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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 21, 2006 » What should I expect from my manufacturer? « Previous Next »
By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 7:33 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Warning, LONG post ahead.

I purchased a demo boat from my dealer back in July 05. I purchased it from a guy who was half owner of the marina, his father in law being the other half… didn’t know that when I bought the boat. I did my homework and was told that I could trust the guy who sold me the boat. He was very genuine and sincere, and I felt like I got a good deal. I started having problems with my speedo in October and my transmission started slipping when I loaded the boat down with ballast. I dropped the boat off with my dealer in mid November, thinking that it’d take a week or so to be fixed. Turns out that my trustworthy sales guy tried to buy his father in law out and failed, so he packed it up and closed the dealership. They’re now just selling pontoon and fishing boats. They still will willing to work on my boat, so I left it there. I called in mid December to check on it and was told that the gauge hadn’t arrived yet, and that it was coming from California. I called in late December, still nothing… so I called Centurion’s customer service and they told me to contact Faria directly since they handle all the claims. Faria told me that they’d sent the gauge on December 21. Miraculously, the gauge took a month to arrive here in Florida. So I called in late January expecting them to say “come get it”. Instead they claim that Faria sent the wrong gauge and they have to send it back and get the right one. Enter extreme frustration. I call in mid February, still no gauge. So I decide to just go get my boat from the dealer and deal with Faria on my own in late Feb. When I get there, I’m told that it’s ready to go and the gauge has been swapped already. No one felt compelled to call me and tell me it was ready. I waited two weeks before I dropped the boat in the water since it was somewhat cold down here. The water gets over 70 degrees a few weeks back and I drop the boat it. Speedo doesn’t work still. On top of that, the tach isn’t working… nor is the temperature gauge. WTF?? I call the dealer and say “did you guys even check this thing out before you gave it back to me?” He doesn’t know and the mechanics don’t work on weekends. Whatever, I’ll just wake surf because it doesn’t require perfect accuracy with regards to speed. Fill the sacks, get wet, and find out that the transmission is still slipping. Great. So I’ve been with out my boat for over three months for nothing. I’ve paid $1200 in boat payments, didn’t have a boat and it’s STILL broken. My dealer is now not a dealer and doesn’t want to work on it anymore.

I call Centurion, talk to a few people and they want me to drive it over to Orlando, a 2 hour drive for me. Am I crazy in thinking that Centurion should be sending someone over to my door to pick my boat up? Haven’t I been inconvenienced enough? Ultimately what I’d like to do is trade it in on a v-drive model anyway. How much “appreciation” should I be expecting from Centurion? Does anyone else have any stories where their manufacturer stepped up? I’m not asking Centurion to give me a $40K boat for the price of my $29K boat, but what IS a reasonable request?

Sorry for the long winded post, I may be leaving some details out too, but I think I’ve hit the important ones. Please don’t reply with “That’s why I bought” or “You should have bought a MC/Bu/SAN!” That’s not going to help me here. Thanks guys.

By depoint50ae (depoint50ae) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 7:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
That sux bro.

How many hours did the boat have when you bought it and how many hours did you put on the boat in the few months that you did get to use it?

When you buy a demo aren't you supposed to get the same treatment as someone that bought a brand new boat? Every time I have heard about demo sales you still get the brand new warranty. It sucks that the dealership fell through and now you have to deal with a dealership that is 2 hrs away.

By adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 7:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Have you talked to Centurion? There has got to be another mechanic qualified to work on your boat in your area. Can you take it to him and work out a deal with Centurion where they reiumburse the costs? If it were me I'd worry about getting my boat fixed and on the water, then worry about collecting the money for the repairs. After a week I would have been on the phone directly with Centurion and Faria having invoices for all parts ordered sent to your dealer. It takes 3-4 days max to ship across country.
By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 7:49 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The boat had 40 hours when I bought it and I've put another 40 hours on it in the short time I've owned it. Yeah, I'm supposed to have the same warranty as if it were brand new.

I'm in contact with Centurion on about three different levels (Service/Customer Service/Corporate). Now I'm just wondering what's a reasonable request to hit them with, keeping in mind that my end goal is to get into a v-drive. Thanks for your input!

