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National Marine Electronics Association

The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) has launched a program that allows boaters to identify marine electronics dealers who are committed to education, technical proficiency, and customer service consistent with NMEA’s high standards. It is called the Master Dealer Program.

To qualify, dealerships must have at least one Certified Marine Electronics Technician (CMET) on staff and meet requirements for technical education and proper use of specific test equipment. A point system based on technical courses that are completed successfully is used to determine a dealership’s eligibility.

The CMET classification, which has existed for nearly two decades, is awarded to technicians who have passed a stringent test examining all aspects of marine electronics. Other classifications that will count toward a Master Dealer’s eligibility include Marine Electronics Installer (MEI) and Advanced MEI. Technicians will also get credit for completing training in NMEA 2000®, the standard that allows plug-and-play operation of multiple devices connected to an onboard network.

The Master Dealer Program focuses on three main areas: technical proficiency, ongoing education, and customer service. In order to ensure a high level of service, dealers participating in the program will provide customers with a Consumer Bill of Rights. The document outlines what customers can expect from the dealer and how to file a complaint if they’re dissatisfied with that experience.  Any complaints will be reviewed by the NMEA Master Dealer Certification Committee. If a complaint is considered justified, the committee will notify the dealership that it has 60 days to resolve the issue with the customer. If the issue is not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, the NMEA national office will step in. A dealership’s Master Dealer status can be revoked if the issue remains unresolved.

"The Master Dealer Program is a key component in our pledge to the boating public that NMEA dealers have the knowledge and expertise to deliver superior customer service,” said Bruce Angus, interim executive director of NMEA. "We want boaters to know that when they see the Master Dealer logo, they’re getting the best service, equipment, and advice in the marine industry.”