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UK dealer sees Michael Phelps dive into swim spa launch

Posted on January 19, 2011 by , in 2. Hot Tubs & Gazebos, 3. Swim Spas & Exercise Pools

Michael Phelps Swim SpaA Reading hot tub dealer was on hand to see world record swimming champion Michael Phelps make a splash at the International Pool Spa Patio Expo in Las Vegas when he dived into the high profile launch of his signature range of swim spas by Master Spas.

Phelps and his personal coach Bob Bowman, who has twice been named USA Swimming’s Coach of the Year, have teamed up with the engineering design team at Master Spas to create a full line of new swim spas within the officially titled Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas range.

Speaking after the November launch at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas, Master Spas UK dealer Sunil Sharma said: “I was very impressed with the product launch in Las Vegas and I think that the unique, patented Wave Propulsion Technology system will not only be great for professional swimmers like Michael Phelps but also for anyone who wants to swim or walk against the clear water resistance it creates.”

Sunil is now making preparations at his Aqua Hot Tubs showroom for a big promotion of the swim spa in the New Year to coincide with the global promotion.

“We have sold off our previous line of the Master Spas H2X swim spas to make room for the Michael Phelps Signature model to be delivered in mid January,” revealed Sunil.

“There is a lot of global promotion for this launch and I think it will benefit everyone selling these swim spas. We will now be inviting people to come and see it and wet test it in our showroom and we will be promoting it locally to swimming clubs and the community as a whole.

“I believe the instant name recognition of Michael Phelps will be a big boost for sales as people in the UK don’t really remember brand names when it comes to purchasing hot tubs and swim spas but they will instantly know this one.”

Phelps and American Hall of Fame swim coach Bowman, in conjunction with Master Spas, will ensure that global promotion of swim spa continues in 2011 as they will be actively promoting the sport of swimming and the health benefits associated with aquatic exercise and spa therapy.

“One of the biggest goals I have in my career is to grow the sport of swimming in as many ways as possible, and the ability to partner with Master Spas’ to create a signature line of swim spas is another unique way to help the sport,” revealed Phelps, who holds more gold medals, world championships and world records than any other swimmer,

He added: “Our goal with this line of swim spas is to create more and better opportunities for everyone interested in swimming, from exercise enthusiasts through the next generation of competitive swimmers.”

Bowman, who is the CEO and Head Coach of North Baltimore Aquatic Club, revealed: “We designed the Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa by Master Spas’ as an efficient and effective training tool for competitive swimming. But our goal was to create a swim spa that can apply to individual fitness levels as well.”

The World Swimming Coaches Association’s Coach of the Quadrenium (2005-08) and four-time recipient of the American Swim Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award, added: “Aquatic exercise is extremely beneficial for building overall strength and endurance.”

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  1. Small Hot Tub, January 21, 2011:

    Swim spas are the ones that push water against you so you keep swimming but actually never go anywhere, right? Those are awesome. It’s like having a pool that you can exercise in, but it doesn’t take up as much space!

  2. Sara, September 2, 2011:

    -Bought the Legacy Master Spa 08/19/11

    -When we went to the show at our local arena a man, who is contracted to tell everyone how great master spas is, greeted us with a great big notebook full of information about the spas, awards Master Spa has received (including one from the better business bureau that he stated they have received for 10 years straight) and testimonials. When we bought the spa I was told that the spa only needs 1 tbsp. of chlorine every 2 weeks and that is the only chemical I will need because the spa uses minerals. The man the dealer contracts to tell everyone how great the spa is (Duane) even went on to tell us how his wife who has medical problems loves this spa because it doesn’t use chemicals. And that his neighbor (who does not own a master spa) is always balancing his spa’s pH, but he (Duane) doesn’t have to because he has a master spa and it always has a stable pH. I was also told that there is no chance of spa lung because the spa is not filled with foam and this allows for air to pass through and prevents mold and mildew from occurring. I didn’t want a spa in the past because they can be a lot of maintenance and I don’t have the time to spend constantly adding chemicals and checking levels and I was also concerned about spa lung (as I already having breathing troubles). So, instead of going to my local dealer, Hesselson’s, which the dealer personally said they couldn’t match their (Master Spa’s) prices and quality, I bought my hot tub from Master Spa’s. They had also told us that all the spas are thoroughly inspected and that each one is water tested for leaks and checked. Duane told us that occasionally one might have an issue but that the chances of that one being ours was not going to happen because they are so rigorously inspected before they leave the manufacturer. He even went on to say that this company allowed “How its made” to film their production for this reason.

