PDA

View Full Version : Yet Another LDS thread...kinda venting



Staggs
07-21-2008, 09:30
So, I'm just now getting into diving with a buddy. We paid $400 each for private Padi Open Water lessons over two weekends. We took our tests and did a little work the first day, and the second day we were in the pool for 10 am - 12. Next weekend we were at the lake for maybe an hour a day then we were certified (felt like we were in a puppy mill training course). Even though we paid an extra $100 or $50 for private lessons they asked if we cared if another guy came along on his open water dives, which we didn't care we were cool with him coming along.

In the meantime during all of this we purchased some some gear (mask, fins, snorkel, boots, bag) from our LDS at higher pricing to see if they were willing to work with us on pricing or give us a discount since we planned on doing all of our training with them. No discount at all, we spent around $1,000 total each. Well I ordered us a BC (brigade), regulator, wetsuit, computer from ST and we took them out for our open dives. Our instructor didn't care really that we had got them from ST they just said the owner gets mad etc. Well he found out that we had bought gear elsewhere and said he wouldn't service our regulators that we would have to get it done elsewhere (even though he sales the exact same model because of a liability issue). He had told our instructor to tell us that, he wouldn't even come out and talk to us or anything and still hasn't talked to us since he found out. Now if you go to their website, it says they do regulator repair on any major model's for the price + parts.

Although he was willing to take another $430 each from us for our advanced & Nitrox classes for this next weekend...he wouldn't come out and talk. I mean we saved HUNDREDS at ST vs. his "on sale" pricing. Around $250 alone on the computer. The instructor asked that we purchase our full wetsuit from them, which I was fine with for our advanced dives etc. We didn't bother to ask if he would match pricing because we didn't want to insult him because we understand he probably couldn't have came anywhere close to ST's pricing.

We went home, both pretty upset that he wouldn't talk to us, nor would he service our regulators or cut us any type of a discount if we were to try to work with him on things. We ended up going to another dive shop that day, that does Naui Certs (that we didn't know was around before hand) and they said they would do advanced + nitrox with naui for $250. And they're prices were around ST's and even said they had talked to Joe before and said ST was a standup outfit and that they've worked with ST on several ocassions. Also, they said it wasn't a issue that we bought our regs online and he would service them no problem.

So now we've decided that we're goin to switch over and do the Naui advanced, and nitrox to save cash and the owners of this dive shop are Super nice. They also own a shop in the St. Louis area along with our local shop.

I have a buddy who's a padi divemaster who I told about all of this, and he wants me to call up PADI and file a complaint. Which I don't want to bother with, because whats done is done. I don't mind the LDS making some cash off me, but for them to act like they've acted since I got my gear from somewhere else is really acting like a little baby.

After reading this, do you guys think i'm in the right for going to the other shop to finish out my training?

obrules15
07-21-2008, 09:36
I would have been done with them at the first sign of ridiculous behavior. Treat me with dignity and respect or you don't get my money. End of story.

Rileybri
07-21-2008, 09:41
After reading this, do you guys think i'm in the right for going to the other shop to finish out my training?

Hell no LDS'S need to get there heads out of there arses and relize we are not captive shopeprs anylonger and we canand will get the same quality gear for less where and when we canfind it!

No Misses
07-21-2008, 10:09
Staggs, congratulations on completing your OW and it sounds like you have found a good LDS to do your AOW and Nitrox with. Don't worry about the first LDS. They will be out of business soon enough and your new LDS will be getting all of thier old customers :-)

bassplayer
07-21-2008, 10:23
You done right :smiley20:

mchain
07-21-2008, 10:25
It irritates me to no end when adults feel they've earned the "right" to behave like 3 year old. You have NO obligation to either shop. Go where you feel welcome.

FailedExistence
07-21-2008, 10:30
Move on ... no point in wasting any more time, and certainly not money, at a shop that apparently isn't interested in earning it from you.

Vercingetorix
07-21-2008, 10:37
So, I'm just now getting into diving with a buddy. We paid $400 each for private Padi Open Water lessons over two weekends. We took our tests and did a little work the first day, and the second day we were in the pool for 10 am - 12. Next weekend we were at the lake for maybe an hour a day then we were certified (felt like we were in a puppy mill training course). Even though we paid an extra $100 or $50 for private lessons they asked if we cared if another guy came along on his open water dives, which we didn't care we were cool with him coming along.
Wow....

