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  #21  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Like many cruisers I work for West Marine. I can't say the compensation is great but the discounts are and the company is a very good employer. We're hiring!

We should all recognize that people who have a bad experience are much more vocal than those that have a good experience.

Still, the stories I hear don't sound like the company I work for. We have a technical knowledge expectation that is really something else. If you see Tech 5, Tech 10, or Tech 15 on an Associates name badge those people have passed some pretty rigorous tests to earn that label.

In terms of customer service it is not unusual for Associates to drop something off at another store to support a customer or even deliver directly to a cruiser that has no ground transportation. We have Port Supply vans running between stores. On top of that, employees driving to and from work pick things up and drop things off all the time. When you're in a West Marine and the person on the other side of the counter says "we'll have that for you tomorrow" it may be because a motivated Associate is making sure you get what you need.

If you have a bad experience at West Marine I KNOW the company doesn't want that to have happened.

I am not an authorized spokesman for West Marine. I'm just a guy that works in a store. I'm active in SSCA and serve on a USCG committee. I have a small business trying to keep its head above water. I simply have a different perspective than some of the posters on this thread.

I can say with great assurance that West Marine is all about customer service. The company expects us to delight the customer. I take research projects home to find parts. I'm not alone. West Marine knows that the boating customer has alternatives. West Marine wants to be the dependable, responsive, and supportive source for your boating needs.
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  #22  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

So far, I've had positive experiences with West Marine. All the workers were older, experienced guys, and many of them skippers. Love the catalog.
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  #23  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Sweet! Another WM bashing thread.

I'm thankful for their business most of the time. Yes, they charge a lot, but they still price match for local competition which is what what should be the case. They normally carry much more products than other local businesses and have a nice return policy. All the bashing WM takes can be made against other stores in different industries too. If you don't like them, just don't shop there. Get all your stuff online and wait days to get it.
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  #24  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

I've been to the west marine there. Is it next to Walmart in the west side of town?
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  #25  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

I think the real issue (and the reason these threads keep popping up) is so many of us have a love/hate relationship with West Marine.

Part of that is inconsistency. This weekend I needed a 6" 3M buffing wheel to start MaineSail's hull polishing routine. My local guy didn't have the pad in stock so I called West Marine in Brick, waited while they checked, "yep we got 'em". Drove 30 minutes and no pads and no one willing to admit they talked to me on the phone. Asked if they had TefGel in stock. No one in the store knew what it was and according to the computer none in stock. So I get home and check and West is DOUBLE the price of Defender and Jamestown. I get that brick and mortar needs a little more markup - but double is a bit extreme and I've run into this on other parts - a Shurflo pump and a water filter in the past two months. I price check anything before buying it there.

Don't get me wrong. I buy a lot of stuff in West and I would miss them if they were gone. But sometimes it seems like they're going out of their way to tick off the customer. More than one WM employee has remarked on this new CEO and the changes in direction. One local manager told me he couldn't believe how many pissed off people had walked out over the new price matching policy.

His point was simple: if Defender or Jamestown can sell at that price West isn't losing money on the sale, they're just not making as much. And chances are that customer is buying multiple items, not just the one they're price matching. The fact that most other brick and mortar stores like Best Buy are moving to a price matching policy just makes it stand out as that much more short sighted.
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  #26  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by remetau View Post
Sweet! Another WM bashing thread.
Who is bashing? People are commenting on their experiences and how it impacts their shopping decisions. Why is that not fair? People commented on Defender and the ownership / management responded directly to the thread. I am sure WM would want to hear that it's inventory control policy of following customers around the store also has a downside (less likely to browse and buy). I would imagine they are also interested in hearing about how price matching impacts buying habits. That costs them a significant portion of my business. Like I said, I really hope they make it.

As an aside, there are some spectacularly good WM employees (3 come to mind right off) . . ..
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
Who is bashing?
As to my experience on this site, give it time...

If you really feel that WM should hear your comments, why bother on here. Write the corporation as to your opinion on how their business should be ran.
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  #28  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Yet another benefit to sailing in Maine, we have Hamilton Marine.
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  #29  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Here's my issue with WM.
I hate losing money, but I also hate online shopping. Typically when I need something for the boat, it is needed now - not in a week, not hopefully the right thing.
I also prefer to look you in the eye when i buy from you.

For that privilege I'm willing to pay a small premium - not double.

I recently pulled my boat for a bottom job. The lift operator asked me to point out where my speed probe is to make sure it's not destroyed in the process.
Well, I got it wrong and the little impeller was broken.
No worries - i drive right past the WM on my way to the yard, and even better - if they don't have it in stock, I actually have a week to wait.

Well, the "friendly" WM associate first tried to convince me that the impeller can't be ordered separately. When I gave him the Airmar/Raymarine part number for the replacement kit, he insisted that the number is wrong. I asked him to check the internet (I got the part number on the net the previous night) when he told me he doesnt have time to search for it and that he cant help me.

Well, I just happened to also need a lot of other items for the boat.

I took my business to Defender.....

This is not the first run in for me with this specific store. Previously their store manager was really out to PISS everyone off - same attitude - "I dont have time for you"
Fortunately, she was either promoted out of harms way or she PISSED off one customer to many.

Now, when I do stop by the WM, I specifically go search out individuals that want to help - even if they are not the most knowledgeable, as long as they have a "You're my customer - I want to serve you" attitude.
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  #30  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
I am sure WM would want to hear that it's inventory control policy also has a downside.
Here's a winner of a decision. WM is really pushing electronics. Yet if you buy your electronics from them you can't get any of the NMEA 2000 connectors /adapters needed to complete the installation. These are all 'special order' parts.

So any advantage to having your gear now over mail order is right out the window - may as well go mail order and pay less if you can't install it anyway. These are also the very parts you're likely to discover you need during an install. The stuff you'll make the trip for and happily pay a few dollars more for to have it today - except the local staff will tell you that you have to special order them - and this is at the new 'super stores' with their large electronics departments.


While reading through this thread I bopped over to the WM site and started reading through the press releases. It seems the new CEO is focused on WM's online store over their brick and mortar. Guess what he did at REI before becoming CEO of WM?
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Last edited by JimMcGee; 06-03-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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