Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hurricane Aqua Sports

It's been two weeks since I was blindsided with news that the manufacturer of the kayak that I've had problems with, wasn't going to honor their word.  The full (and I do mean FULL) backstory can be found starting HERE, then HERE, onto HERE, and then finally HERE.  Don't want to take the time?  Here's the short of it:

  • Boat Defect
  • Boat Sinks
  • Manufacturer sends temporary fix
  • Boat Sinks again
  • Vice President offers new boat for free
  • Vice President reneges offer 11 days later
  • Vice President offers to sell me a new boat PLUS shipping

I had held off during the last post mentioning the manufacturers name, because I was hoping that they would step up and do the right thing.  They haven't.  It's been several weeks.  And what recourse do I have?  It's my word against theirs.  

So now, I must say, that I would not suggest anyone do business with Hurricane Aqua Sports.   They don't sell directly, but you'll likely find their kayaks at your local kayak dealer and at demo days.   Their trademark is producing kayaks out of a material called Trylon, a durable but lightweight plastic.  Apparently not so durable.  

Their site claims them to be "a small group of kayaking industry veterans".  Then these veterans should understand how it would feel to be without a boat.  Not because they damaged theirs, or not because they couldn't afford one.  But because their boat failed.  Miserably.

I bought the Hurricane Phoenix 120.  A small, light, sit-on-top.  I really enjoyed the boat.  But due to a manufacturing defect, it took on water and sank.  With me in it.  In any other situation than what I was in, it could have had a much worse outcome.

It's so terribly disappointing, this change in customer service.  I never asked for a new boat, they offered it.  And then took it back.  They used the "warranty period" as their excuse, but didn't take into account that I first contacted them while it was still under warranty, and they sent a tube of epoxy that didn't fix it.  How sad is that?  The VP even admitted to me on the phone that they knew there was a problem with this!

I have no idea what changed his mind in the 10 days between our pleasant phone conversation, and the follow up email.

Is this the kind of company you would do business with?  One that offers to make it right, then takes it back, then nothing.  One that doesn't stand behind their product.  One that doesn't stand behind their word???  

I'd love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment here for me, (and for the little guy everywhere that gets the shaft!).

AMW
PS - I'll be shopping for a new kayak soon.  Anyone have suggestion on good manufacturers to deal with?

5 comments:

Sweet Mama Jones said...

That sucks! ;(
My sister in law is a manager for REI out in the CA Bay Area, she has a kayak, wonder if its the same...or if she knows of similar issues.
I hope they decide to make it right - again & stick to it!

Bill LIles said...

You are not alone. I sent my 3 year old Pheonix 160 back to Hurricane at the request of Brad Taylor.They had my boat for 5 months and shipped it back to cobbled together and with a NEW crack in the hull. I found your blog by looking for others with issues with Hurricane

AMW said...

Thanks, Bill! I've written them off completely, and tell everyone I can about them. And yes, it was Brad Taylor that I talked to on the phone. Definitely not someone that I'd trust what they said.

dea said...

nice article..
i so enjoy read this

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I was about to buy a tracer 165. I'll find something else. Sorry about your boat.

Eskimo joe