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Sorry in advance for the length of this- I don't ever really post to this forum, but I lurk a lot. This issue really bothers me though and since this is where I first heard of DSS, this is where I felt it best to make my feelings known. I sent my wing in to DSS for repair last week and included this letter in the package:
xxx xxx xxx
xxx, xxx xxx
July 13, 2012
Deep Sea Supply
995 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, #B
Pasadena, California 91105
To whom it may concern:
Please find my enclosed DSS LCD 30 wing. While inspecting it I am sure you will notice that the fabric has pulled away from the plastic trim around the hole in the wing where the upper cam band would be located. Please note that the stitching in the plastic trim is still intact which leads me to believe that during manufacturing, the fabric of the wing may have slid out of the sewing machine and “missed” sewing the trim in place? This wing has been used on exactly 12 open water dives in fresh water. I am the original owner of the wing and don’t believe I have used or abused it in any manner which would be considered abusive.
This wing was purchased direct from DSS in June or July of 2008. I have used it for 6 dives in 2008, 4 dives in 2009 and 2 dives in 2012. It was in 2009 when I first noticed this problem (while the product was still under warranty), but due to a layoff I wasn’t able to afford diving and getting the wing fixed was honestly forgotten. The wing was carefully stored until 2 weeks ago when I took it out to do a “refresher” dive and was instantly reminded of the issue while removing it from storage. I am aware you have a 1 year warranty on your wings. Normally I wouldn’t ask for the accommodation, but given when I first noticed the damage, the limited use the wing has received and the overall lack of apparent wear, I was hoping you would be able to make an exception and repair it under warranty?
I don’t think this would create a substantial diving hazard, but I am concerned about it. I don’t know if this is something that will get worse as the wing is used more, but I was hoping to use it on my honeymoon at the beginning of August and don’t want to experience a problem while traveling!
Please inspect the wing and let me know what your thoughts are on the repair, whether it can be covered under warranty and (if not) an estimate of what the repair will cost. I am available on my cell phone (xxx-xxx-xxxx) at any time and can provide a credit card number if needed. I do need to have the repaired wing returned to me by 8/1/2012 at the very latest so I can use it on my upcoming honeymoon – I am prepared to pay for expedited shipping if necessary!
Thank you for making and supporting an awesome product – I look forward to hearing from you!
I was contacted on Friday and told that the repair would cost $10 in addition to shipping. I was in my car at the time and was unable to really talk or provide them with information so I called back this evening. I told Brian (the rep I spoke with) that I understood the conditions of their warranty- and pointed out how little use this wing has received, the lack of dirt, wear, fading or signs of abrasion, and the fact that the stitching requiring repair is still 100% intact over the 2" long area that pulled away from the trim. It's obviously a mfr defect that got missed in QC and I indicated to Brian how disappointed I was in being charged for the repair and that although I really do love the system and have recommended it to others in the past I would be unable to do so in the future and I would remember this when it came time to buy additional gear. Brian's response included "well, you can't make everyone happy all the time" something to the effect of "tell people, then they will know how reasonable our repair services are" and a suggestion that I was the one who damaged the wing in the first place (essentially calling me a liar)!
Now, normally I wouldn't bat an eye at $10- it's not going to make or break me anymore than it would DSS and really is downright reasonable for a justified repair. Because it is so cheap though I can't help but feel like this $10 charge for an obvious mfr defect is just plain... petty. Especially given the fact that this has now cost them a VERY satisfied customer, future potential word of mouth advertisement and bad publicity on the forums (where I first heard of DSS). 10$ hardly seems worth it vs. keeping a customer and avoiding public commentary like this. I understand charging people for the "pinch flats", tears to the fabric, wear due to abrasions, etc. - I get it and would happily pay for those kinds of repairs without complaint if needed... If I was told this repair would be $30 to cover time and materials, then OK, I blew it- bill me and lets get it done, but 10$..!? Really... I mean $10 REALLY?! How incredibly petty?!
I went ahead and paid the fee because I am leaving on vacation in 2 weeks and won't have time or money to get something else to use this time around. I can't help but not feel as good about supporting a DSS product as I did a week ago though... I may be acting just as petty as DSS by posting this over the $10, but I'm the customer! Aren't I the one who it's in their interest to keep happy? What do the rest of you think?
In support of my son and the brave men and women of the 3-17 Cavalry as they serve far from home. God bless and keep you.
Question of the day: Does God love me for some unexplained reason and blessed me with a wonderful wife - OR - Did God bless me with a wonderful wife and, therefore, has learned to love me for her sake?
You acknowledge that you understood their warranty. And would be ok with a $30 repair. Yet are upset over them cutting you a break and charging you ten? Someone has to take time to repair the wing. They may need to in fact make use of some materials to perform the fix. They are being more than generous in charging so little for a repair. Considering you neglected to have it done when it should have been.
$10...how much did the original wing cost? - You noticed the problem in 2009, while the wing was still under warranty. You admit yourself that you forgot about it and that it's now out of warranty. You say that you're okay with $30 but not $10. The $10 testing and repair could have easily been $50-$100. A free test/repair would have been justified three years ago, not now.
Originally Posted by chris0827
I may be acting just as petty as DSS by posting this over the $10, but I'm the customer! Aren't I the one who it's in their interest to keep happy? What do the rest of you think?
Sounds like another "customer is always right" person. For $10, you're trying to mar the reputation of a good company. I'm so glad I'm not in customer service, and I'm becoming a fan of Deep Sea Supply.
You are being petty, not the shop. Just because it looks new doesn't negate the fact that it's out of warranty, used, and four years old. It's clearly not about the $10; it's about your ego and wanting to be right.
and dealt with 1 email and two extended phone calls,
to return your 4 year old wing to service for the nominal fee of $10.
I expect most will find this more than fair.
I should add that we inspected your wing and advised you of the costs in less than 24 hours and had the goods repaired and ready to ship the next day.
I would have been happy with that service. I think YOU are the one being petty. That is a great rate for labor. It is out of warranty, correct? Suck it up and be reasonable. I have not always agreed with previous decisions of this company but this one is a no brainer. I side with DSS
Responses so far not surprising. While I understand your position it was out of warrenty and $10 seems like a bargain. Perhaps you should look at it differently i.e a very cheap repair and very quick turn around. I don't know of any repair on any item let alone scuba that would run as low as $10. Enjoy your honeymoon, congratulations, enjoy your diving and forget about it.