Lakemoor >Boat Dealers > Munson Ski & Marine
31695 N Us Highway 12, Volo, IL | Directions 6007342.324306 -88.163442
Great Boats Great People – I purchased a new Bennington pontoon boat from this dealership. It arrived December 3rd shinkwrapped for summer. I had already had a delivery set up for it in late April, but I looked at the weather this week-all 70's March in Chicago?
I know lots has to be done to the boat to get it ready, but I called anyway and talked to Gene. He called me back in 15 minutes and said he was able to schedule a Captains delivery for tomorrow! All my dealings with this company have been first class. Pete, who sold me the boat is very well informed about his product. Within 15 minutes of speaking with him, I knew I wanted a Bennington.
Purchasing the boat was very low pressure, fair, and straight foward. After buying the boat I was introduced to the service department and the owners. They all took the time to greet me.
This dealership has more boats than I have ever seen in one location, just an awesome selection. They are obviously doing things right here, these boats came from somewhere. My experience could not have been better. Thanks Pete! Thanks Munson Ski!
Poor Service after the Sale – Think twice before doing business with them. Purchased Rinker Cruiser for $135K to be delivered in the Ozarks for which we paid $2500. Once the boat was ready to go and we were on our way to the lake to meet them for delivery they called and said the Missouri permit office was closed which delayed delivery. One of the two employees that were delivering the boat was more interested in swimming than delivery of the boat. They swam off our slip in the marina where no swimming sighs were posted and proceed to drag bird droppings off the dock on to our band new boat. They promised all add ons would be installed per factory specs and they were not. When coordinating warranty work after providing my location 3 times, which they already had, they finally got on the right lake. Getting initial warranty took months because they lost track of e-mails and did not respond for weeks at a time. In many cases it seemed they did not bother to look at the details in the e-mails we sent them. They did write me a check to cover installation and half a generator sound shield which should have been included which was a good start however during a dispute over installation of a grill one of the owners, Mark Manson, said they were done with us and when I stated we still had time left on warranty and warranty work left to be done he stated they were no longer helping us and hung up on me. He was very unpleasant. A year and half after taking delivery we still have warranty work not completed. I have purchased 3 new boats in my lifetime and this was the most expensive and by far the worst in terms of service from the dealer.
Munson Marine of Fox Lake, IL **BUYER BEWARE!! – The following has been my experience with Munson Marine of Fox Lake, Illinois over the past 4 months. They have left me no choice but to take legal action and precede though Honda Marine Group...
I purchased a brand new 2009 South Bay Pontoon with a Honda 50 HP 4-Stroke Motor from Munson Marine of Fox Lake in April of 2010. I paid for the boat with a check on the spot and test drove the boat immediately after. During test drive, I noticed the boat not accelerating properly and stalling out numerous times when we accelerated. The Munson mechanic who was on the boat actually tried to tell me this was normal! He was also extremely limited to what features of the boat he knew about, like the navigation, fish finder, radio, etc. I spoke to a service person, as well as Sam, the Sales Manager of Munson, when we got off the boat and told them something was not right with the motor. They both assured me everything would be checked and repaired before delivering the boat to me in early May - 4 weeks later. I believed them.
Munson Marine of Fox Lake, IL **BUYER BEWARE!! – continued...
In early May I took delivery of the boat. I wrote a check in access of $300 for delivery of the boat, and tipped the delivery person $20. He put the boat into the water and not more that 100 yards out into the water I noticed the motor having the same issues it did on the test drive. A minute later the engine stalled out again and again, multiple times before I could even reach my dock. I called Munson, spoke to Pete the service manager, who told me they had tested the motor numerous times and had found no problems with it before delivery. I told him that was impossible. I knew I was in for a long summer with the boat and with Munson, especially since they have started off our relationship with a blatant lie. He said he would send someone up to look at it.
The next weekend a mechanic from Munson came up to the house to check things out. He removed the fuel line from the manufacturer’s (South Bay) fuel filter, essentially bypassing it, and connected it directly to the engine. He told me that Munson technicians bypass the manufacturer's fuel filters all the time because they tend to cause problems with the fuel. He said this Honda motor had its own fuel filter on it anyway so it shouldn’t matter. He had also squeezed the fuel pump ball multiple times to make sure it was working properly. When he did so, I noticed a small amount of gasoline trickling down alongside the motor and into the water. He said this was a common event and that sometimes fuel can accumulate in certain parts of the engine components and will wash off into the water. It didn’t sound right to me, but what do I know, right? He's the mechanic. He said to try things out and let him know if it was still having problems after he left. I took the boat out a couple hours later and it was having the exact same issues I was having on the test drive and before he came to service it that day.
I called Munson back, again speaking to Pete the service manager, who told me they would have to locate a new fuel pump from Honda. After a couple weeks he had located one and scheduled a time to come up and install.
The same mechanic who came to the house before also came up to install the new fuel pump. After the new fuel pump was installed, the boat did not stall anymore for about two months, but it also did not seem to be running very well. It would chug while in neutral and seemed like it always wanted to stall. Finally, in early August, the boat began to stall every time I had the boat in idle. It also took about 10 minutes to get the motor started every time I took the boat out. I knew something was still wrong with the motor and it was indeed not fixed. Keep in mind the motor had 25 hours on it at this time. It was practically still brand new. I called Pete at Munson. He told me it would probably cost in access of $350 to come up and look at it and perform a 20 hour service on the boat which may or may not take care of the issue. After discussing the issue with him, we had agreed that the best option was to take it to the local marina and do an oil change and have the mechanic adjust the throttle and see if it fixed things. I did that. The owner of the marina performed an oil change and lightly inspected the engine.
