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Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-02-2012, 1:29 PM Reply   
Does anyone have any contacts for Malibu who can actually help me??? Their customer service from the dealers all the way up to their actual customer service is lacking putting it nicely! Long story short my coupler bolts all broke off on my Malibu and I had to replace the couplers amongst other things. My dealer neglected to check the bolts when servicing my transmission and failed to find the issue when I told them I found broken bolts. Wouldn't a competent service tech call Malibu, Indmar and/or ZF to trouble shoot broken bolts? Not to mention my original dealer and replacement dealer were both banned from selling Malibu boats due to all the complaints and lack of service. This was all when my warranty was still valid and I have all the paperwork. Malibu wants to point the finger at their dealers instead of making it right!

My next issue is stress cracks that I had repaired by the Malibu dealer and they did a horrible job! Not only did they come back but they are worse and they messed up my finish. I realize boats get “some” stress cracks but these are ridiculous. Most are where screws go into the fiberglass.

The bottom line is I have been through two lousy dealers who were dropped from Malibu and now I’m getting resistance by Malibu customer service.

Has anyone else had issues with Malibu? Shouldn't Malibu or any other take responsibility for the dealers they allow to sell their boats? I have had numerous issues with these dealers ever since I bought my boat!
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-02-2012, 1:51 PM Reply   
Man, your making me think twice about getting a wake setter... I looked at 2 this weekend... Hmmmm guess I will be following this thread. Thanks
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-02-2012, 1:59 PM Reply   
I have not had a single issue with my 2011 VLX and I can chalk that up to great product and a world class dealership. IMO, you shuld never have to talk to anyone other then your dealer. That has been my experience all the way.

Sounds like your dealer sucks and you are having to do all the leg work.
Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-02-2012, 2:13 PM Reply   
Truekaotik- I actually don't have alot to complain about regarding the boat other than the coupler bolts breaking off, so far it has been great. My problem has been with the dealers and Malibu customer service. When I originally called about the issue the guy that was helping me was not cooperative and unresponsive. Later I found out he was no longer with Malibu and was directed to someone else who basically blew me off and would not return my phone calls or e-mails. I finally got in contact with the director of customer service and we will see what happens. Word of mouth is always the best advertisement, so make sure you ask around before you buy from a dealer. Make sure you ask the average joe what his experience is like because people with deep pockets aren't burdened as much as a guy like myself. I grew up in a small town in WV and after being introduced to wakeboarding and buying my boat in tampa, Im have now moved back. Having a wake boat in such a small area that has not really seen wakeboarding or wake boats I have had the privilege of being very influential. So you aren't the only one following this...A manufactures best advertisement is word of mouth!
Old     (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       07-02-2012, 2:20 PM Reply   
865-458-5478 ask for Scott

Dealer can make a HUGE impact for sure. I have a dealer about 30 miles from me, but it's worth the 100 mile drive to go to the other dealer. Night and day.

Last edited by wakebrdr94; 07-02-2012 at 2:22 PM.
Old     (Gryphon)      Join Date: Jun 2010       07-02-2012, 4:48 PM Reply   
I had a similar situation where my dealer was non-responsive after buying a demo.

I have dealt with both Dan Moorman and Chris Hankins, both have solved my issues which should have been taken care of at the dealer level.
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-02-2012, 7:15 PM Reply   
Ok, so make sure the dealer is reputable over all... Phewwww, been diggin this pig'd out LSV 247 at my local dealer in black and orange... Heard Malibu was the top of the food chain.. Is this correct?
Also thanks guys
Old     (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-03-2012, 12:23 AM Reply   
Remember guys, dealerships are not owned by the company. They are their own businesses most of the time, with their own issues.
Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-03-2012, 6:26 AM Reply   
Bu Coo- I couldn't disagree more with your statement! When you are one of the top three brands of anything, you should be making every effort to ensure you have the best out there selling your product. A poor dealer can hurt your sales, and a good one can increase your sales. Nothing or no one is perfect but I feel Malibu needs to step up their quality control when it comes to their dealers! Malibu or any other manufacture for that matter needs be out there visiting and looking at these dealers. For an example; my initial dealer was selling VLX's with trailers that were controversial when it came to the boat weight. In fact my axle broke and thank god not going down the highway. Malibu could of cared less and my dealer was already history so I took it up with boatmate and those guys were awesome! They sent me a brand new axle and took care of me. Boatmate was aware of what some of these dealers were doing and put a stop to it, not Malibu. How is the consumer supposed to know? I specifically asked my dealer if a single axle trailer was suitable for my VLX, because I had never seen one on a single axle.

