They do exist, a vendor who having designed and manufactured what turns out to be defective sailing equipment
replace the unit at no expense to the customer. No really, no kidding I met one today - Facnor, manufacturer of furling equipment
, in case you are unfamiliar with the firm.
We all have a long list of vendors who run away from their equipment when things turn ugly, equipment fails to perform due to poor design or manufacturing processes. "Hey not my problem" they are quick to say followed often by the familiar " you must have used the equipment improperly or for purposes not suited" they quickly point out. Even though you can easily prove neither is the case they aren't listening because they already hung up on you.
If you spend much time around Lagoon
owners, like I do, then you quickly realize they all share a similar disdain - Facnor furlers - they don't work - are unreliable - and breakdown long before they should.
Mine became inoperable in less than two years (actually 7 months use). Really?? A piece of equipment failing so quickly for little use and used as designed? What gives? What gives is rusting bearings and bad clips. And a unit that is not serviceable other than by a professional rigging
I haven't been able to confirm yet, but I've heard that prior owners of Facnor sold the firm (gee whizz wonder why) and the new owners are trying to salvage
the brand name. One way they envision doing this apparently is to correct previous sins.
About a month back, being a proud new owner of a 2014 lightly used Lagoon
39, I reached out to Facnor by email
to explain that the headsail furling
unit created a lot of resistance in deploying and refurling, that the unit was less than 2 years old and really had been used only seven months of that time. Was there anything they could do? No demands were made, and no "how could you produce such crap?" Very civilized and grown up.
About a week later I received an email
explaining Facnor understood the problem and yes some defective units had made their way out of the factory. If I would supply certain pictures and a location to ship a replacement unit they would correct the issue. The new furlers are redesigned and no longer have the problems described above. Was I surprised is a mild understatement.
After hiring a professional rigging
firm to inspect the rig ($120), take the necessary pictures, write a letter of their findings I contacted the firm. A new unit was shipped to my rigger who installed it last week.
Presto problem solved
No expense to me. Can you believe it. No threats of suit. No getting up on my moral bandstand, no bullying and no internet
public forum blackmail. Just like it should be between grown adults living and working in a civilized society.
Now, I don't know how Facnor execs will take this post. Maybe they will be "pissed" and fear that having shared my experience prior customers will take them as suckers and seek free replacements
. For those of you considering that course of action, then you deserve the current
state of affairs where vendors abuse their power over you as a sole customer.
Instead consider this - when I brought the boat to the rigger's dock
, I informed the rigging tech that maybe the unit wasn't as bad as I thought as it seemed to be working better. He attempted to unfurl the sail, but only with tremendous effort. He informed me that if I had attempted to deploy the sail again, the furler
most likely would have seized up and I would not have been able to get the sail out of the wind
. With gusts reaching 30-36 kts that I see sometimes in St. Maarten, let me assure you that is a problem.
Had I been right though, I was prepared and had shared with my wife and the tech that I was going to let Facnor know the outcome and that they did not need to ship a replacement.
Honesty to work MUST BE bilateral.
Those who swim with sharks will eventually be eaten by sharks.
Oh, the best part - It was the President of the company who responded to my initial email. How's that for Customer Service