Porta-bote Redux Redux

May 17th, 2007 by: cheyenne

At the end of February, my mom sent me an email saying we got a large box containing some “black plastic planks” and so we assumed that they were the replacement seats Porta-Bote generously offered to replace at no charge. Two days later, we received this email from Sandy:

“As promised, we sent, free of charge, complete replacement seats and transom to the address you you emailed us.
I don’t know if you tried to contact us again and your message was viewed as spam. But, we have not received any communication from either of you acknowledging receipt of the free replacement parts.
If you get this message and reply, always make sure the word “Porta-Bote” is in the subject line. This way it won’t be trashed. Also, I suggest using the “Reply” key so you’ll know if we received your message or not. I did this with this message. “

Joshua pressed the “Reply” key for the above email (address “sk@portabote.com,” whose subject was already “From Sandy /Porta-Bote”) on March 4th (the day we arrived to Portobelo, Panama after being out of contact for the previous week) thusly:

“We didn’t get a follow up email about it from you all so we were surprised to hear that a strange large package arrived at our Arizona address. We knew immediately that it had to be the porta-bote parts. It was too late to make it with our current visitors but we have some more people coming down near the end of April. Hopefully, they will be able to bring them down. Thanks again. ”

So, fine. We requested information on warranty once upon a time. Sandy replied saying although our seats were out of warranty, we pissed him off enough that Porta-Bote would send replacement seats/transom anyway, just to make us feel bad happy. So we gave an address and a few weeks later they appear, unannounced (that is, until after they arrived), but appreciated. We sent a thank you email. AND we posted a follow-up to our blog explaining what Porta-bote offers as seat/transom warranty and what they were doing for us. Done. Everyone’s happy. Whatever!

Sandy’s reply the above, by the way, was this:

“Apparently some of our mail just doesn’t get through. Which is probably the reason your original negative blog was created in the first place. We shipped when we promised we would ship. and we answered your original mail promptly.
We always follow through as promised. It’s a shame your viewers are being misled when they open your blog.
Hope this can be straightened out so we are depicted fa little more fairly.”

(This makes me think that Sandy did actually receive a response to the other emails and that he must know that we are aware that replaced the seats and transom free of charge. But, perhaps I jump to conclusions…)

We also got this, addressed to “newdream.ne” and then re-sent when it didn’t make it, so the end product was three pages of forwarding garbage for a two-line email:

“Hi Folks, Haven’t heard from you in weeks and assume you’re still of this planet.
Have you received the free replacements we sent as promised?”

And a couple weeks later, this:

“Hello Folks, This is 23rd attempt to reach you via email.
I guess you don’t turn on the computer very often when you out and about.”

Which, um, weird. 23 attempts in fourteen days is some kind of crazy persistence. We didn’t respond to this one because, what the hell do you say that that anyway?

And today, this (posted as a comment on our original dinghy review post):

“1- Never received your original “two requestes”. You also never responded to our other emails ????
As you are aware, we replaced your seats and transom free of charge.
Have a feeling contacting you by ordinary email doesn’t work too well. Neither does your ability to contact us. This was the original reason you got upset. It wasn’t that we were not willing to respond. We never received these emails.
This is the reason I am trying to contact you in your own blob. This may actually get through OK.
Anyone else who wants to contact us: sk@portaboat.com
Oh well. Such is life.”

So, I must say I was surprised to receive the comment to our “blob” saying they had never received any emails from us acknowledging the receipt of the replacement seats and that we are misleading our readers and etc. I’m sort of tired of dealing with this actually.

It is up to you, dear reader, to decide if I misled you. Or if I was unfair to Sandy or Porta-Bote.



7 Comments on “Porta-bote Redux Redux”

  1. Peg Bowden says:

    And speaking of the boxed up seats and transom for the Porta-Bote, do you want us to send them, or just hold on to them when you come to Arizona? Also—it is odd that you ALWAYS got my emails. No matter where you were on the planet. Methinks he doth protest too much. –Mom/Peg

  2. cheyenne says:

    We finally got the box but it contained only seats; no transom. I’m sad about this since the transom was the really broken part and the thing that prompted us to contact Porta-Bote in the first place about possible warranty. I’m assuming it was a mistake and I’ll let Sandy know since he was always very keen on hearing if we got the parts or not but, since he pretty much hates us, I’m not exactly expecting to be sent the transom at this point. I think we’ll try to construct one of wood, epoxy, and fiberglass.

  3. TimeMachine » Porta-bote Again says:

    [...] This is a follow up to older stories: 1.3-Year Porta-Bote and Kayak Review Follow-up Porta-bote Review and Aftermath Porta-bote Redux Redux [...]

  4. TimeMachine » 1.3-Year Porta-Bote and Kayak Review says:

    [...] Porta-bote Review and Aftermath Porta-bote Redux Redux Porta-bote [...]

  5. alouwomack says:

    I know I am coming into this posting a little late in the game, but I’ve started researching problems with Porta-Botes since my husband and I recently acquired our own problem with the 10ft version we bought brand new 2.5 years ago.

    The bladder that the transom actually hides once put together is cracking midline from the base of the hull where the two seams come together. Anyone ever heard of this being a problem. Sandy doesn’t recall ever hearing of this before . . .

  6. alouwomack says:

    Can anyone help me find “L S Miller” who mentioned a similar problem with a portabote like I’m having. The email provided is no longer good. I can be reached via alouwomack@hotmail.com

  7. George Snyder says:

    The older version (10′ I think) Portabote I owned for several years, split through the skin right where the seat pushes against it. The gash remained part of the now useless boat for eight years. The folks at PortaBoe wouldn’t believe such a thing could happen, even after I sent pictures. It ended up in a dumpster. After going through a few inflatables, my dinghy now is a Bolger Shoebox I built in one weekend at the marina. It will outlive me.

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Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell