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quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

Old 09-23-2005, 04:45 PM
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Default quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

Let me first warn you, and apologize this is a very very long rant. I am keeping the manufactures name out of this, because it is not about bashing a builder, but more on how important you feel customer service is. I would also like to state how much I love my new boat, but every time I look at it I am reminded of this painful experience.
Last January I ordered a 35' custom boat with twin merc 525s. The goal was to have the shell of the boat built, then shipped to my painter in the NW, and after painting the boat would go back to the builder for installation of the gauges, motors drives and interior. All this was agreed upon, and the deposit that was asked of me was paid to get the ball rolling. The estimate date for delivery of the shell was the end of March. The trailer was to be built by a well know company (not the boat manufacture)
Problem one was when we called to check on the trailer, it was not going to be ready in the two weeks that it needed to be in order to make the end of March deadline. (Not the boat manufactures fault, we then called the boat manufacture and asked if we could buy one of their trailers for the boat instead, and they said yes that would not be a problem.
The end of March came, and the dealer had a boat transporter contact me with a date and pricing to ship the boat to me. All is looking good, until the transporter called and said the boat, as well as the trailer that I was told would be ready that day were not, in fact the trailer was not suppose to go into paint for a couple more days. At this point I started to have second thoughts about the shipping the shell process, knowing that they would not get the painted boat back to the factory until about May 1st. (their busy time). I offered to fly my painter to them, and paint the boat at the factory, so we would not delay the process, and they told me that they could not give up the booth for the four day process, even if two of the days were over the weekend when they were not using the booth.
At this point I decided to have the boat completed, and shipped and I would deal with the paint up here when I received the boat. I flew to the builder to finalize the interior colors the second week of April, The shell was on site, but they sold my trailer to someone else. The dash was in the boat with holes cut for gauges, but it was the wrong color. After discussing options (painting the dash, or redoing it) they decided it would be easier to redo it. The new guestimate date was around the end of May. I spoke with my gauge manufacture (custom gauges) and they said gauges would be ready in a couple weeks.
Now I am not a boat builder, but I was told that they could not go any further on the boat shell until the gauges arrived because they wire the boat from the gauges to the motor. I am not sure why they couldn't have run the wires, and left slack for the gauge connections, or wired from the motors to the gauges. The gauges arrived the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, confirmed by the builder.
The dealer I was buying the boat from called the company that owned the boat manufacture, and asked what was taking so long on the boat, and the dealer was told that if we wanted the work to start again on the boat we would have to come up with another 5oK deposit over the deposit amount I originally put down, or the dealer could put the boat on his floor. The dealer said they would put the boat on his floor if they could give him a solid deliver date on the boat. The new date is now the second week of June and the boat is put on his floor. On June 10th we call to check on progress and coordinate transportation, and we are now told from the builder that it wonít be until June 20th. We call on the 20th to see if it is ready, and we are told it would be a couple more weeks. Now at this point we call the president of the company that owns the boat manufacture again, and he says he does not know why we were told those date, and he does not know when the boat will be done. He also tells the boat builder not to talk top anyone from the North West, and two more weeks go by with out anyone willing to talk to us to give us an update on the boat. Iíve had to reschedule with my painter twice now based on the dates given to me from the factory on delivery dates, and I donít know whatís going on. I spoke to the manger at the plant and he told me on two different occasions the company that owned them told him to take the boat out of production, and he would lose his job if he gave me any info on the boat.
I personally call the owner of the company again, and he finally gives me a date that the boat will be done based on a conversation with the builder. It will now be ready on July 20th On July 18th I get a call from the builder that one of the riggers that was rigging the boat got heat stroke, and they were hoping to have the boat ready a few days later when he was better. Understandable, this stuff happens, and it was very very hot where they were. Now with no back up plan if a worker gets hurt, I am back to wondering when my boat will arrive. Well the boat finally arrives in the NW on Aug 9th, with the wrong props, missing its cooler, and a trailer that will not back up due to a solenoid that someone forgot to put in. Fortunately the dealer I bought from had a spare set they loaned me until a new set from the factory arrived. (To be shipped in the missing cooler) The dealerís solution for the back up problem is that I should have a hole drilled in my new trailer, and when I want, or need to back up I should get out of my vehicle run around back, insert the pin, and get back in the vehicle to back up. This does not fly with me and they are told to either fix it properly (like new), or replace the trailer. As of now they have authorized to have a solenoid put on the trailer, and are suppose to be sending the cooler that they promised that they would send when they sent the replacement props mid Aug. The last straw was yesterday when I called the boat manufacture to see if they could order me some different color switches for my boat (at my expense) that I could install to go with the new paint job. His response was that since the dealer I bought the boat from had not returned the wrong set of props that came with the boat yet that he would not do anything for me and my boat. When I mentioned to him that I had paid him in full for the boat and his beef was with the dealer and not me that I should not be the one to suffer. His response was that this was the only leverage he had, and I was out of luck.
Now let me state again I love my new boat, I love the looks, performance, and price, but my experiences with them have soured what should have been a happy transaction.
I will never buy another boat from them, I have had their company name removed from the boat and trailer, and If the boat was not such a one off custom color I would probably sell the boat, take a loss, and have one built buy some other company that cares about customer service. I guess what it boils down to is it doesnít matter how great a product is, if the customer service is not there also it will sour the whole experience.
OK if you made it through this long therapeutic rate, how do you feel customer service rates in major purchases like this, boats, cars, houses ECT vs product quality and value.
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Old 09-23-2005, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

Sounds like another company that doesn't understand the 80/20 rule!