I had other issues, defects and problems with my boat that the dealers tried to blame me for??? Once I took the boat to a "good" dealer they were quick to inform me that the issues were defects and would be covered under warranty. The bottom line is if you want people to buy your product you have to take care of the people who are taking care of you.
Old     (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-03-2012, 7:04 AM Reply   
I'll owned tons of new boats. I've had problems with almost all of them. I've had dealers screw up tons of stuff, and I've had dealers bend over backwards to not only fix my boat correctly, but to minimize any inconvenience to me during the process.

I'll not name names, but I had a 2007 VLX that developed a few small spidercracks along the front grab handles in the bow, and also had a small tear develop in the vinyl on one of the seats. I took it into a particular dealership (not in the Chattanooga area - our BU dealer is awesome) in November of '07. Well, come February, the repairs still had not even been started. We always start riding in March, so I was anxious about getting the boat back. Well, I got a phone call in March saying that the boat was ready. I went to pick it up and not only was the tear in the seat not fixed, but the dealer used the wrong color gel to fix the cracks int he bow. It looked terrible, and when I complained, the dealer told me that my boat must be a "custom" gel color, and that I was going to have to pay for "custom gel work", which was not covered under warranty. I was so mad that I just took my boat over to another dealership, which sold other brands, and left it there. I called Malibu and explained the situation, and how upset I was. In a nutshell, Malibu convinced the BU dealer to take the boat back and fix it correctly. What's crazy is that the BU dealer tried to essentially get me to buy a new vlx instead of fixing my '07, but didn't offer me a very good deal. While he was fixing my boat, I found a buyer for it, and when it was done, I dropped it off at my friend's dealership and left with an '08 SANTE 230. I loved that VLX, but I refused to continue to own BU, so long as I was going to have to go through that same dealer.

On the flip side, the guy who sold me my Nautique runs American Boat Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and always, and I mean ALWAYS, was on top of his warranty work. For example, in the middle of my first season with my '08 230, the trottle positioning sensor went out. I called ABC and told them what happened. I explained that I really wanted to have the boat fixed asap, because the 4th of july was right around the corner. The NEXT DAY, a guy from ABC drove 80 miles to Chattanooga and picked up the boat, brought it back to Knoxville, had the parts overnighted from PCM, fixed the boat, and dropped the boat off in Chattanooga 3 days later. That's what I call good service.

One other story of good service that I experienced involved Boatmate trailers. I had the LED lights stolen off of the boatmate trailer that I had built for my '09 SANTE 230. The theives managed to mangle the wiring on the trailer. There was a tournament in Nashville that I wanted to take my boat to the following weekend, but I obviously couldn't trailer it with no lights. I called Owen at Boatmate and explained my situation. Instead of just sending me parts and having me try to rewire everything, Boatmate sent a rep to my house from Knoxville, straightened out all of the wiring and installed all new lights for me. I couldn't believe it.

The moral of the story is that there are good dealers and not-so-good dealers out there. Sometimes it has to do with the fact that a dealer is new and is still figuring out how to run a business. Sometimes it has to do with a dealership being run by a bunch of people who view their customers as being one-and-doners (sell 'em one boat and forget about keeping them happy and don't worry if they ever come back). Unfortunately, whether it's CC, BU, MC, etc., the dealer is not the manufacturer. If you are having major problems with a dealer, then try to get the manufacturer to help lean on the dealer to fix the boat correctly and/or GO TO ANOTHER DEALER who sells the same brand - even if you have to drive a few hours.

For a variety of reasons, I ended up switching to Axis. I would not have done so had the local Chattanooga Axis/BU dealership (Marine Outfitters) not been so awesome to work with. I seriously could not be happier with MO, and every little issue I've had has been ironed out with minimal inconvenience to me.

Every boat will have issues. When factoring in what to buy, the dealer network for the particular brand you are considering is crucial. It sucks when a dealer gives a brand a bad name. Conversely, it's awesome when a good dealer keeps their customers happy, despite the problems that will occur with a new boat.

Last edited by chattwake; 07-03-2012 at 7:12 AM.
Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-03-2012, 8:10 AM Reply   
Chattwake- I agree with most of what you said which is all well put by the way! But IMO Manufactures need to press and hold these dealers to higher standards! For an example if you have a MC dealer and a Bu Dealer in the same town but the BU dealer is not reputable how many sales do you lose to MC? Who wants to drive an extra 70 miles? I understand both sides and it's all a matter of opinion and customer experiences. Unfortunately I have not had a pleasant experience.

I would like to add to the comments about Boatmate; Those guys go above and beyond! I didn't deal with Owen, I dealt with Jerry Jones who was outstanding!


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