Anyone made a recent purchase from Freedom C&K in Barrie, ON?

This is a long shot, but I am at my wit’s end. Back in October 2020, I put a $400 deposit down on two Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 kayaks. Yes, 10 entire months ago, and Freedom Canoe and Kayak still have not delivered the goods. I have contacted other Ontario distributors and they have told me that they have indeed received shipments of Wilderness Systems products coming from the South Carolina factory. Has anyone out there bought a Pungo 120 or 125 from them and received it from them this year? I am about to call them out as liars because I am sick of their games. They probably got them in months ago and sold mine to someone else. Furious in Barrie.

Dealer on Long Island got a bunch in and sold them to walk in people. That was about two weeks ago. Kiss your 400 goodbye.

What do they say, anything?

Go there and get your money back if possible. What did your contract say?

Are they a dealer still? We’re they ever a dealer?

Looks like they are a dealer. Have someone else inquire about a pungo and see what they say.

If I give a deposit it’s with a Credit card and I need the product before 90 days when your CC PROTECTION runs out.

Call Better Business group up there and see if other complaints have been filed.

1 Like

Sad to welcome you to the community under such unhappy circumstances.

Did by chance you use a credit card for your deposit? If so, you have some recourse there.

If not, do you have a receipt from Freedom Canoe and Kayak? Have you visited the location nearest you and requested a refund of your deposit?

Another option:

Thanks for your words. This dealer has a storefront shop in town and has many good reviews. I have been contacting them every single month, and it’s always the same story. ‘My sales rep says they are coming soon, but there’s no firm date’ and things like that. There is no way that these have not come in yet because he said they were getting 64 total. Where are the other 63 people? Probably got theirs in May while he lost my paperwork. How do I prove he is lying? I can’t. I bet he is more than willing to give me the money back because that means I am out of his hair and he’s really lost nothing. And he wouldn’t have to reveal what really happened or accept any blame. I am ready to torch him with bad reviews. He was also open all through covid when his store was supposed to be locked down. I bought things there in February and March because he was letting anyone in through the front door.

Hi Rookie - I did use a credit card for the deposit and have a pdf of the receipt. I’m not concerned about $400. I’m mad that summer will be over in a few weeks and I’ve been thrown under the bus by someone who won’t admit they screwed up. I am renting a few kayaks this weekend, so I’m at least going to be out on the water. I have all the gear, just no boats of my own.

About your link. I did contact this Ontario department. The reason being that he said when the boats came in I would have to pay the current retail price of $1399. My receipt has the 2019 price of $1279 on it. I did not follow up because they didn’t actually have a chance to charge me this extra amount.

1 Like

So sorry for your bad experience, ajpower.

I did a quick check of Kijiji and saw a couple of Pungos for sale. Just don’t know if they’re in your area.

Hope you get your boats soon.

Have you tried contacting Wilderness Systems? They might be able to give you some insight on what’s going on. No company likes to hear that customers are being treated poorly by their dealers. In the bike industry these days we routinely have bikes that are close to a year out, so 10 months for us isn’t that unusual, but it certainly isn’t any fun. It especially stinks if they gave you the feeling that your boats would be there much sooner.

Good luck getting your boats, or finding different ones that will work for you.


Contact Wilderness Systems. Sometimes the manufacturer will make good on a crappy dealer - there is a boat hanging in my basement that happened this way.

I think WS just got bought by someone, but you should still be able to find a representative calling themselves that.


I see that they have a 1 888 customer service number. I should have called months ago but I was accepting all of his excuses. Thanks for having my back everyone. I will give them a call today and see how helpful they are. -Al

1 Like

I called WS this morning but not until after hearing back from other dealers first. I asked 5 other authorized dealers by e-mail and by phone if they have received their Pungos this year. One has not replied, three said YES and one said no. So, some or most of Ontario dealers have received theirs. The guy on the phone said they are only shipping orders made up until Nov 2020. If he didn’t submit my order until December or later, that might explain why I don’t have it. He also said that large orders are about 4 months behind. I didn’t press him too hard but he didn’t offer to ease the pain in any way either. He said if I could find some anywhere else to buy them. One of the dealers said I could maybe get 2 mango ones in September. I’d just as well leave my garage empty over the winter again.

So, it’s the same old run around with no answers or closure. I couldn’t call foul play on WS themselves or the dealer. The actual order documents are confidential so he couldn’t look anything up. Glad I have plenty of beer at home.

The problem might be in the border being closed for so long. Kayaks aren’t considered essential so they might not have made it across the border.

I have dealt with their branch on the east coast a few times. Have had a few moments of frustration with them especially since covid started. My last inquiry to them went unanswered but I have been talking to shops in New Brunswick and they seem to be getting boats in on a regular basis. I think I would be going to get my deposit back and dealing with someone else.


If you just spoke with them again and can’t get a good answer after all this time, they are not your friend. Agree w above, see if you can get your deposit back and try another shop.

1 Like

Just in the last hour I have ordered two mango Pungo 120s from one of the dealers that responded to me. They are expecting them to be arriving next month. Anyone could have got these, so my time served has not helped at all. So I’m expecting four boats now. I’m going to sit on this and see which get here first. If I have all four in my garage next May I can sell two of them.

I guess I have to believe in the power of Friday the 13th. My wife who works from home, finally got the call that our two Pungos are in. This coming the day before I was to rent 2 different kayaks, and just days after I put $632 down on a pair of Pungos at a different dealer. So tomorrow at 10:00 I become a kayak owner. I am losing my $100 deposit at the rental place, but getting all my money back from Outdoors Oriented, who seem like great people. I don’t have the boats right this minute but I must say that it was not worth the 10 month wait. I should have searched for and purchased substitute boats to make it through the summer. The covid downer has been doubled by this episode.

I’ll hold off on congratulations until you have the boats in your possession.


To wrap this up, we did pick up our two Pungos today. I thought there would be a line there to get them, but there wasn’t. The woman who processed the sale said some people decided they didn’t want it after all, others forgot they had ordered, etc. The price I was charged was half way between the original invoice and the current price. Apparantly after Dec 31 they are going up again. We used them on a river for about an hour because it’s been windy all day. Tomorrow will be more interesting. I am happy with everything so far. It does not feel like a wide boat despite what the specs say. I have rented Old Town Sorrentos and Vapours, and they have felt clunky and slow. This felt much more like a Tsunami 140 which I used on the St. Lawrence River last month. The only thing I am concerned about is whether or not the sun shade I bought off Amazon months ago will really fit. I tried a dry run with the boats on J-craddles in the garage, and the bungy that wraps around seems way too short. I don’t want to stretch it to the point of deforming the rim.


Glad you finally got the boats and can start enjoying them.

Are you not using cam straps with your J-cradles?

Don’t use bungees. That they are too short is fortunate
Cam straps are much more secure.

Yes, straps. Bungies to tie down boats are an excellent way to hurt someone in the car behind you!

I am unclear why the place that sold you the boat did not make sure you were leaving with proper straps. Assuming they knew you were a new paddler, assuring you had the boat tied down right should have been part of due diligence.

1 Like