Originally Posted by dheaslip
I do not wish to "flame" anyone in this posting, I'm only reporting my experience in the hope that others may find it useful!! I made an earlier posting stating that I'd bought the set up from Soda Club and would comment on it once I had it up and running.
I ordered parts that would allow me to attach a regular CO2 bottle to the Soda Stream set up. The guy at Soda Club was extremely difficult to work with. He will not talk to you on the phone and will only communicate by email. This means that if you have a question you just can't resolve it simply - it takes days of going backwards and forwards. Apparently his reasoning is that he doesn't want the liability of talking with people.
While I did get my installation to work, I eventually found out that two expensive parts he'd sold me were surplus to requirements (but obviously there's no refund!!).
Once the installation was done I found out why he's concerned about liability. The hose from the CO2 bottle joins to the soda stream unit with a connector. One time we connected the hose and turned on the bottle and all of a sudden it seemed as if the galley had exploded. The connector had come off the back of the Soda Stream unit and we had three feet of metal hose with a brass connector on the end flailing around the galley. My wife freaked (quite reasonably) and I had to dive in there and try to get hold of the hose. I was pretty severely injured as the hose was flying all around - it hit me several times in the face and body and gave me one extremely severe hit on the neck that just about tore my Adamís apple out! There was also extensive damage to the galley sole, cabinets and counter. I had to get hold of the hose before I could get to the bottle to turn off the gas supply.
THIS PRODUCT CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!! Luckily I was in a marina where medical attention would have been available if necessary. If this happened on a passage it could be a real problem. Now I know why Soda Club is worried about liability.
The end of the story is that the guy at Soda Club was hostile, rude and unhelpful. Do business with him if you wish, but be ready to receive insulting emails and poor service.
Again, not trying to flame anyone here - just reporting the facts as they happened to me!!
Finally, I have also found that getting the CO2 bottle refilled can be a hassle. I use a 10lb bottle. All the gas stores I've found while cruising do bottle exchanges - they can't refill. Last month I had to go and beg for a refill at the local Pepsi plant.
Just out of curiosity, did you follow the instructions or heed the warnings posted on their website? I went to it and found page after page of warnings regarding the improper use or hookups of the equipment
. As a potential customer, I also inquired about safety
issues and forwarded a copy of the above transcript to their sales department. The response I got was quite interesting.
While not trying to stir up any trouble, I still feel that this blg/forum medium is in dire need of more decorum and civility. That is why I am suggesting that I take up their sales department in their offer to send me all transcripts of emails between the above poster and their sales people, including authenticated email
headers as proof of their authenticity.
According to their sales people, they remember dheaslip as a very demanding customer who was insistent on being told how to install a highly customized and unsupported setup on his large boat. The gentleman that wrote me also stated that at no time were they rude or insulting and that in fact, dheaslip was the rude and demanding one because they would not support such an installation. Furthermore, they stated that dheaslip bought parts, hoses, and miscellaneous items and not a standard product. They even sent me a link to the warnings they have at FreedomOne
which even have pictures of dheaslip's potential problem.
I'm not 100% convinced yet as to the accuracy of either party's allegations but if dheaslip is willing to be scrutinized on this and others are interested, I would be happy to have their sales people send me the emails if dheaslip agrees to it. I will be happy to post them here for all to see, comments, and decide.
Personally, I think the real truth lies somewhere in there, I'm just not willing to badmouth either party since all I know is hearsay. The latter being the crux of this post and my prior one.
And no, I am not affiliated with that firm, but I do know how some customer's views can be skewed, sometimes even to the point of exaggeration.
My suggestion, go to their website at http://www.sodaclubrefill.com
, ask questions like I did, and make up your own opinion. I plan on purchasing
a freedom one system for my Sea Ray
, if I blow myself up, it will probably be my own fault for smoking that Cohiba I've been saving.