By Manzo (zo1) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:01 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yea, that is about beat...

As for Centurion, I would be happy with the ability to get anything above and beyond fixing your current boat.

Hopefully they will step up and do what is necessary to keep a customer, but I guess they really don't have to. Good luck!

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:19 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yeah, that's very true, they're under no obligation to do anything other than fix the problems my boat has, but I certainly hope that they step up and help out with regards to a trade up to a new boat. I bought a boat 8 months ago and I've only been able to use it 50% of that time.

(disclaimer: Ok, ok, the boat's still "usable" but I just can't tell how fast I'm going or have more than 500lbs ballast on board, which to me, means it's unusable.)

By S Dub (sdub) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:20 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I dont think its reasonable to expect them to switch you outta the boat. Not at all. Get it fixed correctly and sell it.

If you have to trailer it 2 hrs away ask for some type of milage reimbursement or better yet, ask for some type of upgraded or service to the boat for your hassle.

You dont have a ton of leverage cause they only tried to fix it once. You get leverage after they cant fix it after 3 or 4 times.

I would only deal with a cheese at Centurion. Ask for a VP and only talk with them. dont settle for a low level CS person. And document every conversion with date time and what was said.

By depoint50ae (depoint50ae) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:28 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I am not sure if it would be better for you to get the boat fixed and then try to upgrade to the v drive or to use the POS broken boat to use as a bargaining tool.

Are you wanting to get another Centurion or swap to a new (closer) dealer/manufacture?

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:42 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm not expecting Centurion to swap out my T5 for a Lightning free of charge, I'm more than willing to split the difference, I just want a helluva deal on it.

Here's the crazy thing, even though it hasn't worked completely for me, I'm still happy with the boat. The gauges are Faria's problem, not really Centurion, although you can hold them responsible for putting cheap gauges in.
The transmission... who knows.
The boat, otherwise has been solid and great bang for the buck, so if I was taken care of by Centurion, I'd buy another one.

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:43 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
and I'm talking to a few high level people, no sales guys.
By Byrd (byrd) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:56 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I feel for you, but at this point I would get that boat over to O-town ASAP. The only leverage I would try would be for someone at the Corporate level to push the dealer in Orlando to get it done as quick as possible. Every day you spend on the phone, is another day you are going to miss out on the water.
By pwork (siuski) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 9:12 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Man, sounds like you've had some pretty tough luck over the last year. Unfortunatly you hear of these horror stories too often.

However, you don't know who reads these boards so I would cool it with 'I just want a helluva deal on it' and 'my end goal is to get into a v-drive' stuff. Like S Dub said get if fixed and sell it. The initial feel of post is: I can't use my boat because xyz so I want compensation to get into a better boat. I don't think it is the case, but one could constue it(spelling?) into that resulting in even worse service. If you do like the centurion, I'd make a good faith effort to get it to the dealer in Orlando (my closest inboard dealer is 2 hrs away, but I know that is probably different in FL). Then if that works out, buy a new boat from him.

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 9:59 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the comments, however, I don't feel that I'm out of line, or putting myself at risk by saying I want out of the boat. I've made no quams about the fact that I want a V-drive boat and want out of mine. I'll sell it and switch manufacturers if they can't take care of me. I've got Malibu, Mastercraft, Moomba and Tige dealers all within 20 miles. I'd just prefer to stay with Centurion and I'd prefer that they take care of me because of the hassle I've been through.
By Jim G (heem) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 10:37 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

Not sure about the gauges but the tranny should be able to be serviced by any dealer/mechanic that is approved by the powertrain manf. From what I have been told from my dealer (also 2 hours away) is that any other dealer in my area quailfied to work on my powertrain will be just fine. Contact who makes your tranny and see who else they authorize for work in your area. If you have to drive 2 hours to solve the issue so be it, you may just find the deal of a lifetime. Good luck.

