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Old 04-08-2013, 10:07   #136
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Originally Posted by pbiJim View Post
I purchased a pair of hand held VHFs from West recently on a close out deal. I was traveling at the time. The price was great. The performance was terrible. I took them back to a different branch of West Marine this morning. I showed them the radios. They tested them & agreed that performance was poor. They offered me an exact replacement. We tested the new ones & found them to be about the same. They then gave me full credit for my original purchase & I bought a better radio that works well. I was completely happy with the customer service. I was pleasantly surprised that I was treated so well at a branch that was different from the one where I made the original purchase. I am not one of their advantage club members. They still treated me like a valued customer.
There you are. This thread provides an opportunity for people with both good and bad experiences to say their piece.

To suggest this thread is all about bashing West Marine is "ridiculous" - as some of you like to say.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:17   #137
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

Many hotels offer a shuttle service between themselves and the airport. I am not sure what their profit margin is, but they do it for good customer relations. Most chandlers have a dedicated vehicle for moving their goods, and usually a guy that is the gofer to drive it, when he isn't doing that he sweeps the floor etc.... If I had a chandlers store a couple miles from the harbor, I think I would make a ride available for those who need it. I have had that service in the past from chandlers in Seattle, and they didn't just run from the store to your boat, it really builds brand loyalty. Little extras that don't cost a great deal help build a loyal clientele. We only have 1 real chandler where I live, so they don't have to put out the doughnuts, coffee, & cocoa, but they do, and if you need help getting your gear to the harbor, they will come up with a way to help you out. Even though they have grown substantially since they started, you can still get a good down home feeling from them. It isn't the cost, it is the effort.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:19   #138
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Found this post to amuse those that think it's so rare....

"A couple of years ago we were docked at "The Wharf" in Orange Beach, Alabama and the pump in the shower sump went out. The marina store didn't have one, I walked about 2 miles to the WM store they didn't have it in stock, the mgr caled the Panama City store they did have it. So I ordered it, they drove me back to the boat, and about 6-7PM they brought the part to me at the marina, that was about a $50.00 sale. "
I didn't write the blue part...that was a fellow cruiser...

Not saying happens all the time or all over the place but to those who say it's ridiculous...well it happens not only at some WMs but lot's of other places too...guess it depends on a lot...but it doesn't depend on people thinking it's ridiculous...because it happens...and because I'm someone that it has happened to is why I may go to those places that show me that kindness again and again. Whether that's good for business or not...those who post specific places on websites that cater to cruisers...it certainly doesn't HURT those businesses.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:25   #139
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Until your post nobody has threatened participants in this discussion by referring to the "rules".

We are comparing business practices, not bashing anyone.

In most cases, issues related to liability is a red herring. If we follow your argument there would be no kind of service giving rides to anyone anywhere. No taxis, no bus service, no air service... Companies obtain insurance to protect themselves from claims. If West Marine or any other company decides giving lifts to customers beneficial to the company, they can insure for it.

I'm anchored off a small Texas town where an employee of the city government told me they don't want boaters coming ashore due to liability concerns - thus no dingy dock. Well, unless they post a policeman along the shoreline to tell boaters they can't come ashore due to liability concerns - their liability does not go away - and the wise thing to do is to make sure the city has insurance to cover for such an occurrence. In addition, building a dingy dock is most likely to help people to avoid injury - not cause it.

If there is a moderator who sincerely believes there is unwarranted, unreasonable bashing going on in this thread - then isn't it their business to bring it to a close and for participants to not have to suffer intimidation from others?

The insurance issue is not a "red herring." You use your car for business, you take on additional liabilities. That's the fact. Why should an employee making little more than minimum wage risk his or her insurance so someone else doesn't have to pay for a 5 minute taxi ride?
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:34   #140
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

I am interested in knowing when the referred comment appeared and where it was found.

Much of the content in this thread refers to the then and now years - before W.M. went public

I also wonder how West Marine would look upon an employee who, because a needed chart was not in stock, phones a competitor to see if they have the chart. Then, discovering the competitor does indeed have the chart - asks the competitor if they would mind delivering the chart to the marina from where the customer is scheduled to depart for Canada.

The sailor happily received the chart at the marina knowing full well who arranged for it's delivery. The West Marine employee. He may not have made a sale for West Marine, but he succeeded in winning the favour of a sailor who will remember and who will most likely shop West Marine again.

That West Marine employee was me, and I could not work for a company that does not consistently encourage employees to provide this level of service.

Not difficult to give a lift to a customer who has just purchased something heavy. Can't do it immediately, arrange the lift when you can. Worried about liability? Get the coverage.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:42   #141
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

Personally, I like West Marine. Most all of the employees that I have ever encountered there have been very nice, have tried hard to please, and have scaled from somewhat to very knowledgeable.
The prices aren't always the best, but they usually have what I am looking for.
I don't buy everything there but I am glad that they are in business and hope that they remain so.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:44   #142
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I have to disagree with many if you. I go to the lic WM in the twin cities in MN (they just combined 2 locations into 1). They stock what I need, my fav sales staff always seem to be there, and they are more than just helpful. If they don't have it they make sure they find it. Do I pay a bit more? Maybe...maybe not, not a lot of sailboat parts stores in MN. I keep going back cuz they treat me right...know their products. Thanks D for always helping me! No affiliation...just a happy customer.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:58   #143
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Not difficult to give a lift to a customer who has just purchased something heavy. Can't do it immediately, arrange the lift when you can. Worried about liability? Get the coverage.
So West Marine (or any retailer, for that matter) should be expected to pull an employee off the floor and have him use his personal vehicle to deliver a customer and his purchase to wherever the customer wishes? And if they don't they are not providing good customer service?

