• Report: #689554
Complaint Review:

Freedom Boat Club

  • Submitted: Tue, February 01, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, March 19, 2011

  • Reported By: Zak — Fort Lauderdale Florida U.S.A.
Freedom Boat Club
420 S.W. 3 Ave Fort Lauderdale Florida 33315 Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States of America

Beware of Freedom Boat Club Freedom Associates Make a Difference. Fort Lauderdale , Florida

*Author of original report: You've Been a Member for 3 Months

*Consumer Comment: 2015 Freedom Boat Club Fort Lauderdale

*Consumer Comment: Any progress with State Attorney


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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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/01/2011 02:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/freedom-boat-club/fort-lauderdale-florida-33315/beware-of-freedom-boat-club-freedom-associates-make-a-difference-fort-lauderdale-florid-689554. 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 Author of original report

You've Been a Member for 3 Months

AUTHOR: - ()

All I can say Andre is that you have been a member for 3 months. Of course FBC wants to keep new members as happy as possible. Their promises to your face are recent. More than likely you just gave them a nice chunk of change too, right?  I suggest you wait a few years and see if your opinion changes. You probably didn't just join for 3 months did you?

When I was a member, the owner was Christian Smith and things went down hill pretty fast. After a year or two, the receptionist told me she was quiting because "her morals were being compromised".

Then the new owner was difficult to distinguish. Members were told at the dock that it was someone and months later we found out it was someone else. Personally I think the new owner named Al Noonan was trying to hide his identity. I found it out by having to scour court and business records to see that he was  listed on the FBCG LLC paperwork. Things got even worse under Noonan.

Interestingly, I found out that Smith and Noonan both appear to have roots from Michigan. Maybe that is a coincidence. But, any new owner may still have a connection to the old owner or owners. 

What is the name of the new owner? What is the legal name of the entity?

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#2 Consumer Comment

2015 Freedom Boat Club Fort Lauderdale

AUTHOR: Andre001 - (USA)

Before I joined the NEW Freedom Boat Club in April of 2015, I too checked online for complaints before I took the plunge. What I noticed was a laundry list of complaints for the club, but this was a club run by a PREVIOUS owner. I am rebutting this experience simply to identify that it could be easily confused with the current club of the same name, but is not. The new Ft. Lauderdale Freedom Boat Club opened in Approx March of 2015, so litterally all of the negative reviews related to this club is attached to a previous owner. If you familiarize yourself with the address, you'll notice its different. My first question: Is it really a new owner, or just the same person under a different name (Im a consumer too and I think the same thoughts as all of us)? The answer is yes, it really is a brand new owner and a different club than these complaints are referencing.

I wrote this because fair is fair and I've had nothing but top notch treatment at the new Freedom Boat Club Ft. Lauderdale. It wont be the cheapest option nor a cheap experience, which is often times what you get with the cheapest option. Im very happy with my decision to join and Im convinced this is the premier boat club in Ft. Lauderdale.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Any progress with State Attorney

AUTHOR: Joe - ()


Have you approached the Attorney General of Florida concerning your issues? I have had identical issues as you, yet when I called the Attorney General, no such issues have been submitted to them by disgruntled members, as far as they can see, not by mail or phone. At present, there are no pending possible investigations according to the state.

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#4 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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