It was amazing to me to open this site and see the same report given by someone else who unfortunately has experienced the same thing as my family did yesterday, and just a few months ago no less. We had just purchased the membership recently and this week was to be our first experience with the freedom boat club as our family members flew down for the week. Our plan was to take one of the larger vessels from palm beach to miami for the night. Our family has a lot of boating experience and usually own larger boats but had decided to try this for a few years just to cut down on the maintainence and up keep since we aren't in fla most of the year.
Our first experience started off bad from the beginning. My father had called to reserve the largest boat they had awhile ago, and confirmed it the day before our trip. As soon as we pull up they said that the boat we reserved had mechanical issues from a trip that didn't get in until midnight the night before and they just found out about it. They said it could not be run unless at very slow speeds. The two other larger sport fishing boats also couldn't be used because they had no props. NO props! The only other boat they had did have the accomodations we wanted and looked and smelled ok on a quick tour, so we said ok. We load all our stuff on and as we are doing so going through the boat with one of the deck hands. As we are going through it the deck hand says the generator only works sometimes. So we try starting it, and of course it doesn't work. Nobody there knows what's wrong with it or if any one can take a look before we go. So, it's either cancel our trip or go with no generator. With my parents being older and all of our food we were bringing to stay on the boat this was a problem. But we loaded ice and opened what windows we could and figured let's give it a try. Many of the dock hands were very sarcastic and not helpful or friendly at all.
The boat engines did run well, but all the cushions were ripped, you can't see through the curtains unless they are rolled up, none of the TV's or bow thruster worked. During the night at miami as we were plugged up, the AC's wouldn't hold temp well and we sweated through most of the night.
The best was yet to come. There was a very large existing crack on one side of the swim platform. As we return from our trip on a windy day, during the docking procedure, that part of the swim platform rubs the dock again. Immediately the dock hand jumps on, takes a picture of it and sends it up to the business office. It's obvious he is staring at it as we are deboarding and we finally say that the crack was already there. His response is "yeah, but you made it worse", shaking his head in disbelief. Then an arguments starts and he mentions Chris is upstairs.
Chris is the franchise owner. We pack our car up and my father and I go to talk to Chris. My father mentions that he was unhappy with how things started, changing boats on us, generator, etc. Chris doesn't want to hear that, he wants to know what happened about the crack in the swim platform. We explain that there was an existing crack and obviously is a weakened area that got worse, and wouldn't have if there wasn't a crack there to begin with. He acknowledged the crack and said he has pictures showing how it is worse now and we are liable for the damage. We asked why wasn't it fixed before and his response is that they wait for damages to pile up and get to such a bad point that they have to be fixed. So, he said that the cost would be shared by us and the first person that cracked it. So, this first crack could have been from a year ago and now that person is going to get a call saying he owes money? That's great business.
We try to ask about our other concerns, generator, tv's, etc. Right about this time, there are 3 other guys up in the office, they come out of there offices, one of them getting right up in my face yelling at me about what were they suppose to do with all the boats that were broke down. What did we expect different, etc. We said we expect the systems on the boat to run. Chris laughed at us when we mentioned the tv's and said those aren't in the contract. All the guys there were very argumentative, very disrespectful to us being customers, and could care less that we were unhappy. Chris could care less and is the most unprofessional business owner I have come across. All he cares about is his bottom dollar and not the happiness of his customers. I wish my father would have seen this site prior to recently buying his membership because we are not going back.