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Rainbow / terrible product

1 United States Review updated:
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We purchased our playset 4 years ago and it looks like complete ***. It has mould all over the rubber parts, the wood is rotting and my kids won’t go near it.

Rainbow says this is normal wear and that I need to clean it weekly with Simple Green cleaner. Can you believe this crap? I am supposed to go clean the playset that is in my back yard weekly? It is supposed to have a lifetime warranty and is already falling apart. The Simple Green cleaner does nothing and the local dealer here is not helpful and could care less at our dissatisfaction with this expensive product we so stupidly bought. Don’t buy a playset with this company, they suck and are constantly full of crap. Once they have your money, they could care less about you.

Va
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Comments

  • Rc
      24th of Jul, 2008
    +1 Votes

    My system is 2 years old and has rotted due to the way the installer with Rainbow installed the play system. I purchased my unit in 2006. I had it professionally installed by one of their installers. Well their installer decided to dig a 6 inch deep trench and place the tower unit intio it to level it. I was unaware of that the unit was placed into the ground until we scheduled a manintenance this summer 2008. The employee they sent to do the maintenance discovered this and brought it to my attention. The worker with Rainbow in Charlotte stated that this was the worst rot that he had seen on a 2 year old system. Rainbow said that the would cover the wood but not the install of the replacement pieces. They wanted another $400 to do the install. This is unacceptable. The unit would not have rotted if it would have been place on top of the ground. The bottom of the posts on the tower, the bottom of the lower walls, the bottom of the ladder, and the bottom of the climbing wall have rotted. We have consulted our attorney. As of today Rainbow has not agreed to cover the install of the replacement pieces. All I want is them to cover the parts and install due to the rot problem being caused by the way their employee installed the unit.

  • Sw
      8th of Mar, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I realize this post/complaint was from a year ago- however, I felt I needed to say something here. Our family has recently purchased a "Demo" unit from the closest dealer to us in Washington State. Since the unit was not brand new- we ran inot a thing here and there that was not acceptable; even for a demo. The installer was professional, courteous, and VERY helpful in solving these issues. He was informed and listened to our concerns. The dealer worked with us every step of the way! We had a very postitve experience with customer service and warranty claims.

    It all depends on the attitude of the individual dealer and his employees (subcontracted or otherwise). It's the same as if you buy a Chevy truck and get lousy service from the local dealer/shop... unfortunately, it is a "reflection" on Chevy- BUT it does not necessarily mean that ALL Chevy dealers are that way. In the situation of the family above~ I feel for them. However, for other potential buyers out there... Rainbow Play Sets are worth every penny! They are solid and something that the entire family can do together... not just watch. I loved the idea that I (not exactly a small person) can get up in the tower with my girls and read them a story if I wish... Or I can swing with them. You can't do that with the smaller sets you get from Wal-Mart, etc... I also like the idea that they are USA made. (Realizing that the plastic parts (swing seats, etc) are more than likely imported).

    When it's all said and done~ trust your gut. If the salesperson seems pushy or not-so-truthful~ then don't buy from them. And if there is no choice then make it clear from the beginning that YOU are aware of the product and are not a pushover.

    Rainbow Playsets are expensive and should be top-notch quality, which for the most part they are. Once cannot expect to have an "outdoor" wooden structure not need some cleaning. That is sort of naive and silly to think. Follow the manufacturer instructions and use common sense.

  • Jo
      11th of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    We have a Rainbow system. I had it moved from one spot in my yard to the another. We moved several later and Rainbow moved and reinstalled the play system. I've had Rainbow check bolts/screws and had them clean and stain. about 3 times since I bought it . We bought this system in 2001. We have been very happy with the system and staff at our Nashville Rainbow systems. They are always professional from the showroom to installation.

    Recently I noticed a lean to the swing and called Rainbow to get their advice and the Rainbow staff came out the next day. Two employees went over the system from top to bottom. This system gets a lot of wear from the kids and adults so the lean was not too surprising. After the check up, the professionals at Rainbow let me know that they would have to replace some wooden parts due to carpenter bee infestation and ants.

    I appreciate the kindness and professionalism and their concern for safety. Now, we are waiting for replacement parts and will be good as new.

    Sincerely,

    Joann S.
    Nashville, TN

  • Ch
      18th of Jun, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I got gaffled by rainbow play systems in northern california (martinez, ca) also, spending over $5k and the wear and tear was extreme after a year. They want to charge you almost $1k to keep it looking well but I would have been better off purchasing a structure at Costco. The product is crappy and so is the service.

