GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A spa in Gilbert closed in April after new ownership took over, but customers say they weren’t given any warning, and former employees say they’re still waiting on their paychecks. In 2014, Tracey Groy opened up Willow Massage + Spa, hoping to bring a little relaxation to Gilbert. After nearly 8 years, she decided to sell the business in order to focus on her family. She said she met the new owner, Wendy Weisflog, through a business broker.
“She wanted a nice turnkey small spa and she loved the area,” said Groy. “I told her I want her to be successful. You know, I put my life in this and I think it was probably March that things kind of…yea.” In brokerage paperwork provided by Groy, the name is listed as “Wendy Weiss” however her signature shows another “Weisflog.” According to federal court documents from 2019, a judge barred Weisflog from engaging in business tied to medical offices, chiropractic care, and cosmetic procedures. She also took a plea deal in 2016 for health care fraud.
“We found a lot of stuff that was disturbing. Especially for me, I’m an aesthetician, and she’s barred from the State Board of Cosmetology. And right away I thought, ‘Oh no, I don’t have a job anymore,’” said one former employee who wanted to remain anonymous. This employee said she worked at Willow for 4 years before quitting in March.
“It went from everyday being like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to go to work!’ to ‘What the heck is going to happen today,’” she said. Many employees, like this one, said they did not receive their final paychecks after resigning. “I’m still awaiting paycheck, and we agreed on a pay date for the $1,811 that she still owes me for services I’ve provided and already performed, and tips and opening and closing duties that happened in March,” said Holly Femrite, another employee who resigned.
In April, Willow Massage + Spa closed without notice. “People could not get in for appointments. Like the phone wasn’t being answered, emails weren’t being returned,” Groy said. Several customers told Arizona’s Family that their credit card were still being charged for membership fees. “As far as I know she’s still collecting membership fees without any services taking place,” Femrite said.
“I think the worst part is is there are clients who have had appointments, who were so excited to relax, who were driving not from Gilbert but from Phoenix, from Tempe, who are vacationing here that had appointments. And they came here, and the doors are locked, and nobody’s answering their calls,” said the anonymous former employee. “There are people who have been members for 7-8 years who are coming to the doors, and the doors are locked. And that is a new experience for them because we’re always open and welcoming. And there are people getting charged today [for] the $60-$65 for their membership fee, and no one is contacting them.”
Arizona’s Family reached out to Weisflog for a response. She claims she sold the business in April, and that Groy is the one receiving membership fee payments. Groy provided paperwork proving the business was sold to Weisflog as well as provided an email from MindBody Business stating that the current owner of Willow Massage + Spa is Weisflog.
Arizona’s Family reached out to the Arizona Corporation Commission to determine if in fact Weisflog sold the business in April, but we have not heard back. Customers who feel they have been a victim of consumer fraud are encouraged to file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.