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“Very bad customer service - Not good for beginners”

Sea-Urchin Diving Center
Reviewed October 19, 2017 via mobile

Hi,

I have to say this the very first negative review I write.

I followed a beginner's course along with two English-Speaking people. Since our instructor did not speak English (only French), I had to translate everything for the two other guests. I wasn't too impressed, but didn't mind it at first. We all have to start somewhere.

After, we went in the lagoon and the instructor didn't explain anything out of the water before doing the exercises. We had to do all the exercises many times because we were confused and the visibility was bad. We could barely see what the instructor was demonstrating underwater. Also, my second air device starting leaking air at the end and the employee of the centre who was there to pick up our equipment did not really know how to fix it. We were also pretty cold because we were given wetsuits that were too thin. If it was only for that I would not have written a review. Still, it wasn't a perfect start.

Then came the diving. I was very excited to go. I went in the water and everything was okay until I realized my boyfriend was not there. Obviously, I asked to go back up (we had literally just arrived at the bottom of the water and it was very shallow) to see if he was in the boat and to make sure that he was okay. I believe my reaction was far from abnormal. I knew something was not right as he had done many dives before.

When in the water, I had to ask at least five times to go back up to go check on my boyfriend. I even got attitude from both instructors under water (completely unnecessary) who were basically telling me to continue the dive. When I finally arrived back at the surface, the instructor who accompanied me got mad at me and told that he had tried to tell me that my boyfriend was ok while underwater. He was clearly mad not to dive and didn't care about my boyfriend. I mean, underwater communication is limited and it is not like I rushed back to the surface in a panic: I followed the instructor and just wanted to make sure my boyfriend was alright.

Since the instructor was not qualified enough to accompany me back down, I had to remain in the boat for the rest of the dive. We could see very clearly the other divers at that moment.

Even though we did not dive, they made us pay 1200 and 1500 roupies for both of us. The instructor told me that we should normally have paid the full price and that it was my decision to come back up. She was arrogant when I asked if we still had to pay. She said "Of course you have to pay" Needless to say this is really bad customer service. You cannot be rude when your customers ask such questions: you should at least show empathy and pretend to be sorry that they have to pay - bare minimum. I didn't mind paying something for my beginner's lesson (which wasn't good at all to be honest), but 1500 Rs is exaggerated.

I am overall very disappointed. If you are a beginner and don't feel secure, don't go there. I am sure they have other competent staff, but I was unlucky in that regard.

I promise I am telling the truth.

Thank mariannebellefleur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katharina D, Inhaber at Sea-Urchin Diving Center, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2018

Hi Marianne,
I’m sorry that you felt that you had to leave such a negative review, but let me explain a little more about what happened as I don’t feel that what you have said is a fair representation of Sea Urchin Dive School. I will address each of your complaints in turn. In our Center main language is English, as all our Instructors are from different countries and english or french are their second and third spoken language. The instructor in question does speak English, but seeing as he was more confident speaking in French, the group agreed that it would be fine for someone to translate into English what he was saying – there were plenty of people around to translate and if you were uncomfortable with the situation, you could have rescheduled. By all accounts, the lagoon exercises went fine – we can’t control the visibility and the exercises are simple to copy and repeat – the more times they are done the better, which is obviously what happened. Your regulator went into free flow at the end of the exercises, which happens as a result of sensitive regulators being turned the wrong way up. It is not a fault in the regulator, but unfortunately the girl helping to move equipment that day did not know how to stop it as she is not a diver. When it was explained what happened, you were given a fresh tank, as the free flowing regulator had left you with not as much air as the others for the dive. If you were cold, you should have said something, as we have wetsuits in every size, length and thickness as everyone feels the cold differently – it is worth saying that as the water is 27 degrees, usually a 3mm shorty is sufficient.
Your boyfriend and you were doing two separate courses – you as a beginner needed to be with Perinne, an extremely experienced instructor, whereas your boyfriend, as a certified diver, could follow down the line behind with Adrien, the DiveMaster. What you did not see at the time, was that your boyfriend had panicked after rolling off the boat and had said he did not want to dive. He was therefore left on the boat, and Adrien came down to tell Perrine what had happened. I understand that you needed to know he was ‘safe’ but obviously if there had been a problem, the whole groups dive would have been aborted. Despite Perinne trying to assure you he was fine, you insisted on returning to the surface, and as you say, Adrien accompanied you back up. It was your choice to finish your dive and not continue, Adrien was not ‘mad’, he was simply trying to explain to you what had happened. Perinne’s focus on the dive was on your course, and ensuring you completed it. Adrien had communicated to her that your boyfriend was fine but was not completing the dive, and it was your decision not to trust that they knew what they were doing.
Perrine was extremely kind to offer you a discount when it came to paying. The courses were 2000 rupees each, and normally no refund is issued under any circumstances. Whilst you ended the dive early, and your boyfriend chose not to dive, you had completed everything else up to then. We still have to pay the instructors for their time (this is their livelihood !!), the skipper, the fuel for the boat, you used some air from your tanks during the exercises and the dive and therefore they were not full anymore. Obviously it is disappointing when you cannot complete dives, but you surely can not expect to just walk away and not pay anything?! It was your own decisions and choices that lead you to not dive, and not our fault, therefore of course you have to still pay.
Sea Urchin has a flawless safety record, and is the highest certifier of SSI courses in Southern Africa. Our record speaks for itself, and whilst I’m sorry you felt you had negative experience, the fact that you have taken umbridge at paying people for a service is extremely unfair. Next time, please consider that it’s people’s job and you are paying them for a service when you go diving.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 144 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2017 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Sea Urchin Diving Centre. They were responsive to our email requests, the dives were good value and the diving centre staff were all very friendly. "The Aquarium" dive site was probably the best of the three dives that we did

Thank Shaun C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 1, 2017 via mobile

Here we completed our PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and have seen many fishes and a turtle at the same time. The staff always guided us very well and was incredible kind.

Thank bkahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 28, 2017 via mobile

We have dived with sea-urchin in Mauritius after a year break. We were a little nervous at first, But they were so friendly and kind from the beginning to end. The owner is also welcoming, and outgoing..
At first we did a refreshment with our dive guide and she was encouraging and very supportive. Explained everything clearly.. after that me and my wife felt safe and confident before we go safari diving. The dive went very well and enjoyed a lot. They are professional, friendly and also very polite people. We are completely satisfied with the service they provided. I recommend everyone to dive with sea-urchin who is staying west of island.

Thank ilhanbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed June 17, 2017 via mobile

Sea-Urchin is a good dive center. The gear is pretty well maintained, the boat is well maintained and all dive spots are near.

You get geared up at the shop and walk in your wetsuit, carrying your bag with your other gear, to the nearby beach. About a five minute walk, tanks are brought there by car.

We had two dives with Eduardo and one with Lucille as our dive masters, and they are *the best*! Very friendly, interested, very thorough briefing and making sure everything is in order. The people you would want at every dive center. :-)

Some others left reviews about Katharina, the owner. Yes she's snappy, and she runs a tight ship. However she also makes sure everything goes as it should. She just shouldn't scold and belittle her staff in front of the customers. Although they appear to be used to it and wisely just let it go. :-)

1  Thank JZuiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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