• Report: #853673

Complaint Review: Freedom Boat Club Port Jefferson

  • Submitted: Wed, March 14, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, March 20, 2012

  • Reported By: sharon — nESCONSET New York United States of America
Freedom Boat Club Port Jefferson
Port Jefferson New York Port Jefferson, New York United States of America

Freedom Boat Club Port Jefferson RIPOFF Port Jefferson, New York

*Author of original report: Freedom Boat Club

*Author of original report: No Such Thing

*Author of original report: Bad Investment

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Follow up

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Reply

*Author of original report: Still Ripped Off

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Trying to deliver great value to Freedom Boat Club members

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I joined the Freedom Boat Club and paid $15,000 for a three year membership.

Not only was Freedom Boat Club badly run...the Port Jefferson franchise went bankrupt.

The new franchise owner will not honor my membership and wants me to pay a monthly fee!!

I understand this goes on all over the country and the corporate offices couldn't care less!!

I lost $15,000 dollars and had aggravation to boot!!!!

Do not get ripped off.

Do not join this "rip off club"

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/14/2012 08:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Freedom-Boat-Club-Port-Jefferson/Port-Jefferson-New-York-/Freedom-Boat-Club-Port-Jefferson-RIPOFF-Port-Jefferson-New-York-853673. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Freedom Boat Club

AUTHOR: sharon - (United States of America)

The owner of the club actually mailed a check for $200 to my home as a charitable donation.

As the check can't be cashed he informs me he is going to make the donation to a charity I suggested.

I "donated" $15,000 dollars to Freedom Boat Club.

Wish I had given it to a charity instead.
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#2 Author of original report

No Such Thing

AUTHOR: sharon - (United States of America)

I googled the site the owner of Freedom Boat Club refers to.

Click on ANY button and the "page can't be found."

I have to wonder if any donation was made at all...Actually I don't think so.

This whole Freedom Boat Club thing is just terrible...a really "bad apple" deal.  And from the looks of things, the new owner is following in the old owner's footsteps.

I'm sure this guy can't produce a cancelled check or any receipt because he never made a donation.

How terrible!

Join Freedom Boat Club at your own risk...You've been warned!!!
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#3 Author of original report

Bad Investment

AUTHOR: sharon - (United States of America)

I do not and NEVER have had an organization called A Voice For Animals.  

I did have a website called avoiceforanimals.org which to the best of knowledge is no longer "up"

I don't doubt that money was sent somewhere but I know nothing about it so I'd advise you to investigate who has your money.

We spoke about Save A Pet which is located in Port Jefferson and is a reputable 501c3 charity.

What would ever make anyone think they could "buy" the name and location of a business that ripped so many people off and make it successful?

You can't build a house on a rotten foundation.

And this is exactly what the owner is trying to do.

Sweep the "victums" who lost thousands under the carpet and start "fresh"

The Freedom Boat Club brand continues to demonstrate that it cares nothing about members who trusted their name and what's more they don't care about investors either or they would have helped satisfy former members so this business would stand a chance to succeed.

They obviously impose no standards and accountability or quality control.


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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Follow up

AUTHOR: Freedom Boat Club of New York - (United States of America)

After listening to the complainiant's advice, on a previous phone call she made to me,  to get involved with local charities and her suggestion about helping animals I used the below information to attempt to make a donation.  Sometimes, you just can't win!


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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Freedom Boat Club of New York - (United States of America)

The donation was made to an organization called A Voice for Animals.Org for whom it appears the complainant writes a colulm and for which there is a web page that requests donations.  The only intent behind it was to establish that there may be an area of common ground that exists even in bad situations.

As written earlier I am unable to purchase a fleet of new boats and then offer them for use completely free so I made an offer that is below my costs and that I thought was very fair considering I had absolutely nothing to do with the complainants bad experience with the previous company.

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#6 Author of original report

Still Ripped Off

AUTHOR: sharon - (United States of America)

