Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 11:25 am Posts: 2 Location: California
Fellow splitboarders: I am posting my ordeal with Prior Snowboards to add to the wealth of information on this site. This is just one person's experience, so please take it as such.
On Feb 9th of this year I order a Prior Swallowtail Split after demoing one in Whistler. Total cost $1160 US. I am told it will ship in 3 weeks, maybe sooner.
By Mar 10th the board is still not ready. I have planned a trip for the following weekend (five weeks+ from order). I agree to pay extra for express shipping. The board will go out Mon for delivery Wed. I call Mon to confirm that the board had shipped Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬ËœYes' Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and get a tracking number. No tracking number. HmmmÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
On Wed, instead of receiving the board as promised, I get a call from Prior. The mounting holes were mis-drilled. They will have to make another board.
But I thought it had already shipped!?Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
OK, stuff happens. Prior credits back the express shipping supplement. They will build a new board ASAP and have it out in time for my next trip Mar 24. Cool.
On the day the board is supposed to ship out, another call from Prior. There has been another production problem - a blemish on the nose surface. It will not effect performance. Can we offer you a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœhoodie' sweatshirt? I take a $53 credit instead. Not much of a hoodie guy.
Will the board ship out today as promised? Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬ËœYes.'
Funny, the photo just taken of the blemish shows that the board has not been split. Are you sure you will be able to finish it in time? Didn't you just say UPS pick-up is in 90 minutes?
Splitting and finishing the board doesn't take long. We will have it finished in time.
I call later and get a tracking number. The board has been shipped! Bring on the powder, baby!
Next day, another call from Prior. The board made it onto the UPS truck, but it wasn't actually sent. Huh!? Now it wont make it in time. How about a hoodie?
You ruin another backcountry trip and offer me a hoodie? No thanks. Let's forget the whole thing.
A week goes by. Someone else calls from Prior. Nice guy. Really sorry. How about $90 off? WellÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ OK.
The board ships out April 12, two months after it was ordered. There is a little blemish on the nose, but I'm still eager to ride it.
Three days later, the package stalls somewhere in the US. I wait another five days. UPS tells me the shipper has to request a trace. Prior will look into it.
A couple of days later I check the UPS tracking site Ã¢â‚¬â€œ nothing new. Call UPS - no trace. Call Prior. They say a trace has been placed. HmmmÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
On April 26 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ two weeks after the board was shipped - I call UPS again. No trace has been placed. We need the shipper to call us. Once we get a trace request we will initiate a search. Takes eight business daysÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
I call Prior. What's going on?
Maybe this time it's not Prior's fault. Maybe Prior did place a trace and UPS is all to blame. Still, with all that's happened so far...
I speak to a Prior rep. He's ticked off. Why didn't I ask to speak with him? He is handling things! (I spoke with the person who answered the phone Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ooops!) OKÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ but UPS just told me no trace has been placed. He calls me back. Prior wont hear from UPS until Fri and they are on retreat that day. Wait until next week. And by the way, this is the 2nd board we made for you. The first board (the one with the mis-drilled hole) looks great. Huh?!? His tone: Not our fault. Why am I being such a pain?
I cancel the order. It has been 11 weeks. These guys are no fun to deal with.
One of the reasons I ordered a Prior split is that I like the idea of supporting a small Canadian company. Perhaps this is an isolated incident, but wouldn't you expect a small company to treat its customers with more courtesy and respect? I wonder how many others out there have had problems with Prior customer service.
How many hoodies is your backcountry season worth?
Here's another link with plentiful griping about Prior's service/quality control. It's a shame because they make great boards and they sponsor this site. My custom Kyber arrived with a scratch on the deck and a free t-shirt. Not so bad as things go, still pretty lame when you're shelling out for a primo board.
They've had the reputation as the premium split to buy, but they'll lose it if they don't solve some of these problems.
I didn't have the shipping problems but had a quality issue as well. I was also offered a hoodie. No thanks I just spent $1000. Prior still sells it as a blem for maybe $100 off. They made me a new board. Thank you, way cool. I'm stoked again and my board worked great, so I talk a friend into a purchase.
He also has a quality issue, doesn't get asked but gets sent the board w/ upgraded quad glass and a t-shirt. Woohoo. It wasn't a performance issue but I like Honda quality level fit and finish not Walmart specials. I do very much like the fact that it is a handmade board but I've seen some of there stuff and it's super nice, it should be that way across the spectrum.
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:10 pm Posts: 75 Location: So Cal LA
Sounds like a mess, sorry to hear about the hassle you had. I had problems with my 1st Prior Kyber board. Delaminated top sheet. Also broke in the tail part. Tried to teell me it was my fault? Like it was my fault for 1 day resort riding for testing stance etc. Missed splitfest Tahoe for 1 day because my promised baord was not there. Beacuse of that I test a Winterstick TB 172 and got me 1 ( I Love that board!! ) and the Never Summer. Anyway I did get a replacement after I mentioned that I did not want to hear about any user error etc etc! I Did had to pay for shipping etc, long story short. Next board is not going to be a prior. Maybe Never Summer or the Winterstick TB Split !
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2387 Location: California
I'm in the market for a new split and I won't even consider a Prior. I've heard too many stories of bad customer service and craftmanship. I'm just not willing to pay that kind of cash to have my expectations denied. Too many other good boards out there, not to mention the DYI option.
The most consistent thing Prior does is fuck up your board and then offer a hoodie. WTF?? "Sorry we jacked up your $1000 board and ruined your season but do you want to advertise on your chest for us?" Uhh, no!
I'm really sorry to hear all this about Prior. I was holding out for a Khyber but looks like I shouldn't have. I wanted to support a semi-local company but from the service sounds like I'm better off with something else. It's one thing to screw up a product, but to offer a 5$ cost hoodie as an apology is just wrong. Doesn't sound like Prior stands behind their product, I don't want to deal with even a local company if they are going to blame me for riding in a resort on a split.
Does anyone else make a split with taper like the Khyber?
Just FYI, the Khyber is a really nice board and I L-O-V-E riding mine.
It seems like either they have problems executing the made-to-order thing or else they ship their dinged boards to mail order clients. Either way, not very respectful of the boards or the riders! If you are interested in a Prior, I'd advise buying in-person from a retail store, not factory-direct. That way you can check it out before you take it home...
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2387 Location: California
People bitch on forums so you get a skewed view of reality. How about all the people who had no problems with Prior.
I've read very few if any complaints about Never Summer or Voile customer service and/or craftmenship, i.e no hoodie offers needed.
I just get a bad vibe from them. My friend at work called and wanted to buy a blemished Khyber. It was listed at more than you could buy a new one from REI though. He asked if he could buy the blemished board for the same price as a new one from REI. The dude said no. I know they're here to make money but I think that's weak.
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:57 am Posts: 156 Location: Boulder
I have to chime in here.
I bought my Khyber160 from a retailer in February. My experience has been great. The ride is more solid than voiles I have ridden in the past. The ride is nearly as solid as the Burton I rode once-but couldn't take apart to skin out.
I've inspected it and the craftsmanship is great. All parts fit snugly, easy to switch, etc. etc.
I bought it from Allboards Sports in Boulder. They have Prior Splits in a variety of shapes and sizes-swallows, khybers and regular shapes.
On top of all this, it's pretty funny to hear such earnest bitching about such high-end, cost-exclusive recreation. Get the big picture. Appreciate how lucky you are to be in a position to even know what a splitboard is, let alone be miffed that your BC trip is "ruined." Cry me a river.