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texaswake

Dallas Malibu gone wrong

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texaswake

It is with great sadness to post something negative about Malibu but it may help anyone who is going to a local Malibu shop for maintenance. Beware the Malibu service department isn't what it use to be.

The whole story. I took my Malibu into the local Malibu dealer this spring for a carb rebuild. (Local dealer is almost a three and a half drive round trip. I was quoted 400 to 500 to rebuild and tune the carb which was fine by me as I had planned and put the money aside for it.

Two weeks later I receive a phone call that the carb is finished but they found that a leak down test was bad on one cylinder, thats a boat for ya I know. The guy says for them to pull the heads, mill them and do a valve job its $1400 or more. I decline their head job no pun intended and tell them I'll just pick it up for now and re-asses my finances and options from here.

o

Picked up the boat, payed the full $500 for a rebuild and tune...but they couldn't tune it because of the bad head and compression. Everyone was very nice and no bad blood was spilled at this point. I asked what the compression was through out the motor bc none of it was written down. No one know so no biggy I'd do one at home right.....well this is where it all goes down hill.

Once I was home I had a friend who builds motors for dirt track cars and rebuilds boat motors come out to my house to check the compression. He wants the motor to be run for a minute or two just to warm up a little so we run it down the ramp that is two blocks from my house. Put it in the water let it idle for a few minutes and take it back to the garage right? Plugs are all in and in the water it went. I walk up to his truck to get the key and on my return I see about a foot of water in the boat. It's sinking to the trailer! Quickly I pull it out of the water and asses everything. Malibu forgot to hook up the hoses, nice. A few minutes and the water is drained and the hose is attached. Now I begin to see everything else. Washers, nuts, and random parts just sitting on the motor. They didn't even put it all back together!! The carb was repainted thats nice but they repainted it on the motor with nothing to block over spray. there is paint everywhere including all over the flame arrestor which isn't even on correctly. It's been tightened down off to the side. I can literally reach down in the carb which I now notice caught alot of paint down in the carb its self.

Phone calls where made to the Malibu dealer and the most that was ever said by the owner is "that doesn't happen too often." Too often are you kidding!!!! Ok so I don't own a $50, $60,$70k boat but I have a really nice Malibu that I can afford so when I bring it to the MALIBU dealer I expect Malibu service. To this day I've never heard back from anyone at the dealership or their service department. It's so unfortunate because I have personally sent several friends to this dealer and they bought brand new boats from them. I am trading in my boat in the next year or two and I am rethinking my malibu commitment! I love love love Malibu boats but why would I buy a newer Malibu just to have to take it to this shop where they obviously have no respect for other peoples property and investments.

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SunriseH2OSkier

This is at least the 2nd of these type of posts in the last week. Your problem isn't with Malibu, it is with a dealership/service department. The manufacturer does not own the dealership. Yes, it is their face to the market, but they do not own/control the dealer. Same thing could have happened with any brand boat.

Fact of the matter is that for an older boat, there really is no reason you have to service the boat at a dealership that sells the same brand. For engine work especially, when you have a carb'd engine, there just is no advantage to limit yourself that way. Many of the parts are standard car engine parts. The ones that are not, are easily available through any number of online sites like Discount Inboard Marine. You have a friend who is apparently into building engines. Did you consider asking him if you could pay him to do the rebuild? He would have been every bit as capable (more so probably) to work on your boat, and you wouldn't have had to drive 3+ hours round trip.

If you had a new(er) boat, with EFI, or for service of some of the dash electronics like Malivue, then yes, take it to a Malibu dealer. For anyone considering the purchase of a newer boat, no matter what brand, you need to investigate the dealership/service department just as much as you investigate the model/features/color of the boat. Get references from other customers. Interview their service manager, ask for a tour of their operation. In the end, all the major manufacturers make good boats. The dealership can make or break the experience.

Edited by SunriseH2OSkier

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UofK fanatic

I agree with above post I pass a Malibu dealer and drive two more hours to get mine worked on. Reseach the people that work for you.

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texaswake

SunriseH2OSkier I completely agree with you about getting references and doing homework on service departments. Hince this post. I do agree as well that it is not Malibu but the specific dealer that concerned me. Also if I were to be buying a newer boat that would have to be brought to Malibu for service that I am quite hesitant because of this last service.

I did explore other avenues before deciding to take it to the Malibu dealership and ultimately I decided to bring it to them because without a doubt this would not be the first older Malibu that they had worked with and should have it down pat. Unfortunately it must have been game day and they have tv's in the bays because I did not get very good service.

