What are the dangers of purchasing a hot tub online?

Posted by Nick Clamp in Buying on 3rd August 2020

After the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown procedures for non-essential retail premises WhatSpa? Approved hot tub showrooms are open again for business. This is great news for people looking to buy a hot tub following the sharp rise in online hot tub fraud. Below we have explored the potential pitfalls of buying a hot tub online.

A rise in online hot tub fraud in 2020

At this stage of your research, you should be aware that there has been a rapid rise in online fraud with experts warning that scams have rocketed by 400% during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Hot tubs have been involved in the third-most purchasing scams and so it is important to ‘Stay Alert’ on all fronts to prevent you and your loved ones from becoming a victim of sophisticated cybercrime that results in you paying for a hot tub that never arrives.

Alarmingly, professional fraud reporting services have highlighted that over £17million was lost to fraud during the strict COVID-19 lockdown period. A leading consumer association has revealed that 36% of adults had been the victim of scams in the first three months of the lockdown. A major bank has also reported that hot tub purchasing scams increased five-fold during the month of May.

Safety paramount

When you are dealing with a WhatSpa? Approved hot tub dealer you should have the confidence that your safety and top product quality hot tub customer service provision is always paramount. Professional hot tub showrooms have stringent health and safety measures in place to ensure that their water maintenance procedures for display hot tubs match the strict COVID safe measures for staff and visiting members of the public.

For this reason, your health worries permitting, it is always advisable to visit a hot tub dealership to gain first-hand knowledge of hot tubs before you purchase a suitable model from a reputable supplier. Armed with as much hot tub product knowledge as possible, this route will prevent you from falling victim to an online scammer or poor quality products and customer service from faceless ‘webshops’.

Professional showroom dealerships featured in the WhatSpa? Retail Directory, which you receive free of charge when you register for a copy of WhatSpa? magazine, may be flexible and accommodating when it comes to providing totally private showroom visits and wet testing arrangements before or after their traditional opening hours. So, it is always advisable to check if you can take advantage of these pre-booked appointments.

If you are not able to visit a hot tub showroom then you should seek out one of the WhatSpa? Approved local or nationwide suppliers that have gained high levels of customer satisfaction.

Critical knowledge

Never proceed into any involvement of online hot tub purchasing without being armed with as much knowledge and professional guidance as possible.

This pre-online purchasing hot tub research and product awareness is vital if you are seeking to obtain a top quality hot tub model without visiting a showroom before the purchase stage. In fact, if you go into the hot tub purchasing process blindly then you are in grave danger of falling foul of many net dangers.

As part of your pre-ordering of your hot tub you should consider taking early advantage of www.hottubchooser.co.uk. Hot Tub Chooser is the UK’s top hot tub search engine with a comprehensive database of hot tubs from the all of the leading manufacturers.

If you have no experience of hot tub installation then the last thing you want is to be left to struggle with a hot tub yourself that has been simply ‘kerbside delivered’. This may lead to damage to the hot tub or your property and more critically, injuries to yourself and others who may be required to help.

Your local and nationwide WhatSpa? Approved dealers and professional hot tub installers will have many years of experience under their belts to provide you with a safe delivery complemented by the necessary hot tub water maintenance guidance tuition. So, it is always best practice to utilise these industry-respected services.

Impulse peril

When it comes to high-ticket items, such as hot tubs, you must be wary of being tempted into the peril of an impulse purchase. As fraud experts have warned, thousands of online consumers are being lured into the clutches of ‘net bandits’ who are currently eager to exploit the current COVID-19 pandemic conditions that have resulted in an enhanced eagerness to order products from the comfort of their homes.

Cyber security experts are issuing warnings about the current high prevalence of fraudulent online activities and the boom in scams, which are parting unsuspecting consumers with their hard-earned cash. Sophisticated identity thefts and online fraud is rife and that is why our banks and financial services are providing additional specialist marketing campaigns to highlight the problem to online consumers.

There will always be unscrupulous suppliers who will exploit your desire to achieve a quick hot tub purchasing fix. Without caution and thorough checks, your cash could end up in the pockets of a fraudulent operation that has no intention of supplying you with a quality hot tub or your preferred choice of hot tub model in your desired and agreed timescale.

During the COVID-19 lockdown banks have been warning that a high percentage of the latest hot tub sale scams have involved bank transfers made directly to the fraudulent seller, through websites such as eBay or Gumtree. Once you have conducted the required research and taken as many pre-digital purchasing precautions as possible, a credit card payment can provide you with greater protection.

