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MKVI to SE7EN Upgrades Q&A

MKVI to SE7EN Upgrades Q&A  MKVI-SE7EN-Arrow-700

 

MKVI to SE7EN Upgrades 

 

There have been a lot of questions about the upgrade process and offer from the Poseidon MKVI to the SE7EN. The general reception has been positive, but there’s also been some frustration and misunderstanding, too, so I thought it would be a good idea to answer a few of the points that we’re seeing on email and social media.

 

 

Q – You promised that we would be able to upgrade the MKVI to the new Tech unit with full functionality without spending more than you would to buy the Tech

We’ve heard this comment from a few people. For the record, we officially promised only the first part – that you would be able to upgrade the MKVI to the Tech – and we’ve delivered on this promise. We also promised that buying a MKVI and upgrading to the Tech would not cost more than buying a Tech itself. This second promise is understandably confusing people because we never launched the Tech.

OK, so let’s talk about the Tech for a moment…

The Poseidon Tech was never launched as a product on sale because of market feedback and because of that, we never set a price for it. This lack of launch and price is the root of the pricing issue that some are mentioning and we understand that. So let’s look at this. Why didn’t we launch the Tech? Three key things came as feedback to us during RF3 and afterwards from our MKVI owners:

  1. They loved the Dive-by-Wire and 2:1 Rebreather functionality and that we had to deliver these

  2. They thought it was too big and heavy (they loved how compact and light the MKVI is)

  3. We knew that the Tech would be rather expensive and MKVI owners thought that the top-end functionality would only be used by a very few rebreather divers, so the Tech would be over the top for most divers, even if they loved its looks, and too expensive for them as a result of all the technology.

So what happened after RF3? Well, we listened to our customers and the end result is the POSEIDON SE7EN, which took all the learning from the Tech and will deliver all the functionality as we develop various accessories.

Thanks for listening to the background on the Tech, because it’s important in the context of the promises that I talked about earlier. We’ve delivered on our commitment to enable every MKVI diver to upgrade to the SE7EN. In terms of price, we’ve made this as inexpensive as we possibly can. The pricing we’re offering on the e-module (only) upgrade costs us money for every single MKVI owner that takes advantage of the upgrade. There isn’t a direct price comparison with buying a Tech because we never launched it.

We’ve given people the ability to have, effectively, all the high-tech parts of a brand new rebreather at a fraction of the cost, and at a financial loss to us. We care enormously about customer support. How many other companies bring out a new product and enable loss-making upgrades for their existing customers? It’s a rarity, that’s for sure!

The fundamental issue regarding price – while we understand that it still isn’t low cost, despite our best efforts – is that it seems that there’s an expectation from some that the breakthrough technology we’ve developed in the SE7EN can somehow be delivered at a price point somewhere between cheap and not very much more. Unfortunately, breakthrough technology and cheap don’t work together. We’ve gone for breakthrough and we’re trying to make the price as accessible as possible.

We realize that this won’t sit perfectly with everybody, but we hope that at least you can understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

 

 

Q – I’ve just upgraded my MKVI for 60M rating. Didn’t I just waste my money?

Most of the cost of the upgrade went into the new battery and the manual addition technical counter-lungs (about 2/3 of the cost). The battery and counter-lungs are needed with the SE7EN so you’d have to buy those anyway. Anyone who upgraded their MKVI to 60M and wants to upgrade to the SE7EN will get the G7 mouthpiece upgrade free of charge and if they have achieved the appropriate training certification, we will exchange their 60M battery for a Deep Battery free of charge. That’s roughly a $1,000 credit for those who did the 60M Upgrade so it was money well spent.

Those who did do the 60M upgrade, but don’t want to upgrade to the SE7EN, will obviously have a fully functional and supported MKVI with 60M rating.

 

 

Q – How can instructors promote, sell or teach on an obsolete product?

The first critical point here is that the MKVI is not obsolete. We’re still selling it (rather successfully) and it’s in the 2014 price list. Yes it was launched a couple of years ago, but it’s fully supported and the best rebreather in the world, excluding the SE7EN. Generally speaking, instructors do not teach on brand new regulators, or in brand new, current season wetsuits. The critical piece is that you can teach someone on the MKVI and they can buy a SE7EN. Alternatively, they can learn on a SE7EN and then rent or buy a MKVI, if that suits their budget better. This seamless transition is something we put a lot of time into and will likely become the norm for rebreathers, just like it is for open circuit today.

 

 

Q – I cannot afford to invest further into my MKVI units to continue to be a rebreather instructor

You don’t have to! Your MKVI’s can be used to instruct anyone, either onto a SE7EN or a MKVI. What might be a sensible option is to upgrade one of them so that you’ve got the latest kit for yourself, or a particular student. You really don’t need to upgrade all 3, or even 1. But you can, if you want.

 

 

Q – MKVI’s will be dumped on the market ruining the rebreather business with lack of price control

In any industry, it’s impossible to control price on pre-owned items. However, by taking back MKVI e-modules as part of the upgrade process, we are certainly helping maintain pricing in the pre-owned marketplace. Nobody is going to “give away” their MKVI at a very low price; it makes no sense. The MKVI remains a highly advanced rebreather, packed with great technology.

The other thing that’s worth bearing in mind, is that we’re still selling MKVI’s to dive centers - albeit with a post-SE7EN launch discount - so that they can increase their rental pool. It makes sense for them financially to do this.

 

Fundamentally, we’ve lived up to our promise to deliver on an upgrade path. We realize that this upgrade path is not inexpensive and that’s why we’re offering to take a loss on every single e-module only upgrade. It feels very much like everybody wants progress, so long as it doesn’t cost much.

And that’s really the point. In fact, it’s two points. The first is that real progress, which the SE7EN represents, doesn’t come cheap. The second is that while the upgrade is desirable, it is not necessary. The MKVI is a great machine and we have ensured that Poseidon’s progress has not stopped instructors or divers using the MKVI in relation to the SE7EN. We’ve made a loss-making upgrade offer. This is unparalleled in almost any industry. 

 

In writing this, I hope that the silent majority will better understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. For anyone who wants any further information, please contact me directly at james.roberton@poseidon.com. I’ll answer you personally and will update this blog with your questions and our answers.

 

James Roberton

President

Poseidon Diving Systems, Inc.