.

"I said I don't believe you, anything you say any more. He said, 'You can't have your money back,' and I said, 'Yes I can have my money back,'" said Wendy.

They were doubly upset because they could have kept the old tub all this time.

Finally, Wendy contacted 7 On Your Side and we found the company has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau, with 307 complaints. Direct To Home is also known as It sells other products too, like barbecues and fireplaces. We went to the company offices in San Francisco. Owner Steve Barbarich would not speak on camera, but again he promised to deliver Wendy and Jerry's spa -- a promise the couple heard too many times.

"We still don't feel that we're going to see a tub," said Jerry.

And so it was a big surprise when weeks later, they did see a tub. The promised spa, delivered to their door, is now bubbling away in the Berggren's backyard.

Barbarich tells 7 On Your Side: "Our company had heavy losses in 2010 that affected our ability to deliver product in a timely manner, our company is back on recovery and we are either delivering product, or we are refunding customers."

And with help from friends and a bottle of champagne, Wendy and Jerry christened their long awaited spa.

"Without 7 On Your Side, I don't know if we would have gotten it, so we must say thank you 7 On Your Side," said Wendy.

7 On Your Side received two other complaints about Direct To Home Appliances. Cora Harris and James Pretorius also paid thousands of dollars each up front, but never received their spas. However, Barbarich is now refunding their money in monthly installments, and he's cleared up more than 200 of those Better Business Bureau complaints, so it seems like he is on the road to recovery.

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