That is quick. Then, again, there were only a couple students. How many dives did you do at the lake for OW. For NAUI, each dive must be 20 minutes or longer (I believe) (perhaps a NAUI instructor can correct me here).

I would have felt ripped-off as well. You're doing right to move on.

ReefHound
07-21-2008, 10:51
I'm still trying to figure out how you completed all the requirements with an hour at the lake on one weekend. I've never seen a lake session take less than 3 hours even with just 3 people.

Your instructor and the owner sound like they have a problem. The instructor's problem might be because he is getting scarooed by the owner as well but he could have served you better and it was probably through him how the owner "found out" about your gear.

ReefHound
07-21-2008, 10:55
That is quick. Then, again, there were only a couple students. How many dives did you do at the lake for OW. For NAUI, each dive must be 20 minutes or longer (I believe) (perhaps a NAUI instructor can correct me here).

Same for PADI although there is an air consumption component. And each dive should include a pre-dive briefing, a post-dive briefing, and logging.

Sasha_K
07-21-2008, 11:04
I hear ya my friend. I'm in the same boat with my LDS. Eventually, when they learn to use interenet, and they see all these threads, they'll change the way they do business.

Staggs
07-21-2008, 11:32
Let me get my log book out tonight, but I think the total bottom time was 1 hour and 10 minutes off the top of my head. I could be a bit off on times, but I showed up at 10 am, and was done by 11:30 - 12:30 each day. And we showed up at the shop, then had to drive to the water etc.

Staggs
07-21-2008, 11:39
I'm done with them though :) Although once they got their large spring straps in for fins they were going to let me swap my mediums out for free. I may take advantage of that so I don't have to shell out another $40 for them...but I may just shell it out so I don't have to bother talking to them again. What sucks is me and my buddy spent the money on the PADI Advance book, and nitrox/DVD books, and now we're going to do NAUI :) But I'll go ahead and read/watch them more liteture the better right?

gthomas
07-21-2008, 13:05
I think its good to have a local dive shop to go to so I don't mind spending a little extra every once in a while, but when you get treated like that who needs it. They need to remember its your money and you get to spend it how you want.

Sansho
07-21-2008, 19:33
Obviously they haven't come to grips with the internet age and how to get and retain customers. You're right to move on ...

SlvrDragon50
07-21-2008, 19:41
That is quick. Then, again, there were only a couple students. How many dives did you do at the lake for OW. For NAUI, each dive must be 20 minutes or longer (I believe) (perhaps a NAUI instructor can correct me here).

Same for PADI although there is an air consumption component. And each dive should include a pre-dive briefing, a post-dive briefing, and logging.
Yep!

WE did two 20 minute dives in the Springs and then two 40 minute drift dives in OW. And then.. that 20 minute snorkel...

imasinker
07-22-2008, 08:11
Sounds a bit selfish if you ask me, your open water training seems a bit quick to, but some LDS and instructors differ. Don't get me wrong but this is where trouble starts with people quickly being pushed through training. As for the LDS owner being upset you didn't purchase all your gear sounds so childish. My LDS gave me 20% off everything I bought. Then gave me big discounts on my BCD regs and computer package. Basically i got my computer free if I were to buy it all seperate would have cost me close to $700 more. I am a person who stays loyal to a shop, when treated right. I don't mind paying a bit more when I know I am getting treated well. I understand some shops have higher overheads and can't sell some products as low as others being online or not. The fact that most people now a days look for bargains shouldn't be looked at as if you just cut the LDS owners arm off. If he doesn't want to service your reg because you didn't buy it there well he loses that bit of service then. I would find another LDS and I am sure you'll find they will be willing to serve you better. Just a note, I have been to a few other LDS other than my own. I have always been treated well, all the shops in my area know each other and treat each with respect. None bash the others. Sounds to me like this shop will be out of busness soon.

enjoy your diving, dive safe and venture on!

Navy OnStar
07-22-2008, 08:29
I wouldn't deal with any shop that the owner refuses to talk to me because of anything. They have to earn your business. You have options, use the other LDS. Like mchain said, when adults act like 3yr. olds it's time to move on.

Staggs
07-22-2008, 08:51
Thanks for all the comments guys. We decided to move on to another LDS, and we're doing out AOW, and Enriched air this weekend with them. (saving $150 by doing it with the new shop even).

But I'm done with the other lds, and I'll never return there. If they would have treated us right, we would have done our AOW, and Enriched air with them this weekend and bought my full wetsuit this weekend from them as well.

