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Thread: Not Feeling Warm and Fuzzy With New Boat

  1. #1

    Default Not Feeling Warm and Fuzzy With New Boat

    Well, we just brought our new boat home. The new ownership is not starting off well for me.

    When we ordered the boat, we did not order the mooring cover from the manufacturer because we did not want to deal with the snaps. As we were inspecting the boat on the lot, the boat had snaps all over it. I asked why were they there since we did not order the cover as an option. As it turns out, the manufacturer did it without authorization from the dealer and charged the dealer for it. Our option was to not pay for the cover and deal with the snaps since they cannot be removed. I asked if we could refuse to accept the boat. Yes they said, but the sales manager asked if we would be willing to split the price of their cost. I didn't want to, but my husband went along with it.

    After doing all the paperwork, nobody asked if we wanted to test drive it. So I insisted on doing so because you don't purchase a car without driving it. We never owned a pontoon before and didn't know what does what or what to expect while driving it. Well, it was a good thing we did. The cut off switch didn't turn off when you pulled on it. That was about a one hour repair because they couldn't find the cause right away. It turned out to be a connector not being installed correctly. The dealer said they never check the cut off switch. Hello, what good is it if it is not checked along with all the other things?

    As soon as we got home, we put on the mooring cover and that took about an hour. There were 5 poles and we could not find the location for the last one because we couldn't find the reinforcement/snap for it. After we got it on, we were wondering if we could have installed a generic cover because we have a double bimini. We are not sure they can be stored flat.

    My final concern is the trailer. There is about 17 1/2-3/4" bunker behind the logs. What drew my attention to that was that there was a rusted rectangle at the front of the trailer. Something was moved. It looks like the stair/winch section was moved forward for some reason. The fish finder's transducer is sitting just above the bunk. It's a Mid-America Trailer PT24T/13. I think it's a 24 foot trailer used on a 22' boat. I need to go out and measure everything tomorrow and ask some questions later.

    At this point, I am having some reservations about my purchase because of the amount of the money spent. Everything I am concerned about is not the fault of the dealer so my concerns are with the manufacturer.

    Purchasing a new boat is supposed to be a happy event, but I am not feeling that way.
    Last edited by LadyGT; 03-27-2015 at 06:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Southwestern, Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Default

    It may not seem like it now....but a lot of this will seem small when you are out enjoying the boat.
    The trailer doesn't quite sound right...our bunks run from the back of the nose cones to the back of the logs, with nothing extended past there.
    I would take a deep breath, go over everything on the boat and trailer again...make a list of your concerns and make a return trip to the dealer to see what can be done to remedy them.

    Good luck
    Randy

    2003 Bennington 207FS 2003 60 HP Mercury Bigfoot 4S
    Tooning on Caesars Creek Lake in Beautiful Southwestern OH
    If you're not having fun...You're not trying hard enough!

  3. #3

    Default

    After reviewing the dealer's website, it seems that they buy trailers in bulk in one size and put their 22' and 24' boats on the same model trailers. I am speculating here. I am going to call the manufacturer to learn more because I do not know a lot about them and maybe this will put my mind at ease.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colonial Heights, Va.
    Posts
    701

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    Congrats on the new boat! Sorry you are having the aggravations. Several thoughts on the trailer. A longer trailer can be a blessing if it is set up properly. I would probably want the boat sitting on the trailer to where the depth finder transducer is just behind the trailer bunk. Otherwise you will probably knock it off one day when you are not loaded perfectly straight. However, having the boat too far back on the trailer may adversely affect your weight distribution. I think the recommended tongue weight is 8-10% of the total weight of the trailer. This can be adjusted with the boat back on the trailer by sliding the axles. OK, the blessing I mentioned. If the boat is sitting back on the trailer, with a lot of empty tongue space up front, you will be able to launch at a ramp that is a little shallow. One tip, you are not going to do much pushing of a pontoon boat off the trailer. It needs to be floating, or at least very close to it. Good luck.
    2012 Berkshire 230 CL LTD w/Tap Fins
    2012 90 HP Mercury on 6" Z-Lock Jack Plate and Stingray Stabilizer Fin
    2013 Load Rite Elite Trailer
    Located in beautiful Sunny, Central Virginia

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,238

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    The 24 foot trailer under the 22 foot boat is probably a blessing. I would ask them why they took the easy route to balance the boat on the trailer (just moving everything forward) instead of doing it the way D2B described.

    If you're saying you got the factory cover for half price I would also consider that a good thing. Next to a custom made cover the factory cover is the best option. I would ask the dealer to demonstrate how to properly stow, the biminis and put the cover on. You are their customer, don't walk out without being satisfied with the service you get. Let them know that you are involved in the forum and people are watching to see how they treat you here. Surprisingly if it comes to it, the BBB around here seems to scare businesses.

