Pay very close attention to these Ripoff Reports on Freedom Boat Club if you are a member or considering membership. If you are a member experiencing these problems, please CONTACT THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. Get involved and don't let this company continue to ripoff their members through a lack of availability of boats, unsafe boats that sink and lack proper safety equipment, and attack their members when they point out these issues rather than correcting obvious and repeated problems. I am a principal based person and based on
principal I am willing to take this as far as I am able. I would like to leave my information here so I can be contacted directly but this website does not allow that so I can only ask you to CONTACT THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL as I am doing.
My first step in the process was to contact the BBB. I recommend you do the same.
The Freedom Boat Club Miami-Fort Lauderdale was called Freedom Yacht & Boat Club and eventually got an Frating from the BBB.
New owners came in and the new name Freedom Boat Club Miami-Fort Lauderdale is now using is called FBCG,LLC . I don't know what it is currently rated by the BBB since it changes, but at the end of 2010 it also had an F. If you are a prospective member, please pay close attention.
There is no National Customer Service for Freedom Boat Club, so your recourse is extremely limited if your club goes bad. Freedom Boat Club sells you a national company with 50 locations, but when problems arise they claim no responsibility on a
national level. They claim everything is between you and the local franchise.
Your next step is to go to your county consumer protection agency AND the state Attorney General.. I am confident that once members get involved and the truth comes out about Freedom Boat Club, the state Attorney General will help rectify the wrongs many of us are
experiencing. If you are in the state of Florida and experiencing problems, please contact the state Attorney General at MYFLORIDALEGAL.COM. Then file a claim at SAO17.STATE.FL.US and 800HELPFLA.COM
This is the Fort Lauderdale clubs current information unless they have changed it again.
420 SW 3rd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Phone: (866) 344-7938
Fax: (954) 200-6843
After being a member for sometime I found out that some FBC locations were better than others...obvious if you look at these reports...and some are corporately owned and some are franchise owned. Some like West Palm Beach are solid with 50 boats and some like the Fort Lauderdale club had as little as 10 boats on their reservation schedule (have copies if FBC wants proof) with several of them broken down on top of it. I happened to be involved in the worst locations - Miami and Fort Lauderdale - all these other reports on RipOff Report back that up. After years of begging National FBC to help, they did absolutely nothing and are still doing nothing !
Local and National management are the worst I have ever been associated with in my life. Absolutely the WORST customer service I have ever experienced.
When you mention obvious problems to them, instead of pleasantly correcting the problem they choose to attack you instead. There is no national customer service whatsoever and its pulling teeth to try to find who to complain to on a national level. Information on National is kept secret and they try to claim that there is no relationship to the local clubs.
Look closely at your contract, they use the local boat club name so that the national organization of Freedom Boat Club can later claim to have NO relationship with the local club. The local boat club at this location was named almost identical to Freedom Boat Club to further deceive you. If you complain, they threaten to reprimand you with their member behavior clause or kick you out of the club.
When I joined Freedom Boat Club, I gave them about $14,000 and had the option to increase from a 5 year membership to a LIFETIME membership within 6 months. Things went well for 6 months so I upgraded to a LIFETIME membership. It only took about a year to start having problems with boat availability and other issues. I endured YEARS of PROBLEMS and AGGRAVATION with Freedom Boat Club and have hundreds of emails asking them to correct the issues to document this. After months of trying to get management, local and national, to correct their problems, I realized that I better start documenting the problems through emails to the company and also by copying the reservation schedule that sometimes
had me waiting up to 8 WEEKENDS to get a boat reservation. I recommend you do the same so a solid case can be built by the State Attorney General.
Document it all. Document the lack of availability of boats that does not make for unlimited boating as Freedom Boat Club advertises, the poor maintenence of boats, boats without proper safety equipment (like mandated radios to contact the coast guard in case of emergencies), boats that start SINKINGbecause they have a hole in the hull (like happened to me, terribly it happened to another member a week earlier I found out and regardless FBC put the boat back in circulation without being properly repaired. The boat I had that was sinking, also did not have a mandated VHF Radio to contact the Coast Guard. After repeateded cell phone calls due to lack of signal, I finally was able to get help. I see someone else here on RipOff Report also reported a boat SINKING on them while they were out in the ocean. If boats sinking 3 times is not reason for the state of Florida to investigate Freedom Boat Club then I don't know what is), boats that break free from their anchor as you are diving a mile out in the ocean (as happened to me and had me leaving a terrified girlfriend swimming alone in the ocean as I swam over a half mile to reach the boat...fortuntely for us we are good swimmers), boats that are not properly registered, etc.
All Prospects and Members beware of Freedom Boat Club. Those of you that have a good location are fortunate but not immune to the problems in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale
clubs because this horrible behavior starts and is promoted at "The Top".Why is there no national customer service information on the website or has been for years? Because Freedom Boat Club wants to sell you a national organization but underhandedly claim "no involvement" when its convenient to them and problems arise ! Then Freedom Boat Club claims that its just you against the local franchise and they have no involvement whatsoever. Is this the type of boating club you really want to belong to ?
Get involved by filing complaints with the proper authorities so the spotlight will be focused on this deceptive and unsafe organization.
1. They advertise and claim unlimited boating when there is no availability for sometimes up to 8 weekends
2. They sell you a national boat club but when problems arise claim to have no involvement on a national level and you are left to fight it out with the local franchise. When you mention obvious problems they attack you instead of correcting the problem. In my case, they kicked me out of the club with no reason other than to say the "new owners" aren't obligated to take me (a year after they were already taking my money). My contract says Freedom Yacht & Boat Club, and its successors....so I think a court of law will side with me if it comes to that. I don't want back in, I just want my money back and for everyone else to know the real Freedom Boat Club.
3. They send you out on unsafe boats that at times have no working depth finders (safety hazard of running aground while at high speed) no VHF radios as Coast Guard mandated in case there is an emergency, boats that SINK and that Break Away from Anchors - both life threatening situations.