    -Before leaving we signed the papers which stated we would receive our spa (he told us on Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week, depending on how many they sold) and our start-up chemical kit (which should have clued me in then that I would be putting in many chemical, not just chlorine but I figured it was just the start-up), stairs, and extra filters (which was worked out in the deal, since both myself and my mother got tubs).

    -We didn’t have a place to put it so we bought and installed a proper gravel pad and finished it Sunday Morning, as we were finishing it I received a phone call stating they were bringing my spa that day and wanted to bring it in a ½ hour. The pad was not finished and the spa was not suppose to be there for a couple more days. So, we hurried and finished the pad and the spa came that afternoon (an hour late than the time we agreed upon).

    -When the spa arrived the men (the whole 2 of them) slid it off the truck and dragged it into place. They took the cover out of the cardboard box put it on, screwed in the plastic locks for the cover on the sides, put together the plastic stairs (which was also in a big cardboard box) with their fists on my driveway- scratching the plastic and getting it dirty. All of that was okay, I could handle the little inconveniencies. Then they told me that the start-up chemical kit was not coming today because “they ran out at the show” and that it would be UPS shipped to us and we would have it that Tuesday (08/23/11). He went on to tell in another part of our conversation that they had only sold 15 spas and didn’t do well in our area (so now I ask myself why did they “run out at the show”?) They left behing all the cardboard and trash and took off.

    -We were excited, all we had to do (or so we thought) was have an electrician hard wire it to the house, fill it, and turn it on. In the mean time I called Master Spa’s (the dealer) and told them we still had not received our chemicals (this was now Friday 08/26/1) and the receptionist said she would look into it and call me back. She never called back so I called her back and she said they had already been sent out- my chemicals, my mom’s chemical and my mom’s filters because she hadn’t received either. The electrician finished and we filled it up to the level it needed (we back filled it through the filter insertion site as recommend by Duane and the manual to release any air stuck in the lines). We turned it on and it went through the beginning cycles, after the message “run pmps purg air” finished, a message appeared that said “Htr may be dry— wait”. So, we looked in the manual and it said possible dry heater, or not enough water in the heater to start… press any button to reset and restart heater start up, which we did and still the same message came up and we tried again and the same thing. After a few tries we made our first call to the company (the manufacturer) regarding the problem with the spa but they were closed and so was the dealer. So, we decided to turn it off and call again in the morning.

