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Choosehottubsdirect.com / FRAUD + dispicable behavior by Steve Barbarich

767 Bryant St. #201 San Francisco, CA, United States Review updated:
4.15
Contact information:
Phone: 1-888-611-8827

Hello,
I have no doubt that Mr Barbarich is breaking the law.

Over three months have gone by since I last dealt with Steve Barbarich, and I've only gotten madder.
He's really caused alot of pain and stress to me and my wife.

I purchased an "Island Escape Spa" from him for over $7000 this spring.
I found out that that brand doesn't even exist. Its a "Mona Lisa" spa from China. It's logo says "Mona Lisa", the delivery company (Allied Van Lines) said that these hot tubs were picked up right from the import facility.

There wasn't even any repackaging done. Island Escape brand doesn't exist.

Steve Barbarich lied about personally inspecting them. He lied about VERY MANY THINGS!
His site and rep sold me FULL FOAM insulation for $100 extra(later increased to $150.
What I got was about a 12 oz can's worth of aerosol foam snaked in places on the tub (much of it lying on the frame and all over the water pumps. Steve said that thats how its done these days.
I was sure to take lots of pictures.
The Hot tub didn't even work!! Nothing. Steve ridiculed me for that
You don't have to take my words. I don't have to paraphrase, as Steve personally insulted and ripped me off via email, which I intend to keep. I will gladly EVERY EMAIL SENT BETWEEN choosehottubsdirect.com and me to anyone who is interested. Steve Barbarich is dispicable. DO NOT TRUST HIM or give him your money!!! These Mona Lisa hot tubs are PURE JUNK. I have lots of pictures to back this up.

The hot tub was defective in many ways as well as damaged BADLY.
The delivery driver tried to refuse to even deliver it, but Steve told him to take it anyway, and that choosehottubsdirect would "Make it right". Well they didn't, and Steve handled it by insulting us.
I was very careful from the beginning to be courteous, fair, and never rude.
Interestingly, since I did my business with him by phone, and insisted on paying with credit card ( Which his sales rep at first said was not an option), all my correspondence is in writing. I have my itemized invoice which was not what was received, as well as all Steve's lies in print.
Instead of trying to help me, Steve wrote to me that I'm crazy and that all the damage and workmanship are normal for this brand. He offered to replace some parts at a discount to me. What a joke!
Afterwards, he even wrote that it appears that I was looking for a quality brand, and that he had one he would be happy to sell me. (No, he didn't offer a discount)

Here's how I handled being ripped off by Steve Barbarich:
I paid by credit card: I notified my cc company immediately and they went after Barbarich.
I issued a complaint to my state's Consumer Protection Agency, which got on Steve right away and opened the complaint case.
I see tonight that Steve has issued a press release to some blog websites, saying he's donating a portion of sales from Mona Lisa ... I mean "Island Escape" spas to Ike Relief.. It doesn't say how much.
It would be nice to find out if its true. After working with choosehottubsdirect staff and Steve Barbarich, I think it must be another scam - But thats just my opinion.

Steve has denied doing anything wrong, and he replied to the Wisconsin cpa that my behavior is "bizarre".
Here's what I posted to /link removed/ about Barbarich:
/URL removed/

If you want more information from an inside source, contact Barbarich's former VP of sales at Choosehottubsdirect. He should be able to confirm that Steve is ripping people off. I was fortunate enough to get to know him and he confirmed my suspicions. He has since quit the company. He's too good for them.

Weeks after Steve was forced to pickup the hot tub (which I had to help load), Steve tried calling me.
I immediately hung up (Sorry Steve- didn't mean to be rude). I want to keep all correspondence in writing. Well, he sends me an email that night saying that I have to return to him missing parts that are unique to that crappy, broken hottub. The nerve! Like I would want to cause myself more grief.

I hope this helps others to think about being ripped off.
Mi
0

Comments

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Cu
  17th of Oct, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Can you email me directly with your information concerning this company. I am doing some research and possible public reviews on the product.
Sa
  15th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have worked with Barbarich in one of his past companies, and I can agree that he is a crook. I also have no doubt that he is breaking the law.
La
  20th of Aug, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I strongly agree with this posting. I placed an order with Steve Bararich for a product that was to be delivered in 8-11 weeks. It is now 19 weeks later, no tub. I called to cancel my order and ask for my money back. I was told they could cancel my order but would be keeping $, 1500 of my money. I was referred to the cancellation policy on the contract. I checked out the policy and found it only applies to in-stock orders that are paid for with a $500 initial installment, the balance to be paid in 30 days. My order was for a product that was not in-stock and was paid for in full at the time of order, at the insistence of Steve Barbarich. I have filed a complaint with my credit card company and the State Attorney General's Office. I have no doubt I will prevail, as I have with other rip-off companies, like DirecTV. You just have to stay after them. They are hoping you will give up and then they will keep your money.
Ma
  15th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
He is ripping of my 80 year old Grandmother too. She ordered a hot tub in April. It was suppose to have been "in stock". I guess it must have been in stock in China. 8-11 weeks later it still hadn't come so she called to cancel. The customer service girl who answered the phone told her she would receive a refund and even gave her a check #. The check never came. When she called to find out where her money was, the girl said the owner, Steve Barbarich decided not to give her a refund, but that her spa would be delivered in late September and he'd give her a better warranty. She tried to take him to small claims court, but the address listed on the website came back as undeliverable. She is very upset and does not know what to do. She is on the West coast and I am on the East and I am trying my best to help her. Unfortunately, she paid by check. If anyone has a legit address we can use to serve him, I would greatly appreciate it.
Ih
  15th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
This guy is a total sociopath. He'd rather screw someone over and spend endless amounts of time gaming the BBB the Attorney General offices and the rest of the system, than just delivering what his customers have paid for.

