Greetings to all Mountain Buzzers - from the new “business guy” at SOTAR. I’d like to take this opportunity to add a few salient points to this conversation. I have and will continue to address the warranty situation with Denray’s boat directly and privately.
SOTAR appreciates and respects that any time something unexpected happens to our prized possessions it can be an emotionally driven event.
SOTAR is prepared to, and has offered, to fully repair the raft in question under warranty.
We ALSO have offered Denray an alternative OPTION of trading in this boat towards a brand new boat with a significant turn in value and a substantial discount – largely because he is a long term 30 year customer.
A copy of the warranty and a copy of the SOTAR Owner’s Manual is provided with every raft. The SOTAR Recreational Use Limited Warranty was 6 years on boats built or sold up to 12/31/2013. We extended that warranty period to 10 years for the 2014 Model Year. I have e-mail the warranty that applies to Denray’s boat directly to him.
Like the majority of our worthy competitors, SOTAR’s Warranty Policy is to fix and repair first! In extreme or unusual circumstances, we may look at alternatives. Our warranty specifically outlines determination of a depreciated trade in value for a boat that is considered “beyond economical repair”. Beyond economical repair is not the same as beyond repair. Frankly-nothing is beyond repair. While I am NOT in a position to quote specifics, comment on, or provide an opinion regarding how OTHER manufacturers service their warranties or customers, I have been in contact with my counterparts. On every level SOTAR’s position is consistent with the industry norms.
As stated, while the depreciated trade in value for a raft is specifically outlined in the SOTAR Limited Use Warranty when a boat is deemed beyond economical repair -BUT- this IS NOT presently the situation. An offer to take a used boat in trade for a new one is a corporate option exclusively SOTAR’s. It is an option infrequently used to go above and beyond to service a loyal customer. Yes I said “corporate” – SOTAR is after all an American business. Our Service Manager, General Manager and SOTAR’s Owner have all been personally involved in discussing various options with the customer and his son. SOTAR's owner personally made the trade in offer to Denray and feels he was clear that is was an ALTERNATIVE. Full warranty service is, was, and will remain on the table. We have reiterated this directly.
SOTAR uses thousands of yards of LEXATRON - the highest quality 100% Thermo-Plastic Urethane material available. We are constantly reacting to changes in the textile industry. Changes in chemical controls, new technology, and numerous other circumstances can drive formulation, production, and specifications. Despite rigorous compliance with US Coast Guard and ISO standards and thorough quality assurance measures fabrics and coatings can still experience anomalies. All raft (or fabric based manufacturing for that matter) makers are aware of this fact. We remain vigilant but not alarmist. We cover the boat and all of its components under the warranty. Please do not confuse an explanation of a circumstance (which was given) with an excuse (which was not)!
We will persist in providing all our customers consistent service – Please feel free to contact us directly with your feedback. 1-800-GO-SOTAR (1-800-467-6827)