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Old     (powercorps)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-23-2009, 10:06 AM Reply   
Over the past several years I have met so many boarders who have got their gear replaced with warranty. Now if there is a legitamate factory defalt with the stuff or it breaks out of normal use I see no problem with getting new stuff for free. The customer service of all the companies I have dealt with (hyperlite, LF, SS) is amazing. And I have heard good things of just about every company. I am also hearing stories of people getting new stuff after the warranty is out or after ripping a binding out doing a full speed face plant. Wakeboarding is a small sport and to keep it alive we need to not take advantage of the companies that supply our gear. If they go out what the freak are we supposed to do. Again, I am not saying dont complain if the reasons are legit. I am guilty of this too. Last year I replaced a good pair of bindings becasuse the pretty stuff on the outside was falling off. There was no reason that I could not keep on riding them. I imagine there are going to be some people who really get mad at this post and I admit i do not know much about the financial situation of the wakeboard manufacturers but I think my friends and I have been taking unfair advantage of good service.
Old     (spicychalupa69)      Join Date: May 2005       06-23-2009, 10:12 AM Reply   
Amen Brother
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-23-2009, 10:13 AM Reply   
+1 I've seen it, and its skeezy
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-23-2009, 10:20 AM Reply   
the amount of people with small/minor issues that just wait till the season over because they'll "get next years gear" amazes me. It is more important to find a way to get next years stuff for free rather than fix the current problem. Somehow, they always get new stuff too
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-23-2009, 11:12 AM Reply   
In my opinion its relative depending on each person's perception of value. I am with you Luke but I am also conflicted. When I see bindings for $400 bucks a pair and a board for $600+ it seems like a $1,000 setup should last a substantial amount of time...relatively. The only comparison I have to make is in the Snow industry. Between a Pair of boots (approx $250), bindings (approx $250) and a board (approx $400+) it seems pretty evenly compared in cost. Then I think about how abusive I am with my snow gear and how well it holds up. When I treat my wake gear the same way it doesn't hold up nearly as well (for me at least). If I put the same number of hours on my wake gear that I do my snow gear (think about an entire day on the hill, that's a LOT of hours on your gear comparatively) it would be trashed.

On the other hand a person shouldnt go out and drop coin on the lightest board and binding setup then go huck HS Front's to Revert off the dubs and expect it to hold up. You can't have a light setup that's also durable, its one or the other.
Old    Slingshot            06-23-2009, 11:35 AM Reply   
I judge replacements off of photos of the board, year and how it was used. I try to make it as quick, easy and fair as possible. If I feel I need to see the board, I will either have it shipped to me or have the persons local board shop look at it for me. I know the construction of the Slingshot boards so I can tell if its a legit break, plus I ride the stuff all the time. Our goal at Slingshot is to get the customer taken care of as soon as possible whether it be a warranty replacement, or a different solution. We just want you back on the water!
Old     (jaybee)      Join Date: Aug 2007       06-23-2009, 11:52 AM Reply   
I'm not mad. I just find it pretty hypocritical (sp). I agree with you 100% though. My 06 Shanes are falling apart but they still get the job done.
Old     (onthewatermo)      Join Date: Jan 2008       06-23-2009, 11:55 AM Reply   
I use my local shop as my barometer: "look what happened" is either met with, "we can warranty that because it shouldn't happen" or "dude, that sucks".
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       06-23-2009, 12:06 PM Reply   
I don't think hucking tricks off a D-up is abuse. You are using the deck for it's intended purpose and to be honest some of the stuff the companies sold us really did not hold up, especially some of the bindings from a few years back. I think it was great that the companies were/are so easy to work with and am glad I did not have to go through a half dozen emails and phone calls to get things made right. Hopefully most riders out there are not scamming the system.

The deal of getting next years equipment under warranty seems to be where the abuse of the system comes into play. If you warranty equipment, the consumer should only expect to get what you bought replaced or fixed, not newer models, but the manufacturers get in a tough spot when they warranty their material and do not have the old inventory to stand behind it. Some have limited lifetime warranties which is just crazy to me, but that is their decision, not mine.
Old     (wakemitch)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-23-2009, 12:18 PM Reply   
maybe as riders we all should demand more from these wakeboard companies.

I can slowly see it happening in wakeboarding with slingshot, company and sine, but the materials still arent there because they need to keep their margins.

