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Scuba diving - cost of certification

Posted By: Peter Jones

Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 06:05 PM

I was due to teach some students this morning, having reduced the normal US$425 cost to US$300 each. They turned up, but said they had found (been told of) someone else who would teach them for US$225 each, including manual, certification, everything. I told them that knowing what the costs were I didn't believe them, but off they went anyway.

I was shown a PADI cert card last week recently obtained at a local dive centre. The student described his "instructor" and I worked out who it was, but that person's name wasn't the instructor who appeared on the card. I checked, and the individual who "taught" the course is not even a PADI Divemaster. His boss signed off the certification as if he had taught it.

Does anyone here know what prices are offered on Ambergris Caye for legitimate PADI Open Water certification?
Posted By: McLovin

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 07:05 PM

I am glad you brought this up. When I was there in Feb. I checked around and most of the prices I saw were around the $425 figure and I couldn't understand why it was so high. I live in Oklahoma and the shops here charge about $250us for the entire program.I never understood and no one could explain why it was so expensive. I think the $300 charge is more inline with what it should be. I usually have my people get certified at home for this very reason, but I would much rather have them do it there instead of our crappy lakes with 2 feet vis. I mean wouldn't it be better to teach 10 people at 300 than 2 at 425?
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 07:20 PM

Peter if you have a complaint like that i think your obligated as a PADI member to report it.
PADI Members must report in writing all violations of PADI Standards that they witness personally. Use this form
to report only firsthand accounts of PADI Training Standards violations do not report rumors or supposition. Be specific
and provide as much detail as possible.

http://www.thailand-divers.com/images/pdfs/PADI/English/General_forms/12.pdf
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 07:41 PM

McLovin, about the pricing.
In the States and Canada dive shops sell retail to the students all along the certification path. Some make such a profit on the retailing of new equipment to students they can practically give the course away. Here in the Caribbean we include everything and don't retail the student at all.
If the course is taught like my shop does (and most do) the training dives alone are worth $255.usd.
Thats the price you would pay if you where certified and just went as a certified diver to the same dive locations where the student is doing their training dives.
Add the rental for regulator, BCD, and mask snorkel fins for three days and thats another 180.usd.
Then include the price of a photoID card and the Book, the $475.usd for a course that includes everything is cheap.
Most of the students getting certified here just said No' to the option of doing their training dives in a cold quarry or murky local lake at home and opted to do it in the warm beautiful Carribean Sea instead.
But thats just my opinion :-)
Posted By: CarlosCabanas

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 09:03 PM

Elbert... stop stealing my opinions! We charge $475 at TBR. However I usually suggest that students take an even more expensive route(and we make less!)! Take the course at home and do the referral dives here. Why study on vacation and why dive in cold murky water! The best of both worlds!

Carlos
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 09:12 PM

I agree the 'study on vacation' isn't fun.
Posted By: CarlosCabanas

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 09:29 PM

It also means that it has more time to sink in and less is thrown at them at once. More fun and better results/safer divers!
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 06/30/10 11:05 PM

Elbert - I have asked the student involved to complain to PADI but AFAIK he hasn't done so. I don't think my connection is close enough for PADI to accept my complaint - I think it should be, but I know how they operate and I suspect they'll dismiss my letter as "hearsay".
Posted By: Gaz Cooper

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 05:38 AM

I am not on the island however this seems to be more of a common problem as I am aware of one Instructor already on Padi suspension for doing the same thing so seems its not the first time this has happened in the very recent timeline.

What students tend to forget when they see a certification course advertised in the states is it usually includes the full certification (in wording) but excludes the open water dives which they do on special weekend trips to an open water location.

Many dive shops dont have the open water near to there shop and needs to travel to complete the open water dives.

Peter if you do nothing then nothing will change if you do what you are OBLIGATED to do by Padi standards then that letter will be on file for that Instructor and should it happen again there will be a track record.

If it was me I would follow standards no matter which shop it was or Instructor as it just cost you $2400 bucks.

Another plus for getting people pre booked rather than just telling them to arrive and go shopping using everyone against each other.

This is the problem with no unity and it being so quiet, Peter undercut the advertised rate and in turn got undercut himself if everyone stuck with the normal Comm allowed and used that as a standard max discount in the price they would not be the playing on business's against each other but in these hard times its impossible to address.