  The gentleman who refers to himself as the owner of the Freedom Boat Club seems earnest enough, however I must question his "due diligence" and investigative skills as I don't have a charity organization.
 I hope he was more careful investigating his investment.
It doesn't take much effort to google what people are saying about Freedom Boat Club. There are lots of dissatisfied "customers" out there. I don't necessarily feel that the new owner should have carried the burden of expense and made good on all of us former members who are out THOUSANDS of dollars.
But certainly the parent company should have accepted some responsibility and helped this guy out.
I was offered the "opportunity" to pay over two hundred dollars a month to keep up my membership after I paid $15,000 for a three year 7 day a week membership. I used the boats maybe 5 times. I'm sure I'm not the only member who's been ripped off by Freedom Boat Club Port Jefferson. I find it hard to believe the new owner would buy the Freedom Boat Club brand knowing he would need to tell all of the members" tough luck all the money you paid goes down the toilet BUT how about rejoining and throwing good money after bad."
I know I would never intentionally walk into such a situation and this in itself speaks volumes about how Freedom Boat Club feels about it's members. 
TOUGH LUCK BUDDY. We don't care about you.
Why would anyone invest in a company with that kind of philosophy?
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Trying to deliver great value to Freedom Boat Club members

AUTHOR: Freedom Boat Club of New York - (United States of America)

I am the owner of the NEW Freedom Boat Club of New York. I purchased the franchise rights to operate as Freedom Boat Club in New York this past December and since then I have been very busy working to rebuild the reputation of Freedom Boat Club on Long Island.  The only sustainable solution to rebuilding the reputation is to provide members with great value and demonstrate what a well run club can offer.  To that end, I have purchased a new boat fleet and I will be launching new boats on May 1, 2012 in Long Island.  Members will no longer have boats in disrepair and poor boat availability.  The boats I have purchased are largely brand new and will be delivered later this month.  I have purchased 3 new boats from Great Oak Marina in St. James and members and propsective members are welcome to stop by as ask to see the Freedom Boat Club boats that will be ready for use in Port Jefferson on May 1, 2012.

The complaint is correct in stating that the previous company operating as Freedom Boat Club of New York became insolvent.  I had, and have, absolutely no affiliation with the prior company.  I received no assets of the former company - I have started with a completely new slate and am purchasing boats with my own funds.  I purchased boats from local businesses, am hiring Long Islanders, and I'm trying to build a company that provides its members with a great value.  I bring a reputation for delivering excellence that I started building as a young man in the Navy and that I carried through to a successful 20 year career in the health care field.  I finally decided to pursue my dream of owning my own company and having a livelihood on the water and things are off to a great start.  I have met with many members of the former club and through honest, straightforward dealings I have been successful in getting a large number to join my new club.  Some, like the complainant, paid for multi-year memberships and did not get from the old company what they paid for. I do not sell multi-year memberships that take all money up front - instead I offer a pricing model that minimizes the up front investment and allows members to pay a monthly fee for as long as they desire to remain members. 

I do not know the particulars of the complainant's contract with the former company because I have not seen the contract. Given the complainant's situation what I did offer her was the ability to join my new club for a very attractive price and in return I would offer a new boat fleet, good boat availability, and fun social events - all things that were lacking during the past season with the former company.  I explained I simply cannot use my savings to purchase 14 new boats and then offer someone the ability to use them for absolutely nothing. Were I to do that I would follow the footsteps of the previous company and I am committed to building a solid company that is founded on the principle of delivering great value to its members and that provides employment to Long Islanders.  There is no other offering that will provide members the ability to drive a fleet of new boats for a price that is much less than the cost of owning a single boat.  Seasonal slip fees, winterization, storage, and bottom painting costs for one boat are more than the cost of a membership in my club - and then you would still have insurance, cleaning supplies, and maintenance costs to factor in, plus the time that boat ownership takes to keep a boat in top shape.

I believe the complainant when she states that she did not receive value for her money with the old company and I have tried to offer a solution that allows her to boat for the season at a very fair price.  I have never met the complainant nor have I ever wronged her.  After speaking with her on the phone today and realizing that I could not offer her the free membership in the club that she demanded, I wrote and sent a check to her charitable foundation that focuses on finding homes for sheltered pets - she should be able to verify receipt in a couple of days.  I am not out to rip off anyone.

The statement by the complainant "I understand this goes on all over the country and the corporate offices couldn't care less!!" is unfounded.  I did my due diligence before paying a franchise fee and I found no evidence that the unfortunate circumstance with the prior company on Long Island has been replicated all over the country.  Freedom Boat Club has around 7,000 members and is the oldest and largest boat club in the United States - there are many, many happy members and I invite you to stop by and talk with me and I will get you in touch with them.  Please visit the Freedom Boat Club web site at www.freedomboatclub.com and find out information about the company and about our Long Island locations.  I welcome the opportunity to show your our new fleet of boats for Long Island and to get you and your family and friends out on the water this season.  Membership in the club costs less than a family trip to Disney World or a family ski vacation and provides you access to a fleet of boats for the whole season.  Join the Club, Use our Boats, All of them!
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