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Old 23-08-2015, 04:03   #1
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Refund for a stained sail

Would like to hear opinions what people think about the following:

We bought an asym. spinnaker from a well known Asian sailmaker.
All went well and smooth from order, production and to sending to Europe - communication was prompt and good. Only local customs was expensive due to their way fo calculating and adding freight costs (...don't get me started...)

However when we had a look at the spinnaker it was very quickly obvious that this brand new sail had black oil stains in many places, possibly from production (dirty sewing machine).

Here are some photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/paJx44qqmimBhbGS7

The stains are in many places mostly next to seams, and range from small spots to about 5-6 cm long and 1 cm wider black. It's not just a few in one area they are in many places. We tried to clean one with no success.

When we contacted the sailmaker he immediately offered to make us a new sail.
BUT
we do not have the time to go through the process again (as we are leaving in about 2 weeks) nor do we want to pay (again) overpriced customs + duty.

The sailmaker now offers a partial refund as a second option.

So what percentage of the full price should this refund be?
25%?
50%?
If we would order a new sail and try to sell the stained one we possibly would only recoup
50% of what we paid.

What do others think would be a fair refund? Thanks for inputs.
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Old 23-08-2015, 05:54   #2
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

The stains appear to be small. 10% discount or whatever the sailmaker offers.
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Old 23-08-2015, 06:38   #3
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

Try to determine how much sailing performance you lose due to the staining, and ask for that much refund...
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Old 23-08-2015, 09:04   #4
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

I think it depends on how much it would annoy you to see the marks whenever you use it. Some people could not live with such imperfections whereas others would happily accept them in return for savings to the budget. Once set and filled with wind the marks may not be so obvious.

If you had walked into a sailmaker and been offered this sail at a discount instead of having one made what would you expect to pay? Maybe 30% off would be a fair compromise if you think it is usable for you.

If you decide you wouldn't be satisfied to keep it, then 50% off may still be more than you would get by selling it.
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Old 23-08-2015, 09:59   #5
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

They probably won't hurt the sail performance, but if it were me I would be pissed. I think you should get something back. If I had bought it local I would have asked for a replacement at no charge. If you do that with the Chinese firm you might have to paid duty twice unless you could get a credit for the first import charge. Good luck.
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:18   #6
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailabroad View Post
Would like to hear opinions what people think about the following:

We bought an asym. spinnaker from a well known Asian sailmaker.
The oil stains look like the result of an over oiled sewing machine. especially after not being oiled for some time. This is my beef with Asian sailmakers. Yes, they are cheaper than US or European sailmakers but you would see better quality than this.
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:41   #7
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

I don’t understand who would think it was ok to ship something like that.
The only explanation is they are banking on the fact that it’s to inconvenient it exchange it and that most customers will not bother.

If they are willing to sell me a damaged product at that point I must start to question the quality of the product and its craftsmanship.

I find that unethical business practice normally go hand in hand with shoddy work.

I would expect a 100% replacement at no cost to me. Or my money back + Costs. Plain and simple. This is not what I paid for cosmetic or not.

Stand firm, Post reviews, contact senior management it may be a problem they are not aware of.
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:30   #8
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailabroad View Post

The sailmaker now offers a partial refund as a second option.
What are they offering?
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:31   #9
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geekatlrg View Post

If they are willing to sell me a damaged product at that point I must start to question the quality of the product and its craftsmanship.

I find that unethical business practice normally go hand in hand with shoddy work.
Exactly...But good luck getting a full refund and the crazy cost of customs.
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Old 23-08-2015, 12:49   #10
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

If it is OIL on NYLON, iirc oil degrades nylon and weakens it, and spinnakers don't need weak spots.


The OP says the sailmaker is willing to replace it. I think I'd look into whether that can be made feasible, who pays the return shipping on the old one (or what is done with it) and perhaps whether the sailmaker can send the new one to some destination en route so you can pick it up along the way to someplace. Customs duty paid or waived to "Yacht in transit".


Might be simpler long term to just figure out the details and set up a schedule that allows you to have it replaced.
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Old 23-08-2015, 13:10   #11
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

Don't give up on the replacement option. Talk to your Customs people. They may be willing to waive any duties for a like-for-like replacement. I have done this before in St Kitts and Nevis. They waived all duties and fees, and took possession of the original item.
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Old 23-08-2015, 13:13   #12
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

thanks for all responses
it was good to get people's different opinions.
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Old 23-08-2015, 15:41   #13
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geekatlrg View Post
If they are willing to sell me a damaged product at that point I must start to question the quality of the product and its craftsmanship.

I find that unethical business practice normally go hand in hand with shoddy work.
Never mind the stains, did anyone notice the stitching ?
I would not consider this an acceptable sail just based on the stitching alone .... looks like I made this in my basement
I would expect this sail to have stress risers all over the place and I would expect it to blow out way earlier than it should.
Full disclosure: I haven't got a clue about sails but no way would I accept this 'thing' ..... <shudder>
Second thought: maybe the stitching only 'looks' crap because of wrinkles in the sail
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Old 23-08-2015, 15:58   #14
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

For how much you will fly it take the discount, go buy a degreaser or take the discount and go get it professional cleaned.

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Old 25-08-2015, 13:33   #15
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Re: Refund for a stained sail

I'm a sailmaker and I can't see anything wrong with the stitching.
Looks like ink rather than machine oil. Should have been picked up by quality check. Normally warranty replacement doesn't incur duty or tax, its listed on the invoice which is also $0 value.
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