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Good publicity?

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Now I realise its oft frowned upon to refer to matters from another place but I would be very interested in responses! There is quite a highly publicised voyage on one of Clive's boats running at the moment and the voyage is not entirely incident free shall we say!

There are two ways of looking at this. The obvious is to carp about a possibly poorly mainatined boat at the beginning of the season.

But, if you follow the thread and blogs, what becomes apparent is the excellent and prompt and good humoured response from the yard staff and the efficient ('ish) solutions to the problems. Maybe even "i'sh" is a bit unfair because all the problems are separate mechanical issues and each is fixed individually. Just unfortunate that another seems to follow! I also think the yard are fortunate to have such a good humoured hirer on board. Even though his holiday is a tad disjointed because of the breakdowns, humour is maintained and a very positive attitude to the yard despite the problems shines through!

I would venture to say that this was, therefore, good publicity in terms of "any problems and we will strive to fix them as soon as possible"!

It will also be interesting to see what the yards response is when the boat goes home on Friday.

Trevor

www.normanboats.co.uk

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I think you and indeed any boat owner will agree Trevor, stuff goes wrong even on a well maintained boat, sometimes a series of related or unrelated faults, it just happens but can be exasperating. With a hire boat or something related to service that has been provided on your own boat however it is the response, willingness and attitude shown by the hiring company that is important and in this case that does not seem to be wanting, I for one would see that as good publicity as it would increase my confidence in that service provider and make me more rather than less likely to use them, boat, car, equipment, service, whatever product really.

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Just the point I'm trying to make! It shows a good response to problems that can and do occur by the very nature of boating. Its reassurring to see Richardsons responding like this. I would almost be tempted to use it as a "reference" to the quality of customer service in unfortunate circumstances if I were Richardsons!

Trevor

www.normanboats.co.uk

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ive been following said thread on the other forum

richardsons have been fantastic as has the hirer

ive been with richardsons for 36 years and only had to

call them out once in 1986...

anything mechanical can break down

sometimes its just luck :grin:

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An interesting one... I watched the first couple of instalments and have not had time yet to devote to all the others!

It was clear in those I watched though that the interior & exterior were clearly painting the image of a well maintained & well presented, cared for boat so this would be the first thing I would taje into account.

I also take into account past experirences of the person posting... there's been problems on each boat hired,all from different yards, and some harsh and possibly un-deserved critiscm of bad maintenance/neglect on craft, one in particular, that I have seen and been aboard myself where I thought there no reason for a hirer to be disapointed with what they have chosen yet it got a rather damning review at the time. As entertaining and good humoured as the blogs are with this in mind I might by now be starting to wonder if the problems were all coincidental or if there might be a bit of a theme starting to develop. I suppose one person could be so unlucky as to have problems with every single hire though when others find it an occasional rarety?

Finally of course I would go off my own experiences with the company currently being reviewed, and having hired the same boat myself. After over fifteen years and probably a similar number of holidays with them little that is posted by someone else would change my own thoughts as I am a big believer in making your own mind up based on what you find out yourself and not being too quick to go off on a tangent or different view based on what somerone else tells you.

A dodgy video player in 2001 and a dripping stern tube (fixed within a minute!) in 2005 is all I can think of thats gone wrong and the way the company dealt with those two problems and also the upset of a cancelled holiday in 2009 due to cancer just could not have been bettered.

Dan

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Hi,

I am aware of the problems that the boat has been having and I was emailed about the thread,

I dont think the problem is the hirer as dispite the problems he has not been negative, I see the complications as

the people who know my boats better than my staff,.

We dont have breakdowns, (they are service calls :naughty: ) because of the number of boats we have we get calls

and we fix problems probably more efficently than any other yard is able to.

the boat has been out 3 times this season, the engine was brand new in the middle of last season, there must be an issue regarding the belts which will be investigated. the heater control box was faulty not allowing the heater to go through its cool down cycle.

Sometimes a boat can go most of a season trouble free then be an absolute nightmare for a week then go the rest of the season without an issue, if this happens we accept it, we are reasonable (even if sometimes the customer is not ;) )

I see this as good publicity as we can deal with problems and have the spares on the shelf for most occourances but I dont like to advertise that we settle problems as sometimes it will encourage them.

If we pick up a boat has experiencd excess issues we will normally compensate without being asked even if the customers do not expect it, we are happy to keep customers happy, we generally give less back when confrontation occours. ;);)

(P.S. Dont advertise that last bit :lol: )

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We've been out and about for over 10 days now and in all that time we've seen more Ricco's boats than any others. I tend to chat with everyone I walk by and without exception all of Clive's customers have been more than happy with their boats.... and that's in the bloody awful weather we've been having! :clap:clap:clap

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Hello all here - Robin here (London Rascal)

Whilst I have often read this forum, I have as yet never joined - but seeing as talk has turned to myself I feel it is only right I do and add my views.

Previous to blogging about my holidays on the Norfolk Broads, I have been very much into social media as a way to reach the wider world with your opinions and experiences. I have over the last year extended this - first with daily blogs in the written form, then with photo’s, then with video.

On the whole I have never received any negative responses be it on the videos or my blogs, or from the hire yards concerned. But you may ask why do I do this, what is the agenda and what is in it for me?

Well to begin I do it because boating is my passion and I want to share with the wider world this - like no other has. Sure You Tube has videos of people's holidays afloat, but no one has done a day by day account via video with a written report on the forum to accompany it. So you see I do it for nothing more than the fact I want to share, to enlighten and to a degree entertain others.

