Anna Sofia and Olivier “Oliver” Goumas (picture: Facebook)
That wintertime during the Snowsports Industries America trade show, Olivier came across Greg Gantzer, a outside recreations and travel marketer whom has SkiSite.com and styles sites when it comes to industry. Gantzer claims they quickly finalized a agreement to construct website that is 123Mountain’s. By late might, but, Olivier became testy if the web web site, featuring its massive stock of 50,000 items, had not been yet complete. In a contact, Olivier published that when Gantzer took until June 6 to finish, he’d be compensated only 75 per cent of their estimate to do the job. “After June 6, you’re a laugh,” he included.
“I think we might be having issues with this conversation because of cultures and language,” Gantzer wrote back a contact he showed to outdoors. “I’d really want to discuss this that we realize. to you in the phone so”
Alternatively, Olivier changed the password on their host, effortlessly using control of Gantzer’s build up to that particular date. “Your are fired,” Olivier published in their slapdash English. Gantzer sued into the Summit County, Ohio, court, alleging breach of agreement, unjust enrichment, and fraud, among other fees. Olivier supplied a hodgepodge of defenses, countering that Gantzer had triggered damages “in more than $500,000.” In January 2014, a judge decided in Gantzer’s benefit and awarded him $16,564. Gantzer has yet to see some of the cash.
“My hope of gathering using this guy is near to zero,” he states now. “Our hope is always to take action to ensure that they can no further tear people down.”
In belated 2012, the Goumases exposed a 2nd 123Mountain shop at the Village at Copper Mountain Resort. In a write-up published when you look at the neighborhood paper Summit frequent, Sofia Goumas declared, “We start at where REI ends.” She explained which they would consider high-end brands, including European gear, and that clients could expect service that is personalized. “You’re planning to get certainly one of us exactly in danger, and we’re planning to you will need to assist you to in any manner that individuals can.”
Olivier allegedly countered negative feedback by publishing reviews that are positive of his shops under both their genuine title plus the handle “Mountainblack,” in accordance with one employee that is former. Bing and Twitter reviews seem to be swamped by a large number of good ranks from bots—fictitious pages that share the same series of links and reviews.
Locals in Lakewood and Copper Mountain remember Sofia investing her days chain-smoking cigarettes while Olivier fueled up with cup after cup of espresso. Relating to employees that are former the couple sporadically made their shops membership-only and created new guidelines to exclude client visits, preferring to pay attention to online clients.
Workers weren’t satisfied with the Goumases either.
Daniel Fluharty started working during the Lakewood store maybe not even after it exposed in belated 2011 and had been accountable for packaging and delivery instructions and giving an answer to customers online. He quickly became concerned with the wide range of consumer complaints. 1 day, an irate client revealed up in the shop with an attorney and said that a jacket he covered had never ever delivered. Fluharty ended up being disrupted sufficient because of the event which he quit after four look at the website months. Their last paycheck, he claims, was docked $350 for the ski pass as a bonus that he believed Olivier had given to him.
In 2014, another worker, Bogdan Peleszynski, won a standard judgment up against the couple once they didn’t spend him $1,082.79 for their final fourteen days of work. (Goumas denied the claim in e-mails and court filings, arguing that the check ended up being lost into the mail, and agreed to deliver Peleszynski a brand new check minus a $50 termination charge.)
However, the Goumases had built-into the Summit County ski community. Their two daughters joined up with Team Summit, a youth that is nonprofit program that 123Mountain sponsored with $10,000 annual re re payments. The organization logo design showed up on team jackets as well as the united group site, however the relationship soured in 2014, in accordance with present and previous workers of Team Summit. Following the 2014–15 coats had been printed, Goumas neglected to spend their sponsorship money or their daughters’ enrollment costs.
Rather, Goumas delivered Team Summit a hefty bill for failing continually to market 123Mountain weekly on Twitter, Twitter, and YouTube—as stipulated in a agreement Goumas had penned and Team Summit’s administrator manager had finalized. Both events dropped their claims against one another in belated 2014. Team Summit’s bylaws permitted it to revoke subscriptions with or without cause and, in January 2015, the board that is executive to kick the Goumases’ daughters from the group.
Within the previous 12 months, 123Mountain’s fortune appears to have go out.
In very early 2015, Copper Mountain began eviction procedures from the store as a result of customer complaints and late lease repayments but dropped the lawsuit following the few decided to end their rent, in accordance with Gavin Malia, development supervisor for Resort Ventures western, Copper Mountain’s home administration company. The couple has been sued for more than a lot of dollars allegedly owed to your Copper hill Resort Association for dues that supported trash pickup, recycling, and fire solution. The couple’s brand brand new outpost in downtown Frisco, which launched in June, ended up being shuttered on the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend, among the biggest purchase weekends of the season. An indication on the entry way detailing the shop hours checks out: “Opening hour may differ when we are skiing or otherwise not. General rule significantly less than 3″ no modifications. 4″-5″ at the very least a full hour wait. 6″ and above until feet get exhausted.”
Their Frisco landlord, Larry Feldman, claims they will haven’t compensated their $4,500 month-to-month lease for December or January. The Goumases, he claims, argued these people were withholding it due to issues with the illumination and carpeting. Also before they quit spending, Feldman states they kept moving him bad checks, and then he intends to evict them. “I’ve thought about securing up their product,” he states. The initial Lakewood store closed sometime before Christmas time, in accordance with locals, additionally the Goumases place their $500,000 home up for rent on January 15.
If there’s a lesson that customers can study from the 123Mountain saga, it is so it’s always worth double-checking the qualifications of unfamiliar organizations online before handing over a credit card quantity. As opposed to relying solely on a single review web web site, such as for example Yelp, perform a basic look for customer complaints that might cause you to a troubling comment thread in discussion boards. Charge card defenses would be the tool consumers that are strongest have actually whenever things get south, so don’t be lured into giving checks or Bitcoin payments to out-of-state organizations. Attempting to recoup a couple of hundred bucks through the appropriate system is not likely to achieve success and hardly well worth the full time. Shops can always conceal behind the small print, and customer security agencies usually takes years to create an incident strong adequate to nail perhaps the many egregious scammers. Today, 123Mountain’s items are still noted on Bing Buying, which provides the shop three-and-a-half stars. And there’s little stopping them from appearing again somewhere else having a brand new title and a clean slate.
In terms of Sara Benson, she finished up purchasing her tent from REI. Leigh Attwood cancelled their purchase with 123Mountain, disputed the $123.60 cost on their card to Visa, and complained to Moose Knuckles concerning the coat fiasco. The business told him which they had been alert to the complaints and offered him the jacket at 50 per cent down. It found its way to very very very early January, and Attwood really loves it. “I stored $450 when you look at the end,” he says.