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Quality Question

Discussion in 'Deep 6 Gear' started by YukonJack, May 22, 2017.

  1. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    well I am disappointed that a shop went out of the way to try and sell fear and uncertainty to a customer, overall it's all good
    you guys got diving I hope?
    northernone and YukonJack like this.
  2. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    This whole episode reminds me of back when HOG was appearing on the market. I stopped in to a shop (historically sold SP, and then switched to "H"). We were chewing the fat, and I brought up HOG. "Cheap, low quality, blah blah, blah" were the words from the owner's mouth. It wasn't much time later that they became a HOG dealer.... hmmmmmm... How could that be?

    Due to many reasons, I no longer use that shop.

    I too would have had my entire family on D6 if I haven't been so "invested" in equipment. I do have 2 D6 wings (daughter's), and maybe some day I will "sell the farm", but it isn't feasible right now..

    It is frustrating that we see such poor behavior.....
    cerich likes this.
  3. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    you'd think I'd get tired of it eh? :)

    Look, I was a sales rep for major brands for some time, most dive shop owners work their butts off and it isn't easy. I understand their frustration, the challenges and not only have empathy for their feeling that the "system is rigged against them" but KNOW it is.

    It's been some time (a decade + now), and I've never "gone public" with why I stopped being a sale rep at Oceanic. I was fully aware at the time how many online grey market sellers obtained their product. It wasn't from overseas, from shops going out of business etc. It was either direct from various brands and hidden, or thru a couple "reliable" conduits. I decided that it was time I stopped participating in the fiction and be honest with my dealers. I felt as long as they were fed a lie that they were at a disadvantage as they desperately tried to "play by the rules" when their vendors were screwing them. That lead to extreme frustration at the shop level, and frankly a culture of trying to fight the internet, except of course that meant "punish" the customer who bought online. IMHO the wrong people were getting punished and the people doing the punishing would end up being the ones that get hurt the worse, while the actual problem was never going to be resolved. In the mean time some chosen few made bank on the backs and at the expense of the shops. My bosses at Oceanic were on board with it, especially as it meant I was growing my territory..until.

    One shop, that didn't much like me and Oceanic took great offense at it. He recorded me in a phone conversation where he was asking me to explain how one particular grey market dealer got product. I laid it out :). He then shared this with his rep from the biggest brand in diving who then shared with his boss. They went ballistic. They called my boss threatening to sue Oceanic and me. My boss called me and because we both knew that I hadn't said anything not true he pledged to stand behind me. Two days or so later they got served the cease and desist letter from the attorney for a multi billion dollar company that owned the biggest brand in diving. It was also made clear that if I wasn't let go then some skeletons in the closet at Oceanic would get public as well as any future OEM business would never materialize. Facing that and the cost of defending the lawsuit, the decision was made to ask me to resign. I did so after some negotiations on terms.

    That sucked badly enough (my wife was pregnant at 6 months), but I am happy to report that over the next few years it was apparent that that dishonest model was no longer viable as too many shops suspected/knew the truth and virtually every brand (except one) has stopped that "distribution" model and the grey market screw the dealers model is pretty much over.

    In my view, that period developed distrust between the shops and consumers, made many shops bitter and set the stage for the further decline and current weak state of the dive industry as a whole. The dive industry has badly under performed the economy and even other industries that have faced many of the same challenges.

    The consumer expectations of retail has changed, fighting consumer expectations is a loosing game. We are at a place where either you find a way to met the expectations and provide a value added service while monetizing the service or you go out of business. Going out of business is often a long and painful process (to wit, Oceanic/AUP) during which the conditions for the unprofitable business often lead to a mistaken "double down" on bad behaviors that in fact lead to the conditions.

    Thus, Deep 6. The model is about meeting consumer expectations and finding a way to make money doing so. Make no mistake, my plan is to make more margin and happier customers.

    So, let's circle back to the dive shops. It sucks right now for many (most) of them, yet some are absolutely awesome and profitable. They have a choice, rethink everything and change to a profitable model or go out of business. They get far too much reinforcement to stick with the old model from the various vendors/reps and industry "experts" who can't picture any other model working. So we hear "where are they gonna get certified?" and "where are they going to get air?" Strangely enough those have to be in my mind the lamest head in sand worries in existence. people that really want to dive will find a way and where there is fun diving, there will be air fill (and the compressor companies sell to those with the money, they could care less about the dive industry BS, the dive industry is a small % of their business.

    Make no mistake, we need more healthy dive stores, we need them because the more there are the more people that aren't driven to be a diver will decide one day to give it a whirl, and that's good for business.

