QMS, interesting WiFi solution, lousy return policy

QuickerTek yachtIllustr

Here’s another marine WiFi system, this one QuickerTek’s $1,000 QMS (QuckerTek Marine System). The release and web page are light on specs, but this seems to be a high powered WiFi transceiver bridged to an onboard WiFi LAN such that any computer onboard (Mac or Windows) can get online (which, by the way, is the hot ticket system amongst some rec.boats.electronics geeks). It sounds interesting, if pricey, but what really got my attention was this note at the bottom of the product page:

No returns. All sales are final. This is what happens when the few abuse our good graces, install our products, sail around with them for a couple of weeks, soak them with salt water and then return them with no reason given. We don’t like it either…”

Well, I wouldn’t even consider buying expensive hardware under that policy. I think QuickerTek has ignored an important lesson of modern retailing: A company hurts its best customers, and itself, by basing policy on its worst customers. I would refer them to Paul Hawken’s classic Growing a Business, which splendidly lays out the smartness of generous customer service, and also to L.L. Bean, the Maine business which may have invented the no-questions-asked return policy. I once got a behind-the-scenes tour of Bean’s and naturally asked if the famous policy wasn’t abused. The answer, delivered with a smile, was something like, “Hell yes! For instance, we’ve tracked one guy who’s had the same pair of boots replaced 22 times. But the guarantee is so good for our business that we’ll never change it!

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

4 Responses

  1. russell says:

    You can buy all the parts to make an identical system for less then $1000 and from companies with decent return policies. Its just a 1w 2.4Ghz amplifier, a wifi router and an omni directional 2.4Ghz antenna. Its not rocket science, plug A into B, you will still have to connect and install what these guys sell you in their kit anyways.

  2. Patrick says:

    Hey we all know the no-questions-asked return policy was started by Nordstrom’s 😉

  3. Bob says:

    I especially like the “sail around with them for a couple of weeks, soak them with salt water” part. It is supposed to be a marine product. Things on boats get wet.

  4. It’s true what russel said, it’s just a WiFi Amplifier. Of course you have to figure out what router can be a client and connect to a hotspot, and… share that connection. But it can be done. And without hanging gear up in the mast or the arch on yachts. I’ve seen and used split amplifiers with a DC Injector and the main amplifier up closer to the antenna Even so the main amplifier goes inside the arch or the mast somewhere. These type are made to go outside. Honestly I wouldn’t put anything outside but the antenna. But I’ve had luck with an indoor type amplifier (good quality) with just the Omni WiFi Antenna up top. Either way I can kit this out quite a bit under $1000. In fact I can support the whole thing from install to +1 year for not too much over that. You can do it yourself or if your local I can come help you.
    I can also do Cellular Internet. I’ve seen the articles here about that as well.

    Alan Spicer
    http://www.marinetelecom.net

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