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

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

A 32-year-old Brit living in Manhattan, was hunting online for the Moose Knuckles 3Q jacket—an latin brides at $895 puffy with a fur-trimmed hood in early November, Leigh Attwood. Looking on Bing, he discovered a black colored one out of extra tiny that has been detailed as “available” on the internet site of a store called 123Mountain, whose two brick-and-mortar clothes in Colorado had been owned and operated by Frenchman Olivier “Oliver” Goumas and their Swedish spouse, Anna Sofia. The site—which featured everything from Vцlkl skis to Alpine Aire precooked couscous—looked like any other online outdoor retailer with large banner ads, great deals, and a no-questions-asked return policy.

Attwood realized that if he bought a $50 premium membership to 123Mountain, he could easily get five % from the jacket’s cost, plus two-day delivery. On 7, he paid for the membership and ordered the jacket for $824 november. Seven days later, he still hadn’t gotten the merchandise, therefore he contacted the organization through its talk Live function. A client solution agent called Peggy told him that they had currently delivered him two email messages notifying him which he should expect their purchase between 9 and November 29 november. Attwood, aggravated by the wait, told Peggy that the item was thought by him ended up being at stock and would deliver quickly. Peggy explained that available products are offered for purchase as opposed to in stock, and that many ship towards the consumer within nine business times. Attwood reacted that this policy had been “very dishonest,” but he resolved to help keep looking forward to the jacket since he previously currently taken care of the account. “I became stuck,” he said.

Then, on December 8, 123Mountain emailed him a preorder receipt billing him for 15 per cent regarding the jacket’s cost, or $123.60. The business said it nevertheless likely to deliver their coat between November 9 and 29, but this time around, the e-mail specified per year: 2017. Whenever Attwood attempted to cancel your order, he claims he had been told he would lose the $123.60 as a termination cost, 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 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 published 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 gotten the apparatus they ordered. But Attwood discovered additional complaining in regards to the ongoing business on social networking, to internet web internet sites just like the bbb, plus in discussion boards on hill Project and Backpacking Light for over couple of years. “Avoid 123Mountain at all costs,” Jeremy Monahan wrote in a Facebook review. At Ripoff Report, a person named Jeff stated the organization delivered a collections agency after him when he disputed credit cards charge for something that has been never ever delivered. “I order a lot of things online and have not AND I AM TALKING ABOUT NEVER encountered any such thing as shady and backhanded since this Colorado-based online company 123Mountain,” he published.

On Yelp, 123Mountain now features a rating that is one-star with clients reporting they will have gotten the incorrect items and also have been refused returns and exchanges. Other people stated they certainly were expected to cover utilizing Bitcoin or Chase Quickpay, neither of that offer customer security. Sara Benson, A oakland-based journalist for Lonely Planet as well as other writers, invested four months asking for a $365.98 reimbursement for a huge 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 limited as a result of fraudulence.

The business ignored Benson’s e-mails and calls on Twitter until she tried to shame them. “This is a check that is legit by way of a legit web site from a legit banking account with legit investment on,” @123mountaincom tweeted right right back before blocking her. Benson presented an issue utilizing the authorities division in Lakewood, Colorado, but she said they declined to pursue charges that are criminal traveling Benson in to testify could be very costly.

Sergeant Ana Brun, whom handles crimes that are economic the Lakewood Police, states she has gotten nine other complaints against 123Mountain since 2013, however the knotty conditions and terms that clients decided to whenever making acquisitions online managed to make it impossible to charge the few with a criminal activity. “I get one detective that would have liked to obtain good fees,” Brun says. “We are outdoorsy people and will realize the frustration.”

In a global globe of crowdsourced review internet internet sites and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, it could appear astonishing that a business like 123Mountain could string along annoyed customers for such a long time. But whilst the maturation of ecommerce has offered clients a great deal of purchasing choices, murky companies nevertheless persist on the web’s back alleys, marketing their wares alongside legitimate players. Gear junkies are especially at risk of getting seduced by screaming discounts and equipment that is hard-to-find that could cause them to put instructions on lesser-known internet sites. The Goumases’ seemingly infinite stock has lured online clients from all over, while their stores, situated in Lakewood, Copper Mountain, then Frisco, have actually provided the business mountain-town credibility.

It absolutely wasn’t simply clients that has 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 resistant to the business into 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 claims he knows of other businesses being considering doing exactly the same. In-may 2015, a buyer that is korean 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 continues to utilize 123 hill in its corporate kind to perpetrate a fraudulence,” reads Yu’s appropriate issue. Earlier this January, Wisconsin-based ski clothing business ArcticaRace issued a “scam alert” in regards to the business on its Facebook web page, warning customers, despite whatever they let you know.“If you spot an purchase for the Arctica product together with them you won’t get it” Sources told Outside that the buyer fraudulence unit associated with Colorado Attorney General’s workplace started an investigation at the beginning of this current year with a listing of 200 prospective witnesses. Leigh Attwood is regarded as them. It’s all a game,” Attwood says of Olivier Goumas“To him. “Every dollar he is able to 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. A customer service representative, denied that Goumas worked for the company or that there were any complaints in a conversation with Outside using the site’s online chat feature, Peggy. (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 right information,” Peggy composed. She explained that the talk function had been for clients just. “Journalist and you also cannot read?” she wrote. “Sorry but we have actually genuine client to be mindful,” she included before closing the talk.

Interviews, public information, and archived websites, nevertheless, demonstrate that 123Mountain is not the Goumases’ first company to attract a line that is long of clients. In 2000, Olivier Goumas, then inside the mid-20s, became involved to Sofia, in accordance with their Facebook 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 began gear that is selling clothing online at However in June 2009, TNT went bankrupt, as well as the Goumases left France for Colorado. Discussion boards through the period reveal clients complaining about skis they ordered from TNT but never received. The Goumases next endeavor,, appeared to rack up the exact same forms of complaints from clients. The company stated become situated in London but clients reported getting things delivered through the U.S. Jean-Baptiste Dorgal, a nurse 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 web that is cached from the Wayback device.