Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 12:12 am Posts: 31 Location: In the Shadow of the Wahhzsnatch
I'm soon to be plunken down my very hard earned $$$ on a split. I really liked the priors with the ability to get customized and whatnot. But after reading all these complaints and Prior's responses, then having them come on here and dance around the issue and drop some big PR/marketing lines of BS....
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:06 am Posts: 155 Location: Dillon, CO
I normally do not chime in on these type of threads, but this is interesting. I'm taking a marketing class, and one chapter discusses the use of Internet forums for companies to gauge their product(s)/service(s) in the community. According to this book, this has become an effective, low cost method for companies to gather information that will help them become more successful.
I must say that I am touched by these negative comments as well. I purchased a Prior about 4 years ago, and I had no problems with customer service. I was recently considering purchasing a new splitboard, and Prior was at the top. But, these comments have made me reconsider. I've not made a choice; but, these comments are affecting my decission. Dropping close to a grand takes a lot of justification on my budget.
_________________ Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?
A very poor response to an ongoing quality control problem by Prior. If you have the option to go to a retailer I suggest you use it. Make sure you have the option to inspect the board before the sale is finalised.
After putting off the purchase last Spring and thinking about it all Summer, I bought my first splitboard a couple weeks ago. This thread was one of the many things that I read in researching my purchase.
I decided on an all-round template in the mid-high 160's and found basically the same deal on a current Voile FR and a Prior Backcountry from last season - both mail order. I'll give you one guess which one I bought, but that's probably an easy one...
Right now, I see Prior's primary advantage as that they offer shapes that no other builder has in their catalog, especially the pintail like the Khyber (the alpine ATV is probably a small niche). If the teasers that have been thrown out about new Voile models for next year include a pintail, I'm guessing they will pull in even more market share.
Picked up my new 165cm Khyber at the REI store this week. I would suggest to go this route.
I had some reservations, since quite some people suggested it's just a powder board. So the REI guy just said: "No problem, if you do not like it, return it, 100% satisfaction guaranteed."
I tested it today on some icy Keystone slopes. It performed well in conditions it is not even designed for, so I do not think I will have any reasons to return it. A better review will come sometime later, after a few days out in the great Colorado powder.
Keep in mind..... there are some 15% coupons out there (even though they are not supposed to work for skis, boards etc.) or if that does not work, you will get at least the 10% member dividend.
First of all i have to start off by saying that roasting a company on the internet isnt cool.........if you have issues with them.... call them up and have the balls to SOLVE IT over the phone or in person instead of stirring up S H I T on here!!!!!! I purchased a kyber a few years ago and i cant say enough about the customer service i received from the boys at Prior....right from the start it was A++++.Since ive had my board 2 other buds have bought kybers as well and all i can say is that the boys at Prior have it dialed with that board...........THE WAY IT FLOATS AND PERFORMS IS UNREAL.........100% KICK ASS CANADIAN PRODUCT!!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't disagree with you more, my Canadian brother. First, if you read through the link, it is about people who have tried without success to get satisfaction from Prior. For example, the guy who received a board that had been damaged in shipping that prior refused to repair or exchange. Or the guy that was strung along for months during his board purchase. It takes two to tango and there are many examples in this thread from people who gave Prior a chance to make right and got crap customer service in response.
On the other hand, regular readers of the forum have seen many instances where an issue with a voile product ended with "called DJ Barney - problem solved."
Honest reporting of bad experiences keeps companies honest and keeps fellow consumers informed. I'd like to know if a company is going to stand behind a $1000 snowboard purchase or if they have a 'screw you' mentality. And having that information is very cool.
I agree with you 100% SF and couldnt disagree more with you SHEFFY. Message boards are a great way to get a true reviews on a product or a service. I have dealt with proir on a few ocassions. The first instance was like pulling teath, i spent over an hour bartering with a employee(no names) who was terrible at customer service. Basically he was telling me that what had happend to my board was all my falt without even seeing it(the board was three days old). The second time was better- the guy i was talking to was quite nice and understanding, but did not do much in the way of instilling my confidence in their product. Maybe that was him? but it was probably just me and my experiences with their products.
I loved my Kyber until it fell apart under what i would call normal circumstaces. Now i couldnt be more pissed off. The boards are pricey, as you know. And it can leave you high and dry when you cant rely on the product.
_________________ A man is not so drunk, as long as he can lie on the floor without holding on!
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:38 pm Posts: 35 Location: Lethbridge, Ab
After reading this thread and a couple others, I too have to chime in.
San Rant, you may want to go back and read the post where buddies board was damaged. Prior did in fact offer to repair it at their factory but that is besides the point. Have you ever shipped anything before? Have you ever recieved anything damaged in shipping before? Ripping a company apart because a shipping company (I have still to find one that actually takes time and care to insure product arrives safely) damaged a product and takes it upong themselves ot make it as easy as possible to reimburse you the damages. It doesn't happen. Shipping companies suck.
I thought I would post my experiences with Prior to try to balance all the hating going on.
I first dealt with Prior 4 years ago when I bought my MRF board from them. It was a "demo" board at the time but turns out it was made specifically for Chris Prior and he decided to sell it. It had the "Howl" topsheet that didn't hit the public for a full year and the pro base which was black and bright orange. I emailed and they got back to me immediatly. I asked for more pics of the board and they did so. I had a couple more questions about the board so I decided to call the factory direct. I don't recall who I spoke with but he knew the exact board I was talking about and was very informative. A few minutes later, I had purchased the board and had it sent to me. The board only took 2 days to get here and once unpacked, was just fine. The packing itself was great.
