$16k for bath remodel and vacation, Ga. woman regrets signing the contract

Here’s the sales pitch that got her to sign
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 11:04 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Lucia Puerta regrets her decision but takes responsibility for signing a home remodeling contract and a financing agreement locking her into a 20-year loan. She said the salesperson who convinced her to swap out two bathtubs for acrylic walk-in showers made an excellent sales pitch.

“When she came, she was very nice,” Puerta said. “She offered to find us a lender to pay for the job.”

Puerta’s daughter needed the walk-in shower because she is disabled and is recovering from foot surgery. Her mom made an appointment for a quote when she saw a commercial on TV.

Atlanta News First Consumer Investigator Better Call Harry reviewed Bath Planet Atlanta’s one-page contract. The remodeler wanted $16,000 to install two walk-in showers.

Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division provides home repair and improvement guidelines for seniors, and warns of high-pressure sales tactics.

Puerta said she felt pressured to sign the contract and asked the salesperson if she could think it over. Nonetheless, three hours later, she decided to sign. The agreement provided a three-day window to cancel. Puerta began getting nervous when a measuring crew didn’t show up for an appointment. She tried to cancel the contract but by then, her cancellation window had passed.

The sales pitch

Puerta said the salesperson presented documents including a “no questions asked lifetime warranty,” as well as:

  • “The prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal” with a two-year limited warranty.
  • Bath Planet Atlanta’s “Apples to Apples” guarantee, stating competitors could not beat its quality, workmanship or $16,000 price tag.
  • A vacation voucher for a four-night luxury cruise or airfare, plus two nights at a hotel, or seven nights at a resort/condo at more than 3,000 locations.

Bath Planet Atlanta’s sales pitch and contract are legitimate. Better Call Harry contacted the marketing company that provided the vouchers and confirmed the coupons were real, but it does require the customer to pay taxes and fees.

The salesperson connected Puerta with a lender who approved a 10-year loan at 6 percent. With interest, Puerta said she would have paid $26,000. The agreement states customers are required to pay a 30 percent penalty but also entitles them to a 70 percent refund.

After Better Call Harry contacted Bath Planet Atlanta about the contract, Puerta received a text two hours later, informing her she would be receiving a 100 percent credit.

Takeaways before you sign

  • Read the fine print
  • Get more than one quote
  • Agree on a deposit, a start date and a completion date
  • Ask an attorney to review the terms
  • Do not make the final payment until the work is done

If there’s something you would like Atlanta News First′s Consumer Investigator Better Call Harry to look into, fill out this submission form.