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Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 09:43 AM   #1
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Spa Fiasco

So my wife and I decide to get a spa, and end up buying from Cal Spas. They had a floor model sale. Now they told me they couldn't deliver until all the floor models were sold. This was in February. In March they called us and said, "O.K., let's schedule, how's April 25th?". We were a little peeved at such a late date, but said o.k. NOW they call us and say, "oh, they shouldn't have done that, we're going to have another sale and want the floor model there, mabye we can deliver in June, but we look pretty booked up then too." So I've been raising hell, but they have told me to pound sand. Their latest offer is a "deluxe chemical kit" and a "towel rack"...and no set date for delivery. What do I say now? Cancel the order? Anybody know what spa company I should deal with? Buying a spa was supposed to relax me!!!
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: Spa Fiasco

I'd tell them to %$#@ me, shortly after I finished boiling myself in the spa I bought from someone else...

Try this:
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...-CatHome&pos=2

$2999 + $200 delivery to the curb. If its going in the back yard, look up "crane services" or equiv in your yellow pages. Should be about $150-200 to set it in the spot of your choice, providing its not going more than ~150' from the curb to where its landing. Further than that requires the BIG crane and thats about $50-100 more. If you have easy access to move it, then hire out a forklift service. If you've got concrete between the curb and where you're putting it, you're a REAL DIY-er and have 4-5 friends, grab a couple of very, very heavy duty dollys from the hardware store, a case of beer, and have at it.

If you cant find a crane service that you trust, consult with your local heating and air conditioning people who installed or service your heater/ac unit. They most likely can tell you who exactly does a good job and who to avoid. If they wont give you a referral, sign up for a cheap central unit service (~50-80) and while the guys there working on it, ask him. If you havent had a service done on your heating/air conditioner in a while, you're probably due.

You'll also need an electrician to run 220v to the pad. Cost should be about $150-200 plus extra for any really long wire runs from the breaker box and any weird interior wall fishing.

Pretty dang good deal on a nice new spa. Worth joining up for costco for a year if you arent a member.

Note that price is only good until 3/27, then its $500 more...takes ~3-4 weeks for delivery but it'll probably be shorter.
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 10:10 AM   #3
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Thanks TH, got the electrical already run, concrete pouring is Tuesday. The real burn is that they waited until now to say anything!!!!
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: Spa Fiasco

I looked at buying a spa about 8 years ago when I lived in the bay area. These guys reminded me of bad used car salesmen. Cal Spas was the worst. I wont do business with someone who doesnt meet committments.
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Sounds like I'm the exception to the rule. Bought a spa from Cal Spa in Sacramento three years ago and had a positive experience all the way around. They delivered the new spa (a very good model call "At Home/Dimension One") and took away the old one which was literally falling apart after eighteen years.

But like TH recommends, we're probably going to buy from Costco for our new house in Arizona. Found a Jacuzzi spa for sale on their web site and if we act quickly, I think we'll get another $500 off.

Anyone ever have a Jacuzzi model? I've heard they're good and reliable, but it'll be our first.
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Check www.epinions.com for some reviews. A lot of the jacuzzi models only have 1-2 reviews, which isnt enough for critical mass, but they're all good for what thats worth.
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Well, the "district manager" or whatever didn't return the call like she was supposed to, and now she's gone for the day. I'm cancelling, but not before I raise as much of a stink with them as I can, even if it's just for cathartic reasons. Anybody have suggestions on legal language I should use in email(s), definition of fraud, etc. Martha? :P
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:39 PM   #8
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Have you paid for it yet laurence?

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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: Spa Fiasco

I gave them a $1000 deposit with $4000 due on delivery ( I know-expensive, but it's larger than a standard model due to my 6' 2" frame).
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:45 PM   #10
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Quote:
Anybody have suggestions on legal language I should use
Sure...here ya go...

You @#^%@$#ing $#^%$#'s were supposed to deliver a #%$#ing hot tub to my @#^%@#%!@$%!$@^%@#^%$@#$ing house a couple of months ago and now I want you to stick the !@%^$#$@ing thing up your @#&^#$#^$&#$ing @#^%@#^%@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:48 PM   #11
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Re: Spa Fiasco

LOL! Thanks for the chuckle, I needed that!
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:51 PM   #12
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Re: Spa Fiasco

You gave them money, I would be nice in asking for it back.

I would go down to the business and nicely tell them to cancel the order because they did not perform as agreed and ask for your money back immediately.

Hints for customer complaint letters from the www.marlarky.com website:

1. Write To The Senior Person Responsible
It is important that you get the name and detailed mailing address of a very senior person responsible for the product or service that you are complaining about. I generally try to write to the V.-P. level. Never go below Director level if you want a serious response. Name and address information can be obtained from the organization's Web site or by calling the company and asking for the name and title of the senior person who you should write to.


2. Don't Send An E-Mail
When it comes to sending a serious complaint to a company, don't send an e-mail, regardless of what it may say on their Web site. E-mails are usually handled dismissively by low level "customer service" people. If you want serious attention and action, the formal written complaint letter is the only way to go. (yes, by snail mail!). When it arrives in the V.-P.s office, it triggers a bureaucratic process that ensures that the right people will see your letter, and will act on it.


3. Keep It As Short As Possible
Preferably no longer than one page, two at the most. When drafting a complaint letter there can be a tendency to go on and on just to make sure the recipient gets the point. Keep it as short as possible, but without diluting the facts of your message too much.


