Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Defender Industries to the Rescue

Last post dealt with the underwhelming customer support at Navico (Northstar) for expensive marine equipment that failed prematurely. Today deals with the stellar support offered by Defender Industries, a mail order marine service of outstanding merit.

Yesterday, more than a month after the unit was returned to them, Navico called to tell us the unit had been repaired and a "warranty replacement" would be couriered to us. We were elated.

Up to this point Navico could not tell us what had happened to our warranty return.

Six hours later Navico called to tell us the unit was back ordered and they had nothing to send us. "When would it be available?" we asked reasonably enough.

"I have no idea" replied the willing customer service rep. "They should have been here on March 23. No one knows where they are. If they come in I will call you".

IF they come in? Hmmm.

This is not ideal. Rumours are that Navico is reconfiguring its product lines and is dropping a lot of Northstar products. I guess the quality problems are so bad they can't hide them any longer. Word is the dealers are in open revolt.

This sounds like our autopilot may be being reconfigured out of existence and one wonders if there will ever be a "replacement" unit. Why order stock you have no intention of selling any more units? If a customer wants service just string him along until he goes away.

We called Defender Industries from whom we had purchased the unit. I did not expect Defender to do anything but I did want to alert them to the problems at Navico as experienced by us firsthand. And I wanted advice on what we should buy to replace the lemon we had just purchased.

The customer rep (Dan) was dismayed at the conduct of Navico and he got ahold of the Defender staff person who handles buying from Navico, passed on all the relevant information and this person is contacting Navico on our behalf.

This is outstanding service. We have come to expect this from Defender and we realized today that they never (NEVER) disappoint.

If you need marine products give Defender a serious look. Their prices are fair, not the lowest but fair. Lowest price has a cost to it. Their service is second to none in our extensive and growing experience and far exceeds that of land based dealers.


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