Elderly customers say they got the bills but never got the fancy walk-in bathtubs they ordered.
Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland tracked down the tubs and found the local man who got the money.
Strickland also talked with the finance company that called the police.
Strickland found Robin Rammesar outside a Cobb County office building.
Rammesar is the owner of Safe Soak USA and manufactures walk-in tubs for the elderly and the mobility-impaired.
“Do you deny getting $25,000 in loan proceeds for tubs you didn’t install?” Strickland asked Rammesar.
“Absolutely not. We did receive that,” Rammesar said.
“You did receive that?” Strickland asked.
“Yes, we did receive that,” Rammesar replied.
“Where are the tubs?” Strickland asked.
Rammesar had already faced questions by fraud detectives.
They wanted to know why the fancy walk-in tubs were still wrapped in plastic and sitting in a machine shop off Atlanta Road rather than being delivered to customers, like Don and Lisa Dula, of Morganton, NC.
“I told Donald, I said, 'We ain’t got the tub yet and we’re getting billed!'” Lisa Dula told Strickland.
The Dulas' paperwork shows they worked out a plan to pay $55 a month for 60 months.
But that adds up to only half of the $6,500 price tag.
Once the bank figured it out, they raised the monthly payment.
“Next couple days, we got a bill in the mail for $130-some for a tub. We don’t even have the tub!” Don Dula said.
Terry Smith never received his tub, either. But he also received a bill.
“I ain’t paying for something that I ain’t got,” Smith said.
Ramessar told Strickland an independent representative made promises to customers the tub company couldn’t fulfill.
“So you’re saying if there’s any malfeasance here it was on the part of overzealous sales people trying to make a sale?” Strickland asked Ramessar.
“A hundred percent,” Ramessar said.
When Strickland reached the Dulas' sales rep by phone, the agent hung up on him.
“I think that’s dirty. I couldn’t do nobody that way,” Lisa Dula said.
The Dulas and Smith aren’t the only ones with a gripe.
“You can’t keep the product and you can’t keep the money. Right? You can’t have both of them,” Thad Joseph said.
Joseph runs Turns Financing, the loan brokerage firm that arranged the financing.
Joseph decided to pay off the $25,000 in tub loans so low-income customers like the Dulas and Terry Smith don’t have to.
Strickland asked Joseph if he was angry.
“Oh, I’m super upset. If I don’t seem like it here on camera, it’s just that I’m seething inside,” Joseph said.
Fraud investigators with Cobb County police questioned Ramessar and decided the situation was more of a civil matter than a crime.
Joseph had evidence of another sale gone wrong.
According to a work order, a Texas man named Richard Capps signed for his tub on Oct. 5, 2017. But an obituary shows Capps had died four days earlier on Oct. 1.
“It doesn’t get any worse than that if you think about it,” Joseph said.
When Strickland asked if the handwriting on Capps’ work order was Ramessar’s, he again blamed a sales agent.
“No, it’s not. One hundred percent, this came from our sales rep,” Ramessar said.
Ramessar accepted blame for a failed delivery in Illinois and claims he’ll make it right.
“Happily willing to do it,” Ramessar said.
Joseph anticipates a court fight.
“I think it’s a pretty open-and-shut case,” Joseph said.
Ramessar told Strickland he is out of the tub business and regrets hiring independent sales agents instead of using his own staff.
Joseph says he hasn’t seen any of the money Ramessar pledged on camera to refund.
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