When I was a kid, my first job was delivering the local newspaper to my neighbors after school and on the weekends. It wasn’t a lot of money but it was enough for a 12-year-old. After a few months, I saved enough to buy a piece of (non-scuba) electronic gear. It was a mid-ranged piece of gear. If I would have been patient and saved for a month or so more, I could have purchased a top of line model by another manufacturer in the category.
A little more than a month later, the piece of gear stopped working. Since it was over 30 days, the electronic store I purchased it from refused to replace or take it back. While not an ideal situation, I was fine with the retailer’s response since terms were stated on the sale receipt. Next, I reviewed the unit’s warranty card which stated a one-year limited warranty was available when operated under normal use. So, I called the manufacturer and received a shocking and crushing response. The lady who answered the phone immediately showed a lack of empathy and she further elaborated that the retailer (which was legitimate dealer with many stores across the northeastern region of the US) might have sold me a counterfeit device. She refused to even allow me to send the unit in for their inspection.
I was 12 and extremely crushed since I worked so hard to save money and purchase the device. Eventually, I saved enough to buy the top of line unit (which still works today). Besides never purchasing another product by this manufacture and never shopping at this retailer again. I learned a few important lessons from this experience:
- Be Patient: Buy top gear that is used by a wide range of professionals. (I could have waited an extra month or so to buy a higher quality model).
- Shop at retailers that will be an advocate in your behalf when things go wrong. (The retailer could have help me a bit more, especially since I was 12 years old.)
- Buy gear from manufacturers that stand by their product or service.
Recently, I had a few issues with my 5mm Henderson wetsuit. The major issue was the zipper strap broke during a dive vacation on a liveaboard. I was able to use a twist tie to remedy the issue during my vacation. (Note, I also own a 3mm Henderson wetsuit and after more than 10 years, I have never had an issue.)
Once I returned from my vacation, I called Henderson to explain my issue and to inquire if it could be repaired and also if was still under warranty.
They instructed me to mail my wetsuit to them for inspection. Two or three weeks later, I found a package on my doorstep. Henderson sent me a brand-new wetsuit as a replacement at no additional cost. I was only hoping the zipper would be repaired.
Henderson neoprene wetsuits that have been registered by their owners at hendersonusa.com are warranted for up to 10 years as follows:
- 10 years (zipper)
- 5 years (on all material and workmanship with the exception of damage due to Chlorine, sunlight or compressions).
- 1 year “Head to Toe” (except for wetsuit that have been lost, stolen or damaged in use)
- This warranty is not transferable.
Products which are not covered by the 10 year warranty will be marked and warranted as follows:
- For a period of 1 year from the time of purchased
- To be free of manufacturing defects at the time of purchase.
After my childhood experience I’m always impressed and appreciate companies that stand by their products. I’m currently in the market for a semi-dry wetsuit and based on this experience, Henderson will be my first choice.