Munson Marine of Fox Lake, IL **BUYER BEWARE!! – continued...
He told me there were bigger issues with the engine than anything oil or throttle related. There was most likely a problem with the carburetors and that I should have Munson come up and assess it. I called back Pete at Munson and he told me that it would take at least 2 weeks to get someone up to the house to look at it. At this point I felt there was something going on and Munson was indeed not going to stand behind the motor or take care of me as a customer. If I didn't trust them much before, I definitely lost all trust now.
I called a very reputable Mobile Marine Specialists with 30 years experience in the business to come assess the motor and give me an outside, honest opinion of it. After inspection, he told me that the #1 Carburetor was broken and had fuel leaking out of it. His recommendation was to have Munson replace the motor or to replace all 3 carburetors. He said in his 30 years experience it was not commonplace to see a brand new motor have this many issues this soon. Again, the motor had a little over 25 total hours on it at this time.
I called back Pete at Munson and told him what the gentleman had found. I told Pete I was fed up with this motor and that I wanted either a new motor or 3 new carburetors. Pete's reaction? He laughed at me. He literally laughed out loud at me over the phone. You can imagine how I felt as a customer of Munson at this point. Pete said he would send someone up to take a look at it at his earliest convenience. After a few days he called me back and asked for a credit card number for the trip charge. Trip charge? I said I was not paying any trip charge for a repair that should have been made at the dealership before I took delivery. A repair Munson promised would be made after I had already paid for the boat in full, in good faith. I said I wanted to speak to the owner, Craig Munson. He said he was not available. I asked what Craig would think about the service I was being provided and he told me Craig was the one who put into place all the ways Munson handles service. I had no choice but to tell Pete I would have to have my lawyer call him. At that point Pete said he needed to hang up the phone and broke all contact with me. I tried to call Craig directly a couple days later. Sam, the Sales Manager, answered the phone. She told me he would not speak to me because I threatened legal action and I would need to have my lawyer call them. That was the last contact I had with Munson Marine. I am now in the process of going though Honda Marine Group with my lawyer to make sure I am not left in the dark with this motor.
I have done business with stand-up people in my life and feel I am a stand-up person as well. Maybe I was a bit naive to think that Munson Marine would fall into this category. I have learned a valuable life’s lesson in all of this. I will be in the market for 2 more boats and a couple of jet skis in the next year or two. Munson has truly lost a great customer. I am hoping to find a quality marine dealer in the Midwest who can fulfill my future needs. I also hope Honda Marine can sympathize with the ordeal I have gone through with their Authorized Dealer, Munson Marine of Fox Lake, Illinois. I have always heard good things about Honda products, now we will see if they stand behind them as I would expect.
"Get Munsoned" @ Munson with High Prices & Poor Service – I tried buying a Malibu from Munson, a few years ago...I don't think they thought I was serious about buying a boat. I was looking for a deal and they offered me a few options and shot me some prices that were utterly ridiculus.
Bottom Line...I got on the internet and found a better model with more options, for less money.
I've used them for service on my Malibu and have had bad experiences. When they screw up (and they will) they will try to blame you for something and make you feel like an idiot.
It's shocking to me that these guys have been around as long as they have, but with over 9 million people in the Chicago area, I guess they can afford to piss a few people off and still find customers. If you want a Malibu and you don't want to drive several hours away, you're stuck with Munson. Shocking that Malibu does not open another dealer in a metro area with over 9 million people?
Worse Experience of My Life!!!! – Before the sale experience was good. After the sale has been the worse in my life and I own a lot of toys.
Promised to water test the boat as it was to be delivered 500 miles away. Never done - lots of up front issues with electrical that would have been caught. Major problem for me as I am located 100 miles or so from nearest Bennington dealer. Said they would coordinate repairs -- I have heard nothing since the boat was delivered.
I have sent E Mails and left voice mails with no response.
Number of items such as safety packet was to be with the boat - nothing. We had to borrow basic safety packet from neighbors to put boat in the water.
Major hassle, mostly due to Munson in getting the boat registered out of state.
When I transferred the trailer to my truck I did not have a 4 point connector for the electrical. There was an old one on their truck. It wasn't much money -- just principle, especially with all the problems, Although I had just purchased a 70m boat, they actually billed my credit card for the cost of a new one.
In spite of all the dealer issues - Bennington is a great boat and I highly recommend. It is a stand out on the lake when I am located. I have recommended to many people. I just wish I could recommend Munson but based on my experience I would not even buy an accessory from Munson. That is sad because I really liked the Munson team before the sell.
500 miles away is like next door since internet. Most of us in business rely heavily on referrals. Unfortunately, in my case the referrals is to buy Bennington, but not at Munson.
Big Fat Liars – All the good reviews were written by Munson Ski employees to counter all the BAD reviews about them.
Stay Away- Far Far Away. They are BAD news!
they really know their stuff and recommended the perfect boat – I bought a 256 SSX open bow from Munson Ski last summer. The experience was great. I had my mind on a used boat but Mark Biasco talked some sense into me. Their finance program is better than any other dealer had to offer. I got into the boat of my dreams and have less of a payment than I would have had on a used boat. After using their service department; I can highly recommend them. Fast, curteous, and they take great care of my pride and joy.
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