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srintx

I agree -

However, to me as the consumer the dealer is Malibu as in they are the representation of the Malibu image. If the dealer can't get it right, then Malibu (corporate) needs to address the issues that are being presented. Whether that means additional training in policy etc.

I love my VLX, however, it appears that there have been a lot of issues lately with Malibu...

Edited by srintx

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nyryan2001

Waterski America has been off the charts exceptional and fair towards me in every aspect of service... even when they didnt have to. They have been terrrific.

I have a 2011 and have many many several issues.... and I didnt buy my boat there. Another dealer just short of refused to service my boat because I didnt buy it there. I am pretty much a straight shooter and dont mince words, Tony and Jon have 100% earned my respect and business and would not hesitate to buy a boat at WSA or reccomend them to a friend.

You dont get to be the biggest Malibu dealer in the country, or get the reputation they have by ripping folks off. in the end, when you are doing the volume they are doing, you cant make everyone happy.

Edited by nyryan2001

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srintx

Waterski America has been off the charts exceptional and fair towards me in every aspect of service... event when they didnt have to. They have been terrrific.

I have a 2011 and have many many several issues.... and I didnt buy my boat there. Another dealer just short of refused to service my boat because I didnt buy it there. I am pretty much a straight shooter and dont mince words, Tony and Jon have 100% earned my respect and business and would not hesitate to buy a boat at WSA or reccomend them to a friend.

You dont get to be the biggest Malibu dealer in the country, or get the reputation they have by ripping folks off. in the end, when you are doing the volume they are doing, you cant make everyone happy.

Well said, despite them not being in TX, I think the same way about Bakes.

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Hammertime

It is with great sadness to post something negative about Malibu but it may help anyone who is going to a local Malibu shop for maintenance. Beware the Malibu service department isn't what it use to be.

The whole story. I took my Malibu into the local Malibu dealer this spring for a carb rebuild. (Local dealer is almost a three and a half drive round trip. I was quoted 400 to 500 to rebuild and tune the carb which was fine by me as I had planned and put the money aside for it.

Two weeks later I receive a phone call that the carb is finished but they found that a leak down test was bad on one cylinder, thats a boat for ya I know. The guy says for them to pull the heads, mill them and do a valve job its $1400 or more. I decline their head job no pun intended and tell them I'll just pick it up for now and re-asses my finances and options from here.

o

Picked up the boat, payed the full $500 for a rebuild and tune...but they couldn't tune it because of the bad head and compression. Everyone was very nice and no bad blood was spilled at this point. I asked what the compression was through out the motor bc none of it was written down. No one know so no biggy I'd do one at home right.....well this is where it all goes down hill.

Once I was home I had a friend who builds motors for dirt track cars and rebuilds boat motors come out to my house to check the compression. He wants the motor to be run for a minute or two just to warm up a little so we run it down the ramp that is two blocks from my house. Put it in the water let it idle for a few minutes and take it back to the garage right? Plugs are all in and in the water it went. I walk up to his truck to get the key and on my return I see about a foot of water in the boat. It's sinking to the trailer! Quickly I pull it out of the water and asses everything. Malibu forgot to hook up the hoses, nice. A few minutes and the water is drained and the hose is attached. Now I begin to see everything else. Washers, nuts, and random parts just sitting on the motor. They didn't even put it all back together!! The carb was repainted thats nice but they repainted it on the motor with nothing to block over spray. there is paint everywhere including all over the flame arrestor which isn't even on correctly. It's been tightened down off to the side. I can literally reach down in the carb which I now notice caught alot of paint down in the carb its self.

Phone calls where made to the Malibu dealer and the most that was ever said by the owner is "that doesn't happen too often." Too often are you kidding!!!! Ok so I don't own a $50, $60,$70k boat but I have a really nice Malibu that I can afford so when I bring it to the MALIBU dealer I expect Malibu service. To this day I've never heard back from anyone at the dealership or their service department. It's so unfortunate because I have personally sent several friends to this dealer and they bought brand new boats from them. I am trading in my boat in the next year or two and I am rethinking my malibu commitment! I love love love Malibu boats but why would I buy a newer Malibu just to have to take it to this shop where they obviously have no respect for other peoples property and investments.

You're a better man than I am, but I've learned over the years to check EVERYTHING before I pay anyone these days for service rendered.

I understand your expectations around Malibu. As a new Malibu boat owner, I can appreciate that, but I still check everything I can out before I pay them when they work on our boat.

