View Full Version : Come on Starboard. Grow some balls!

Todd Hume
24th March 2012, 11:52 PM
I ordered a new 2012 Quad82 last year. Having had a misaligned fin box on my 2010 Quad I know how critical fin alignment is, so after receiving the board I measured it up. In the process I discovered that the bottom of this board was asymmetrical. Rather than being a double concave, the board was actually a flat vee on one side and concave on the other.

I contacted the local Starboard dealer who, very reluctantly, put the board into the warranty process. This took 4 months. In the end I was told that I was to return the board and I would be given a full refund. There was not to be any replacement board. Nothing. While this satisfies NZís legal obligations I felt that, from a customer service point of view, it was a pathetic solution.

Upon discussing this with the dealer I was told that "Starboard believes that they would not be able to make a board that would satisfy me" and that the problem was "too expensive for Starboard to correct."

Really? Come On! Starboard is a top-of-the-line performance product and I believe that my expectations are well founded and not unreasonable. I know that Starboard designs can "satisfy me" but I will not stand for being supplied sub-quality product. I asked if Starboard did not want me as a customer after all of these years and was told that this was the decision and I should be happy about it. I took this to mean no, Starboard does not want me as a customer.

From a customer service point of view this resolution made no sense to me, and being aware of some inter-shop politics that were going on behind the scenes, I contacted Starboard directly. This gave them the opportunity to either confirm that this was indeed their official position, or to propose another solution that would satisfy and retain their customer.

Starboard has flatly ignored me. While this was a slap in the face it was not unexpected. Iíve seen Starboard take this approach before when they have been confronted by difficult questions on this forum, and also during the resolution to my last Quad warranty. It seems apparent that Starboardís primary policy is to ignore problems and hope that they go away. And so I must take it that ditching me as a customer is Starboardís official resolution to their defective workmanship warranty.

What I find most amazing about this resolution is that Starboard believes that a replacement board is just as likely to have construction defects, and therefore will not take the monetary risk of sourcing a replacement. How bad is that?! I am stunned that this is the sum total of Starboardís faith in the quality of the product they sell us.

So here I am: Severely disappointed, disenchanted and without a wave board. I have wasted heaps of time fighting for my rights as a consumer and have been left feeling like I am to blame for causing a ruckus. I am still open to communication from Starboard but Iím not holding my breath.

Come on Starboard. Grow some balls! Will you make a stand for your product and your service or is this really it? Iíd like to hear from you...


25th March 2012, 11:59 AM
ironically i typed "insight increased" to post this anonymously :-)

i understand your pain
is this the right place to voice your opinion/concerns ?
unfortunately, I think NOT
however, what it does do, is convince me NOT to purchase SB products
they are not strongly presented locally anyway

sorry to hear your issues and i would suggest - yes, go buy another product !!!

26th March 2012, 04:42 PM
Is this a Starboard issue or a Cobra issue? Probably both, and I would guess that there is plenty going on behind the scene. Bad mold?

It's too bad that in these situations, people can't be more upfront with what is happening, but it's not surprising because this is typical for most companies in similar situations. At least Todd got his money back, some companies would never acknowledge the problem and just say "tough luck".

Todd Hume
26th March 2012, 07:43 PM
Mr Unregistered Guest. I know. I know. I debated whether or not i should post this for that very reason. But i decided that this is exactly the platform that it should be discussed. We are Starboard's active customers. And this is absolutely the sort of thing that I would want to know before spending thousands of dollars. You yourself have seen the value in this.

Personally I think Ken is right. Cobra has got a big responsibility in this. Perhaps the majority sits on their shoulders? They made the board (and most of the other gear out there). One big question is: How often is this happening?

But at the end of the day quality is Starboard's responsibility and they should be standing behind their product. Unfortunately they aren't. One course of action they could possibly take is to listen to their customers, communicate, take the bad with the good and work towards growing into a better, stronger company. Who knows what they are doing now? Nothing?

If we accept sub-standard then sub-standard is all we will get.

27th March 2012, 09:03 PM

14th June 2012, 07:58 PM
Well the same thing happen to me back in 2010 when the finbox wasn't aligned and the tail wasn't straight(asymmetric). I didn't get a real response from *boards either and in the end got some money off the board. I couldn't bother arguing and just wanted to wave sail instead and the board was heaps better than my "old" Evo. BUT this is the main reason that I didn't buy another starboard, instead I'm now a very happy Quatro sailer and the quality is perfect. The issue is probably with mould/sanding of cobra factory but the brands need to have a strict quality control maybe *board got too many different boards to keep track off..

