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Dr Wellness/laguna Bay Spa Reviews?


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I came across this company through the website recdirectfactoryoutlets.com. They sell spas under the name brand Dr Wellness. They say they sell as a private label to Sears and other chain stores (which is true). They offer a really great deal by selling direct from manufacturer, but I'm afraid its too good to be true. I haven't found much for consumer reviews on these. Does anyone have any input on these?

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They are absolute garbage. The warranty is prorated to being almost worthless after a year. They have to contract out service to whomever they can find in your area. They aren't picking the cream of the crop either. You can't wet test before you buy to see if you even like it. They import components from china. They have a trucking company drop it off curbside and you need to figure out how to get it to your backyard without damaging it. They lie about the number of jets. They tell you how many jet nozzles they have. If you use a spinner jet with 2 nozzles, it's only one jet. This company counts it as two. There is a reason they keep changing their name.

I would look at a local dealer with a good reputation, an in-house service and delivery department, and a more respected manufacuter. Most manufacturer's offer entry level price points. You can get a reputable brand for about the same price, except it will have a much better warranty and service. Call your local dealers and be upfront with them. Tell them your budget is in the $3k to $4k range. Many dealers will have something for you.

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"selling direct from manufacturer"Every spa dealer in the country does this. They buy it from the manufacturer, and sell it directly to you.

 

I guess, I meant they claim to be the manufacturer and are selling direct to consumers. I found their brand on Sears and Overstock.com. They also sell under the brand name Laguna Bay Spas.

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  • 1 month later...

Dr. Wellness/RecDirect/Laguna Bay are very poor quality spas. Virtually all components are of Chinese origin. Our company has hauled a number of them to the dump, all less than 3 years old. Not worth putting a dime into them. Customer service is truly wretched according to the unfortunate customers who have purchased them. Yeah, if it looks too good to be true - it likely is.

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  • 2 years later...

I was recently forced to file complaints against RecDirect with the Better Business Bureau in both Atlanta and in Tennessee.

I recommend that consumers do not buy from RecDirect.

We purchased a spa and called about it week after week after it was supposed to be delivered. The sales manager, Carey Allred, never even checked on it. Each time he just said "call back next week". He tended to be rude and flippant as if it wasn't worth his time.

We finally called the factory directly and were told it would ship out by the end of that week or early the next. Two weeks later we had not heard a word from them. After 7 weeks we had to dispute the purchase on our credit card because RecDirect will attempt to charge $1000 - $2000 to cancel an order.

We didn't cancel it, however. We just never received the merchandise. If a customer was to actually receive merchandise from them I cannot imagine that they would honor a warranty after having dealt with them on the sale. Everything we were told turned out to be untrue even when we spoke with the factory directly. It was a huge mistake to do business with them, and as of now we have to consider the sale to be a fraudulent transaction.

After I lodged complaints with the Better Business Bureau in both Georgia and Tennessee because RecDirect failed to deliver merchandise I paid for, Mike Thomas, VP of Operations at RecDirect sent me harassing text messages. Over the course of an hour he sent me 101 messages (literally). First, he threatened to charge me 25% for the item they never delivered. Then he went on to send a host of other threats. Here are some of the threats he sent me verbatim; “Wanna play hardball? Let’s do it”, “I will give you till 5pm to call me back and after that don’t bother”, “Better call your lawyer because that’s next step” Who talks to customers like that? What kind of business has upper level management who conducts themselves like that? (I never communicated with Mike Thomas before, during, or after his tirade. He didn't seem mentally stable.)

The fact that RecDirect has executives who threaten customers in that manner says a great deal about their business practices. Really shameful. Avoid at all costs.

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I have four customers with Laguna Bay spas. 

3 of them have electronics sold by eThink.  ( http://www.ethink-spa.com  ).  As far as I can tell, they are the only distributor in the USA, although I have seen the parts on eBay and Alibaba.  The one's I've worked on had LX pumps, once again Chinese made, although they can be replaced with any comparable sized motor.

The major problems I've seen are heater failure, although the heater's are under $200 for a complete assembly that includes sensors.  The one issue I had was when the American distributor was back ordered on the heater and it was late November in the Northeast and the customer was worried about freeze up.  We didn't get the part until January. 

Anytime I've called them on the phone to ask a question or order a part, wait times were very short.

I have a customer that called for the first time this week with a Laguna Bay spa and it had a Geck yj pack in it, which is widely available for parts.

To Loopcity:  >>>> "They have to contract out service to whomever they can find in your area. They aren't picking the cream of the crop either."

I don't think any offense was intended, and none was taken here, but it's an unfair generalization to say a service company isn't "cream of the crop" just because they're contracting for a manufacturer lacking a local presence.  I like to think that we're a "cream of the crop" service provider, even though we work on Laguna Bay spas. 

I do know that many people live tens if not hundreds of miles from a hot tub repair company, so your statement "whomever they can find" is definitely true.  I have manufacturers call me at least once a month to ask if I'll service a customer just based on my geographical proximity, and they never ask questions about our capability or experience.

