In my March 30, 2014 blog posting titled, A Tale of Woe, I blasted the manufacturer of Motivator’s dinghy davit, UMT Marine, for poor customer service. To recap, when we began having problems with the davit, I contacted UMT asking for an owner’s manual and advice. Mostly what I received was brushoffs, or bad advice and never an owner’s manual for the unit. Eventually, this lack of customer service cost me over $1,000 for repairs and a lot of frustration that could have been prevented.
Old electric winch with gas struts with plastic ends on right
When we had the electric winch replaced in Puerto Rico, Jose Luis Martinez of Martinez Marine Services noted that the gas struts that assist lifting the arm were looking a little tired and should be replaced. He also said that UMT had gone to a stronger replacement and I should consider contacting them for information about replacement units.
New gas strut on top, old bent unit with plastic ends broken off at bottom
As predicted, the gas struts soon failed for the third time. Once again, I contacted UMT and once again all I got was a run-around. So, I contacted their supplier for information about modifying the davit to accept upgraded struts. When I did, I copied in UMT Marine which prompted an exchange of “snarky” emails between me and UMT sales staff.
John Rossi, Operations Manager, UMT Marine on left, and Boghra, UMT technician on right
At this point I considered my relationship with UMT Marine to be permanently severed. Then John Rossi entered the picture. John was recently hired by UMT as the Operations Manager. He pulled my previous emails to UMT and agreed with me that the customer service I had received had been less than stellar. John then immediately reached out to assure me that he was committed to turning around my perception of UMT’s customer service.
With a UMT technician, tools, and spare parts, John drove from Fort Lauderdale to St. Augustine, Florida to install new gas struts and inspect the davit. In all, they spent over 8 hours servicing my 10 year-old dinghy davit.
One of the questions I had previously asked when I called UMT was about the feasibility of replacing the stainless steel cable with spectra rope. John also brought along a 40’ section of spectra with a stainless steel carbineer spliced onto the end that he installed. We no longer have the cable pops that have a tendency to wake up the entire anchorage early in the morning and the whole unit works much smoother.
They also properly lubricated the mounting post, making pivoting the dinghy in position over the cradle much easier. Their efforts have restored our confidence in the UMT Marine’s dinghy davit. With John Rossi now at the UMT helm, my confidence in receiving stellar customer service from UMT Marine has also been restored.