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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I would like to share my recent experience with Northern Diver after buying there top of the range Guardain GTEK Ultra BCD.

My dive instructor organised the purchase as he is a regular customer and recommends ND to new/current students. As arranged, I telephoned them with my credit card details to pay for the BCD £199.99 and 14 kg of lead shot £75. This was be collected by the instructors friends who were at ND at the time buying some gear of their own.

I received the BCD and lead shot but did not get a receipt of purchase which I did not really give a 2nd thought about.

My instructor said it would be a good idea to test the BCD so joined his club night at local leisure centre diving pool. As soon as I put the BCD on with the weight of the tank, one of the shoulder straps loosened completely itself and would not stay tight. The other strap was not as bad but still could not get the strap to fit me correctly in the position I wanted.

He tried to sort the problem but said that it would have to be returned to Northern Diver.

After telephoning Northern Diver customer service, Ian Evans, I was told I would have to return BCD at MY COST!

Because this was a Monday and I was doing my Dry Suit Speciality on the Friday, I needed it for then so had to pay £21 next day (Tuesday) delivery.

The "Repaired" BCD was returned to me on the Thursday. ND has just fitted 2 new shoulder strap buckles.

Kitting up for my Speciality Course, immediately the same problem happened again but having no spare BCD I had to do the first dive of the course with the BCD in a terrible position on my back which is not the best when learing to use a dry suit for buoyancy etc

I perservered for the 2nd dive but the instructor cable tied the straps down which allowed me to complete the 2nd dive and my course.

As soon as I got home I telephoned Ian Evans but had to leave a message on his answer phone to call me back regarding this BCD problem. I received no call.

So on the Monday morning I called again and spoke to Ian who took ask where was my receipt which I explained I did not receive one. He said he could not help me as he would have to wade through loads of paperwork to find my order!!!!!!

After sourcing my credit card bill I gave him the date etc of the purchase andmiracuously the receipt was found.

I stated that I wanted a full refund for the BCD and would accept nothing else.

ND arranged for a courier to collect the BCD on the Thursday which what happended. I waited a full week and did not receive a call, email or any communication whatsoever regarding the BCD to say that they had even recieved it or when I would get my refund.

I could not get hold of Ian Evans as he "was away on business". I spoke to another guy who was very unhelpful and said he would pass it on and nothing more he could do.

I waitied another week and still no refund so contacted Ian Evans again who said he would refund me and took my credit card details.

Guess what another week went by and no refund. As I am away offshore I had to email him and told him how disgusted I was with the customer service that I received and he apologised and said he had been so "busy".

Eventually I received a refund of £186 and not the £199.99?????????????

I emailed him again and he said that is all the invoice said???????

When did ND sell their top of the range Guardian GTEK Ultra BCD for £186 when they are now on sale for £249.99????????

He said if I could prove the price paid he would refund me the difference when he knows fine well I did not receive a receipt in the first place.

Northern Diver have the most appalling customer Service I have ever encountered and will never ever buy any thing from them again.

So for the pleasure of owning the ND BCD has cost me £21 + £14= £35

ND are rips offs!

I had to borrow a BCD to complete my Advanced Open Water, a Tusa Platina Evo, which was awesome and have since bought the same from simplyscuba.com

Barry
 

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Gone to pastures new
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Contact your credit card provider, they're jointly & severally liable. Don't let them try and wriggle out of it, in a situation like this I'd give the retailer one chance to correctly refund and the I'd be straight onto the CC company.
 

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I would have words with your instructor - he recommended/sold you this bcd, couldn't get it to work on you , and sent you here...
 

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Oh dear, another poor sole who has yet again!!! Been burned by ND, why oh why is this terrible company still in business when most of there products are sub standard??

If you do a search for Northern diver you will find many, many upset divers. At least it hasn't ended up costing you hundreds of pounds like some of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have just bought a Tusa Platina Evolution BCD which was the one my instructor lent me for my Advanced. Absolutely great bit of kit and very well made.
 

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My dive instructor organised the purchase as he is a regular customer and recommends ND to new/current students. As arranged, I telephoned them with my credit card details to pay for the BCD £199.99 and 14 kg of lead shot £75. This was be collected by the instructors friends who were at ND at the time buying some gear of their own.
This bit I don't quite get. An instructor recommending kit, fine ish, but organising the purchase? Dunno, but sounds wrong some how.
I don't really like the idea of an instructor recommending kit. Giving advice, yes. But not full on on "buy this, it's good" kind of thing. Maybe that's just me...

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I can see your point here and maybe that would explain the discrepency in the money but my instructor did not push this sale or the BCD. If I paid with a credit card how would he benefit out of it?

He actually showed me a Buddy Tekwing first and I did not like the straps on it so started looking around.

His mate had just bought a new ND Gtek Ultra which I liked the look of (£199.99 looked a bargain) so said could he get another one as his mates were going down to ND. He gave me the number of the guy to ring in ND and the saga started from there.
 

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Question - your instructor recommended a Northern Diver BC, you didn't collect or try it on before you purchased, I wonder if the instructor received a discount he didn't tell you about and that is the reason for the price difference.

I used to deal with Ian Evans in the early days as ND were really the only local option for buying dive kit and back then they had a good reputation and I only received good service from Ian, found him to be a decent guy to deal with.


Oops looks like others have already thought about the same thing. Should read all the posts before responding :)
 

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It's such a shame to see a previously well respected company apparently losing the plot like this. I had a couple of ND suits in the 1980s and at the time they were the market leaders. When I bought a Divemaster suit 3 years ago, I was shocked at how quickly it deteriorated and it was knackered after 50 dives.

ND are not a company I'll be dealing with again.
 

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All we wanted was a home... Manics
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when I learned to dive the only suit to have was ND and the only BC to start with was a buddy. It's a shame ND seem to have generated so much anti feeling on this forum. Is it the same on other forums (I don't bother with other forums) or just a YD lynching?

I must admit my own experience with them has been ok apart from the charisma devoid person serving me at the dive show who seemed to give the impression I was incoveniencing him by being there causing trouble and asking questions before I bought stuff. That said, at my previous club our DO had a divemaster suit that leaked from almost every seam at some point. It looked more like an advert for aquasure by the end of it!!
 

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I'm just a bit mystified that what look like standard buckles on photos of the bcd could possibly be so lame as to let the BCD sag...never seen it on new before and very rarely on old worn ones...
You didn't have the 14kg of shot in your pockets did you?
 
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