Is a Lowe’s hot tub or spa something that you should consider when shopping around for a hot tub? There are concerns when looking at purchasing from any big box retailer or online retailer. First and foremost, delivery is typically “curbside” where the hot tub is dropped off in your driveway by a shipping company. These shipping companies simply drop off the product and provide little to no instruction on what to do with the spa. This is in stark contrast to the professional, backyard delivery offered by specialty hot tub stores that physically take the hot tub into the backyard and place it in the desired location. Most specialty hot tub stores also do do the following during the delivery process;
- Unwrap the hot tub and haul away trash (the foam, shrink wrap, and cardboard)
- Provide some instructions on how to fill it. They also point out where the water level is. Also show you where your filters are, how to remove them, and how to clean them.
- They give you a supply of hot tub chemicals and provide you with instructions on how to use them.
- They unbox the cover and place it on the hot tub. They may also attach/install the cover locks and hardware.
- They install accessories in some cases. Accessories can be things like steps, cover lifters, and safety rails.
In general, they make you feel comfortable and confident in your purchase which is something that you might expect from a product that you just paid $6,000-$12,000 for.
Second, there’s the concern with customer service and technical support after the sale. What happens if you can’t get your water balance or your chemicals straight? What if you aren’t able to figure out how to program the controls? Where do you go to buy chemicals, filters, or get your water tested? What if the hot tub stops working or you have a leak?…..Who should you call? You really have to set your expectation low if you have these worries and plan to purchase a spa or hot tub from Lowes because they are not setup to support specialty products in the same way a hot tub store might. Lowe’s does not have trained hot tub customer service people or technical people in their stores. On the other hand, hot tub stores are typically open 6-7 days a week to answer questions and provide support in person or on the phone. Hot tub stores also offer a large variety of hot tub care chemicals that can be prescribed based on your needs . Lowe’s also don’t stock the various types of hot tub filter cartridges that need to be replaced in a hot tub from time to time. Ultimately, post sales support can and should be a big concern because hot tubs have many nuances to their function and may require onsite repairs every now and again. Buying a Lowe’s hot tub gives you very little in the way of warranty support since they don’t have their own service trucks, parts on hand, and repair technicians on staff to drive to your home and deal with warranty repairs. With a Lowes hot tub you normally call a customer support phone number and troubleshoot over the phone. If they are able to resolve over the phone then you are in good shape but if it’s more serious then parts are mailed to you and you can either fix it yourself or in some cases contract to a 3rd party spa service company to come to the home and make repairs. In most cases, this process is not efficient and can be very frustrating to a homeowner which ultimately leads to a poor hot tub ownership experience.
Finally, there is the process for returning a hot tub within the allotted time frame if you are unhappy with your purchase. What if some of the aforementioned areas of concern become so frustrating that you want them to just come pick up the darn thing and get it out of your yard? Well it’s not that simple. Home Depot and many big box retailers have a good return policy but that it requires the homeowner to typically have the hot tub or swim spa transported to a local Home Depot warehouse to process a return. This is another pain point because you would need to contract a hot tub removal or delivery company to come pick it up which can get quite expensive. What if you needed a crane to get it in or if you built it into some elaborate landscaping? These can be additional cost prohibitive barriers to returning something you aren’t happy with.
Lowe’s currently carries the following brands:
- QCA Spas – QCA offers a full lineup of acrylic hot tubs.
- USA Spas – USA Spas is a private label of QCA Spas above offering a full lineup of acrylic hot tubs for big box and online retailers.
- American Spas – American Spas is a private label brand of California based Cal Spas. American Spas is sold through big box retailers.
- Home and Garden Spas – Manufactured by LPI Inc, the makers of Dr. Wellness Spas and several other lines, Home and Garden Spas are an acrylic hot tub line targeting big box and online retailers.