Choosehottubsdirect.com / FRAUD + dispicable behavior by Steve Barbarich
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:
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.