'We thought they did a background check on all vendors'

'We thought they did a background check on all vendors'

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clara and Jeff Condon thought they were getting a good deal when they bought a new sauna in June.

The Vancouver couple went to Portland for the “Spa, Swimspa and Sauna Sale” at the Portland Expo Center. They wrote a check to Sauna Corp, also known as Sunbrite Saunas, for $1,750.

Their check was cashed three days later.

Their sauna was supposed to be delivered within four weeks, but 12 weeks later it hasn't arrived.

The couple not only blames the company for the failed delivery, but the Expo Center as well.

“We trusted the Portland Expo because we thought they did a background check on all the vendors and we’re kind of disappointed with them,” said Jeff Condon. “Also with this business, how can you run a business if you don’t call his clients back to say ‘hey we’re having a snag with the delivery?’”

Clara Condon checked Sauna Corp’s Better Business rating after her calls to the company were not returned.

“It is a score of an F,” she said.

The Problem Solvers called the Portland Expo Center Tuesday. A spokesperson said they investigate show organizers, but don’t investigate individual vendors. That’s up to the organizers, they said.

Here are some tips from the Problem Solvers for home buying products from large sale events:

•    Don’t buy on the spot.
•    Check the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau and other online consumer complaint websites.
•    Never pay in full. If the company insists, take your business elsewhere.
•    Always use a credit card.
•    Only work with local companies so if something goes wrong, you can confront the situation face to face.

The company owner promised to refund the Condons’ money.

“It just wouldn’t have been enjoyable so I figured we should just get our money back,” said Jeff Condon. “Lesson learned.”