Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Michael Nelson, Feb 23, 2010.
What they make is a lot of promises they fail to keep.
I'm really sorry to hear of your bad experiences with NFO. I have a 2 man Scadden that I bought 3 years ago-it has been a very awesome boat and I've taken it on lots of white water rivers. The service I've had with them has been perfect and I really enjoy talking to Dave Scadden at the shows he goes to-he always remembers me and we have a great time trading stories of fishing out of the boat. My brother just ordered a boat from them and it just arrived-again, perfect service, shipped to his business address. Again, sorry for your experience! I still think the Scadden designed boats are the cutting edge of the pontoon boat market. (of course, since he once designed boats for Bucks Bags and later for Outcast, means most boats out there will be his design.) Rick
While NFO sells the Incept boats in the US, there is no way to know if they also manufacture the Scadden Boats. I'm pretty sure Dave told me they were made in Utah, but I can't be sure on that. I wish I was buying my Scadden today-the new design (Avenger xxx) is so cool and adaptable to so many situations! Rick
Far as I can tell the products are great. I don't believe NFO makes any of them though.
But their business is managed very poorly, judging from all of my experiences with them and from the experiences of others I know of.
Yes, they are nice. Frankly, I would prefer folks who maybe aren't all that friendly but know how to to their jobs and make stuff happen correctly, consistently.
Look at the guy in the grey polo shirt who is cutting the material. There is an INCEPT logo on his shirt. The shots look like they were taken in the same shop that is pictured on the Incept New Zealand site.
No, this is not proof that Incept makes the NFO boats, but it does give reason to think it's possible.
Pleased to hear that you like the boat, sorry to hear about the difficulties with the service.
Let me add to the mix.
I talked to Dave Scadden at the Puyallup Sportsman Show, in Washington State, earlier this year. I asked him: "where are the boats made", his reply, " in the US". I said: " thats good", he confirmed that was indeed good!
Maybe they are. I don't believe him, but that's mostly because I have known him to speak with forked tongue, and to say whatever it takes to get the sale.
It is too bad that a brilliant innovator like Dave Scadden doesn't have the ability to surround himself with quality people who can take care of customer service that would match the quality product line and then give them ownership of that task.
Good product will not trump customer service in the long run as it evidenced in this thread.
NFO told me the 5'3" yellow cf oars I received from them would work. They won't. They are so short that the blades run into the side bags and you can't stow them. They are a full 8" shorter than the stock aluminum 5'11" oars.
NFO says that they don't have 6 1/2 foot ones like Dave said they would be, but they do have 5'11" ones, so I figure that'll be OK.
They overnighted the box of oars to the motel where I am staying on my fishing trip. I opened the box.. inside, is another set of the aluminum 5'11" oars exactly like the ones I already have.
This whole thing has just turned into a sad comedy. I don't understand what it will take to get Dave Scadden and NFO to send me the oars I ordered. I don't think they could provide worse customer service if they were trying to.
A friend of mine just ordered a toon and other stuff a couple of weeks ago from them....Im afraid to call and ask him how things are going/ went. I can tell you this has definately helped me decide on what companies to deal with in the future. Sorry anyone would have to go thru this in any type of transaction.
People will come into the thread and say "They're great guys, every transaction has been flawless!".
I don't doubt they do it right sometimes. The shipment of my boat was correct, it arrived at the right address promptly and wasn't missing any parts. But this thing has been firmly off the rails since then.
I can only relate the stuff that has happened to me, and frankly, that's all that matters to me. I would say if you consider doing business with NFO, do your due diligence and find out what others report about their customer service. You will find mine is not an isolated experience.
I would certainly never buy anything from them again under any circumstances, as this is absolutely the most inept company I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with.
I went through the no communication, not a word then the boat shows and the other products, they are quality built and for the money worth the short wait IMHO. You are not dealing with L.L. Bean or Lands End and we need to keep that in mind.
I'll gladly order again! Sorry for your souring on the company in a very short order, I would not expect them to do well with three addresses to ship to. If you want the service and dedication buy a boat from a local shop, don't go looking for a deal then complain about it.
Thanks for sharing your buying experience with NFO.
I am in the process of researching a "buy" and your experiences have been a great help to me .
I ordered a Rampage at the Puyallup Sportsman Show,they told me it would take three weeks to get.I received it in the allotted time, minus two items that were back ordered.I called to see how long the items were back ordered for and was told they would ship in two days, which they did. I also ordered the up graded oars and was told they might take a while to get.I haven't received the oars yet, but they were up front about that. My dealings with NFO has been good so far. I have made two floats on the Yakima and the boat is awesome!!!
