Howdy. I hope someone can help with this. Pungo 120 with Phase 3 seat (only a year old). The strap across the back pad tore (where stiched) – right at the bolt that holds it to the shell of the kayak. Probably a defect, but I don’t want to go that hassle; I just want to find a new strap to bolt into the place of the old one. I’ve searched the internet until I’m going blind without any success . . . and I’ve learned previously that going straight to Wilderness Systems gets you nowhere but an answering machine maze. Suggestions?
That’s why WS is to be avoided…
Those “comfy” Phase 3 seats fall apart all the time.
We stopped carrying them. That, and the terible support from the manufacturer. Nothing but quality issues, and absolutely no one to back them up when they (frequently) have problems.
Try REI… If you get a hold of the right person, they may be able to help you and order some spare parts for you, even if you didn’t buy the boat there.
Other than that… keep calling WS, and send hundreds of emails… If that fails, threaten a call to your BBB. I’ve heard of customers that get results that way.
I have e-mailed ws over the past 6 months 2 times and called them once and have recieved replys in short time each time. I used the contact us option from their web site.
I work for an independent kayak retailer and WS is one of the quality lines that we carry. I have ordered parts several times for our customers and have had no problems. The dealer who sold you the boat should have no trouble at all in getting you the part. In fact, the part should be covered by the lifetime warranty that came with your yak.
Time and service wise, WS is not as efficient to send parts as other manufacturers and they only supply parts through their dealers. Did you make the effort to try and get a warranty replacement through your dealer? Sometimes the big box retailers just don’t want to fool with it or their inexperienced clerks, they have no idea how to simply call the factory for a claim. It is sad that someone can sell a product and have no backup procedures for repairs or warranty issues. Often the same thing can happen with the online “discount” retailers. You might save a few bucks on the initial purchase but when you encounter a problem or warranty issue such as yours, they are nowhere to be found.
Call small dealers
Wilderness Systems had quality issues when they first made the move to SC but these have drastically declined. Things break. It happens. Call your local dealer and not Confluence. They are not set up for direct consumer relations. That’s what their dealer network is supposed to provide. They are a manufacturer and not a store. Any dealer worth anything will have replacement parts or can get them easily.
Sending email after email and contacting the BBB would be a silly waste of time and only provide more frustration.
start with the dealer
Talk to whoever sold you the boat and let them know of the issue. Presumably they have an interest in keeping their customers happy, since they need you to come back and buy additional boats and accessories in order to stay in business, and (more importantly) tell your friends of the awesome service you received.
The strap is nothing more than a piece of 1 inch nylon webbing - if your dealer won’t help you, check with an outdoors store and pick up a piece appropriately sized. If you need stitching, a shoe repair shop can do the work at little cost. If you need to burn a hole in the center for attachment (I don’t remember if WS is using that method any more or not), a soldering iron will do the trick.
Order 1" polyester strap from Mcmastercarr. Double it over where it bolts to the kayak and use a pencil type soldering iron to burn a hole in the webbing for the bolt. The same thing happened to my pungo 140 last year(when brand new). No need to really sew it unless it makes you feel better. I weigh 270lbs and put a lot of force on the strap when I get in with a skirt attached.
dealer should help you out BUT it’s just a piece of nylon webbing. remelt the end with a hot nail and DIY.