Bad Service/Good Service

Posted on Monday 14 July 2008

I thought I’d add another name to the vendor black list.

Apparently, Quantum Sails of Newport doesn’t think much of its customers, at least in one case I’ve seen. I was looking at the stack pack on a friend’s boat, and there was a section about three inches long that the stitching had missed going through the canvas and didn’t connect the zipper edge to the canvas there. He had recently taken the stack pack to Quantum Sails Newport to have the entire thing restitched. They did about the shoddiest job of re-stitching it that I’ve ever seen.

He told me, that when he contacted Quantum, they told him to bring it on over. Now, looking at the stack pack, I can see that just “bringing it on over” isn’t as easy as it sounds. He’ll have to disconnect the lazyjacks, pull the mainsail and stack pack off the boom, put the mainsail away, drive over to Newport and drop it off… and lose possibly up to a week of sailing. Quantum also offered to send him some needles and sailthread, if dropping it off was too much work.

This is a very disturbing trend… many marine vendors seem to have no sense of responsibility and don’t stand behind their work or their company’s good name. What if this hadn’t been a stack pack, but a reefing point, like the one I just had put in? In a storm, the sail would have likely shredded itself due to the lousy quality of the stitching.

Two companies that originally were allowed to do fiberglass work at my marina have been deemed persona non-grata for similar reasons. Kelley Marine Services, which I mentioned in my OP, has also been banned for similar reasons.

Do these companies not realize that the marine world is rather small, and that regularly screwing their customers will eventually come back to bite them. So Quantum Sails Newport joins Kelley Marine Services, of Wareham, MA, and Peter Kennedy Yacht Services, of Annapolis, MD,  on the short list of blackballed vendors so far.

I’d also like to add a vendor to the white list.

Harding Sails, out of Marion, MA, did an excellent job with the third reef setup on my mainsail. Graham was kind enough to expedite my sail repair before the Fourth of July and, unlike many other vendors, very open about what was involved and the costs. I expect I’ll have them look at the canvas on my boat at some point.

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