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texaswake

Without a doubt I'm sure they turn out great service and I really wouldn't have been so disappointed if they had stepped up to their mistakes. I really hope they don't turn out every boat like this and I know it was a very very simple mistake but it was how it was handled afterwards that really just left me speechless until now. I had pictures of everything and emailed them as requested and the follow up was that they would sit down and discuss what was done to the boat and what was accidently not done....Never heard back from them. It just gives the Malibu name a huge black eye for that customer.

Something that I heard a long time ago when I was in sales at a car dealership "Treat a customer right and they will tell someone, treat them bad and they will tell everyone."

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wakebrdr94

Even when my boat goes out of warranty, I plan on continuing to use my dealership. I would EXPECT they know what they are doing. I have to side with the OP. when you buy a Chevy, do you go to the dealer, or one of the no name lots on the side of the road. Regardless of the brand, they represent the name, and of they are unable or incompetent on getting a service order right, and making the customer happy, ( within reason) then the manufacturer should be made aware. It is reasonable to assume if you take your boat into the dealer for service, not only will they perform the job correctly, but they will put the motor back together. They did not even test their own work if they hard hoses undone, and that says something about their work

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Bill_AirJunky

Even when my boat goes out of warranty, I plan on continuing to use my dealership. I would EXPECT they know what they are doing. I have to side with the OP. when you buy a Chevy, do you go to the dealer, or one of the no name lots on the side of the road. Regardless of the brand, they represent the name, and of they are unable or incompetent on getting a service order right, and making the customer happy, ( within reason) then the manufacturer should be made aware. It is reasonable to assume if you take your boat into the dealer for service, not only will they perform the job correctly, but they will put the motor back together. They did not even test their own work if they hard hoses undone, and that says something about their work

One one hand, your absolutely right, they obviously didn't check & double check anything. Makes you question whether or not the carb rebuild was done right.

But what if the dealership has only represented the manufacturer in the last few years.... and we're talking about bringing a 10 yr old boat in for service? Is it expected that the dealership know about older boats predating their relationship with the manufacturer?

Personally I wouldn't expect it. But I'd be willing to bet that isn't going to be the same expectation from others.

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wakebrdr94

Even if this was their first year representing the manufacture, one should still expect that the boat be put back together. I understand if when picking up the boat you get something like "we don't have a lot of experience with this motor, so it was a bit of a challenge" or "we had a little trouble with A and B" but to not have the engine put back together correctly is inexcusable. Just to play devils advocate for a moment, I would almost feel as though when they called about extra work that needed to be performed, and the OP refused, they just didn't care anymore as they were not getting anymore money. You're right though, I would question the rebuild job wondering how they knew it was right when they never tested it.

Maybe because I am in a customer service related field, I expect and demand the hugest service as this is what I strive for in making my customers happy. Again, like I said before, within reason, and so far nothing seems to be unreasonable about the op's post if he has not received a call back or any response. But it comes down to training and holding people accountable. If I were the owner of the dealership, I would be holding whoever signed off on the work responsible for that mishap.

Pardon the typos with my lack of skills with this phone

Edited by wakebrdr94

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jwl019

Don't car mechanics at dealerships get extensive training on their brand vehicles they are working on? I know my Toyota mechanic does. Also my ATV mechanic gets training from the brands his store carries (Honda and Polaris). That is not saying they can't work on other brands, but those brands they know inside and out on all models no matter how old.

Is this not the case for boat dealership service personnel?

I know when you say the word "boat" at a dealership it will cost you $500, but at least assemble back what you tore up so that it is at least in the same shape as what it came on as!

It really isn't Malibu's fault more on the dealer, or better yet the service manager for not checking his employees work, but don't think I would be carrying my boat back to that dealership or purchasing one from them.

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Fman

I have a question for everyone, what qualifies a boat mechanic? Is there a certification they must have? It seems like they are not regulated like the automotive industry. I found out at my dealership, the mechanic last season is now doing warranty claims.... I thought hmmmm that's a little strange, but hey, maybe he got tired of wrenching on boats. I have never seen a boat mechanic in overalls with certification patches like at the dealerships.

Does anyone know how they are certified as a boat mechanic?

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srintx

On a side note, I'm currently experiencing an issue with my Tundra, the dealer can't seem to get things right. Toyota has a 800 number that you can call and once you go through the layers and the case warrants, your issues maybe referred to a case manager to help ensure that the process of getting the problem resolved with the local dealership is done within reason. It provides "corporate" oversight to the dealer network, thus allowing Toyota an insight to what the dealer base is doing and help resolve issues that Toyota owners can't work out between the dealer.

