The Problem with Swim Lesson Guarantees

I love a good deal. A bargain, a steal, catch of the day. These all leave you with the satisfaction of knowing you got something worthwhile. So many companies believe so strongly in their goods and services that they offer a guarantee that you will love it or it is free. It will last so long or it is replaced. If it is guaranteed then what is the problem? A guarantee is a promise that something will be fulfilled. It helps reinforce the customer's decision to buy so they feel the transaction is both cost effective and trustworth. If you have ever bought a “lemon” of a car, then you want the assurance of knowing the car will not spend most of its life in the shop. Guarantees can be very good things, but they do have a catch. A guarantee offers a compensation if the company cannot deliver their promise on the product or service. If a moving company guarantees all your stuff will be delivered and arrive unscathed or your money back, it sounds great. However if your family’s priceless heirloom table is completely crushed during a move, the money back guarantee is the least of your concerns. So, when choosing a swim school, is a guarantee a good thing?

It is our advice that guarantees are not always as cut and dry as they seem. The fine print is something you must sift through. Often these terms are worded very technically to protect them from fraudulent suits, but also to set up a perfect deflection against interference or exploitation This is also the case with many of these swim guarantees. A company I worked for offered this; however as I dug through what the terms of this guarantee was, I realized, what was being offered was far from a “Learn to Swim” mentality. The guarantee required the customer to purchase the second highest numbers of lessons per week, they excluded those with disabilities or special needs from this, any cancellations could count as a factor, and the worst yet, their definition of swimming. Essentially, if the student could jump into the water, crawl to the instructor while performing the doggy paddle and scuttle back to the wall, that fulfilled the definition of swimming. Swimming is a skill, that once learned, stays with you. It is like learning to ride a bike or tie your shoes. It takes practice and does not work in a short fast deadline. A guarantee like this only covers the bare minimum of something you do not want to skimp on. Not because I am trying to push a product, but because this is a skill that not knowing, can become deadly. Do not set a deadline for you or your students in this area. Everyone is different and needs time to learn this skill. With patience and a great instructor, the skill of swimming will long outlast the time it takes to learn it.

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