Great Saunas Beware Great Saunas - After 9 months my Sauna STILL doesn't work Waterloo Ontario
We wanted a home sauna for relaxation and health. Instead, after ordering from Great Saunas, after 9 MONTHS all we have is empty pockets and a sauna that STILL DOESN'T WORK!
We ordered the Elite Sauna Kit from Great Saunas back in early December of 2007. We then paid extra for two custom doors; upgraded to the Saunacore Special Edition Sauna Heater; and upgraded to a Saunacore Mercuri Digital Electronic Control Panel. Great Saunas was very helpful - all the way up to the time when they got our money.
First, the sauna didn't ship on time. After weeks of waiting (and having to pay our contractor to stay on the job), we started to call every day. That's when the excuses and problems started. They told us that our sauna had already shipped, but after another few weeks went by we were eventually told that the sauna actually hadn't shipped because the doors had not been built. They lied. And we had to call almost every day before it even shipped. DELAY: over 1 month. FRUSTRATION LEVEL: High.
We should have canceled our order after all that, but we really wanted a sauna.
When it finally arrived - now almost 2 months after we had ordered the sauna - parts were missing, and the extra wood we ordered (and were charged for) was nowhere to be seen. The doors were poorly made: uneven, with splintering wood and they didn't even fit the frame. We decided to have our contractor fix them rather than hassling the company. We were still hopeful and excited about relaxing in our sauna.
Then the major problems started. The sauna heater they gave us made such a loud, high-pitched screeching noise that we couldn't be in the room while the sauna heater was on, making it impossible to take a sauna. Our electricians had never heard of this happening, and so we called the sauna maker, Saunacore, for help. They were hostile and rude, and eventually told us we needed to buy another contactor for $225.
When it finally arrived and we installed it, the sauna STILL made the horrible screeching noise. Not surprisingly, Saunacore would not allow me to return the screeching contactor because of their strict no-return policy. TIME ELAPSED: 4 months. FRUSTRATION LEVEL: Inching up higher.
The electricians came almost 25 times! to try to get the sauna to work, running new wires and moving the contactor completely out of the sauna room in an effort to get a usable sauna. By now, the sauna heater had burned the wall behind it, melted vents shut, and melted a heat sensor. IT STILL DIDN'T WORK. The Saunacore heater would get up to temperature and then the Saunacore Mercuri Digital Controller would go blank or display some random error. TIME ELAPSED: 9 months. FRUSTRATION LEVEL: Off the charts.
We tried calling Great Saunas and Saunacore. Great Saunas said they were not responsible because they didn't make the sauna controller. After 3 weeks of runaround, Saunacore said the problem was not covered by the warrantee, and they'd have to charge us to fix the controller. We paid. And several weeks later when we got it back and hooked it up, it didn't work.
We called Great Saunas again for help. They said it must be wired incorrectly and to hire a new electrician. We did. He said it was wired 100% correctly.
Called Great Saunas again and asked to buy a new Saunacore Mercuri Digital Electronic Control Panel, hoping this would solve our problems. Suddenly the price of a Control Panel jumped from $225 to $498. We tried calling Great Saunas every day to find out how the price jumped; they ignored us. Finally, after 5 weeks and pleading with the owner's wife, the owner, Jack, got on the phone and proceeded to yell at us and said he never quoted $225. After a lot of yelling, he finally agreed to sell and ship it to us at a cost of $285.
You know how it goes. We got the Control Panel, and it didn't work. The second electrician came back, and after examining the control panel found that the contact points weren't even aligned under the buttons. It was defective.
At this point we had spent almost $4,000 in parts and electricians, and the sauna still didn't work. We called a local sauna company who took pity on us and agreed to send their electrician out.
The good news: he verified that the sauna was wired correctly - the 3rd electrician to do so.
The bad news: Our Saunacore Special Edition Sauna Heater was a cheap knock-off, probably from China. We had come dangerously close to burning our house down because of the heater. And the Control Panel wasn't UL rated. He suggested we call a lawyer.
TIME ELAPSED: Almost 1 year. FRUSTRATION LEVEL: Off the charts. We were out of money and crying.
We still don't have a working sauna. We're waiting for our local sauna company to deliver a new heater. And we're out almost $7,000 and a lot of stress because of all this.
DO NOT BUY anything from GREAT SAUNAS or SAUNACORE!
Portsmouth, New HampshireU.S.A.