I purchased a Safe Step Walk-In Tub for my elderly parents. It was installed in January 2013. It cost $16,333 – a big investment, but I wanted to help my parents, who were both in poor health.
The tub has a lifetime warranty for leaking issues. After about five months, it started leaking by the tub door, and it has been leaking ever since. It floods the entire bathroom and leaks through to the downstairs level.
I made several calls to the company and they sent out two repairmen to work on it. But it still leaked. After that, we made more phone calls and the company made three more attempts to fix it.
My father passed away on Feb. 25 without ever really enjoying the benefits of the tub.
We continued to call, and a repairman came back on May 22. I was told the tub was never installed correctly. They took it out and reinstalled it, after doing some floor work. They were here almost the entire day. But the tub still leaks, worse than before.
I am just sick about paying this much money for a walk-in tub that my elderly parents were not able to enjoy.
- Kay Vogel, South Elgin, Ill.
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It must’ve taken all the patience you could muster to not lock yourself in the bathroom and start screaming. Sixteen-thousand bucks is a lot of money.
We figured it was a good sign that the company was at least trying to remedy the problem. What you needed was someone who could finally fix this once and for all.
We contacted Derek Farley, the PR guy for Safe Step. We told him about your multiple efforts to get the tub fixed, and he seemed genuinely concerned. He promised to get someone on the case.
The company immediately sent out its VP of production to look at the tub. He was pretty sure he located the problem spot and he sent someone else out to re-caulk the tub and replace the filler around the tub.
Farley also called you to apologize and said your letter was read to the company’s board. He also promised to give you $1,000 from the company as a good will gesture.
You were elated – until a couple days later, when the tub started leaking again. It was just a little leak, able to be stopped by some towels on the floor, but a leak nonetheless. You called the VP, and he came out again. You said he worked on it for six and a half hours. He put in some new parts and adjusted the tub’s door, and you said this new repair seems to have finally done the trick.
P.S. They did come through with that $1,000 check. We suggest you celebrate with a nice long soak in the tub.
- The ABC News Fixer
Most people groan at the thought of spending hours on the phone with a customer service call center, but Stephanie Zimmermann relishes the chance to slice through red tape.
Before joining ABC News, Stephanie untangled consumer problems at the Chicago Sun-Times, where her popular column recovered more than $1.4 million in refunds, credits, and merchandise for consumers in the Windy City.
Stephanie, who lives in Chicago, has also worked at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and has bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. But most of all, Stephanie is a consumer who hates to see anyone else get ripped off.