    We'll have those healthy dive stores when the corporate memory, culture and actions of the last decade of doing everything they can to fight the internet and the consumer is erased. It will happen and it isn't in the too far (or near enough for me) future.

    For consumers meanwhile, too many will get crap treatment at bad dive stores, too many will decide that diving isn't fun or worth it because of said treatment and that's a shame, because diving really is fun. A small upside is that diving, training and equipment has never, never been less expensive than right now. Prices will raise when the current culture and attitudes get sorted out (mostly in training and fills likely).

    So, I don't get upset at the dive shop doing what it is conditioned to do by a dysfunctional industry anymore than I get upset at the animal when a poorly treated dog ends up biting somebody. I feel bad for the dog, angry at the conditions that lead there but also fully understanding that the dog needs to be put down.
    aviator8, RVA_Diver, CodeS and 14 others like this.
  4. rigdiver

    rigdiver Course Director

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Republic of Texas
    Well said. Good instructors need to be paid well. To stir the pot: What if instructors were licensed? And, btw air is waaaaay too.cheap. Cost of comp, oil, filters, labor. Most aint got a clue. Cya
    Jax and cerich like this.
  5. YukonJack

    YukonJack Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    We did get to dive and had a really great time. It was our first ocean diving, and we could not be happier. We dove Lord Christ of the Abyss (with a really cool swim through, though we didn't make it to the statue), Tres Cocos, and Esmeralda to Tackle Box Canyon. We also dove Hol Chan twice (second time because we didn't get taken into the "cut"), and also snorkeled at Hol Chan and Mexico Rocks. It got windy for about 4 days, and of course laid down the day we were leaving. Oh well, we will be back now that we know the lay of the land. Great diving experiences, and some great photos. The highlights were a turtle that swam right up to me, and three reef sharks!
    noj3333 and cerich like this.
  6. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    I'm probably a little late to the discussion, but here's my 0.02. First, you have to buy ScubaPro or Atomic because it is life support equipment and anything else on the market is "off brand" and will kill you. Oh wait, never mind, just this past week my buddy's nearly new ScubaPro regulator free flowed uncontrollably and ended our dive. :eek:

    In all seriousness, I have zero connection with deep 6 and don't own any of their gear. If I were in the market for a new regulator right now, however, I would give them serious consideration. I'm always willing to pay a premium for the kind of service Deep 6 provides. Except they actually don't charge a premium for it! From what I can tell, they really are a great company and I look forward to doing business with them in the future.
  7. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    sounds fun, Belize is on my must do list.
    YukonJack likes this.
  8. Britt

    Britt Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Huntsville, AL.
    I have trusted the equipment Chris sells with my life and the lives of my students since Edge and HOG came into the market. After servicing equipment he sold and teaching the courses he designed for end users to service regulators, and never having an issue with any of the equipment, I have no doubt that the Deep 6 equipment is probably some of the better equipment available. I have seen a few shops that would suggest that their students buy from them for various reasons. Its easier for them to get parts, they can repair it in the store, etc. but very few of them have used the equipment they sell to their customers to do dives that are far and beyond where OW divers go.

    My primary regulator set that I bought from Chris is still working perfectly after almost 10 years. I even witnessed Chris going over design issues with the manufacturer at DEMA years ago to make sure that the 1st stages he was selling had better operating specs, not because he wanted to sell more, but because it just wasnt good enough for him. Having seen dive equipment companies come and go, I still trust Chris to make sure that his equipment functions far and above what is required. I dont have any affiliations with Deep 6 either, but thats because the equipment he sold me years ago is still running full speed and hasnt failed me yet.
    Jax, Matt England, YukonJack and 4 others like this.
  9. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    I have been blessed to meet Chris, and if it weren't that all my equipment is stuff he represented, I'd have his new Deep 6 equipment! As someone said, everything associated with Chris is pretty much bullet-proof and just won't break.

    I am a curious and inquisitive sort - my first meeting with Chris was at a show. I had noticed something about my reg and was asking him some questions . . . he tried to GIVE me a new second stage! He is that concerned that his customers have faith in his service and the gear he represents.

    I didn't take the new 2nd stage. I didn't need it, and my stuff works fine. But it doesn't break. So I will never get Chris' new Deep 6 stuff. :cry:
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    That's why we have a classifieds section, dear lady. :D :D :D Sell the old and buy the new. Or buy the new and sell the old. Or by the new use the old as backups you'll probably never need. Or... :D :D :D

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