I lost the will to live after about page 3 and have just jumped straight to a reply so excuse me if it is at all out of context now, anyway.
Spent 3.5 years in the marine trade selling yachts, our company was doing in excess of 100 units a year and was still a small, mainly family business, we got the job done but I am sure we annoyed alot of people along the way by not getting back to people. Unfortunately most of the UK marine trade is family business.
I prefered to be as accurate as possible with my quotes and would only knock off the pence, however the very successfull old timers I worked with plucked prices out of thin air and had been known to sell £250,000 boats using hand scribled contracts on a piece of tatty A4, it never failled to amaze me that people felt happy about this.
People not phoning you back in the marine trade is a massive problem and can be blamed on a number of reasons, business grew faster than the staff, to many dreamers wasting your time, trying to deal with other people in the trade who are not phoning you back and I know alot of people in the trade who multi task so you could be trying to sell a boat one minute and hoisting another out of the water the next.
Before I launch into my next rant I would like to say that I love RIB's, however. They are crap value for money because they are low volume, generally very individual and customised, in effect one offs and are built predominantly in the UK where labour isn't cheap and the fit and finish on some boats is just amatuer.
I cannot see this problem going away in a hurry as the market for RIB's is not big enough that someone is going to invest millions and go into mass production. Also I beleive the UK marine trade is at best sitting on a plateau at the moment and the massive growth we have seen over the last couple of years has now stopped.
Basically what I am saying is that the trade know they should be doing it better but at the moment they are selling more boats than they can build and if one customer gets annoyed another will soon be along.
Lets wait and see what happens if the market crashes ?