Merely considering a hot tub or even ready to make a buying decision? This article is about the things you should expect to get from the point of consideration to years after acquisition. Purchasing a hot tub can be daunting due to the dizzying array of brands and features which make it hard to focus on what meets your needs. It’s a decision made infrequently due to the general longevity of the product. Simply put, this product will probably be with you longer than almost all the appliances you own, including those of you who hold onto your car until the wheels fall off! Thus, it should be treated with special attention and you always want to do business with a company that provides the BEST experience at every step.
Reaching Out To The Dealer
When figuring out who you should go to in your quest for a hot tub, you should search a dealer that specializes in them. Hot tubs and pools (which many dealers sell jointly) are very different, with much different requirements for installation, operation, and maintenance/service. Many dealers who sell both are primarily pool dealers, who took on hot tubs but have not made the complete investment in parts or service for these products. These dealers may not be able to troubleshoot over the phone or get a critical part in a pinch.
It’s important to have a timely and sincere response from the dealer. Whether it is day or night, a quick response offering the information you desire is important because the “right time” is whenever you’re ready to start shopping. The information you’re provided with should be accurate and backed up fully by the company. Whether it’s a question of energy consumption or serviceability after the sale, there should be documentation laying out clear info.
The company you’re considering should also have multiple options available. The days of “one size fits all” are obsolete, especially in the Hot Tub industry. With the advancement of hydrotherapy, models exist for every size and need with special consideration given to features wanted.
Shopping & Testing The Products
Once you have decided to pay the company a visit, they should be accommodating to your scheduling needs. Not everyone can shop at 1:00pm on a Saturday, so there should be availability to set up a custom appointment if needed. Should you decide to make this a phone presentation, there should be comparable thought and compassion in finding your “Perfect Fit”.
The dealer you choose will determine your overall ownership experience. Choosing a dealer that carries every leisure product available will limit their ability to attain perfection in any one of their offerings. A large part of the relationship will be based on how they view you. If you're viewed as simply a “dollar sign” or a “commission payment”, they are less likely to exert the compassion needed to find you the “best fit”, instead of the priciest model you can afford. The best advice you will receive will be by a non-commissioned representative who acts more as a consultant to your wants and needs.
A dealer should offer “test drives” on all their models. Whether they have the exact model you want filled or not, they should be receptive to make a custom appointment around your schedule for the soaking test. A dealer who is well informed and up-to-date on the latest technology will be important as well since advancements like “Saltwater Systems” have taken off and will greatly benefit those sensitive to chlorine products.
Once a model is chosen, there should be multiple means of payment available to fit every need. Whether you’re planning to take advantage of a financing promotion, choose a Cash & Carry option or put a model on layaway…. all should be on the table. A full-service dealer will also be able to make recommendations or offer coordination for specific contracting services you may need like site work or electrical. A dealer with a strong service/delivery department will also be able to accomplish the “tricky” jobs requiring a crane or barge service off the mainland.
Pre-Delivery & Delivery
You will know you have an experienced dealer when they offer a complimentary site inspection to be sure everything is set for the big day. It is important to have delivery performed smoothly and without the need for you to be there yourself. The days of “driveway delivery” are past us with most models weighing over 500lbs. The coordination between the scheduling staff and the actual delivery team should be seamless to make that exciting day go without a hiccup.
Once the unit is on site, every detail should be planned out to maximize your experience. Things like "easy access” of placement and “views from the vessel” should be top priority, considering it will add to the experience greatly. A quality dealer will take pride in offering the best possible suggestions to maximize your soak time!
It will be important that your dealer have skilled technicians on site to teach you the different maintenance regiments required for your new unit. Remember, you purchased this to help relieve stress, not to create more with complicated and poorly explained instructions! Your quality dealer should also be prepared to stay and help start up the new unit once it is full of water. The initial start-up chemicals and procedures will be gone over so the first soak is an enjoyable one! All accessories will be mounted, and functions explained including pairing the sound system with your devices.
After The Delivery
A quality dealership will continue the care past the delivery experience as well. They should have a “white glove service” or some sort of complimentary visit within the first few months. This will ensure your operating and caring for the unit properly and address any questions that may have arisen. The dealer should have a maintenance program in place for those who want professional continuing care for the unit whether it’s a main residence or a second home. This service should be professional and offer multiple service levels based on the frequency and intensity of use patterns.
And the most important thing of all when considering your new hot tub company is their service AFTER the sale. Any company can sell a tub and take your money, but the true test is the entire experience they offer during the lifetime of the sale. Quality companies will have a strong customer following and this will show in their satisfactory reviews. Dealers who sell solely (or primarily) hot tubs will be able to provide the best service as their technicians will be trained solely in the spa/hot tub field vs pool technicians attempting more technical repairs. Another true sign of a quality dealership will be the length of time and loyalty they have to their brand. A company that carries the same brand for many, many years will likely have developed a relationship with the distributor vs. a company that changes brands year after year.
There it is, you are now knowledgeable on the things you should come to expect from a hot tub company.
Go forth and shop wisely!