    Disgusted and Dissatified Customer,

    Yvonne

  • Ja
      5th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have owned our rainbow play set for 6 years now. We LOVE it! We got a huge one and all the kids in the neighborhood call it "James' Park". We have it professionally stained, tightened, basically maintained, every other year. This year the subcontractor that usually does it couldn't get it done in the time I needed - so I did it myself. Very easy - I did have to sand a few areas and then applied the stain with rubber gloves and a staining sponge.

    I have my 2 children help with the "cleaning" of it. They have to sweep off the leaves and windex down the rubber parts about 3 times a summer. (Opening, Mid & Closing). The yellow parts are the WORST and I agree that rainbow needs to deal with that. Painful to clean and for me it does not come out perfect. I have to make 3 passes ...first a bathroom mildew cleaner ... get big pieces off ... then a good kitchen spray ...gets another pass at it and then bleach and water. But it is never perfect - but the kids can play on it. As I am writing this... I am wondering if goo off will work ... I am going to try that next.

    The goal for me is to keep this playset in good shape and resell it later as used to some other family that can enjoy it as much as we are.

  • St
      24th of Mar, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Ours is moldy and falling apart only after a few years. I called to get a repalcement ladder that fell apart and was quoted over $350.00!!! The ladder is 7 pieces of wood cut and routed to size. Total material cost..about 10 bucks. Time to make, less than a hour, Rainbow charging $350.00, priceless.

  • Ra
      1st of Jul, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I have had my Rainbow play system for about three years now!! It looks terrible. After just one year the tarp came off, I called up to the store and asked them to put it back on and they wanted for me to pay $150.00 for it. The wood is fading and overall the product is not as good as they had you believing when we first bought it. It is a rip off so don't purchase it.

  • Mu
      5th of Jul, 2011
    +1 Votes

    i have had a less than stellar experience with the rainbow swing set i bought 2 years ago. the wood is warping badly and causing the swings to swing very crooked. the materials just didn't hold up well. the yellow handles have a black mold that is impossible to get off. my kids dont want to go near it. would never purchase this brand again.

  • Nt
      8th of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    We had a similar experience to the one above...Rainbow refuses to honor a warranty and told me my play set was not maintained. The unit was professionally installed...they dug into the ground and placed it there. I was unable to see that the wood was rotting an unable to seal that part of the play set. I have followed all other maintenance instructions in the manual. Sealing and staining is not required per my warranty papers or maintenance instructions...either way, the pieces that rotted were the ones installed in the ground. Rainbow refuses to honor the warranty, told me "overall" it was not maintained, so they would not replace it. I asked how I should have sealed wood that was in the ground and they had no answer besides that they assumed I did not seal the other part of the play set, so because of that they would not honor the wood I could not treat...huh? I don't quite understand that...plus there is a clause that states if they install it improperly and or cause the damage they will replace it...good luck! Overpriced for false warranty ... And very rude customer service ... By customer service I am referring to the main rainbow line. Would never by another one and will warn as many people as i can not to buy one! I guess I should have taken the play set completely apart each year so I could add sealer to the buried part and all other parts that touch the ground... Maybe they would have honored the warranty then? Yeah right...don't waste your money! They come up with every excuse they can think of to not honor the fabulous warren they offer and promote...best in the business...best in the business for false advertisement!

  • Ma
      27th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is amazing. I cannot believe the number of dissatisfied customers. The interesting thing is contrasting with those that have had a good experience with Rainbow. Buying this product seems like a total hit or miss. I bought one yesterday, but, after reading the incredible number of bad reviews from not one, but two, separate websites I'm going to cancel my order first thing in the morning. They are simply far too expensive to take the risk. There are numerous other companies that don't have a fraction of the poor reviews I've read for Rainbow.

  • Di
      5th of Feb, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Where do I start!!!
    We paid over $10, 000 for our set.
    That was 5 years ago, the system has been
    Sealed every year. We are so dissatisfied !!
    It has rotted so bad, the whole entire system!!
    When you purchase this, they make you believe
    It is durable...we too cleaned and maintained
    Our unit, however it is an expensive piece of
    Crap!!! Will never purchase from this company
    They are horrible to deal with, I'm thinking about
    Suing them. The product I bought is not the one
    I received!!! Save yourself a ton of money and a
    Headache. Also what freaks me out the most is
    Saturday was our twin sons party, the following
    Monday the 20 inch double 2 by 4's that connect
    The ramp to the upper level, not the top, fell
    Off. I just keep thinking that could have killed
    One of my friends children or my own...very scary!!!
    When I contacted them it was the same line, they
    Want photo's to send you a new board. What about
    The whole playset! The quality is not there, unfortunately
    The rot starts from the center, you will not know
    Until the whole thing rotts.

