AURORA -- A trip to the spa should be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Those are the words of Mario's International Spa & Hotel in Aurora, the same spa which gets an 'F' rating from the Akron Better Business Bureau.
'I think the rating is unjustified," said owner Joanne Liuzzo who declined to be interviewed on camera.
"I think we deserve an 'A'. Liuzzo says she prides herself on customer satisfaction and argues their number one goal is to make customers happy.
But for some customers, the experience has been anything but relaxing.
"It was like a six-hour nightmare," said Lesleigh Baden, of North Royalton.
"It was the worst experience we've ever had," said Nancy Burns, of Twinsburg.
The Akron BBB reports 18 complaints against Mario's in the past three years, including two that were filed within the past two weeks.
The BBB says Mario's has failed to respond to eight complaints.
"We've been getting a lot of complaints about customer service issues," said Christy Page, the president and CEO of the Akron BBB.
Page said her organization fired off a letter to Mario's in 2012, saying it noticed a pattern of complaints.
Liuzzo said Mario's strives to do its very best and tries to respond to all consumer complaints.
Burns complained that the Mario's manicurist told her she had little experience removing shellac. Burns felt her fingers soaked in pure acetone too long, causing her fingers to crack and blister.
"My fingers were killing me. I kept pulling them out, telling her they hurt," said Burns.
Burns also said she had to shower in an open area in the basement because the normal showers were not working.
"No privacy. Anybody could walk by. Men, women," she said..
Her husband, Dave, who bought a spa package for her birthday, called the next day to complain. He says he never received an apology or a refund.
"Basically, they hung up on me," he said.
Liuzzo said they don't hang up on customers and said she wants to reach out to the couple and make things right.
In January, Jennifer Splete prepaid for three appointments she scheduled for the same day. But a winter storm hit and motorists were advised to stay at home. But she says Mario's refused to give her a refund, arguing she didn't give 24-hours notice.
"I think it's very reasonable as a consumer to not make the trip and I think the company should have accommodated them, " Page said.
It wasn't until Channel 3 News got involved five months later that Liuzzo apologized and sent her a $600 gift card.
Splete says she tried Mario's just prior to receiving the card, and says service was good. But her complaint was never with the staff. She says management was the problem.
Baden described Mario's removal of her hair extensions as violent and almost unbearable. She had the extensions added for her wedding.
"It was excruciating," she said.
Things got worse, she said, when she asked them to add highlights to her hair. She says a technician panicked when he realized he left her hair wrapped in bleach for too long.
"My hair would just break off everywhere. It was snowing, it was so damaged," she said.
Liuzzo says she's not familiar with Baden's complaint., but says that's not the way they typically operate.