I also get many calls from customers who have given up on their local dealer because soem of the techs only know how to replace pumps, glue pvc, and don't have a clue about troubleshooting or electronics.

Dave

 

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  • 10 months later...

Here's the short version - for details read on.  This is a very poor quality tub and the company does not honor their warranty.

 

I purchased a Dr. Wellness X2 from Home Depot online.  Delivery was fine. Once it was installed and filled I noticed right away that several of the nuts that hold on the diverter valves were loose.  I tightened them up and we used the tub for about a week.  It's installed indoors and I noticed a water leak coming from under the tub.  I attempted to drain the tub but the drain valve would not release.  I called customer support and told them the area of the leak.  They said that they would send some parts and arrange to have a local contractor contact me.  They also stated that if the service person had to take time to drain the tub I would be charged for the extra time.  I went out and got a submersible pump and got the tub drained.  A week later the parts arrived but I had not heard anything about a service call.  I called the manufacturer again and was told they didn't arrange service because I had told them that the tub was accessible to only 2 sides.  I told them that I can pull the tub away from the wall and was told they would arrange service.  A week later I received an email which I thought was intended to arrange a service appointment.  I called again and was told that they would not arrange service unless I filled the tub with water so the service person could locate the leak.  I agreed that I would fill the tub with water once the appointment was arranged. I was told that they would arrange to have me contacted to set up a service appointment.  Another week later I called to inquire about the service.  I was told once again they have not put me in to be contacted because only 2 sides of the tub were accessible.  I finally accepted that I would have to repair the tub myself.  It was when I identified the problems that I realized the poor quality of this tub.  They are as follows:

  1. A piece of vinyl tubing exited out of one of the jet fittings and was routed up toward the front of the tub.  The tubing was too short as a result it exited out and made a 180 degree turnaround. It kinked, blocking air flow.  The joint had hardly any glue so it leaked at the connection.  Another 8 inches of tubing, OR a little more glue (better yet a hose clamp) would have prevented this problem.  
  2. A piece of vinyl tubing was connected to the drain bib.  The glue (what does this company have against hose clamps???) was applied so sloppily at the factory that it seeped down into the inside of the valve resulting in the seizing of the valve mechanism.  

Other notable signs of poor quality

  1. Very little insulation.  There is a thin layer of spray foam on the outside of the tub shell and there is a reflective barrier between the frame and the outside trim pieces.  This tub is going to suck down some energy especially if it's being installed in the cold outdoors.
  2. General shoddy construction.  In addition to the two specific problems above the general construction of this tub is poor.  Frame pieces are stapled and toe-nailed so carelessly that several of the main structural members are split. Frame pieces are stapled together with gaps between resulting is the load of the tub + water being held by staples.  This will need attention in the near future.  

 

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I have several customers with Laguna Bay hot tubs.  It sounds like you got one that was assembled on Friday afternoon at 4PM, some of the gluing mistakes are really inexcusable.  But I've seen plenty of expensive, big-name  "American Made" tubs that had crimped 3/4" tubing, glue joints that were missing glue and hose clamps that were on the hose but not on the port the hose was attached to.

My biggest complaints with Laguna Bay, from a service standpoint, is those sides are a real pain to put back on after you remove them.  The screw holes in the sides have to line up perfectly with the holes in the corners which are made of plastic, or you'll break the corner pieces.  Of course, how a single technician is supposed to hold a 20 pound sheet of plastic (ie the side) that's 6 feet long perfectly straight and still while their other hand holds the screw and their third hand holds the screw gun is quite a feat.  I don't think I've ever seen a Laguna Bay tub that didn't have cracked corner panels from either a repairman or homeowner trying to screw the sides on.

Until recently, Laguna Bay/Dr. Wellness/Energy Saver was using a Chinese make electronic pack which you can only get from them.  The same is true with their heaters.  A few years ago I had a customer who waited 6 weeks for a heater in the middle of the winter because the part was backordered.  If it was a Balboa, Gecko, Watkins or Jacuzzi part we could get it from dozens of dealers, overnight if necessary.  Also, all the sensors in a Laguna Bay heater are built in.  If your Balboa sensor goes bad, a new one is going to cost your $20-50 and take ten minutes.  If your Laguna Bay sensor goes bad, you have to replace the entire heater, which will cost closer to $200 and require the tub be drained before removing the old heater.

The pumps, hoses, PVC, and jets are all common parts, easily replaceable from any dealer who sells hot tub components.

Of course, if you happen to get a Laguna Bay tub that was put together on a good day with good parts, you save a lot of money versus buying a high end name brand like Jacuzzi or Hotsprings.  I guess you get what you pay for.

Dave

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Funny Dave, I said myself many times I think this tub must have been made on a Friday.  I agree with you about the side panels.  Mine have cracked. The screws were screwed in so they recessed below the surface and then they crack the plastic when you try to back them out.  I have very short patience with design flaws that could be improved dramatically with just a little bit of thought and careful construction.  I mounted an L bracket on the frame base that the panel can rest on while I check alignment and screw the screws back in.  Very simple and could have been done at the factory if they cared about producing a quality product.  