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 10:55 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
yup, very true. Any Mercruiser dealer is able to work on the velvet drive.
By RodE (gymboarder) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 10:56 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I hate to hear stories about this but all too often it happens. I can say try to deal with the dealer in Orlando. I know it is a 2 hour drive but what else can you do. Centurion is a good company to deal with, not a great one but a good one. I had a few problems on a 2002 Avalanche I purchase new and they took care of them under warranty but after my warranty was over it was all on me. Needless to say I sold the boat once I got it fixed and purchase another from a different manfacturer. I was not happy with centurion at all but many people are. I learned my lesson the hard way and it seems like you have too. A dealer service can make boat ownership wonderful or a nightmare.
Good luck in getting this resolved

By Todd (boardman74) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 11:09 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I don't think numerous attempts to fix the problem give you any more leverage, just a bigger disgust and headache. I had a much worse situation with a new boat I purchased. The boat ended up going back to the manufactorer to be fixed. It was eventually fixed and they did cover some payments for me, but not all and I lost most of a summer. I was never able to get my money back or a good deal on another boat. You will also find as I did that the lemon law does not apply to boats. You can still try and sue them, but it's expensive and not many lawyers are willing to do it without a huge retainer. I wish you well and I would try the other dealer first. I was in North Dakota at the time and my next nearest dealer was 8 hours away. I was so mad at the time after paying $24,000. The dealer was horrible about helping and I went directly to the manufactorer. I was even told I was a pain in the a$$ by the service manager and told I was too picky.
By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 11:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
wow. Well, right now I'm planning on getting it fixed locally and then waiting to find the right boat for me. When it's available, I'll sell mine. I was supposed to hear back from Centurion yesterday afternoon and still have yet to hear anything.
By S Dub (sdub) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 3:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You are outta your mind if you think the manufacturer is gonna make you a good deal on a v drive over a guage issue. Not gonna happen.

As far as the tranny sliping, worst case, you can get it rebuilt for $1500. And thats a warranty deal so why would they make you any deal on a different boat?

Havent heard from them yet?, then get on the horn, sqeaky wheel gets greased. I woulda called first this a.m.

Orlando is only 2 hrs away, why have you not already towed the boat there?

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 7:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I don't feel like I'm out of my mind in the least bit. In the interest of customer satisfaction and service, a few thousand dollars is nothing. They'd get free advertising and positive referrals from me. Haven't heard from them, but I've left two voicemails. While only two hours away, I don't feel any compulsion to drive over there, leave my boat there and then wait a week or two and drive four more hours back and forth to pick it up. It's ridiculous. The LEAST they can do is come get it. Just my .02. Not trying to have a pity party thrown for me.
By Aaron Ware (99_slaunch) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 8:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
In you're last post you said " they'd get free advertising and positive referrals" If they just fix the problems and do not make you a deal on a v-drive will they still get the same response from you or will it be a bashing for Centurion.

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 6:20 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Good question, and the honest answer is no, I wouldn't bash them. If they did what they're obligated to do, which is fix my boat, I have no reason to bash them. The problems with my boat stem specifically from my dealer, not Centurion, per se, I was just hoping that they'd accept some culpability in the situation and go beyond what they had to. The only reason I'd bash them is if they don't bother calling me back, and just ignore the problem. Otherwise, I have no basis.
By Lance (uga33) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 6:32 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I hate to hear about your problems. It sounds the original dealer apparently had some serious issues. Unfortunately, you have no idea what that boat has been through the first 40 hours. I'm with SDUB on this one. This is in no way warrant a deal on a new boat. I had a guage go bad on my 02 and had the new guage within 1 week. I'm not trying rip you or anything like that, but your dealer wasted most of your time here, so let Centurion investigate and act accordingly.
By John (summerobsession) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 11:05 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I guess I fail to see what yuo "have been through" as you put it.
My nearest Tige` dealer is 6 hours away. Is that their fault? I don't think so. I had some issues with my new '06 24V, and I kept calling until I got it taken care of. It was a motor issue, and Marine Power sent me the parts and I took care of it! Big deal.
Don't take this the wrong way, but from the sounds of it, you bought a demo boat (no doubt a good price since it was not new), had a couple of issues, and now you're looking for someone to give you a new boat.
Drive the whole whopping 2 hours to get the boat fixed, make sure they do GREAT work and everything is fixed properly, and THEN look at a new boat.
It is unwise to expect something for nothing, it will only lead to disappointment.

