Scams to Avoid When Buying Your Walk-in Tub


I speak to dozens of people every week about Walk-In Tubs.  Most are excited about purchasing one due to all the safety and therapy features these tubs bring to bear.

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However, I also talk to people who have previously purchased a tub from other companies who are concerned about some of the questionable “sales techniques” that were used to close the sale.  The old Latin term caveat emptor, let the buyer beware,” warns of falling victim to scams.  Let me list a few scams that are often associated with purchasing a walk-in tub.

  1. “PRICES ARE GOING UP” SCAM.  When a sales person tells you that you need to buy today because prices are going up tomorrow, it is best to step back and question the urgency of this statement.  Think about it, were you that lucky, to have called the very day before prices were set to increase?  Probably not.  In fact, it sounds a little “pushy” doesn’t it?
  2. “WE HAVE THE ONLY TUB” SCAM.  Usually the pitch go
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    es something like this:
      “Our walk-in tub is the only one out there that offers FREE shipping.”  It is easy enough to do some checking around and confirm that this statement isn’t true.  Another might be, “Only our walk-in tubs have ADA compliant seats.”  Again, do your homework and make a few phone calls.  Any time the sales person states that there tubs are EXCLUSIVELY UNIQUE” in some way or another, check it out.
  3. “FOR AN ADDITIONAL THOUSAND DOLLARS WE CAN ADD AROMATHERAPY” SCAM.  Sometimes a potential customer will ask me if we carry aromatherapy.  My stock answer is, “why pay a thousand dollars more when you can simply light a candle or incense.”  This scam is designed to line the pockets of the walk-in tub company.  They will charge you ten times more than it will cost them to add such a feature.  Plus the benefit factor to health is questionable.
  4. “FOR AN ADDITIONAL THOUSAND DOLLARS WE CAN ADD INTERIOR LIGHTS TO THE TUB” SCAM.  This one would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.  As long as you have lights in the bathroom, why would you need them in the tub?  We’re not talking about a swimming pool here.  There is plenty of light to see the bottom of the tub.  This is just another way to jack up the price in order to take advantage of gullible buyers.
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  5. “WE MUST SEND A TECHNICIAN TO YOUR HOUSE TO MEASURE” SCAM.  The truth is, they are sending a high-pressure salesman to the house to get your money.  In 90% of the cases, measuring the opening where the walk-in tub needs to fit can be done by the customer.  If more remodeling needs to be done, such as moving a wall or taking out a door, that’s different.  But anyone can measure a bathtub.  As long as the company knows the size of the existing tub, choosing the right size walk-in tub is easy.    It is helpful also to ask the homeowner to measure door openings.
  6. “OH BY THE WAY” SCAM.  This is a good one… but only if you’re the salesman.  It goes something like this.  The salesman comes to the house to do a hard sales pitch to the customer.  When the salesman finds resistance to the high price, he says, “Oh, by the way, I may have a solution.   I had to cancel my last appointment, and I just happened to have the very model you need in my van.  I don’t want to have to take it all the way back to the warehouse, so I will take $2000 off if you just take it off my hands today.”  THIS SCAM IS ACTUALLY USED QUITE FREQUENTLY.
  7. “I CAN’T GIVE YOU A PRICE OVER THE PHONE” SCAM.  Again, the company probably prefers to send a high-pressure salesman to your house.  They can’t justify their price, so the only way they can close a customer is face-to-face.  Beware of any company that will not give you a price over the phone.  They have something to hide…. like a high price.
  8. “FEAR” SCAM.  Let me be delicate with this one.  There is some room for fear.  After all, each year one in three people age 65 or older will suffer an injury from falling.  Some might simply produce a sprain, but many produce serious head trauma.  Falling is the leading cause of fatal injury among seniors.  With that being said, let me warn you about how some salesmen for walk-in tubs go overboard.  First, they come to the customer’s home.  When the customer doesn’t appear to see the urgency of buying today, the salesman begins to bring out all the gory details of what can happen if you don’t have the walk in tub.  They give illustration after illustration of those who have suffered serious head trauma by falling in the bath.  Here is an example.  “She fell while trying to get out of a huge garden tub.  She fractured her skull and lay on the cold tile floor all night.  She lost so much blood that she almost died.  Unable to call anyone, she was dependent on her daughter showing up the next morning to save her life.”  A little over the top.  It could happen, but an extreme measure by the salesman to try and sell a bathtub.
  9. BARGAIN BASEMENT” SCAM.  This tactic is particularly prevalent if you shop for the lowest price, especially online.  I have seen tubs listed for thousands of dollars below wholesale, only to find out that these units are stripped down or that the cost of shipping the tub is exorbitant.  If that low, low price means that you have to pay hundreds or even thousands more to add needed fixtures and plumbing, then you will find that the “bargain basement” price is anything but.  It’s like the old saw about the guy who goes to buy a car only to have the salesman ask him, “So, you want an engine with that?”  More importantly, anyone who tries to suck you in with a lowball price that they can’t deliver on is not someone with whom you need to do business in the first place.
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I’m sure there are many other scams that could be mentioned, but these will suffice for now.  Do your homework.  Be a smart and informed buyer.  Walk-In Tubs serve a purpose, but make sure you aren’t pressured into buying features you don’t need or paying too much.  Have a pleasant buying experience.

In this article, I discussed nine scams Walk-In Tub vendors and salespeople use to trick seniors into over paying for their Walk In Tub. I provide these nine scams in detail so that any senior will be armed with the knowledge to keep from being fooled and make a wise purchase.

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If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you. Thanks again for visiting with us.

Until next time. 

Alan and Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in  Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to alan@tubking.com.

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