COLORADO SPRINGS — Customers say they can't get answers after a hot tub company they did business with suddenly closed.
Lori Roy and Andrea Spencer both purchased hot tubs from Clearwater Spas off I-25 and Garden of the Gods.
Lori says her problems began shortly after her $13,000 hot tub was delivered in July 2021.
“It had used pillows and they said they were going to order more," she said. "It was damaged when they delivered it (the tub) so I have panels that are scratched and dented. They said they were going to replace it and that never happened.”
Lori reached out to News 5 Investigates after she says multiple attempts to get the company to address her concerns fell on deaf ears.
"Trying to get them to repair parts and stuff like that, we've been struggling to get anyone to respond," she said. "We kept calling and calling and sending emails---no responses.”
Meanwhile, Andrea Spencer is just as frustrated and her problem appears to be more severe.
She ordered a $17,000 hot tub in April of last year---it never arrived.
“We tried calling and calling—no answer," Andrea said. "I told my husband maybe we should drive over there and see if we can actually get someone to physically talk with us. We drove over there and it looked like they had literally packed up and left. There were boards on the ground and we couldn’t get a hold of anyone.”
News 5 reached out to the Colorado Springs Police Department after we spoke with Lori and Andrea.
"We would need a lot more information to determine if it is civil or criminal," Lt. Jim Sokolik said. via email on March 29. "Your contact can absolutely call the PD to report and we will gather enough information to make that determination and then go from there."
The phone line to the business was disconnected, so News 5 went down to Clearwater Spas to try to get answers.
The business was locked. On the front door, we saw a notice that the company was behind on rent.
An electrical business next door told News 5 that they've been hearing from other customers with unresolved issues who were shocked to find Clearwater Spas had closed.
While doing research online to find the owner, Benjamin E. O'Connell, we came across an obituary.
News 5 confirmed through the coroner's office that O'Connell passed away in October 2021---several months after Lori and Andrea entered into contracts with the business.
Both are now left wondering whether the company has any plans to take care of its customers.
In Andrea's case, she took out a loan through a finance company recommended by Clearwater Spas. She filed a dispute and says her payments have been placed on hold while the agency investigates the matter.
Court records show a $500,000 judgment against Clearwater Spas following a court case filed by a credit/lending company.
Update from the Colorado Springs Police Department (3/14/2022):
The Colorado Springs Police Department has determined these cases are a civil matter, not criminal. Therefore, they are not able to investigate further, according to a CSPD spokesperson.
If you have an issue with this company not delivering a hot tub you ordered or have another problem or issue you'd like our investigative team to look into, you can email Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.