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Old 14-03-2016, 09:16   #1
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Location: Fort Pierce, FL. Texas Roots
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Westerbeke Woes

My Westerbeke struggles
Well here we go, I have pigeon holed Westerbeke in the same file as March raw water pumps.... Neither seem, by my experience give one whit about customer service. I do have documentation of my mistreatment as a customer by both. I hope others have had better experiences, but as for me I hope I do not have to ever deal with them again meaning ACE, Westerbeke or March.
Warning issued

Below is a long e mail concerning the efforts to get my genset repaired, a 3 cylinder genset. I have achieved success but with no help from Westerbeke or any dealer. The closest thing to help was being honored with the opportunity to buy a $207.00 head gasket for the genset 3 cylinder diesel. This should be a part, with a reasonable profit margin selling for below $50.

I spoke with a friend in the marine parts business and he discussed the horror stories being caught between the customer and distributer, with the customer being down for months. So be warned, if you have Westerbeke anything you may very well be looking at the end of a barrel as they hold a gun to your head. Many marinization companies disclose the engine manufacturer and perhaps the generator manufacturer. Not Westerbeke, they need the end user as hostage for extortion.

The first week of January I googled Westerbeke Dealers near 34946 and Ace popped up. I called Ace and talked to a man named XXXX about a service call insofar I had been unsuccessful in getting my generator to start.

XXXX said they were extremely busy and the earliest he could have a tech out would be in three weeks, but if he had other calls in Fort Pierce he might have a tech do a drive by while a tech was in Fort Pierce. OK, I agreed on the 3 week max and that was that. I was to get a call.

Fast forward 3 weeks. I knew my genset was not being worked on because my phone was not ringing. I called XXXX again gave me the busy dance and recommended another tech that was independent that sometimes does his overflow. I called Michael

Michael was here the next day and tried to fix but the trouble is mechanical and Michael said that he was really a boat electrician, not a mechanic and he felt it needed a compression check and a fuel injector pump pressure test. I was very impressed with Michael, his electrical competence and his customer manner.

I called XXXX back, and Michael also called XXXX and filled him in. That was last week and the commitment was to have an Ace tech out here this week. This week is over insofar as this is Friday, February 5. Still another broken commitment, still no closer to having my generator fixed, still not one call to update me on why, when, how.

There are always problems, but communication between a business and a customer is important. I am taking the time to write this, and I will post it elsewhere, because I do not like being ignored, diminished and a non issue.

Every conversation I had XXXX acted as it the drive from Vero to north Fort Pierce was akin to driving from Pensacola to Miami. It is about 12 to 15 miles most of the way 60 mph is the common most 15 minutes. I do not get it.

I can only assume that Ace does not value their Westerbeke customers. My neighbor had turbo work done on his Cats by ACE and I met an employee named Chris. The boat owner and I were both very impressed by Chris. He called after I did, his work is done and has been a couple of weeks.

At this time I a not sure what I am going to do. I have trust (justifiably so) issues with Ace and I a not so sure what it would be like AFTER I give Ace my money if another problem arises considering how unreliable my experience has been thus far.

This e mail went to the HQ of Westebeke and ACE. I got a call AFTER calling in to Westerbeke 3 weeks later. The call came from Grove Co. Out of Houston, the parts distributer.

Sidebar; My Generator ran for the first time last Friday, March 11, 2016. Valve job, $100. Head gasket and assorted small gaskets and seals $283. Including shipping.

'Da Mule
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Old 14-03-2016, 13:20   #2
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Re: Westerbeke Woes

I've always had good luck with Westerbeke generators, but I'am a retired mechanic and if a problem happens I've always been able to fix it. I think Westerbeke considers their distributors and boat builders customers and the end users have to deal with them and like all business owners there are good ones and the ones who are only concerned with making a profit and have no interest in decent customer service. This is especially true for transients who they consider a 1 time dealing and their regular customers who use their services year after year. It would be nice to have a list for the cruisers of service providers in different areas, a list of the good, mediocre and avoid if at all possible providers of goods and services. I think Active Captain has started something in this type of reviews, also some of the FB boating groups have 1st hand knowledge of services in a wide range of areas.

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Old 14-03-2016, 16:47   #3
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Re: Westerbeke Woes

Yeah, though I have been in fFort Pierce well over 2 years it did not matter. My money is jus as green as anyone else's. My gripe is no follow up. A comittments is made. Had ACE ask for a pre dispatch deposit I would have paid it. Ace took time out of my life. I needed my GenSet fixed. They broke not one but 2 comittments without bothering to call.

Then when I notified the manufacturer, they did not bother to follow up. 3 weeks after I e mailed the manufacturer, no follow up, I called and demanded to talk to a decision maker, not the operator. No dice, I left my number and a parts Distributer out of Houston called me. Not Westerbeke, not ACE but a parts pusher...go figger, nice guy with no answers. I mentioned the price of $500 each for injectors being predatory. He could not justify.

These guys are the same as the pill pusher that did the 6000% price increase for a life saving drug on a smaller scale. The builder is the customer, screw you as end user. You are abused by our dealer, we do not gas ( give a sh) but we will have our parts distributer call you. If you have the misfortune to buy a boat with anything Westerbeke, realize you have a great product....until....
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Old 15-03-2016, 19:49   #4
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Re: Westerbeke Woes

This is not just westerbeke... or that particular service company. This is an endemic problem in the marine industry. I can't believe how badly so many of these businesses are run.

I've heard there are simply not enough marine tradesmen available. Its insane that they bill at $95 and you know the guy is only making $20 or $25. Come on though - if you have have a wit spending three weeks with a pro will take you from amateur to semi-pro.
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