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Can someone please explain to me the deal with parts for maintenance on regulators under warranty? I know that I've read here, many times (usually in the online vs. LDS debates) that some (most?) of the name brand regs will give free parts with regular maintenance of their regs by a qualified technician when they are covered by warranty. I was curious if that understanding was correct? Also, which brands exactly do this (Scubapro? Apeks? Aqualung? SeaQuest?)? And, how does that work - do you have to pay the LDS, or whoever is doing the repair, and then get reimbursed by the manufacturer, or are the parts kits given to the technician directly by the manufacturer?
The specific reason I'm asking is a long story, and really I'm curious to know this info in general, so I don't want to go into it. Let's just say that my LDS and I had a disagreement, and before I pursue it too much, I wanted to know that I understood the policies by the manufacturer.
Ok, I'll explain. Scubapro, Aqualung and Apeks all provide lifetime warranties on service kits for the 1st and 2nd stages of your reg, provided you purchased your reg at an authorized dealer. What this means, is that when you bring your reg in for service, either every year or every other year (depends on the manufacturer, some only require a full service every other year, with an inspection by a qualified technician in the off years) you will not be charged for parts by the tech. You will only pay for labor, and possibly a few other parts or orings not covered by the warranty. You must be able to prove the reg is still under warranty. Original owner card, proof of previous service, etc. The LDS where you get your reg serviced will get parts kits from the manufacturer at no charge, providing they submit proof of servicing a reg under warranty (usually by serial number). Thats it. Pretty simple...
Ok, I'll explain. ..... Thats it. Pretty simple...
That's what I thought - thank you! Just needed to hear for sure that Aqualung was one of those manufacturers and that the store was provided the kit directly from the manufacturer. After discussing pricing with the LDS when I dropped off my reg and being told that I would be called if there was any question about needing to charge for parts when they got to it, I came in to pick up my reg today (no, they never called me about the parts price) and was told that I needed to pay $40 in parts, in addition to the $60 labor fee we had discussed. When I mentioned that my reg was under warranty, I was told that customers pay the store, and any warranty issues are to be brought up directly with the manufacturer. I put up a big stink and after arguing with the manager for 30 minutes, he ended up letting me go with only paying for the labor, based on the fact that they never called me about the parts fee. But I wanted to make sure that I was absolutely correct in my understanding, so that even if they hadn't overlooked the call, I still wouldn't have had to pay.
Last edited by saf_25; June 16th, 2004 at 12:32 AM.
Reason: correct typo
There are actually probablly an easy 5 AQ dealers that I could have taken it to - if you want to head into LA, many more than that. The one I took mine to was the biggest chain around - need I say more? I would have gone to some of the smaller stores that are nearby, but the big one is the most convenient for me (I drive past it on the way home from work) and it was where I had bought it at, so I thought that would make it easiest for them to access the warranty info. Next time, one of the other ones it is.
Actually, the problem I think was that the person who helped me initially was new, so he didn't know how to answer my questions well enough - if he did, I would have taken it to one of the other places to start with. Then, when I picked it up yesterday, I spoke to the store manager, not the dive shop (it's a general sporting goods store) so I don't think he really knew what he was talking about.
What really got me is that I brought my tank in for a vis at the same time, and they've butchered that as well. Again, long story, but basically, they were suppossed to call me if it failed so it could get sent for a tumble right away - they didn't call. When I went to pick it up a week ago, it first needed to be sent for the tumble. So, when I went to pick up my regs, guess what was still sitting there, a week later, not sent in yet? You guessed it! So, I was annoyed to start with, then with this whole thing with my regs - I was not a happy camper last night!
I'm a new diver and I'm currently shopping for regulators. Accordding to my study, technically, the lifetime warranty usually won't cover the service parts (O-ring, etc.) for that long. For example, Zeagle has lifetime warranty on parts, but in their manual it clearly excludes filters, hoses, O-rings, diaphrams, mouthpieces, which are only covered for 2 years. This means, you only get 2 sets of service parts for free. And this seems to be standard among brand name regulators (either with lifetime warranty or not).
Also, technically, the warranty only covers defects and won't cover normal wear, damage caused by abuse, improper usage, etc. But in reality, seems people/LDS sometimes can get around this.
That may be Zeagle, not some of the others. Scubapro (and presumably the others mentioned by LUBOLD8431) it is a true lifetime deal on service parts. I'm still getting free parts yearly for a 14 year old Scubapro reg.
I checked Aqualang/Apeks (cannot get info from Scubapro's website), they have the "Free Parts for Life Agreement". However,there's a limitation (still better than that of Zeagle's). It only provides service parts every other year. You are good to have your regulator serviced/overhauled every other year if you dive 50 times or less per year. You have to have it serviced every year if you dive more, but you don't get free parts for that. Sounds like saf_25's regulator was just allowed for its first year's inspection, but they did (or he asked for) an overhaul.