The Husband-and-Wife Team Behind the Internet’s Most Infuriating Outdoor Retailer


The Husband-and-Wife Team Behind the Internet’s Most Infuriating Outdoor Retailer

It’s hard to think a Colorado gear shop could outrage therefore customers that are many the chronilogical age of crowdsourced review internet sites and marketplaces like Amazon.

A 32-year-old Brit living in Manhattan, was hunting online for the Moose Knuckles 3Q jacket—an $895 puffy with a fur-trimmed hood in early November, Leigh Attwood. Searching on Bing, he discovered a black colored one out of additional little which was detailed as “available” on the internet site of a shop called 123Mountain, whose two brick-and-mortar clothes in Colorado had been owned and operated by Frenchman Olivier “Oliver” Goumas along with his Swedish spouse, Anna Sofia. With big advertising adverts, bargains, and a no-questions-asked return policy, the site—which featured sets from Vцlkl skis to Alpine Aire precooked couscous—looked like most other online outside store.

Attwood realized that he could get five percent off the jacket’s price, plus two-day shipping if he purchased a $50 premium membership to 123Mountain. On November 7, he taken care of the account and ordered the jacket for $824. Seven days later, he nevertheless hadn’t gotten the merchandise, therefore he contacted the organization through its chat feature that is live. An individual solution agent called Peggy told him that they had currently delivered him two e-mails notifying him which he should expect their purchase between November 9 and November 29. Attwood, aggravated by the delay, told Peggy that he thought the item was at stock and would deliver immediately. Peggy explained that available products are available for purchase instead of in stock, and that many ship to your consumer within nine business times. Attwood reacted that this policy ended up being “very dishonest,” but he resolved to help keep waiting around for the coat since he’d currently taken care of the account. “I became stuck,” he said.

Then, on 8, 123Mountain emailed him a preorder receipt billing him for 15 per cent associated with jacket’s cost, or $123.60 december. The organization said it still likely to deliver their coat between 9 and 29, but this time, the email specified a year: 2017 november. Whenever Attwood attempted to cancel your order, he states he had been told he’d lose the $123.60 as a termination charge, a stipulation specified within the site’s surreal list of terms and conditions, that also prohibited reselling what to “your Russian cousin” and contrasted any mistakes in rates or pictures up to a pet called Misse having an “accident.”

“In another term you have accept rule for the game now we adhere to theses rules,” a company agent wrote Attwood in broken English.

Exasperated, Attwood began searching on the internet for reviews of 123Mountain.

Some clients, especially in 123Mountain’s days that are early had received kit they ordered. But Attwood discovered additional complaining concerning the ongoing business on social media marketing, to internet internet sites such as the bbb, as well as in forums on hill venture and Backpacking Light for longer than 2 yrs. “Avoid 123Mountain at all costs,” Jeremy Monahan penned in a Facebook review. At Ripoff Report, a client known as Jeff stated the business delivered a collections agency after him when he disputed credit cards charge for a product which was never ever delivered. “I order a lot of things on the internet and haven’t AND AFTER ALL NEVER encountered such a thing as shady and backhanded since this Internet that is colorado-based company,” he published.

On Yelp, 123Mountain now features a rating that is one-star with clients reporting they usually have gotten the incorrect products and also been refused returns and exchanges. Others stated they certainly were expected to cover bitcoin that is using Chase Quickpay, neither of that provide customer security. Sara Benson, a writer that is oakland-based Lonely Planet as well as other writers, invested four months asking for a $365.98 reimbursement for a large Agnes tent she never received. 123Mountain issued her a check via, but once she attempted to cash it, the business’s bank declined to honor the re payment. A bank agent told Benson that 123Mountain’s account was indeed limited as a result of fraudulence.

The business ignored Benson’s email messages and telephone calls until she attempted to shame them on Twitter. “This is just a legit check issue by way of a legit internet site from the legit banking account with legit investment on,” @123mountaincom tweeted right straight right back before blocking her. Benson presented a grievance using the authorities division in Lakewood, Colorado, but she stated they declined to follow unlawful costs because traveling Benson in to testify is very costly.

