taken advantage of

That was us.  We were taken advantage of and there was nothing we could do about it.

When our Boat Captain/Mechanic/Savior went to the boatyard to coordinate getting our boat into the water we received the following e-mail:

Hello, I’ve attached the invoice for your review, please let me
know if you would like for me to apply charges on the card and/or if you
have any questions….thank you.  

Um, the attached invoice for a lot of money has headings such as SAILBOAT HAULOUT, BLOCKING, LAUNCH…  We’ve already paid for that with the hurried transaction and large sum surrendered before the hurricane, right?

My Better Half sent back a very polite e-mail asking why we were being charged for two haul outs.  Hadn’t we already paid for that?

The answer came back that we paid for a “hurricane contract” which is good for a year and the haul out is separate.

This was an unfortunate answer (though typical of our experience through this entire process).

Our response:

So you’re telling me that during a hurricane you took advantage of my predicament and made me pay for a contract that I have no need of in order to prevent the loss of my sailboat? I was just launched after extensive/expensive repairs in the Beaufort area and due to unfortunate timing a hurricane arrived. I have no intention of keeping the boat in the area and have never had. What is the point of the contract then? What benefit does it provide me? 

Please send me the full text of the benefits afforded by this “hurricane contract” as well as all documents I signed prior to the hauling.

I’m really trying to understand what your company is requiring of me, but I feel as though I’m being completely and utterly taken advantage of. 

My Better Half is very articulate.

And their response:

I’m sorry that you feel that we are trying to take advantage of
you but that is not our intentions at all.  Anyone that was hauled during
the days prior to Hurricane Arthur that did not have a hurricane contract
had to do the exact thing you have done, which is purchase a contract before
they were hauled.  We do no haul vessels prior to a storm without a
contract, why would it be fair to haul you in the middle of hurricane
haulouts without a contract while everyone else being hauled had to purchase
one?  I’m sorry that your circumstances are what they are as far as having
work done and now the boat is leaving the area but we hauled you when we
didn’t have to at your request.  We actually thought we were helping you
out, not taking advantage of you.  The initial price that you paid was for
the contract and then you are responsible for the haulout of your vessel.
The hurricane contract which you purchased is good for the 2014 hurricane
season and guarantees your vessel a haul in the event of a storm.  Please
let me know if you have any further questions and I do have your boat on the
schedule today to launch at 9:30, thank you.

Wow.  Thanks.  We aren’t asking for special treatment, just clarification on what we paid for at the time that we paid it.

It’s a good thing my Better Half was dealing with this.  I said “forget them” (or some other word that started with an “f”, I don’t exactly remember) and said we wouldn’t pay.

Our response:

While I understand the policy, I do not agree with the implementation.  When we spoke the day my vessel was hauled I asked what my charges were going to be.  The forms I signed and interaction we had, implied to me that the payment was for the contract which included the haul and launch.  

I am thankful that my boat was able to be hauled but the scenario was less than savory.  The haul at the very end of the day came after I had been told I could stay on the floating docks; then that I had to leave; to here… pay for this contract and due to a cancellation we can haul your boat.  

I still feel as though the experience was misleading, if only due to the fact that the fees required and the meaning of the hurricane contract were not adequately explained to me in the rush at the end of the day.  

Please let me know if the invoice sent in your prior email is still current.  I don’t recall which card you have on file so once you confirm my final, paid in full, bill I will provide you with payment prior to the launch today.

Again, articulate.  I was just spitting mad.

She resent the invoice, asking for payment.

We paid.  We want our boat and what choice do we have?  They have it and wouldn’t let it go without payment.

Arthur was not the only asshole.

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