Lawsuits claims Aarons providing bed bug-infested furniture

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

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ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned of complaints that Atlanta-based Aaron's, Inc. is delivering rental furniture infested with bed bugs.

Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland found the company is facing one lawsuit and another is brewing.

A Gwinnett County landlord said one of his rental units has been empty for months.

According to a demand letter from owner Mark Schussler, a young family moved out after getting bitten up on beds brought in from Aarons.

Schussler said he's now lost 20 new prospective renters.

"I mention to 'em before we even come in 'cause I don't want them to be exposed. 'The unit had bed bugs. Do you still want to look at it?' and they say, 'No way,'" Schussler explained.

The landlord's not the only complainant.

"He said, 'This is a bed bug,'" Chinaza Alexander recalled.

"What's that like when you get that news?" Strickland asked her.

"Oh God! I felt terrible. I didn't know what to do," Alexander said.

An exterminator told Alexander that bed bugs were responsible for the welts covering her and her children. She still carries the scars.

Alexander said the exterminator found the bugs in an Aarons mattress.

"It was terrible, and no apology, nothing," Alexander said.

Aarons told Strickland the company does not comment on current or pending litigation.

They sent a statement saying, "Aaron's cares about our customers – this is the value we've built our business on for more than 57 years. We provide top-quality, brand-name products and have robust operating policies that require each store to perform a Quality Assurance inspection on our merchandise before any delivery to our customer. We take concerns about the quality of our merchandise very seriously and our customers should feel confident that we make it a priority to operate our business with very high standards, including quality assurance," said Tristan Montanero, Aaron's divisional vice president of central operations.

Alexander has already filed a lawsuit. Schussler said he is not at that point yet.

He said the townhome has lost tens of thousands of dollars in value. A demand letter to Aarons seeks total compensation of $195,950.