I look at the boating industry the same way, if Malibu Corporate doesn't have a dealer network that is customer focused and held accountable to certain standards, it could potently allow for an experience that makes the buyer look for another brand in the future.

Before I bought my current VLX I looked at all the brands and test drove a bunch of boats, one of the reasons I came back to Malibu was because of the culture it has created. Culture takes a long time to build, but it can be crushed quickly...just my thoughts.

Good luck on your boat-

Shawn

Edited by srintx

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Lance B. Johnson

What happens sometimes is just a poor hire.....and it sounds like this might be the case. Some guy interviews for the job and makes the service manager believe that he can work on boats even though he can't. You need to make sure that you talk to the service manager, it is possible that this has happened before with this particular tech and he needs to go work in some other field.

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Bozboat

I am betting it is more careless than malicious, not that the difference would matter to the customer. The tech stopped to get the ok to do more work and then got busy doing something else or was off the next day. The telling point will be whether the next mechanic will verify that the cylinder is bad or say nothing else is wrong.

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tvano

while my observational skills are often lacking i don't recall seeing anything in this thread that indicates malibu has even been made aware of this incident.

as far as i can see this issue has not been escalated beyond the local dealership.

dragging malibu through the mud without bothering to talk to them first may be in bad form.

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dgd

I am really surprised to read this post about poor service and lack of follow-up from Waterski America. I have been dealing with Waterski America since 2003 and have bought two new boats from them. The reason I bought the second one was the excellent service I received from Tony and his team with the first boat. I have had issues with both boats but on all occasions, they have been resolved in a timely manner and to my satisfaction. I have recommended them to my friends and will continue to do so.

Have you tried talking to Tony about the issue?

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wakebrdr94

I have a question for everyone, what qualifies a boat mechanic? Is there a certification they must have? It seems like they are not regulated like the automotive industry. I found out at my dealership, the mechanic last season is now doing warranty claims.... I thought hmmmm that's a little strange, but hey, maybe he got tired of wrenching on boats. I have never seen a boat mechanic in overalls with certification patches like at the dealerships.

Does anyone know how they are certified as a boat mechanic?

I know at my dealer, the techs are trained through Indmar. Not sure what that means other than they get a certificate on the wall that says they are Indmar certified. I called for service one week and I was told service was closed as they were attending an Indmar seminar. So that is my guess

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Ndawg12

while my observational skills are often lacking i don't recall seeing anything in this thread that indicates malibu has even been made aware of this incident.

as far as i can see this issue has not been escalated beyond the local dealership.

dragging malibu through the mud without bothering to talk to them first may be in bad form.

JUST BASED ON THE OP'S INFO PROVIDED BEING ACCURATE AND TRUE, if I was the service manager who fielded your call I would have sincerely apologized for the mishap, credited your entire payment, offered to correct anything possible, and promised to resolve the issue internally. That's called "making it right", a lost art these days in many markets.

And everyone who says malibu is not responsible, sure they are. One bad transaction does not make a bad dealer but if corrective measures aren't taken by malibu to correct the situation and it continues then that becomes their problem. There is a saying that "shi# rolls down hill" and malibu is at the bottom of the hill but also has control of the top of the hill...

JMO

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texaswake

while my observational skills are often lacking i don't recall seeing anything in this thread that indicates malibu has even been made aware of this incident.

as far as i can see this issue has not been escalated beyond the local dealership.

dragging malibu through the mud without bothering to talk to them first may be in bad form.

Yes as of the beginning of this week I shot an email off to Malibu. Not sure who it goes to bc it's just a form with a comment section. Other than that I have no idea how to get my message to corporate. And as of this week no response from the dealer.

As of tonight I have been cleaning the boat out only to find that the amount of water that got in the boat was enough to soak both amps that were mounted up in the storage area. Nice.

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wakebrdr94

Quit cleaning the boat, Start taking pictures, and document everything. take it right back to the dealer where this work was done. They need to replace, repair, fix everything and Anything that is damaged due to their negligence

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srintx

JUST BASED ON THE OP'S INFO PROVIDED BEING ACCURATE AND TRUE, if I was the service manager who fielded your call I would have sincerely apologized for the mishap, credited your entire payment, offered to correct anything possible, and promised to resolve the issue internally. That's called "making it right", a lost art these days in many markets.

And everyone who says malibu is not responsible, sure they are. One bad transaction does not make a bad dealer but if corrective measures aren't taken by malibu to correct the situation and it continues then that becomes their problem. There is a saying that "shi# rolls down hill" and malibu is at the bottom of the hill but also has control of the top of the hill...

JMO

Good point!

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