But I just wanted to confirm I was doing the right thing by moving on, and well you guys pretty much confirmed for me that I am doing the right thing.

navyhmc
07-22-2008, 09:26
One other observation: The other LDS won't service your regulators since yo didn't buy them there? Whata tool!! BTW, from my experience, the usual turn around for regulator service at most LDS is about a week. I get the same turn around when i send a regultor to Scuba Toys for service. The price is right too.

Staggs
07-22-2008, 10:40
right, the new LDS however will service them, they don't care. I didn't ask about the pricing, but if they're around ST's price I'll just have them do it.

The owner told me (he owns two dive shops, one here and one in st. louis) that he's worked with ScubaToys before and said ST runs a really good business etc. So with him saying those two things, he kinda won me over. Let alone his pricing is WAY under the other LDS's pricing on everything.

digitalman
07-22-2008, 11:22
I drive 50 miles farther than my closest DS to get all my training because I don't feel comfortable in the one in my town. I just don't get that warm feeling when I walk in the door of the closest shop. Only the owner knows anything when you have a question, and an air fill can take 3 days.

The shop I get trained through has a very knowledgable staff and the training is very thorough. Almost every speciality I've done has extra skills/knowledge thrown in above and beyond the PADI or NAUI minimum skill requirements. If they don't feel you're ready, they don't issue your cert cards and offer additional help to get you where they feel you should be with your skills before processing your paperwork. I've been very happy with my training center.

digitalman
07-22-2008, 11:24
I'm burning a little extra gas to get the quality of training I receive, but in the grand scheme of things, all the shops in the area do their dives in the same quarry's, so that mileage aspect doesn't change.

blewgrass
07-22-2008, 12:31
The owner told me (he owns two dive shops, one here and one in st. louis) that he's worked with ScubaToys before and said ST runs a really good business etc. So with him saying those two things, he kinda won me over. Let alone his pricing is WAY under the other LDS's pricing on everything.


Very smart indeed!! This owner is a rare breed indeed. To actually praise ST was brilliant of him. If some of the LDS manager/owners would have taken this approach, and injected some honesty, they would have won me too. The problem begins when the LDS starts in with the bad mouthing, and piling up on excuses! That turns me off!

I would tell your new LDS owner that his praise of ST gave you faith in their honesty and integrity. Over here in California, I had some similar experiences. In todays economic climate, these dishonest poorly managed shops will need to re think thier ways in order to stay in business.

I had a shop manager tell me outright that he didn't need my "price match" business because he had plenty of affluent customers that didn't mind paying his prices. Pretty arrogant, but if it works for him, I wish him well. I am not affluent by any stretch, and I'll be movin on....

kwroads
07-22-2008, 13:42
I see this often from smaller shops. Most good shops don't care and want to take care of you.
Don't take it personal, you didn't do anything wrong.

Zenagirl
07-23-2008, 08:14
Personally I think you're very smart to go somewhere else for your training needs. Your OW class sounds pretty slip shod to me and to continue with that shop risking the same "quality" of course for nitrox and AOW would scare me.

Let us know how your training with your new shop goes.

mr_tabasco
07-23-2008, 13:39
Our LDS is not quite that bad but they do come up with some high pressure sales pitches. When we did our OW they said we coldn't take the class unless we used their equipment (for insurance reasons supposedly). We had asked if we could use our own BCD's (purchased elsewhere) so we could get used to them and they said no you have to use our equipment for the class or you can buy equipment from us. Luckily the instructors were not quite so rigid and we got to use them in the OW. They did give us a discount on the gear we purchased and a good price on the course but I really don't like the high pressure sales pitch approach. I wish ST wasn't so far from Houston.

SlvrDragon50
07-23-2008, 18:39
Heh, my instructor is the owner :P

ST isn't far from Houston.. ST is far from Orlando...

srhtech
07-24-2008, 10:50
These LDS need to get over the fear of the internet. I don't have time to go to the shop everytime I need something new. This is the digital age and either get on the train or you will get passed up. The whole point of the LDS is superior service and to promote the local diving. If their service is only equal to or less than internet service, their company will soon be gone.

NewDaScuba13
07-26-2008, 05:47
I'll never forget this day, but a few months ago a woman came into ST wanting to buy some small items, such as a bag, inexpensive wetsuit, and some smaller individual items like clips, etc. and needing reg service. As I was helping her, she was telling me this story about how her local dive shop hates ST and wouldn't service her regs because they were purchased from us because ST isn't "authorized". I told her we definitely are, which she knew, and said she would never shop with them again even though they have multiple shops.

