Boat Consumer's Guide:
BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau
In addition to a regular feature appearing in each issue of BoatU.S. Magazine, the Association's bimonthly news journal, the BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau offers Association Members four significant services.
Consumer Information - The Bureau is a one-stop source for information about state and federal consumer protection laws and boat safety standards, as well as contact names, addresses and phone numbers for marine manufacturers and much more.
Complaint Database - The Bureau maintains the only national database devoted solely to problems involving recreational boats, marine engines and related products and services. BoatU.S. does not rate or evaluate marine products, but our complaint files provide an overview of problems and how companies handle them.
Dispute Mediation - The Bureau operates the only nationwide informal dispute resolution program for boating complaints. Our involvement can help both sides in a dispute reach an amicable settlement without the expense of going to court. As a matter of policy, BoatU.S. does not become involved in complaints already in litigation, nor can we represent members in lawsuits.
BoatU.S. Safety Alert Registry - If your boat is recalled, you need to know about it. But owner records are sometimes incomplete and marine manufacturers may not be able to contact you with important safety information. BoatU.S. has established an easy way for boat owners to be notified when defect recalls occur. Simply register your new or used boat with the BoatU.S. Safety Alert Registry at www.boatus.com/recall. BoatU.S. will do all the rest by making your information available to the manufacturer of your boat. At the same site, BoatU.S. posts new recall notices as the U.S. Coast Guard publishes them.
How the BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau Can Help Members...
- When a problem with your boat arises, file a written complaint with the manufacturer or company, stating the nature of the problem and how you would like it resolved. Include supporting information such as repair invoices, marine survey reports and photographs.
- If the company doesn't respond to you in a satisfactory way, send the Consumer Protection Bureau copies of your correspondence. Include your complete name and address, as well as your BoatU.S. member number, and a complete description of the product or service with which you are dissatisfied.
- Once BoatU.S. receives your complaint, we will contact the company on your behalf, keeping the lines of communication open until a reasonable response is received.
All complaints and comments from consumers are entered into the Consumer Protection Bureau's database. Many Members contact BoatU.S. to learn about consumer problems and about how companies respond to complaints.
For more information about our mediation service:
Call 703-461-2856 or e-mail consumerprotection@BoatUS.com and ask for a copy of the Bureau's brochure, "If You've Got a Problem, We've Got a Solution."