Where Credit is Due: April 2012
The five-year battery in my 406 MHz Cat II (manual deployment) EPIRB required replacement. The battery was replaced five years earlier by a local ACR “authorized” service center. However, along with an exorbitant price ($245) for the service, the unit was returned to me with the top cap installed backward, rendering the bracket sensor inoperative.
Not wanting a repeat performance, I contacted ACR (www.acrelectronics.com) about sending the unit directly to them for the battery replacement this time. Their initial response was to direct me to an authorized service center. When I informed them of my previous experience and that I was not comfortable having a local service center do the work, they immediately put me through to the head of technical service. I was told to ship the unit directly to his attention along with a copy of the prior battery replacement invoice. I was fully prepared to pay the current battery replacement cost; I just wanted it done right. However, to my surprise, ACR returned the EPIRB fully serviced, complete with a test report, at no charge!
ACR took the initiative to right a past wrong. This is a great commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
Raymarine (www.raymarine.com) has always been quite responsive to any problem I’ve had with their gear. For example, a couple of years ago, I couldn’t figure out how to re-calibrate my wheel autopilot’s heading after adding a Smart Heading System. After politely telling me that they don’t actually recommend doing what I was doing, they explained what was probably wrong and how to fix it. As part of their “advice,” they sent me two fluxgate compass units to complete the installation at no charge!
More recently, I was unable to interface my existing Seatalk network and classic E-series chartplotters to a new SeatalkNG network that included an AIS transceiver, some ST70s, and a belowdecks autopilot. Their technical people stayed on the phone with me long after official closing time (on a Friday, no less) until I got the problems resolved.
I have experienced nothing but excellence and caring with Raymarine customer service, and found that they consistently go beyond the call of duty to help me (even though I buy most Ray equipment used).
As a sailor in the Northeast, this is the time of the year when I accumulate the stuff I need for the upcoming season. I purchased several parts from www.LowCostBoatingStore.com—my first time using them—and after the parts arrived, I found I had the wrong part.
I called Jeff Goehl at LCBS who said he would send the right part to me gratis, as I agreed to return the wrong part. Not only did LCBS have very competitive prices, there was no hassle on the replacement and return of the items. I will definitely buy from this company in the future, and I recommend it to others.
Slam Dunk II, Catalina 380
New York, N.Y.