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Submitted: 05-24-2013 by Yak Tales

I researched and demoed a fair amount of kayaks prior to purchasing the Stealth. I felt that I had picked the perfect kayak for my style of fishing. The Stealth would allow me to stand and fish the flats and also give me plenty of room in the front hatches to store my rods when doing beach launches and prevent them from getting drenched.

The boat has great stability and ample storage. On the down side the side hatches leak terribly. I had heard of issues with the side hatches leaking. So I inquired with customer service prior to purchasing my kayak and was assured that all issues had been resolved. Surprise there not!! My Malibu Stealth took in approx 3-4 gallons of water on a beach launch. The waves on this day were maybe 1-2.

I contacted Malibu right away to resolve this issue. Well lets just say that customer service is not Malibu's strong point. Their CS rep first offered to send me new side hatches. Being I just bought the Stealth for almost $1400 with tax, I did not really feel like having to do fixes on a new kayak. So he agreed that he would drop ship me a new kayak to replace the one I was having issues with at no cost. He explained that it was going to take approx 3 weeks to manufacture the kayak being they had none in stock. Wasn't crazy about the 3 week wait however if it meant I was getting a new replacement I was willing to wait.

Well 3 weeks has come and gone. We are now on almost 3 months. I have heard almost every excuse you can imagine. From I didn't receive the email or phone call to they ran out of resin to produce more Kayaks. I would call Malibu and leave endless messages with no return phone calls. Finally I call up and xxx tells me that my kayak is ready and they will be shipping it as soon as I pay $200 for shipping. Are you kidding me. I purchase a product that was not right from day 1 and you want to now charge me an additional $200 because you didn't get it right the first time. xxx stated to me that he had been told by upper management that I was to pay shipping. I get this if I had had the kayak for 6 months or longer, but not for a kayak that was never right to begin with. I asked xxx to speak with someone else about this issue and was told that know one else was willing to speak with me. So if I wanted the replacement kayak it was going to cost me an additional $200.00. Bottom line BUYER BEWARE. If you have problems with your yak then the night mares will begin. I have many friends in the kayak community and most of them will agree Malibu's CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS.
I have attached a link for you to view the leakage on my kayak
http://youtu.be/zVBnyYgIuNE

**MANUFACTURER'S RESPONSE**
"We'd like to take this time to respond to the reviews recently posted regarding our warranty policy. At Malibu Kayaks, we reserve the right to charge shipping on warranty claims during the first 12 months at our discretion. It does not always happen, but it can, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. That being said, our kayak warranty stands among the best warranties in the water sports manufacturing industry. Consumers are welcome to research us and our competitors to make an educated buying decision.

This consumer claimed his kayak was taking on several gallons of water in a single offshore launch. While our design and production teams are certainly not satisfied with product that takes on water, no polyethylene sit-on-top kayak is completely impervious to water leakage, especially through hatches. Again, we realize this can affect the performance of the kayak so we continue to work on the best possible solution for all our models. That being said, water still may come into the kayak, and we encourage our kayakers to review all storage and safety procedures for draining excess water and remind you to always wear your PFD!

The customer originally contacted our warranty department with his claims in February of 2013. According to our policy and industry standards, we offered to replace any defective parts at no cost. He was dissatisfied with the options presented and requested a new kayak be prepared and shipped to his location, among various other requests, in part to replace third party accessories he outfitted on the kayak in question. After some negotiation, Malibu Kayaks agreed to replace his kayak and even offered to include a Multipurpose Bait Tank for his troubles. According to policy, we did ask that the customer pay the shipping costs, originally quoted at $200, and we would have still allowed him to keep the kayak at factory price. The $200 is an estimate of typical freight costs to ship a single kayak from California to Florida, where the consumer is based. This is a pre-quote estimate only– the freight cost could be lower, and we had alerted the consumer that should the cost be higher, we would cover the additional. He did not agree to this option either and proceeded to call and email multiple times per day in effort to change the offer.

Malibu Kayaks has communicated daily, both via email and phone, with this customer since the onset of his claim to process his warranty beyond our typical guidelines, and we are still happy to honor that agreement. We are saddened that he is dissatisfied with his kayak, the warranty options, and the customer service provided him, as we have made a considerable effort to find an agreeable solution to get him back on the waters as quickly as possible. Malibu Kayaks stands behind our warranty and is working hard to improve our customer service; we look forward to continuing to provide the quality product and service you all deserve."

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