Instead of asking for the lightest decks ever, demand durability.It reminds me of how wakeskaters ask for bilevels but no matter what the design is flawed and they are just going to break.
Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-23-2009, 1:15 PM Reply   
Amen Mitch! I don't think America knows what quality is anymore, much less implemented...

Everything goes in cycles, new companies will come in with a better more affordable product and knock the current vendors out, then they will get greedy jack their prices and round and round. Sad but true!
Old     (dirwoody)      Join Date: Apr 2003       06-23-2009, 1:31 PM Reply   
I like where your head is at mitch. Sure I've ridden some setups which are tanks in comparison to others I've ridden, but I can't remember riding a board/bindings set-up, which I wasn't able to stomp my (limited) bag of tricks, regardless of weight.

For me, I prefer a regular core board,, seems to hold up a lot better and I'd rather rock the same board for a few years then have to send it in or ge t a new onwe sent to me year aftre year.
That's just me.

Have I warrantied things. Yes. Did I wait so I could get the newer model, no. Once I did send in my board at the end of the season because it was minor, and I wanted to wait to send it in till I was done riding so I didn't have to go without. But I wasn't waiting till spring to send it in in hopes of getting next years gear. Have I though about it. Yes, but gone that far to do it, no.
Old     (wakebrdr38)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-23-2009, 1:45 PM Reply   
I agree with mitch. Some companies dont put out a product that holds up to a high level of riding. The bad part is, some of these companies make sick boards and boots that ride great, but if it wont hold up and you take care of your gear then something needs to change.

Slingshot trully is bomber quality, and if you do have an issue they take care of it RIDICULOUSLY fast. They trully put the customer first and their priority is getting you back on the water. Making a customer feel like they are their number 1 priority is what keeps people coming back. I think some people may work the system because they feel they spent more money then the product is worth. In a way that trickles down to the pro shops too. If you are gonna buy brand "x" and you know it isnt gonnna last but a month or so of riding then why would you ever pay full price for it. When companies start making products that will trully last and stand up to some riding, I think people will be more willing to drop the cash on em from their local shops. It wont solve the issue for everyone, because some people will always work the system, but I think overall, customers will be happier thus stimulating more sales and making up for the people this thread is talking about.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       06-23-2009, 2:25 PM Reply   
I will also throw another bouquet to SS, but must say I have never been dis-satisfied with the support from any wake company. Sometimes I have been dis-satisfied with the quality of the product, but SS is pretty tough stuff and when you need them they are there. Good work Kyle.

And yes standing behind your product will earn company loyalty down the road.
Old     (perfski)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-23-2009, 5:28 PM Reply   
Hey Luke,
Thanks for opening up this thread. I will speak from a shop that warranties (at least I think) more product than any pro shop in the country and offer my perspective as a shop owner.

First and foremost: I agree with everyone here that my first wish is to have product that holds up. Obviously there have been issues with every companies boards and well as everything else. Better quality products mean less warranty equaling happy customers.

TYPICAL WARRANTY POLICY: As I know it warranty for most companies (on wakeboard and boots) is 1 year from the original date of purchase to the original buyer when sold by an authorized dealer for that company. It covers defects in workmanship and quality and upon inspection, if deemed warrantable they will repair or replace it at their (the manufacturer's discretion) You are expected to provide proof of purchase for warranties. You are suggested to go through the dealer you purchased it through.

CHALLENGES WE FACE: First and foremost...we deal with alot of riders who ride EVERY DAY for 10 months out of the year. They stuff tricks, beat their gear to bits and when it breaks they bring it to us and expect us to warrant it on the spot. At some running shoes, or a car for instance.....if you use the gear EVERY are going to wear it out. If something breaks that truly is defective, we should and will facilitate a warranty. Where we have problems is when guys simply wear out their gear from excessive use and blames the product failure as warranty...when it really is fatigue from overuse. When you buy a car...theres a reason they set a mileage limit to the warranty. Wake gear for alot of customers should be the same. A good example of this is one customer of ours....who bought a pair of 3DS boots from us about 4 year ago, which there have been issues with...who has not purchased a new set of boots in over 4 years because the factories have "warranted the boots" despite him riding 300 days a year. About 14 pairs of boots later, he was in the shop last week to get ANOTHER pair. Is this fair?
Another issue or trend we see...anytime there is a new "boot" or board coming out....there is all of the sudden a huge spike in warranty items. Some so blatantly self inflicted its almost comical.
Others downright ridiculous. But as there are lenient companies who will take the items back...they sometimes get away with it.

