Report: #888924

Complaint Review: Ripoff Report | Season's Malibu Rehab

  • Submitted: Sun, May 27, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, September 18, 2013
  • Reported By: shell — Redondo Beach California United States of America
  • Season's Malibu Rehab
    30765 PCH #321
    Malibu, California
    United States of America

Seasons Malibu REVIEW: Serenity Malibu clients feel safe, confident & secure when staying with Serenity Malibu. Serenity Malibu an organization help people in addiction but actually improved the state of addiction treatment resources for everyone, a place where the best minds and resources to create something truly new, the leading edge in the treatment of addiction, its co occurring disorders. Serenity Malibu is committed to client satisfaction, exceptional client experiences & success. Commitment to Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, ..A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction & confidence when doing business. Los Angeles, Malibu, California, New York, Texas, around the world.
*UPDATE: Serenity Malibu is recognized by Ripoff Report as a Verified Safe business.

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Seasons Recovery Centers, Seasons in Malibu and Seasons Malibu for their commitment to excellence in customer service.

Ripoff Report’s discussions with Seasons Recovery Centers have uncovered an ongoing commitment by the company to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect that the company will work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any complaints or concerns. Seasons listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company in the services offered and the support for those services.

Seasons Recovery Centers CEO, Mr. Don Varden stated that, “we believe addiction is a treatable condition arising from social, behavioral, hereditary, physical or spiritual causes. [continued below]....
..... When we find that root-cause we can end the cycle of addiction. As a successful businessman, Mr. Varden feels it is critical to listen to his clients and respond properly. By always putting his clients first, Mr. Varden hopes to maintain Seasons Recovery Center as a successful treatment center both now and for many years to come.

Another top executive of the company told us that Mr. Varden's personal business philosophy is based on the premise that "our clients' success is our future”. Season's mission statement says it all: "Our goal is to provide our clients with world-class addiction treatment, with the client's best interests always first and foremost, and to provide it with integrity unmatched in the addiction industry." Some of the other things Ripoff Report learned in the course of its review: typical customer feedback reads: “Seasons Recovery Centers and Don Varden and his team, truly communicate and understand all aspects of addiction and recovery services, and strive to create an environment of healing and trust for their many clients in a very effective manner. We are very pleased with the responsiveness that he and his employees show us. They are serious about meeting commitments, and deliver on all their promises."

The information provided below in this report is based on comments made by marketing director Don Varden and Sheila Shilati during an on-site inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Seasons Recovery Center.
Seasons Malibu is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

Seasons Recovery Center is very involved in assessing the type of care that is needed for each of their clients. One of their team doctors Sheila Shilati, personally handles an assortment of tasks to ensure that a patients needs are met. After an initial phone call with a potential patient, she assesses the severity of their symptoms and determines whether or not they are a fit for the level of care they offer. She manages all treatment protocols that go on from admission to discharge, including comprehensive assessments, ongoing treatment plans, and correspondence with family members. She ensures that if there is any issue that arises with any family member, client or otherwise that it is addressed right away.

Their entire treatment team is involved in setting up the client for a successful aftercare program. Not only do they provide a variety of after care programs at their facility, in terms of step-down treatment, but they also ensure that the client is willing and motivated to continue to stay connected with the treatment team. They set their clients up for success, which is over 50% if they stay in the program for at least 90 days.

During the onsite interview CEO Don Varden was asked to describe what he has personally done to provide a better level of customer service to clients: “Most of the so called complaints are residual from past management that we removed a couple of years ago. It was poor management and left a lot to be desired in a lot of ways.”

COO Dr. Sheila Shilati was asked the same question: “It’s hard to deal with a subjective point of view to the extent that you’re dealing with a lot of tired, frustrated, and sick family members. In addition, their frustrations often get projected on the treatment. If they feel the issue for their child, wife, husband, etc. wasn’t resolved in a certain way, then we are typically a pretty easy target to vent frustrations and, frankly, usually very inaccurate allegations as to the facts. To suggest that we needed to do anything since any report would suggest that we aren’t operating at the highest level of care, which we are, as we’ve been commended multiple times on how we operate our business and manage our treatment teams.”