Shady ‘grey’ hot tub imports

During the third week of lockdown it was reported that there was a 1,080 per cent surge of hot tubs on eBay and many established suppliers of leading brands of inflatable hot tubs have been struggling to meet the high demand in the market, with sales being suspended until stocks could be replenished. Even if you must wait for a quality hot tub from a WhatSpa? Approved dealer to be delivered safely it is preferable to resorting to a shady online supplier tempting you with a ‘grey import’ poor quality hot tub.

WhatSpa? has collected evidence of less-than-reputable traders hiding behind the facia of anonymous registered offices and glossy websites with constant fictitious sale offers, whilst peddling shoddy ‘grey imports’ that turn out to be poor quality and highly dangerous in some cases.

There is now confirmed evidence that some of the ‘grey’ hot tub imports that are available in the UK market are generally only lasting one or two years at the maximum simply because, although they appear great in the websites, the model has been manufactured very cheaply within unorthodox production conditions that are not industry standard. By utilising poor materials and unrecognisable fittings, pumps or heaters that cannot be replaced it ensures you are left with a worthless piece of junk in your garden due to the fact that a professional hot tub engineer has no reasonable capacity to rectify any faults.

From the moment that you hand over your hard-earned cash, products like this are literally devoid of value and will even cost you money to cut up and take away when they finally stop working and have no way of being fixed safely.

If you cannot identify the provenance of a hot tub model from the website of a trader and trace it to a trusted manufacturer of good repute, it’s advisable to do more research and ask vital questions about where it was manufactured, what quality assurance standards have been observed in its production, and what are the length of the warranties for the various elements of the hot tub.

Poor quality hot tubs will always prove costly to your bank balance or health in the short and long-term. So, before you click any purchase buttons you should be totally assured that the hot tub meets strict manufacturing credentials that leading brands are adhering to.

False promises

Even if you are not worried about the safety of your bank account and savings then you should certainly be aiming to avoid dangers to your health and that of your loved ones from poor quality online hot tubs. For many years we have highlighted the advice from professional WhatSpa? Approved hot tub dealers that have gathered their own evidence of life-threatening incidents caused by consumers placing too much faith in an online supplier.

Always aim to ensure that you are totally confidence in the hot tub manufacturing process that your product has been put through. If a hot tub offer seems ‘too good to be true’ then the alarm bells should be ringing in your head. Incredibly low costs from poor manufacturing facilities can allow suppliers of these hot tubs to promote remarkably cheap prices.

To unsuspecting consumers these offers can be extremely tempting. Generally, if you are inclined to take purchasing gambles to achieve a ‘bargain’ you will be lured in by these ‘web shop wonder deals’ and potentially land yourself in deep water debt. If you have conducted the correct WhatSpa? advocated product and supplier research it should prevent you from making a costly purchasing mistake and joining the thousands of consumers who have become victims of hot tub purchasing fraud this year.

Without conducting hot tub market research and taking as many digital purchasing precautions as possible it may mean that you may never gain the ultimate satisfaction of a top quality hot tub hydrotherapy product, because you have been tempted away from the services and hot tub models supplied by professional WhatSpa? Approved dealers.

Never click on a purchase without checking customer feedback. Treat glowing testimonials placed on a company’s website or social media pages with an element of scepticism as they can be unauthentic or edited, and any negative feedback from complaining customers can easily be removed from social media feeds. WhatSpa? has even seen reports of disgruntled customers being ‘blocked’ from social media pages to prevent them from adding feedback that the company believes is potentially damaging, even though the complaints are valid.

Seek out reputable third party review websites, such as Trustpilot, Reviews.co.uk and Feefo. These provide reviews, and star ratings that are unable to be edited or deleted by the supplier. If a hot tub supplier is registered with any of these platforms, they will generally display their star rating on their website, but you can also search their database by visiting the rating company’s websites.

If you want to avoid these online hot tub purchasing worries, then they will be easily eliminated by consulting a WhatSpa? Approved dealer. You can find the latest hot tub reviews and approved suppliers in our latest edition of WhatSpa?.

About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and my job is to keep you informed about the very latest hot tubs on the UK market... the best job in the world! When I'm not being deluged with press releases and hot tub brochures I enjoy keeping fit and participating in endurance events including triathlons and distance running.

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