Customers complain after skydiving business closes

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The Houston Better Business Bureau said it has been flooded with complaints after a popular skydiving business that suddenly shut down.

The hangar Skydive Houston was renting at the Eagle Lake Airport in Colorado County is dark and locked.

Jumping out of an airplane and freefalling 120 miles an hour is definitely Rick Metting's idea of fun, so last August he went skydiving. It was a birthday present from his wife.

"It was awesome. It was great", Metting said.

He loved his jump so much that the second his feet hit the ground Metting bought another jump for $102. His excitement turned to frustration when he called Skydive Houston back in May to schedule his session.

"The Skydive phone number had been disconnected. I went to the website it no longer existed", Metting said. 

The company had apparently gone out of business.

Metting was so upset he filed a complaint with the Houston Better Business Bureau. It's one of 13 now on record.

"We have not heard from Skydive Houston. They are currently not responding to the complaints we have on record," said Leah Napoliello with the Houston Better Business Bureau.

Metting wants his money back and said he's not letting the company's owner off the hook.

"I don't need an apology or an explanation. I'm not on a head-hunting expedition here. I felt like I had been sold a lemon car," Metting said.

It's not just customers who are complaining. Keith Webb, Eagle Lake's city manager, told Local 2 that the company's owner owes the city $2,600 in rent. Webb said if the debt isn't paid, the owner could be evicted.

In response to this story, Skydive Houston owner Todd Bell sent Local 2 the following statement:

"Jump Out Express, LLC (d/b/a Skydive Houston) has been in litigation since last November. The litigation has resulted in a suspension of operations for now. We are optimistic that obligations to customers will eventually be honored, but that will depend on matters beyond our control at this time. The litigation is a matter of public record, and you are welcome to review the filings. On advice of counsel, I cannot publicly discuss this situation at this time. Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your investigation. I wish I could say more." 

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