West Marine Customer service - a postive story! - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-11-2009
mstern's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 679
Thanks: 8
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 13
mstern is on a distinguished road
West Marine Customer service - a postive story!

Most posts about West Marine seem to be negative; I thought I would relay a positive story about their customer service.

A couple of weeks ago, my automatic inflatable pfd went off while it was in the back of my car. I went to order a rearming kit, and was able to find it in West Marine's on-line catalog. The kit comes in a few days, and I check the packaging; yup, it matches the make and model of my pfd (an older SOSpenders). However, when I go to install the bobbin and cylinder, I find that the bobbin doesn't fit. Not even close.

I call West Marine's customer service, and the woman I spoke with immediately sent me a package of bobbins that were also keyed to my pfd. No charge. Well, those bobbins came in a few days, and they too did not fit. Another call to West Marine, and this time, they say they don't know what to do; they suggest I call the manufacturer, and they give me the number. I do call the manufacturer and learn why the bobbins don't fit. It seems that my pfd must have been bought prior to the Coast Guard certification of inflatable pfd's as "approved" devices. During that time, SOSpenders (and other brands too I am guessing) used a different design for the bobbins. However, it was a different bobbin design that gained approval, and only that newer design is now sold. The confusion was compounded by the fact that SOSpenders did not change the model number of the pfd after the switchover. The upshot: my pfd can no longer be used as an automatic inflatable. It will work fine as a manual model, but I can't buy a bobbin to fit the triggering device.

Once I learned this, I called back West Marine to return the now useless rearming kit. I wound up with the same customer service rep I started with. She remembered my problem, and once I explained the story, she immediately credited my account for the full amount. She also told me it wasn't worth shipping it back to West Marine, and for me to keep it and use it to rearm the pfd as a manual unit. She also made some notes to share with her colleagues as she said this had come up before and they didn't know why the bobbins weren't fitting. While I wasn't happy that I need to buy a new auto pfd, I was pleased with West Marine's response and the service.

One more important piece of info to share: Coleman (the owner of the SOSpenders brand) is offering a discount to those in the same situation as me. They will give you 25% off the price of a new pfd if your old pfd is a pre-Coast Guard approved model that cannot be rearmed. Pick out a new vest from their website, call them and they will give you directions on how to ship your old vest to them, and how to get the discount.

btw, careful readers will realize that I waited quite a bit of time to replace the bobbin in my pfd. After all, the Coast Guard certified inflatable pfds years ago; just how long did this dope wait before servicing the unit? I know, I know; I was supposed to replace the bobbin after a year or two. Live and learn. At least now I have four replacement bobbins on hand.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 07-11-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,710
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
We recently had another good customer service experience at the local store. They had a certain one of their boat hooks on sale, but were out of stock. So they took our number and said they'd call. Well, it was maiden voyage day for our new-to-us little stink-boat, we were going to need a boat hook to fetch the starboard dock lines on return, and I didn't really want to borrow one from Abracadabra if I could avoid it. So we called the store to see if more of the boat hooks that were on sale had come in yet. Woman said truck was just being unloaded, and she'd check. She came back and said two of them had been on the truck, and said she'd hold one for us. We ran down there. Turned out what they'd received was a more expensive, longer-reaching boat hook. But she went ahead and gave it to us for the sale price of the less-expensive boat hook, anyway. (Btw: Turned out we needed that extra length, so we really lucked-out on this one!)

That's the second time the exact same thing has happened to us at WM, and it's one reason we keep going back. We've found WM's customer service to be excellent, so far.

Jim
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 07-12-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 493
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
Quickstep192 is on a distinguished road
Just curious. Do you know how one identifies whether or not their SOSpenders PFD can be re-armed?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 07-15-2009
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Buy the re-arm kit and see if it fits. If it doesn't—you have the older style. You then can qualify for the discount and save the bobbin for the new PFD, when you get it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
Just curious. Do you know how one identifies whether or not their SOSpenders PFD can be re-armed?
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 07-16-2009
mstern's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 679
Thanks: 8
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 13
mstern is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
Just curious. Do you know how one identifies whether or not their SOSpenders PFD can be re-armed?
According to SOSpenders, the easiest way to tell seems to be the color of the bobbin. If it is red, orange, or really any color other than yellow, its probably a discontinued design.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
West Marine Bosun's Chair Recalls Birdface Gear & Maintenance 3 07-21-2008 12:40 AM
10% off and free shipping West Marine punjabi Gear & Maintenance 11 11-09-2007 10:55 PM
West Marine Boating Survey NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 07-11-2006 07:15 AM
West Marine Foul Weather Gear fjbastone Gear & Maintenance 8 12-02-2003 07:27 AM
Marine Radios Overview Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 09-30-1999 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:07 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.