Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Ordering from Sailnet - DON''''T
My ordering experiences with Sailnet are now somewhat dated, all occurring between 2000 & 2003, and not all were disappointing. However, they seemed to validate that Sailnet is a small, cost-driven organization which is highly dependent on a small number of employees which, over time, come & go, and take with them the resident expertise they develop while there. (This is as opposed to organizations like WM, where procedures & systems are highly formalized, job skills narrowed and skill levels determine who is allowed to handle which calls. Boat/U.S. used to be of a somewhat similar nature, altho'' smaller. I''m not sure what their organizational status is now).
I placed 6 orders in the late 2002- early 2003 period, while we were prepping the boat for Europe. 3 of the orders were filled correctly and 3 were not: wrong item, ordered item not sent, incomplete fill. Remedying each of the 3 errors presented a different experience, as a result of systems changes at Sailnet and different employees having different knowledge. In the end, Sam Boyle was busy on this BB claiming I was lying about the whole experience while his folks were still scurrying to make things right. I didn''t end up out any money and all these orders were not critical ones, because I was already wary of Sailnet''s abilities from previous experiences (back when they owned JSI in St. Pete).
I have subsequently moved most of my ''catalog-type'' orders to Defender. When they were forced to either die or embrace electronic commerce, the realities of needing solid, accurate inventory controls and timely shipping & shipment tracing practices had, in my experience, a huge impact on the quality of their service. They were always cost competitive; now they seem to be highly dependable, as well. Moreover, I was invitged to work with a specific individual there when placing orders (as opposed to the ''800#'' system), which has been tremendously helpful while outside of the U.S. (I''m told this is open to anyone who prefers this arrangement). When we gave up on our funky CPT autopilot, it only took two emails from the boat''s SSB radio to get a price quote, place an order, and receive shipment info to a port we were approaching in Germany...all at a price I couldn''t beat anywhere else. To my mind and especially because of our transient nature, this is huge value for money and greatly appreciated, too.