    -Monday morning, 08/29/11, I called the dealer and the manufacture, after a few calls because they were not yet open I finally talked to the dealer and they said I had two options with this error message, I could try to run the water from the hose on “high” through the filter insertion site while running the jets on “high” to get the air out or I could dismantle the side wall and “break the seal on the union, allow water to flow out to get the trapped air out”. Had I not called the company I would have had no idea that this was the problem. The manual never said that this was the problem, all it said was to press any button to re-try and lists possible problems on the bottom of the page. So, I tried the first option, which I figured wouldn’t work because I had filled the tub through the filter site but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and I was anxious for it to work so it could start heating up. It didn’t work, I tried it a couple times and even had to empty water out of the tub because it got so full. It didn’t work. So, when my husband came home from work, instead of doing the other things we had planned, we followed the instructions in the manual on how to bleed air from the union, we even talked to Duane who instructed us on what to do because we couldn’t release the union (it was too tight and the whole pipe turned when attempting to un-screw it) so he instead told us to release the pipe on the right side of the electrical panel- the side that didn’t have wires going into it. Which we did, and air came out and so did a lot of water- he told us to release 5 gallons worth, which we did. We had a difficult time tightening it back up, water continued to trickle out but eventually after an hour or so from when we started it stopped. So, we thought it was finally fixed, so we dried everything off real well and then turned it back on. It ran through the beginning cycles and no htr dry message came up so we were thinking finally after nearly 24 hours of trouble shooting one error message we could let it heat up and be in it soon. By now it was into the evening, about 4:30pm or so. Another error message came up, “htr flow loss”- this, according to the manual, could be multiple things wrong, then a new message came up just as soon as I found the page for the first one, “snsr bal–ance”. This page said to call for service. So, I called the number and no answer because they had closed. We were just about to turn it off when a man called back (from the dealer), his name was Dave and he said he was from the service department, he stated “you called” and I said yes and went on to explain, very nicely and politely, that there were two messages that had come up now, his response in a condescending tone was “did you read the manual?” and I said yes and he said “and what did it say” and I said “to call for service”, I then went on to say that my husband had just corrected the first error message and before I could finish he interrupted me and said “can I speak with him?”, it seems as though not only was he condescending but I (being a woman) was not good enough to talk to, like I didn’t know what I was talking about. So, my husband talked to him for what seemed like a few hours. We had company at our house, so, I stayed inside to entertain them and I had no idea of what was going on outside, just that it was taking a long time. Eventually our company left (this is still Monday) and I went out to see what was going on. My husband had removed another panel (as instructed to do so by Dave) and had pulled off some of the insulation (also as instructed to do so by Dave). He had been at this for hours and still it was not working. Manual labor that Dave expected us to do. I felt like we had already done enough that day when we had to bleed the lines. It was getting to be 9:30pm or so and eventually Dave decided we would need to have someone come service our tub. This was a brand new tub, never used, the dealer told us it had just been made and now it needed service. He went on to tell my husband that it is policy to have the owner cover the cost of the service (which he said is typically $65/hour and includes travel time), he told us the nearest service man, which is about an hour and ½ away, and we would later get a check for the cost (if the problems was within the warranty) and also told us we would need a new pump but we would have to put our credit card on file incase they didn’t get the old one back. When my husband got off the phone, not only did he have a look of defeat on his face but also anger. Up until this point I was accepting of the problems we had had. When he told me what was said I was furious. Dave had told him that the factory had a period of time when the insulation sprayer people were “heavy handed” and this is what is causing problems with the tub. The company new about this and didn’t tell any buyers- atleast not us until we had problems. When he said this my husband asked him about the spa lung, because supposedly too much insulation (according to Duane) causes it. Dave had told him that that was a fabrication and that spa lung is caused when the spa is in an enclosed room. I left a message with each one of them (the dealer and the manufacturer) that night calling them out on their poor product and poor customer service. I no longer wanted this spa and I no longer wanted to work with a company that expected the owner to perform this kind of laborand treated them so unprofessionallly. Like I said before my time is valuable and I can’t waste it on something that should be working. I told each company in the message that I expected a phone call first thing Tuesday morning to resolve this issue. I told them I was not going to pay out of my pocket for someone to fix the problem they were obviously responsible for and that I would not be putting my credit card on file with such a dishonest company. God only knows how much a pump costs. Not only that but once we had received our spa and opened the manuel there was also a laminated page with a LIST of chemicals that must be used on a regular basis through out the year (oxidizer shock, chlorinating granules, filter cleaner, pH up, pH down, spa brite, foam gone, oil gone, scale defense, and test strips. The 2 main reasons I had bought this spa were no longer true. I felt like I had been taken advantage of. And that I was sold a hot tub under falsifications. Duane had given myself and my mom his personal cell phone number (all part of the act to make us feel comfortable with him) and so I texted him, so that I could have a record of it, and called him out of his lies. All he said was that it was too late at night (maybe 9:45pm at this point) and that he would call me tomorrow and help me talk to a tech). I already talked to the tech (Dave). He never admitted to his lies but he never denied them either. At the show he also offered to send myself and my mom bulbs from his flower garden (because he had so many and so many varieties), I’m assuming this was another ploy to fish us in and make us feel like he was trustworthy. There was nothing more we could do, so we shut down the power to the tub.

    -The next morning I called the dealer back so because they had not called me. I had to work that day so it wasn’t until noon or so that I had a chance to call them, I talked to Dave again at the dealer. (The manufacture never called me back either.) I told Dave I would not put my credit card on file, because I no longer trusted the company (and I told him I had texted Duane and called him out on his lies), and that it was an outrage that I would be expected to fork over money that I don’t have that could possibly be upwards of $600-700 or so depending on how long it took the service man to fix the tub. He first told me I should call him (meanign Duane) out on his lies- I just told him I did- and that was the only response I got on that. He told me its policy for the costs and that’s that. He also said that I need not worry because I would be reimbursed as soon as they got a copy of the bill. This is a national company. I send the bill to the dealer the dealer sends the bill to the factory and then I get a check. I’m not stupid. I know it would take months before I ever saw a penny. And by this point there was so much unprofessionalism not only in what was going on but the tone of voice in every person I talked to. I decided I would have to talk to the factory to get anywhere because this was now an issue with them. During this conversation I had asked Dave about the rigorous inspection and how our hot tub could possibly had been over filled with insulation if each one if looked over so carefully. Dave said after the wet test they get sprayed with insulation and they’re out the door for shipment. No more inspections. Yet another lie from Duane.

