Every summer, we get a few customers who are not particularly happy with some aspects of our company's policies regarding rentals of kayaks, canoes and SUP's.
I thought I would take an opportunity to explain why our rental policy is written the way that it is, and to apologize to those who disagree with our policies. As a company, we realize that these policies may turn away a few customers along the way, but we will stand by our values.
RETURN TIMES :
ALL EQUIPMENT, regardless of whether it is a "half day" or "full day" MUST be returned during REGULAR business hours. What does this mean, and why do we insist on this? It means that regardless of what time you take your rentals out, you are either due back by the end of business that day, or in the case of full day rentals, you should return your equipment the following morning. Do we do this to inconvenience the customer? It may not always be convenient, but this policy has been put into place to protect YOU, the customer! How? Put it this way, if you drop two kayaks off here after hours and leave them in the yard, and nobody from Grand River Kayak personally takes possession of them, YOU are ultimately responsible for that gear until the next morning. If it gets lost, stolen, vandalized, or damaged, YOU are responsible for the full value of the equipment. Think it can't happen? Is that a risk you're willing to take? Imagine getting a phone call in the morning saying that the boats you dropped off after hours aren't here, and we need to charge your credit card for two $1000.00 kayaks and all the gear? We don't want to be in a position to have to do that!
The second point about return times is that we make sure everyone is accounted for before we turn off the lights and lock the doors. This is for YOUR safety, not because we don't want to stay late and wait for you! Chances are, we are the last people to have seen you and know where you are going before you paddle off our dock. This applies to any rental who has not indicated they are keeping the equipment overnight or for multiple days (these rentals are still expected to be returned during regular business hours). If there are still rentals out after closing time, we have to assume that you "might" be in trouble. If you have a cellphone on the water, a simple call to let us know you are okay, but "running late" could be the difference between having the O.P.P. Marine Patrol out looking for you. We always have a grace period in case someone is simply running late, but beyond that grace period we are going to do our due diligence to look for you before calling the authorities and reporting you possibly in trouble on the river.
We'd like to think that any other rental outfitter would have similar risk management practices in place for the safety of their customers before turning them loose on our rivers, lakes, and ponds.
So, if you call or drop in asking about rentals and we're an hour from closing, we'll gladly apologize that you probably won't have enough time on the water before we close. We will stand by the policies that we have put in place to ensure customer safety, and if that is at the risk of turning a few customers away, that it a responsibility we can live with.
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