Massage Junkie Fallout Continues

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A follow up to a story that generated a lot of discussion this week. There is more fallout because of the failing of a local massage business in East Wichita. Today, we learn that the two owners of the Massage Junkie business also owe their former landlord thousands of dollars in payments.

Lots of customers have come forward after being duped out of hundreds of dollars in gift certificates they bought from Massage Junkie just days before the business closed its doors. now, the owner of the building near Central and Webb Rd. says he's out thousands of dollars in this deal, too.

"This was sort of set up to her satisfaction," said Art Bloomer, of Bloomer Enterprises, LLC.

Bloomer is the landlord of the building at 9390 East Central that Massage Junkie rented out back in April. Just days before the business went belly up, the owners sold gift certificates and held advertising campaigns. Come to find out, Bloomer offered to give the business several of his own incentives.

"I felt comfortable leasing the property to her for a five year lease and I gave her two months of free rent in addition to the tenant improvements that she wanted," Bloomer said.

All in all, Bloomer is out about $10,000 and, like us, he's been unable to get a hold of the owners. Public records show co-owners Heather McKendry and Leann Maska have been sued in civil court by their previous landlord on Rock Rd.

Another concern is that it appears the business sold gift certificates to customers right up until they closed... leaving many to wonder if they knew they would close and had no intention of honoring them.

At the Better Business Bureau in Wichita, Robby Namee had this advice:

"Hopefully, they've worked something out with the consumers showing good faith," Namee said. "Most of the time, the consumer is out of luck and it's just a bad deal."

Massage Junkie's accreditation with the Better Business Bureau was revoked last month after the owners failed to respond to complaints.

Meanwhile, Bloomer doesn't expect he'll recover any of his lost money.

"I'd like to be able to locate her and talk to her," he said. "She's never answered any of my phone calls that I've made to her."

Two other local massage businesses are offering to grant Massage Junkie gift certificates until the end of the year, with limitations. Body Wellness of Derby and Dynamic Body Works in West Wichita will honor massages that were paid for. For instance, if you bought a buy-1-get-1 certificate, they will honor the one massage that was paid for.


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