My Walk-In Tub Purchase: By Howard Stearns

There comes a time when many senior citizens realize just how dangerous it is getting in and out of a standard bathtub, and we often hear about their accidents. That situation arose for me lately and I started to investigate the whole walk in tub business. It seems that every time you turn the television or radio on you see ads for them. I began a research program and found some vast differences in quality and price. Some of the salespeople knew very little about the technical aspects and some of them wanted as high as $18,000 for the installation. I am very fortunate in having a mechanical and electrical background so it was easy to see that a lot of the salespeople knew very little about the product. I spent many hours on the Internet and finally found the website of BC Senior Safety Services Ltd. The first thing that impressed me was the video and description of the workmanship and the operation. The second was the service I received, Scott the owner, came to my house measured everything and quoted me a price. He then took me to where the tubs are stored and found one that fitted my needs. The installation was very professional and was accomplished in two working days. I suffer from terrible arthritis and spinal stenosis, so there is hardly a moment that I am not in some type of pain, I also have severe insomnia. After having a leisurely bath in my new tub I enjoy several pain-free hours and sleep much better. The question I am asking myself now is why I waited so long to have one installed. I strongly recommend this company.

I am Howard Stearns, Fort Langley British Columbia.



About Limited Lifetime Warranties on Walk-in tubs

 About Limited Lifetime Warranties on Walk-in tubs

The standard manufacture warranty on a walk-in tub is one or two years. However, certain items like pumps, door seals or the tub structure may be extended past this period. Over the past number of years to justify higher pricing and remain competitive some companies are pushing Limited Lifetime Warranties ….(What is a Limited Lifetime Warranty? …click to read more). This sounds good, but if you read carefully these limited warranties are chuck-full of conditions and disclaimers…read more. These warranties are still from one, two years after this the warranty may cover some parts and not others but one thing is for sure, labor, building material, return shipping and other costs won’t be included. Since the labor is unknown and the actual tub parts are inexpensive and readily available, buyers should know there really isn’t any value to this type of warranty. The truth is due to the average age of most walk-in tub buyers and the trouble free nature of these products, the added expense customers may feel justified to pay in the overall price to have a product with such a warranty will financially benefit the seller, not the buyer. Plus in almost every case they are not manufacture warranties, but dealer or distributor warranties on rebranded products and they are not transferable.

Walk-In Tub Manufacturing & Direct Sale Pricing

Walk-in tub manufacturing does not exist in Canada, and you won’t see the logo’s Product of Canada or Made In Canada on any walk-in tub website. The last substantial transformation of goods must have occurred in Canada or at least 51% of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the goods must have taken place in Canada. Made in Canada Claims – Competition Bureau of Canada.

Up until about 2010 the walk in tub market was largely dominated by high priced direct sales companies selling products mostly manufactured and imported from manufacturers in the UK, and a lesser degree tubs claimed to be manufactured in the USA, when many actually are not.

– Premier Care Canada Inc. Surrey, BC, the head office Daytona Florida USA. They were by far the largest and advertised extensively on CBC TV nationwide and claimed their tubs were made in USA. –  It was a direct sales franchise through the manufacturer Gainsborough, United Kingdom (link), who continue to make these tubs. Premier Care Canada Inc. was in business from January 1991 until their abrupt closing on April 1, 2016. At the time of their closing the quoted installed pricing was approximately $18,500.00 up to $30,000.00 for specialty baths. The closing so was abrupt, the staff were not given any notice and a lock was put on the door. Even the TV commercials continued to run on CBC TV until the end of April. The US assets were sold to Blackstreet Capital Holdings….read more. , the company was restructured and was sold back to management November 2016 under different US ownership! Read more under (HAFI) 

– Seabridge Bathing Ltd. Victoria BC, another walk -in tub franchise who told customers  the tubs were made in Canada & USA, but they were actually manufactured, and still are by WIBCO UK(link). They were in business from December 1999 and closed October 2013, installed price range approximately $12,500.00 – $14,000.00.

This market has changed a lot in the past number of years and for those seniors who do their homework the savings can be in thousands of dollars for some great products, thanks in large part to more having access to the internet, plus our government’s investments encouraging trade – The Pacific Gateway….read more.  Sanitary products (toilets, sinks, faucets etc.) including walk-in tubs and tens of thousands of containers full of products from electronics to industrial equipment are imported into the Port of Vancouver daily.

Here are just some of the walk in tub brand names seen on line known to be manufactured offshore perhaps even in the same factories –  Safety Bath – Ella’s Bubbles –  American Standard – American Tubs –  Therapy Tubs – Universal Tubs(Home Depot Brand) –  Homeward Bath – Aquam Spas –  Safe spa products – Walk in tubs Canada products. Canada’s economy has always been dependent on trade so protectionism isn’t as prevalent as it is south of the border, but some companies will try and profit from those who may lean this way printing designed, assembled or engineered in Canada and in some rare instances will actually make claims these tubs are made in Canada.

Products imported from the USA: – The Federal Trade Commission in United States has very strict rules and penalties on advertising and marketing with regard to false Made In USA claims….read more.  Protectionism sentiments are much more common in USA even though they are by far the largest consumers of imported offshore manufactured goods in the world.

When Made in USA can’t be used many distributors tip toe around this using words like America included in their brand names or advertising, like assembled or packaged in America. Home Depot uses – Crafted Domestically in the United States, when they describe their Universal Brand walk-in tubs, (manufactured offshore), but on their Canadian web site country of origin is said to be the United States. The US Federal Trade Commission does not apply in Canada. One of the most well-known of course is American Standard, their walk in tubs and sanitary products like toilets, etc. have been imported for many years, the same with Kohler, Moen, Delta, Toto, and list goes on. Brand names are used for marketing purposes but also used for controlling information about the actual manufacturer because multiple brands can be manufactured in the same large offshore factories. Many fine products are made offshore by large international manufacturers and we all own them from machinery to electronics.

Walk-in tubs sold in BC known to be manufactured in the USA

– Safe Step …read more a direct sales franchise through the manufacture Oliver Fiberglass Products USA, approximate installed price range $12,000.00US to $15,000.00US according to the US CPSC….read more. The same/similar product is distributed through a dealer network by the same manufacturer under the brand name Secure Spa by Bathaid. Cleaning surface is gel-coat….read more.

Best Bath  Caldwell ID, USA, pricing is in US funds and cleaning surface is gel-coat… more.