• Report: #517578
Complaint Review:

Freedom Boat Club Of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

  • Submitted: Fri, October 30, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, March 19, 2011

  • Reported By: Waterman480 — Fort Lauderdale Florida United States of America
Freedom Boat Club Of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
420 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315 Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States of America

Freedom Boat Club Of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bads deal and getting worse Fort Lauderdale, Florida


*Consumer Comment: Agree with Complaints on FBC it is Misery

*Author of original report: Typos

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Unfortunately, I have to agree with the fellow from Miramar.  The Fort Lauderdale/Miami franchisee of Freedom Boat Club is a bad egg.  I don't understand why the folks up in Cincinatti ((513)561.4635) don';t rein in this operator.

Their latest thing (in addition to all that Miramar wrote which is all true and well written) is that their latest credit card release (which is required) states:

"All charges are non-refundable, non-dispustable and final"  and "Per transaction, there will be a $75.00 adminsitrative fee for all credit card disputes and declined credit cards.  A $75.00 late fee is assessed to each unpaid invoice per month"

Which really means too bad for you - if we screw up (which they did twice last year and I had corrected - under the old terms)  too bad for you.  Their explantation is that they are charged $75 by the bank.  Having spent an hour talking with various banks and VISA, I find that this is another example of FBC BS - the bank charges them about $20 - and FBC deserves to be charges it, not $75 

As Miramar more elegantly stated - the boats are poorly maintained, not well cleaned, not available on the weekends unless you reserve 5-6 weeks in advance - and then it is only a half day. Plus you better get back before the fuel dock closes - or they will screw you badly on the fuel charges - which are based on engine hours at wide open throttle!

I thought even with all the disadvantages, that this would be a reasonable deal as I mostly would like to use the boats on the weekdays. However with the latest terminology of the CC agreement - they leave you open to any charges with no legal recourse.   

McDonalds is successful for many reasons.  Keeping the franchissees on the up and up is one of them.  Why Freedom Boat Club does not keep their franchissees in line is beyond me.  Every complaint is a black mark on the whole system, and ultimately weakens the franchise as a whole.  Good concept - poor execution.  Fort Lauderdale/Miami is one of the worst.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/30/2009 06:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/freedom-boat-club-of-fort-lauderdale-florida/fort-lauderdale-florida-33315/freedom-boat-club-of-fort-lauderdale-florida-bads-deal-and-getting-worse-fort-lauderdal-517578. 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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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Kelly Brown - (United States of America)

PLEASE JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP: Freedom Boat Club Fort Lauderdale & Miami Complaints OR add Freedomboatclub Ftl-Mia Complaints as your friend.

It is quite ironic that when I read all these reviews about Freedom Boat Club, I feel that I have written them myself because everything stated in these reviews are ABSOLUTELY TRUE and I have personally experienced all of situations!! Stay away from this company. They are at minimum HORRIBLE. Not only is the company horrible as a whole, but as people as well. I have been threatened, taken advantage of, treated like DIRT. Everytime you take a boat out (if you get the chance to book one), your family and friends lives are at risk. I too have had boats sink due to their negligence. I can continue about all my HORRIBLE experiences. As the other user ZAK has mentioned, 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.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Agree with Complaints on FBC it is Misery

AUTHOR: Mark - (United States of America)

Back in 2007 I bought a fully paid 5 year memebership to FBC for around $16000.. At that timeFBC had Marinias in Dania Beach, Hollywood, and Miami.FBC had a pretty decent fleet of boats, and the franchise owner planned to replace boats every couple of years or at least that was the promise. They fueled and cleaned the boats for you and it was truly owning the water and not the boat. There were maintenace issues, but the owner held to the commercial terms of the agreement, and the staff was friendly, and fair. Even though there were some maintenace issues, and you had to reserve well in advance for a weekend slot, it was basically a pleasant experience.

Then a couple of years ago the franchise was sold to the current folks who have ethics, & customer serviceissues. They closed the Dania Marina and moved to Ft Lauderdale. Fueling started to be required by member, after the fueling station was removed at dock, which in inconvenient to say the least. Hours of operation decreased and less flexibilty for pick up and return, and recently they have gone on a clean it your self binge. What is most upsetting for me having a fully paid 5 year agreement is thatFBC does not want to stand by the original agreement. They use the Rules and Regulations to change original commercial terms.

Depth gauges are typically not operational, yet they expect member to pay for any prop damage. They want a credit card on file to charge too, they have added admin fees, etc. They no longer allow you to buy your own owing insurance but have to buy from them, and more expensive given it only covers their boats.

I have been rescued twice by the coast guard. The most serious incident was whenthe boat was 10 miles offshore and sinking because the bilge pump failed and hull was leaking. Radio would not work and luckily within cell phone range to get help. FBC fixed bilge pump but continued to send this leaking Center Console out, and never installed backup bilge pumps in their boats as promised.

Bottomline avoid the headache and hassle. There are other clubs or simply rent, or charter. It will be cheaper and safer in the long run. What was once a nice club has become misery due to current franchise owners.

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#3 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Waterman480 - (United States of America)

Although there are a few typos in my original report, I stand by the content of it in general.  Unfortunately, ROR does not allow for editing to correct the typos.

Again, I advise everyone to seriously look before you leap.  All is not as it appears to be.  Just as with a used car salesman's patter - all that you hear does not matter.  The written contract is all that matters - and this one is very one sided and all in their favor.

The sooner they go out of business or the Attorney General shuts them down for fraud (unfortunately unlikely in Florida), the better.
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