As mad as she was (as well as myself), I gladly took in her regs and told her that we'll ship them to her when they're done in the next 2-3 days. She lived in Houston. :).

If you could be an advocate of ScubaToys, let other LDS' know that we're people too. :D

RikRaeder
07-26-2008, 06:13
If it looks, smells, and feels like it; it iS IT. The "bad" LDS was giving you some lines about gear and insurance and what not. Why give your money to a shop that lies to you and insults your intelligence? It's good for you that you have an option. As evreyone has been saying, if you don't like the service you get, communicate your feelings (sounds like you did). It never hurts to ask. After that, vote with your feet (by taking your money somewhere else). I hate doing business with anyone who doesn't NEED my money. If that's the case, they shouldn't be in business at all!

Sansho
07-26-2008, 06:38
If you could be an advocate of ScubaToys, let other LDS' know that we're people too. :D
The LDS discussion's I've heard tends to center around the broad grouping of "the internet" .... I've haven't heard the discussion consider people at all.

Brian Sharpe
08-08-2008, 15:29
It's even worse when you live in Canada! The LDS where I'm doing my PADI OW basically gave me the same kind of nonsense. One minute they're extolling the virtues of a Zeagle Ranger (seriously dumping on ScubaPro - which they don't carry) then telling me it'll cost almost $900 plus taxes (It's just over $600 at ST) and if I buy from the US I'm pooched for warranty.

I've found another store in town with a much better attitude but they don't carry Zeagle but their prices for regs are far more competitive and they'll service stuff bought anywhere.

andyrent
08-11-2008, 11:35
You did the right thing. The LDS that we did our OW through was nice but not very personable with us. We bought a little of our equipment from them for the class but most of the equipment was purchased elsewhere. We only spent hundreds with them when most of their clients/students spend over a thousand. We are taking our business to another LDS for AOW.

awap
08-11-2008, 12:02
Maybe Scott can figure out a way to twist some arms here. While this kind of situation has got to be good for sales at scubatoys, if the customers leaves the Zeagle shop and goes down to another shop and brand, Zeagle has to take the loss because of the unbelievably poor business practices of one of it's retailers.

divingbuddy
08-12-2008, 13:47
There are shops in Canada that do online sales as well. There is one in the Toronto area that is in the process of setting up their online shopping cart program, but do have a website that lists most of their gear. They are Zeagle dealers and will ship anywhere you want. If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you the information. The days of a local shop having an unfair monopoly on the scuba market is over - it is time they all realize this and either change with the times (as the one in the GTA did) or close up shop.

Just my two cents...Cheers!


It's even worse when you live in Canada! The LDS where I'm doing my PADI OW basically gave me the same kind of nonsense. One minute they're extolling the virtues of a Zeagle Ranger (seriously dumping on ScubaPro - which they don't carry) then telling me it'll cost almost $900 plus taxes (It's just over $600 at ST) and if I buy from the US I'm pooched for warranty.

I've found another store in town with a much better attitude but they don't carry Zeagle but their prices for regs are far more competitive and they'll service stuff bought anywhere.

dewayne405
08-13-2008, 10:51
Wow, I have heard this tune personally... My wife and I went through a LDS here in our area for our PADI OW, and planned to do AOW, as well as progress all the way to pro...

They had a great price, but you had to purchase your basic gear from them. After learning about the wonderful paradise known as ScubaToys, I have since learned that we spent >$400 too much for Masks, booties, fins, and snorkels, just to take the class... We were pressured really hard into purchasing our full gear sets through them immediately following class. Luckily, I started doing some research and learned about ST and another local LDS, where I eventually made my full gear purchase(regs, bc's), and felt we really got taken care of properly there... Right up until she and I visited the ScubaToys store itself...

Larry and Joe- Ashley says that I am banned from entering the doors or website, something about having spent over $1600 there already, without her being present at the time... But she is thrilled to death with her OU :smiley11:red AL80....

