Author Topic: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service  (Read 9361 times)

speir

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Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« on: April 03, 2009, 12:14:49 UTC »
This week, I contacted makers of my primary regulators, Atomic and Scuba Pro, about sending the regs back to get factory service.  I have had bad experiences with local service.  For example, the local Scuba Pro dealer's tech sent me off on vacation once with a defective 1st stage.

Atomic was great--I talked to the service dept. guy, he gave me the address, prices, and an expected turn-around.  It was about as cheap as doing it locally.

Scuba Pro/UWATEC, on the other hand, would not deal with me directly.  They simply said (via email) to go to a Scuba Pro dealer.  When I made the point about the last time I went to this shop for reg repair, they said they would service my reg--but I had to submit it through a Scuba Pro dealer's dive shop.

I had the same problem with them last year with a UWATEC computer that is about to run out of battery life.  That, plus their exorbitant  cost with the dealer's add-on, helped me decide to just throw the computer away when it ran out of battery.  I bought another computer with a replaceable battery and a regulator from an ad on Craigslist for about Scuba Pro's cost of replacing the battery on my old computer.

Has anyone else had better luck with Scuba Pro?

ldg7

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2009, 20:23:37 UTC »
At one time, I contacted them to try to find out if they were going to have a repair clinic at Our World Underwater, in Chicago.  I have future plans of doing some repair for local dealers.  They did not even give me the courtesy of an answer.  Really makes me want to go out and buy their product.

aodiver

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 17:08:51 UTC »
Your owners manual should have instructions for replacement however if you chose to replace yourself they will not honor any warranty.  I was spending about 45.00 each time for battery replacement - now I purchase batteries directly from either Radio Shack or Batteries Plus+ for about 15.00 and replace myself - its not much different than my camera housing other - o-ring grease etc.  I did purchase extra o-rings . than the screws & I take along some nail polish put in holes when Im done - let dry and off I go.

speir

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 00:06:20 UTC »
I have done that on other computers I own, but my UWATEC is an older model whose owners' manual says batteries are only to be replaced by the dealer.  I had another, even older, Scubapro computer that the company was charging $75 plus postage to replace the battery (back when they would deal with individuals).  I balked, then found a guy at a local dive shop who did it for $25.

When my UWATEC runs down, however, I am going to try exactly what you suggest and try to replace the battery myself.  It  might not work, but then, I am going to throw it away anyway.

aodiver

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 18:19:34 UTC »
My paperwork also says to have a service center do it, but I had no alternative when I was in Wakatobi but to do it myself.   My bf thought he could do his  after watching me  - he thought the o-ring grease was overkill -So much for thinking....  you can imagine what happened.  I still leave it at that - he gets a bit sensitive.    Good luck.. 

smoore

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 20:47:56 UTC »
I had a a problem with a G250 second stage where the regulator would not give any air at 50 feet.  The dealer, who had just serviced it, couldn't figure out why it failed so he sent it back to Scubapro.  They couldn't figure it out either so they replaced all the internal parts in the second stage.  My 16 year old regulator was converted into a new regulator overnight. 

I have had problems getting consistent service with dive shops dropping like flies in Toronto.  Frankly, I do not know what the answer to that problem is.  I have changed shops and been told the previous shop did not replace any parts at the previous service (the year before).  Frankly, there is not much protection for consumers getting this vital life enabling equipment serviced.  I wish the manufacturers certified the individual technicians so that we could check on line to make sure the tech doing our service actually knows what he is doing and his training is up to date. 
Steve Moore

speir

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 22:46:31 UTC »
Sounds like your problem worked out alright in the end--you are alive and have a good regulator.  But you had to go through a failure and a lot of hassle with a dealer who didn't fix it right the first time.

The unreliable service problem at scuba shops is why I wanted to send my reg directly back to Scuba Pro.  At least I would expect that the person repairing it is not some high school kid working after school. 

Consider this scenario--you don't trust the local Scuba Pro dive shop, but you have to go through them to get your reg back to Scuba Pro for service.  So you walk in and tell them to send your reg back.  They say, "we can service it here."  No matter what you say then, you have already, in effect, told them that you don't trust them.  So they say "sure, we will send it out," and add on another $20-$40 for their fee for mailing and handling. 

And when you get it back from the shop, do you really know that they sent it back to the factory after you insulted them like that?

Why would Scuba Pro want to operate like this?  Follow the money.  They know that the only way their products get sold is through their retail dealers.  So they want to keep the dealer happy and financially in the loop so he will push their products.  They really don't care about  the ultimate customer.

