With the availability of the internet, today’s consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips prior to making a “big ticket item” purchase. The contemporary smart shopper would not dare step onto an automobile dealership showroom floor to buy a vehicle without first conducting extensive research on quality, reliability, selection and price. Salespersons are all too eager to take advantage of a buyer who has not taken the time to thoroughly investigate all of their options prior to making a purchase. The same holds true for ionic foot bath purchases. Choosing the wrong model, the wrong manufacturer or the wrong seller can have negative consequences not only on your pocket book, but also on your health. Here are 10 critical questions to consider prior to purchasing a detox foot bath:
1. Where is the unit manufactured? Foot baths manufactured in America have proven to be more reliable and of better quality than those made overseas. In addition, it is easier to contact manufacturers in the U.S. for customer service and warranty issues. Ask to see an owner’s manual for the product prior to purchasing. Is the English broken and the grammar poor? This could be a sign of a company claiming the product is made in the U.S. when it is merely resold unit form a toy factory in China.
2. Does the unit have a warranty? A warranty of at least one year is recommended. Any company that requires additional money for a 2 year or more warranty is attempting to make you pay for their possible costs during the extension period.
3. What is the cost of ownership? Every ionic foot bath on the market has consumable products that have to be replaced. Whether it is the entire array or the metal plates, liners for the tub, etc. The cost of replacing these items should be a major issue to consider for the buyer. Here are some tips to consider regarding cost of ownership:
· How is the array constructed? Wire arrays wear out quickly and should be avoided. Make sure the array setup is not complicated, and that components are easily replaced. Most of the block and sphere arrays are extremely frustrating to reassemble.
· How long does the array last? The array should last a minimum of 40 sessions. Some of disposable Chinese "cheese grater" arrays often do not last as long as advertised. Throwing away the entire assembly is also bad for the enviorment.
· Calculate the cost per session. Find out how much the consumable parts cost from the manufacturer. $50 or $60 for two arrays sounds like a good deal, but often ends up more expensive. Look for units that have a cost per session of $1 or less.
4. Do different array designs produce different results? The process in the foot bath which produces ionization is called electrolysis. Electrolysis is a defined electro-chemical reaction. All of the detox foot baths that operate properly produce the same ionization result. Any claims made by a manufacturer regarding making more negative or positive ions, or being a “dual polarity” unit is actually basic, almost all quality units change polarity. The 60/40 70/30 50/50 polarity shifts are basically a function of the size of the plates in the array. Fundamentally, you need the array to be cost effective, for parts to be easy to replace and be easy to sanitize.
5. How is the array sanitized between uses? If the ionizing components are hidden in a plastic enclosure, they cannot be sanitized easily. You risk transmitting biological material from one person to another if you are unable to remove the debris from the array easily between sessions. Complicated plate designs and the "cheese grater" and "wire wrapped" enclosures are to be avoided. An open array design provides the best option for optimum sanitation.
6. Is there a return policy? If there is an issue that necessitates returning a unit, the auction resellers will often refer you to the manufacturer located overseas, or they will play the “all sales are final” card. Either way, you get stuck with a unit that didn’t meet your expectations, or simply doesn’t work. Most reputable companies will offer a return policy, and may even extend that time frame to allow you to feel the benefit of a detox foot bath before deciding to keep the unit.
7. Does the manufacturer have a phone? Manufacturers who do not have a phone should be avoided. The online auction (eBay, etc.) type distributors have limited capabilities to provide service after the sale. If you can not contact the manufacturer directly, receiving help on warranty and customer service issues will be virtually impossible.
8. Does the manufacturer ANSWER the phone? Companies with an endless maze of phone menus, multiple numbers or who utilize an answering machine to screen their calls can be unreliable. If your questions can not be answered and your warranty issues resolved by an actual person, take your business elsewhere.
9. Should safety be a major concern? There are basic components and certifications that should be demanded by the consumer for an ionic footbath. A GFCI, UL listed power supply, FCC compliance (when applicable) and RoHS certifications are obligatory. “Safety charts” and other scare tactics on websites is simply advertising attempting to pull you towards their product. The reality is there have been no reported injuries from any ionic footbath since they became available in the 1990’s. However, it is important to note that many units manufactured overseas seem to have poor production quality and can cause issues, particularly regarding the use of lead in manufacturing. As stated previously, American made units is a minimum requirement for consideration.
10. Does the color in the water matter? In the early days of detox foot baths, practioners began to see the color and materials in the water which varied from person to person. They also saw some of the same types of debris in different color combinations. The assumptions made by the practioners that the colors represented the toxins being pulled out of the feet are understandable, and this seems to have stayed the industry’s standard explanation. However, the facts are that toxins are not extracted through the bottom of your feet as claimed. Feet are used because they provide a large surface area of pores for the absorption of negative hydrogen ions, which provides the detoxifying benefits of an ionic foot bath. It is also much more comfortable than placing your hands, face or entire body in the water for an extended period of time. Beware of companies that still hold to the outdated “color charts” and its claims.
Keep these 10 questions and their answers in mind while considering your ionic footbath purchase. Remember, the cheapest price does not always make for the best buying experience.
If you have questions regarding this information, please contact us or give us a call at 1-888-836-0019.
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