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August 2006 Vol. 21, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cattle Refund

from the August, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Cattle RefundIt’s been years since I dived with Lahaina Divers, but in the old days, when Blaine Roberts and instructors such as Lucia Wolter were there, it was a fun and personable place. It’s changed, as one can see by the April experience of subscriber Jim Burns (Gloucester, MA), but with a promising twist:

“While checking in, the shop got crowded. Surely they would employ both their dive boats . . . NOT! They put 28 divers, the maxiumm capacity, on the boat, plus five divemasters and crew. There was no room to move. Gear was everywhere. We had all been assigned seats (the benches are numbered), and they were ‘sorry’ if we were not placed next to our buddies. I felt like I was in second grade. We were placed in groups of five to eight, told our divemaster’s name and what group we were in, but never introduced to the DM. I had to ask the staff their names, and no one bothered to learn ours or greet us with a handshake. On returning from a dive, one of the staff actually said, ‘You must be number 22.’ I responded, ‘No, actually my name is Jim.’

“At Cathedral, we had to quickly swim through the cave to allow the other four groups to do the same. We didn’t have time to take more than a quick picture. After the second dive, we were asked to fill out an opinion card (on the boat), but they couldn’t find any cards at the shop, so we were told to write our comments on scrap paper. I canceled our additional two days of diving; it was just too crowded and impersonal. I now know what people are talking about when they say a ‘cattle boat.’ We went on to have good dives with Ed Robinson.

“Two weeks after our dive, I received a form ‘thankyou’ e-mail. I responded with my negative experience. Cattle RefundI received an e-mail from the owner apologizing, and he gave me a nonexpiring gift certificate for the cost of our dives (almost $300). He said he would address my issues at the next staff meeting and urged me to give them another try on my next trip to Maui.”

So, fellow readers, when was the last time you got credit for a poorly run dive? What started as a Thumbs Down to Lahaina Divers concludes with a good Thumbs Up.

– Ben

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