HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. - A family of seven got a huge surprise this week after months of living without clean drinking water.
A local company has installed a free water filtration system in Kristi and Preston Aspeslet's Hendrick's County home, after the couple says they were scammed into buying a $4,000 unit that doesn't work from another company.
The Aspeslet's bought the original unit in September of 2015 from a man named Larry Foster with Vibrant Water LLC. They met him at his booth at the Indiana State Fair. The problem is, as Kristi says, the system didn't work.
“It never worked. Not from day one.”
The couple says they repeatedly tried to reach out to Foster, but no one ever came to make repairs. The last time they heard from him was in January when he sent them a text message that read “we have had some personal problems” and “I will call u Monday I am sure the system just needs adjusting on the head we will get you taken care of.”
Foster never called.
The Aspeslet’s started digging online and found a mug shot of Foster. Turns out, he had been arrested and charged in 2011 for selling water filtration systems to Hoosiers and never delivering the product.
FOX59 reached out to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office which has already received three complaints this year about Vibrant Water LLC. An agency spokeswoman told FOX59 the office is investigating the company for potential violations of the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.
The owner of Vibrant Water LLC, Amanda Foster Ingram, denied the accusations that her company scammed the Aspeslet family, but she did apologize for the delay in service. You can read her full statement here.
However, even after the story aired, the Aspeslet's said no one ever came out to fix their unit.
A sales manager at Indy Soft Water was watching the story on FOX59 and was horrified. Dan Cook called up his boss and the company decided to take action.
First, the Indy Soft Water team came out to check the original system and the results were not good.
"My understanding after being here and seeing everything is that there wasn’t actually anything inside of the tanks to do the work that was needed," said Jessica Larson, Co-owner of Indy Soft Water. "Each tank is supposed to have a media in it to cause that chemical reaction to pull the hardness and the elements and the iron out of the water and the tanks were actually, had nothing in them."
So Indy Soft Water offered to install their own filtration system for free. The Aspeslet's were overjoyed.
"Just overwhelmed with gratitude that someone would reach out and want to help us and help our children and just help us have what we paid for and not feel like it was a complete loss of money," said Kristi Aspeslet.
Larson said her team was just happy to be able to help, especially when a company in their line of work doesn't come through.
"It makes our job harder," said Larson. "So we always have to work that much harder to make sure that people understand that we are a trustworthy business. And we actually have a lot of competitors that are trustworthy as well. And we always honor fair competition, but when you hear about this, it makes everybody look bad."
The last contact Kristi Aspeslet had with Amanda Foster Ingram of Vibrant Water LLC was a lengthy text message that started with 'Hope you enjoyed your 10 minutes of fame. I am not sure what it is you want."
Foster Ingram continued on to admit Larry Foster "may have done some people wrong, but I truly don't feel you guys were on that list. I am truly sorry there has been any kind of miscommunication."
Her text message ended with "You state in your text you want full refund, that is not possible."