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Why no regulator service class and free access to service kits/parts for tech divers?

Discussion in 'Apeks' started by kr2y5, Jun 14, 2014.

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  1. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I think a lot of shops are still trying to make the old model of business (pre-internet) continue to work.
    I can understand their frustration when message boards start up and suddenly all this information is available and much of the "mystique" and voodoo is dubunked by people in-the-know, including people who have been doing their own service for years and also shop technicians with loose lips and who are willing to share information. A entire DIY culture has sprung up because of the internet and the sharing of information.
    There is good and bad in it just like anything else, but at least the info is out there and that's a start, instead of trying to approach this stuff blind. I see more good than bad.
    We can post a question about "Hey, how do you get this apart and what do you do here?" Somebody will respond with the appropriate answer and mystery solved. In the old days this could have been weeks or months to find the answer trying to get info on the street, so to speak.
    I doubt that 90% of us would know anything about reg servicing or where to get hard to find parts or parts in general asside from the retailer if it wasn't for the internet. If it ended up at the retailer, that's where it would have ended, period.

    The shops need to realize that this isn't going away.
    Maybe back in the old days they could control everything in this small industry by hoarding parts and info, and pretty much dictating that everything must go through them. It's kind of a heavy handed style of doing business, but the scuba industry is so small that I don't think it's enough of a blip on anybody's radar to do anything about it. Whether or not they are in violation of any anti-trust laws I don't know, but it does stink of unethical behavior to me.

    There used to be a lot of smoke and miss information. Example: I was told that my brand new SP regs were only servicable by the LDS where I bought them because they were an authorized dealer, and only authorized dealers were able to get OEM parts and the technicians were specially factory trained experts. Anybody else touching them and you were taking your life in your hands. And,.. they needed to be serviced at least once a year whether they needed it or not or you could die,.. and of course to keep up the FPFL program.
    Not knowing any better I went along with this for years, until I started reading on the internet that reg service was not rocket science, so I tore one of my regs apart one day and saw how simple they actually are.
    And they don't think I supposed to harbor any resentment over it?

    The scuba industry is in a state of great change right now. As this new free market develops it's going to get harder and harder for them to continue business as usual; both LDS's and companies with totalitarian policies. They are hoping to survive on clueless customers that will just let them do everything and not question anything. They better hope they never click on a DIY reg thread then!
    There will always be those people. Many of them don't care either, they might be wealthy and have better things to do. But they are not the ones here on SB ripping the LDS's and companies a new "A" either.
    Remember the saying about the vocal minority?

    Every time I am out on a beach or on a boat diving, people ask me about my Hog reg set. I tell them where I got it, how much, and the fact that I can get parts for it, and boy do I talk!
    They are truelly excited to know about this.

    I will not support a company now that will not openly sell me parts. The only exception is AL because I have found a network that will provide me with the parts I need, but that support goes to the brave folks that are willing to put up their middle finger to strict company policy. The LDS where I used to get my stuff serviced hasn't seen one of my regs for over 7 years now. If they were to sell me parts then they would at least have seen me and had some sales from me buying parts for my SP stuff. I have moved on to other brands simply because I can obtain parts.

    So what do all the LDS's and companies think of a guy like me blabbing my thoughts on the internet?
    Too bad.
    Change or die.
    kr2y5 and robertarak like this.
  2. buddhasummer

    buddhasummer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    The only reason I went with Apeks was/is because I can easily get reasonably priced parts/kits. If that should ever change I'd be selling the lot and moving to the likes of HOG, Zeagle or maybe DiveRite (although looks like they've re thought open access to parts/manuals etc with the XT, shame).
  3. Hickdive

    Hickdive Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Glasgow, UK
    Aqualung/Apeks don't offer hands on training for service technicians. If you're working for a dealer then they can register for the online training and you can pay $40 per course.
  4. kr2y5

    kr2y5 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle
    I agree with your analysis, that AL might be afraid to risk disrupting its established network of suppliers by triggering emotional reaction on the part of LDS owners, some of whom might retaliate irrespective of whether it makes practical sense or not. I does seem to me, though, that this is a paper tiger, whereas ignoring the inevitable change seems to me like a real threat... you write, "when customers can get unbiased information from other sources, an LDS may (will) lose business". Clearly, this business model is on the decline, and relying on it is unsustainable. One can respond to it by taking the lead, being bold, aggressive, and innovative, or one can procrastinate, and let things "take their natural course" (which rarely ends well).

    Interesting... if I understand correctly, there is a real chance that the person servicing my equipment at an authorized AL dealer has never had an instructor watching over their shoulder during training, to see whether they are doing things correctly. They could have learned it all wrong, and nobody would be able to correct their mistakes until they have serviced dozes or regulators, and put their customers at risk. I guess that answers the concerns about liability.
  5. redacted

    redacted Guest

    The real key here is that the chance of putting a customer at risk is extremely small and probably untraceable. Leaks and poor performance are the most likely result of service errors. Dives may be interrupted but there should be no real danger.

    For an LDS, liability is an excuse, not a concern.
  6. tphillipp

    tphillipp Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vista, California
    Please note that while we enjoy a lively debate as much as you, the purpose of our forums is not to defend our business model. We are a global company that makes business decisions and sets policies that we feel are in the best interests of our company, our customers and the dive industry as a whole.

    We host the Apeks and the Aqua Lung forums so that we can make ourselves available to you. We like that you come here to get your product questions addressed.

    We think that it is in poor taste to come to our forums to promote other brands and others policies. There are other forums on ScubaBoard for that purpose. At this point, we are closing this thread and we'll follow your spirited debate elsewhere on ScubaBoard.
    Sevenrider860, mselenaous and nimoh like this.
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