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September 2007    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 22, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Faulty Gear? Contact Your Dealer, Not the Manufacturer

from the September, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In our July issue, we gave a “thumbs down” to Sherwood Scuba for failing to give good customer service. Undercurrent reader Thomas Cranmer bought a Sherwood BC on Scuba.com and when it became faulty, he tried to contact Sherwood directly but didn’t receive a reply until he contacted the U.S. Product Safety Commission. Subscriber Kent Roorda never heard back from Sherwood about his defective dive computer.

Why didn’t they contact their dealer or dive shop first, asked a few other Undercurrent subscribers. “All a customer has to do is to bring a faulty product back to the authorized dealer and replacement or repair is quick, painless, and usually free,” says Rick Maxwell (Totowa, NJ), a dive shop owner and Sherwood dealer. “If someone had problems with their car, would he bring it back to his local dealer or ship it back to Detroit? It’s our job as dealers to handle customer service issues with any product we sell.”

Terry Davis (Roswell, NM) says too many divers have become dependent on the Internet and have sacrificed the benefits of a relationship with their local dive shop. “When Cranmer bought his BC through Scuba.com, did he check first that it was an authorized Sherwood dealer? Internet buyers don’t realize that many items aren’t sold through authorized dealers, meaning the Web sites aren’t responsible for warranty or repairs after the purchase.”

On its Web site, Scuba.com says it is an authorized dealer but “you should not take the word of the dive provider, even us, as to whether or not they’re authorized dealers. Contact the manufacturer directly and ask them.”

Points well taken. But so is ours. Rather than ignore their customers, Sherwood Scuba could have responded to these two gentlemen and directed them to their nearest dealer. To ignore their questions is not good customer service.

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