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Hot Tub Dilemma Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor

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ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — When you think of a hot tub, you think relaxation. A local man found that trying to get the spa he paid for was anything but relaxing.

Buddy Lemmons bought a hot tub to help relieve his sometimes excruciating back pain.

"I can get out and mow the grass and all, but when I'm through I go into the house and I'm sitting or laying down about to cry," he said.

Lemmons had a porch built for a tub, but patio furniture sits there instead.

Last December, Lemmons paid Merritt Spa and Pool $4,850 up front for a spa. Lemmons said company owner Brian Merritt told him it would take two to four weeks to deliver the spa. More than eight months later, Lemmons still does not have it.

Lemmons said Merritt, who happens to be his next-door neighbor, has nothing but excuses.

"He's put me through a lot telling me it's on it's way, it's coming, I guarantee it. Still, all this time and no tub," Lemmons said. "I don't have any words for it. I'm just shocked. I'm not used to that kind of treatment."

When Merritt stopped returning Lemmons' phone calls, Lemmons called Five On Your Side. Lemmons said what he wants is simple.

"My tub or my money. If you can't deliver the tub like you promised, all I want is my money back," he said.

Within an hour after Five On Your Side called Merritt, he called Lemmons and promised a full refund by this past Friday.

Merritt later told Five On Your Side that one tub was "damaged in shipping" and that that there was a payment mix-up between him and the manufacturer. Merritt said Lemmons just needed to "be patient" and that he "can't believe he would call WRAL."

Lemmons says he cannot believe he had to call Five On Your Side.

"I hate to do this, but I don't know what else to do," he said.

Merritt promised that check by last Friday. So far, Buddy has not received it and has not heard from Merritt.

Five On Your Side contacted Merritt late Monday afternoon and he said we would have a check to Lemmons by Wednesday.


Monica Laliberte, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Lori Lair, Producer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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