from 3 reviews
PADI Dive Center
Los Gigantes Diving Centre
Calle Poblado Marinero
Galeria de la marina Local N
29th December 2010 by ConcernedConsumer
Breach of Contract- Beware!
Visit Date: November 2010
To cut a long story short, I have recently had to raise proceedings against them in Court using the European Small Claims Procedure to attempt to recover sums owed to me by the dive centre.
My partner and I booked a PADI Open Water Diver course with Los Gigantes Dive Centre. We paid 660 Euros. For reasons set out below, we requested that we discontinue the course for a partial refund. The Dive centre agreed (verbally and in writing) and promised to repay us a partial refund via paypal. After many excuses and delay, they later told us that they had decided not to pay the refund that was agreed.
(1) Breach of Contract
Had I known no refund would be paid, I would have continued the course (though my partner would have had to sit it out). We offered to forgo the remaining services owed to us in exchange for a partial refund. The dive centre then offered us a refund of 280 Euros, which we accepted in good faith. We were paid 80 Euros in cash and promised the remainder via paypal. This was confirmed in writing in 3 separate places: text message, receipt, and e-mail. There is no question that it was a binding agreement. The Dive Centre are blatently in breach of this by failing to make payment.
In short, the course we received did not bear any similarity to the PADI description of the course (completing five pool dives and five knowledge development sessions and by making four open water dives) and the description of the course on the Dive Centre's website.
On arrival, we clarified that my partner had no previous dive experience and that I had done a 2 try dives, though the most recent one was over 6 years previously. Our first experience in the water was performing a reverse roll out of the boat into the open water. For both of us, and in particular my partner who is not a strong swimmer and is not that confident in the water, falling backwards into the sea without any previous pool practice was very disorienting. My partner had a mild panic attack as a result. We both suffered pain attempting to equalise and my partner burst a blood vessel in his nose, causing a very heavy nose bleed. Furthermore afterwards, our ears were completely blocked (and were so for over a week afterwards).
Also, the instructed was very rude and clearly had little patience for complete beginners. My partner was, to be fair, a bit rubbish in the water (though had we been taught in the proper order then I am sure he would have been fine). Rather than be understanding or encouraging, Sheila (our tutor) was very condensecending towards him and described his style (in front of an audience) as "the way a baby moves its legs when you are trying to change its nappy". We were both quite shocked that she would humiliate him like this in front of all those people.
In short, we did not feel the course was being taught in the proper order, that the burst blood vessel indicated a problem with equalisation (for my partner) and that our tutor was not a person we wanted to spend our holiday with. For these reasons we requested the partial refund.
To be fair (and other reviews reflect this) this centre may be fine for certified divers for a day trip but in any event- do not trust them - they will go back on an agreement if it suits their purposes.
Quick Summary of events The people who wrote this review did not start an Open Water Course. They arrived in Tenerife totally unprepared. They had not completed their home study, and didn't even bring all their student materials with them. All we could do was take them on a Try - a- Dive until they had caught up with the theory. In the water one of the students would not listen to what he was told or take notice of demonstrations on basic fining technique. A whole day was taken up and no objectives were achieved. Staff were employed, to cover their course, and places on the boat had been reserved.
We did everything possible to help these clients. An account of their experiences on this site has been grossly twisted by them. Read my full answer below for the full true facts. Full answer To non divers the nearest comparison to a diving course is learning to drive a car. You pay for your tuition but you earn your qualification. Giving a diver a qualification, when he is unable to meet the performance requirements, which would put him and others at risk is not something I would ever consider, similarly no driving examiner would pass someone who was unable to complete the practical and theory parts of a driving test. Turn up for your exam without learning the Highway Code - well I think you would fail - and then you ask for a refund!!!!!! Hmmmm A and B contacted our dive centre for a PADI Open Water course.
As we had a special offer on at the time they went for the Course buddy pack, both complete the course together as a buddy pair and they would save Euros 100. They sent their deposit and by return student kits with home study instructions were sent to them well in advance of their course. Their holiday was only for 1 week, so by completing all 5 modules and all 5 knowledge reviews they would be well prepared leaving the fun part, the diving, to complete in the time. So far so good.
A and B arrived they checked in and paid the balance, which is a requirement for the special deal. We were all prepared to commence with the confined water skills (PADI guidelines state - confined water is sheltered, shallow water - not necessarily a pool) but before we could start they needed to complete a medical declaring they were fit for diving, and I would need to go through their completed knowledge reviews with them as they have to understand the theory before we start the practical. First disaster - not only had they not watched the video which was included in the student kits, they hadn't done any reading either and had not completed any knowledge reviews, and even worse they hadn't even brought s their log books which were needed to log their dives(an essential part of their certification)!!!!! How did they expect to do the course, did they expect to buy their qualification I wondered, they weren't prepared,
I couldn't start the course. We had to change plans. To politely get over a tricky situation and not upset our clients we shuffled thing round to take them on a basic Try-a-Dive to get them started. No previous experience or reading was necessary. (Had I known then what I know now I should have sent them away and told them not to come back until they had completed the required reading) Great everyone was happy it would mean scheduling extra sessions for them, but to keep the customer happy you often have to jump through hoops.