You Tube have offered me a partnership to run adverts and monetize my account - I declined. The moment you go down that path it must surely turn from passion to doing it for monetary gain and that is not good. My venture into live streaming with Norfolk Broads - LIVE! again is through my passion to share, and to push boundaries and limits. None one has done what I have - a real time camera feed with audio and multiple camera views. It cost a fortune to get all the gear and a great deal of stress and effort to do - but over 5,000 people have come and viewed content which shows it is a good thing - again I make nothing from it. Some of those who watch may well use the links on the page to book their own holiday afloat - which is good for business too.

So you see I’ve no axe to grind against anyone. Dan - you are the authority on hire boating as far as your pictures and passion for this go, but when you say some of the bad luck I have (because it is with each boat from different boatyards) may (as you put it) be a theme starting to develop - thus this is close to implying that I may cause some of the problems or ‘big them up’ to appear more than they really are to gain some exposure and/or viewers.

I guarantee this is not the case. Take the overheat issue with San Julian, upon finding out the boat was in difficulty the first thing I did was head for the bank, put the mud eight over, stop the engine and then.. reach for my camera. I blogged about it has it happened, thinking it was just a case of an empty expansion bottle, then in the next segment discover the true extent of the problem with the broken belts. I say it as it is, and as I find it. I am very careful what I edit so as not to imply anything other than that which I experience keeping it as real and ‘as if they're with me’ as possible. Yes I am good frustrated and upset because it was yet another problem - but I was not angry. I kept the humor going because that is all one could do - laugh with exasperation that another issue had happened.

You also say that my reviews can be harsh - your opinion is different to mine - and perhaps in the past I have been a little bad on things when they were not the be all and end all of the holiday - I’d be curious to know which review you mean as it is a boat you have been on yourself and found it to be fine - we do all have or own expectations and experiences on boats.

As far as publicity goes, they say all publicity is good publicity. I have been looked after by Richardson’s - my family has been with them since 1989 - I have even been with Diamond Cruisers part of the group based in Horning and you know why? They are good value - this boat I am on with its comforts and 240v electrics I say for the price I am paying is good - I loved the letter I got prior to arrival saying extra bedding or galley items could be requests, and giving an ETA of boat take over time - the welcome and hand over all were top notch. I can’t therefore ‘put down’ the company because a boat of theirs which is by no means new, has some mechanical problems. However, I also cannot sugar coat the issue too much - there are a list of issues all of which have been attended to, but that did affect my time away. I am sure another hirer who could have experienced this may not be so cool about it as I.

I’ve been doing these video blogs since October 2011 - I will continue to until there are more people saying they dislike than like. I’ve got a following of regular watchers now, and in a way I do it more for them than me now. To moor up for the night and have to edit video, write a blog post and pay for yet more data is a hassle truthfully, but I do it none the less because I’m passionate about these rivers and experiences.

You can’t please everybody all of the time, only some people most of the time .

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Hi Robin

Welcome to the forum, nice to see you participarting here. :Stinky

You might note that in my post I did say I was posting before I had read what the issues were.... foolish perhaps, but all I was meaning really was I didn't need to read them to be sure of Richardsons good maintenance standards nor would whatever have happened of changed my view.

I was a bit suprised by the number of problems you've had on your different hires, but on reflection it was inappropriate for me to consider that this was anything more than bad luck - my apologies.

As you say we all have different opinions... and different priorities of what's important and this reflects itself in selecting our differing individual hire yards of choice. It's a shame that what makes Richardsons my favourite (great value, great staff, great maintenance & a boat where everything that's there works and is good value for what you've paid) has not been your experience.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip, cheers

Dan

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Thanks for the welcome here guys.

And Dan, I was not 'having a go at you' so don't think that, please.

I just have bad luck follow me, you should know that not just with boats - I hope it shows not just with San Julian, but with my other 'Captain's Blogs' that when there is an issue, the rest of the holiday goes on and it is being here, being afloat that is the main thing - and reason for enjoyment. I continue to learn too in what I do, how I say it and what I say - after all I don't want to book a holiday and be told 'you're barred' because we don't wnat you doing a video about us lol. Just like in the big world of TV one must be balanced and fair - so I try to be too.

I've liked Richardson's over the years - I've got my fav's and choices, example that I prefer San Julian over Cavilier because the windows on San Julian I think suite the design more and that San Julian (for now) still has a carpetted saloon - what a nerd to like that over another almost identical boat! Still thats me.

Anyway, I am cosy tonight though the wind has got up here and rain is falling still. Radio on, some Aspel open and all is happy aboard the good boat San Julain...

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And Dan, I was not 'having a go at you' so don't think that, please. ...

Not at all.

Glad to hear things have calmed down onboard... enjoy your night, at 32ft I really do think that is probably the best layout or use of space yet created.... I'm not a bit jealous - as I'm sure work tomorrow will be just as much fun! :liar

Dan

P.S I too prefer San Julian over Cavalier, but as I prefer blues stripe to orange! Still, everyone knows what a nerd I am!

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I'm sorry that my original post seemed to generate a bit of gentle fencing! That was not the intention at all. Maybe I worded it wrong but I was trying to say that Robin's blogs were an indicator towards how good Richardsons service was. They show the customer experience first hand. I wasn't trying to knock the reliability of any boats at all.

Trevor

www.normanboats.co.uk

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Hi Trevor,

Thank you for the thread, its turned into a very informal one with all parties posting :)

Its allways good to read the Problem holidays along with the faultless ones. Life isnt perfect all Boats are not perfect.

Not all Air Conditioning units are perfect ;) we get problems and normally in the middle of the night with someones server room getting warm.

Its all about transparency, if we all be honest about the holiday then its a good discussion.

Great Thread :)

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