Your comments on Sports Chalet

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Posted by Wayne on July 02, 2003 at 12:19:25:

In Reply to: Re: A Customer like you posted by Eagle Ray on July 02, 2003 at 11:09:10:

You said: "While I agree that Sport Chalet is very below standards as far as instuction..."

I do not know exactly who you are agreeing with. There are some really good instructors at SC, based on the number of good reports I have heard. I have run into at least one bad one, too. But with a large teaching staff, that stands to reason.

You also suggest thay they cannot help you with gear selection, and again, it depends of the employee that you see.

While I am generally not a SC customer for dive gear, it is for other reasons. I prefer a company where the focus is diving when I buy diving equipment (just like I buy bicycles at specialty bike shops). I also prefer that I do not walk to the very end of the store lugging tanks to be filled.

To that end, I prefer to buy from a local supplier. I prefer to buy from a store where they will remember that I am a customer anytime I come in -- even if I just came in to pick up this month's CDN and say "hi".

When I have had problems with gear, the "local shop(s)have always come through for me. A recent example was a Quest magnadoodle slate I purchased at Sports Chalet on a lark while buying some non-dive equipment. After a while, its cells started leaking and it was getting ugly. I had it for only a few months, and I think I just got a bad one. WHen I went back to SC, they said they do not have them in stock, so they must not sell them (I had the reciept) and they could not even give me a contact number for the company. The next time I was getting tanks VIP'd at American Diving, I mentioned it since I wanted to copy down the phone number from thier display unit and call the manufacturer. Instead, Lori called the local salesman and got him to take care of it. The replacement one worked fine, by the way.

Lori did not have to get involved, but typical of a customer service driven local dive shop, they stepped up and used their influence to make sure I was happy. American Diving in Lomita is great that way. I was in Sea D Sea once getting my CDN and mentioned a problem to one of the guys there. Same thing -- they immediately offered to help. I have been in Reefseekers only once and all I bought was Chamber Day, but when I was there, they made sure that I was helped and they talked to me about what they had on display and some masks I was looking at for my wife. I believ ethat they woudl have worked ot make sure I was well served if I bought stuff or not. Never been in Jim's store - cause cypress is too far for me to be a regular customer - but it sounds like he is the same way.

You know, we spend a lot of money on diving and equipment. Trying to save a couple of bucks by buying it from discounters seems smart at the time, it is better to buy it from a place that will stand with you after the sale. ALso if the little guys are driven out of business by the big discounters and our shortsidedness, we will all suffer. I remember when the big dairies killed off the independants and we pay more for milk than gasoline as a result.

That is why I do not make major purchases of dive gear at SC. And like I said, they clearly have good satisfactory instruction available. Like anywhere you might consider getting training, check out the instructor and see how you get along before you pay your money.


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