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There’s No Coupon For Safe Diver Certification!

Discussion in 'Dive Right in Scuba' started by Dive Right In Scuba 2, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Dive Right In Scuba 2

    Dive Right In Scuba 2 ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Illinois
    1,078
    319
    83
    [h=2][/h]You get a notification on your phone from that new coupon app that was just downloaded. The notification tells you that a local dive shop is offering a “Learn To SCUBA Dive” special for 99 dollars. Wow! What a deal, you quickly call up your friend who is a diver and excitedly inform him of the offer for discount diver certification and that you’re thinking of doing it. Instead of sharing in your joy and excitement, your friend who is an experienced diver throws you stern words of caution. He then offers to meet up and buy you a drink and explain why this won’t be the best deal after everything is said and done. If you have a friend like this, count yourself as lucky. If you don’t then read on and let us here at DRIS explain to you why the concept of buyer beware comes into play. Also, you will understand that why we at DRIS, despite offering killer deals on dive gear will never offer a cut rate dive course.
    First off, dive shops that need to resort to the “99 dollar” diver certification specials most often have not built a solid reputation of quality training and customer service and aren’t able to count on that to get people into the door. With that they need to take drastic marketing measures to root out a customer base. Often times, these shops are trying to cut corners on building a solid business the slow and steady way and most likely won’t be around in years to come. Do you really want to start off your diving experience questioning whether or not that shop or instructors will be around when you need continuing education or ongoing mentoring?
    Secondly, any diver certification course done for less than, say a few hundred dollars is done at a financial loss to the shop and instructors involved. Dive shops and instructors have direct costs involved in training and certifying divers. These costs include; pool fees, air fills, quarry/site fees, books and materials, equipment rental and/or maintenance and wages to employed instructors and assistants. With that in mind, face it…you don’t start a business to lose money so that needs to be made up somewhere. Oftentimes shops that offer courses for a “song” will often have to make it up elsewhere like nickel and diming for additional materials and equipment, hidden costs, or just substandard and unsafe instruction. Let’s pause and take a look at that last point on substandard and unsafe instruction. While diving is inherently safe and has an amazing track record, you are going into an alien environment that requires life support equipment. Do you really want to undertake that with haphazard and woefully insufficient training? Do you want to put your family in that situation? I didn’t think so.
    Hopefully you have the friend like the one at the beginning of this article, but if you don’t you will always have the team at DRIS. Please understand that this article is not meant to be a scare tactic, it is merely informing you(like a friend would) that a safe diver certification course is more likely to pay off in the long run with enjoyment and a new found love for the water! We commit to always provide the safest and most thorough training and education…without the coupons, just fair prices.
     
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,904
    8,653
    113
  3. diving4ever

    diving4ever ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco
    188
    145
    43
    I am of the opinion that dive training could actually be more expensive; to reflect the additional time that it may take for a student to REALLY learn, practice and demonstrate the skills needed to be a safe diver. For instance: I have the AOW cert, but I'm not sure I could navigate my way out of a paper bag. I also think higher prices (and more instruction) might serve to ensure safer divers who feel more confident and want to dive more--which is good for business. Of course, that is pure opinion, since I have not data to support it. I also generally agree that you get what you pay for, and I would be skeptical of discount training and would never select a dive op based primarily on price.

    However, price is a component of competition in most businesses. And it is not impossible that a good instructor/dive op couldn't be offering a great discount. Many industries provide services/product that are loss-leaders. Maybe because they're new and want to build a customer base (being a new company doesn't mean you can't have experienced and skilled staff) or maybe because they're struggling financially (for any number of reasons) and would rather have some cash and customers coming in while they reorganize or wait out issues beyond thier control. I think prospective divers should do thier research and get reccomendations for good dive ops and good instructors; then you can price shop. If they get a good deal (granted probably not $99) from someone they would have trained with anyway...more power to them.
     
  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,904
    8,653
    113
    My ow prices are comparable to others. Advanced and specialties are as much as double what other locals charge. Except for the rescue class because I think that after ow that should be the first class someone takes and I don't want price to be a factor that keeps someone from taking it. Students of mine don't need anything beyond ow and ten dives to take rescue. Unless I need to remediate some skills in a workshop that they should have gotten but didn't in their ow class with someone else.
     
  5. Beyond_Diving

    Beyond_Diving Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Playa del Carmen, QROO Mexico
    474
    96
    28
    Unfortunately those dirt cheap, pay & get certified just because you showed up courses are far too common all over the world. Be it in the States, Canada, down here in Mexico, in Europe, etc. We very often get students who come to our shop for some form of training beyond owd who don't have any understanding of basic diving skills and planning (don't even get me started on neutral proper weighing, buoyancy control & trim) and we end up doing a ton of remedial training with them. Some appreciate it, others (fortunately a small percentage) claim we are just out to take their money. Until higher and stricter standards are actively enforced by all training agencies, this will continue to happen.
     

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