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 11:16 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Ha! Ok, I understand my first post was really long, but here's the cliff's notes.

Had a problem with a speedo and tranny, took it to my dealer, they had it for over three months, gave it back, now not only does the speedo not work, but the tach doesn't work, and the tranny is still slipping. Dealer closed up shop since then and I feel that Centurion should do SOMETHING to help me out.

Whether that's through cutting me a good deal on a new boat, overnighting new gauges or coming to my house and getting my boat is totally up to them.

That's why the thread was titled "What should I expect from my manufacturer?" I'm simply looking for opinions and other people's personal experiences with their manufacturers.

By John (summerobsession) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 11:46 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, I did read the first post.
As far as what to expect, I'm sure that Centurion wants to keep you as a customer. That said, they also have to weight the cost/benefit ratio when deciding exactly what they can do for you.

Fixing the tranny and guages is a MUST on their part. Helping out with something extra for your inconvenience would be great (as Tige` did for me!), but not required.
As far as you leaving your boat at the dealer for three months-that is your fault, not theirs. I would never leave anything in someone elses hands that long without checking every DAY on the progress.
It sucks that the dealer quit selling the boats, but again, I fail to see what Centurion has to do with that.
Make Centurion fix your boat (even if you do have to drive 2 hours away) and fix it RIGHT so when you DO sell it, you will get top dollar for it.
If they do throw you a bone with a some goodies, extra service, free upgrades, etc. then great!
For what it's worth, in my case, my dealer was not close enough to fix my boat (although both they and Marine Power said they would come fix my boat for free at my location), and I could do the work myself. Tige` knew about the problems I had (even cost me nearly all my vacation time on the water), and they sent me a set of brand new swivel board racks for my troouble!
My dealer upgraded all the speakers in my boat and is working on tower speakers now!!
Great service!!!
Don't expect this kind of treatment though, but let them know it would surely be appreciated!!

By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I called my dealer almost every day, it was probably every three days or so. After three weeks, I called Centurion directly and asked what they could do to expedite the process. Centurion told me that the guages come directly from the factory and that I had to call them. I promise I did my part.

And here's the bottom line: I'm done with the boat. I'm dealing directly with Faria now as I haven't heard anything back from Centurion in a few days now. I'll take it to a local Mercruiser dealer, get the tranny fixed and you'll be able to see it on boattrader.com shortly thereafter. I've decided that I'd rather have a reputable dealer that's close by than get a heck of a deal on another Centurion. Chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned and I'll have fun with my new boat.

Don't misconstrue this as bashing Centurion, I'm sure, if given enough time, they'd do something wonderful for me, I just don't want to waste the time anymore... it's already been four months. The boat was fine, the people at Centurion, when I spoke to them, were very accomodating, and if I had a trustworthy local dealer, I'd seriously consider buying another.

By John (summerobsession) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, that makes sense now. The way I read it, you dropped the boat off and then came back after a long period of time, my bad.
I don't blame you for being done with the boat. With those kinds of issues, I would certainly be looking elsewhere as well.
I hope you get things resolved soon!
I don't have any experience with other companies, but Tige` certainly has done their part in providing great customer service for me.
I truly believe the dealer is the difference thogh. good ones make it right, bad ones just look for new cutomers all the time.

By Lance (uga33) on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:37 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The dealer plays a big part in keeping customers happy. Allthough they are few and far between. If it were me I would drive the 2 hours to the Orlando dealer and them handle it. Centurion told you to take it to Orlando to get it taken care of so that would be my route. I have always had great experiences with Centurion's customer care. They are trying to help you by telling you to take it to the Orlando dealer.

I don't think Mastercraft went to the (Barbwire boat) guy's house to fix all of his issues.

To answer the ? I think at this point your asking to much. If the Orlando dealer doesn't respond or fix your problems then let the war begin.

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