Chapter 61: The Saga of the Dream Tub

September 20, 2011 • Written by Christina Berry

To make up with the bathroom suckage situation, Errek and I decided it was time to buy the dream tub. Cuz we all know the best medicine comes in shiny and expensive packages, right? Retail therapy! Little did we know how close this dream tub would come to being a nightmare tub. Yep, in the grand tradition of Pleasant Valley Ranch, glitch time!

So, first, the dream tub. Meet the Jacuzzi Elara Salon Spa.

Ain’t she a beaut?

Six feet long, three and a half feet wide; sixteen jacuzzi jets; air bubble massage; chromatherapy lights, and whistle-worthy beauty. It was love at first sight for me, the “bath person” of the house. We’d been saving for it for a while, and now it was time to buy. We looked up the list of local dealers on the Jacuzzi website. There were a few and I asked for quotes from all. Only three dealers got back to me, of those only two had reasonable prices, but one was lowest — Austin Plumbing Supply. So we went in and ordered it. I mean, what the hell does it matter who sells it to us, it’s the Jacuzzi tub we were buying and the Jacuzzi warranty we were getting, never thought it would matter who the middle man was. Heh! Lesson learned.

When we purchased the tub, they said it would be 2-3 weeks before the tub was ready for free delivery to our house. Okay, whatever. Well, 2-3 weeks come and no word. I emailed Austin Plumbing Supply, they stalled. Eh, it’s a good think we don’t actually need the tub yet. Hell, we don’t even have the plumbing done. So, whatever.

The weeks passed and I emailed again. We ordered the tub on April 13th, and on May 23rd I got this email:

“We spoke with Jacuzzi today. The tub has shipped out. We will call you as soon as it’s here.

Austin Plumbing Supply”

Two days later Austin Plumbing Supply formally filed for bankruptcy. Wait, what? Bankruptcy? Okay, so, uh, what does this mean for us?

Still in denial, Errek decides to drive to their shop. He finds a locked door, a pile of mail, and letters taped to the door from other customers desperate to get their stuff.


Fortunately, we paid with credit card, so all it took was a call to the bank to dispute the charge and we got our money back. As an aside, I feel so bad for anyone who paid those dickheads in cash, or who needed their equipment ASAP in order to meet a schedule deadline. We’re still getting bankruptcy papers in the mail about this whole thing, so it’s not resolving fast, by any standards. We were lucky.

So, yeah, we got our money back, but still had no dream tub, and now we had a bad taste in our mouths from dealing with crooked dealers. Errek took the bull by the horns and decided to call Jacuzzi. He told Sonja, a friendly customer service rep, all about our situation, and the weirdest thing happened — she freakin’ listened and empathized with us. It was so weird. Not only did she listen and empathize, but she talked to her boss to see if they could arrange to sell to us directly. Her manager must have been in a good mood, because she talked to her boss, and our situation made it’s way up the ladder and sure as shit, they sold us the dream tub directly! And by cutting out the middle man, they saved us quite a lot of money. Yep,by calling Sonja, my #1 problem solver boy wonder, saved us a bundle. My hero!

Ta da! Meet Elara, the dream tub.

Of course, we’re still not ready to install her, but at least now we have her. No middle man bullshit standing between me and my dream of taking a bath again someday.

I have to tell you. I LOVE Jacuzzi, and I haven’t even gotten to soak in the tub yet. I wrote a really complimentary letter about Sonja and sent it to her boss. Hopefully it will help her get a raise, because she rules. Oh and Bill Sullivan of Austin Plumbing Supply can suck it.

Okay, so we were starting to accumulate expensive things, and stacking them in random rooms. I’m starting to see how this remodeling thing works — it sucks away all your time and money. The early stages suck more time than money, but we were entering a new phase where things suck more money than time. And one of those money-sucking things was the AC…