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Old 06-19-2020, 09:05 AM   #1
Harry Hill
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Old Town Terrible Customer service

Let me start off by saying I love my predator PDL, it's a great kayak. I bought it from OEX and have always gotten great service and support from OEX. Unfortunately my wife decided to buy a Predator PDL and wanted one in the black cherry color so ordered it directly from Old Town. They offer free delivery but there is a $100 surcharge for an oversize shipment. After about a month wait it was delivered last Friday. Upon unwrapping she discovered the side pocket had been installed incorrectly so there was a gap that will allow small items to fall out. When the pedal drive was packed it wasn't padded so it tore up the deck pad and damaged the hull under the pad. Whoever installed the pad put it on wrong so it intrudes into the hole where the pedal drive fits. She immediately emailed Old Town and was ignored. On Monday she called Old Town and was told the issue would be turned over to customer service who also never contacted her. She called twice more during the week and was transferred to an answering machine with no return calls. Finally one week later she received an email telling her to loosen the screw on the side pocket so the gap would close. Since the screw is in the wrong location that doesn't change anything, they will send her a new deck pad but don't address the damage to the hull. None of these issues would make a huge difference if she had bought a kayak that was discounted because of shipping damage but it isn't acceptable when purchasing a new kayak from the manufacturer. This is a ridiculous way to treat someone who bought directly from the manufacturer. If you are going to buy an old town product make sure you deal with someone like OEX who will take care of issues that arise because Old Town has no customer service.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:24 AM   #2
Hunters Pa
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Sucks. If you paid via credit card you can refute the chare until issues are addressed. That may get their attention
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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Sucks. If you paid via credit card you can refute the chare until issues are addressed. That may get their attention
That is my next step, we gave them a week to address the issue with no satisfaction. It may be they feel because she is a woman they can just ignore her but they don't know my wife.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:56 AM   #4
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The more I inspect the kayak the more I can see it never received an inspection before leaving the factory. Excess plastic was left in the scuppers, there are scratches and gouges in the scuppers and a lot of debris inside the hull. The drive unit has an inspection sticker signed by SDB but there are no stickers on the hull indication anyone inspected it. It appears Old Town knows they let a unit go out without being inspected and don't want to be responsible. I'm wondering if they let the kayak leave like this is it safe for my wife to be out on the open ocean in it. What did they miss that I can't see?
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:58 PM   #5
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That sucks, that's one of the drawbacks of buying large items online. Hope it all works out for you two. I had a bad experience myself recently. I called a local company to get some assistance and the guy that picked up the phone had an attitude from the get go, the dude was such an ass that rather than arguing with him I just ended the call.

mean people suck.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:36 AM   #6
Harry Hill
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After almost three weeks since the first contact my wife finally received an e-mail from the original customer service person she contacted. Only the second e-mail in all that time after multiple attempts to contact the CS Chastity. A word of advice, if you have to contact Old Town customer service ask for Ken, if you get Chastity you are in for a long process. Anyway, my wife finally got Chastity to answer her phone after talking with Ken first. She was given a song and dance about how busy she is but my wife worked CS for a major corporation and knows the job. Chastity promised an answer within the hour and after an hour my wife received an e-mail telling her Old Town would replace the hull, we should keep the seat and drive, and to cut a twelve by twelve inch section of hull out around the serial number and send that back to old town with pictures of the destroyed hull. No apology and no compensation for all our time and trouble, and maybe a month wait for a new boat it seems replacing faulty hulls takes hind tit in Old Towns feeding cycle. I believe Chastity was authorized to do more but feels the need to short change us in the deal. It's sad because I had a lot of faith in Old Town and Johnson Outdoors before all this happened. All I can say is if you want an Old Town product by directly from a local operation like OEX, Brent would have taken care of this immediately
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:36 AM   #7
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Just some context here to consider, and I definitely have no stake in old town. At my company, during the shutdown we lost half our customer service staff and they didn't come back. On top of this, we also lost a bunch of people in production some of whom were very experienced and we can't make product fast enough because everyone is buying outdoor products like crazy right now. Now they are overwhelmed and everyone in the engineering team is having to step in and help with customer service calls and none of us have been authorized to do any replacements or anything like that, we have to send instructions back to the overworked customer service staff.
Point being, things are hard for everyone right now and we've gotten way too used to things being easy. With cases spiking again, expect things to get worse before they get better.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:22 PM   #8
Harry Hill
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Just some context here to consider, and I definitely have no stake in old town. At my company, during the shutdown we lost half our customer service staff and they didn't come back. On top of this, we also lost a bunch of people in production some of whom were very experienced and we can't make product fast enough because everyone is buying outdoor products like crazy right now. Now they are overwhelmed and everyone in the engineering team is having to step in and help with customer service calls and none of us have been authorized to do any replacements or anything like that, we have to send instructions back to the overworked customer service staff.
Point being, things are hard for everyone right now and we've gotten way too used to things being easy. With cases spiking again, expect things to get worse before they get better.
Just excuses to me, the first person that was contacted, a young lady named Chasity would not respond to phone or e-mail, when I contacted a young man named Ken, he not only answered the phone but also forwarded everything to a manager, which prompted Chasity to finally respond. It took her three weeks to finally offer a resolution. Chasity might want to remember that there are a lot of people out of work who would be more than willing to do her job in a prompt and courteous manner. Product might be slower getting out but customer service should always be first and formost on a companies mind. I never accepted excuses from my employees when it came to keeping our customers satisfied.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:36 PM   #9
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Just excuses to me, the first person that was contacted, a young lady named Chasity would not respond to phone or e-mail, when I contacted a young man named Ken, he not only answered the phone but also forwarded everything to a manager, which prompted Chasity to finally respond. It took her three weeks to finally offer a resolution. Chasity might want to remember that there are a lot of people out of work who would be more than willing to do her job in a prompt and courteous manner. Product might be slower getting out but customer service should always be first and formost on a companies mind. I never accepted excuses from my employees when it came to keeping our customers satisfied.