Steve was never, ever, going to send the tub your grandmother ordered.

His game is wearing you down like latka7 said, hoping you'll give up and walk away.

He uses the purchase 'agreement' that says you understand there could be delays, blah blah blah. Well, he has that in there to 'delay' the shipment indefinitely. Then after a few months he claims you've given up all rights to complain or get your money back because you agreed to that.

if you try small claims court it would help if she's in California. she'll probably win, but if she's out of state, good luck getting it enforced. this jerk will never pay up.

If you hire a lawyer it will cost you as much for the lawyer as you'll get back.

If you throw in the towel, his refund will be probably less than half of what you paid.

If you drag it out long enough he will probably send you a 'better' tub. That's total BS too, but at least you will have something.

I've been through this with him, it's hell. But you just can't let up on him. I eventually got a 'better' tub that he appartenly got at Costco. It was about the same size as the one i ordered but didn't have all of the options that i paid for.

Zaba search has addresses and phone numbers for this creep.

This guy seriously needs to be taken down.
Ma
  17th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
After months of trying to track down a real physical address where she could serve him, she did. She went to court this Dec (09) and won her case, but who knows if she'll ever see the money. This guy and his company are total scam artists.
Ma
  27th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My Grandma is working with a lawyer in CA who is looking for depositions from others who have been ripped off by this company. If you want to help us try and take him down, please contact me. I don't have all the details yet, just trying to get a list of folks who have also been scammed.
No
  3rd of Feb, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
If anyone wants my help, you got it!
I have all email transcripts between Steve Barbarich and myself as well as pics of the tub as it was delivered.

click the send email link at the top of this thread.
it will give you page which says, "send email to mike'.
email me with your phone if you like and I'll call you and will
send all the docs I have.
Te
  1st of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Well, I too got ripped off by Steve but it's not over yet, by a long shot. This guy can't do this and get away with it anymore. I personally have went to every federal, state AND local agencies for a total of about 20 written complaints. The San Fran DA office is the big one right now I guess. Scamming with defective tubs is not cool. We'll get him, hang tight! Oh, i had a wire melt that didn't even throw the breaker IN the tub, it threw the extra one I had installed. The first day! Lots of mess to follow that also. Here's the wire...I have a file so thick on this and every email!
La
  2nd of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This is getting strange. It seems that Steve Barbarich does not like it when you don't allow him to rip you off. I got all of my money back for my defective tub through my credit card company. After I was susccessful with that I hear that he then refused to accept credit cards so that it would cut off that recourse of action for customers who have been ripped off. Steve didn't have a minute to spend on me when I was calling him and writing him with complaints but now that I got my money back from him he's tracked me down on Facebook and wants to "be my friend". On Facebook he goes by Steve Imaloser Barbarich. Perfectly appropriate because he is a real lose, as in "I'm a loser", middle name used on Facebook. This guy is really sick and is going to be in a lot more trouble than just selling bad merchandise if he keeps up the cyber-stalking of people who have refused to be ripped off by him. CG
Bj
  12th of Jan, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I TOTALLY AGREE, WE HAVE TO BAND TOGETHER AND STOP HIM... I 2 PURCHASED CAL FLAME PRODUCTS FROM STEVE BABABICH ----- 6 MO'S AGO which he wanted in a Cashier's Check - approx.$6, 500...TODATE HAVE RECEIVED NOTHING. I AM ASKING FOR ANY HELP WITH INFORMATION ON MR. BARBARICH, HOME ADDRESS, CELL PHONE # AND HOW TO FIND HIM... ECT. ANY HELP APPRECIATED. (LET'S PUT HIM WHERE HE BELONGS )
" PRISON"

bjohnson92118@yahoo.com
Ka
  28th of Jan, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have 3 addresses: 767 Bryant Avenue Suite 201, San Francisco., 965 Sutter Street #319, and 555 4TH ST #919 Anyone who is having trouble with this man should call The San Francisco District Attorney, Consumer Protection Unit. There is a criminal case against him now.
Lu
  28th of Feb, 2016
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I represent the company Palace Hotel & Resort in Romania and I paid $ 49, 300 for this crook
On December 2, 2013 I paid $ 26, 300 and $ 23, 000 on the date of January 27, 2014
The payments we made to the company Value Point Distribution LLC partial payments for 15 spa.
I fail to recover any products and none of these payments.
Ion Lucian
ionlucian@palacehotel.ro

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