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Rich Stern

Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2000
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Hello, everyone.

I wanted to say a few words (ok, more than a few) about what's happened in the last few days at this web site and give you my take on the ramifications. I beg your indulgence for the length of this, because, at the end of my long-windedness, I want your input.

I am disappointed in the lack of decorum shown in various threads this past week. It has happened in numerous forms, some subtle, some blatant. The bottom line is that people have been forgetting rule number one, our golden rule, which is treating everyone with respect. It only takes a few steps down the wrong path before we are lost. Remind yourself of this by visiting some of the other bass fishing sites and reading some of the less flattering interchanges that take place.

This web site, through diligence, consistency, and a nearly religious sense of etiquette on the part of all participants, won a position of minor, yet important influence in the world of Tracker and Nitro boats. Visiting many other sites, I see references, referring a person with a question about Tracker and Nitro products to this site. Not to a dealer. Not to Tracker Marine. To us. The owners. The members. We earned respect for being helpful, rational, and reasonable.

Through all of this, Tracker Marine has paid increasing attention to the content of this web site. Our collective voice was not only being heard, but also received with a degree of appreciation for the value of the information we exchange and the value delivered to the owners and future owners we are aiding. A major accomplishment.

If you've ever worked for a big company that sells products to many thousands of customers, you know that those companies set up mechanisms (dealers, distribution channels, retail relationships, etc.) to isolate much of the company from the issues of the end consumer. It's a natural and often necessary response to getting big. Try calling your automobile manufacturer's corporate headquarters with a specific question about your car. You'll quickly find out that the walls are high, the razor wire is sharp, and the guards are heavily armed. They don't call it the ivory tower by accident. And, in case you hadn't noticed, very few companies of any size are willing to have direct interaction with the general public via the Internet. It's still the Wild West out here, and established companies don't like the unpredictability of the frontier.

Tracker opened the gate for us a bit. They were listening from behind the wall, and recently, even started answering back. We were asked for input on issues important to present and future owners. That was a huge, positive step that will benefit many. Eighteen months ago, who would have guessed that could happen when just a handful of us were getting together to support one another?

Cool stuff, huh? I think we all thought so.

And now, here's the bad news: In the course of just a few days, we've lost most, or possibly all, of the goodwill that allowed those accomplishments to happen. Gone.

Right now, this web site is a source of pain for Tracker Marine. The word "corporate" has at its root <I>corpor</I>, from the Latin word corpus, which means body. What does a body, either an individual or group, do when it suffers pain? It instinctively seeks to stop or at least to minimize the pain. It is as predictable as sunrise and sunset that Tracker Marine is considering how to minimize pain it currently suffers here. I would if I were in their shoes. They have people to answer to regarding goals for sales and profits. They have a context for achieving those goals. Engaging in a shouting match with any of us is about as far away from being useful to those goals as any Tracker employee could possibly get. They don't need to do it, they shouldn't do it, they won't do it.

I am not saying that people don't have legitimate gripes about warranty or se
Rich, You are a wise man. This was a sight that I couldn't wait to read everyday and would post often. Lately I find my self just cruising thru and posting less.

I'll vote yes on question #1.

Now my youngest just woke up. It's time to go fishing!!!

Rich, I too vote for #1, I started visiting this site to find informative information concerning my Nitro. Here's hoping that we can come together on this issues that Rich's has a concern over. The guy put's alot of effort into this web site for our enjoyment. Let's respect his wish's. Thanks..
Rich, I too vote for #1 and support your effort to keep the site as constructive as possible.
Rich, you know where I stand. We've already discussed it.

Put me down for #1.

Finding this site has helped me more then any other site I've gone too. I read it every day, some

times I miss one, but I try to keep up. When I first was looking for a Tracker (never even looked

at anything else), I was worried that the dealer wouldnt be able to help much from what I heard

from others who have gone to them but I feel I should judge for my self.

Ive gotten more help, learned more, from this site then my dealer. That is NOT to say it's Trackers

fault. Selling boats is like selling cars, sales men are there to make a deal and get paid.

