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Old 27-11-2007, 15:26   #1
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Defender.com

So often when there is a thread about a company or supplier it is a negative rant (some VERY justified) about the product or service.....this thread is the opposite...

So when we bought our Stevens 47 a few months back it was advertised as having a dinghy and outboard....we see during survey that the dinghy is an Avon of about 1992 vintage....still serviceable but in sad shape really...VERY well used shall we say....with a newer Yamaha 15hp 2-stroke Enduro...I tested the dinghy and outboard a few weeks ago...the outboard started right up on the second pull...hadn't been started in at least 6mnths so I was impressed...it ran like a champ...however I decided to replace the dinghy...I did my research on here as well as other places and decided to go with a Walker Bay Genesis Deluxe 340 Hypalon seeing as we will be lost in the Big Blue for the next 5-10 years...I spoke with Stephan Lance of Defender and ordered the dinghy from them as they had a GREAT price (Boat show price of $3300.00 including shipping to the boat) that couldn't be beaten anywhere else I looked...the Caribe/AB equivalent was in the upper $4000's.
I needed the dinghy delivered by the 19th of this month as I was leaving the marina for Thanksgiving....Walker Bay were slow getting the order out to Defender and it became touch and go whether I would get it in time....but I did...it showed up exactly when it was supposed to....

The cool thing and the point of this post is that Stephan from Defender kept in touch the WHOLE way through...he pushed Walker Bay to get the order out...he tracked the order for me and kept me up to date every couple of days as to where the truck was...he pushed in their warehouse to extract MY dinghy (1 of 60)from the truck the minute it arrived to them and had it on UPS freight within 2 hours of them getting it....then he followed up today with a phonecall to make sure everything went ok and that I was happy....I couldn't have asked for a better experience...SO outstanding I wanted to share it with you.... (and the dinghy is TOP NOTCH too!!!)

(Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Defender at all...just a happy customer...)
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Old 27-11-2007, 16:06   #2
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I have had similar experiences with Defender. I had a guy coordinate my purchase through a time when we moved the boat (from marina to marina) and everything went off without a hitch.

They also coordinated a dinghy purchase for me when I bought my boat several thousand miles from home.

I've had nothing but great experiences with them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangiroo View Post
So often when there is a thread about a company or supplier it is a negative rant (some VERY justified) about the product or service.....this thread is the opposite...

So when we bought our Stevens 47 a few months back it was advertised as having a dinghy and outboard....we see during survey that the dinghy is an Avon of about 1992 vintage....still serviceable but in sad shape really...VERY well used shall we say....with a newer Yamaha 15hp 2-stroke Enduro...I tested the dinghy and outboard a few weeks ago...the outboard started right up on the second pull...hadn't been started in at least 6mnths so I was impressed...it ran like a champ...however I decided to replace the dinghy...I did my research on here as well as other places and decided to go with a Walker Bay Genesis Deluxe 340 Hypalon seeing as we will be lost in the Big Blue for the next 5-10 years...I spoke with Stephan Lance of Defender and ordered the dinghy from them as they had a GREAT price (Boat show price of $3300.00 including shipping to the boat) that couldn't be beaten anywhere else I looked...the Caribe/AB equivalent was in the upper $4000's.
I needed the dinghy delivered by the 19th of this month as I was leaving the marina for Thanksgiving....Walker Bay were slow getting the order out to Defender and it became touch and go whether I would get it in time....but I did...it showed up exactly when it was supposed to....

The cool thing and the point of this post is that Stephan from Defender kept in touch the WHOLE way through...he pushed Walker Bay to get the order out...he tracked the order for me and kept me up to date every couple of days as to where the truck was...he pushed in their warehouse to extract MY dinghy (1 of 60)from the truck the minute it arrived to them and had it on UPS freight within 2 hours of them getting it....then he followed up today with a phonecall to make sure everything went ok and that I was happy....I couldn't have asked for a better experience...SO outstanding I wanted to share it with you.... (and the dinghy is TOP NOTCH too!!!)

(Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Defender at all...just a happy customer...)
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Old 27-11-2007, 16:11   #3
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There was someone here (or on the SSCA) that was ripping them apart for something or other. My experiences have been great with them as well. I wish their website would get out of the stone ages a bit, but other than that, they're great.
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Old 27-11-2007, 16:38   #4
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Nothing but good to say about Defender. When my regulator went in Daytona went to the local WM and found out WM didn't even stock them anymore - had to be a "special order". Of course it was Friday, called Defender, got one on Tuesday. Talked to Defender yesterday trying to get a few joker valves, none in stock ( no one has any!) but Defender called me back and said when they'd be available. Lot of work for a $25 order!!
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Old 27-11-2007, 16:56   #5
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I've dealt with Defender over the years, and have been very happy with the pricing, and service on the orders. No complaints from me.
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:17   #6
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In my limited expeience Defender has been great to deal with. Although the catalog is very old school, maybe that's one way they keep costs down.
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:26   #7
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In my limited expeience Defender has been great to deal with. Although the catalog is very old school, maybe that's one way they keep costs down.
I do like Defender's catalog better than the "new school" one West Marine has:

West Marine: "Here is a CD-ROM. You don't like it?? Well you can buy a paper catalog from us then."

What I did instead? I got a Defender catalog and never went back into WM.
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:45   #8
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I live close enough to visit Defender regularly, I find the people there to be helpful, they always have what I need and generally at a reasonable cost. If I have to order on line, they are prompt and again reasonably priced.
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:51   #9
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I frequently drive past Defender to go to WM. Well, why in the hell would anyone in his right mind do that? Well, says I, Defender's warranty is less than admirable. Up front they offer good service, reasonable delivery, but warranty claims are a bird of another feather.
Don't get me wrong - I shop at Defender frequently - but I am careful what I buy. Their prices on electronics can be beat by my marina every time and I won't have any warranty issues.
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:59   #10
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Interesting....
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Old 27-11-2007, 22:23   #11
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Being on the west coast US and now Hawaii, I wish Defender was out here. Everytime I go to WM, the fastener section becomes smaller as the clothing department becomes larger. If I make the error of asking the staff (usually a High School kid) a question about paint. They begin to read off the back of the paint can. I explain to them that I was asking a question about the product not unable to see or read!
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Old 15-04-2008, 13:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
I do like Defender's catalog better than the "new school" one West Marine has:
So do I!

Quote:
West Marine: "Here is a CD-ROM. You don't like it?? Well you can buy a paper catalog from us then."
Uh, NO...if you want any of my business you'll "give me a catalogue free"!

Quote:
What I did instead? I got a Defender catalog and never went back into WM.
Thats pretty much me...though on rare occasions.... I have to have something "yesterday" for a quick repair...and if I can't find it "elsewhere" in a timely fashion...I'll literally force myself to go there...

I have always been happy with my dealings with Defender. I have always gotten what I have ordered, and it arrived when it was supposed to, and the prices were always what was stated. I will continue doing business with them when I can.

Here is a business that I bought a bunch of electronics from....and they beat Defender's prices....and delivered 100% on time as required when we bought our boat.... Raymarine, Furuno and Top Name Brand Marine Electronics from Ultimate Passage Discount Marine Electronics

I will do business with them again as well....and have referred friends to them who have been happy with the service and prices as well.
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Old 02-08-2008, 13:16   #13
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Quote:
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What I did instead? I got a Defender catalog and never went back into WM.
Take your Defender Catalog to West Marine and ask them to match the prices. They have never refused me yet. Then you get the best of both worlds. Good price and a reliable warranty that is good at any WM in the US.
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Old 02-08-2008, 13:56   #14
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Both WM and Defender have allot more of my money than I do. WM is definitley a great immediate solution, but given time to order a part, Defender has always been a good choice. I have run into a few snafu's with Defender, but the end result has always been a focus on customer service. On one occasion, they discontinued a part I had ordered. They did not follow up with me, and I had to call them to find out I was not getting my part. They took the appropriate steps to try to resolve the issue. I was not satisfied with the outcome, as I did not get my part, but I was satisfied with the customer service I received. I had another similar issue about 10 years ago. Defender discontinued a part that I wanted. The vendor no longer supplied them. They provided the contact info for the vendor, and, as it turned out, the vendor was on the access road to the marina where I kept my boat. In California. The vendor was closing their business to public sales to supply only certain distributors, and was not open to the public, but agreed to sell me the part at Defender's cost.
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Old 02-08-2008, 16:02   #15
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I'm in Baltimore and WM is about a $4 trip back and forth away. I only buy stuff I need immediately or would be difficult to ship (volatile chemicals) from WM. Defender delivers in 36hrs, no tax, and shipping is usually less than the tax and gas cost. Defender also carries most everything I need in stock where the local WM has to get stuff from the warehouse. Defender will also match any internet price if you ask. WM says they will but you still have to add tax. WM is in trouble! The new CEO has sent me an email stating that they will match ANY price.
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