Company responds to high-pressure sales allegations

Company responds to high-pressure sales allegations

The company that sold a $3,100 vacuum cleaner to an elderly retiree denied allegations that its salesman tricked her into buying the expensive vacuum cleaner.

Chris Erwin is co-owner of Aqua Systems LLC. A sister company he supervises sold the vacuum cleaner to 70-year-old Carol Gilbert of Aiea even though she said she didn't want it.

Gilbert alleged that a salesman posing as a survey taker fooled her into signing off on loan that included a $98 a month financing charge.

"I'm on Social Security and a small pension. Ninety-eight dollars! Do you realize I only have $17 dollars in my checking account right now," Gilbert said.
Erwin said the deal was legitimate.

"The finance company verified it with her. She says she wants the machine. She understands she's buying the machine. She had a chance to mail the notice of cancellation and she never did," he said.

Erwin says she missed her chance to cancel after three days.

But Gilbert says she unwittingly signed the sales contract because she was told it was documentation for the consumer survey. And when she tried to call the company to cancel before the three-day period, she said no one could be reached.

The company denies that.

The Better Business Bureau of Hawaii said it's looking into the dispute, after seeing our story last week.

"If it was proven that the business was wrong, we would ask the business to resolve the issue with the consumer," said Tim Caminos of the BBB. "And of course if the consumer was wrong or mistaken, we would move on, the case would be closed."

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