16th June 2012, 12:10 PM
ironically i typed "insight increased" to post this anonymously :-)

i understand your pain
is this the right place to voice your opinion/concerns ?
unfortunately, I think NOT
however, what it does do, is convince me NOT to purchase SB products
they are not strongly presented locally anyway

sorry to hear your issues and i would suggest - yes, go buy another product !!!

Of course It's the right place to post his problem, companies love praise but
Get shitty when criticised, I found the information very useful and will
Will checkout new boards carefully in the future, at least his board
Didn't snap the tail off when hitting fish like a couple I have seen.

16th June 2012, 04:44 PM
let me say this as a small retailer , windsurf business is a tough business. I will remain anon with my identity as my supplier may just totally cut me off , ( for rigs and sails) as i have been cut off from getting boards shipped to me .
You see somewhere up the road between me and the factory, someone has a heavy mallet , and or a heavy foot when it comes to the forklft.
Over tens years of seeling product , maybe 33 % of our product ( boards ) has been damaged in transit.
I mean DOUBLE packaged boards punctured, how can one crush the rail of an armour-tech baord inside a double walled package!!
So the wholesailer has cut off sending boards ( cant blame them ) unless i arrange shipping. Which is hard to do with product 1500 miles away.

needless to say i now deal with another wholesaler and product in the USA. I cannot get starboard boards unless i get someone way out there to pick this stuff up kayaks are easier to transport for goodness sakes, as are wetwear and t shirts!!!

As to warranty issues, WOW now these are difficult to sort out and not to belittle your complaints but I can see why a retailer may be very reluctant to ship and replace something,
Ship the board to you say 150 bucks, ship it back another 150, ship another to you 150, =450 greenbacks . Guess who eats that?
Believe me as a retailer i know, boards arent cheap and the margins are not there, even with a top end product.
You deserve a good product, but the system is expensive and tough to make a living from, unless you eat rice everyday and cycle around town.
So while they say they are world class i guess they have the right to say ours isnt good enough.

18th June 2012, 08:33 AM
Perhaps they are too busy getting their 63 types/sizes of SUP boards built correctly ?

Todd Hume
19th June 2012, 09:40 PM
Dude! Sorry to hear you've had such a rough time with your freight forwarding. I know the suppliers get a bunch of damaged boards here too, but 33%...! As a retailer that must be heart breaking. Not to mention the environmental resources that consequently went up in a massive cloud of CO2 as a result.

Monkeys should not drive forklifts. It is as simple as that.

Interesting comments. Are you saying that Starboard makes its retailers pay for the shipping on replacements for the poor quality product that they supplied? If so, that is really bad.

I know how tough it is for retailers. The product buy price is high, the market is small and the competition is pretty intense. It is no mystery that it is critical for brands to support their retailers and customers in order to make sales. And sloppiness in communication and supply from brand to factory to retailer to customer must surely eat away at everyone’s profits. For this reason i'm at a loss to see Starboards logic behind how they have handled my situation. It’s been interesting to watch how this has panned out.

The quad in question here was the 12th Starboard that my wife and i have purchased since 2006, and the first of two boards that I had on order at the time. Rather than keeping a good customer happy they immediately lost the sale of two boards and the custom of a very active windsurfing family. Now the potential exists that negative brand feedback could cause them and their retailers to lose even more sales. And now, three months down the line, Starboard stubbornly continues to refuse to make any comment on this thread (though i am sure that they are watching it closely)...

So, if my experience has occurred because of a retailer decision where they could not afford to make the loss to supply a replacement board and/or that they would not take the risk of getting a replacement board as that board is likely to have quality issues or gets damaged in transit, then the Starboard's internal problems are much deeper and more complex that i expected. I wish Starboard the best of luck. I think they might need it.

Reg. Awaiting it !!!
20th June 2012, 11:17 AM
Very telling that nobody from Starboard (directly) has offered any type of comment on this thread !!!

Normally full of advice about which board to buy and which fin to put in it...

22nd June 2012, 02:10 AM
Todd, no starboard would not pay for shipping when a board is damaged due to "shippers negligence", sorry if i implied otherwise.
but back to shippers negligence ,why should anyone pay but the shipper?

The issue then is i have a damaged board sitting here. The solution is , fix the board. But then ethically when i sell it I really have to tell the customer, thats the way i feel but as soon as they hear THAT , they want a big discount...catch 22.
So does one then lie??

I wonder if this is what happens to cars as well ?? I bet it does and if the consumer ever knows, i bet they do not.
Is this the cost of doing business , perhaps, but being ethical and honest is something i always feel i have to be .
Worse case the board is a writeoff, major structural damage , now thats rare, but the shipper rarely pays for the whole product price....
And then you have to order another, the bottom line goes up in smoke.

On a better note the wholesaler has changed shippers,( from purolator...thats a clue) maybe they will reconsider shipping to us now.