California Acrylic Industries - Cal Spas Cal Spa caught fire 5 months ago, won't honor warranty, shipping from MI to CA my responsibility Pomona California
I purchased a Cal Spa almost five years ago, and with the exception of a heater or pump (I cant remember which) that needed to be replaced a couple years ago, I have had no problems with it until February of this year.
One evening, in February, my daughter saw smoke billowing from the hot tub; first white and then turning black! My husband was able to put out the fire after removing the access panel. Fortunately, none of the surrounding deck was damaged. I immediately called the company as the tub is still under warranty. Here my nightmare begins
They first told me to contact a repair person who would take pictures and give them his opinion of the fire. When Roy, the repairman, was here, he told me that the tub would have to be totally replaced because of the very extensive damage. Looking at the tub, one wouldnt know there was a problem but underneath it is a disaster. We were able to get the cover off it before it was damaged except it reeks of smoke and melted foam. I am chemically sensitive, so the smell permeating the air while I would be soaking is unacceptable. Of course the company will not even consider replacing it.
I was leaving the state for 3 months due to medical reasons and said that as long as the tub was taken care of by the time I got back I would be patient with repairs. After a month I still hadt heard from the company so I called Roy. Again I was told the company needed to have a meeting to discuss their warranty obligations. When I called the company, Olivia in customer service, told me they would only discuss the matter with Roy the repairman. I kept explaining that I was currently in Arizona and needed to know what was going on because I wasnt home in Michigan. Roy was in Michigan, of course, and didnt have a toll free number, but he also wasnt very forthcoming with information.
After several weeks and many more calls to Roy he told me that the company did not want him handling the case anymore. He asked what my homeowners insurance deductible was, because they might agree to pay it and let me file with my insurance! I of course said no way would we consider that! Cal Spas, Roy explained, were going to contact a dealership to deal with us. Yeah! I thought we were on our way to getting things resolved
My husband received a letter from the Cal Spas dated April 16, 2008. The company said that before they did anything regarding the tub we needed to sign Return Goods Authorization papers to have the tub shipped to California so they can inspect it! The cost would be enormous and, if it proved that it wasnt a warranty issue, we would have to pay for the shipping of the tub! What is to prevent them from denying my warranty once it is their hands! It would be a case of my word against theirs and then how would I ever get it back to Michigan!?
Yesterday I went into Hearth and Home, the dealership recommended by Cal Spa to transport the Spa, to get their opinion of what I should do. They had come to my house and taken pictures to send the company in hopes of avoiding the freight issues. When they contacted the company they were told the same thing. They intimated that the company feels something isnt right as they have never had a fire like this and that the appearance of the motor area isnt as charred as they think it should be. I asked if they couldnt remove the affected plumbing and just send it as it would be so much cheaper. They said no, the company wants the whole thing and is adamant that they will not change their position. It seemed that they were accusing my husband, daughter, or me of starting the fire so we could get a new tub. This is absolutely ridiculous!
The mere hint of such an accusation is disheartening and preposterous! Needless to say, it was in fine condition and there would be no reason for us to seek a new tub until now, as this one is apparently faulty since this internal fire broke out. Also, if determined that it was a warranty covered issue, my warranty will still expire on the same date regardless of the outcome. As the warranty ends 08/09/08, I will have had the hot tub broken for the last 6 months.
We dont know why it happened or what could have caused it, but I know that it isnt our fault and we should not be liable or accused!! One person suggested I get an attorney and told me in almost 20 years in business he has never heard of shipping a tub from Michigan to California. Well, attorneys arent free and why should I be paying for anything when it is under warranty and obviously a faulty product!?
I am an amputee with post polio syndrome. When I am home I use the tub for medical purposes. Why in the world would I try to damage it?!!! I also live in an old log home which, had we not been home, would have gone up in fire in minutes. Thus, I resent the attitude that I have received all the way around. My health insurance eats up any monies I get so the idea that I might have to pay the freight charges on the tub is totally impossible.
It is so insulting to have someone imply we did a dishonest thing. I have always prided myself on our honesty.
Also, no one from the company has ever spoken to us regarding the issue. I just dont know what to do anymore! When the local dealership cant advise me and said the company has NEVER had a tub shipped it worries me greatly and is having an adverse impact on my health.
traverse city, MichiganU.S.A.