|FRAUD - Worst Boat Rental Experience – FRAUD
To call Best Boat Rentals a scam would be like calling the earthquake that hit Japan a minor inconvenience. I truly believe this “business” is nothing but a front for a tourist rip-off ring.
Last weekend my family, locals of Fort Lauderdale, rented a 21-foot boat for a half-day on the water, with two small children and two adults. Best Boat Rentals sale representative David Tabb seemed very nice when he wanted our money. In fact, it was our second time visiting him to consider joining their $6000/year boat club. We seriously thought if we had a nice experience renting a boat once, then we would join as members.
To make a terribly long story short, I will summarize by saying that the boat broke down in Port Everglades by the rock jetty (less than a mile from their dock). The wind was blowing us towards the rocks. I radioed them a dozen times on Channel 16, which Dean – their rental agent - said they monitor in case of an emergency. They don’t. Tow Boat US came to our rescue because they heard the many urgent radio calls; they were monitoring channel 16.
Unfortunately, the towboat that pulled us away from the rocks was en-route to another call and left us in a safe area to wait for another tow. We were stranded more than 1.5 hours for another tow. During the rescue, the Tow Boat US captain made it clear that his company LOVES Best Boat Rentals – as they regularly tow stranded customers back to the dock…. “it’s a good money maker for us!,” he exclaimed.
After leaving the dock, I also noticed: 1) The depth sounder didn’t work. 2) The engine temperature gauge did not work….because there wasn’t one. 3) The passenger seat was not secured properly and when crossing the wake of another boat, my wife almost fell out of the seat. 4). The glass windshield frame was missing screws and falling apart. 5) While anchored and swimming, we looked back at the boat and noticed a large area where the boat had significant hull damage, of course this is the side of the boat that was tied to the dock at Best Boat Rentals. 6) This explains why the bilge pump (the device that stops the boat from sinking) ran continuously during our ½ day excursion.
Yesterday I found an unauthorized fraudulent $2,000 charge on my debit card from these con artists. Additionally, they overcharged me for the rental. The rental contract read $275 and I was billed $339.50. To charge me anything for this experience is disgusting. I have reported these fraudulent charges to MasterCard.
Best Boat Rentals claimed the damage to the engine was my fault because I took the boat into the ocean. But on their website, the 21ft Polar Dual Console we rented states we can “Cruise comfortably through the canals or head off-shore to fish, water-ski, and snorkel…” Additionally, nowhere on their contract, in their literature, facilities signage, or in the boat does it say that the boat should not go in the ocean. It was a beautiful day, and we rented the boat to go in the ocean, explore beaches, and swim with my two boys – ages 6 & 8.
Interestingly, when I returned the boat under tow, Best Boat Rentals dockhand checked the propeller and looked over the entire boat and said it was clear to him that we had done nothing wrong. Having owned boats for more than 30 years myself, I know exactly what went wrong. It was simply a lack of maintenance to the propeller hub. This company, in effect, rented me a boat with “bald tires” and when I returned it, tried to tell me that I need to buy them new ones.
If anyone doubts the veracity of this story, call Tow Boat US and ask them how often they rescue Best Boat Rentals victims.
Richard Ticktin and Christina Twomey
||Middle age female||06-11-11
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