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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Boatyards / Boatyard from hell
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Boatyard from hell

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jeff3399
Oct-11-2006 @ 4:30 PM                           Permalink
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My self and my family have had many happy holidays on the Norfolk broads some 12 holidays in all and the majority of them were booked through Blakes. How ever this year I booked a one week’s holiday direct with the boat yard (BIG MISTAKE) the boatyard in question is Barnes Brinkcraft.  when I booked the holiday over the phone with them I explained that I was taking my Mother and Father and due to my Father illness this would be his last ever holiday they were sorry to here that and said they would help in any matter if they could which to me was very pleasing to here I also explained that we would be travelling through the night because it is such a long way and would be arriving about 9.00 am the said that there was no problem with this, all seemed great.


     When we arrived we were able to go onto our boat at about 11.30am  this is where our nightmare began as we step through the door the floor was all ripped and uneven which my Elderly Mother fell over and cut here arm open we sat her down in the lounge which was filthy dirty. I went to get the owner to show him what had happened he told me it was my fault because we had the boat early, I then asked him for his accident book so we could right it in which he was not very pleased to do we also explained that we had been on the broads many times and this boat was the worst and dirtiest we had ever had this is where he stormed off I went to find him but he was no where to be found so I asked if they would come and clean the boat again which they did, Our party all agreed the was nothing we could do about it as the owner was to ignorant and arrogant to talk to. We then left on our boat about 1.30 pm  I noticed straight away that the rev counter was not working so we could not tell how fast we were going.

     We stopped for our first night and found out we had no heating in the lounge the toilet did not flush the water would not run out of the shower there was not a lot we could do till the morning as it was now dark and we were all so tired Sunday morning arrived woke up feeling a lot better went to make a cup of tea only to find the inverter batteries were flat I thought this might have been our fault for not running the engine long enough so we carried on. Monday morning arrived inverter battery was flat again so I rang the boat yard to tell him about the problems and the rev counter was not working he told me don’t worry about that. They came out to have a look. The engineer said he would have to call out on Tuesday as he did not have another battery with him in the mean time he would change the toilet pump which he did he said there was nothing he could do about the shower as it was a design fault the water runs the opposite way to the drain holes you just can’t use it the he said the owners know about the fault but have never done anything about it I explained we had no heating in the lounge he told me he did not no why and he could not fix it till it went back to the boatyard we would just have to put up with being cold. Tuesday came and so did the engineer with the new battery fixed it or so we thought. Wednesday morning came the inverter battery was flat again and so was the domestic battery yet another call to the



boatyard a new engineer called out with new batteries and fixed them, told him about the heating in the lounge that it was not working which he fixed in about 2 mins as it was only the pipe had com off so for no reason for 4 days we froze as this simple job could have been done by the first engineers call out or better still checked before we took over the boat.

     Thursday arrived the inverter battery was flat again yet another call to the boatyard engineer called again to fix it by this time we were all fed up and this was turning out to be the holiday from hell.

Friday came inverter battery was flat again another call to the boatyard he told me to put up with it as there was only one day left of our holiday. We stopped in Horning for the last day where I contacted the Broads Authority about our boat and that I could not tell what speed I was doing at the boat I gave them all the details about our problems and told them that the boatyard told me it did not matter about the rev counter not working which they were very interested in and asked me would I put all the details in writing and send it to them which I am also in the process of

Saturday came battery flat again we then took the boat back at 9.00am I went to see the owner he give me a refund of 1 days boat hire which to me was the biggest insult I have ever had he did not want to here about any of the problems we had he then told me I think its about time you were  going home this was the sort of person I was dealing with.

