Re: Dive Shop Loyalty?

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Posted by kelphead on April 13, 2000 at 18:20:38:

In Reply to: Dive Shop Loyalty? posted by Cancer on April 13, 2000 at 15:49:07:

cancer (don't know why you picked such a handle, but...)
i'm sure you're going to get quite a bit of a response
from others about this b/c dive shop loyalty, as
you have put it, is a hot button issue. = : D

however, i have learned fast and hard in my relatively
short career as a recreational diver.

the crux of it is that i agree wholeheartedly w/kimo's
comments. it's not that i won't consider being "loyal"
(to a certain degree) to a shop, but it definitely
depends on how they treat me as a customer.

example: apparently i know more about why the quality
of the air in my tank is an important issue, but
three boneheads at the huntington beach 'sport chalet'
evidently did not. not only did they actually laugh
at me when i questioned them about the quality of
their air, when they realized i was serious, they
didn't know what the answer was (ie, they didn't even
know how clean or well maintained their compressor was)
and they couldn't find their own logbook.

i have decided for myself that if the employees
of a dive shop don't take me seriously, i won't
deal w/them.

also, there are some (perhaps too many) dive shop
owners out there who have the attitude that their
way is the ONLY way and my experiences or the opinions
of other highly experienced divers are "wrong". i've run
into this attitude way too often and such arrogance
is really a turn off for me.

my point is that there are other things that are
just as important if not more important than price
and if a dive shop does not meet a criteria for
service, then no matter how expensive or how INexpensive
their products are, i will choose or not choose
to do business w/them.

when it comes to the exclusive issue of cost, i am
certainly not afraid to shop around, only b/c i really
truly am on a very fixed budget as a grad student
(i won't tell you my actual stipend, but i will tell
you that i make less than 20,000$ a year gross).

so, i'm not shy in buying the SAME EXACT NAME BRAND
PRODUCT for the least amount of $$ i can find it at.

i have even bought a couple of items via mail order
(actually, i bought them from legit dive shops that
are located cross country and they shipped to me, but
i THINK that counts as "mail order".)

the bottom line is if it were me, i would certainly
NOT feel obligated to any ONE shop. i actually
patronize a number of shops. i look for knowledgebility
of the staff, how friendly and timely their service
is, price of product (ie, how inflated is it compared
to other surrounding shops), and how much they
care for my return business. sometimes i think i'm
too picky, other times i think i'm not picky enough.

hell!! i trust my car mechanic MUCH more than i do
my local dive shop--i'm not kidding when i say that...

= : |

the bottom bottom line is: do what you think is
best for your situation.

btw, some people will argue that we HAVE to patronize
dive shops b/c of the important life support equipment
that we buy, but i also notice that some dive
shops don't treat such life support equipment as such;
they treat it as just another product to make a buck.
a slight contradiction there: they want US to feel
like the equipment is so sacred that we should
pay premium for it, but they turn around and act
like it's just another business--nothing sacred about it.

best wishes.


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