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About flibotte

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    Hot Tub Aficionado

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  1. I have enjoyed reading the big box vs evil spa companies posts on this board for years. Lots of laughs over the years. At different times over the years I have argued on both sides of the coin at various times depending on the argument. I actually bought a spa from sams club (keys backyard) over 3 years ago and it is still going strong without any issues. I already got my $2,800 worth in my opinion. Having said that I wouldn't buy any tub from one of these places right now after watching the last 3 big companies that were selling to the box stores keys, hydro, and infinity go under. And now I see that Gulf Coast (or what ever they are calling themselves today). I would stay away from them. It's probably a bad sign when a comapny keeps changing it's name. But thats just me.
  2. My two cents. I wouldn’t buy a hot tub with a lounger without wet testing it first. If it doesn’t fit you a big chunk of the seating is no good. I agree with one of the other posters, I wouldn’t get one of the higher priced tubs from a box store, if I did buy one it would be one of the cheaper ones. I got one of the Keys tubs from Sams Club almost 3 years ago but I paid less then 3K for it. For 5 or 6K price range and above I would go to a dealer for the extra support. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t have got my tub from Sams Club, I would have got the similar tub at Costco. If you do buy one from a box store at least Costco has the great return policy to fall back on. Another thing to keep in mind, the two main companies (keys & hydro) that sold tubs to the big box stores the last couple of years both went under. Infinity seems to be the main company that has slid in to there place recently. It seems to me that these companies are trying to sell them at too little a margin and hoping the volume will make up for it and it doesn’t seem to be working. Good luck with your hot tub search. Hope you can find something that you like at a price that is reasonable to you.
  3. "And while they accept lower margins, they make up for it in much higher earnings and revenue." Actually, in this case it doesn't look like they do. Hydro and Keys both went belly up.
  4. Have you considered the possibility the spa may be haunted?
  5. when any large company tells you your request is "under consideration" I wouldn't hold your breath. I've had a Keys spa for 2 and a half years. I am very happy with it. My only problem with it so far is very poor insulation and the high electrical costs. It is still running great and I've only had one problem so far and the company fixed it at no cost to me, sent a tech with replacement pump in about a week. I would agree with Costside about much of what was said. The insulation is very poor, my radio did short out in a few months (this wasn't a big deal to me as I have outside speakers connected to my indoor stereo). I would also add that the cover wasn't the best and I replaced it a few months back for one of Dr Spa's covers. In my case I feel for $3,600 delivered I got what I paid for.
  6. "My cheap hydrospa uses 450 killowats in the dead of winter." This is my favorite soakerman post. Sounds so dramatic, "dead of winter" like he is in northern maine or up in canada. I guess dead of winter is better for effect than I live in florida, and it really doesn't get that cold here.
  7. "soakerman, I am getting ready to post temps with a infrared scan of my spa and a Hotsprings spa, Clearwater spa and a sundace spa." LOL, This should be fairly unbiased. I think I know how this will go. The Hydro will do the best, the clearwater will do the 2nd best, the sundance will be third, and the hotsprings spa will be the worst. Gotta keep the big boys down at all costs. I am begining to detact a pattern in soakerman's 500 + posts in one year, I kinda get the feeling he doesn't like the evil dealer spas. Maybe time for a new hobby. I have to wonder soakerman about your motives, why so much invested in this? I can see the people in the industry, but why as a spa owner would you put so much into this?
  8. "Hey Soaker -- why don't you take a look at the new thread started about a Keys backyard spa purchased from Home Depot? Same type of product Costco has carried. Never heard of that kind of problem from the "Dealer Sold Spas"." This was actually an electrical problem with the house. Her last post said spa was up and running once she got another electrician to take a look.
  9. It looks like a nice tub at a good price. Silverfish, would you be able to get the Costco employee discount if you got one? Then it would be a really good deal.
  10. For what it's worth the exact same thing happened to my parents 4 or 5 years ago when they got thier new HotSprings tub. So this kind of thing does happen and not just to big box stores. I think a motor and some pipe had to be replaced as it leaked in several places. Once repaired the tub worked fine. I've owned a Keys tub for over 2 years and I am very happy with it. I would say the only drawback is it costs more in the colder months to operate than a higher end tub. This would be fairly easy to fix with adding some insulation. The only problem I had was with the 2 speed pump only working in one speed and I called the number and the help I received was very professional and they promtly sent someone out to replace without cost to me. I think it stinks that the guy on the phone was a jerk to you but I also think this could happen when you talk to any company. I think the notion that going to a dealer will solve all your problems isn't quite right. I think the specific dealer is only as good as who ever they send out to fix your tub if it breaks. I'm not saying I don't think you should bring it back, I think you should do what ever you think is right, but the hot tubs dealers good/big box stores bad was a bit much in some of these posts, IMO. I would keep in mind that a lot of the people on here are dealers, so you should probably take everything with a grain of salt. Either way I hope everything works out for you and you end up with a tub you can enjoy (where ever you get it from).
  11. Am I missing something? People still debating that buying a Hydro is a good idea? Lets see the company (obviously poorly run) runs up large debt, rather than trying to work thru and honor it's debts and obligations just declares bankrupcy, screws all it's creditors and doesn't honor the warranties. Then like a few weeks later the guy that owns the company before, buys it again. I understand Soakerman, that you don't like the spa business and think the dealer spas are over priced but I honestly don't understand how you can stand behind Hydro. I like my Keys spa and it has been trouble free for over two years but if Keys did what Hydro just did, there is no way I would get another one.
  12. "Yup. apparently the brother of the previous owner bought it at the bankruptcy auction. Somewhere around 2.5 million, and his was the only bid." I don't think people will be lining up to buy hot tubs from the new company. I feel bad for all the people that are on their own for repairs. I hate that companies and people for that mater can go into bankruptcy and then they get to start over. Doesn't make sense to me.
  13. "How can selling what you make at a loss sound good anytime during a deal??? I think they where in the red before costco and tried to use the mass selling as a cash cow but the bottom line fell out with alot of returns." Almost every online store did\does this for years. The business model for all early dot.coms was try to get as much market share as humanly possible and worry about the bottom line later. With all the venture capital floating around companies could take losses for years. It's the biggest reason for the doc.com burst 6 years ago. I should know I've been layed off from 7 or 8 dot.coms. It was fairly recently that Amazon started turning a profit. A lot of them still aren't making any money.
  14. I used 3 8' stocade fence posts from home depot to roll mine across my backyard and deck. The cost all of 20 bucks. Worked great.
  15. My old cover had some steam and when it was really cold a little bit of ice would form. I just got one of Doc's covers and there wasn't any steam coming out the last few nights. His cover seems to be of much higher quiality than the old one. I called Keys to see how much a replacement cover would cost and they actually wanted almost $50 more for thier cheep cover then I paid for Doc's cover. I am very happy so far with the quality of the cover and am curious to see if I will notice a diff in operating costs this winter as I am letting another year go by without adding insulation to my tub.