$425 is not expensive for a full OW Scuba Certification Course if it is conducted in the correct manner, and with a good Instructor.

Many US dive shops use different marketing ploys to get you in the door with low advertised prices, and as Elbert say they make up the price of the course on other things, for example many Dive shops require divers (in small print) to purchase Mask Fins and Snorkel prior to the start of the course, that alone will tack on $150 additional to any advertised price.

Peter unless you wish to continue to be undercut and not only that but someone who is not even a DM (in your words) is training divers which as you know is dangerous its your responsibility to report what you know to Padi should you choose not to not only will you be breaking PAdi Standards but if something tragic happens then I am sure that is not something that you would want to live with that you could of stopped it.

Gaz
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 05:57 AM

DELETED BY MARTY

IF even half of what he claims is true, he can have the operation shut down today - it need not an internet fiasco.
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 06:02 AM

Originally Posted by McLovin
I live in Oklahoma and the shops here charge about $250us for the entire program


I would suspect that what Gaz said would apply here, in that the dives wouldn't be included in that cost. In Britain it's not uncommon for inland dive centers to quote seemingly low prices for their courses, but then say that "of course" the dives are extra. Either that, or the dives are held in a local lake with minimal costs.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 01:46 PM

Just a little fyi for everyone, PADI is never concerned with dollars in a standards issue. If a complaint is filed cost paid or unpaid, high or low are never a consideration.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 04:10 PM

WHY THE HELL DOES NO ONE DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS IF TRUE, OR ARE YOU GOING TO WAIT TILL SOMEBODY GETS KILLED?
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 04:14 PM

Inplub,
The system doesn't work on rumors and suppositions...
unlike the message board :-)
Posted By: McLovin

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 04:25 PM

thanks for all the replies to my question guys.But I know for a fact that the 225-250 amount includes training, equipment and dives at the lake, I have had about 15 people do it and I know the shop owners personally. Yes they do try to get them to buy equipment with offers like 15% off if you buy when you get certified but it is not required. I know these prices are also good in Kansas City, Dallas and Oklahoma City. Most shops around here have classes every week with 4-8 people at a time. Maybe volume allows them to charge less? Don't get me wrong your prices are not any higher than other places I have been. Mexico Fiji Tahiti and less than some. I guess my point was if the dive shop wanted to use the lessons as a money maker I would charge less but I am sure it is more profitable to concentrate on the divers who are already certified.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 04:38 PM

It is not Rocket Science to find out if this information is true or not, someone has to go into the office's and find out before it is to late, or are you all going to wait till someone dies?
Posted By: Gaz Cooper

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 04:44 PM

Mclovin

Yes it would have to be volume to be able to do it so cheaply

When a dive shop in the US markets to a student and then certifies him, the shop is not looking at a one shot deal as that student, once certified will buy dive equipment, dive trips, service there dive equipment purchase dive holidays etc etc.

They have not just certified a diver they have gained a long term customer that will purchase from them time and time again.

They can afford to subsudize certifications to entice people in with low certification prices knowing that that customer will need to buy dive equipement, and that they will become a long term purchaser of there goods and services.

Its a totally different business model compared to a vacation destination who only sees that customer once.

Another thing is with volume of students, some dive shops in the US can afford to employ a full time instructor and make money off him certifying volumes of students where as in the vacation enviroment, the numbers of certifications are much less, its just 1 or 2 students at a time and on a real good day maybe 4.

Instructors are Professionals that have gone through extensive expensive training, and if they take one student over a 4 day period and get paid probably less that 50% of the amount charged, when you divide that to an hourly wage, in many cases with just one student they are working at less than min wage based on the hours they will have put in to that student.

Of course if a vacation instructor was doing consistently 8 students a week, it would be nice, but its just not realistic in Belize.

Belize also has higher costs associated with instructions for example right off the top of that price is GST 12.5% then there is 3% Business tax then the dive shop wants paying for dive equipment $20 a day then the dive shop wants to be paid for 2 days diving $150 then there is the certification card fee then the Padi Manual cost plus any commission paid.

When US shops subsidize they know they will have lots more opportunitys of after sales.

Your never going to get rich as an instructor but the lifestyle can be great I can attest to that smile.

