OAK RIDGE (WATE) – A couple in Oak Ridge is having trouble with a hot tub they purchased as a Christmas present because it continues to break down. While the hot tub came with a warranty, it’s taken months to get it fixed and the salesman, whom 6 On Your Side has covered previously, has been slow to respond to their repeated requests.
The used hot tub was bought in December after seeing an ad on Craigslist. Since it came with a warranty, the couple who purchased it believed they didn’t have to worry about timely repairs if anything went wrong. They were mistaken.
Jim and Beverly Gilliam bought the refurbished hot tub for $1,750 three months ago. but they haven’t gotten much use out of it.
“It’s not that bad on the inside, but the motor died five days after we got it,” said Jim Gilliam.
“The first time we got in it, hit the buttons to turn the jets on, it smelled like burning wires and it just quit,” said Beverly Gilliam.
Apparently the motor is the problem. Jim Gilliam said the salesman did replace it, but the second one didn’t work either. Fortunately, their receipt says the hot tub has a one year warranty on electrical parts and jets. Unfortunately, the Gilliams have only heard excuses about why the salemsan was slow to return to make repairs.
Soon after the second motor quit, the Gilliams received instructions from the salesman on what to do.
“All I got from him was drain it,” said Jim Gilliam.
WATE 6 On Your Side met salesman Mike Brackett in summer 2000 when he built pools. At that time, he was six weeks behind in finishing Jim and Barbara Harrell’s pool in Madisonville. Brackett had taken $16,000 from the couple. He owned Paradise Pool and Apa in Athens.
George Evans hired Brackett in January 2007 to do some landscaping and home improvement, but the jobs were never finished.Previous story:Tellico Plains couple loses thousands in landscaping contract
Chris Evans had to hold his daughter’s hand extra tight in September 2009 as they walked around their bug infested unfinished pool that Evans had paid Brackett to build months earlier. Bracket then operated a company called Outdoor Designs.Previous story: Pool contractor keeps taking customer money, not finishing jobs
Bobby and Lisa Seiber hired Bracket and Outdoor Designs in June 2011 to install an above ground pool, but the couple waited months for Brackett to make promised repairs.Previous story:Lake City couple discovers pool contractor has poor reputation
Back in Oak Ridge, Jim and Beverly Gilliam saved three months of text messages from Brackett who wrote he was trying to get parts and was on his way. After we called him in early March, the Gilliams say Brackett has returned with yet another motor.
WATE 6 On Your Side went back Monday. The Gilliams have discovered that the motor isn’t necessarily the problem.
“The wiring is too light, causing it to over heat,” said Jim Gilliam.
He showed us how he and a friend who’s an electrician set up a heavier gauge wire to accommodate a higher voltage motor.
“[Brackett] agreed to bring another motor which is the correct voltage,” said Jim Gilliam. “We texted him last night and he said he’ll be here tomorrow.”
With warmer temperatures, the Gilliams are anxious to finally be able to use their hot tub.
Jim Gilliam says Brackett has been to their house three times since early March trying to make repairs to the spa, and bringing another motor with him.