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Old 10-03-2015, 18:22   #1
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Viking Life-rafts

Howdy, I thought I'd share a cautionary tale regarding Viking for those looking at buying a liferaft.
We had our Viking raft accidentally deploy whilst on passage. The canopy suffered some damage on recovery. Back in Fort Lauderdale the raft was dropped off with a vendor specialising in inflatables and life rafts who then sent it on to Viking. Viking advised the liferaft was condemned much to our and the vendors surprise. Unfortunately we had to leave the States at this point for a sick family member. On return we followed up with the vendor and decided we would get the raft back and have another look at it as a few torn seams in the canopy is not a structural part of the raft and look at alternatives. On contacting Viking the vendor was told "they'd binned it". Naturally we were a bit taken aback and asked to at least get a damage report and have the safety equipment from the raft returned as it was all quite new. After many follow up calls and prodding for the damage report we have hit a wall. Although the primary responsibility to return our raft is probably more with the vendor (as we dropped it off to them) I can't blame them, they did the right thing and have been totally transparent throughout the process. I have been with them twice when Viking promised the damage report and been copied into their emails. The vender says they hate dealing with Viking precisely because of this arrogant attitude, this being one of many issues they've had with Viking. We have now bought a new raft, sold to us at cost price by the vendor.
So if you're thinking about buying a Viking liferaft ask around, our experience of their after sales service stinks and I would never buy another product made by them.

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Old 17-03-2015, 20:34   #2
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Re: Viking Life-rafts

Dear Sandy Feet,
We are so sorry to hear about your negative experience when your life raft needed servicing. Would you please contact us? We will of course do whatever we can to straighten this out.
Best regards
Karen Hansen

VIKING Life-Saving Equipment
Direct: +1 305 213 7957 - Cell: +1 305 213 7957

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Old 17-03-2015, 21:41   #3
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Re: Viking Life-rafts

I've dealt with the Miami Viking warehouse many times. It's always been a pleasant experience. They're nice folks.
Hopkins-Carter Marine Supplies & Fishing Tackle
What You Need, at the Price You Want...with Service!
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Old 17-03-2015, 21:49   #4
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Re: Viking Life-rafts

What kind of raft did you get instead of the Viking?
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Old 19-03-2015, 15:38   #5
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Re: Viking Life-rafts

The plot has somewhat thickened, thanks Karren (Viking sales manager) for getting in touch. It seems a former employee of the vendor gave the authority to scrap our raft, this seemingly came to light yesterday. There was a major breakdown in communication between the companies but apparently I'll get a damage report tomorrow, 3 months after the raft was inspected and a decision made to scrap it.
The outcome for us may have been the same, maybe the raft was beyond economical repair, but if the lines of communication were open we (the owners of said raft) would've been involved in that process.
From talking to Viking directly I get a better feeling about their support although if the damage report had been sent as promised twice over the last month it would've never have gone this far.
We ended up buying a Revere Offshore Commander. I don't know much about them and can't say whether I would recommend them or not, I guess I'll know at the next service.
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