When shopping for a hot tub or spa it is always wise to research and find reviews to help either guide your buying decision or confirm your decision. Moreover, when shopping for a hot tub it is important to consider two sets of reviews. You first want to try and find reviews on the actual hot tub model or manufacturer you are considering. Second you want to find reviews on the dealer or retailer you will be purchasing from as a manufacturer is only as good as the dealer who supports their products especially from a warranty standpoint. The dealer is a critical piece of the hot tub ownership experience as they are the ones that take care of any maintenance issues, technical support, or warranty claims that may occur. Similar to pools, hot tubs can require a fair amount of maintenance and one can expect to have at least a handful of interactions each year with the dealer be it a simple chemical question or an actual warranty claim on the hot tub. If you see a dealer with extensive service complaints or poor overall rating then I would suggest steering clear even if they appear to have good pricing or an appealing product. If ultimately you do decide to purchase from a poorly rated dealer then at least you can set your expectations low and know what you are getting into.
Furthermore, it may be difficult to find reviews on a particular model of hot tub as manufacturers can change them frequently or discontinue them. The best thing to do if you’re having problems finding model specific reviews is to find general reviews on the brand or manufacturer as they are more available on the internet. Moreover, aside from the spa line (some brands have multiple spa lines….a good, better, best type progression), fit, size, or seating arrangement manufacturers tend to build their hot tubs similarly with the same sort of quality, construction, plumbing, and equipment so reliability and performance tend to be more associated with brand than an individual model.
Finally beware of negative hot tub reviews as there are always too sides to every story. The internet is littered with review sites and it can be very easy for a disgruntled customer to lash out at a company over a disagreement. With that said, you should always take reviews with a grain of salt and obviously look for a mostly well reviewed manufacturer or dealer to buy from. Also, when you read these types of reviews it is important to distinguish if the review is bad because of the dealer or because of the product because a good manufacturer could be the victim of a dealer with poor service. That is why dealer reviews are just as important as the manufacturer (model) review and it is always wise to consider both before making a purchase.