After using Oakworks massage tables for the last eight years, Hawaiian Experience Spa says it will not be using them in its new Goodyear, Arizona spa due to a significant deterioration of quality and durability in the Oakworks Nova massage table line. The spa will also be replacing all existing Oakworks massage tables over the next six months.
Mike Ibach, President of Hawaiian Experience Spa, says the spa began using Oakworks tables in 2006 and continued to purchase them through the beginning of 2014. However, starting with orders placed in 2011 the spa has noticed a difference in the materials used in construction of the tables, especially the vinyl covering. Several tables purchased by the spa, which does more Hawaiian lomi lomi massages per year than any spa in the continental United States, began to degrade with oil penetrating and destroying the surface of the tables. According to Mr. Ibach, Oakworks initially covered the damaged tables under its warranty and replaced them at no cost. That all changed over the past year.
In July of 2014, Kelly Thomas, a “Quality Care Specialist” with Oakworks told the spa that their massage tables would no longer be covered under warranty for oil penetration. By this time the spa was experiencing issues with all of the tables it had purchased since 2011, while tables purchased prior to that year were still in use and were experiencing no issues.
Despite this, the CEO of Oakworks, Jeffrey Riach, said in an email that, “We have not changed our fabric since around 2003.” He also stated that “they (Hawaiian Experience Spa) have received good service from the tables for what they have paid” and that oil penetration is not a manufactures’ defect and would not be covered under the warranty.
The emails from Mr. Riach were forwarded to Mr. Ibach by the Western Regional Sales Manager for Oakworks, Chris Kofroth, because the Mr. Riach refused to speak directly to Mr. Ibach. Mr. Kofroth expressed his surprise and dismay at the remarks of his boss, and felt that it was a mistake for Oakworks not to stand behind its products.
However, Mr. Riach comments do not reflect reality, according to Mr. Ibach:
“Our newer Oakworks massage tables are clearly made from a different fabric then those purchased prior to 2011. We went as far as dissecting both an older and a newer Oakworks massage table and found the fabric to be completely different and at least 30% lighter in the newer tables. I have been told by a former executive of Oakworks that they did change its manufacturing in 2011 and Oakworks massage tables are now made in China and that Mr. Riach’s claims that the fabric has not changed are false. I think it is deplorable that a business would let its product deteriorate to such an extent while denying the fact and not standing behind its product. Therefore, Hawaiian Experience Spa will no longer use any Oakworks products and recommends all day spas and massage therapists consider using other products, especially if they provide Hawaiian lomi lomi massages.”
When asked what the spa will be using, Mr. Ibach said that spa is currently testing a variety of tables and will make a decision soon on a replacement for Oakworks.