I just wanted to say I appreciate everyones opinions and feedback on a company. Ultimately if you own/run a business...You have to deliver on what you promise. I dont think it has anything to do with where you are located, mail order or local, etc.. I have no idea on how this company actually runs and have only read online how the customer is treated...some good, some not so good. Best case would be said company would read these discussions and learn from the bad and continue what they do well. I always love to hear feedback on a company I am going to deal with and will often make decisions based on that. If there is something wrong with a process in my business, I want to know about it and correct it so it doesnt happen again. I would like to hear how this whole thing turns out and appreciate the info provided. When it comes to happy customers, I always appreciate a "Happy Ending"
I have bought two boats from these guys and my analysis is this: Dave is a promoter's promoter. His intent is to do everything he says but in his world a conversation with customer A runs into a conversation with customer B and so on and so on. Most people are happy to deal with Dave and assume the best. Then the reality of the post show logistics takes over. Orders with strange notes on the order form flow into Ogden and the people in the plant try to figure out what actually happened and what the notes, comments and what was said but not written down mean. I also suspect, but have no way of knowing for sure, that they run on the edge of cash flow issues. Just a hunch from some of the history of complaints from Dave's companies and the way vendor supplied items like oars are handled. In my opinion the quality of the boats and the evidence of the progressive and continuous improvements to some of the features is hard evidence of their passion and dedication to good boats and an attempt at disorganized R&D.
What I have found over the years if you deal with Dave you need to introduce yourself to Larry Tullis (if he is still there). If Dave is Mr. Outside, Larry is Mr. Inside and has the ability to get things done. Larry also prowls around in some of the boards and is proactive in solving problems he picks up on in traffic like this. I have not seen evidence of his presence here, but I hung around a couple of boards back when I got my boats and he was active in a lot of conversations about problems with orders and missing "things".
I have been happy with my boats and would order again if I needed one - I would be an educated buyer and would make my own experience better by using what I have learned.
I think of it like buying a car from most dealerships. I could go in and go through the bull^*&^ they use on someone who walks in off the street, or I can walk in find the car I want, figure what I want to pay and tell the sales manager "take this or leave it" shortens the process and I have learned it is way less frustrating using this system than the one they "provide" to customers who are not enlightened.
TeeDub has it nailed, I think.
One problem with dealing with NFO is lack of solid info. For instance... the oars that are currently the problem. If you look on their website you will find the oars at:
There is no hard info there, just marketing BS:
"Our carbon fiber wrap directional blade oars rewrite the book on performance oars. We took the superior attributes of high performance kayak blades and incorporated them into a carbon fiber full flex shaft. The result is the hottest oar on the market. No other oar made even comes close to the performance of these oars. You can literally feel the power with every stroke."
No info as to how long they are, what sizes are available, etc. And the picture is wrong too. Those are the previous generation oars, not the ones they are shipping now. The picture shows these:
The current ones have a different paddle shape that is asymmetrical. The ones I received look like this:
Then there are the pics of the Rampage boat (the one I have and ordered the oars for) that shows these oars:
You can see that those are the asymmetrical paddles, and you can see that if they were raised into the stowed position they would easy clear the side bags.
When I was at the Pleasanton FF show I talked to dave. He had an Outlaw Challenger there with the asymmetrical oars on it. Since there isn't much info about the oars available, I talked with him about them. He said those were the same oars that would be coming to me. He said they were 6 1/2 feet long, and I commented that I thought that would be great because the 5'11" aluminum oars that came with the boat felt a little short to me. I asked him if he would let me take the ones he had, since I had ordered and paid for a set they were having trouble supplying, but he said no.
So because there is so little info on the website and much of it is out of date, and the people I have talked to at NFO don't seem to know much about the oars, it is real difficult to know anything for sure.
The latest from NFO is this: They didn't know we were talking about the yellow Sawyer oars even though I had ordered and received and complained about those very oars not fitting right. They said they stock only the 5'3" ones that they sent me and 7'9" ones that are used on the bigger boats with frames. They said the ones shown in that pic with the guy spey casting in the background are custom ones that Dave had made up from a cut down set of the 7'9" oars, and are NOT the production ones.
So, they are now going to have Sawyer make a set like the 5'3" ones but 6 1/2 feet long as Dave had promised me. This will theoretically take a couple weeks, and I am OK with that.
NFO could alleviate a lot of confusion with a good website and online ordering system. Their old online store was so bad they finally took it down. Having all the product info kind of "floating around" with one story out of Dave's mouth and the reality of the situation being something entirely different is pretty much bound to cause problems.
I have yet another unresolved issue with them. I ordered the bag for the boat from Dave, and he said it had been added to my order. I found out later from one of the people at NFO that Dave had "oversold" that model and it is no longer available, so they are going to upgrade me to the roller duffel version of the bag (which is a nice thing). However, they don't have those either, and don't know when they will. In the meantime, they have my money and I have no bag.
all said, how do the oarts perform?
thinking about getting a pair while they are on sale for $200
I don't know. I cancelled the order and am currently waiting for a refund.
I have the Carbon Oars and I will never go back. I move twice as fast, seriously.