Sorry you had to go thru that and get the boat a couple months later than expected.
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Old 09-23-2005, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

The joys of boating
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Old 09-23-2005, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

Hey.. Don't go too nuts. My rant in July cost a lot and made some people mad. Now a 800K boat is sitting back at the factory. Do what we did, call your lawyer.

It doesn't matter what your purchase. You deserve the dignity and respect. We just bought our 5th Lamborghini, and for the past 8 years, the dealer has treated us like royalty. Wether we are buying a car, we see them or just stopping in to say hello or see them at a show. They treat us like a customer that just invested 300K in a car. Even when one of our Lambo's had a problem which is very rare. They picked the car up, took it back, fixed it and gave us a loaner. Brand new.

We have spent close 1.4 on two boats in two years, and the customer service and the product were nothing of the name and the promise. So yes, you spend the money, you deserve the respect. No loss for us. We by a new boat every season. That's a lot of money over the next 35 years. Oh well... Guess our moeny wasn't good enough.

Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2005, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

I read your whole story and,yes,I can see you being upset for missing part of the season but I guess I'm so used to getting shafted that most the problems your listing I could live with IF the boat turned out the way you expected and performs the way you want. I'd still be typing sunday night if I started ranting about the customer no-service and substandard/shoddy workmanship i received from BAJA marine and my local BAJA dealer.I'll give you the super condensed version of my story and you won't feel like you got screwed around so bad as others, ,Smitty
My 272 (brand new) looked fine,all shiny/new,by 35 hours the anti-skip cd player that skipped all the time had fell thru the helm that had the hole cut too big,dealer fixed with a bunch of caulk.
At same time they cobbled the cowling acrossed the transom (that fell off and chipped boat up) back on with some purty caulk,same for the cabin door latch that fell off.
By 50 hours had boat back to dealer wondering why motor had never quit burning oil from day one,I had already done my own leakdown test,one cylinder was 35%,they tore the motor all apart in the boat(which was 5 weeks old at the time) getting oil/dirt/grime all over the bilge and interior.
Once the motor was tore apart in the boat then I got to sit back and wait for BAJA,the dealer and mercruiser to decide who was going to take care of it,they figured it would be O/K to leave me waiting for 3 months with no definate answer until I got so mad I took the boat out of the dealers lot AFTER THEY WENT AHEAD AND LET THE MOTOR FREEZE SOLID WITH ICE IN THERE PARKING LOT!! . I decided to forego any warranty and take care of it myself never to set foot or deal with BAY HARBOUR MARINE,BAY CITY MICHIGAN again or BAJA. 2 years later when putting a bigger motor in(with 150 hours on hull) I decided to re-rig the boat myself which is when I discovered they must use the same wiring harness on a 42 foot boat as a 27 ft boat,me and my son only cut-out 250 feet of extra wire that was wadded up and taped/stapled all over the engine comp't haphazardly. At the same time we pulled the gas tank cover/back seat base/interior out of boat. At that time we discovered why boat rattled so much,75% of all fasteners holding gas tk,seats,seat base,gas tank cover etc had actually missed their target and were just there filling holes,not actually holding anything in or down.The boat is as solid NOW as it should have been new.I will be thrilled if I ever buy another new boat that doesn't require countless hours of re-rigging and fixing factory flaws/mistakes. I'm sure there were a dozen other things that I'm forgetting wrong with the boat. Work to get past your bad initial experience with N----c and enjoy it as much as you can,Smitty

Last edited by articfriends; 09-23-2005 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 09-23-2005, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

beertruck...that is a very unfortunate situation you were put in. Alot of the marine industry sucks and couldn't give a sh*t about customer service one bit. As I have said before, there are some (TRICK, Terry Sobo @ Nortech, etc...) that are just a joy to do business with.
I personally would like to know the manufacturer, I would hate to be buying a boat from them when I buy my next boat. Please let us all know or PM me

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Old 09-24-2005, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

If I have said it once I have said it a million times. Trick Marine should hold a customer service seminar for all the bozo's in the marine industry. If they choose not to attend they should be black balled out of the business. I will continue to buy everything this I can from Fred and company, they set the standard for quality, price and service. Period.

My .02

Hope you get everything resolved!!!
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

Sorry to hear about your chit experience.

Are the switches that you need custom switches that only the boat manufacturer carries?? can you just buy elsewhere?? Fred may be able to help you out.
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Old 09-24-2005, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

maybe the change in ownership had something to do with it. sorry to hear there's alot of it out there.
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Old 09-24-2005, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: quality of product vs customer service, caution very long

I have said it on this site before. If you have a good or bad deal with a vendor than PLEASE share it with everyone so than we can make up our own minds of weather we use them or not. I don't want to bash people, just names of companys and facts. If you name the company than you will have people get on here and swear they are the greatest because they know them , but I think it is great to hear the bad and good.
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