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Old 08 May 2014, 17:23   #71
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Originally Posted by simonhigham View Post

you both make an interesting point about pdi'ing the inflatables though, i would like to ask any other inflatable boat retailers on here for their feedback on a point you and a couple of others have raised and that is: do you open and check inflatables before sending them out?
we do not as they are all inflated for 1 week then pressure tested and QC checked at the factory before boxing up.
I'm not sure the pressure testing and quality is what they are suggesting you check (although with these Chinese ribs you never can be too sure..), rather that what you are selling matches the description you give it: be that short/long shaft or containing the accessories/not.

For what it's worth I visited Bill Higham marine a few years ago looking for something specific and though I didn't end up purchasing from them they were perfectly helpful in looking for this item for me.

Although we did have the Chinese rib debacle with a couple of members a couple of years ago a quick Google search for "Bill Higham Marine" or "Bill Higham Marine reviews" brings up only positive messages. I would suggest that this is the way you want to keep it, these days a dissatisfied customer with access to the internet wields a very powerful weapon. You are lucky in that you clearly have a strong past reputation however many more threads like these and Google results will quickly turn to highlighting these threads. As they always say - you only hear about the bad ones. I can't believe that it is an insignificant proportion of your customers who check ribnet or at least google before making a purchase for you, small businesses can really suffer from poor online reviews.

The important thing is that you move on from this and demonstrate better quality control procedures in future. Who handed over the engine to the OP? If it was anyone other than the "new spray guy" himself then why didn't they raise it when they physically handed it over?

One point: I know the OP mentioned that BHM stated that the RNLIs use SeaPros, perhaps as a new boater he may have confused that fact that the engine is ex RNLI and thats all BHM were stating? I know BHM seem to sell a lot of the ex RNLI engines on Seapros.
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Old 08 May 2014, 18:00   #72
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Although we did have the Chinese rib debacle with a couple of members a couple of years ago a quick Google search for "Bill Higham Marine" or "Bill Higham Marine reviews" brings up only positive messages.
And yet I would expect (from years of experience here) that a search on RIBnet would yield a rather different outcome. I am becoming increasingly suspicious about online reviews - especially having seen first hand the efforts some folk will go to and knowing that it is much easier to get people to post criticism than praise.
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Old 08 May 2014, 18:03   #73
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And yet I would expect (from years of experience here) that a search on RIBnet would yield a rather different outcome.
Well that's what I first wrote - expecting to find that a google search would throw negative things up. But it shows up ybw and ribnet with generally positive messages from multiple well posted members.

From my experience on here I too would have expected BHM to come out negatively on a search but I must admit, a lot was positive...