4. Give It A Heading For Easy Identification
Place a heading at the top of the letter with information that the company or agency will relate to, such as your account number or customer number. Make it easy for them to find you on their computer filing system.


5. Clearly Explain The Situation
Make sure that you give all of the specific details needed so that the company/agency can verify your claim without you having to get into an endless game of telephone tag with them. Include specific dates, times and places, as well as the names of people you dealt with. If you're not sure of these when composing the letter, call them back and ask for the specifics. (You don't have to say it's for a complaint letter).


6. Use A Positive and Respectful Tone
I have found that the best approach is to use a positive upbeat tone. Remember, you are writing to a senior person who probably sympathizes with what happened to you. Your tone should convey the message that you are the innocent victim and you understand that the company wouldn't have done such a thing deliberately.


7. Send Copies If Appropriate
There can be cases where it is wise to send a copy of the letter to other parties just to make sure that you will get some serious action. For example, in a case where you have been told to write to a Regional Manager of a program, it is often a good idea to make sure that someone in head office also gets a copy. I sometimes send a copy to customer services or customer relations, offices at the national level.


8. "Shame" Them As Much As Possible
Companies that claim and advertise high levels of customer focus and service do not like to be criticized in those areas. If you have a strong case that makes them vulnerable in one of these areas, use as much ammunition as you can to embarrass them in these sensitive areas. Modern marketing terms such as: customer relationship management (CRM), one-to-one marketing, most valuable customer (MVC), and customer-centric focus, all tend to get their attention. Also, using such terms makes you sound like an authority.


9. Imply You Might Take Your Business Elsewhere
I always do this near the closing. Companies don't like to lose customers, especially long-time customers. Senior marketing people are well aware that study after study has shown that it costs five to seven times as much to recruit a new customer as it does to hold on to an existing one.


10. Ask For An Early Reply
In the closing paragraph of your complaint letter, state specifically that you are expecting an early reply. Make sure that you follow-up by phone or e-mail if you have heard nothing in three weeks. Some companies will send you an acknowledgement letter stating that they are working on your case and will get back to you within a week or two.


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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:53 PM   #13
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Quote:
LOL! Thanks for the chuckle, I needed that!
You know you can always count on me, Laurence...
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:53 PM   #14
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Re: Spa Fiasco

TH's strategy might work too .

But really, you do catch more flies with honey.


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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 01:59 PM   #15
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Re: Spa Fiasco

My dog Jazz catches a lot of flies just by walking up to them and eating them. I can rent her out to you at a low, low hourly rate

Besides, who wants flies in their dang honey?!?

Sorry, I'm overly sensitized. I just spent an hour and a half fighting with the "state of the art" automated system at general electric trying for the 5th time to get them to fix my refrigerator...the system is designed by brilliant experts to hang up on you as quickly as possible and to avoid allowing you to actually speak to a person.

Then 40 minutes on the phone with the ford dealer trying to get them to order a replacement part for the recall that causes the cruise control to catch fire in my expedition. They're replacing 357 billion of them so dont have any parts until 3 months from now. So they want you to leave it for the day so they can unhook it until they have parts. I unhooked it myself. Their system doesnt allow them to order the part unless you bring it in to have it unhooked first. I finally got some traction with "ok, pretend I was just there and you just unhooked it...now...". :

Ok, hijack off...
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 02:11 PM   #16
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Re: Spa Fiasco

I had a similar experience with my VW. My Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a stellar experience though, great service, reasonable prices, very reliable vehicle. Thanks Martha, I will wait until I have my money back, and I'll keep it civil, you are the voice of reason!
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-24-2005, 10:14 PM   #17
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Quote:
Anyone ever have a Jacuzzi model? I've heard they're good and reliable, but it'll be our first.
We bought a Jacuzzi whirlpool tub in 1990 ($3300!) and it's still in service. Had to replace the on/off switch on the pump, which is no fun if you have that side of the tub up against a wall.

If you do buy a Jacuzzi tub and you ever need parts/accessories, it's cheaper to buy from the Jacuzzi resellers in your area (or over the Internet). The prices are higher (not as high as th's BMW parts) but other retailers have to buy their Jacuzzi parts from resellers and mark them up a second time. And I've had problems with generic parts not fitting or having the wrong finish...

But the Internet has really flattened the playing field. I think whirlpools & spas have all achieved a high standard of quality even at the generic brands. We bought another whirlpool tub last year from "Plastic Creations" in Atlanta-- not Jacuzzi but a bigger size-- for only $1600. Better layout, easier installation, fewer parts, and it seems to work just fine (so far).
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Re: Spa Fiasco
Old 03-25-2005, 04:10 AM   #18
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Re: Spa Fiasco

Only owned one hot tub in my life. It was a Jacuzzi
(or my little daughter called it "Jack Uzi"). Anyway,
it was damn near perfect. It was on the deck at a cabin
in the woods. Alas, I sold the property with the tub.


JG
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Re: Spa Fiasco-UPDATE
Old 03-25-2005, 04:16 PM   #19
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Re: Spa Fiasco-UPDATE

O.K., so being polite but firm may be working. We had originally purchased the floor model, and they still want to hold onto it. So they are offering to build us a brand new one with some custom options so that it can be delivered by the originally scheduled date. Getting brand new with extras on the same date for the same price sounds pretty darn good, but do I want to have a relationship with this company? I mean, a warranty is only as good as those backing it up ( we could spin this off onto a discussion of fiat money-but I digress). Should I take this as enough evidence that it's worth going forward? This started less than 36 hours ago, so it's pretty fast response....
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