27 March 2007

My Jackson Rocker

When I ordered my nice new shiny Jackson Rocker a couple of months ago from UK Canoes I had been told that a shipment of Jackson boats, which included a blue Rocker for me, would be leaving state side and arriving in the UK this coming weekend. So on the off chance that the shipment was early I gave UK Canoes a bell on my mobile, whilst stood outside one of the college restaurants, in the hope that I would hear everything but bad news. Unfortunately it wasn't to be; instead they said they would give Square Rock, the UK importer, a call to find out what was going on. I hung up saying I would ring back later.

Five hours later I was sat on the bus - after spending an hour-and-a-half working on my 3D Design project, which is coming on rather well - ringing UK Canoes again for an update. I was hoping for everything but bad news. Instead I was greeted with everything but good news. Square Rock had received a blue (the colour I wanted) Rocker however there was a problem. The blue plastic wasn't baking right over in state side meaning the plastic was extremely brittle; not the ideal situation for Scottish Burn, Lake District Beck and Welsh Ditch bashing where hitting rocks is the norm and therefore anything but brittle boats are wanted. This news was delivered to me after hearing that Jackson Kayaks had been having trouble with the Rocker moulds.

So what now? Wait a couple of months in the hope that Jackson Kayak can get the problem sorted and the blue boats would be made to full strength. However, the guy at UK Canoes told me that it may be up to a year before the problem with the blue boats would be sorted, or maybe the problem would never be sorted. This is far from ideal. The other option available for me was to change the colour I had laid down in the order from blue to something else like red, yellow or green. I had, had my eyes set on a blue Rocker to match my All-Star and seen as I am paying so much money, which I have had to work bloody hard for, I expected to get what I wanted.

Instead I bit the bullet and changed to a red Rocker, I suppose it will do, but I am still far from happy. Through my 3D Design work I have come to realise that compromise sometimes has to be made in the name of quality control and for the consumer, me, to get the best product possible. My gripe however, is not really with the fact that I can't get the Rocker in the colour I want, but the fact that I had to go about getting the guy at UK Canoes to find out from Square Rock what was going on with my boat. Only then did it come to the forefront that their was a problem with the blue Rockers and that I would either have to wait a long, long, long time for the boat of my dreams or change the colour. Why was I, or UK Canoes, never contacted as soon as Square Rock realised there was a problem with one of the orders they had on their books? If I hadn't rung UK Canoes would the problem have been left to stand until Jackson Kayak had sorted the problem at their end?

It seems to me that at times the whole of the kayaking retail sector has a problem with customer service. Over on the good old UK Rivers Guidebook there are countless threads about manufactures, importers and shops screwing the consumer over when they have had complaints about products or not received the service they expect. Why is this? In many other retail sectors customer service has been exemplary.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

1 comment:

Frank said...
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