COSTS WE FACE: I'm not sure I am the one to say...but for a shop....a warranty is ALOT more than just swapping boots. To Warranty a board or boots we have to:
1: Stock enough boots TO warrant the items
2: Do ridiculous amounts of paperwork to send the items back: problem / size / model, when it was purchased and from who
3: Get Return Authorization...arrange shipping / pickup of defective product...or even send photos / proof of destruction simply to get authorization of warranty
4: Track down Replacement / Credit: Verify we DID get a replacement or credit in a timely manner. And that this credit is the right amount.
5: Re stock (manage inventory) or re order items so you have product to sell.

This is typically a 3 week process....with ALOT of people involved in it. And if we don't stay on top of can be a MAJOR loss for the business. A good example is when I had a warehouse staff member quit who oversaw my warranty...and I thought he did his job...only to find out that I had about $50,000......yes thats right about $50,000 of outstanding or under credited goods we were owed by companies. Yeah....It got my attention....and my customers got taken care of....but we had to fight just to break even recoup some of our money.

EBAY / CLOSEOUT HOUSES / BRO DEALS etc...: Part of the language of most companies have written into their warranty documents is that you need to go through an authorized dealer for warranty issues. EBAY transactions typically aren't that. Unless you know the dealer and they agree to warrant the items bought off not expect one. If you buy from a closeout house....take the defective closeout item back to them. Theres typically a reason they have excess items they are selling really cheap. They can and should handle your warranty. If you can't / aren't willing to do this, at a minimum, when you bring it to a local shop....have a straight with them about where you purchased it....and ASK for their help. Don't assume they HAVE to do it. A little honesty will go along way. And I would be lying if there isn't a part of me (I am human) that says...."If you'd bought it from me in the first place, I'd take care of you right now...why should I take care of "their problems"...that said, I won't say that to you...I'll bite my tongue and hope I can win you as a customer by offering some customer service / help you with this problem. But I am going to ask for some form of proof of purchase as I will need to provide this to the manufacturer per my agreement with them.

WHAT WE THINK SHOULD HAPPEN GOING FORWARD: First and foremost...if you bought the gear from us...we will have a record of it...and will work with you to resolve a legitimate warranty issue. If theres problems...we want to help you solve it. I do feel that the manufacturers are moving to a 12 months from the original date of purchase on wakeboards and boots. Some items (skates / etc will be 30 days). Again, if there are legitimate issues of quality...I am confident manufacturers will stand behind it....but abuse / overuse / neglect has to figure into this. Right now, these are issues that get abused. There really shouldn't be a "new 12 months" every time you warrant an should be 12 months from the original date of purchase. Liquid Force has implemented this. The other companies are going to follow. This is happening because there are those out there who have worked the system for years right or wrong to never have to buy new gear. For those guys...the free ride will end. That said....for customers who work with shops and support local will continue to get the level of service you deserve...warranty issues will get resolved and you will be on the water.
But for you as HAVE TO support shops that handle warranties...take care of their problems. When you simply shop for the cheapest price irregardless of service...guess what, you'll probably think its a great deal till you need some service and a shop to help you resolve the problem.

I'm sorry for rambling...this is a HUGE issue for our store. We have a strong warranty policy and work extremely hard to help our customers resolve these issues as easily as we can. However we also see a tremendous amount of people who bring us their defective items and just presume we will swap them out because we did it for their buddy...not even considering whether they buddy bought the items from us, had a receipt, etc...etc.... All I can say is support your local straight with them.....keep your receipts. When people shoot straight and are honest....these issues will get resolved. For those out there that abuse are screwing it up for the good guys and girls!

Thx for the soap box.

Bill Porter
Performance Founder
Old     (raddad)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-23-2009, 6:48 PM Reply   
Awesome post post Bill I dont feel you rambled one bit. You said what needed to be said for years now.Take care of the people that take care of you and you will taken care of.
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       06-23-2009, 7:43 PM Reply   
I think it is the "Walmart" way that most people have come accustomed. You can take anything back and many think all businesses can afford to operate in the same capacity.

People that abuse the system, need to think, "What if everyone in the sport acted in this manner?" Many companies would fold and the prices would sky rocket. I think people need to be decent humans and quit screwing these companies and help as much as they can in these desperate times.
Old     (owenitall)      Join Date: Jun 2007       06-23-2009, 8:35 PM Reply   
yes great post and very fair minded.


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