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Old 04 August 2011, 20:25   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Chichester
Boat name: Rib
Make: Avon 450
Length: 3m +
Engine: Yammy 50hp
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 96
Avon Customer Services.....

Does it exist???????

I phoned them today to ask if they could help me out with a missing switch on my Jetrib. I was hopeful that being a large company with a good reputation that they might be able to stick one in a jiffy bag and post it to me.

How wrong could I be. No sorry we don't stock them. Call one of our dealers. They will be able get you one (Presumably from this very chap at Avon! Duh). Given that originally the boat would have cost some blighter near on £15k I figured the least they could do was help out with a switch rocker! Great Customer Service!

Think I will be looking at other RIB brands from now on though as that chap on the phone this morning from Avon really made me think! Both my ribs are Avons, and I always thought there was something about them that put them in front of other brands. I suspect I was wrong, especially given the other thread on here recently from another retailer regarding some FOC cleaner for their ribs!

On another note whilst talking of the dealers. BHG marine in Lymington are amazing! Everyone I have spoken to there (Must have phoned/visited about ten times!!) is helpful and polite, and they have gone to lengths much greater than I would have expected to help me out with parts and information about the jetrib. Highly recommend them
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Old 05 August 2011, 18:51   #2
Country: Belgium
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboard Yamaha
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 31
I also owned an Avon . And I 'the good reputation ' of the factory is history . Because the factory now belongs to the "Zodiac" goup in France. Bombard / Avon / Zodiac , it is all the same.

I have heard that the tubes , the good hypalon tubes, that is still produced in the UK , but the hull is produced in an other country ( with lower salary.... ). I regret the mass production and low coast mentality.
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Old 05 August 2011, 19:19   #3
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Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: Tohatsu 30HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11,622

In fairness if you bought a 15k car from a car dealer and then phoned up the manufacturer looking for a new switch what do you think they would say? "Call a dealer". Why? Because that is the way the systems are set up and the way the contracts work with their dealerships. Dealing with individuals is too much hard work and admin. The parts and orders may well not go via the guy in the UK at all - increasingly I find manufacturers (in this case XYZ Switches) drop shipping direct to the person who orders it (the dealer). At the very least the Avon dealer probably orders via a webpage/computer system which automatically produced the shipping instructions in the relevant wharehouse.

Avon were a big company and are now part of a massive company so its not really a surprise that you are not getting personal service. There are plenty of smaller cottage industry rib builders in the UK where the guy who builds your boat will know your name, and be on the end of the phone for years to come. Avon have never been in that business.

On the other hand they have a local dealer network who can support you in the same way your local car stealer does (or might do!) - so whether you are in Southampton or Edinburgh or Manchester there will be a dealer within a sensible drive from you rather than having to drive the length of the country to go to the only "outlet". If you are a "sophisticated" buyer looking for a specialist product having to travel might not be a big issue; if you are "mainstream" and looking for something pretty much standard then you probably want it local. Perhaps its not Avon who have changed but your level of "sophistication"?
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Old 05 August 2011, 20:44   #4
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: scotland
Make: a few
Length: 6m +
Engine: outboard / inboard
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 68

That's a great answer
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Old 06 August 2011, 08:37   #5
Country: UK - England
Town: Southampton
Boat name: Yoda & Obi Wan
Make: XS700
Length: 7m +
Engine: 200 HP
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,032
Originally Posted by Polwart

In fairness if you bought a 15k car from a car dealer and then phoned up the manufacturer looking for a new switch what do you think they would say.........
in fairness he did not but a £15k car or boat from anyone, he bought a used boat.

However I am glad to see a Ribnet user realise there is more to Ribbing than Avon. The searider was a great boat in it's day but it was overtaken a couple of decades ago by a huge number of more modern better designs.
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Old 06 August 2011, 08:47   #6
Country: UK - England
Town: Cambridgeshire
Boat name: Nimrod II
Make: Aerotec 380
Length: 3m +
Engine: Yam 15 Tohatsu 9.8
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 8,448
I expect the guy at Avon was bemused by this request. My wife's 5yr old Citroen needs a new wash/wipe stalk, I can imagine the reaction if I phoned Citroen customer services and asked them to "pop one in the post".

As said above Avon is part of the Zodiac group now. As a matter of interest I had a small fault on a week old Zodiac Fastroller last month, Zodiac made a decision within hours to replace it with a newly built one from the factory, this was done in 2wks with politeness and efficiency.
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Old 07 August 2011, 10:55   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Coventry
Make: Ribeye
Length: 5m +
Engine: Yamaha 115 4stroke
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 117
When i bought my boat second hand the fuel filler in the console was split.I contacted Ribeye to see where i could source a new one from (there were no manufacturer markings visible ) and a new one arrived in the post free of charge 2 days later.
I never expected them to do this and i did not ask them to but it was a nice suprise when it happened !
Rob C
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