On September 24, 2010, Sofia registered the trade name 123Mountain aided by the Colorado Secretary of State

Anna Sofia and Olivier “Oliver” Goumas (picture: Facebook)

That cold temperatures in the Snowsports Industries America trade show, Olivier came across Greg Gantzer, a outside activities and travel marketer whom has SkiSite.com and styles internet sites for the industry. Gantzer claims they quickly finalized a agreement to construct 123Mountain’s web site. By late might, nevertheless, Olivier became testy once the web web site, having its massive stock of 50,000 services and products, wasn’t yet complete. In a message, Olivier penned that when Gantzer took until 6 to finish, he’d be paid only 75 percent of his quote for the job june. “After June 6, you might be a laugh,” he included.

“I think we might be having issues with your discussion as a result of countries and language,” Gantzer wrote back a contact he showed to outdoors. “I’d really want to discuss this to you regarding the phone in order for we realize.”

Rather, Olivier changed the password on his host, efficiently using control over Gantzer’s build up to that particular date. “Your are fired,” Olivier published inside the slapdash English. Gantzer sued within the Summit County, Ohio, court, alleging breach of agreement, unjust enrichment, and fraudulence, among other costs. Olivier offered 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 with this guy is near to zero,that he can no longer rip people off.” he says now. “Our hope is to do something so”

In belated 2012, the Goumases exposed a second store that is 123Mountain the Village at Copper Mountain Resort. In articles posted when you look at the newspaper that is local day-to-day, Sofia Goumas declared, “We start at where REI ends.” She explained which they would give attention to high-end brands, including European gear, and that clients could expect individualized service. “You’re planning to get certainly one of us on the line, and we’re planning to make an effort to assist you to in any manner that people can.”

Olivier presumably countered negative feedback by posting reviews that are positive of their shops under both their genuine title together with handle “Mountainblack,” in accordance with one previous employee. Bing and Twitter reviews seem to be swamped by lots of positive ranks from bots—fictitious profiles that share a sequence that is identical of and reviews.

Locals in Lakewood and Copper Mountain remember Sofia investing her days chain-smoking cigarettes while Olivier fueled up with glass after cup espresso. Based on employees that are former the couple sporadically made their shops membership-only and created brand brand new guidelines to exclude client visits, preferring to spotlight online clients.

Workers weren’t satisfied with the Goumases either.

Daniel Fluharty started working in the Lakewood store not very long after it started in belated 2011 and ended up being in charge of packaging and delivery instructions and answering customers online. He quickly became concerned with the wide range of consumer complaints. 1 day, a customer that is irate up in the shop with an attorney and stated that the coat he covered had never ever delivered. Fluharty had been disrupted sufficient because of the event which he quit after four months. Their final paycheck, he claims, have been docked $350 for a ski pass which he thought Olivier had fond of him as an advantage.

In 2014, another worker, Bogdan Peleszynski, won a standard judgment up against the few him $1,082.79 once they did not pay for their final fourteen days of work. (Goumas denied the claim in email messages and court filings, arguing that the check ended up being lost into the mail, and provided to send Peleszynski a brand new check minus a $50 cancellation cost.)

However, the Goumases had incorporated into the Summit County ski community. Their two daughters joined Team Summit, a nonprofit youth ski program that 123Mountain sponsored with $10,000 yearly re re payments. The business logo design showed up on group jackets additionally the team web site, however the relationship soured in 2014, based on present and previous employees of Team Summit. Following the 2014–15 coats had been printed, Goumas did not spend their sponsorship cash or their daughters’ enrollment costs.

Rather, Goumas delivered Team Summit a bill that is hefty 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 hot latin brides one another in belated 2014. Team Summit’s bylaws permitted it to revoke memberships with or without cause and, in January 2015, the board that is executive to kick the Goumases’ daughters from the group.

Throughout the year that is past 123Mountain’s luck seemingly have come to an end.

In very early 2015, Copper Mountain started eviction procedures up against the store as a result of customer complaints and belated lease repayments but dropped the lawsuit following the few decided to end their rent, based on Gavin Malia, development supervisor for Resort Ventures West, Copper Mountain’s home administration company. The couple will be sued for more than a lot of dollars allegedly owed towards the Copper Mountain Resort Association for dues that supported trash pickup, recycling, and fire solution. The couple’s new outpost in downtown Frisco, which launched in June, had been shuttered within the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr., week-end, one of many sale weekends that are biggest of the year. An indication on the entry way detailing the shop hours checks out: “Opening hour may differ when we are skiing or perhaps not. General rule significantly less than 3″ no modifications. 4″-5″ at the very least a full hour wait. 6″ and above until legs have tired.”

Their Frisco landlord, Larry Feldman, claims they haven’t compensated their $4,500 month-to-month lease for December or January. The Goumases, he states, argued they certainly were withholding it due to difficulties with the illumination and carpeting. Also before they stop having to pay, Feldman states they kept moving him bad checks, in which he intends to evict them. “I’ve thought about securing up their product,” he claims. The Lakewood that is original shop sometime before xmas, in accordance with locals, while the Goumases place their $500,000 home up for rent on January 15.

If there’s a lesson that customers can study from the saga that is 123Mountain it is so it’s always worth double-checking the qualifications of unfamiliar organizations online before handing over a credit card number. In the place of relying solely on a single review web web site, such as for instance Yelp, perform a basic look for customer complaints which may cause you to a troubling comment thread in discussion boards. Charge card defenses will be the tool consumers that are strongest have actually when things get south, so don’t be lured into delivering checks or Bitcoin payments to out-of-state companies. Wanting to recoup a couple of hundred dollars through the system that is legal not likely to achieve success and barely well worth enough time. Shops can invariably conceal behind the terms and conditions, and customer protection agencies usually takes years to create an instance strong adequate to nail perhaps the many egregious scammers. Today, 123Mountain’s items are nevertheless noted on Bing Buying, gives the shop three-and-a-half stars. And there’s little stopping them from appearing once more somewhere else with a brand new title and a clean slate.

In terms of Sara Benson, she wound up purchasing her tent from REI. Leigh Attwood cancelled their purchase with 123Mountain, disputed the $123.60 cost on his card to Visa, and reported to Moose Knuckles concerning the jacket fiasco. The organization told him which they had been conscious of the complaints and offered him the jacket at 50 % down. It found its way to very very very early January, and Attwood really really really loves it. “I spared $450 into the end,” he says.

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