     All I can say is if you book a holiday with this company you must be mad there are plenty of other boatyards to book with please go to one of them I would not want you to go through what we had to go through and remember we booked their most expensive boat I dread to think what the others are like

This message was edited by jeff3399 on Oct-11-06 @ 11:03 PM

roya
Oct-11-2006 @ 4:37 PM                           Permalink
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Welcome to the site mate.
Blimey what a sad tale,hope your next visit is better.

roya

A Day without a smile is a wasted day

steve
Oct-11-2006 @ 5:01 PM                           Permalink
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hi jeff ,
sorry to hear about this bad experiance you and your family had ,hope you dont mind but heres a link to to other bad experiances from this boatyard ,
http://the-norfolk-broads.co.uk/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=20&Topic=5464
cheers

steve and vicky

romany
Oct-11-2006 @ 6:29 PM                           Permalink
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Well Brinks have been our regular yard for many years, and its sad to see the vast deline of levels in standards of service over the past 2 seasons.

I cannot say too much at this stage, as we have just lodged a formal letter of complaint with their Directors after the problems we have suffered ourselves during the 4 hirings we have had with them this season. Its very much 'Watch this Space' what I will say is that I believe the problems are rooted at management/director level, and some of their staff are as unhappy as their hirers about the situation, with 2 long serving engineers moving on (one through retirement) this year already. The remaining lads of which one is a forum member Wink  work very hard to try and cover the out of hours service the best they can, but can only maintain the boats as per management instructions.

Julia   Smile

Tarmacsoftee
Oct-11-2006 @ 6:53 PM                           Permalink
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Welcome aboard Jeff.

Blimmey, what a catastrophe m8. I hope you are not put off, although it would be quite understandable if you were. As you have said there are better, more reputable yards out there.

I hope things are better next time.

Nige.




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Debbie
Oct-11-2006 @ 7:38 PM                           Permalink
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What a really sad tale, I do hope your mother's arm was okay.
Well there's one possible reason then that more boats seem to be speeding, with that attitude It makes you wonder how many of there other boats rev counters don't work and in fact how they have any customers at all.

Stranger
Oct-11-2006 @ 7:51 PM                           Permalink
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yikes sorry to hear about your hell with this boatyard a rev counter is non essential as you know within 1 mph what speed you are doing working from walking speed if you book with martham boats that will confuse you all together as the cruisers dont have any rev counters fitted at all.i should considder claiming aginst them for the injury to your mum

have a nice day all the best Dave

Broads01
Oct-11-2006 @ 8:05 PM                           Permalink
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Hi there. Phew - what a tale. So sorry you must have had a rotten holiday, particularly considering your family circumstances. You may have seen there's been numerous posts on the forum about this yard & your post goes to strengthen the case against them.

Please, please, please, don't let this experience put you off boating on the Broads. There are so many good boatyards to choose from where if you went with them there wouldn't be the faintest chance of a repeat experience.

Simon

Richard
Oct-12-2006 @ 3:14 AM                           Permalink
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good grief, the title doesn't do justice to what you've been through.

I hope you're mother is feeling better, and that your father will have a chance to visit the Broads again.

My suggestion would be that you contact Blakes, even though you booked direct with the yard, there is still an affiliation. I think you'll find that Blakes will try to help as best they can.

I'd be very interested to hear the results.

expilot
Oct-12-2006 @ 8:26 AM                           Permalink
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What an appalling and sad tale.  I'm sure every forum member sympathises with you.  May I make the following observation?  IMO customer skills and man management skills are closely interlinked.  A lack of skill in one area almost always causes problems in the other.  Owning a boatyard may require personal drive, considerable financial investment and significant enrepreneurial skill, but running one without the ability to keep your staff and customers happy is a recipe for disaster.  In the old days customer complaints were very private affairs.  Complaints such as this reach a global audience.  Yards would do well to remember that their cheapest marketing tool is their last satisfied customer.  A satisfied customer is its best and most effective advert.

A large yard could argue that its complaining customers are in the minority.  One is too many!  Once the staff start complaining or voting with their feet you're on a slippery downward slope.  Stop blaming the customers.  Stop blaming the staff and begin the difficult process of self appraisal - before it's too late.

"There are old pilots.  There are bold pilots............."

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