Sergeant Ana Brun, whom handles crimes that are economic the Lakewood Police, states she’s got gotten nine other complaints against 123Mountain since 2013, however the knotty conditions and terms that customers consented to whenever making acquisitions online made it impossible to charge the few by having a crime. “I get one detective that would have liked to obtain charges that are good” Brun says. “We are outdoorsy people and will comprehend the frustration.”

In globe of crowdsourced review internet web internet sites and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, it could appear astonishing that an organization like 123Mountain could string along frustrated clients for way too long. But although the maturation of e-commerce has provided clients a great deal of purchasing choices, murky organizations nevertheless persist on the web’s back alleys, marketing their wares alongside genuine players. Gear junkies are specially susceptible to getting seduced by screaming discounts and equipment that is hard-to-find that may cause them to put instructions on lesser-known sites. The Goumases’ seemingly infinite stock has lured online clients from everywhere, while their shops, situated in Lakewood, Copper Mountain, after which Frisco, have actually offered the business mountain-town credibility.

It absolutely wasn’t simply clients who’d complaints:

Gear manufacturers and specialists also have alleged that 123Mountain never paid them for services and products. In September, Canada Goose won a $109,281 standard judgment contrary to the business within the Colorado District Court in Summit County. Amer Sports, the parent that is finnish of Salomon and Arc’teryx, won an $11,065 standard judgment from 123Mountain in May through the Colorado District Court in Jefferson County. Lafuma outside furniture, Deeluxe snowboard boots, and Dragon Sunglasses also have filed matches in Colorado courts, and a collections attorney states he understands of some other businesses being considering doing exactly the same. In-may 2015, A korean buyer named Duk Sang Yu won a standard judgment for $316,003 in a Summit County Court over 160 Valandre brand name high-altitude and ultralight resting bags that 123Mountain never shipped. “Mr. Goumas has utilized and will continue to make use of 123 hill with its business kind to perpetrate a fraudulence,” reads Yu’s complaint that is legal. The 2009 January, Wisconsin-based ski attire company ArcticaRace issued a “scam alert” in regards to the business on its Facebook page, warning clients, despite whatever they inform you.“If you spot an purchase for the Arctica item together with them you simply will not get it” Sources told Outside that the customer fraudulence division regarding the Colorado Attorney General’s workplace launched a study from the beginning of this present year with a listing of 200 witnesses that are potential. Leigh Attwood is certainly one of them. It’s all a game,” Attwood says of Olivier Goumas“To him. “Every dollar they can get from individuals, he can.”

The Goumases declined to respond to multiple emails and calls to their cellphones, while repeated calls to 123Mountain’s business number went unanswered during the reporting for this piece. In a discussion with Outside utilising the site’s online talk function, Peggy, a client solution agent, denied that Goumas struggled to obtain the business or that there were any complaints. (in accordance with Colorado Secretary of State company documents, the Goumases are the agents that are registered and their brick-and-mortar stores.)

“Look as if you don’t have the info that is right” Peggy penned. She explained that the talk function ended up being for clients just. “Journalist and also you cannot read?” she penned. “Sorry but we have actually genuine client to be mindful,” she included before closing the talk.

Interviews, public record information, and archived sites, but, demonstrate that 123Mountain is not the Goumases’ first company to attract a long type of mad clients. In 2000, Olivier Goumas, then in their mid-20s, became involved to Sofia, relating to their Facebook web page. Company documents reveal which they began a ski store that called Tignes and Temptation (TNT) Mountain Shop in Tignes, France year. Seven years later on, he started gear that is selling clothing online at However in 2009, TNT went bankrupt, and the Goumases left France for Colorado june. Discussion boards from the period reveal clients complaining about skis they ordered from TNT but never received. The Goumases next endeavor,, did actually rack up the exact same forms of complaints from clients. The business enterprise reported become situated in London but clients reported getting things delivered through the U.S. Jean-Baptiste Dorgal, a nursing assistant in Lyon, France, told Outside after he sent them back that he received the wrong pair of Patagonia Alpine Guide pants from the site but never got a refund. The site power down in late 2012, in accordance with cached webpages through the Wayback device.

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