So that results in the conclusion that: only established members are aware of the issues with BHM and therefore newbies searching on google or ribnet will only find good things and therefore be taken for a ride...hmmmm....
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Old 11 May 2014, 16:37   #74
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Poly and Gotchiguy,
i understand your scepticism, i suppose after all, we are ultimately an island of cynical buggers aren't we?
i would just pose this question to you: how have we stayed in business for 40 years in Manchester, 35 miles from the nearest water if we don't offer excellent service and knowledgeable advice? we have very few boats around us here, yet people come from all over the country to have their engines repaired by us. Our customers include G.Mc'r fire, Southport Lifeboat, lots of dive and sailing clubs, so not all leisure boaters. I am most proud however of the fantastic business that we enjoy from Harris, Lewis and the other Hebridean islands, also Shetland and Orkney, each new customer to call us from these islands have the same answer when asked why they have chosen us... recommendation.
I have grown up around boats, have been an outboard mechanic since the age of 15 when i started to help my dad out at weekends (usually to help pay off my motocross bikes), i spend every weekend on a boat, or in the water around Anglesey with my young family, bloody hell thats 22 years!!?? My father Bill was the youngest chief engineer in the merchant navy before he left to settle down and start a family, he then got a job as the chrysler outboards field agent for sowester before starting up for himself as an outboard repair guy in 1975, 40 years on he is still working full time (although this year i have managed to get him to take a thursday off every once in a while) so i think it safe to say that he does know a thing or two about outboards, he is the brightest engineer i have ever met, he can (to coin a phrase from my grandfather) "make metal go the way he wants it" and whilst i am not half the engineer he is, i have managed to pick up a few scraps from the countless hours i have spent repairing outboards, fitting outboards to boats, using outboards on boats, losing the skin from my knuckles trying to undo seized powerhead bolts in the dead of winter when i can't feel my fingers, cursing outboards for their very existence, cursing ole evinrude for inventing the damn things in the first place, then falling in love with them again every spring when it's time to get back on the water. you get the picture!
what i suppose i'm getting at is, if you really want to get to know our company, that you may pass judgement on us, please just give us a call, ask for me for outboards or boat sales, my brother in law Darren for outboard repairs, or my father for outboard parts. try us out, we are friendly and open, and have even been known to be jocular when pushed!
finally i don't blame ChrisA at all for asking advice on this forum its a great medium for help, but i do however blame people for jumping on this bandwagon whom we have never dealt with and know nothing of our history, in making their voice heard just for the sake of it which serves no useful purpose whatsoever.
if there is anybody still reading this after such a lengthy monologue, for a laugh, and because you deserve it for persisting so long, if you want to buy anything or have any outboard work done, i will give you something free if you mention this thread. i'm thinking a bottle of oil, or a fuel line, or some flush muffs that sort of thing, give me a try!
be safe in boating
simon
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Old 11 May 2014, 16:46   #75
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I read it all Simon, must agree boating round Anglesey is the best
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Old 11 May 2014, 16:53   #76
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Originally Posted by simonhigham View Post
if there is anybody still reading this after such a lengthy monologue, for a laugh, and because you deserve it for persisting so long, if you want to buy anything or have any outboard work done, i will give you something free if you mention this thread. i'm thinking a bottle of oil, or a fuel line, or some flush muffs that sort of thing, give me a try!
be safe in boating
simon
Simon, we're happy for you to post your response to the original posts but there is a fine line before you cross into commercial posting and need trade membership (http://www.rib.net/forum/misc.php?do...ork&page=rules). In the spirit of your last post though if you do sign up as trade member I'll throw in a free lesson in how to use these keys:


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Old 13 May 2014, 02:24   #77
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Simon, we're happy for you to post your response to the original posts but there is a fine line before you cross into commercial posting and need trade membership (http://www.rib.net/forum/misc.php?do...ork&page=rules). In the spirit of your last post though if you do sign up as trade member I'll throw in a free lesson in how to use these keys:


Lol thanks for that - really lightened the mood!!
Guess i got carried away there, i will pm you about membership.
Simon
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Old 14 August 2014, 14:51   #78
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I enjoyed reading all that so thanks all.

Hand up, I bought my used outboard off Simon at BH. I'd read all the reviews about the old church and thought on balance they were safer than a punt off ebay.
Engine was overpriced but buying from a "stealer" gave some comeback this being my first outboard. A fully serviced with new impeller etc from a named dealer appealed to me. Tohatsu 9.8 2 smoke are rare so supply and demand applied. I got 15 mins of advice from one of their lads about how to start it, look after it, adjust it etc whilst it was running in their tank in a demo for me. That advice was worth the extra few quid as a newbie. A new tank and line and a new spare kill cord was also included. Simon threw in an "out of date at your own risk smoke flare" as he had none in stock for me to purchase. 6 months warranty was also given rather than the standard 3 which covered my first season but no need to claim on it as it ran sweet.

All in all (very) pricey but after 3 years the motor has been bob on.

A couple of weeks ago a yachty was asking about my motor and how heavy it was etc. I explained it was from Bill Highwayman. The old sea dog immediatly defended BH as being scruffy and pricey but decent. I had to agree.

We all drop the ball and learn a lesson from time to time.

Bill built his business on reputation and advertising from what I read. Simon is continuing in the world of the internet where you are only as good as your last sale and review sites ensure business' live or die.

Qudos for coming on Ribnet Simon. Trade membership may cost a few bob but lots of customers are in here including me. I suppose I'd better have a proper service and impeller change done after 3 years
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Old 14 August 2014, 14:59   #79
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. Simon threw in an "out of date at your own risk smoke flare" as he had none in stock for me to purchase.
Speechless.
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Old 14 August 2014, 16:15   #80
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I could not Believe that, A main dealer so say and throwing in an out of date Flare....
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