Hot tub owner alert: Be sure you have the RIGHT folks service your hot tub!
November 15, 2019 – Ron, one of my service techs who has been with Olympic for over ten years, called me the other day. He proceeded to share a story that, unfortunately, I hear way too often when someone needs their hot tub serviced. I thought it would be useful to share his story.
He went out to a customer’s home to take a look at why their hot tub was not heating. When my tech arrived, the customer somewhat sheepishly explained that he had called us for service several weeks ago but wasn’t keen on the service rates we shared and decided to find someone else to come out to take care of his tub. Well, that turned out to be a very expensive time-consuming mistake!
The tech he found came to his home and claimed he could easily fix his tub. He told our customer that he would need a new heater relay board and would be back to install it when he received it. (Bear in mind that folks who are not Hot Spring dealers do not have access to Hot Spring parts. Normally they have to buy them from an authorized dealer—like Olympic Hot Tub.)
He returned a week later with the part and installed it. The tub still would not heat. Over the course of the next ten days, he came back to replace several more parts—and still the tub would not heat.
At this point, our customer had already paid nearly $1,500 to get his tub heating—and it still was not fixed!!
Enter our service tech who, after fifteen minutes on site replacing two minor components, was finished and the tub was heating. The total price of those parts? $61.90. That’s far less than $1,500.
It’s hard not to get crazy when I hear these kinds of stories. Of course, I get the need to shop around when it comes to service and, for many products out there, that makes very good sense. However, hot tubs, while many believe otherwise, are just not all the same. And, because many of them have local authorized dealers that sell and service their product, the parts are not just out there on the open market to buy. What’s worse? Many times, non-dealer service techs will buy parts online that end up being knockoffs made overseas that will never work on the tub.
Here are some things to remember when getting service for your hot tub:
- Find the authorized service provider for your brand of tub in your market. If the dealer you bought the tub from is still selling the product, they will likely be the best place to get parts and service.
- If someone is providing parts for your tub who isn’t an authorized dealer, you’re likely paying more for the part. An independent service tech is going to buy the part from a dealer, mark it up so they make some money, and then sell it to you.
- When you get parts for your hot tub from an authorized dealer, the parts normally come with a warranty should the part fail within a year’s time. (At least that’s how it is at Olympic with Hot Spring Spas parts.) Hot Spring & Olympic take care of that cost—not you!
- Many parts sold online are not genuine parts that will work in your tub—and sometimes it’s incredibly hard to figure that out. We’ve seen plenty of customers show up at our Service Center with heaters and other parts that look like they are Hot Spring parts. They actually are just cheap overseas knockoffs that will never work.
- In Washington state, folks that work on hot tubs as technicians are required to be licensed electricians in our state. If they cannot provide you with a copy of their license, be aware they are breaking the law and doing work they are not authorized to do on your tub.
I should also say that these reminders should be considered for everything regarding your tub—not just parts. It’s easy to buy cheap products online for water care that may be the wrong ones to put in your tub. Cheap covers, cheap accessories…they’re cheap for a reason! They may be knockoffs and certainly will not have a warranty you can count on should something occur.
Lastly, I feel compelled to share that your local hot tub company is exactly that—local. We’re small business owners out there giving back to the local economy and—at least in Olympic’s case—giving back to our local communities through fundraising and philanthropic efforts. While I know buying something online may be cheaper, I hope many of you would recognize the value of buying from and supporting your local small businesses that keep our economy moving and employ people right here. Our commitment to you is as important as your commitment to us! I for one greatly appreciate customers who choose to continue to count on us for their service, support, water care, accessories and new tubs. You’re the best!
Now…when you need service, who you gonna call?
Author: Don Riling
Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 27 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through water.