Reviews for Freedom Yacht & Boat Club

Dania Beach , Florida

 Beware FBC

Review by Once Burned on 1/3/14 4:50 PM

Like a lot of folks in Florida my schedule makes boat ownership challenging so membership in a boat club seemed logical especially to make it easy for my wife and children to utilize as I am frequently out of country. The theory is sound but not with Freedom Boat Club. Despite their deceptive advertisement, the ability to reserve and use their often-broken fleet is incredibly limited and restrictive. The limitations range from availability (4 hour slots with availability to reserve of once per weekday and one weekend day at a time max), use of the boat (hours are limited to 9-1 or 2-5 (6 in the summer) and location (you essentially can't leave Biscayne bay). The limitations are bad enough but coupled with their bullying policies which include shutting off your club boat use (which is legally a default of their own contract) if you don't agree to sign ever restrictive and onerous terms. The last one included the following clause: "Section 31) MEDIA, PRESS, INTERNET: Member agrees not to make any statement, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others (non-memers or otherwise) to make any statements, written or verbal, that defame, disparage or in any way criticize the personeal or business reputation, practices, or conduct of FBC, it's employees, directors or officers. The member agrees and acknowledges that this prohibition extends to statements, writen or verbal, made to anyone, including but not limited to, the news media, the world wide web, such as internet websites and internet blogs, etc, for members of FBC both past and present, and/or any other form of publication. Any such action by a current Member will result in immediate termination of Membership". I ask you what service organization requests that of it's members if it was providing good and fair services? None. It's indicative of what you are to expect if you join FBC. One week after my yearly renewal (and a $600 charge) they came up with new Rules & Regulations so onerous I refused to sign (as I had a legitimate Rules & Regulation Member Agreement signed with no expiration date). In response they shut off my reservation ability, I sent an email demanding it be restated or cancel my membership. No reply. I assumed it is cancelled but see the billing continue. I advised I was done with them and expected them to return my yearly fee ( as they cut off my ability to reserve boats and I never used a boat that period). They refused and continue to try and bill my credit card. I have started legal proceedings that are not worth my time but I’m following through on principle. Bottom Line, don't get taken by the FBC false advertising and fraudulent charges. They are crooks with bad service, no customer service appreciation and fairly lousy boats. My advice is that if your boat use is infrequent use one of the many daily rental companies (it will be cheaper in the end). If you anticipate frequent boat use, buy your own or try one of Miami's more legitimate clubs. The multiple thousand dollar membership fee will be lost forever with no value. Once burned