Submitted: 09-07-2004 by WBF
I enjoyed reading TB's review so much that I bought a Big Yak Package from L.L. Bean. I got a kayak, paddle, and seat rest for $435 delivered from Washington to Southern California. I enjoyed the Yak and put it in the back of my pick up truck.
I soon realized that I had a leak. I contacted Ocean Kayak website. I think their customer service is terrible. The leak was coming from the scupper hole. Several times my replies were not answered. Apparently not returning customer complaints about specific problems is common since I heard another guy say his complaint of the drifter taking on water was never answered. I was taking on a gallon of water an hour. I am new to kayaking and ignorantly thought all the water draining out was no big deal, until I asked another kayaker I met at Dana Point.
L.L. Bean is a fantastic company and is will to return and replace the kayak immediately. I was hoping that Ocean Kayak could refer me to a dealer closer to where I live, rather than wait on another delivery from Washington.
Ocean Kayak finally agreed, but never returned my last E-mail, the one giving them the closest dealer's address to my house, which was in Long Beach. There was absolutely no follow through at all, so I reluctantly wrapped up my Big Yak with shipping wrap and am waiting on the truck from L.L. Bean.
It grieves me to know that another family could be out there without knowing their kayak is slowly sinking. They never even apologized for a leaky boat. I guess it is too common at Ocean Kayak these days. They diagnosed the leak, got the serial number and were gone, despite stating that they would switch my Yak at the nearest dealer.
I plan to E-mail L.L. Bean and let them know that one of their brands is represented by a company that takes leaky boats too casually and a customer service that does not follow through.
Now I have to wait for L.L. Bean to pick it up. In the meanwhile, I went over to Malibu Kayaks and was treated like a king. I got to try their kayaks for free and their kayaks are guaranteed for life. I really very impressed with the Malibu Extreme. Maybe there was a reason for all of this mess. The Big Yak was too small for open ocean fishing, but is very stable and easy to paddle in the bay. I also liked the fact it fit in my mini truck's bed. However, if you are willing to overlook a leak that could have easily sunk the boat, and casual customer service that view a leaky boat as a minor inconvenience, this might be the Yak for you!