I-Team: Spa Certificates Stressing Customers
Now to our I-Team report. A business that specialized in relaxation is causing nothing but stress. It’s a story that could be repeated over and over again as retailers struggle to survive. Consumer and I-Team reporter Jeff Chirico is live in the control center with the story.
The I-team was contacted by several women who hold in total over 800 dollars in gift certificates for a salon that abruptly shut down last year. One woman asked for a refund but was told no way. He told me he did not owe me a dime. But Jennifer Altemos is demanding her money back for a gift certificate to Atmosphere Salon and Day Spa in Plains Township. The business closed suddenly last year.
It’s $55 down the drain. Ann Marie Hufford also wants a refund. These are just two of 7 women the I-Team knows of who hold more than 800 dollars in gift certificates. A plea from Jennifer was ignored. “He said he didn’t care, don’t threaten him, he was not paying.
“Atmosphere is a full service salon and day spa” This is video of company president Helen Kimble when she appeared on WBRE in unrelated stories last spring. Attorney Dan Munley says companies are responsible to pay, but filing a lawsuit may not be worth it. If you have a fifty dollar gift certificate and you pay 100 dollars for the suit, that would be the question to me.”
We called Kimble who says she’s working with her attorney to resolve all legal issues.
After hearing about the angry customers, the first owner of atmosphere, Erica Michaliga, who sold it to Kimble in 2007 has agreed to honor the certificates for the next 60 days in her new Zen Day Spa. “I appreciate your help and tell Jeff that we appreciate it” We’re told the corporation that operated Atmosphere under Kimble is filing bankruptcy but as of this Wednesday afternoon it hadn’t.
The state Attorney General is also working on this case. You can file a complaint at www.attorneygeneral.gov .
And here’s a tip –if you have a gift certificate use it soon. In this economy, you don’t know when a company may lock it’s doors.
Spavelous Alerted Spa Goers and Gift certifcate buyers last year that they should not purchase gift certificates or gift cards from single spa or small spa chains. Spa treatments make a wonderful gift, but you should always give a spa gift card that is backed by VISA like the Spavelous spa gift card. It can be used at any spa or salon that accepts VISA.