When I have a problem, I come here first. If I have a need to post about a problem, I try to post it

in a neutral way best I can. I see there is a "Dealer Report Card" page. I have yet to go there but

being in the "service" related buisness, I know how coustomers feel sometimes.

I hope I don't see this site stop, I'd be lost.

Too bad other companys dont have this luxury, to have owners who have a site to go to for help.

Im sure some do, but its gotta be a great way to make things better. To hear owners.

I hope option one is voted on most Rich. Its what I vote for.

I sincerely hope that this same vote is being taken in the Executive Offices at Tracker regarding their position.......

I think we all want to be able to believe and trust in them fully.........

Rich , There is lots of information all over the internet, but the reason I visit this

site daily is because I like good and usefull information, especially when its

handed out by people who sincerely want to help you and make your Tracker/Nitro

owning a more pleasant experience. I don't post alot, but feel like I know many members

personally just from reading all the messages they post. I believe we have a good thing going here

that Tracker Marine and all of us will continue to benefit from all the good stuff which

is generated at this site! Mike L.
Excellent point Rich,'ve worked your butt off the last couple years to make this site what it is, excellent place to get "owners" opinions and experiences using Tracker's products. It will ALWAYS be that way regardless if the company chooses to participate or not. I really think all the fun we had the past couple weeks with the posts and the various replies (and Doug's position in all of this) has gotten blown waaaayy out of proportion. I knew it was getting carried away when the names started getting thrown out and "invitations" extended. Keep in mind, as fun as it was to all of us who were in on it from the start, we were aware of the entire thread and it was all a huge joke...all started in harmless fun. It snow balled and feathers got ruffled....someone was offended and it had to be acted upon. It's over, it's been dealt with both here on this site and at Tracker's offices. I think we should all just forget it, and move on...just my opinion.

This site will only get better as it get's more widely known and respected, and it will continue to fill the "void" that sometimes happens between customers and dealers. We can all do our part by keeping the posts as positive and professional as possible, albeit a little humor is often necessary, depending on the situation! Let's just keep'em clean and get back to work,...this is by far, the BEST owner's site on the none; and I plan on doing my part to keep it that way!! Have a great sunday everyone,'s a beautiful day in Michigan, and I'll be at the drawing board all day sunday!! work,,!

Regards everyone!!

Rich, well stated, I to agree with you. I also would like to see the website back to the way it once was. I enjoy reading everybody's post daily. I find this site the most informative and helpful site around. I hope that it stays that way. I understand peoples dilemmas and frustrations. When we all spend are hard earned money on our toys, we want them and expect them to work flawlessly. Unfortunately since we all don't live in a fantasy world we all must realize that things breakdown. Even if we don't like the outcomes of some of are problems, we can all give support and encouragement on how to resolve the problems at hand. Remembering why we all come here will help us all think about how we word or comments and suggestions in the future. Rip some Lips, Rod

I also vote for #1. I found this site last year after I ordered my Nitro and have found it to be very helpful with boat ownership in general. It has also given me the opportunity to correspond with people in my area with the same interests as myself - owning a Nitro/Tracker and fishing Lake Champlain. This website is the first and last site that I check everyday when given the opportunity. I do not post everyday, but I do read the messages as it is a valuable source of information. I hope this site can go forward and retain the reason why most of us came here in the first place. Keep up the good work Rich.

Bob G.

everything i have stated was fact.anybody who wants to see the boat can anytime they want to.all i wish is someone from tracker contact me about the boat,preferably the person who made the deal.i paid good money for my boat,and want it fixed right,thats it!

everything i have posted,had no emotion in over the anger,discust,and rage everytime i look at the boat.ive plain just gotten over it,but the more and more i have to fix or replace/upgrade on it,well,you all get the picture.

do as you wish,i guess i wont post anything else here.i wont attack or defend tracker any more.guess im stuck with the boat,unless i can sell it.
Rich, Very well stated. You might not claim to know what's right, but I think you would be the one taking the heat if something did happen.

Put me down for #1.

Robert name is Huck.....and I'm a Nitro

owner....(this is where the group says in unison

"hi Huck")....let's get back to what's important

and why Rich started this board....helping out

with problems and sharing experiences...enough of

the nonsense about pontoon parties (never did read

those threads, but I guess that's the issue here)

....enough said.

