|See that missing arm in the upper right hand corner? That is no bueno. This is a bad impeller.|
We have been using our amazing Cruise RO watermaker for about four months now and many of you have been requesting a follow up post re: do we like it?
The short answer is, we don't like it. We LOVE it. So lets just get that out there to clear up any confusion. Installing our high output watermaker is one of the best decisions we made with this boat, no question about that. Ample fresh water on a boat floating in a sea of salt is a good thing.
I had a post ready to go about the unadulterated love we have for our 30 gallon per hour watermaker (daily showers! plenty of water for dishes! washing the boat at will! rinsing gear liberally!), when - in an ironic twist of fate - we went to run it and it went on the fritz. Something didn't sound right. At all. (Note: ignoring strange sounds on a boat, particularly strange noises with pumps and engines, is not wise). Scott immediately shut the system down and got to trouble-shooting. Within ten minutes he had removed and dissected our Jabsco "boost" pump and found the culprit: a damaged shaft seal and a corroded motor, as well as a broken impeller. This was Jabsco issue and, luckily, it was under warranty.
We called Rich from Cruise RO. It's not always you get to talk directly to the CEO of a company - on a Sunday of a holiday weekend no less - and, as usual, he answered his phone immediately. Our part was under warranty and he assured us he'd be shipping us a new one first thing on Tuesday morning (Monday being a holiday). While we're not exactly going anywhere fast at the moment, I braced myself for what was sure to be a long wait, full of customs hiccups, shipping gliches and red tape. After all, isn't the bane of every cruiser's existence waiting for parts to arrive in exotic locations?
Through the magic of online tracking, we saw that the pump was indeed shipped Tuesday, arrived in Puerto Rico Wednesday, Tortola on Thursday, and the marina where we waited on Friday. Incredible! And we didn't pay a cent for this! I was so happy I did a little jig, I even took to our Facebook Page to gloat. I mean, shipping boat parts to foreign places never goes that smoothly! Never, ever!!
Sigh. No it doesn't.
Scott got to work on the installation and, after about an hour of contortionist work in our watermaker locker to re-install the pump, he came up on deck with a very sweaty, very forlorn face. "Um...I was just about to finalize the installation and I happened to read the fine print on the pump. It's a 24 volt pump".
(Insert loud sound of record scratching).
Our boat is a 12 volt boat.
This was a big problem and if it were me who had been working on the pump for an hour in a steaming sauna and discovered this little fact, I would have dropped a big old "F" bomb that rang through the mountaintops with fervor.
We were shipped the wrong pump.
We called Rich, and again he answered immediately. Despite holding out hope that maybe just maybe we were supposed to get a 24 volt pump, he admitted the mistake and apologized. As often as I'd like to think he is an incredible customer service robot who permanently has a phone attached to his ear, he is actually human. We could have a new pump in four to five days, he promised, they would un-do this mistake.
But we didn't have four or five days. We need to move on and our weather window is looking like it will be here on Thursday. Waiting would be too risky. So Scott took matters into his own hands and started calling around the island to see if we could source the pump ourselves (a frustrating process in itself, mind you). While there was not a single Jabsco Water Puppy to be found in all of the British Virgin Islands, there was one in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands. Scott grabbed his passport, hopped a ferry to the good ole U.S of A and five hours later brought back our puppy. Running out to get a part when you have to go to another country can take a while.
Later that evening, after a celebratory meal and some wine, the pump was installed and our watermaker was back in action. And what's best? Rich and the folks at Cruise RO have decided to reimburse us completely for the pump, saying:
"In a situation like this we would typically say something like, 'we can get it to you for a cost of $150 but if you want to source it yourself to save time then we will cover what our cost would have been for us and you can cover the extra.' That seems fair to us and most cruisers we have done that with have been happy with that compromise......BUT this whole situation was caused by us sending you the wrong pump, so this make it not a typical situation. We will send a refund check in the amount of $361.55 to the address you listed."
They say customer service is a thing of the past. With Cruise RO Water and Power this could not be further from the truth. This company has the best customer service I have ever experienced. It is almost comical how good it is and I still secretly believe that Rich is actually a customer service robot with a phone permanently attached to his ear. They go above and beyond for their customers and I can honestly say I have never been more impressed working with a company. Can you imagine if all marine companies held the same standard (I'm talking to you electronics companies!)? We boaters would free ourselves from a huge amount of stress and frustration and be floating around in a perpetual happy-land where questions are answered, warranties are honored and parts arrive without a hitch.
But that would be too good to be true.
Interested in our watermaker? Here are some more posts:
sponsored by Cruise RO Water and Power. BUT we do not get 'special treatment' - talk to anyone who has worked with this company and you will hear similar stories of them going above and beyond the call of duty. They are really this awesome.