    -I called the factory 08/28/11 in the am, the man I spoke with in customer service (Doug) told me they would try to work it out so I would not have to pay up front and also see about sending the part out without any credit card on file. I told him that since I had what I considered to be a lemon, I want an extended warranty and that’s where the customer service ended. Absolutely not, no way would they give me and extended warranty. I had a one year warranty already when I purchased the tub, but that was before I knew it was a lemon. I feel that since it was made with problems I should have extra coverage. All they would offer me is to bump up the date to the date its serviced for one year. I am the customer. I should be given something more than rude people and the run around when I have a problem which they caused. So, I waited to hear back on the first two two points. I had to go into work that day at 11am so I was unable to answer my phone. When I finally got a chance to, I had a couple missed calls, one was a company 2 hours away from my home that was telling me (not giving me an option) that they would be at my house Friday am (no time) to fix my tub. I was not happy with the outcome. Even if the 2 issues were fixed to my liking I still wanted an extended warranty. If their tubs are as great as they say then they should have no problem even just giving one more year to my warranty. Obviously they don’t expect it to last longer than a year, or well I guess a year and 2 weeks to be exact.

    -Thursday (09/01/11) I called the credit card company to file a complaint and stop payment to Master Spa’s. In good faith we conference called the dealer to give them an opportunity to salvage what little faith I had left. Myself, my mom, the credit card company (listening in) and the general manager, Kevin, discussed the problem. The idea of returning the spa and a refund was not going to be accepted by the dealer, even though the had destroyed any confidence I had in them and lied to me over and over again and sold me a tub that they had received notice from the factory (per Dave in earlier talks) that it was over-foamed. I did not want this spa nor did I want to have any future relationship with this company. But for fear that if I stopped payment I would be sued for payment from the dealer and perhaps the factory as well I tried to work with them. After what became the most unprofessional conversation I’ve ever had with a company, nonetheless, with the general manager of the dealership himself, we had decided he was to call the factory to work out the details of the service man and possibly of the warranty.

    -He called me Thursday night at 4:58pm, 2 minutes before they close, and tells me he talked to the factory and the service man will come to my house at 8am on Friday morning (09/02/11) at no cost to me, no credit card is needed for the part, and no extended warranty. I had also asked in that morning’s conversation that if no extended warranty was to be given that I instead receive a new hot tub (same model, just no defects). He didn’t mention anything about this so I asked him I asked him and it apparently upset him. He said there was no way I was going to get a new tub. That I was going to have to let the guy fix the tub the next day and that’s that. There was no more to discuss since that was his conclusion so I told him “I guess theres nothing more for us to discuss then.” I was in the car on the phone waiting to go into the gym and being held up on the phone with someone who was not willing and/or able to help me any further. So, there was no need for any more discussion. He took this personally I guess and said “I worked hard for you today to get the things I have for you.” Oh, I’m so sorry for inconviencing you and making you do your job. What happened to the customer service that master spa’s has won the BBB award for 10 years as Duane had told us at the show. I politely said good bye and have a nice evening and hung up. During the conversation, just to give you any ides of how unprofessional he was, he said “Your tune sure has changed now that everybody isn’t listening.” Seriously? Who do you think you are?

    -Friday morning I called the factory to confirm what Kevin had told me the evening before regarding the warranty. Doug at the factory told me the service man was coming to fix it and that’s that. No extended warranty. No new tub. Forcing me to keep this dreadful equipment that they won’t stand behind for more than 1 year 2 weeks. I have never in my life dealt with such an unprofessional business. So rude and unwilling to make the customer happy. Where I work, if I treated people the way they treated me and my mom, I would be fired and probably sued. I am but one customer but I am not the only one that has had this problem. When we first made our decision to cancel payment, before we talked to the credit card company, we went to our local spa sales place, without even discussing master spas or the fact we even had a tub, the owner told us about how he had 2 customers come in the day before looking for tubs because they had bought spas at the show at the arena and they were having problems with them. I am not the one of out many that has a problem with their tub as Duane said at the show. Many at just one show had these problems. How many other bad tubs were sold in other cities? The company thinks they can take advantage of the individual because they are just one person but together they may be hundreds. If I continue to have problems with my spa I will not sit quietly and let this go on. I will demand a new tub and warranty. This company is bad news. Do not sign yourself up for this torture. Go to your local sales person. I wish I had. Even though they a slightly more expensive, they are local, they depend on good word of mouth and if you have a problem they aren’t hours away. Don’t buy Master Spas under any condition, you will regret your decision if you do. I still have yet to receive my chemical start-up kit and neither has my mom or her filter.

    -The service guy checked her tub out just to be sure it was okay, surprise surprise- he had to rip out a bunch of insulation from her’s too. This company is a joke.

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