• Report: #373095

Complaint Review: Steve Barbarich - Choosehottubsdirect.com

  • Submitted: Mon, September 15, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, September 15, 2008

  • Reported By:Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin
Steve Barbarich - Choosehottubsdirect.com
767 Bryant St. #201 San Francisco, California U.S.A.

Steve Barbarich - Choosehottubsdirect.com Horrible Customer Service by Owner San Francisco California

What's this?
What's this?
What's this?
Is this
Ripoff Report
About you?
Ripoff Report
A business' first
line of defense
on the Internet.
If your business is
willing to make a
commitment to
customer satisfaction
Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation?
Fix it the right way.
Corporate Advocacy Program™

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

When my hot tub arrived, it was visibly damaged. Panels were broken and staples pulled out.metal frame welds broken and bent on bottom Rusty internal parts.
I paid extra $100 for full-foam(its on The receipt Steve!!).

I paid $150 extra for a synthetic base. When I mentioned that it was missing, Steve tried claiming that the peice of paper, or cardboard was probably it. He wrote: "I thought you said there was not bottom. I'm confused?"

So, I was treated like I did something wrong, given the runaround, and condescended to. No apologies.

List of problems:( I have dozens of pictures available)
1. Frame welds broken in at least 3 places.
2. bottom smashed in.
3. Ordered "full foam"l Got some foam snakes stuck around underside.
4. panels cracked in many places.
5. staples pulled out and panels coming off ( I think someone along the way dropped the hot tub.)

6. the interior has many scratches and deep gouges in places inside and external corners.
7. Rusty panel parts and screws throught inside.
8. Poor worksmanship of interior.
9. The topside controls stick up far above rim of hot tub. The cover WILL NOT lay down on it.
10. The cover is one inch thick and has no internal structure. This will not support the weight of snow, but because it is so thin, snow will probably just melt anyway.
11.- cabinet that holds dvd player came broken.

Generally, it looks like this thing had been sitting in a field for the past 10 years getting rained on.

The cover, oh, don't get me started, is 1 inch thick with no internal frame. I live in Wisconsin, where it snows. That cover would have held about 3 inches of snow before collapsing.We wired it and,... Nothing! Didn't work. Steve said(read below) to get a new electrician. (I've since purchased a hot tub elsewhere, which started right up).

When we jiggled the wire, it did come on-then smelled like burning insulation. Ok. We have a problem. But I called and spoke with Steve's vp of sales who is a great guy. Literally an awsome person. I trusted him and still do to this day. He contacted Steve about my problem and I thought it would get fixed.

Well, that night Steve sent me the email from hell. Now I understand what it is to be ripped off.
The hot tub I ordered is the Island Escape brand , Model: Lunger Deluxe.

What came is a hot tub from China with a "Mona Lisa" logo.The Allied Van Lines driver said the hot tubs were picked up at the import docks. They were not inspected(as Steve claimed) OR packaged into "Island Escape" spas.

The first thing my Allied Van Lines driver told me when he got to my house is, "You're not going to like this." He was told by Steve to deliver the hot tub damaged and that his customer service department would do right by me.

Steve actually offered to replace my damaged parts at a discount. Wait until you read the claims below. I wanted to send a complete, chronological listing of the contact between choosehottubsdirect.com and me, but its looong. And frankly, we were getting along smashingly until date of arrival. To Geno, who took the ultimate stand for me, and refused to stand for this,I thank you again. I know you have a family. There are not enough people like you in the world.

I will include some emails from Steve below. If it turns into a he-said/she-said, I'll find a way and put them all up, in chronological order.

Here's the email that I got from Steve Barbarich after I received the tub.
From me:


sorry about my "mad" phone messages.

I'm in shock about the damage and poor quality right now.
Geno asked you to call, but you emailed. Yes, I will send pictures and detail the problems.I'm a very fair person, and your sales staff seem like quality people.

I bought the tub because Geno is a very straightforward, down to earth guy, but I'm sorry that I'm having a hard time trusting you.

Steve, you said in an email that you personally inspected all the hot tubs. I think you should have noticed something.Biggest problem: manufacturing specs claim 6-8 cm shell/fiberglass while its about 2.

The tub does not work. When the electrician connected it, it pops the outside circuit.

The tub is scratched (from steps bouncing around inside??)the panels have come off the screws have pulled out from the panel locks.

There is a round metal thing that turns on top(maybe an air control??) It doesn't push down, and the cover doesnt have a place for it to fit, so the cover doesn't lay down. This is very weird.

The wood interior frame is missing screws and has slapped on peices cut to connect mis-measured peices.
The stainless-steel big jets are plastic, or plastic covered with some kind of thin metal. The cover has no support structure. Snow will definately not be supported by this one.

There is no base. I've seen the base that the Monalisa company advertises. This aint it.I ordered full foam. There is only a little foam and it doesn't cover whole shell. The manufacturer really scammed us both here.
There's foam "droppings" all over the bottom, on and around the water pumps. There's a thin peice of plastic or paper?? on the bottom whichis dented and damaged and
sheared off machine screws.

