top of page

Deceptive Marketing & Warranty Exclusions

Updated: Jun 30

Business practices in the high-end cold plunge industry are a mess. So, we're going to fix it.


Summary

  • In the last five years since Morozko sold the first commercially-available ice bath that makes its own ice, a proliferation of new cold plunge and ice bath equipment retailers have entered the growing market -- and their claims are increasingly outrageous.

  • The rapid growth of the industry has attracted bad actors, rewarded deceptive marketing practices, and exploitative business models, giving the entire industry a bad reputation.

  • To help consumers sort through the more expensive brands, Morozko prepare a 29-page report documenting warranty and refund/return policies in the industry. The results were surprising.

  • To motivate increased transparency, better business practices, inform consumer choices, and discourage irresponsible claims, Morozko will partner with scientists, medical professionals, customers advocates, and other cold plunge and ice bath manufacturers to own and maintain the Warranty Report, hold an annual cold plunge research conference, and to guide and present the latest cold plunge research.


Rapid Growth in the Cold Plunge Industry

Morozko sold its first ice bath in January 2019. The buyer was functional bodybuilder Jerame Mudick, who had already trained with Wim Hof, and wanted a Morozko Forge so he could practice every day in his own backyard in Arizona.


Jerame has since turned his passion for cold plunge therapy into an expanding wellness business in Mesa AZ called Re|Connect.


Jerame chose well to integrate cold plunge into his wellness model. According to Google Trends, searches for "cold plunge" have grown by more than fifty times in the last five years. Searches for "ice bath" have about tripled, as Joe Rogan, Ben Greenfield, Mike Mutzel, and other celebrities have been documenting their experiences with their Morozko.



By 2023, it seemed a new cold plunge company was entering the market every day. Most of them advertised on social media that they had just invented the ultimate, revolutionary, innovative, breakthrough cold-plunge-to-end-all-cold-plunges machine, despite the fact that they were all buying the same chiller and attaching to the same plastic tub, bath tub, or inflatable toy tub. None of them were reputable, and it seemed like they were all named something like Polar Monkey Arctic Ice Pod, or some combination of these. For the most part, they competed against one another on price, in a race to see who could spend the most on advertising outlandish, incredible, unsupported claims.


Morozko ignored them.


Complaints About Cold Plunge Warranty Policies

Recently we've been hearing from more and more customers who bought expensive cold plunges from what they thought were reputable equipment providers, only to find out later that:

  • Warranties typically exclude the cost of shipping and replacing defective parts, requiring customers with broken pumps, filters, chillers, or leaky pipes to hire a plumber or electrician at their own expense to fix manufacturing and design defects.

  • Although advertisements picture the cold plunge installed outdoors, or in commercial settings, using the product as advertised invalidates all warranty coverage whatsoever.

  • Some manufacturers do not accept returns at all, while others require 25% restocking fees.


These bad business practices were news to us. Since the beginning, Morozko has backed our ice baths with a 30-day unconditional, ecstatic guarantee that promises a 100% refund of your purchase price if for any reason a customer regrets their purchase. Our warranty is longer and more comprehensive than any other in the business, and for our business customers we offer a 72-hr on-site service guarantee.


We discovered that our Warranty & Return Policy was so out of step with industry practices that we began to wonder if maybe we were doing something wrong. After all, we've spent more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars the last two years alone travelling to customer sites to fix, upgrade, repair, and investigate warranty claims, performance complaints, and understand how to improve Morozko. We figured that offering a robust warranty was the best way to encourage conversations with customers that would make Morozko better. For example:


  • In the winter of 2020-2021, more than a dozen units installed in cold climates outdoors experienced catastrophic failure of their pumps during cold weather, when the filtration was turned off and the pumps froze solid. We replaced the damaged pumps and learned to install heat wrap that heats the pump in cold weather, so that now we know our water systems will perform well at -10F for up to ten straight hours.

  • We experienced dozens of weathered lids that proved our wood finishes could not withstand direct sun and rain over extended periods of time. We replaced those lids, tested new materials and finishes, and instructed out customers to shelter their Morozko from direct sun and precipitation.

  • A series of supply chain disruptions resulted in poor quality freezer components that sometimes wore out too quickly, and other times failed altogether. We replaced those components at our customer sites, redesigned our system to make it more robust and efficient, and changed our suppliers.


At every turn, we sought to enlist our customers as partners in improvement of the product and service, and even after five years we felt like we still had a lot of room for further improvements.


However, the complaints we were getting about our competitors, and the posts that frustrated cold plunge consumers were putting up on Reddit caused us to look more closely at our competitors' warranty policies, Terms of Service, and refund/return policies.


What we discovered shocked us.


The deceptive marketing, neglectful customer service, and in some cases, outright lies that currently plague the high-end cold plunge equipment marketplace are giving the entire industry a bad reputation. We compiled a 29 page report, documenting the major abuses in the industry, and included a description of our practices at Morozko, too.


Cold Plunge Research Institute

You can download the full Cold Plunge Equipment Warranty Report.pdf (Kitchen & Seager 2024) to read it all for yourself, including screenshots that show the discrepancies, inconsistencies, and exploitative policies and practices that currently dominate the industry.


And then we took another step.


Instead of publishing the report under the auspices of Morozko Forge, LLC it became clear that we needed an objective, 3rd-party non-profit entity that would be separate from Morozko and supported backed by Universities, medical professionals, customers, and honest cold plunge equipment manufacturers to serve as an objective guide for otherwise confused consumers. So we initiated the Cold Plunge Research Institute (CPRI) and decided that this new institute would own and maintain the report.


CPRI has retained a non-profit attorney to complete the official 501c3 non-profit application in the United States. It has invited Desert Plunge (Phoenix AZ) and Ice Bath Works (Toronto ONT), as well as scientists, doctors, and practitioners from around the world to serve on a founding Board of Directors. It will host an annual Cold Plunge Research Conference that will publish and present new knowledge related to cold plunge and ice bath experiences without becoming a trade show, and advertisement, or a circus of ego-centric self promoters.


The conference will be in late June 2025 in Phoenix AZ. Although the hottest city in N. America on the longest days of the year might not be an attractive prospect to many, the conference will succeed financially if only a couple hundred people decide to come. It will feature scientists who present the results of clinical trials, medical professionals who present treatment protocols and patient case studies, small business panels that discuss what works (and doesn't) in the burgeoning business of cold plunge and thermal contrast spas, and it will be open to the public so they can have direct access to the best new knowledge related to cold plunge therapy.


The conference will help sort through the cacophony of social media claims so that consumers can hear directly from the sources that posses real expertise. It will provide a forum for people to share their own protocols, practices, and success stories so that others might replicate them with confidence that what worked for someone else in their condition might work for them, too.


In our view, by sharing these results and publishing more, the CPRI conference may be the best way to institute some order in an otherwise, chaotic, unpredictable, and increasingly irresponsible industry that nevertheless has the potential to help millions of people restore the natural, healthful condition they would likely choose for themselves if they were empowered to know how.


References



467 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios


bottom of page