In response to the abrupt closure of all Spa One locations in Tucson last month, BBB of Southern Arizona has received five complaints and several phone calls from consumers.
In the complaints consumers say that they’re unable to contact the company to cancel their memberships, or redeem credits and gift cards purchased from Spa One before they closed their doors.
One consumer told BBB that she was charged a membership fee for August, despite the store not being open.
Consumers say signs on the doors of each location state that the business will be closed until Labor Day due to owner illness, and that at least one location has an eviction notice on the door.
Before the sudden closure, Spa One had racked up 10 unanswered complaints with BBB in the past three years – BBB’s standard reporting period – earning the company an “F” rating. BBB has tried to contact Spa One since receiving word that their stores had closed, but the company has been unresponsive.
What steps can consumers take if a business closes its doors for good? BBB suggests the following:
• Go to the last known location to see if the company has posted any instructions or signs.
• Send a registered letter to the company’s last known address asking the owner to contact you. Even if the business is closed, the mail may be subject to a forwarding order. If you don’t know the name of the principals, check with your city or county clerk’s office, or the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), www.azcc.gov. The ACC has a free public access system that allows consumers to search for information on corporation filings in the state.
• If the business is regulated, such as attorneys, doctors, engineers, employment services, new car dealers, etc., contact the licensing agency. If you’re not sure whether the company is regulated or by which office, contact your BBB at 888-5353. BBB staff can tell you how to contact the appropriate regulatory authorities.
• Contact the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court in the area where the company was located (www.azb.uscourts.gov or 620-7500) to see if the company may have filed for bankruptcy.
• If you are successful in locating the owner and the business is not in bankruptcy, you are still owed your services, product or money. Closing a business does not relieve the owner of his or her obligation to you. If you cannot obtain an appropriate settlement from the company, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office (www.azag.gov), with Small Claims Court or seek the help of an attorney.
• If the company has filed for bankruptcy, you should file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court. The court will suspend the company’s obligation to creditors and customers until it approves a plan to reorganize or liquidate the company. Under the plan, you as a claimant, may or may not get all or part of what you are owed.
• Stay in touch with your Better Business Bureau. Its own investigation and contact with consumers means it receives information regularly on a number of changes in business location and ownership and may be able to help you.
Consumers who have questions or concerns about Spa One can call BBB at 888-5353 or visit www.tucson.bbb.org.