Spa covers of thick rigid foam gradually get waterlogged and cave in, like mine did. So when I saw an ad for an innovative design at SpaCap.com, I got interested. The Spa Cap is essentially a large air bladder enclosed in a couple of layers of heavy-duty marine vinyl, so it sounds like a promising product.
It is not. Its insulation qualities are close to nil, and worse, the company's got the worst customer service this side of Attila the Hun.
I bought a Spa Cap, and after watching the company's online instructional video, I installed the cover appropriately. From that day, our electric bill skyrocketed. During the previous year, when we used a foam cover, our electric bill averaged $100 per month. With the SpaCap in place, our first month bill was $177, the second was $362, and the third, $571!
Of course, I turned off the tub and phoned SpaCap. I left several messages and then e-mails, and never got a response. I finally reached a woman in SpaCap's office, having possibly caught her off guard. She listened to me and asked me to send them a photo of the installation. I did that the same day, waited a week, and then began calling and e-mailing once again. Finally I reached the same woman. She told me the company's president had concluded I hadn't tacked the cover down with enough fasteners, and he'd already shipped me more fasteners. I'm glad I didn't wait by my mailbox.
I returned the cover to SpaCap, enclosing a request for a refund under the warranty, which covers workmanship and materials for three years. Since it didn't insulate worth a fig, it wasn't a genuine spa cover, so was completely defective. As you might guess, I heard nothing further from them.
If you go to SpaCap's website, a subpage, "R-Factor Testing Results," offers data on the product's insulation capability. The study, done by Dr. H.F.Poppendiek of Geoscience Ltd. of San Diego, CA, seems to suggest that the SpaCap provides about ten times more insulation capability than a rigid foam cover. But if you read it carefully, it's actually incomprehensible.
So I wrote to Dr. Poppendiek, asking what the story was. He replied that something was radically wrong with the information on SpaCap's website. It was not in conformance, he said, with the technical data Geoscience Ltd. supplied. Dr. Poppendiek wrote, "I'm not sure whether someone at SpaCap doesn't understand the data or whether my findings are being misrepresented."
Why did that not surprise me?
The Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/western-washington/business-reviews/spas-and-hot-tubs-supplies-and-parts/spacapcom-in-lynden-wa-13025291#ratingdetails) gives SpaCap.com the grade of F, their lowest rating. The BBB says there were 41 complaints filed against the company, which failed to resolve or even respond to a significant number of the complaints.
If you Google "spa cap," you'll find websites such as www.doityourself.com, which feature numerous other extremely negative reviews such as mine.
In sum, SpaCap's product is lousy and may actually be fraudulent, and their customer skills are even worse.