“Most jets fail because of water chemistry,” Henderson says. “That’s either caused by low pH conditions, which results in too much acid and the plastic begins to deteriorate, or a high pH condition that causes too much calcium on the ball bearings and the jets stop spinning. If you can hold the pH in the water directly at center, around a 7.5 pH level, the life span of the jet will be greatly increased.”
Mark Henderson, president of Hot Tub Serum in Medford, New Jersey, is not shy about proclaiming the company’s chemicals have the unique ability to buffer the pH in water, protecting the jets, among other things.
That’s why the company offers a new lifetime warranty on
jets for hot tub owners who utilize Serum chemicals on a regular basis. To
qualify, customers must agree to buy two-liter bottles from their Hot Tub Serum
dealer through its autoship program, adding one ounce of Serum for every 100
gallons of water in their hot tub each week.
“If someone is using Serum on a weekly basis, and water
chemistry is the culprit for a jet failing, we will replace it,” Henderson
says. “We are the only chemical company in the industry to offer this program
to our dealers.”
The warranty idea was first tested at Everything Hot Tubz in Englewood, Colorado, where consumers often deal with water chemistry problems due to hard water and pH issues. Of the 250 hot tubs purchased using Serum products for water maintenance, none have reported jet problems.
In fact, before Hot Tub Serum enacted the lifetime warranty
program, Ed Konarske, owner of Everything Hot Tubz, had already started
offering a similar program.
“We do a lot of service and because Serum doesn’t allow
buildup, we found that jets were starting to free up and turn again and some of
the buildup from whatever way they were doing chemicals before were being
fixed,” he says. “The jet is the most commonly repaired item, but I knew that,
with those using Serum, the chance of jets being eaten up was going to be
pretty rare. So I started a lifetime warranty about a year and a half ago.”
When Everything Hot Tubz sells a tub, it provides a warranty certificate when it delivers the spa, and explains the stipulations, which include buying the chemicals from them. Ever since, his chemical business has skyrocketed.
“We’ve really enjoyed it and I believe it’s helped us sell
more hot tubs,” Konarske says.
Additional chemicals sales is a clear advantage of the
warranty program, because customers must agree to buy Serum through the dealer
they purchase their hot tub from.
“The consumer cannot go to the internet and buy from a
different dealer and keep a warranty intact,” Henderson says. “For a long time,
spa and pool dealers have been losing sales of chemicals because of the
internet. I have dealers telling me they are increasing tub sales by eight
percent but losing five percent on chemicals. [This warranty program] drives
the business back to them.” Henderson says dealers who use the extended jet
warranty in their sales pitch are finding it helps close sales.
Hot Tub Serum is also providing its dealer partners with
plenty of POP materials to advertise the lifetime warranty program, including
counter displays, banners, posters and hand-out brochures. Additionally, Hot
Tub Serum provides dealers with a complete Excel file that automatically keeps
track of customer sales so they know when they are due for the next order.
In addition to the new warranty program, Hot Tub Serum
recently received EPA certification in all 50 states, although Henderson notes
it was a nightmare of a process.
“This was very difficult and expensive to accomplish, and
took us about a year to get it done,” Henderson says. “First, we needed federal
approval, as that’s where all the testing is done. Once we completed that, we
had to go to every state and get approval for the label on the bottle.”
That meant that if one state had a problem with something —
for example, California wanted one word changed on the label — the company had
to go back to all the other states that had already approved it to make sure
the change was acceptable.“We knew that when you have an EPA-registered
product, they are backing you up to say the claims on your product are
correct,” Henderson says. “We felt that was important, especially that they
deem the product to be safe if used as directed.”