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Old 24-10-2013, 03:54   #1
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Walker BAy Problems-Beware

What I have attached below is a portion of a letter I recently sent To the President of Walker Bay. This is in response to problems I have had with Walker Bay and 5 other units owned by members of our sailing club. I address the product quality and the poor customer service offered by Walker Bay. These are all hypalon units. When not in use they are protected from the sun.

If you have a Odyssey, inspect the tubes where they join the transon for any deterioration. If you are considering the purchase of a new inflatable, consider this a warning.
.................................................. .................................................. .......................
Stefano Rista, President
Walker Bay Boats, Inc.
717 Butterfield Rd.
Yakima, WA 98901

Good Morning:

I have owned and maintained my boats for over 40 years. During this time I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of equipment and talked with dozens of manufacturers.

I am amazed how cooperative these companies have been at assisting me in solving my problems. They have talked me thru repairs, provided parts, mailed assembly instructions and even made follow-up calls to make sure I was satisfied with the performance of their products. More important, they live up to the obligations of the warranty that they issue. In several cases, even when I haven’t asked, parts have been provided at no charge even after the warranty expired.

Walker Bay seems just the opposite. Calls to your warranty department are met with requests for a variety of data, records, photos and forms whose only purpose is to make your customer end his search in frustration. These people aren’t to blame. They take orders. The fault for this misguided approach to customer service starts at your office.

A year ago, with a 3-year old Odyssey Hypalon that was delaminating so badly, your warranty department tried every trick they had to delay meeting their obligation. They began buy offering to replace the defective unit for only $1085-pretty hefty for 3 years use. After many calls and interaction by the local dealer, you honored your obligation. My problem was solved; However, I was angry with the effort it took to accomplish what should have been a simple matter. This cost Walker Bay some money. And yet, because of the foolishness of your actions, I was still angry.

Walker Bay has 2 problems:
• You manufacture a product that delivers less than what should be expected. You have cut too many corners and selected too many low bids on parts and assembly. The result is that the finished product quality is less than satisfactory. If the product failures that exist in our sailing club are any example, the situation is serious. The quality problems I’ve seen with Walker Bay Inflatables make me question their reliability and safety for the occupants.


• Your warranty is designed to play games with your customers and insult their intelligence. Walker Bay does everything possible not to honor warranty claims. An example is with the pair of 800 numbers listed on your warranty certificate. Neither is correct. From the beginning you assume that your customers are liars and cheats. Then you make them prove they are not.

The problem with the valves on my inflatable could have been solved for a few dollars by sending me 4 valve stems, or turned down immediately. I would have replaced them myself and been a happy customer. Or I would have been angry, but not mad. You would not have annoyed your dealer with another claim and wasted my time when you knew it was not a covered claim.

All 4 valves have been difficult to operate from the day I first put it into use. 2 of them are now rusted. These “just like Halkey-Roberts” valves are manufactured from material of so poor quality that they cannot maintain their integrity under the conditions they were designed to function. To suggest that I file a claim with the valve manufacturer (who no one can identify) was ludicrous.

Not for a minute do I think I am telling you anything you don’t know. You are not ignorant. Walker Bay advertising is slick. The product design is good. You are smart enough to know of The Company’s quality and service problems, just not smart enough to fix them.
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Old 24-10-2013, 05:15   #2
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

Robert,

Walker Bay dinghies are the cutest design and the worst manufactured of all the major companies!

They know of the problems and have done so from the beginning. We have seen several Walker Bay dinghies that are in the process of failing in the Caribbean. The original ones failed at the transom patch, since increased in size.

Ours has been a history of repeated failures.

PM me if you want to know how we solved the problem.

Phil
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Old 24-10-2013, 06:23   #3
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I really wanted to buy one but not if they fall apart, then having the manufacturer stuff the user around, no thanks
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Old 24-10-2013, 06:30   #4
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

Please send me data on the fix...I'm getting prepared for when the replacement fails and WB refuses to respond. Bob
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Old 24-10-2013, 07:24   #5
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

Post your fix for all to see! I have a WB (came with the boat).... So far no issues but I have not really pressed it into service yet... hoping to this weekend.
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Old 24-10-2013, 07:38   #6
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

glad my wb10 is a hard plastic rowing boat. no delam, no muss no fuss. works great.
just dont try to row it across a runoff current..... you will die twice in process...

for inflatable i still swear by antique avon roll up.
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Old 24-10-2013, 08:38   #7
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

Been there fought 11 months . Repair shop that did warranty work still waiting to get paid, since 2010. The best fix is get one from another manufacturer. Defender was the biggest help to me. Walker Bay could learn a lot about corporate integrity from them. This isn't new if you do a search here on Walker Bay Warranty you'll see how far it goes back. As for Stefano " *!**^#&%% "
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Old 24-10-2013, 08:59   #8
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

I must conclude that deflated, delaminated and beyond service Walker Bay inflatables litter the Caribbean everywhere we have been. More than any other make - and they appear to be far newer than the unserviceable cheap junk next to them in the trash piles.

I was just looking at a hypalon one yesterday that couldn't have been more than 3yrs old and was never going to float again. No holes - just delamination and failure of hardware.

Mark
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:30   #9
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Re: Walker BAy Problems-Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Robert,

Walker Bay dinghies are the cutest design and the worst manufactured of all the major companies!

They know of the problems and have done so from the beginning. We have seen several Walker Bay dinghies that are in the process of failing in the Caribbean. The original ones failed at the transom patch, since increased in size.

Ours has been a history of repeated failures.

PM me if you want to know how we solved the problem.

Phil
Phil, please email the solution to your delamination problems on your WB. Bob Tigar bjtigar@att.net. Thanks
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