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January 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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What Dive Shops Think About Your Gear

especially if you didn’t buy it from them

from the January, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Undercurrent subscriber Chip Wright (Hebron, KY) sent us a letter about the Scuba Shack, a dive store in Florence, KY, where he once shopped but no longer does. "My wife and I did a refresher course there and ultimately bought our gear there. We have been happy with the gear and pleased with the instruction. However, the Shack will not allow you to dive with them unless you either rent their equipment or buy your gear there. If you bring in something you purchased elsewhere, they must "inspect it." The claim is that this is an insurance issue. Personally, I don't buy it, pun very much intended. Is the Shack just trying to force customers to buy from them, or could they have a legitimate argument? If so, is it because they can't get any better insurance coverage? Just how common is this?"

While this was a response of some dive stores when mail order and Internet purchases offered early competition with them, we thought most had given up such practices, realizing they're better off competing than setting up artificial barriers for their customers. We e-mailed and called the Scuba Shack for their response but never got a reply. We also put Wright's question in our monthly subscriber e-newsletter, asking if anyone had experienced something similar. We received plenty of feedback, from both divers and dive shop owners....


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