Number ONE. I bought my Nitro used in Dec 1999 about the same time this site was born. I researched all the sites out there and was given such a load of useless and inaccurate information about the pros/cons of several brands that I was shopping for. This site did not help in my choice but has since been a place where I know I will get a quality answer and where I myself have helped others with problems or opinions.

The threads of late have kept me from responding because I did not want to be associated with this type of discussion. We need this board to be a place to accomplish things not to vent. In the future if we want to vent and show our displeasure we can email each other. I have my email and anyone is free to send me a message. Lets keep the site respectfull. I have always been proud of my NITRO and alot has to do with THIS SITE and it's PEOPLE.



To be honest I am not sure which stand to take, although I will abide by whatever is decided.

First, Tracker should "desire our input" whether it is positive or negative. We are the ones who purchased and use our boats. We are the ones who have to deal with good or bad product design. We are the ones who will recommend or discourage others from buying a Tracker. I can understand why, for legal reasons, a company would not want to be associated with open forums on the web, but I think they would be fools not to listen to the praises and gripes of a group of their customers. Especially since, as Rich said, this website is mentioned on other sites. The web can be a gigantic influence on others.

Second, a skirmish position will rarely get results from a corporation the size of Tracker. Yes we do have the ability to influence others, so does Tracker. If I don
Rich, you know which one we would choose.

I have been here almost since the start. I have read all sorts of posts about how good Someone
you do not have to think very long about this to vote #1.

Rich Your #1, This Site is #1 , I vote #1


Being fairly new to this site, I saw the anger and animosity pervading the posts on a daily basis.

What I failed to see were consistent comments from some of the 399 members who have had great experiences with their boats, with their dealers, and with Tracker.

It is certainly ok to discuss legitimate concerns, but let's also give praise and credit where it's due.

This site is a fantastic resource and I'm hoping to see it continue and flourish.

Another vote for #1
Well I suppose the site is undergoing what our economy is...a correction. Rich, I do agree, we need to rebuild that relationship, but as well does Tracker. I do believe fault cannot be soley place upon our shoulders here. This site should be a vehicle by which people can get the answers WE can provide, not Tracker. For that they need to go to Tracker as I myself learned. I do however believe we all need to a place to vent. However, it should be done, in an adult and professional matter. The negativity lately, I think has gotten to a lot of people, and I only hope I didn't feed it. I was hoping to slow it. I do believe though that today, a company has to follow a grass roots philosophy to stay on top. Isolating themselves is dangerous. The largest retailer and employer in the world (Wal-Mart)knows this. When you walk into their stores, it's all about you the customer, and any average Joe can contact HQ in Bentonville directly, hence the most succesful retail chain in history. Just my take on it. We need to be educated and respectable consumers though, and that responsibility lies solely with us.

Put me in for #1. That is why most of us have liked this site to begin with. I hope Tracker tries us again too, it would only be a win win situation in the end.

Hmmmmm. I REALLY hate when people are constantly negative (not referring to anyone in particular), but I'm not a big fan of censorship either. I guess I really don't have anything "profound" to add here... I'll abide by whatever you guys decide...

Well I just back from a very good and relaxing fishing trip in Canada so I have not read or posted on this site lately.

I read your letter very closely and I agree with you but I also agree with some of the other letters which in part say that everything is not a "rose garden" when dealing with Tracker. I am new to the boat ownership world and I have, for the most part, enjoyed my new Nirto immensely. I know, out of frustration and anger, I have been less than considerate in my letters but like one member stated we have paid good money for our boats and our concerns whether

positive or negative should be heard. This site, and the people on it, have been extremely helpful and for that I am very thankful. I don't believe anyone, including myself, should be allowed to go overboard with their anger and frustrations on this site but I also agree with the member who stated that Tracker should not expect to read all positive letters and "tune out" when members air there problems. Again, I reiterate, that the tone and/or language

should be within parameters but I would hope that this is partly a forum for Tracker boat owners to voice their concerns wether they be good or bad.