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JUNE 2024
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Fairlocks Pool Products
Trading Standards 'inundated' with complaints on UK internet sales company
Trading Standards 'inundated' with complaints on UK internet sales company
Staffordshire Trading Standards officers say they are 'inundated' with complaints concerning the activities of internet hot tub company Trade Price Group who also trade under the name Spa Serve.

Trading Standards Officers from local authorities all over the UK are now working together gathering information following complaints about long delays, non delivery of hot tubs and faulty, often dangerous fittings.

A specially formed action group, Friends with Claims Nationwide says it has 54 members all who had claims or still have claims pending against Trade Price Group which has it's headquarters in Staffordshire.

A number of hot tub retailers have also been involved in call outs to try and repair faulty hot tubs.

The UK's hot tub trade association BISHTA has been aware of the complaints which started to raise concerns in the industry over two years ago and has been contacting a range of organisations to identify how this issue can be resolved.

Chris Hayes, BISHTA's Managing Director commented: "BISHTA is growing concerned at the number of complaints it is receiving from consumers who have been dealing with the Trade Price Group. The number of court cases being pursued may be an indication of how desperate and frustrated these consumers are becoming due to the apparent lack of support being shown by the Trade Price Group. It is vital that all of our industry ensures that we provide consumers with a great experience and if there are consumers who feel they have been badly let down by the Trade Price Group, or any other company in the industry and if they cannot get a satisfactory response from the company concerned, they should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 (or 08454 040505 for Welsh speakers)."

The company at the centre of the complaints runs a number of websites all of which promote 'discount' or 'trade price' hot tubs. The hot tubs are imported from Chinese manufacturers Guangzhou J&J Sanitary Ware Ltd.

Trade Price Group holds no UK stock and customers who order a hot tub don't have the opportunity to see or to try out the hot tub.

Internet customers pay an on-line deposit. Other customers have been visited by salesman from the company offering 'priority shipments' of the hot tubs for delivery in three to four weeks for a 50% cash deposit.

Kay Waterman is the founder of the Friends with Claims Nationwide group. "We have 54 members and more are joining every week. There is a lot of information gathering going on. We know that members of the group who made official complaints in March this year are still waiting to give evidence. It is taking weeks to send out regional trading standards officers to investigate and take statements."

Staffordshire Trading Standards Office confirmed to spn (Swimming Pool News) that it was in the process of gathering and investigating a number of consumers' complaints concerning Trade Price Group. A spokesman said they had been inundated.

Kay was given a full refund plus court costs of £4,690 in February this year. She believes the claims of the group total £220,000.

Of the 54 members a maximum of 15 have been refunded their deposits or complete payments for the hot tubs. Kay said the problem was still ongoing with two consumers paying out cash payments of £10,000 and £5,000 respectively for hot tubs in March this year.

The email address for the consumer group is: friendswithclaimsnationwide@gmail.com

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