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July 2003 Vol. 18, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Bought your gear online? Get out of my class!

from the July, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

On May 21, Jimmy Davis arrived at We Be Divin' in North Richland Hills, TX, to continue his PADI Nitrox course. He had been instructed to read the PADI Nitrox book and answer the questions in the back before class, which he did. He was greeted by shop owner and instructor Judy Kay, and they fell into easy conversation. She played the required video, and afterwards Davis posed a question regarding how dive computers handle Nitrox.

The subject of what computer he used not surprisingly arose, and soon after that where it was purchased. Davis said that when he said it was an online purchase, Kay became quite upset, ranting about how online gear purchasers do not appreciate the services a local dive shop provides, how it is black market gear without a warranty, and that she had rent and bills to pay. It was not worth her time to teach classes without associated gear sales. She told Davis "I am going to give you your check back and this class is over. You obviously care more about money than the service you receive from your local dive shop," and in fact did so.

After returning home and composing himself, Davis sent the owner an e-mail protesting his treatment. Kay's response repeated her earlier diatribe and said: "manufacturers are prohibiting legitimate dealers from selling their products on the Internet at any price, yet companies like Leisure Pro are able to buy products in Europe cheaper than dealers can purchase them in the U.S., import them without paying import taxes, and sell them on the Internet, in some cases barely above the U.S. wholesale pricing. Leisure Pro does not provide service, continuing education, nor warranty. Internet purchases from companies who sell black market products do not help our economy nor support our governmental infrastructure."

As for the customer's being summarily dismissed from the Nitrox class, as well as all other classes offered by We Be Divin', she responded, "You forget that just as you have free choice, so do I."

Undercurrent contacted Kay and she quite forthrightly repeated what she had stated in her e-mail and stood by the legitimacy of her opinions and treatment of the client.

-- Doc Vikingo

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