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Old 04-08-2013, 13:16   #144
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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So West Marine (or any retailer, for that matter) should be expected to pull an employee off the floor and have him use his personal vehicle to deliver a customer and his purchase to wherever the customer wishes? And if they don't they are not providing good customer service?

Read my last post. I said if the customer cannot be helped immediately, let them know when they can be helped.

Of course it is not always possible to 'pull an employee off the floor' to help a customer who has just spent $1,000 for chain, more if they also bought an anchor. Nor is necessary that an employee use his or her car if the service is given as a normal part of business. A company vehicle can be provided for the purpose. But, if the company has insurance that covers an employee using his personal vehicle, and some kind of agreement how the employee is reimbursed his or her expense - it would be o.k.. Also, I see no reason that a company should not assess a reasonable charge for the delivery.

The fact is, and I know from first hand experience, finding a way to get your purchase back to the boat when you have no car can be a challenge. Hire a taxi that'll cost me $20 when I've just paid a wad to a company for chain and anchor, just because the company is so short sighted or indifferent to helping me get the purchase to my boat is unacceptable. I may have had no choice but to buy from the company because no other source was around, but when there is - I'll go elsewhere.
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Old 04-08-2013, 13:39   #145
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

It's just wrong for anyone who works at West Marine to feel obligated to use his or or her own personal vehicle to shuttle customers around. Seriously...get a taxi.
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Old 04-08-2013, 13:44   #146
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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It's just wrong for anyone who works at West Marine to feel obligated to use his or or her own personal vehicle to shuttle customers around. Seriously...get a taxi.

Nobody, especially me has suggested an employee of any company should be, or even feel obligated to use his or her own car to 'shuttle customers around'. (see my last post)

Don't know where you got the idea.
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Old 04-08-2013, 13:49   #147
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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It's just wrong for anyone who works at West Marine to feel obligated to use his or or her own personal vehicle to shuttle customers around. Seriously...get a taxi.

I can see where some might provide the ride while others might not. A lot of it might depend on the attitude of the customer.

My real point here is that it's a stupid reason to not like a store, since the great majority will not do it.

I have have had nothing but good experienced with WM. There is a combination discount salvage place near me (in fact, two) -- but they don't provide the level of service WM does. At these places you absolutely have to know exactly what you need, and good luck returning it.

Not faulting them. I put new line on my traveler for $ .18 a foot at the salvage place (new line). The same line was $ .68 a foot at West Marine. I don't buy my line at WM, but there are a lot of things I do get there.
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Old 04-08-2013, 14:07   #148
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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The insurance issue is not a "red herring." You use your car for business, you take on additional liabilities. That's the fact. Why should an employee making little more than minimum wage risk his or her insurance so someone else doesn't have to pay for a 5 minute taxi ride?
Let me clarify. We are talking about company policy, and a service provided by the company. It is the company and not the employee responsible for ensuring adequate and appropriate insurance is secured to cover liabilities related to delivering the service. If employee vehicle use is included as a part of delivering the service, it covers the employees car, injuries and or loss if the employee has a mishap while engaged in the companies business. It is a limited liability type of coverage secured to cover the service. In any case, an employee would have a choice as to whether or not they want to use their car. Not mandatory. The best scenario has a company car available for the purpose.

My use of the term "red herring" was used in relation to the argument something cannot be done because doing so creates a liability. Providing dingy dock was alleged to create a liability. The wise thing for a city or employer to do if they want to avoid the burden of 'liability' for injury, loss or damage is to insure against it. The city, whether there is a dingy dock or not can be held liable for injuries sustained by someone, anyone using the waterfront. Not just a boater landing their dingy. Best to be insured for the possibility, no? No excuse for not providing a dingy dock.

You can bet most corporations are already insured to the hilt.
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Old 04-08-2013, 14:10   #149
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Let me clarify. We are talking about company policy, and a service provided by the company. It is the company and not the employee responsible for ensuring adequate and appropriate insurance is secured to cover liabilities related to delivering the service. If employee vehicle use is included as a part of delivering the service, it covers the employees car, injuries and or loss if the employee has a mishap while engaged in the companies business. It is a limited liability type of coverage secured to cover the service. In any case, an employee would have a choice as to whether or not they want to use their car. Not mandatory. The best scenario has a company car available for the purpose.

My use of the term "red herring" was used in relation to the argument something cannot be done because doing so creates a liability. Providing dingy dock was alleged to create a liability. The wise thing for a city or employer to do if they want to avoid the burden of 'liability' for injury, loss or damage is to insure against it. The city, whether there is a dingy dock or not can be held liable for injuries sustained by someone, anyone using the waterfront. Not just a boater landing their dingy. Best to be insured for the possibility, no? No excuse for not providing a dingy dock.

You can bet most corporations are already insured to the hilt.
CORPORATIONS are insured. Individual workers at WM, most of them part-timers not making a lot of money, are not insured for the extra liability of using their car for company business.

Been there, done that.
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Old 04-08-2013, 14:17   #150
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

All I can say is if I spent the money for a couple of hundred ft of chain and a 4 or 5 hundred dollar anchor at any of the local marine stores here in Louisiana, they would sure as heck be delivering it to my boat ! Of course they are only a few miles from my boat! and WM is over 30 miles away! But if they were just down the bayou, they would still never deliver this order! I just bought a Manson anchor from a local store for a little less then WM so I bought local !! All Im saying some of you folks probly drive by local marine stores on your way to WM.maybe yall need to try them out ! ya might be very happy ya did !!
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