Re: buying first set of scuba gear, help needed!

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Posted by Omar The Great on July 20, 2000 at 15:50:51:

In Reply to: buying first set of scuba gear, help needed! posted by Ville on July 20, 2000 at 05:20:49:

This is something I have been wanting to get off my chest for quite some time now. Diver's Discount Supply is notorious for suckering in a new diver and giving them the warm and fuzzies about the sport and equipment needs. They will tell you exactly what you want to hear and make you believe you are getting the most absolute best in value by buying from them. This is really true when they sell you a complete package. A package that's only as good as it's lowest quality component. Their Ocean Quest line of gear is totally crap and mostly manufactured in the orient. They say they have a lifetime warranty for the line, but when you send a piece in more than twice for repair, they write you off as being too hard on the gear and won't honor the warranty due to neglect and overuse. Their higher end equipment, the stuff everyone should be buying is priced about on par with other shops. They had a training company that did their certifications that was/is a complete joke. I have bought BCs, wetsuits and regulators from them along with the usual knives, gauges and consoles, I learned my lesson after 5 years of doing business with them that nothing beats a small shop for service and quality. I would also stay away from Sport Chalet stores. They can never decide if they are in the diving and training business or not. Diver's Discount Supply and Sport Chalet seem to have a much higher turnover in their staff. One time a while back, I walked into the Diver's Discount Supply store on the Intersate 5 highway in Santa Fe Springs (it's gone now) about a dozen times over a two month period. I never saw the same familiar face twice so I had to keep re-explaining my gear problems with their equipment each time I came in. I finally got fed up with them after visiting the Diver's Discount Supply store in Universal City to order a part for my Pelican light. The store was empty and the two guys over the counter were busy watching a video one of them brought from a recent trip. The one guy named I think Hal stepped up to me and asked what I needed. I told him the collar and lens for my Pellican light was cracked and I needed to buy another one. As the other guy in the store oohed and awwed over the video, Hal kept walking away to see the video and coming back to me to ask if I wanted to but a new light. Again I explained I didn't need a new light, just the new screw collar and lens. I also told him that I knew that Pellican had a replacement number for the part and I already had an idea of what it should cost. Hal told me that that was fine, but there would be no new warranty on the light after I repaired it unless I bought a new one. I was so steamed I told him he had better have his facts straight because I was going to check on that statement. I left the store, called Pellican in Torrance from my car and verified that there was no warranty issue, in fact I may already be covered under warrenty for the cracked colar and lens. They told me to go ahead and mail them the light and they would call to let me know what I needed to do next. I mailed it off on a Tuesday and received it back on Saturday with a new collar and lens, cost - $0. I see it this way, Diver's Discount Supply wanted to make a sale rather than honor a possible factory warranty issue with a light I had previously purchased from them. I now avoid Diver's Discount Supply at all costs, which is money well spent. Stay with a shop that will get to know you ans well as you want to get to know them. Don't buy life support equipment on the cheap, there is a reason why it's cheap. Ask around of some on the more seasoned divers in your area on what brands or types they use and why. That's a real good question -why?-. Anyone can tell you what to buy from your instructor, buddy, local divemaster, or even a not much more than minimal wage earner at Costco. I bet thay cannot tell you with a reasonable set of facts why it's the best for your type of diving.

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