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Thread: Diving disapointment

  1. #1
    Junior Member LadyDiver's Avatar
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    Diving disapointment

    After many years of diving in Bonaire, and a PADI professional instructor for more than 15 years, I was truly looking forward to diving in Aruba for the first time. My husband (dive buddy and instructor) and I booked a 2 tank dive on Tuesday June 3 with Unique Sports of Aruba, since they came highly reccommended. What a dissapointment and truly an unpleasant experience. Enough so that I have contacted PADI headquarters.

    Here is why I say this....
    Poor entry control in 4 ft seas - hang line wrapped under the boat putting divers in danger.
    My hands were cut on the hang line.
    I was TOLD to ascend faster than I was comfortable and my computer allowed at athe end of the dive.
    Very short surface interval.
    Second dive the divers were instruceted to all get ready because it would be like being in the Navy - one right after the other. I did not dive due to vertigo and bleeding hands which were never even acknowledged or first aid given.
    Second dive was a drift dive with no marker for the boat to know where the divers were and the boat circled waiting for divers to surface.

    I have never in all my years seen such disdain for divers from the Divemaster reponsible for the trip. (Boat captian was a good guy). I spoke to the Manager of the store and was basically blown off. He did absolutley nothing for us. I explained calmly that I would be hard pressed to reccommend his shop after that experience and that he should expect a call for PADI Corp Headquarters.

    I will Dive in Bonaire any day of the week but I will have to find another Dive shop in Aruba thats for sure. I expect my students and fellow divers to be treated with more respect than was demonstrated on June 3.

    FYI - I don't usually sound of like this but this experience was most troubling for a diver that dives in Maine all year round and is used to hard conditions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Unfortunately this is the second negative complaint I have read just this week regarding Unique. The other was through a PM on another forum.

    Dh (former divemaster) and I have over 30 dives in Aruba. Unique for many many years had the "best" reputation and there were never any complaints. It seems to me, as an outsider looking in, that since they have bought out Pelican Watersport's dive operation and are now presumably the largest dive operator on the island, things are substantially different.

    Dh and I both in separate incidents had poor experiences with their staff at their dive shop between the Radisson and Rui. When it involved our 10 yo and her safety, we took our $275 elsewhere.

    There are a number of other smaller PADI shops on the island who get rave reviews.

  3. #3
    Junior Member LadyDiver's Avatar
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    Disappointment

    If after 18 years of diving and god knows how many dives- I feel a need to call PADI - then people should be concerned. I won't even repeat what one of the locals told me other than the dive staff is greedy and no longer cares. That is obvious.

    And, I plan to call American Express and talk to them about holding payment. Money usually talks and if more of us would stand up for what is right people will eventually listen.

    Did I mention that my husband had to find the first aid box to bandage my cuts - we won't even go into the bloodborn pathogen situation (We are also lifeguards and he is an MRT with the Fire dept. )

    I loved Aruba and will definitelly go back but will think twice about diving.

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i am upset with your experience(s) w/ unique watersports
    EMMITT, (and i do not know his last name) is a real professional and a true gentleman. he is the owner of the company.

    i would suggest emailing emmitt (i do not have his email), and tell him exactly what you told us transpired on your scuba experience with his company.

    i too am a lifeguard (well a lifeguard training instructor and water safety instructor and trainer red cross) so i can really relate to your concerns about safety.

    my husband, son and i have logged over 70 dives with unique.
    we have never had an issue or a concern.

    if someone has unique's email, please post.
    andrea


    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDiver View Post
    If after 18 years of diving and god knows how many dives- I feel a need to call PADI - then people should be concerned. I won't even repeat what one of the locals told me other than the dive staff is greedy and no longer cares. That is obvious.

    And, I plan to call American Express and talk to them about holding payment. Money usually talks and if more of us would stand up for what is right people will eventually listen.

    Did I mention that my husband had to find the first aid box to bandage my cuts - we won't even go into the bloodborn pathogen situation (We are also lifeguards and he is an MRT with the Fire dept. )

    I loved Aruba and will definitelly go back but will think twice about diving.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DANNYO's Avatar
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    Wow sorry to hear about your experience with Unique.I have been diving in Aruba for five years and although I never used Unique I have only heard good things about them.I have been diving with Dive Aruba for the past years and this year I used Red Sail .I don't have as many years as you do but would recommend either of these dive company's.Do as Andrea said and get in touch with the owner.Don't give up on Aruba diving some nice wrecks and reefs.

  6. #6
    Junior Member LadyDiver's Avatar
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    Diving Disappointment

    Unique Sports should be hiring managers that can take care of these kinds of situations. My last words to the manager was that he "needed to to the right thing" and he did nothing. That shows a lack of understanding of good customer service. These days repeat business is all based on service - good service you go back, bad service you don't.

    I reccommend many dive shops to my students based on my experiences. This is going down in my books as a BUST. I will try to email Emmit but I do not have high hopes. How many times do you have to speak to staff to be heard? Oh and I was told that the divemaster was one of the best the shop had.. that scares me. I won't tell you what I offered to do if I saw that divemaster again.....

  7. #7
    Junior Member LadyDiver's Avatar
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    I found an email address for the ssssshop and have sent Emmitt Kimball a copy of my post. We will see what comes of it.

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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  9. #9
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    Note to self - do not dive with Unique Sports on upcoming trip.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Can't wait for September 2008 - Our first trip to Aruba!

  10. #10
    Senior Member mjn109's Avatar
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    Wow, that is awful. My husband and I are going to be in Aruba in January 09 and I was going to suggest taking dive lessons before we go, but that turned me off to it. How unfortunate that you had a bad experience. I do hope that you get some sort of compensation or at least recognition that they did wrong. Good luck!

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