I bought an Automatic/manual inflating off-shore PFD
(personal flotation device, a.k.a life-jacket) from West Marine in early 2002.
I paid over $250 for this PFD.
The automatic inflator device needs replacement
every five years, so in 2007, when the automatic inflator needed replacing, I
brought the PFD with me to West Marine so that I could purchase a new device. However,
the sales associates at West Marine looked up the model number, and told me
that this product was discontinued and that the part I needed no longer
existed, and that my very expensive PFD was no useless. HOWEVER, what this
sales person failed to tell me was that the product had been discontinued
because it was RECALLED. My $250 life jacket was recalled in August of 2002.
So, for five years I while I was doing some very dangerous sailing outside of
the USA and relying on this vest to save my life if I were to ever end up in
the drink, the fact was this vest would not have worked unless I had used the
emergency valve and blown it up with my mouth. (NOT WHAT I PAID FOR!!!)
This was not brought to my attention, although West Marine
had all my contact information and purchase history, until early 2013. At this
time I returned to West Marine in Point Loma, CA and explained my situation to
the store manager. She was very rude to me, and told me all that she could do
was to give me employee discount on a brand new vest. This was going to cost me
$100 before tax for the cheap model that didnt even have the features of the
vest I originally had.
My family and I have spent thousands of dollars at West Marine over the
past couple decades and this was the worst customer service I have ever had at
any retail store anywhere!
I will never shop at West Marine again, and will do my best
to make this situation well known so that others know not to purchase from them
Thanks for wasting my time and money West Marine!