Did PADI Keep Money And Not Issue Certifications?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is a consumer alert involving PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and a Jacksonville company that teaches people to dive.

According to the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida, as many as 180 people who paid hundreds of dollars through what they believed to be PADI and Groupon to take scuba lessons at Scuba Lessons Jax allegedly haven’t received their certification cards.

The warning comes after numerous complaints from customers poured in to the BBB about the alleged PADI/Scuba Lessons Jax deal.

Matt Hayes said he was looking for affordable scuba lessons and found PADI – Scuba Lessons Jax on Google.

“It was more affordable than the rest and there was no fee to rent gear,” Hayes said.

Hayes is now frustrated because he, like so many others, is complaining about not being able to get his diver’s certification card from PADI.

“They informed us after we passed the class, which was the weekend of Dec. 3, 2016, that it (certification card from PADI) would take three to four weeks to get to us, and it’s now March of 2017. What happened? I don’t know. I reached out to them at the end of January and could not get ahold of them, could not get ahold of the owner,” Hayes said.

But Hayes never got his card and is now out $399.

“If I could resolve this, I would like a refund or get my certification so I can be certified officially,” Hayes said.  It sounds like PADI needs to step up and either issue the certifications or help get Mr. Hayes and others their due refund.

PADI may have dropped the ball in issuing these certification cards as it can take a while for them to process c-cards when they are busy.  Also, PADI has supposedly gone through an ownership change not too long ago.  Maybe PADI’s systems are not as well functioning as they were before the ownership change?

Scuba Lessons Jax’s website is down for maintenance at the time of this article submission.  While searching Google for that website, we found this…

http://www.scubatampa.com/padi_sucks.html

https://www.change.org/p/padi-replace-cheryl-gilmore-or-have-her-examined

https://www.facebook.com/PADISux

https://padi.com

 

 

 

 

Underwater VR Scuba

Pros: Simple and easy introduction to VR, eye-catching, immersion is passive but enjoyable, no nausea

Cons: Just three scuba diving “experiences,” all relatively the same, only iOS, needs more sea life variety, graphics could be better

VR Scuba Diving is a virtual reality app by Lime Works, LLC and is part of the growing wave of VR apps popping up on the scene. Luckily for those new to VR like myself the app can be used with or without headgear (I tried both ways) so all can take part in the experience.

After downloading the app from the App Store, there will be a two information screens showcasing which Google Cardboard headset works with the app. From there, tap “PLAY” to get to the actual game which brings up three “experience” options. The Taiwan Experience, Green Island Experience, and Wakatobi Indonesia.

You can choose to view these settings in fullscreen (image one) or through the Default Cardboard vision (image two). If you don’t have a VR headset, you can use the fullscreen method for a 360 VR experience. Those with a headset will use the latter. (PHOTOS 5 & 6 INSERTED HERE)

Taiwan Experience

After launching this experience, I literally laid in my bed just like, “Wow.” There are fish swimming around, colorful coral reefs, and your fellow scuba divers linger around you as silent companions (see below). The background music is generic but not distracting. The visuals will keep you entertained enough to forego the “soundtrack.”

Green Island Experience

The Green Island Experience was just as beautiful and relaxing—but it looks exactly the same as the Taiwan Experience. I found myself becoming disinterested quickly as I realized there wouldn’t be much difference between the two. There was nothing strikingly distinctive that made me feel they were unique from one another. Yet, the visuals were still enjoyable.

Wakatobi, Indonesia

Wakatobi was probably the most enjoyable experience. While much shorter than the previous two, the visual content in this experience was more rich. You swim with water snakes, colorful coral fish, and reefs. Unfortunately, you’re quickly taken out the experience by a title screen and then dropped back in to the beginning of the experience randomly. But I appreciated the different scenery.

All in all, VR Scuba is less a game and more of an experience. It’s fun but passive, as there isn’t much to do. The app is certainly acceptable for ages but I would steer this more towards kids as it would likely keep them entertained longer.

-Alexis Williams is a senior at New York University, who writes frequently about culture, film and Millennials of color.

https://youtu.be/TcEiSV34FRQ

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