I had the same issue with Traeger last year. Doesn't matter how great a product is, crappy customer service and unwillingness to support once a sale is made just sours the marketplace. Conversely, a good but not great product that comes with awesome support and customer service gains in the court of public opinion.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by monstahfish View Post
Just some context here to consider, and I definitely have no stake in old town. At my company, during the shutdown we lost half our customer service staff and they didn't come back. On top of this, we also lost a bunch of people in production some of whom were very experienced and we can't make product fast enough because everyone is buying outdoor products like crazy right now. Now they are overwhelmed and everyone in the engineering team is having to step in and help with customer service calls and none of us have been authorized to do any replacements or anything like that, we have to send instructions back to the overworked customer service staff.
Point being, things are hard for everyone right now and we've gotten way too used to things being easy. With cases spiking again, expect things to get worse before they get better.



PREACH!!!!!!!!! As someone who has to deal with the public and with customer service this is spot on. I will also say that you catch far more flies with honey than vinegar, and when someone who is calm, collected, and polite needs help I will bend over backwards to do everything I can do to get a resolution. When you take the "vinegar" approach, I'm more than likely gonna drag my feet a little, and probably feed you a very corporate friendly line about our service level agreement, give you the max estimate on time, and then send ya on your merry way!
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:00 PM   #11
Harry Hill
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PREACH!!!!!!!!! As someone who has to deal with the public and with customer service this is spot on. I will also say that you catch far more flies with honey than vinegar, and when someone who is calm, collected, and polite needs help I will bend over backwards to do everything I can do to get a resolution. When you take the "vinegar" approach, I'm more than likely gonna drag my feet a little, and probably feed you a very corporate friendly line about our service level agreement, give you the max estimate on time, and then send ya on your merry way!
A good business is based on word of mouth reputation. If you take care of your customers they will come back and tell others about their experience with you. On the same hand bad customer service will eventually come back to haunt you. I managed an equipment rental yard for seven years and ran it like I owned it. If a customer had a problem I took care of it immediately and if I couldn't they didn't pay and got use of the equipment they needed as soon as their problem was taken care of without being charged. If I ever caught an employee ignoring customers they were looking for another job the next day. We either took care of our customers or our competitors would.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:35 PM   #12
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PREACH!!!!!!!!! As someone who has to deal with the public and with customer service this is spot on. I will also say that you catch far more flies with honey than vinegar, and when someone who is calm, collected, and polite needs help I will bend over backwards to do everything I can do to get a resolution. When you take the "vinegar" approach, I'm more than likely gonna drag my feet a little, and probably feed you a very corporate friendly line about our service level agreement, give you the max estimate on time, and then send ya on your merry way!


Catching more flies with honey than with vinegar also goes for the companies trying to catch more customers. When the customer has paid in full and not received what is promised, given the run-around and had to spend too much time on the phone with a dozen people, AND had to burn vacation days for deliveries that don't happen when promised, AND customer has stayed civil the entire time then the company is flinging a lot more vinegar than honey. This was my experience with Traeger.


Sounds like Harry Hill tried to get resolution and was served up a plate of vinegar.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:04 PM   #13
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I think what alot of people are facing are folk's working from home with little to no oversight from their bosses. Some folks hold their end of the bargain while others are taking advantage of the situation or are unable to perform at the same capacity because of the lack of available child care. My sister in law is an appointment clerk with a hospital. Folks that are performing at the same level are allowed to work from home indefinitely, underperformers are told to come back to the office. My 2 cents

ps-is that the same Chastity from the DMV? I kid

Last edited by jruiz; 06-30-2020 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:16 AM   #14
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I think what alot of people are facing are folk's working from home with little to no oversight from their bosses. Some folks hold their end of the bargain while others are taking advantage of the situation or are unable to perform at the same capacity because of the lack of available child care. My sister in law is an appointment clerk with a hospital. Folks that are performing at the same level are allowed to work from home indefinitely, underperformers are told to come back to the office. My 2 cents

ps-is that the same Chastity from the DMV? I kid
This is a good observation and reflects some of the problems I have had with my vendors now that the majority of them are working from home. I have had to go directly to a sales manager or outside sales rep to get things done that should have been handled by inside sales people on numerous occasions.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:09 PM   #15
Harry Hill
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My wife finally got her replacement kayak yesterday. It all looks good. Not so much as a howdy or how is it from Old Town customer service. No, here is something for your trouble. Just another reason you should only deal with your local dealer and don't expect Old Town customer service to help you out much. It's a shame because on their website the tout how good their customer service is, obviously the bosses aren't watching their employees.
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