When a complaint is made, they are very open to any concerns someone might have about how they are performing. They take it very seriously and would prefer to deal with the issue in a productive way.

Being a licensed facility by the state of California, they are required to post notices in their common area that allows clients with a problem to make a complaint to state regulators. Then that information must be posted on their wall.

In order to resolve client complaints, Dr. Shilati practices various protocols depending on the nature of the issue. She is personally involved in assessing any complaints and mitigates those concerns through a variety of means. Her goal is to always have a resolve that feels good to the client and the client’s family, and to execute an outcome that is in the best interest of the client. In order to do this, they maintain an open door policy, particularly as it relates to executive management, to make sure they are addressing any emails or phone calls as soon as possible.

Seasons Recovery Center’s process for working with clients varies on what type of needs a client may require. They look at each situation from a variety of dimensions: emotionally, behaviorally, family systems oriented etc. How they perform their protocols with clients and how they perform their services is based on specific needs. Their treatment program is individualized to assess performance function and to give aftercare and an outcome that is evidence based and promotes the greatest ability to have long term success.

Dr. Shilati was asked to describe how they ensure that a client understands services during the course of their treatment, she explained, “Based on a client’s functioning when they come in-because we do deal with a lot of detox-and depending on how quickly their cognitive responses appear to be able to provide interaction on certain levels. We immediately address all of the pieces as it relates to the program as a whole. Then, they are assigned a case manager where they are given access to them 24/7. Any time there is an issue, or if they have questions or concerns, they have someone they can immediately go to. We have ongoing assessments, we keep daily logs, we have daily treatment notes and we know the whereabouts of the client at all times. We also keep track of how they are performing from their baseline functioning upon entering. It’s really a system of checks and balances between the treatment team, practitioners, and the case managers.

” Their pretreatment process begins with assessing a client’s appropriateness for the level of care they offer. Either through a phone call or site visit, a potential client is given a tour of their facility and are informed about a potential treatment plan and provided services.

Based on complaints made on Ripoff Report, Mr. Varden was asked to describe their reimbursement/refund policy: “When people come into a facility like ours, and this isn’t just us it’s most of our competitors as well, they pre-pay for their treatment. A) Because they receive good treatment, and because you are dealing with addicted people, if they don’t pay up front there’s a tendency to walk out and not get the full benefits of the treatment-B) Because we are limited to 8-10 beds, we set aside staff and allocate resources for a client. There is in general a sort of non-refundable piece of this. This is not to say we haven’t done refunds in some cases, but we start from there as do most of the treatment centers that I know of at this level.”

They maintain that they have always refunded if there is a refund due and have always compensated, and in some cases, even credited if a client left early. They make certain accommodations or give credit toward future stays.

In order to ensure all clients concerns are addressed before leaving, their treatment teams perform exit interviews with the clients. These interviews were started within the last year as a way to ensure that clients were meeting the goals that were set for them, as well as informing them of their treatment expectations.

It means a lot to Seasons Recovery Center to be a part of Ripoff Reports Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program because they want the public to get a balanced view of their business. They want people to be able to make an informed and intelligent decision about where they may go for treatment, or where they may send a family member or friend. They think that information is invaluable.

SEASONS RECOVERY CENTERS, SEASONS IN MALIBU, SEASONS MALIBU / Statements from the Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Sheila Shilati.

"I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful and renowned treatment facility. Each day brings a new set of challenges, and each day the Seasons team, which includes Client Advocates, Case Managers, Clinicians, Doctors, Chefs, groundskeepers and, of course, the Executive Team led by CEO, Don Varden, rise and face those challenges head-on, with humility and integrity, and, more often than not, find the right solution, and the proper result, in a way I believe is over and above any other like facility in the world.


Seasons Recovery Centers recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Ripoff Report’s Investigation Seasons Recovery Centers has made organizational changes allowing its clients and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great client experience.