    Dissatisfied in LA

  • Bo
      11th of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    I will add my issue. My rainbow set is the type with the monkey bars where the swings are suspended from one side of the monkey bars. I had one issue where the wooden components rotted and started to separate. I contacted recreation umlimited of noblesville indiana about the warranty. They did agree to submit a claim to replace the materials but I of course had to wait 2 months for the replacement wood and pay them for the labor. What happened next is what makes me angry. My daughter was outside on one of the swings when two of the bolts sheared off and the entire set began to collapse on top of her. Fortunately the upper part caught as it fell and did not completely collapse on top of her. So far Rainbow has denied warranty coverage and blamed me for not staining the wood. Keep in mind the parts that failed were replace about a year earlier by them and I paid for them for the labor. Also keep in mind that the failure is metal hardware so there is nothing that applying stain the wood will do to protect hardware.

  • No
      14th of Feb, 2012
    +2 Votes

    I purchased a Rainbow Playset for my children with the expectation that this was a better playset with a lifetime warranty. The set has rotted wood and insect damage in many different areas. Rainbow does not tell you that in order to have your rotted wood replaced under their warranty, you will incur a shipping charge of $343 to get your items. The company will not replace your warranty item without prepayment of $343 for shipping. Clearly this is a deterrent for most people who would otherwise want their expensive playset to be repaired.

    I am willing to pick up the items myself from the store where I purchased the swingset, but they will only warranty with a $343 payment. DO NOT BUY with the expectation that this set will last and have any warranty. The company will not accept delivery of your parts at their warehouse in Parsippany NJ on a truck combined with their other orders. The company will not offer to charge you a proportionate shipping rate for the number of pounds in your order at the same rate as the total trucking shipment. Their "warranty" is a profit center for them, not a warranty for you as the customer. Also, their customer service is only available on Mondays and Tuesdays, so if you have an order on a Tuesday, it takes a week to get an answer.

    The rep at the parsippany store does not provide a phone number for Rainbow directly to have your issue resolved. AVOID THIS COMPANY
    If they make good on their warranty, I will amend this review.

  • St
      11th of Mar, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Yep, Here in Olathe, KS we bought one for about 4 grand brand new. It was great at first but then the yellow plastic covered rails became all gunky and sticky. NOTHING could clean them. It was like pulling teeth to get those pieces replaced. We had to send pictures, have people come out, etc... It was quite the run around. They finally reluctantly replaced my parts, BUT I HAD TO do the installation. The plastic add ons like the parascope and binoculars lasted about 2 years and the sun just destroyed them. The tarp just got ripped up in a wind storm 2 weeks ago. I knew the tarp would be out of warranty so I called to price a new one. 240 bucks!!! WTF rainbow? Really? Thats robbery. Went to Lowes and bought supplies to make it a wood roof for 110 bucks.
    In hind sight I would not buy another. Its better then the ones you get at Sams or Costco but NOT 3 grand better. It would not be bad IF THEY HONORED their warrenty. However these seem to be franchises and most individual owners are really stingy with what they will do for you despite the "lifetime Warranty".

  • Tx
      3rd of Apr, 2012
    +3 Votes

    I bought my carnival clubhouse from Houston dealer of Rainbow play system on Sam Houston tollway. I found this company and its dealer in Houston dishonest in dealing with their customer's warranty request. They would use a number of excuses to deny the "lifetime warranty" - they tried "act of God", when that can't be proved, they switch to "Customer's neglect". You see that you have to seal the wood "regularly" and clean it "regularly" to qualify. Even if you did that, they may still deny warranty for neglect because you didn't do it "often enough" for your "local weather condition". Their dealer will tell you that Rainbow play set cost much more than other similar products because rainbow's wood part are factory sealed and has lifetime warranty against wood rot and even insect damage. But that's just a bunch of lies. The rainbow's wood parts suffers weather damage easily in Houston's weather even though I sealed them every 2 years and kept them free of mildews. Rainbow's warranty lady in S. Dakota said that "it should be sealed every 12 months". If You did that, what's keeping her from changing it to "every 6 months "? The customers can't win in that game.
    If you don't want to be ripped off, don't buy Rainbow play systems. You can buy a similar play set at SAMs club or Costco or big box stores for 1/4 of the price or less. That means you can afford to throw away a set every 3-4 years and get a new one for the same price of a rainbow set until you kids out grow it.

  • Un
      29th of Jun, 2012
    0 Votes

    We were smart enough to build our own wood structure after looking at the units they had as their display, but we did buy their accessories. What a huge mistake! The yellow handrails and monkey bar rungs are gross, they have black sticky stuff and are all blistered. I have tried every cleaning product recommended to clean them. Nothing works. The kids won"t touch them because they are so gross, how safe is that. Rainbow has said because we did not buy the whole unit there was no warranty on the accessories. Buyer PLEASE BEWARE!!!

