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Need for standard business practices

Discussion in 'Business of Diving Institute' started by Bruno Genovese, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Aviyes

    Aviyes Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Utah
    What agency is going to be responsible for conducting the reviews? Setting the 'objective' benchmarks and not leaving it 'subjective'. Currently no agency has much authority beyond the instructors. How many people that had a good experience take time to write a review vs those with a bad experience? So much subjectivity can go into this type of rating. Is it even worth it to take the time to attempt to create a new system? Instead why not just rely on using the multitude of social media platforms that already exist for reviews.
  2. Bruno Genovese

    Bruno Genovese Angel Fish

    I discovered today that there is already a site working on it: rateyourdive.com

    They already have a rudimentary rating page and they emailed me confirming that they are working on to include detailed/category ratings.

    I would not be surprised if others are doing it too.
  3. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Great White

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    Are you suggesting an oversight organization that has power of all of the certification agencies? Be careful what you wish for. The next thing you know we will be required to have licenses and kiss butts.

    I find SB and TripAdvisor to be perfectly adequate. So far the Dive Ops that I've reviewed and used turned out to be everything the reviewers said they would be. There's always the chance of someone hiring a bad DM or instructor but a good op will probably weed them out quickly. I had a less-than-great experience a couple of years ago but I am guilty of not having read their reviews beforehand. My fault. I figure the chances of getting a bad DM are very small since many of them only get paid in tips.
  4. bill22

    bill22 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Guam, USA
    I realize this thread is a few months old, but I'm curious did the OP report any of these numerous violations of standards he observed? I suspect all agencies have a mechanism in place to investigate these things. I know PADI does. Having said that, if no one take the time to report it, then they won't know about it. Once the rating is earned they will keep it unless someone complains.

    Perhaps there is more to these stories? There is always more than one side to every story.

    I've never had to cancel a trip but then that's what trip insurance is for isn't it?

    When I had customer service training back in the 90's one of the things they taught was that if someone is happy with your service then they might tell one or two people... if not they will tell eight to ten! Something to keep in mind when reading negative reviews which after all, generally only tell one side. The reality is that sometimes people have unrealistic expectations.

    Undercurrents has been around since 1975 and does the exact thing you're talking about as far as detailed reviews. Undercurrent, Consumer Reporting for Serious Divers Since 1975
  5. gcarter

    gcarter Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Unsafe operations can be and are shut down. On a DR trip, multiple DMs and instructors in our group. The shop decided - wrongly - that because we were competent they could send us out on a poorly equipped boat and all would be good. Their reaction when we complained was completely inappropriate. So one of our instructors lodged a complaint and they were shut down.

    The system works if divers and dive pros do their part.
    bill22 likes this.
  6. bill22

    bill22 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Guam, USA
    Yep! That's exactly what I'm talking about! That's why I asked if the OP ever reported them.
    gcarter likes this.
  7. Bruno Genovese

    Bruno Genovese Angel Fish

    Initially I had no idea I could report bad dive shops, and since PADI does not send questionnaires for Discover Scuba Diving or situations where the student fails to complete a certification... those two horrible dive shops got away with it.

    Since then I learned about the various options available and I now:

    - Have written to PADI about their flaw in their review system. They did nothing to improve it.

    - I now know I can report to PADI outfits who fail to follow safety practices and that they will follow at least investigate those report.

    - I religiously reply as accurately as I can to all questionnaires I receive regarding courses.

    - I now always review on trip advisor every time I go on vacation. Some received excellent reviews from me, some recieved bad ones with details of exactly why I gave them a bad rating. And of course most are somewhere in between.

    - The one area where I still don’t know how to handle is simple bad customer service when an instructor or divemaster simply has bad customer service and isn’t on trip advisor. In this kind of scenario customers would want to know to avoid him and competitors might want to know that a particular location might be a market opportunity... but you need some way to make it known. I just encountered such a situation and am looking for a way to communicate it.

    So - for me - knowledge and added experience gave me improved ability to report problems I observe with the hope of causing a gradual improvement. But the way things are still leaves beginners vulnerable to being fleeced and mistreated with few or no consequences to those who do it. And because of it far too many potential divers turn away because of initial bad experiences.
    Darcy Kieran and bill22 like this.
  8. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    The president of the NASDS once told me that, "The business of diving is not diving." Most businesses use bullsh*t as a means to profit and the business aspect of diving is not immune. Quality control is notorious as a marketing tool.
  9. Darcy Kieran

    Darcy Kieran Business of Diving Institute

    Very interesting post, @Bruno Genovese ! I realize it's old... Just reading it now.

    There are review sites like Trip Advisor. They work better for dive destinations than for local dive shops offering scuba lessons in a local pool before going on a dive trip - but they work. A few answers above included a few other places where you can find reviews of dive operators. OK. But...

    Isn't it weird that these dive industry brands (PADI, SSI, Aqua Lung, etc) have so little interest in making sure their brand is 'not' associated with a dangerous operator? Or even an operator offering a bad customer experience? A brand, by definition, is build on the consistency of the quality of the experience - at whatever level you want to operate. Nobody goes to McDonald's for a $500 dinner - and vice versa. But you know what you're gonna get.

    Even if none of these dive centers are franchises (they are independent companies), I'm convinced it would help the dive industry if new customers just starting to dive could go to a dive facility under "Brand X" and "trust" the quality of service they would get. No?
    bill22 likes this.
  10. bill22

    bill22 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Guam, USA
    That's an interesting idea :coffee:
    Darcy Kieran likes this.

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