Why Does it Cost so Much to Service an EPIRB?

Distress beacons can lead to distress purchases

“Don’t let your distress beacon lead you to a distress purchase.” Peter Forey, Sartech
 The cost of getting the original manufacturer to service an EPIRB is being kept artificially high in a bid to get owners to buy a new one, – says Peter Forey of Sartech an independent specialist in search and rescue technology, has compared market prices to try and establish why original manufacturers charge over the odds to repair your EPIRB.
“Ever wondered why it costs so much to get your EPIRB serviced? Simple, the original manufacturers are trying to convince you to buy their latest product” he says. “Replace or Repair is a bit of a conundrum for EPIRB owners.  The more expensive manufacturers make it to service your old unit, the easier it becomes for customers to justify the purchase of a shiny new model. The truth of the matter is – you don’t need a new one.”
“Almost all of the units that we see at our facility can be returned to perfect working-order with a full service, giving owners five more years peace of mind. However, getting an expensive service quote from the original manufacturer can lead some owners into a distress purchase – pardon the pun – of a brand new unit.”
The headlines from one like-for-like price comparison are;
Much lower cost for a complete service
Faster turnaround time (while-you-wait compared to 10 working days)
Full 5-year warranty (compared to 12-month labour warranty and 5-year battery warranty).
Full Service for a EPIRB at Sartech includes:
  • Unit tested for operation and to establish any faults
  • Stripped down, perishable items, o-rings, seals and old battery are discarded
  • Rebuilt with a new battery, seals and o-rings
  • Immersion test to verify that all seals are watertight
  • Activated in a test chamber, radio outputs monitored and recorded to ensure correct operation
  • Internal GPS receiver checked to verify that correct location is transmitted
  • External items checked; water switch, lanyard, data labels updated and tamper seals replaced
  • Check owner registration with UK EPIRB Register
  • Warranty – Serviced unit gets a 5-year warranty on both the labour and the battery
  • Turnaround – Within 1 week, service can be done while-you-wait if you call in advance

£183.33 + VAT (£220.00)
Return postage £11 + VAT (£13.20)
All in Price = £233.20 which is £109.63 less than the manufacturers price