  • Tx
      1st of Aug, 2012
    0 Votes

    Bought a Sunshine Clubhouse (now model 30B) in early summer 2005. It included the elevated clubhouse with tarp roof, picnic table, ramp, scoop slide, two swings, rope swing, etc. Spent a bit over $3000. The design is excellent. Had it installed by the local area dealer - great job. Within a couple of months the toy binoculars were so damaged by exposure they were no longer of interest to the kids. After about 3 years the scoop slide cracked badly and the tarp roof began to fail. At the 5 year mark all wood in contact with the ground was showing serious rot, the picnic table seating was too rotted to be safe as seating for small children, the clubhouse decking was rotting and collapsing under load, and the entire structure was showing early signs of structural weakness.

    The warranty reads well until you dig deep enough to appreciate what is really covered if you wish to make a claim. RPS will provide the part, you pay the shipping (not cheap), and then you install or pay to have it installed. If I wanted to replace the rotted wood, the entire system would have to be disassembled as the main uprights (six 4 x 4 pieces) were becoming well rotted from the soil level.

    While we considered replacing the entire system, I began to selectively disassemble the original unit!. Much to my dismay I found the rot to be far more extensive than I previously thought:. Even more alarming was the extent of corrosion of many of the critical fasteners that held the structure together -- through-wood carriage bolts were badly corroded and distorted from load torsion, and many of the lag screws in the structure were so badly corroded that they snapped when removal was attempted. The entire system was unsafe and had to be scrapped..

    What looked good in the beginning has proved to be far less robust than expected. The fasteners are not durable over a reasonable expected lifetime. The rate of wood decay was much greater than anticipated, and greater than what I have enjoyed from locally sourced pressure treated lumber installed in the same environment The warranty is really a joke (shipping of the wood pieces costs more than the price of new treated wood). Based on our experience, I would suggest a reasonable expected lifetime of 5 years before the system becomes unsafe for children. You may be able to extend that with some increased effort and expenditure for annual maintenance (expect to spend $400-$500 per year).

    If you buy a system be sure to inspect it closely and carefully at least annually for safety. Include in this removing and inspecting about 20-30% of the through-wood carriage bolts and nuts for corrosion. Do not attempt to remove any of the lag screws - they tend to snap if corroded, and you'll never be able to reinstall one that has snapped.

  • Kc
      30th of Nov, 2013
    0 Votes

    I bought one of the Castles collection a few years back. A few of the pieces were starting to warp, and a few more were splintering on the floor of the tower. My son wound up with several splinters because of this. I am in Afghanistan for work, and could not be there to repair, so we contacted Rainbow. The staff was very friendly and apologetic, but it kept taking longer and longer to get responses. I finally called them myself, explained to the manager what all had transpired, and explained that if the play set was not fixed by time I got home for my son's birthday party, I would personally go to their showroom, remove the parts I needed from their demo, and fix my set that way! The parts showed up a week later. I argued the point of having to pay for install, but that was the only way they would still "warranty" it. I have never sealed or stained mine. There is no rot, but the bigger boards do separate some. The yellow bars do turn black, but a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cleans them right up!! I also use them on the slide and tarp. Works great! If you stay on top of cleaning it regularly with the erasers, I'm sure there wouldn't be so many complaints. I can only clean mine once every six months because of my job, unless I want to pay someone else to do it. We love our set. We've had myself, my wife, my son, brother in law, sister in law and their daughter, the boy next door and the little girl from the other next door, ALL on it at the same time. We were happy enough with it that several months ago, we purchased one of their trampolines for my son. Again, we had four adults with 3 or more children on it at the same time, and had a blast. I am in no way a spokes person for Rainbow, and trust me, I have my complaints. Some times you have to let them know you are willing to take things into your own hands, and not just bark over the phone or email!

  • Mi
      3rd of Oct, 2014
    0 Votes

    This company is horrible to deal with. Bridget and candy are rude and unhelpful. My product is defective and they are asking me for an additional $300 to fix it. The metal is rusted and dangerous for my children to use

  • Ru
      13th of Nov, 2014
    0 Votes

    Beware of the "lifetime warranty."
    I wish I read the reviews before we spent $5, 000 on this set.
    Was not used very much but it deteriorated quickly.

    The product is not only bad, but when you need the warranty, they will tell you that you neglected the set and the "instructions clearly state that you need to take care of it."
    So, if it sounds to be too good, it probably is.
    I sent photos of the set and that was enough for them to deny the warranty. Bummer.

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