Beware of Level 6 "Demos" - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-08-2015   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Beware of Level 6 "Demos"

If its seems too good to be true it probably is. Last May Level 6 had a demo drysuit sale on their site. Drysuits were sold as magazine/photo "demos" with no warranty at a great price. I wanted one for riverboarding in the Grand, and one for my wife, so I pulled the trigger. There were a few details about the suits missing from the Level 6 website...

Unknown to me, and NOT ILLUSTRATED ON THE WEBSITE was that "demo" suits are not the same as their production drysuits. After 6 days of use the seam tape failed in multiple places. The socks, area on the main zip, and somewhere near the left thigh, all crapped out. I've applied some aquaseal, but there are still places...

I contacted Level 6 and they offered a discounted production suit. Then they said, a "demo" suit is untested and not built to the standards of production suits. Emails then revealed that Level 6 is "aware of issues during the sampling stages", (these were not sold as factory samples) and that "seam tape isn't up to our standards which is why it becomes a second". Again, the suit was sold on their site as a "Demo" not a "second" or "factory sample".

My beef is that they knew the "demo" suits had S#ITTY SEAM TAPE and didn't mention it on their website. They sold "demo" suits and failed to advertise that "demo suits" (which might actually be 2nds) are; untested, built differently (than a production suit), and that the seam tape is "isn't up to our standards".

I know I took the chance with the "no warranty" clause and lost, but six days of dry? If those missing details were listed on their site, I wouldn't have bought the suits. I would not advise buying anything from Level 6's demo sales. If anyone is handy with seam tape and wants to buy a project suit for $350...

Whew, it feels good to whine, complain, and talk about how sorry I feel for myself.

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Old 04-08-2015   #2
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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Don't know much about their "demos," or their dry suits, but their website does have a pretty vague description of their "factory seconds:"

"The exception being that the seam tape in certain areas did not pass our strict inspection process during the final stages of production. These garments are being sold "As Is" and with a little monitoring on the user's end these tops can last for a long time."

My boyfriend and I ended up getting a couple of semi-dry tops from them for about $120 each. The quality's great, my fit is a little off, but he loves his top. Tough to beat a buck-twenty.
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Old 04-08-2015   #3
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I've yet to see a piece of quality level 6 gear. Even NRS surpasses their quality standards.
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Old 04-08-2015   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soggy_tortillas View Post
Don't know much about their "demos," or their dry suits, but their website does have a pretty vague description of their "factory seconds:"

"The exception being that the seam tape in certain areas did not pass our strict inspection process during the final stages of production. These garments are being sold "As Is" and with a little monitoring on the user's end these tops can last for a long time."

My boyfriend and I ended up getting a couple of semi-dry tops from them for about $120 each. The quality's great, my fit is a little off, but he loves his top. Tough to beat a buck-twenty.
That's what gets me, their Demo suits didn't come with any type of seam tape disclaimer like the factory seconds do. Nor was there any disclaimer that the demos weren't built like standard drysuits.
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Old 04-08-2015   #5
 
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
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That's super lame. They should offer repair services or something.

Glenn, I don't really wanna argue about quality vs price with you, as I'm sure you've got much more experience than me, but yeah, I guess I could have paid another 50-75 bucks for an NRS semi-dry top, but I didn't. I got a Level 6, and it works. Both of our tops keep us dry, which is exactly what we were looking for. And like I said, it's tough to beat $120. I also bought an Ace spray skirt from them, and it's super stout.

The only complaint that I have is that the fit on both are odd for me. I bought a women's large the first time around, and the neck on it was like two fuckin feet long. Went with a men's medium and that one fits a lot better.
Seems like Canadians have super long torsos, as well as square tires.

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Old 04-08-2015   #6
 
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As a buyer in the industry I would expect a non-warrantied demo item to not be a non-warrantied pre-production sample. I would think the liability in selling pre-productions would far outway the few bucks they are making on these. With that being said, if I am reading this right you bought these last May and are now trying to get them warrantied?
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Old 04-08-2015   #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I contacted Level 6 to express my disappointment in the product and discuss paying for some repairs. I was hoping they would work with me on repair costs. Instead, I was told to try aquaseal and learned that I had purchased something other than a production drysuit.
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Old 04-10-2015   #8
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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No one can be certain all the details, but this seems like a good way to lose future customers. IMO, companies should make it VERY clear when they are selling a "factory second", or demo suit, or anything of the like, and make the purchaser completely aware of any and all defects. Hell, just give them away, but don't (intentionally or unintentionally) misrepresent what you are selling. Shit you shouldn't be selling crap with your name on it at all anyway. Even if it is a factory second, why would you want products with your brand on it when you know they aren't top notch quality? That just brings down your image of quality. Theres other good companies too, but small up and coming companies need to understand that losing a few bucks here and there to make the customer happy pays well beyond the initial loss in the future, and word of mouth travels. Make a few people happy, lose a couple bucks, and when they recommend you to their friends you make a whole lot of bucks.

Not-so-related example:
One of my Ride snowboard bindings wore out, and the rubber strap (Ride Nitrile bindings) developed a crack after several years of use. Also the spring on one of the buckles that keeps the lever from swinging freely broke, but the buckle was still functional. I emailed the company to ask if they sold repair parts since they were no longer under warranty and explained what parts I needed, and they promptly shipped me out 2 brand new straps (even though only 1 was broken), as well as 2 brand new buckles. They easily could have charged me for them, but instead they chose to supply extra parts. I'll probably always buy Ride bindings from now on because of this, and I will always tell people about their great customer service. They spent a few dollars instead of charging me, but gained a lot more in money in return in the future.

Another experience, although not as amazing, was when I contacted Lib-tech to ask about a 4 or 5 year old snowboard that the metal edge broke and it separated from the base. I supplied pictures and asked what the best repair method is since its so old and no longer warrantied. They answered me and said they were sorry it broke, and its no longer under warranty but good luck with the repair and gave some help. However they also offered me 50% off retail for a aesthetically blemished board. They clearly stated it was 100% functional and still under warrantly by them, just the graphics got messed up during printing. It wasn't a new board, but $300 for a $600 product aint bad, especially since the original board wore out after a normal usable lifetime for that type of product.
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Old 04-10-2015   #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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That sucks, I had a pretty good experience with Level Six and a leaking Barrier Drysuit. I contacted them becuse my drysuit was less than dry with a few leaks. They shipped me a new one a few weeks later from their new production run and I have been happy and dry since.
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Old 04-10-2015   #10
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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I'm not sure comparing Level 6 to Ride or Lib-tech is quite apples to apples... Snowboard gear is a much more lucrative business than kayak gear. I personally don't mind if companies offer up discounted gear like this, it gives po' folk like me more options. But I agree that there should be a much more detailed description of possible defects.
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