    The dealer usually sets up the motor unless you bought a package deal. Someone should have checked all that out before they turned the boat over. What you've talked about gets the warning flags all up and waving for me with this dealer. The sad thing about a lot of sales people is they are your best friend until they get your money, then they don't even remember your name. The management of the dealership controls this so don't be afraid to ask for the owner or general manager.

    I am also sorry that the experience is less than a happy one for you. Take a little while to get used to the whole boat and start to get into the pontoon experience, I bet by the 4th of July you are tickled with the deal.
    2006 Forester 19 Fish (new deck and carpet, Pontoonstuff interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 50 ELPT4S
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper (complete rebuild from hull up, 2014)
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  6. #6

    Default

    The more I think how we were treated customer service wise, the angrier I become. We told the sales person that we were new to pontoons. We scheduled our pickup time 2 days in advance and during the week. We had to ask for a test drive rather than them asking if we had questions or being comfortable with our purchase. The dealership is directly on the lake so taking us out for a test drive should have been automatically done. It took us about 30 minutes to check out everything on the console except the lights. They basically took the money, gave us the keys and said good luck. They did not offer any freebies and I am not the type to ask for anything unless it was due me. I was taught not to beg by my parents. For what I paid for the package, I expect quality control (perfection) and get what I expected because that is what I paid for. Lots of errors thus far and I am losing faith in their business. The folks are friendly, but they need to put themselves in our shoes.

    My husband did mention to the sales manager today our experience when picking up our boat. His response was that they are very busy. They had people calling, but they had plenty of staff in their offices to handle whoever walked in including the owner. I now feel like we are cattle. Move them in and out ASAP.
    Last edited by LadyGT; 03-27-2015 at 10:44 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,200

    Default

    Unfortunately and to often service after the sale does not live up to the expectations set by the seller prior to the sale. I've not experienced that with my boat however plenty of car purchases have gone exactly that way. Hold the dealer accountable for what you need to be assured that you got what you paid for. I do like Randy's comment above, some things after some perspective may not be the issue you think it is when emotions are high. That said, I want to be treated with respect and given the time a customer deserves.

    BTW, welcome to the new world of pontoons. It is a great family boating platform (can I say that?). I call ours our floating living room and it truly is a place where we can escape the stresses of daily life.
    2006 Bentley 240 Cruise, Mercury 115 4S

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colonial Heights, Va.
    Posts
    701

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    I have a suggestion for your frustrations. Firstly, many salespeople are very poorly trained as far as their product is concerned and very often have little, if any sales training. Unfortunate but true. Overlook them, don't become angry. Here is my suggestion.. Calmly make a list of the things that you are concerned about. Then, call the dealer and set up an appointment to see the owner, if possible. He is likely the person at the dealership who is most interested in your satisfaction. When you arrive, begin by stating that you are not there to have a confrontation but that you do have some questions and concerns that you don't feel have been properly addressed. And if the owner, or whoever you end up seeing invites the salesman into the meeting, don't worry about offending him, or her. If they had done their job properly, you wouldn't even need to be there. But stay cool and calm and focused on your concerns. You will likely have a better outcome to your meeting if you part ways as seemingly friends, or at the least, not adversaries. Carry your list with you and stick to it. Let them know that your primary concern is to be able to comfortably and confidently use and enjoy your new boat. Tell them this was a big and important purchase in your life. And tell them them that you would like to have a good and pleasant working relationship with the dealership, one that you can brag about to your friends and fellow forum members. Don't threaten to use bad publicity as a means to being properly treated. One phrase that I find to very effective when trying to get good service is; "Is this the way that you would like to be treated if you were in my shoes?". The Golden Rule is hard to beat! Good luck.
    2012 Berkshire 230 CL LTD w/Tap Fins
    2012 90 HP Mercury on 6" Z-Lock Jack Plate and Stingray Stabilizer Fin
    2013 Load Rite Elite Trailer
    Located in beautiful Sunny, Central Virginia

  9. #9

    Default

    I agree with what you posted. One of my frustrations is that the sales manager is friends with two of my husband's coworkers. The coworkers knew that our boat was delivered before we did. Who knows what else was or will be discussed between the three of them. I would hope the financial details of the purchase will be kept confidential.

    I absolutely hate confrontations, but I do not think anything we have to say will make a difference. I say that because our sales person has been there for a very long time and was a partner of the business in the past.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,238

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    Good advice drive2boat, if the "good cop" approach works you never need the "bad cop".

    LadyGT, you shouldn't be afraid to discuss this with them, if you don't bring your issues to their attention they can never help you. I would want to get the boat on the trailer correctly and understand the cover and bimini installation and stowing.
    2006 Forester 19 Fish (new deck and carpet, Pontoonstuff interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 50 ELPT4S
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper (complete rebuild from hull up, 2014)
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

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