CHoosedirect/ Island Escape / Illegal Product Import

1 767 Bryant Street Suit 201, San Francisco, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 415-618-0681

It has been determined that Stephen Barbarich and his company Choosedirect has been and still is, knowingly and unlawfully selling illegal Hot Tubs in the US for 2 years that are not in compliance with US Law as determined by the CPSC, concerning consumer product safety. The spas do not have ANY federally approved safety certifications such as UL or ETL. This is required by US Law and falls under the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Any device sold in the United States that involves electricity, plumbing and potentially harmful materials such as fiberglass resins, plastics and manufacturing processes that can potentially leave harmful residues, odors, etc, must be properly inspected and certified as safe for consumer use.<br />
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These spas are unreliable and dangerous and anyone owning one of these spas needs to immediately cease use of the product and seek immediate refund. if nothing more than the simple fact they are NOT certified safe.<br />
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Look on your spa for the UL certification mark OR the ETL certification mark. You will NOT find one ANYWHERE! Do not let this company fool you into believing their product is safe. It is NOT. You may find a CE marking, but this certification is NOT acceptable in the US. IT is ONLY accepted in European Union Countries and does NOT meet U.S. safety polices. Understand that just because a single device on your spa has a CE, UL or ETL marking, does NOT certify the spa as CERTIFIED. The manufacturer MUST pay UL or ETL Labs a fee for complete product testing and is them issued a certificate number that is placed on the product and can be traced back to the UL or ETL lab for verification. Also note that alot of import products slip under customs inspections with falsified records and fake certification stickers.<br />
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As a final note I had a conversation with a New York State Pool Professional who stated to me that this spa is also not in compliance with the recent federal mandated Virginia Graeme Baker Law, which clearly states that all Hot Tubs being sold in the U.S. Must have ASME A112.19.8-2007 rated anti-entrapment suction fittings. Once again these spas do not have any such ratings or even meet the standards of the ratings and are being sold illegally.<br />
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Ultimately this product for the last 2 years must be recalled for being dangerous and unreliable. If you have fallen victim to this company and purchased their product it has failed to perform as expected, or you have sustained any injury, personal or property, no matter how minor, contact the CPSC as soon as possible and file a complaint. This company must be held accountable for their actions.<br />
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Go to to file your complaint.

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  • Ch
      8th of Feb, 2010

    Virginia Graeme Baker Act Requirements Effective December 19, 2008

    Drain Cover Requirement Effective December 19, 2008:
    Each swimming pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will enforce compliance with the Act as a consumer product safety rule. This requirement applies to suction outlet covers for all pools and spas including residential portable hot tubs.

    Manufacturer and Owner Responsibility:
    As of December 19, 2008, it will be a violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act to sell or offer to sell or introduce into commerce any drain cover that does not meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8–2007 standard. Existing covers that meet the earlier edition of this standard (1987) will be in violation.

    As stated in the article posting these spas are in fact using non-compliant drain covers and therefore in direct violation of the law.

    +1 Votes
  • Ch
      8th of Feb, 2010

    In addition to the above, this company is also a member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP - as indicated not only by the displayed APSP logo on their website, but verified on the APSP website as a listed member. The APSP website clearly states the "Member Code of Ethics" as follows:

    Code of Ethics
    Association of Pool & Spa Professionals Code of Ethics

    All members of The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals agree to be dedicated to and to comply with the following ethical principles and policies:

    1. To contribute to the health, safety and welfare of the public in the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and operation of swimming pools, spas and hot tubs by complying with all applicable laws, ordinances or regulations and refraining from engaging in fraudulent or deceptive acts or practices.

    2. To hold all necessary federal, state and local licenses, registrations and permits.

    3. To respect and not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others and to refrain from using the property of others without their prior, written consent.

    4. To advertise products, services and prices truthfully and consistently with all federal, state and local advertising practices requirements.

    5. To establish prices in a manner that does not involve collusion with a competitor and to clearly communicate such prices to potential customers or clients prior to providing such products or services.

    6. To provide written sales agreements when such are requested by customers or required by law.

    7. To comply with the terms of all agreements, oral or written, regarding the provision of products or services.

    8. To respond to any consumer complaints made to any governmental authority, Better Business Bureau or equivalent nongovernmental authority.

    9. To exclude from company ownership or senior management any person or entity who or which, within the past three (3) years, has been convicted of or pleaded no contest (or its equivalent) to any felony or other crime involving business or financial practices.

    10. To use the APSP name, logo and other intellectual property only when and as permitted by APSP, and to cease all such use upon suspension from or termination of membership in APSP.

    11. To file a complaint with APSP regarding a potential violation of this Code of Ethics only when in possession of credible evidence of such potential violation.

    12. To cooperate fully with any APSP investigation of a potential violation of this Code of Ethics.

    There are at least 4 direct violations of this code of ethics.

    1. They are knowingly selling a substandard product that is not in compliance with the CPSC rules and regulations, so rule 1 is broken

    2. They have no UL or ETL certifications, therefore breaking rule 2

    3. They do not state on their website that the product is imported or that it is not UL or ETL certified. This violates rule 4, as the product is not safe and presents a serious consumer safety risk without proper U.S. authorized testing.

    4. This point is true but obviously self serving for the humor in it... They have violated rule 11. They are knowingly violating the code of ethics and have not reported it!

    So I have taken the steps to insure the APSP is aware of this blatant disregard for their code of ethics, in the hope that they will also get involved.

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      10th of Mar, 2010

    They are the biggest fraud in the market. This is my personal experience. Anyone buying anything from them is inviting big trouble...

    +1 Votes
  • El
      21st of Jun, 2010

    agree completely - ordered a hottub in Oct and this is June still do not have hot tub

    0 Votes

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