In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with CEO, Don Varden, and Dr. Sheila Shilati, and many of their past and current associates, Rip-off Report is convinced that Seasons Recovery Centers, also known as Seasons in Malibu or just Seasons Malibu is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

Seasons Recovery Centers' Treatment Team has expressed that they feel very confident they can help clients recover from the throes of addiction and alcoholism. The Clinical Director at Seasons, Dr. Mark Stahlhuth PHD, states "I have seen Dr. Shilati and CEO, Don Varden, take a fledgling facility, with some financial woes, and turn it into a world-class, world renowned treatment center operating at a very high level of competence and integrity in a few short years. Interest in the Seasons' model of multidimensional, one-on-one treatment has risen as have the treatment results, to the point where Seasons is now known the world-over as a true place of recovery. It always gives me great pleasure to contact one of our past clients, a year after their graduation from Seasons, and find that the time spent with our facility, and the things they have learned about themselves and life, has caused them to now live a new, sober life filled with opportunity and hope."

Seasons takes employee satisfaction seriously as well. Employee feedback and surveys reveal comments such as this: "I truly love this job. It provides a very positive environment to work in my field of choice, helping people in recovery." Or, "seeing people transition to sobriety is very personally rewarding to me." "Opportunities for suggestions and improvements are encouraged." "Mr. Varden is truly concerned about our contribution to the company and providing growth opportunities for us. He takes the time to listen and communicate with employees and customers." Rip-off Report was pleased to learn that Season’s past and current approach to business is focused on its pledge to total commitment towards client and employee satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program,.. A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer. It should be known, that the person who posted the Report below never responded to our offer to make things right with them.



Season's Malibu Rehab Terrible medical care, fraudulent billing of insurance, inappropriate drug protocal for detox, and more Malibu, California

Season's is with out a doubt the most unethical, poorly run and dangerous rehab I've ever encountered in a State/California that is filled with bad rehabs.  I thought I had seen the worst until I met the people at Season's.  The CEO/Manager, at the time, was Chris Bathum who has currently been arrested and was fired from Season's.  He literally took $70,000 from us after convincing our son to stay for another month, and then as soon as he received our money he threw our son out on the street penniless.  When we tried to contact them to find out what was going on the refused to answer our calls.  We hired a lawyer in Washington State, and she did a background check of the owner's of this facility and found a slew of criminal charges against them.  Additionally, the state of California had licensed them for only 6 beds yet they had over 30 people staying in their facility in violation of state law.  One patient, just released from a mental health hold, was lost in the mountains the first night he arrived.  Another patient was being detoxed off of opiates with no medical supervision, and if not for our son's intelligent intervention she was overdosing on the drugs that they were giving her to detox (the drugs were being administered by a "tech" - an untrained worker) who just kept giving her more and more drugs until she was at the point of near death.  Luckily, given our son's persistence that she needed help she was finally hospitalized and her life was spared.  This facility has had so many problems with their standard of care, and their violation of state laws that hey have changed their name numerous times, and re-invented themselves so that they could continue to steal money from families suffering and in pain trying to save their loved ones.  I hope that, at some point, the State of California will do their job and get out to this facility and look at all the violations they are committing - really licensed for 6 beds with over 30 clients?

I have extensive information on Season's, all the criminal records of those that own the facility, and would be very interested in filing a lawsuit.  I'm out $70,000, and they damaged our child far more than they helped him.  This is the most disreputable facility I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with, and all the  doctor's, staff, etc. have rotated from one crummy Malibu rehab to another.   It's like a bad dream these unqualified people just keep moving from place to place once the licensing agencies, or clients, get wise to their lies.  Please feel free to contact me for more information as I have to much to post on this site.

Whatever you do please do not send a loved one to this house of horrors.  There are good rehabs, but just because they look nice doesn't mean that the are good, ethical or qualified to deal with a very serious disease - addiction.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/27/2012 06:05 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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