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Thread: Love My LDS!!-Buuut...

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    08/19/2007
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    Love My LDS!!-Buuut...

    New to diving, we had done our research on diving equipment online-pricing, reviews, etc. We visited all of the LDS in the area (the ones that were not run out of a van) and discovered something. WE LOVE DIVERS!! The community of people seem to be the nicest and most helpful of any sport/activity I've ever encountered. My wife and I commented after every LDS visit about how nice and helpful everyone was, and how genuinely passionate they seemed about diving. Their enthusiasm is contagious and greatly appreciated. As a private pilot, I can attest to the "snottiness" you can get with people in other sports, and diving seems to be on it's own with the great people we've met. Having said that, this is where the weirdness comes to play. After a few LDS visits, we decided that we would pick a LDS and basically stick with them for equipment and certification since after going into a few shops and merely MENTIONING another LDS would send some of the owners into some weird trance. You could almost see the process in their mind of how to convince you that those "other" places weren't as good as them, their equipment was generic, etc.

    We decided on a LDS, and absolutely love the place. The people are all great, and thier product selection is awesome. I have had one problem though, and tell me if I'm just being weird here. I had spent a little over 3000 dollars in a month with them, buying 2 BC's, 2 regs, 2 wetsuits, and tons of other stuff and certification. When it came time to purchase a guage console, I decided to just buy computers up front instead of having to upgrade later. My LDS gives a 15% discount on equipment when enrolled in a class. I had done some price shopping on the internet, and found that even after the discount, they were about 90 dollars more than online. Normally, I would just suck up the difference, but I needed 3 of them. Needless to say, after 270 dollars difference (plus tax), the online prices looked better and better. Wanting to give the LDS a chance, I asked if they could match or even "come close" to the prices quoted by ST. I was told the owner would get back to me. After a couple days without a response, I called back and was given the whole "you won't have any warranty" by another employee. After explaining ST was an authorized dealer, I was told "they are not allowed to sell at that price, we are protected". I e-mailed the owner and request a callback (again). After 1 more unanswered call for the owner , and 2 more days of waiting, I ordered the units from ST. I can understand why a dealer wants you to buy from them, and I really do like to patronize them. Spending money at the LDS is what keeps them in business and the people and their information is invaluable. I really want to consider myself a customer for life, but that experience left a little bit of a bad taste. I feel like if they had come out and said "no way we can even come close", I would have at least respected that. But I didn't recieve ANY response on an offer, and the attitude that I am wasting their time by price shopping them seemed a little disconcerting. Like I said, I love these people at the shop and don't want to piss them off, but if they start giving me grief on annual inspections, etc. from items I bought from ST, then I will stop business from them or anyone that has that sort of attitude.
    Has anyone else dealt with this same thing? What do you think is the best course for this kind of situation?
    Sorry for the massive post, I had to vent a little frustration. I feel better now...

  2. #2
    Grouper
    Join Date
    08/06/2007
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    I think your right, its up to you where you spend your money you have to look out for yourself and your own wallet.

  3. #3
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Well the bloom is off the rose now, isn't it? Your LDS did what many LDS's do, they charm and BS the new wide-eyed diver to sell them a bunch of expensive gear, then when they realize you've wised up they move on to the next newbie.

    You shoulda tested them sooner instead of trying to please them by giving them your loyalty. I swear the dive industry is the only industry I've seen where the customers try to please the shop owners and are afraid of pissing off the shop.
    The water's more exciting.. with CHUM in it!

  4. #4
    Grouper Founding Member
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    07/12/2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReefHound View Post
    Well the bloom is off the rose now, isn't it? Your LDS did what many LDS's do, they charm and BS the new wide-eyed diver to sell them a bunch of expensive gear, then when they realize you've wised up they move on to the next newbie.

    You shoulda tested them sooner instead of trying to please them by giving them your loyalty. I swear the dive industry is the only industry I've seen where the customers try to please the shop owners and are afraid of pissing off the shop.
    That's a great point. I too have noticed that. The shop I got certified at really hacked me off when I wanted to rent a tank from them for some pool fun. When they quoted me $20 for a freaking one day tank rental, I was hacked off to say the least. So I decided to go to the other two area LDS's were they not only know me by name, but came up with nicknames for me and my fiance

  5. #5
    Heheh... I made a funny picture for an LDS vs. Online Shop argument thread once. Photoshopped from a WW2 style propaganda poster.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Brandon

    PADI Open Water/Advanced Open Water- Valdez, AK
    PADI Rescue Diver - Unalaska, AK
    PADI Divemaster Candidate
    BeringSeaDivers.com - Dive "The Deadliest Catch!"

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandon View Post
    Heheh... I made a funny picture for an LDS vs. Online Shop argument thread once. Photoshopped from a WW2 style propaganda poster.

    thats pretty funny, i like it.

  7. #7
    Grouper Founding Member
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    I had the same experience with a shop I was looking to buy a package from....they were off by a good 600 bucks....and gave me the same spiel about the warranty and how ST wasn't supposed to sell at that price.....and how they talked to some VP over at Oceanic...blah blah blah. And then sort of hinted that he wouldn't service my regs if I bought through scuba toys. At that point, I really got a bad taste in my mouth, and my attitude is now F them.

    I won't so much as rent tanks from them because of that ****e. Like you said, if he would have just been up front and said, "hey, we can't match it", I would have probably still bought stuff from these guys....fills, misc things, classes, etc. But, he had to be a weasel about it and spew that BS.

    Funny thing is, he is also an online retailer, with actual decent prices, and the same prices in the store, why he couldn't match ST, I don't know. But with the attitude, I'm happy to take my business elsewhere.

    And yeah, the sales tax thing kind of sucks too, it definitely weighed into my decision.

  8. #8
    Oh, by far my favorite is the LDS's that will outright lie to you. Call them on their BS, then leave.

    -B.
    Brandon

    PADI Open Water/Advanced Open Water- Valdez, AK
    PADI Rescue Diver - Unalaska, AK
    PADI Divemaster Candidate
    BeringSeaDivers.com - Dive "The Deadliest Catch!"

  9. #9
    Grouper Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReefHound View Post

    You shoulda tested them sooner instead of trying to please them by giving them your loyalty. I swear the dive industry is the only industry I've seen where the customers try to please the shop owners and are afraid of pissing off the shop.
    it's kind of the same in other things like bike shops and some other sports....because you depend on these places to have stuff serviced, and depend on their expertise for classes with diving especially. It's a shame, because I like to support local businesses, but at the same time, these places will have to somehow adapt their business model to survive in a digital world. Clearly scuba toys is leading edge in that aspect.

  10. #10
    Grouper Founding Member
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    Oklahoma City, OK
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    Yea, sales tax is the suxor. That alone could have payed for a lot of dive equipment.

    I have no choice but to rent tanks from my LDS.

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