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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-07-2007
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Givens Life Rafts

I have an older Given's life raft that I am trying to get inspected, but have had extreme difficulty getting feedback from the manufacturer. Three months ago Given's advised me to inflate the raft myself, remove the flairs, and ship it to them. Three months have passed and I haven't gotten a single update except that they "don't rush testing" and that they will contact me when they know something.

Has anyone else had recent experience with Givens? Practical Sailor recently said they declined to submit a raft for their latest round of testing. I am starting to wonder who I am dealing with here and if I shouldn't just give my raft up for lost and buy a new one.
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Old 03-07-2007
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Maybe if you email Givens the post you placed here, you may get a very fast response.
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Old 03-07-2007
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They didn't seem to care. I've got a little blog, no where near the traffic of a sailnet, but didn't seem to phase them one bit.

http://leewinters.blogspot.com/2007/...r-service.html

They may just not have the people to handle everything.
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Old 03-19-2007
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Lee has advised me that his further posts to Givens have remained unanswered. I suggest that anyone considering the purchase of a new raft take his experience into account. Should Givens respond in some way Lee will let us know here. In the meantime Caveat Emptor.
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Old 03-19-2007
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I would suggest calling them, and if the phone is not answered, try to find out if there is a bankruptcy or some other problem going on. In any event, after three months you're entitled to your raft back and I'd say get it back NOW, inspected or uninspected. And perhaps file a complaint with the USCG as well.
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Old 03-20-2007
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I've made repeated attempts to call. The response was excellent when they knew I was considering buying a new raft to replace the old one. However, once I went from a prospective new raft customer to a service customer I got nothing. They will answer the phone they just will not tell me what is going on. The only feedback I get is that I am in line. I emailed again about two weeks ago and never got a reply. I think just asking for the raft back is a good idea except that there isn't a single service shop in TX that is qualified to certify Givens rafts. Today, March 20th is exactly 3 months to the day since I sent the raft in.
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Old 03-20-2007
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Quote:
The response was excellent when they knew I was considering buying a new raft to replace the old one. However, once I went from a prospective new raft customer to a service customer I got nothing. They will answer the phone they just will not tell me what is going on. The only feedback I get is that I am in line. I emailed again about two weeks ago and never got a reply. I think just asking for the raft back is a good idea except that there isn't a single service shop in TX that is qualified to certify Givens rafts. Today, March 20th is exactly 3 months to the day since I sent the raft in.
I think that's a good reason to avoid Givens in the future... as it doesn't appear that they stand behind their older products very well.
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Old 03-21-2007
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So I called again this morning to Givens and had a return call in a few minutes from both Frank and Lori Perrino. Needless to say, they were very unhappy that I was generating negative publicity for them that might negatively impact their business. They had received the tests from my raft and while it may be possible to perform several repairs they were of the opinion they no longer desired my patronage as a customer. I explained that the feeling was mutual at this stage and requested they dispose of the raft.

Interestingly, the second half of the conversation turned decidedly more positive. I reiterated that I was aware of the age of the raft and the fact that it my no longer be serviceable. Knowing that, if the raft couldn’t be salvaged, I had discussed purchasing a new raft when I first contacted Givens.

Frank stated that there were really two options in terms of high quality rafts: Givens & Switlik. Frank said that in order to show there was good faith on their end they would be willing to sell me a replacement raft at dealer cost.

An interesting offer and decidedly unexpected considering the start of the call. I am not sure I’ll take them up on it and will probably wait for next month’s practical sailor where they are doing a new set of raft testing. At least this is finally resolved. I don’t think the folks at Givens are bad people by any means, but I do think they are a little overwhelmed.
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Old 03-21-2007
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A very interesting offer...maybe.

Did they say why your raft was failed? Did it have glued seams that were failing, or some other specific problem?
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Old 03-23-2007
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Lots of seam work that needed to be done and several valves that had gone bad. I didn't get a list of any sort, just what was shared over the phone. It was a realatively heated conversation as they really came out firing. The offer definately gave me pause to think, but what happens in 2 years when the raft is due for inspection? Considering they still don't have a certified dealer in TX and there is no way I'd send one back to them in RI following this experience I think I will have to take a pass.
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