The dvd box staples are falling out and is damaged.
Some panels are cracked. A diverter valve is askew.
Some of the "Stainless steel" fixtures in the tub are only shiny plastic.

The jets(inside and out) are filthy with heavy dirt. The delivery truck driver said this is common, so
its not really a part of my complaint, but I thought you'd like to know.

There was panel key inserted in a lock, and bent at a 90 angle upon unwrapping the tub.

There was no delivery crate. just a damaged thin piece of plastic wrap.

The delivery truck driver said it was damaged when he picked it up, but that your rep said to deliver it anyway and that you have excellent customer service.
The driver also mentioned that some other tubs from your company had no insulation at all.

I've spent an additional $700 to wire electric hookup.
The only fair solution is to refund me my money and pick up the tub.

The hot tub doesn't even work so I don't know if the tv, dvd, lights,or stereo work at all.

I know this must be hard for you because you didn't realize the poor quality of this hot tub.

I will be happy and will offer good service reviews if you can take care of this.

I hope you stop selling all products from this manufacturer right away.

I hope you find a way to stay in business, that you didn't invest too much with this initial order.

Lets talk soon.



From Steve:
Hello Mike,

I just got home. Let's talk in the morning. Yes I want to provide you with good service.Let's review your questions. You are way off target, but that's ok.

The tubs are tested at the factory. Your tub was tested at the factory. Your electrician is not hooking it up right. I hear this all the time! Don't worry. Eventually everybody always figures it out. You need new electrician. I cannot hook it up for you, but I can tell you the popping of the circuit breaker is a very common sign for someone not knowing what they are doing. I am not going to take a returned tub because your electrician doesn't know the circuit. Remember it is 40 AMP, 60 HZ. Did you give him the manual?

The shell: The shell's are nice. There are two sides of the shell and a hollow part in the middle (double walled). That is what the 6 to 8 is I believe. They are made well. You just measured one side. You didn't know that. That's ok.

Scratched shell? Please send pic. Sorry about that. If that's true, I can give you a discount.

Cover? Please send pics. I can help. You just need guidance here.

Interior frames are actually meant to be made that way. It is fine.

Foam: That is the way the foam is supposed to be. That is how all hot tubs are made. That is because you don't want to cover the equipment or it is hard to work on. Foam only goes around the shell a little bit. That's perfect. Once again, you are not familiar with hot tubs.

Scraps and Droppings: A little finish work. Harmless. Please toss out.

Dirt on Jets: The hot tubs are tested for 24 hours before they leave to you. Usually a little water is left in the pipes which combines with some dust/dirt. Just clean. Normal.

Those jets are stainless steel. You are wrong. Man you are going crazy Mike.

Sorry, you damaged the key. Does it still work?

Mike , you are being far too critical. Get another electrician. I'm not taking responsibility for a bad electrician. I hear the pop the circuit thing all the time. You will get it working.

Sorry I wasn't in to talk to you. I will talk in the morning.



Let's discuss in afternoon are you free then? I will look at these more? What time are you available?

That cabinet can be repaired. I am willing to do that at a discount. Scratch also.I thought you said there was not bottom. I'm confused? The other stuff we can discuss.

I think generally you are describing some imperfections that may normally appear in an Island Escape hot tub. I hope we can work something out.




Let's discuss in afternoon are you free then? I will look at these more? What time are you available?

That cabinet can be repaired. I am willing to do that at a discount. Scratch also.

I thought you said there was not bottom. I'm confused?
The other stuff we can discuss. I think generally you are describing some imperfections that may normally appear in an Island Escape hot tub. I hope we can work something out.



Then, afterwards:


Sounds like you were looking for high end specs. You should look at our sunrise or paragon spas in detail. They have an incredible 5 year Parts AND labor warranty and boast a very high level of customer satisfaction. You won't find spas of this quality offered anywhere else online, only in stores, but our prices are 20% less than the stores on these! I can get these to you in only 2 weeks because the manufacturer is right above you in Canada.
Luckily, I paid with CC and my bank jumped on it right away, as did the Wisconsin Consumer protection Agency.
Steve played games returning my money, but he did, to his credit, refund it in full.
He did tell the Wisconsin CPA that my claim was totally false and that I am quite "Bizarre".

Consumers should not, ever have to be treated like this! I paid $7069.00 for a defective, damaged lump of junk.

Generally, I avoid disputes. It makes life stressful and difficult for everyone. But Geno sacrificed his job standing up for me (and probably others)and I feel safe in saying I do too. If anyone else experiencing problems with this company, I would like to know that I'm not alone.

This report isn't about me not getting my money back, because it was refunded(no doubt due to my cc company and the CPA). This is about honesty, helping others, and especially in response to being treated badly on a level I didn't know existed.

Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2008 02:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Steve-Barbarich-Choosehottubsdirectcom/San-Francisco-California-94107/Steve-Barbarich-Choosehottubsdirectcom-Horrible-Customer-Service-by-Owner-San-Francisc-373095. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on Steve Barbarich - Choosehottubsdirect.com

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Search Tips
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?