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The balboa pack doesn't exactly send 220 to the heater.  It sends 115 to each electrode.

First of all, at the circuit board, you should get 230V if you measure across the heater strap connectors.  If you don't, the problem is at the board.

Next, check the voltage at the heater electrodes:

left electrode to ground.  Should be 115VAC

right electrode to ground  Should be 115VAC

across both electrodes Should be 230VAC when the heat light is on

If you're reading 0 across both electrodes when the heat light is on, either the element is bad or the circuit board is bad. 

Power down the spa.  Disconnect the heater from the circuit board.  Make sure you hold the bottom mounting screw when you turn the top one or you will break the electrode.  Check continuity across the element electrode.  If there's no continuity, the element is bad.

What do  you find?

Dave

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On April 9, 2018 at 10:18 PM, Jersey Hot Tub Repair said:

The balboa pack doesn't exactly send 220 to the heater.  It sends 115 to each electrode.

First of all, at the circuit board, you should get 230V if you measure across the heater strap connectors.  If you don't, the problem is at the board.

Next, check the voltage at the heater electrodes:

left electrode to ground.  Should be 115VAC

right electrode to ground  Should be 115VAC

across both electrodes Should be 230VAC when the heat light is on

If you're reading 0 across both electrodes when the heat light is on, either the element is bad or the circuit board is bad. 

Power down the spa.  Disconnect the heater from the circuit board.  Make sure you hold the bottom mounting screw when you turn the top one or you will break the electrode.  Check continuity across the element electrode.  If there's no continuity, the element is bad.

What do  you find?

Dave

I plan to get back to working on it Thursday. I'll post what I find Thursday night.

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  • 1 year later...

I’ve had a Dr Wellness hot tub for several months and it’s been great, except for two things -one not the fault of the tub. First, one of my son’s friends stepped on the cover and it cracked and I need a new cover or perhaps they make the foam inserts??

Second and most annoying are the waterfalls! I HATE THE WATERFALLS!! All they do is spray you in the face every time you stand or sit. I popped off the covers and tried to twist them to shut them off and no luck. I’d fill the mf’ers with cement if I could. The water pressure is very high and I’m not sure what would work to stuff in there.

Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would highly recommend reading this buyers guide before visiting any dealership and parting with your hard earned money Hot Tub Buyers Guide

It's so frustrating visiting different dealerships as they all seem to boast about how their hot tubs are the best, and their competitors are inferior...you travel two minutes down the road and it's the same story. Knowing exactly what it is that you're looking for before visiting a dealer is imperative, that way you can take control of the sale and insure that what you're buying is a quality product.

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6 minutes ago, Jack hot tub help said:

It's so frustrating visiting different dealerships as they all seem to boast about how their hot tubs are the best, and their competitors are inferior...you travel two minutes down the road and it's the same story. K

Actually many people agree the dealer you buy from is just as important as the brand you buy.   If a dealer is trash talking other brands, that's a big red flag to me.  Not all dealers trash talk other brands. 

I visited a dozen spa dealers during my search and I met the gambit from "our brand is the best, all others are crap" to "Hey, here's what's cool about our brand. We don't talk trash about other brands, but here's the special features only available on this brand".  Some dealers are experts in one brand of spas, other dealers sell multiple brands and subcontract service labor.

This is a big investment for most buyers, so any prospective buyer should be doing their own due diligence ahead of time before going into a store and trusting what some commission based sales bot tells you. 

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6 minutes ago, ratchett said:

Actually many people agree the dealer you buy from is just as important as the brand you buy.   If a dealer is trash talking other brands, that's a big red flag to me.  Not all dealers trash talk other brands. 

I visited a dozen spa dealers during my search and I met the gambit from "our brand is the best, all others are crap" to "Hey, here's what's cool about our brand. We don't talk trash about other brands, but here's the special features only available on this brand".  Some dealers are experts in one brand of spas, other dealers sell multiple brands and subcontract service labor.

This is a big investment for most buyers, so any prospective buyer should be doing their own due diligence ahead of time before going into a store and trusting what some commission based sales bot tells you. 

I couldn't agree more. When someone knows a little bit more about a subject that yourself, it's easy for them to come across as an 'expert', hence why it's so important to understand what questions you should be asking. 

In terms of the brands, you're right again. The market is currently saturated with brands claiming to be 'industry leading, best in the business etc', but they just don't live up to these claims. I've got friends who bought hot tubs online for next to nothing, and brand new! For me at least, when a hot tub has music, lights, all of that stuff... yet comes in half the price of the top brands in the industry like: Jacuzzi, Arctic Spas, Vita Spas etc then alarm bells should be going off. There's a reason why they're so cheap, they might look alright form the outside, but inside they're far from pretty. 

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  • 1 year later...

This place is a scam! Bought in May 2019. Was told 7 weeks. Now going on 9 months and no swim spa. Paid $17k up front. Kathy (sales/customer service) is awful. Can't get a hold of her and when you can she has no idea where the swim spa is. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE PEOPLE!!!!!!!

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