In my experience, there are some companies that do not behave like that.

smoore

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 14:22:45 UTC »
What concerns me is that if the manufacturers don't fix this problem, then either the death of someone famous or a rash of deaths caused by faulty service (or faulty air) will prod the government to regulate the industry. 

Right now even if you are a careful consumer it is difficult to determine whether any particular dive shop will actually do a good job servicing your gear.  I am not convinced that government regulation would solve any of these problems but it would certainly make the cost of diving higher.  I would think that the manufacturers would want to ensure that they do such a good job protecting consumers that there is no reason for the government to step in. 

I wonder if it makes any sense to start a thread here which allows Undercurrent Members to comment on the service they receive from their local dive stores?
Steve Moore

speir

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 14:08:05 UTC »
A thread on local repairs seems like a good idea.   Since Undercurrents is advertising-free and has the rep of providing straight info, it would be consistent with their journalistic model.  There might not be enough subscribers to get much of a local sampling, but if someone named a dive shop that gave bad service, it would probably get back to them eventually and persuade them to correct their problems.

Dennis49

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2009, 04:45:18 UTC »
Finding someone to work on your equipment is like finding a good mechanic to work on your car, some are good and some not so good.  It takes someone who has the ability and the training.  I have a little advantage over most divers in that I managed a dive shop and was the main tech also.  We were a Scubapro dealer so I also have an incite there.  They are one of two companies that still only sell through their dealers and they try to protect them.  This may seem old school in today's market and they are changing slowly (you can buy from places like Liesurepro, which in the past would have lost their dealership, by mailorder).  They do have training for the dealers, but like I said it takes the ability as well as the training.  I got to know the tech at my local shop and was able to work with him and he did know what he was doing.  He sold me parts (I maintain my own gear), especially after I saved him on a trip when he didn't have a repair kit with him and one of their rental regs malfunctioned.  Well he has left and the new guy isn't all that good.  I purchased a used Mk 25/600s on ebay and didn't have parts for it.  Well he spouted the scubapro line and wouldn't sell me the parts so I let him go through it.  Big MISTAKE he doesn't know how to tune out a reg.  I have had Mk2's that breathed better.  So I ended up going through it myself.  So I have now found several new sources for parts and won't be having him work on anything.  He had all the training (he let me know that and showed me his card) but not the ability.  So if you live in an area where their are several large cities within an hour or two of each other then I suggest that you look for another dealer.  As for a form to voice opinions on dealers that wouldn't be a bad idea, but believe me a pissed off customer is louder that twenty happy ones and they do hear.  Also like any business you have those that are honest and those that aren't.  Its like some of the dive operations throughout the world that are now run by corporations and not individuals who care.  That is what will bring the government in. 
  A little trick to testing your reg when you pick it up--put it on a tank and suck/blow on it as hard as you can repeatedly several times.  If its going to fail that should do it.  You can also see how it breaths.  A good idea before you get in the water with it.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 04:32:27 UTC by Dennis49 »

indigodive

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2009, 14:07:04 UTC »
I am a Scuba Pro dealer, based in the outer reaches of the Caribbean. I have worked with many different models of equipment during the 7 years that I have worked in the industry, and I have to say that the support that I get from Scubapro is second to none.

All of the gear that I have in my store is Scuba Pro, and we make it work!

Scuba Pro even flew in a senior member of staff to our location to hold a work shop for our technicians, at no cost to my or the other stores that participated.

If you want a 'bullet proof' first stage the Scuba Pro MK2 should be your first choice, yes I know it's basic, and it wasn't designed for ice diving, but it just keeps going and going, it's easy to maintain, and it's not too heavy! It is the Volkswagen of first stages if you will! If you prefer a 'Porsche' reg then of course you will need to make sure that you have it serviced regularly as a lot of the newer regs have way more moving parts, and specifically designed o'rings of varying densities etc which must be replaced yearly by an appropriately qualified individual.

Scuba Pro issues certificates to each time a technician attends a service workshop, and most shops that I know that service regs are quite proud to display theirs in a prominent place.

Please don't be cross with Scuba Pro, find your self another dealer to work with.


speir

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Re: Scuba Pro--No Direct Service
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2009, 17:02:33 UTC »
I did not mean to malign Scuba Pro dealers, even the one who screwed up my regulator.  My problem is with Scuba Pro itself and its only-through-the-dealer policy.  I would hope that the company factory would give me the highest probability of getting reliable service--although I recognize that even factory service is not 100% reliable. 

Finding a reliable dealer to service my reg locally is a trial and error process.  I don't have the time or opportunity to deal with the errors.  I can't just jump in the water and check out my reg before I go off on a trip.  I have to rent pool time or drive 30 miles to a quarry.  Then, if the thing doesn't work right, I would have to go back and repeat the process.

 

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