Anyways, good advice for anyone out there... Visit ScubaToys either online or in person, and you'll see what a true LDS is all about... We have already set a date to return for some more gear following our next trip to Lake Murray... I am already looking for a good excuse to buy a Zeagle Brigade... :smilie39::smilie39:

mr_tabasco
08-13-2008, 12:36
We didn't come out too bad overall. They pretty much forced you to buy the basic equipment from them but gave you a discount since you were taking the class. We also had a coupon for the class as well. They actually said we could not use a BC bought anywhere else and they would have to approve any other equipment to make sure it met their standards. I ask them about some specific equipment and what thei actual "standards" were to see what would be acceptable and they said "well you can buy it else where but we would have to see it before we could let yo use it". I have tried to give them buisness since then but they continued the high pressure sales pitch to justify their high prices. I don't think they will get any more of my buisness except maybe tank rental for local dives. They just amaze me on how openly they bash anything that is bought on the internet like that automatically makes it sub standard equipment. It is easier for me to shop on the web at ST and then wait 1 day to get my gear anyway. Not to mention cheaper too.

reefugee
08-15-2008, 15:06
I must be lucky because I have an awesome LDS. Their price is often comparable or better than many internet stores. The owner and employees are great. They didn't get mad when I purchased two drysuits online. But I have purchased 3 complete dive gears and one drysuit from them.

BTW - I have ordered from ST, and have been very happy as well!

roofless
08-15-2008, 16:07
After reading this, do you guys think i'm in the right for going to the other shop to finish out my training?

Hell yes. Screw that other LDS, I hope they go out of business.

I try to keep my ST purchases on the down-low when I have to go to my LDS for something that I require immediately. Just so there's no hard feelings. No one likes losing a sale, but it's far worse to lose a customer. The first LDS you spoke of apparently hasn't learned this most fundamental business concept.

mr_tabasco
08-15-2008, 16:24
You did the right thing. The LDS that we did our OW through was nice but not very personable with us. We bought a little of our equipment from them for the class but most of the equipment was purchased elsewhere. We only spent hundreds with them when most of their clients/students spend over a thousand. We are taking our business to another LDS for AOW.

I am curious which LDS you used and which one you are moving to. I live in the Houston area and haven't been real pleased with the LDS we have used to date. If you could PM me so I don't hi-jack this thread any further that would be great.

roofless
08-15-2008, 16:29
I am curious which LDS you used and which one you are moving to. I live in the Houston area and haven't been real pleased with the LDS we have used to date. If you could PM me so I don't hi-jack this thread any further that would be great.

This might warrant it's own thread. I live in the Houston area as well and am curious what others opinions are of our LDS's.

mr_tabasco
08-15-2008, 18:30
I am curious which LDS you used and which one you are moving to. I live in the Houston area and haven't been real pleased with the LDS we have used to date. If you could PM me so I don't hi-jack this thread any further that would be great.

This might warrant it's own thread. I live in the Houston area as well and am curious what others opinions are of our LDS's.

OK here we go
http://forum.scubatoys.com/complaints-problems/16345-lds-houston-area.html#post216313

mrbheagney
08-31-2008, 20:32
Unbelievable conduct by a professional. You should have walked away a bit sooner. No one can tell you where to spend your own dollars. Always remember your rights as a consumer when dealing with individuals in the service industry.

BlowingBubbles
09-02-2008, 11:30
Getting back the original topic of a rushed OW class, like anything else in life, there's good and bad wherever you go. I've seen quite a bit of PADI bashing on other threads and I have to say that my husband and I received PADI OW, and AOW and were very pleased. The instructors were very patient, knowledgable and very concerned to make sure that we got it right. And as the classes were local, we have since gotten to know them personally through our local dive club. Good people.
As for our LDS, we couldn't ask for better. They go out of their way to help us with anything we need and even let us take out one of their back flotation jackets to test (to see if we liked it), even though we told them we were going to be ordering from ST (they don't sell Zeagle yet). They do so many little things and like others have said, we don't mind paying the extra here and there when possible to help them out and keep them in business.

thagar
09-02-2008, 19:46
My PADI instructor was pretty good. As for my LDS, I get a bad vibe from them. He's not rude, but its like he does the bare minimum to get you in and out.

Aussheplady
09-04-2008, 15:34
The LDS that I certified through is AWESOME! They are only a few miles from ST and knew I bought most of my equipment there and had no problem with it at all. EVERYONE that I met there is outgoing and friendly and never pushes sales, will answer any questions I may have honestly and is truly more interested in making sure I enjoy scuba in the long run.

ST was also great, they knew I was taking a PADI course elsewhere and when I told them with who, they actually assured me that it was a shop with great people. (I was told that I would have more fun and it would cost less if I took the course with ST, but I was in good hands with the shop I was going through. LOL)

I bought my computer and my mask from the LDS, but everything else has been through ST and I can honestly say either place I go, I feel like I get very personal assistance. I can't imagine giving my money to any business that doesn't have the same customer service.