MONTREAL – Global News first reported the mounting consumer complaints against Spa Diamond last month, after dozens of customers claimed the spa wouldn’t honour treatments they had purchased.
Now there are questions surrounding the competence of employees at a former spa run by the same woman.
READ MORE: Diamond Spa customers feel scammed
A West Island woman recently won a court case against Clinique Hydro D-Tox in Dorval, after she claims she sustained first and second degree burns.
“It was very, very painful,” she said.
“I was severely burned and it was very, very uncomfortable for a couple of weeks and I tried to call them to have them acknowledge that and they said that it wasn’t their fault.”
The woman said she would rather not reveal her identity.
Her burns were bad enough for a judge to award her close to $4000 in compensation after she filed a civil law suit against Clinique Hydro D-Tox three years ago.
The spa has since closed, but the same owner now operates under a new name – Spa Diamond – that has locations in Dorval and Greenfield Park.
“I tried to contact her after the judgement and everything and no answer for a couple of weeks,” said the victim.
“Eventually she called back my lawyer but we haven’t heard from her since.”
Global News tried to contact Sanaz Noroozi, Spa Diamond’s owner, to respond to these latest allegations but to no avail.
In an interview last month, Noroozi admitted she’s having trouble keeping up with the demand from online coupons but insisted she’s trying to honour all contracts, despite claims to the contrary.
“I don’t think I’ve done a crime I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong I haven’t hurt anybody,” she said.
What some may not know is that in Quebec, there’s no legislation covering laser hair removal.
That means anyone can offer the service.
Quebec’s Consumer Protection Agency warns that people should go to professionals like dermatologists for such treatments.
The agency adds that under the Quebec Consumer Protection Act, customers should never have pay the full amount upfront for any ongoing treatment or service.
“There’s no upfront payment to do in that kind of contract the law says that it has to be done in at least 2 payments,” said Jean Jacques Préaux of the Office de la protection du consommateur, who claims 17 complaints have already been filed with the agency against Spa Diamond.
Préaux says it may be enough to warrant an investigation.
Many angry customers have suggested launching a class action lawsuit, but experts say that could backfire and drive the company to bankruptcy, meaning no one would get their money back.
Lawyers advise consumers to go to small claims court if a company fails to reimburse them or honour a contract.
“The person who gets a judgment has ten years to get the money back,” said Élise Thérault, a lawyer with Option Consommateur.
Thériault specializes in the over-selling of online coupons and encourages consumers who feel cheated to contact law enforcement officials.
“They should go to the police and tell them their story,” she said.
“When you take money from somebody and you don’t give the service and it’s on purpose then it’s probably fraud.”
The West Island woman says “I’m the perfect example of the worst case scenario.”
She is hoping to avoid spending more money to get a bailiff to seize the amount she was awarded in court.
The spa owner has promised to pay in this case, but in the meantime, the West Island woman says she wants to warn others about the dangers of dealing with Spa Diamond.
“It’s a scam,” she insists.
In a letter sent to Global News late Monday afternoon, lawyers acting on behalf of Spa Diamond told Global News that there are only three complaints with the Office de la Protection du Consommateur from a customer base of thousands of people and that two have already been resolved.
The letter also claims that previous stories on Spa Diamond have contained information that is inexact or false.
Global News requested an on camera interview from the company or its lawyers but that request was turned down.