We kitted them up, gave the standard brief and off we went to one of our training sites, (a sheltered area beneath the famous cliffs of los Gigantes, which passes all PADI guidelines) 2 students to 1 instructor, also well within the guidelines. The standard and easiest entry is a backward roll into the water, if anyone doesn't like the idea they can slide in feet first assisted by our skipper - who is on our boat at all times whilst divers are down.
The report from these people says that one of them had a panic attack - if he had suffered a panic attack in the water he would have been brought out immediately by me as he would have been a danger to himself as well as his partner. He was ok, a bit nervous, which is to be expected, but he was happy to stay in the water. A and B had both been given the standard briefing, very important stay together and stay with me, they were told how to equalise, gently not forcibly, and if they had a problem halt their decent wait try again, if they had problems to let me know. Etc, etc. Had they read their manuals, as they were instructed, the information was there too.
Diver A had dived before and was doing OK but it was a different story for B. Students make mistakes, get it wrong, we identify the problem, tell the student, suggest ways to improve, student listens tries again and they eventually achieve all objectives (in 99.9% of cases). Not so for B. He was in a world of his own taking absolutely no notice of what he was being told. I lost count of the number of times I explained how to fin correctly. Poor A was getting rather bored of getting nowhere because I was spending all my time telling B over and over again what to do, as a result she kept fining off ( rather dangerous) but as teaching is performance based we have to work at the pace of the slowest, diver B in this case. Our depth barely reached 2 metres because of the problems.
As for the nose bleed - we all have very fine veins running across the inside of our nose. Should we equalise too forcibly (which is warned about in a standard brief) then a slight nose bleed can occur, generally at the end of a dive when you are ascending. A situation which most divers will have experienced at some time, it generally does not stop a diver from diving again in the same day. His nose bleed was slight, certainly not heavy as stated, and as he willingly wanted to try again in the afternoon it couldn't have been that much of a problem to him. To try to solve their problems we planned another Try - a - Dive in the afternoon but this time I would put A with another instructor so I could spend all the time working with B trying to improve his fining technique - that normally solves the problem and I wouldn't charge them any extra even though I would have to pay the other instructor. Try - a - dive 2.
Both did text book entries into the water - well done, no problems. Diver A was taken for a very shallow 2nd try a dive with another instructor, no skills were taught as they had not read their book. It was not so for B, we spent a good half hour in no more than 2 metres, but he still wouldn't listen or take notice of the countless demonstrations on fining technique, we were still no further forward.
In the debrief two very experienced Master Instructors and a divemaster chatted with him, all offering constructive advise. If he had listened instead of taking it as an insult, and twisting the advice, he might have achieved something. We want our students to be a success not a failure. So we now had an even bigger problem. Day 1 over, nothing achieved, they had still not even started their course, it was a Saturday we close on Sundays.
I suggested that I would come in on the Sunday and work with B on a one to one basis with no others around. Again I would not charge extra, it was more important to provide good customer service. They agreed and I changed all my Sunday plans, my other half was not too pleased. Thinking ahead that this guy would probably need 1 to 1 instruction for the remainder of the course to get him through I called another instructor to help out Mon - Wed. The instructor put his other work aside to assist and we agreed on 3 days pay - still no extra charge to the clients. All was planned, I'd better have an early night as it was work again tomorrow. Just getting ready for bed my phone went, it was a text - who on earth is that at this time of night? It was B. "It's too much work to get through in the time we have left and A won't do it without me, we want to cancel the course and by the way can we have a refund" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No work tomorrow I need a drink now!
Next morning I called to cancel the instructor I had booked, he was furious with me as he had rearranged his week. I had to still pay him. The unused log books were returned to me and as I didn't have to pay certification fees to PADI they were refunded Euros 40 each. At no time was and PADI standards and guidelines violated, these two declared themselves medically fit to dive, if they forcibly equalised to make their ears uncomfortable then they were not listening to what they were told.
Our staff did everything in their power to help these 2 student divers and the damaging report they have made is very unfair.
28th October 2010 by HippoVince
Went back - must be good!
Visit Date: October 2009
Great small and friendly dive centre - all boat diving from small fishing boat - little lugging of gear. Friendly and professional. Plentiful stingrays and the ray feeidng dive is great.
12th October 2008 by AnneBuchan
Los Gigantes diving
Visit Date: January 2007
This was my first time in Tenerife, and had a fantastic week of diving.
Neville and his sister Sheila were very hospitable, and took me to some great sites. The stingray feed dive was absolutely incredible.
Visibility was great, life was fantastic, and every dive was well briefed and well guided. I felt completely safe in their hands (unlike some of the horror stories you hear), and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. So much so, I'm going back this year.
I would highly recommend this dive centre to anyone. And if you have a non-diving family, bring them too. You're away from the rowdy side of the Brit holiday type, and in a beautiful, scenic setting. Enjoy.