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Dear Fellow Diver:
Back in 1975, after an expensive yet horrible dive trip that failed to deliver what the ads promised, I got fed up.
Over a beer, my buddy and I talked about how there had to be a way to get unbiased, forthright and honest information about resorts, equipment, live-aboards -- the whole sport. After all, this trip was a couple thousand dollars down the drain!
A few beers later, Undercurrent was born.
[I want to know more about Undercurrent. Give me the long pitch.]
| FAQ | Contact Info |
1. Who subscribes to Undercurrent?
Most of our readers take at least one dive vacation a year, or they're planning a trip, and they prefer independent sources of information to magazines or brochures. The average age is about forty-five, and nearly one-third are women. We have subscribers in all fifty states, as well as in Israel, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil, China, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Fiji, and many more countries. Altogether we have about 15,000 subscribers; a high percentage of these have been subscribers for several years. Clearly, they want the best and most honest source of information before spending their hard-earned money on dive travel.
2. Why have I never seen a copy of Undercurrent?
Undercurrent is available only online now, though in the past it was available only by mail. It was never sold in dive stores or on newsstands. Most of our readers collect their issues so they can review them before they select a destination for their next dive trip. If your doctor is a diver, he probably subscribes, but it's unlikely that he leaves a printed copy in the waiting room.
3. Why is Undercurrent so expensive? I can get other dive magazines for much less.
As an independent source of information, we are not expensive. Most independent publications in other fields that are similar to ours sell for $100 a year or more. We are not a magazine. We are a consumer newsletter. Unlike most magazine reviewers who visit dive sites, we pay for our own rooms and our own diving. We do not reveal that we are writing a story or that we are representing Undercurrent. We accept no favors, and we accept no advertising. Most dive magazines, on the other hand, get 50-90 percent of their revenue from advertising. We get none. All of our revenue comes from our subscribers. We know that unless we provide our subscribers with accurate, insightful, and useful information, we won't stay in business. And we've been in business for three decades.
4. The readers' comments in the Chapbook obviously provide a lot of valuable information, but couldn't I get the same comments and information for free from postings on the Internet?
Some people like to believe they can. But the truth is that you don't know the real source of most Internet messages or the motivation of the people who sent them. While the Net can be useful, it's an incomplete source of information that must be viewed with caution.
Undercurrent, on the other hand, sorts through and edits all readers'
comments. We spot false or questionable information. When an occasional
resort operator has tried to "stuff the ballot box," it's been
an easy thing to spot. Of course, these types of letters are culled out
and eliminated. The only letters that make the cut are the ones that pass
muster. Also, many of our readers have been sending us information for years.
We've come to know the ones who are well-traveled and who have developed
a keen eye. We know that their reservoir of experience serves the Undercurrent
family well, and we make liberal use of it.
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