Gaz



Posted By: Gaz Cooper

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 05:00 PM

Originally Posted by Inplub
It is not Rocket Science to find out if this information is true or not, someone has to go into the office's and find out before it is to late, or are you all going to wait till someone dies?


Only Peter knows the details of who it is so really the balls in his court to do something about his information.

At this point its only a rumor as Elbert says, but if true could do all sorts of damage if anything happens to a student.

Gaz
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 06:44 PM

I see what Peter's point is with regard to the way the complaint form is drafted - what he could do to put the ball in PADI's court is to make and submit a written, signed and notarized sworn affidavit of the facts as he knows them - he saw the certificate and he believes the shop and master and 'instructor' are so and so, and he can provide the student's name so that PADI can investigate it. It is scary that happened.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 06:53 PM

Will the students certificate be canceled and would that mean he/she would then loose his/her money?


I came across this today. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/184085/Scuba-girl-drowns-after-dive-crew-forgets-her
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 07:04 PM

Seems to me that if the certificate is revoked by PADI the student would have recourse against the dive shop/dive master. It is important for students to know the qualifications of any dive instructor - a due diligence review of the instructor's official ID and certificates, etc. and confirmation from PADI that the instructor is in good standing, etc. is in order when engaging in one of the coolest, but fairly risky, sports.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/01/10 07:15 PM

With you 100%.
Posted By: Cayemen

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 05:50 AM



The operator of Sky Danker, witch forgot the Girl in the water is the same as the one with Wave Dancer that sunk in Belize and people get killed.

The company, Dancer Fleet, has one of the worst safety record is PADI certified and also operates here in Belize
Posted By: Gaz Cooper

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 08:15 AM

.

With regards to the Dancer Fleet

The company has been recently aquired and is under new ownership and Peter Hughs no longer has any holdings in The Dancer Fleet anymore. It is now owned by the same people that own the Aggressor Fleet.

Gaz
Posted By: Sally1

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 02:56 PM


[/quote] I came across this today. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/184085/Scuba-girl-drowns-after-dive-crew-forgets-her [/quote]

You know, this story really underlines the importance of using a top notch scuba operation for your dives, no matter how experienced you are. The savings people think they're saving with going with less than the best isn't worth it.

I recently read something about every accident being made up of at least 3 bad decisions- This lady's first was her choice of dive operators, her second was diving when she was sick, and her third, the fatal one, was not sticking with her dive buddy. But choosing a good dive operation, as this story shows, could mean the difference between life and death.

Not to change the thread but it sounds from this story that this woman was sick under water, which I understood to mean that she might have been sick to her stomach. I always thought that if you have to vomit, just vomit right thru the regulator. Never take that regulator out of your mouth. The upside is that you will attract lots of fish. Is that correct all you dive masters out there?
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 03:12 PM

That woman was diving in the Galapagos Islands.
Its a silly sensationalized news story and I can't see how it has much relevance to what goes on in this part of the world or what were talking about on this thread.
Diving is a safe sport and we have a good diving community.
Every profession has its dangerous idiots and jerks like the one Peter was pointing out, even real-estate.
Posted By: Sally1

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 03:20 PM

Elbert, diving is safe when done safely with qualified professionals. IMO a diver's training to get certified is just as important, or more so, in a diver being able to dive safely.

That's really what my point was I guess. I'm a relative newbie to the sport, but that much I know.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 03:32 PM

If the JERKS are not named and shamed people will keep diving with them until someone DIES, no mater where you dive the Galapagos or Belize. These cowboys have to be stopped.
Posted By: elbert

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 03:45 PM

Tell Peter that , he's the only one that has anything to report!
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 04:00 PM

I believe Peter said he is collecting the evidence he needs to make the report to PADI, but Marty or someone deleted that post. What's up with that anyhow?
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 04:41 PM

I would tell Peter that, but I have been told he is now been banned from this board.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Scuba diving - cost of certification - 07/02/10 04:58 PM

yep . he called me a bigoted blah blah blah said i was trying to censor the board to protect my clients, and i have no idea who he is even after. they might be a client, might not be. but that is sure not the reason i deleted his random scattershots.

he is a very negative person. many tire of reading it.

"these cowboys that have to be stopped" probably don't exist.
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