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Old 12-02-2013, 08:37   #1
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Kudos to companies that support their products

During the course of my overhaul I have had a few very pleasant interactions with manufacturers and thought it would be appropriate to start a new thread to recognize some of the companies that do a great job of supporting the products they make.

Most recently I had a problem with a Jabsco Par-Max bilge pump, probably due to operator error. So emailed tech support one evening, they responded the next day, helped me diagnose the problem and when we learned that a repair would require purchase of an "assembly" costing almost half the value of a new pump, volunteered to send me the single bearing I needed free of charge.

Similar experience with Victron. Managed to drop the cover screws for the inverter/charger into the inaccessible nether regions of the bilge and also misplaced the battery temp sensor for the charger. They mailed both to me, again free of charge.

West Systems epoxy. Working on a tricky project trying to repair some wood where the batteries leaked acid. Called and later emailed West tech support. When I called I got someone on the phone immediately. When I emailed got reply the next morning.

Forespar. Have a very old whisker pole that came with the boat with the jaws corroded and cut open. Sent me repair parts free of charge.

Defender Industries. Always helpful, ship promptly, no hassle warranty returns and always good prices.

West Marine. Yes I know lots of people don't like them but they do have good prices on many items, you just have to compare, but also excellent warranty and support on what they sell. Plus if you live near one of their stores and need something now it's a great resource.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:48   #2
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

I recently split the eyecup on a pair of Zeiss binoculars that went out of production in the mid 90's. They came with a lifetime guarantee, but I no longer have the paperwork on the original purchase. I emailed the serial number to Zeiss, and received a replacement set of eyecups immediately, no charge.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:53   #3
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A couple of years ago I bought a used furuno radar. There was no display cover . The model was discontinued and I was not able to find one. At the boat show">Miami boat show I asked where I could find one. They asked me my address. A few weeks after I received a new cover free of charge. Good service!
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Old 12-02-2013, 16:04   #4
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

Standard Horizon - setting the bar for others. I don't understand how Icom gets any VHF business at all.

Simrad/Navico - cumbersome contact (online form, no email) and somewhat slow response. But the person who does respond is an engineer steeped in knowledge and responds quickly through regular email after the initial contact. Your problem will be solved.

Actisense - holy crap do these guys know what they are doing! You will immediately get a response from an engineer who will not let go until the problem is solved. Even if you want him to just forget about you.

Sterling Power - an attempt at contact with them will likely result in Charles Sterling immediately responding at any time of day or day of week.

Richard Kollman - not really a company, but has the drive and goal of making sure that every single marine refrigeration system in the world is working correctly. A quixotic quest, to be sure, but that man is sure helpful.

Furuno's online forum is very helpful with technical people manning it. Response outside the forum is OK, but slow and not always technically adept.

Rosepoint Navigation (Coastal Explorer) is very good and quick to respond. Also has a good online forum.

Balmar - very quick to reply and you will be working with a technically deep person who will not give up on a problem.

Outback Power - I think everyone who works there, even in shipping and accounting, is technically knowledgeable.

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Old 12-02-2013, 16:38   #5
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

Teleflex - My tachometer was replaced, no questions asked, even though it may have been out of warranty. I'd bought it, waited a while to install, fought it for over a year and finally thought "let me write these guys a letter" ... I sent off a letter Christmas Eve and in the first week of January a new unit was on the way to my mailing address. They were the first company to respond.

BlueSeas -- sent off a letter at the same time and a couple weeks after Teleflex a new switch was sent to my mailing address. No-questions asked, and voila: problem solved.

West Marine -- they were next to respond (via phone) (they'd tried email but I didn't then have the wifi hotspot) and are sending/sent the new piece I needed for the hand-held VHF.

Coleman products -- BAH HUMBUG. Sent a "pass the buck" letter and I can assure you I'm rethinking my support of their products. Specifically, one of their canisters of propane didn't attach properly and much of the gas expelled. They said "operator error" or something to that effect. Since I use one canister per week PLUS at least another 30 or so over the winter season, that's 80+ products per year I won't be buying from Coleman. Worthington makes a good one -- and theirs are cheaper.
We won't get into the Coleman Catalytic Heater than only worked for two seasons.

I also wrote Davis products about their anchor light. No response from them at all.

So, KUDOS to Teleflex instruments, BlueSeas battery monitors and West Marine.
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Old 12-02-2013, 18:28   #6
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Actisense - holy crap do these guys know what they are doing! You will immediately get a response from an engineer who will not let go until the problem is solved. Even if you want him to just forget about you.


LOL, care to explain Mark?

Anyway, I want to add Maretron to the list. Her owner is also lurking on CF and always ready to stand up for their product. Pretty nifty products too, I may add.

I also must add Marine Warehouse for always finding a way to ship stuff we need to us wherever we are.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 12-02-2013, 18:45   #7
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Geonav......I went out on a limb and bought an autopilot from them. After crossing the Gulf of Mexico with the thing, I couldn't stand the skull penetrating blue halo light around the course knob. I sent them a product review and they promptly replied and offered to modify my control head free of charge!! The autopilot has been great!
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Old 22-05-2013, 16:19   #8
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

Why not kudos to companies that make equipment that doesn't need service. Good or otherwise.
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Old 22-05-2013, 16:32   #9
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

Fortress Anchors and Brian Sheehan. He has corresponded a lot with me about various things, and when it came up that I had purchased a couple of Fortress anchors a long, long time ago he sent me mud palms for them as they weren't standard when I bought the anchors. The anchors work great too: hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, they are the best holding anchor, pound for pound.
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Old 22-05-2013, 17:02   #10
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Why not kudos to companies that make equipment that doesn't need service. Good or otherwise.
Go for it. Feel free to add any one you like. However, my thought is, nothing lasts forever, especially in a marine environment so who takes care of their stuff when it dies.

Of course if their products have 50% DOA then good customer service to repair after the fact doesn't really count for much.
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Old 22-05-2013, 17:05   #11
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

In my experience Furuno electronics are not always the slickest, or have the best interfaces, or do all the latest fads, but they sure last and last and last.
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Old 22-05-2013, 18:09   #12
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

I was given an Edson steering wheel for christmas a few years back and the chrome nut was missing. I talked to them at the Miami boat show and the next week got one in the mail, free. Cool
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Old 31-05-2013, 01:25   #13
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Re: Kudos to companies that support their products

Anchorlift windlass,

I'm a charter boat and lay down 270'at least 2 times a day, my gear box stripped some teeth. Called Roger @ Anchor lift in flordia.

Didn't ask for anything but my address....which was in virgin islands, and he sent new motor/gearbox combo....fedEx free of charge.

Happy with their support
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