You get a notification on your phone from that new coupon app that was just downloaded. The notification tells you that a local dive shop is offering a “Learn To SCUBA Dive” special for 99 dollars. Wow! What a deal, you quickly call up your friend who is a diver and excitedly inform him of the offer for discount diver certification and that you’re thinking of doing it. Instead of sharing in your joy and excitement, your friend who is an experienced diver throws you stern words of caution. He then offers to meet up and buy you a drink and explain why this won’t be the best deal after everything is said and done. If you have a friend like this, count yourself as lucky. If you don’t then read on and let us here at DRIS explain to you why the concept of buyer beware comes into play. Also, you will understand that why we at DRIS, despite offering killer deals on dive gear will never offer a cut rate dive course.
First off, dive shops that need to resort to the “99 dollar” diver certification specials most often have not built a solid reputation of quality training and customer service and aren’t able to count on that to get people into the door. With that they need to take drastic marketing measures to root out a customer base. Often times, these shops are trying to cut corners on building a solid business the slow and steady way and most likely won’t be around in years to come. Do you really want to start off your diving experience questioning whether or not that shop or instructors will be around when you need continuing education or ongoing mentoring?
Secondly, any diver certification course done for less than, say a few hundred dollars is done at a financial loss to the shop and instructors involved. Dive shops and instructors have direct costs involved in training and certifying divers. These costs include; pool fees, air fills, quarry/site fees, books and materials, equipment rental and/or maintenance and wages to employed instructors and assistants. With that in mind, face it…you don’t start a business to lose money so that needs to be made up somewhere. Oftentimes shops that offer courses for a “song” will often have to make it up elsewhere like nickel and diming for additional materials and equipment, hidden costs, or just substandard and unsafe instruction. Let’s pause and take a look at that last point on substandard and unsafe instruction. While diving is inherently safe and has an amazing track record, you are going into an alien environment that requires life support equipment. Do you really want to undertake that with haphazard and woefully insufficient training? Do you want to put your family in that situation? I didn’t think so.
Hopefully you have the friend like the one at the beginning of this article, but if you don’t you will always have the team at DRIS. Please understand that this article is not meant to be a scare tactic, it is merely informing you(like a friend would) that a safe diver certification course is more likely to pay off in the long run with enjoyment and a new found love for the water! We commit to always provide the safest and most thorough training and education…without the coupons, just fair prices.