After riding the board for a couple years I managed to get a serious base gouge that I thought was basically the end of the boards life. Fortunatly it was at the end of the year and I was going to Whistler to mountain bike. I phoned up the guys at the factory to make sure they would be around and that they would have time to fix it. They said bring it down and leave it with us for a few days and they will get it done. Upon arrival at the factory, they looked at the board and said no problem. They even took the time to show me around the factory and got to see how the boards are made. Cool stuff.
Anyway, after only 2 days I got call at my hotel saying my board was ready. I was estatic! Raced right down to pic it up and I have to say it was the best repair job I have ever seen, bar none. I can't even tell where it was besides one spot on the logo where they had to fill black ptex over the orange. On top of all that, once I asked the price, they guy said "How's $20 bux sound?" I eagerly gave him a $20 and proceeded to buy a shirt, hat and hoody.
So all in all, I have to say that Prior is #1 in my books and they will definatley be getting my business for a new splitboard in the fall of 07.
I have talked with several people from Prior at Demo days and other events and each time I walk away with a certain pride of ownership.
As far as message board being good places for "true" review, I do not agree. Often times you hear a VERY one sided story which gets strewed out on the net. Believe what you want, but remember, there are always 2 sides.
Well I will have to say to the new folks that in all of the time that I have been here I've found this place to be one of the most honest, helpful forums of any that I've been in. The people here have gone at it over Burton quality problems, Voile's lack of choice, and have helped each other with even some Never Summer issues.......why?........because we enjoy riding splits and are genuinely interested in seeing the best in reliability, quality and customer service and growth in this sport.
I made my purchase of a Khyber Split based on the info that I got from this site and told the boys at Prior that. I sent Chris a link to this thread so that they could respond. I've defended their position in the industry because it's good for splittin'.
Take a good look around here before you lump us in with your other forum experiences. There is good info and good people all over this site.
You may actually want to re-read that post. When the guy's board arrived, crappily packaged with two edge compressions and a bubbled base, the Prior rep suggested that he take the board to a local shop and get it repaired. Ultimately Prior did what the guy considered a mediocre repair job and the dude had to pay shipping back to Prior to get it done.
The guy paid for a new board, not a repaired board, and should have received one.
I order stuff online quite a bit and it almost always arrives in great condition. On the rare occasion where it hasn't, the company accepted the return, no problem. If a company wants to be in the mail order business, their responsibility is to get the product to the customer's front door in good condition. Maybe standards are lower in Canada, but I doubt it. I somehow doubt that you would shrug it off if your $1000 purchase arrived in bad condition. Also, I've ordered splits from both Prior and NeverSummer and I can tell you that the NeverSummer, which arrived in flawless condition, was packaged much much much better.
At any rate, my board left the factory with a scratch on top sheet and the touring brackets mounted in the wrong location. They told me about the scratch before they shipped it and gave me a tee shirt to make up for it. I didn't really care about the scratch even though you could bet your ass REI wouldn't have accepted the board in that condition from Prior. I didn't find out about the touring brackets until I tried to install crampons in fixed mode 9 months later and by then it was too late. Yeah, it sucks to improvise a hammer for your touring pin on the side of any icy slope.
At any rate, my issue wasn't a shipping issue. I can easily find you a half-dozen other complaints of boards not made to spec by Prior at splitboard.com. I don't recall seeing this complaint for any Voile or NeverSummer boards.
According to Dean and Chris:
We would like to thank all those who submitted to this thread thus far. We have been reviewing regularly and are using it as a tool to continue to improve our customer service and product.
This has required us to double our splitboard production in the last 24 months and has resulted in some growing pains.
Our packaging has also been improved.
And guess what? We haven't seen any reports in this thread of stuff being damaged in shipping, manufactured out of spec, or rude customer service since then. So maybe Prior took the opportunity to fix their problems after people started calling bullshit on their practice of shipping board that would have been rejected by REI to their mail-order customers. I hope so! I want them to succeed in this business and make high-quality boards available to us splitters.
I'm glad you had a good experience with Prior and I'm glad you shared it with us. It does help balance my view of Prior, but it doesn't invalidate my and other people's negative experiences with the company.
If you think you can't get good info in a message board, think again. I'll post up pictures of the scratch and the misaligned touring bracket and you can come to your own conclusion.
Crampon holes in fixed mode don't align with touring bracket:
The scratch below the peg is Prior's. I claim proud ownership of the rest.
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:06 pm Posts: 157 Location: Kings Beach, Ca
I'll post my experience thus far, mind you I haven't gotten to ride my Prior yet and most Prior owners seem to have very minimal complaints after they get a good (non-defunct) board from the factory. I'll even go as far as to say that most owner's really enjoy riding Prior boards.
I bought my BC from a local retailer. Looked it over at the shop and didn't notice anything. Got it home and started mounting my hardware to find my ptex layer completely delamming from the base.....GRRRRR!
Took it back to the retailer, they didn't have a replacement in stock so they shipped it out to Prior over a month ago. From what I understand Prior puts any warranty work at the back of the line so to this day I still have not received my replacement. Lucky the retailer has since gotten in another shipment and has a replacement for me right now so I can stop my bitching.
I have bought a lot of snowboards in my day, from my first $150 Private Label to my current $500 Never Summers and ya know what, I have NEVER had any problems with a board from the factory....except for the Prior. It's just basic quality control, put another guy at the end of the line to eye over each board with a magnifying glass, we pay and wait too much for these boards to have them arrive like this.
Annoyances aside, it also comes down to safety. What happens when you're 20 miles out and you rip out a binding? It just scares me a little to think that I'm going to be putting my life on the line with a product that has such loose quality standards.
_________________ f$ck you and those two weird planks you rode in on!