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BBC report hot tub sales firm Trade Price Group investigated

Posted on September 29, 2010 by , in 2. Hot Tubs & Gazebos

Trade Price Hot TubsBBC Stoke & Staffordshire have reported today that Trading Standards has allegedly started a criminal investigation into the sales practices of a Staffordshire hot tub supplier.

It said hundreds of customers had complained about Trade Price Group because of the quality of the products and delivery delays of up to 10 months.

A group of about 20 customers staged a protest outside the company’s offices in Rugeley on Thursday.

The firm denied wrongdoing and said it was being subjected to a hate campaign.

Two-year wait

Andrew Foulkes, from Sheffield, was at the protest on Thursday and said: “I’m here to try and get my money back.”

He ordered a product in March and said he had repeatedly been told since then that it was in stock but had still not received it.

“It’s still in China they tell me. Repeated phone calls, repeated promises, nothing ever materialises.”

Ricky Rigby, from Brownhills in Walsall, West Midlands, said: “It took me two-and-a-half years to get my money back. Two-and-a-half years of headache court costs. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what they get away with.”

Staffordshire Trading Standards said it had received more than 400 complaints in the past two years about Trade Price Group, which also operates under the names of UK Hot Tubs For Sale and Spa Serve.

Trading standards said it had persuaded Trade Price Group to enter into a voluntary agreement in 2009 to change how it operates.

Brian Mycock, from Staffordshire Trading Standards, said: “When we monitored it in the following months we found that they hadn’t really changed their business practices.

“Because of that we decided to launch a criminal investigation into their sales methods [and] business activity.”

‘Vociferously denies’

Trade Price Group said it was taking legal action against a number of its customers.

A statement from the firm said: “Trade Price Group has been subject to a long standing hate campaign, comprising e-mail abuse, internet abuse, harassment, and illegal threats.”

The statement continued: “Trade Price Group acknowledges that some customers have expressed a preference to cancel their orders.

“Where that has happened, and it has determined that they are entitled to do so, Trade Price Group has made those refunds.

“Trade Price Group has never failed to deliver hot tubs to any of its customers that have not been subject to a refund or order cancellation.

“It refutes and vociferously denies any allegation that it has in the past, or currently, demonstrated any purposeful intent to mislead or defraud its customers out of their money.”

Full refund

The firm claimed a protest group had engaged in “Harassment, intimidation and threats to employees’ families.”

It said the campaign against it was led by a retail competitor.

One of the protesters, Kay Waterman, from Southampton, said: “With the greatest respect I would like to see some evidential proof against myself personally.

“I don’t know any members or friends with claims nationwide who have harassed in any way shape or form their children or members of their family.”

Ms Waterman received a full refund from the company and has since set up her own business importing hot tubs.

The trading standards investigation into Trade Price Group is continuing.

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17 Comments

  1. Kay Waterman, October 3, 2010:

    Upto date information which can be revealed by the 87 members of Friends with Claims Nationwide who have all supplied Staffordshire Trading STandards with their confidential information since November 2009 can be followed on our blogspt.com/

  2. Anthony Hodgson, October 11, 2010:

    I researched this company at the end of August and did not easily find complaints; I then ordered a Hot tub with UKhottubsforsale.com (one of TPG companies) only to find this article four weeks later – now they have shut their phone lines and I have no way of contacting them to find out what they are doing with my £4995. Shall I remain optimistic that I will see this money again, or my product which is due this week? More needs to be done to protect us from this sort of thing.

  3. Suzanne Deacon, October 14, 2010:

    I placed my order for Hot Tub on Tuesday 15th October.
    The last I was told, two weeks ago was that they were awaiting a shipping date. The hot tub had been made and was in a container awaiting shipping. I was told once it was sent I would receive it in 6 weeks. Have any orders been met this year?

  4. jean thomson, October 15, 2010:

    i ordered and paid for my hot tub on Easter Monday 2010. I was told it would be a min of 12 weeks for delivery. the company phoned me regularly to give me an ‘update’ and to reassure me that they are expecting a shipping date soon. I last heard from them 2 weeks ago and have been unable to reach them to find out what is going on as the numbers are unobtainable. I contacted the surveyor Gareth who informs me that he hasnt worked for the company for some time and that he believed it was now in the hands of trading standards. Do I have any hope of getting my hot tub or a refund.

  5. jean thomson, October 15, 2010:

    Could anyone advise what I can do, if anything, to get my money back from ukhottubsforsale. They have taken my life savings and my dream of owning a hot tub.

  6. Gail Marshall, October 18, 2010:

    As with customer above my husband and I ordered Hot tub at the end of June 2010 and phoned repeatedly only to be given excuses as to why the hot tub had not been delivered. We have lost £4995. No replies now from customer services or the orderline. Website is still available. companies should not be able to ask for all money up front so if they cannot complete the contract of sale then not so much money is lost by consummer.

  7. Doug Smith, October 18, 2010:

    I ordered and paid for a hot tub in June 2010. Once I signed the confirmation order I herd nothing from them there after. I did eventually made contact on the phone at various times only to be told that they were still waiting for shipment dates. This morning I rang again and all the telephone lines say “this number is no longer in use”. If anyone can give any good advise I would be very greatful. My email address is doug@carrisbrooke.freeserve.co.uk

  8. Marguerita Hall, October 19, 2010:

    We are just ordinary people who have worked hard all our lives for a happy retirement.
    May of this year we purchased a hot tub from the above.
    We do not have holidays so spent £5500, our savings.
    I rang this company weekly but all I got was excuses, no tub.
    I have found out today that they have filed for bankruptcy.

    The Trade and Standers knew about this company in 2009!!
    Why did they still let these vermin carry on robbing people.

    I type this email in tears there must be more to be done.

    Please help to protect us and future people.

  9. Anonymous, October 20, 2010:

    This link may help:
    http://www.nichollsbrimble.com/news/trade-price-group – Clients are being advised that the partners are all personally liable and that they can contact this solicitor.

  10. Phil Jones, October 28, 2010:

    Sorry folks but seems they have gone bust. I went to the site for a different reason. Fortunately they don’t owe me a hot tub or money. If you have paid anything by debit or potentially even on a credit card you could chase the money you are owed via your banks ‘chargeback’ scheme. I was in a similar situation recently with a sofa I purchased. The company went bust without delivering the goods. I did get my money back and it was quite quick and painless. Go to http://www.thetradepricegroup.com/ and you will get this message.
    Due to adverse trading conditions,
    The Trade Price Group has ceased to trade and the Partners of the firm (being Simon Foster, Katie Foster and Stuart Cox) have now been declared Bankrupt. Anybody with claims against the business or the Partners should refer to the Office Receiver (or the Trustee(s) in Bankruptcy should they be appointed).
    Further details for the process of doing so can be found on the website of the insolvency Service at
    http://www.insolvency.gov.uk

  11. Kay Waterman, October 29, 2010:

    Friends with Claims Nationwide is now in excess of 120 members & are working with authorities to ensure Simon Foster & co do not repeat their performances of extracting money out of innocent people… Many in this country have still not completed the relevant necessary documentation required by the authorities… IF you have not received documentation which is ‘Restricted when Complete’ which should have been received by ANYONE with a Consumer Direct Ref Nr in the last 6 weeks then please email us & we will ensure you get the document…. even if you have already completed a statement previously there is a new document which is essential to getting these people brough to justice & you have the best chance of gaining your money from the official receiver. Group Co-ordinators will assist you if you email them on friendswithclaimsnationwide@gmail.com

  12. Louise, October 31, 2010:

    The Trade Price Group have conned me out of £6500. I paid 50% in August 2009 and was told the hot tub would be with me in December 2009 and I should pay the rest of the amount on receipt of the goods. 4 weeks later I had a demand for the outstanding balance and was reminded that if I cancel my order that they automatically keep 1/3 of the total value of the order. Now rather suspicious, I paid the rest on my credit card. Since then we have been continually fobbed off with ‘sorry we haven’t got a shipping date, there’s a manufacturer’s delay’, to, ‘it’s on the dock in China and we are waiting for a boat!’. I have threatened them with legal action and they curtly sent me a copy of the contract and a reminder that if I cancel the order , they would keep over £2,000 of my money. I wish I had never responded to that Google sponsored-site 14 months ago. The Trade Price Group are just lying thieves.

  13. clair, November 3, 2010:

    we to have paid for a spa with trade price group and will be taking it furthur

  14. clive lancaster, November 12, 2010:

    I am still waiting for my hot tub 1 year on. So many phone calls so many lies. I paid by cheque in full for a hot tub how stupid was I ! A dream not to be. It has taken me weeks to look on the web since I found out trade price group had gone bankrupt yeh right all planned I bet but what can we do about it ?

  15. gary hutton, January 10, 2011:

    Paid for tub in full told get delivery in 12weeks did,nt phone to ask why reply floating in ocean awaiting customs cert to deliver to uk relised been ripped off feel complete idiot there you go where do we go from here gary hutton.

  16. mrs suminski, January 25, 2011:

    it took me 1 year to get my money back 1 day before they had to apppear in my local courts they sent some man by the name of jonathen down with my full refund that was in 2009

  17. S. Mackie, March 7, 2011:

    These cases are truly tragic, even worse are the cheap dangerous hot tubs popping up on ebay and people still bid and buy them. Everyone likes a bargain but quality and safety does not come cheap, we wish it did. If it seems a bargain then beware, buy a reputable brand from a reputable company not a drop shipper. A recent search for an ebay hot tub seller revealed virtual offices in a stately home! says it all…

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