Missouri man fights to get chair fixed when manufacturer becomes impossible to reach

Problem Solvers

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Rick Davison, who credits his massage chair with easing his back and foot pain, said he’s been in a fight for months trying to get it repaired.

“I heard a pop, and it didn’t act right,” said Davison, showing FOX4 Problem Solvers the plastic piece of track that had broken off on one side in the back of his Ootori massage chair.

Davison, a retired farmer, figured he’d buy a replacement part and fix the $2,700 chair himself. But he couldn’t find the part online and was unable to reach the manufacturer’s representative who sells the chair in the United States.

But Davison thought he was in luck when he found a repair company, J&M Tech Services in Jefferson City, which promised it could do the job.

J&M Tech’s owner said he would order a new part from Ootori, have it mailed to Davison and then send a repairman to install it.

The cost was $375 and needed to be paid 24 hours in advance. Davison paid that very day, anxious and hopeful he would soon have his massage chair back in working order.

That was more than a month ago.

Every time Davison called J&M Tech he said he was told to be patient because the Ootori distributor in Texas wasn’t answering the phone. J&M Tech told Rick the company was most likely temporarily shut down because of the coronavirus.

“He told me the company should get in contact with me,” said Davison who was worried and called FOX4.

The entire transaction concerned FOX4 Problem Solvers.

Davison had paid for a repair he had never received because it involved a part from a company that was impossible to reach.

When we also couldn’t reach anyone at Ootori, we told Davison to ask for his money back from J&M Tech.

The good news is the company immediately refunded his $375, and Davison promised to use them should the spare part arrive from Ootori.

The bad news is that, besides a website, there’s no evidence that Ootori is still in operation. Our emails and phone calls were never answered.

We’re not alone. Ootori has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and a string of unanswered complaints from frustrated customers who can’t reach anyone at the company.

Repairing a massage chair is problematic for a lot of people, even those who didn’t buy from Ootori, according to the owner of a Florida company called smartchoicerepaircenter.com.

That company is one of the few companies in the U.S. that Problem Solvers could find to repair massage chairs.

The bad news is that Davison would have to ship his chair to Florida to do the repair and the entire transaction could cost him about $2,000 — almost the value of his chair.

The best solution for Davison might be to buy a new chair from a company that has a phone number and actually returns your calls.

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