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Hot Tub Retailers…what should I be looking for?

Posted on July 27, 2007 by , in 8. Frequently Asked Questions

Q. We are looking at hot tubs with a view to buying in the next few weeks. What questions should we be asking about the hot tub retailers themselves and the support that they can offer? We want to buy from someone who is going to be there to look after us and our hot tub for years to come.

A. As the hot tub market grows in the UK so is the number of retailers selling them. It is difficult to define exactly what makes a good hot tub retailer but here are some things to look out for when shortlisting companies that you are considering handing over your hard-earned cash to. You are essentially looking for professional hot tub companies who provide good service and look like they will be in the hot tub market for the long-term. Hot tubs come with warranty cover which is only as good as the company who sells the spa to you. If they disappear you could potentially be left high and dry with not warranty support. Here are some things to look for:

1) What is the showroom like? Is it well-equipped with a good range of hot tubs on display. Are there facilities for wet-testing spas as this is absolutely essential to choosing the right model for your needs. Is it well merchandised and presented and with a good stock of aftermarket products such as hot tub chemicals and filters? Has some investment gone into the place which would suggest that the company is taking a long-term view? This does not mean that new entrants who are trying to become established should be discounted for lack of facilities but if the company looks new to the market some probing about after-sales support is called for.

2) Track Record. How long has the company been established and trading. Are they specialists in spas or are hot tubs simply a bolt on to another business. How long has the hot tub brand on offer been available in the UK. What is the track record and reputation of the manufacturer like? Are the hot tubs at the very least CE marked as some cheap imports from the far east do not meet European CE Standards.

3) Staff product knowledge and professionalism. Are the sales staff knowledgable about their products and how professional are they. Professional salespeople do not knock their competitors or their competitors products (even if they deserve it!). They will simply talk about the features and benefits of their own hot tubs. They will also listen to your needs and suggest hot tub models that would suit your requirements and budget.

4) After-Sales support. Does the company do all of their own installations and warranty/service work or is it factored out to an outside organisation? How long is the hot tub warranty cover and what is covered? Does the warranty cover parts and labour and is it a pro rata system whereby the owner has to contribute as the hot tub gets older or is it a straight new-for-old replacement with no contribution from the owner. Ask to see a hard copy of the warranty document and read the small print and exclusions.

5) Industry affilations and trade body memberships. Hot Tub retailers should adhere to a strict health & safety practice for maintaining clean and healthy water in showroom hot tubs. In order for companies to become BISHTA (British & Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association) members they must first ensure that at least 1 member of staff holds a certificate in Water Hygiene. This is a good sign that that retailer will also be knowledgable about hot tub maintenance. Looking after a garden spa at home is very easy if you are given some guidance by a professional retailer. Ask what support and training they will give you once your hot tub is installed. This is not to say that none BISHTA members do not know about spa maintenance but members definitely should, as attendance on suitable professional courses is a prerequisite for membership. Look out for both BISHTA and/or WhatSpa Approved logos as these both require BISHTA membership. Swimming pool companies may also be SPATA (Swimming Pool & Allied Trades Association) members and again this is a good indicator.

This is not an exhaustive list but hopefully is a good place to start. Try to find a good local hot tub supplier as they will be a great source of information and advice for years to come and will also be on hand for picking up chemicals and accessories. Go with your gut instinct…professional salespeople are a breath of fresh air when you meet them and won’t try to nail your cap on as soon as you walk through the door or pester you with phonecalls at all times of day and night….if they do, head for the hills!

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8 Comments

  1. Glen, July 27, 2007:

    We found that although the top manafacturers had superb products they were really pricey. I understood that the support they offered was extremly good but everyone does have a budget. I purchased a hot tub of fantastic spec from Atlantis spas in Barnsley and they have been open for 4 years to date. The hot tub was a china im port, but was fantasically designed and as part of the deal i asked for spare parts just for peace of mind including control panel, heater, pump, ozonatator etc.. The delivey and fitting was excellent and they have offered any advice i have asked. Every where i called told me to stay away from the imports and stated there reason but to be honest i have saved £4000 and the hot tub does everything i need. I was totally shown all the working part inside the tub and shown how any repairs can be performed.

  2. sharon, August 3, 2007:

    we have just started looking for our very own hot tub had one on holiday and it was lovely thing is we do not know where to start,, does anyone know of any good showrooms in the southend area they could recomened i dont have much to spend either
    how much would i expect to pay for midddle of the road type of hot tub some lovely ones include bars,dvd players,disco all this not required

    sharon

  3. mal garner, September 13, 2007:

    i want to sell my arctic spa hot tub this is a top of the range tub costing £8000 i am looking for £4500 it is 2 years old in December and has been used indoors only so it is like new

  4. lesley hill, July 23, 2008:

    how do i find out if Trade Price Hot Tubs is a good company to buy from as they have great offers on but is it to good to be true can you help? thank you

  5. Nick Clamp, July 23, 2008:

    Hi Lesley

    Thank you for your comment. The only information that we can find about this company is at the following consumer website http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews170363.html
    Hope this helps

  6. Scott Bauer at Life Leisure, October 15, 2008:

    It should be noted that Life Leisure which supplied Dimension One spas at Downtown Garden Centre is no longer supplying spas, as on Monday, the baliffs moved in a seized all the stock. We are sorry to our customers that we will inevitably let down by this, and can only apologise to Dimension One themselves, that their unpaid floor stock has been seized by baliffs and they cant get it back. The economy is tough at the moment, but there’s not really much we can do about that. Sorry to those customers affected, that we took your money and you thought you were buying a reputable product, from a reputable company. The product isn’t too bad, but unfortuantely we just weren’t able to make ends meet. If anyone wants to write to me, or discuss it further my Home address is: Tilbrook House, Main Street, Sutton on Trent, Newark, Nottinghamshrie. NG23 6PF.
    If anyone has a Warranty enquiry, please direct it to Steve Scott of Xscape (Escape?) Distribution Ltd whos mobile number is: 07900404323. Thank you. Scott Bauer.

  7. Mr P L Pearson, June 11, 2009:

    I own a Hydro Spa Omni hot tub and am wanting to replace a cracked synthetic panel on the side. I have tried everywhere to locate a Hydro spa dealer or somwhere I can buy the panelling from but not been successful can anyone help.
    Thank you

  8. Tim Robinson, August 12, 2009:

    What are the CE marking standards for spas or jacuzzis. Many thanks Tim

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