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Old 20-04-2015, 15:05   #1
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Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

I have a problem with Buster's Marine Services in New York. They sell inflatables and dinghys etc.

About a year ago, I bought a RIB from them and it was delivered without a problem. However, by mistake (and it was totally MY mistake), I transferred an extra $10,000 to Buster's that was meant for a boatyard in Grenada.

For almost a year now I have been trying to get Buster's Marine to return the money. I have been in constant email contact, made phone calls and sent registered letters but to no avail. I am met with evasions, delays, procrastination, half truths, errors and most often, just being ignored.

Buster's say that I am trying to Scam them, without ANY evidence to support their claim. I on the other hand have provided them with masses of evidence of how the mistake happened that is cooberated by two companies involved, including the finance company that made the transfer from the UK.

Buster's have a "F" ratin, on a A+ to F scale, with the Better Business Bureau so may not be the most reliable company to deal with, but if anyone has any suggestions at all as to what I can do to get them to return my money I would be very grateful. Any advice will be welcome!
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Old 20-04-2015, 15:06   #2
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Wouldn't that be theft and a police matter??
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Old 20-04-2015, 15:33   #3
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

"For almost a year now......"


You've waited a long time, and your problem is compounded by this being a foreign transaction.

Banks in the UK and the US are required to give you an answer in two days for a problem like this. What if there's no money in Buster's account, or has been collateralized for something else?

Have you contacted your bank's ombudsman? They've done wonders for me in similar problems, (through no fault of my own.)

I'll never send large amounts of money to Europe, Russia, Japan, etc, without first sending just $5, to make sure I have the right account. I've had large amounts of money tied up for months until it was found and returned.
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Old 20-04-2015, 15:38   #4
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

If they refuse to give you your money back, you will need to take them to court.

Cops won't do anything, it's a civil matter.

You should talk about the issue on every boater forum you can find, put it on yelp, etc.

Hope karma comes back and bites them in the !@$
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Old 20-04-2015, 16:24   #5
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

I bought a dinghy from Busters some years ago.
They had it advertised as being 82 lbs. (inflatable keel)
I pointed out that the Manufactors webpage said the same dink weighed 113 lbs.
They swore up and down the they were right and that it was typo on the builders page and they had sold thousands, etc, they also sent it to me in writing.
Bought the dink, put it on a scale and complained to the manager, proving I had been misled.
Told them I will keep the dink if they sent me a $300 check for a lifting device. Which they promptly did, case closed...

So yes, they are a bit sleazy and would be the last firm I would accidentally over-pay $10,000.00.....
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Old 20-04-2015, 17:17   #6
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Unfortunately you have no option other than to file a lawsuit in the U.S. A company like that isn't going to give you your money back without a fight. Of course you'll have to prove that the transfer happened and that it was accidental. You will have to subpoena their bank records directly from their bank to show that they received it, and then you will have to prove that whatever fake invoice they create in their system to cover their a$$ is actually fake. You will do this by proving that they never shipped anything.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) this falls under the small claims limit of $25,000 in New York, which means that you don't have to retain an attorney (in fact you usually can't) you just have to show up with what evidence you have. The judge will hear your argument and hear theirs, and decide. Assuming they either don't show up or fail to convince the judge that they are correct, the judge will issue a judgement which you can use to withdraw the funds directly from their bank.

It's a hassle, but it is possible.
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Old 20-04-2015, 17:38   #7
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

I'd do as suggested, talk to my bank. They could have helped you retrieve the money had you acted quickly. Today, I doubt they can do anything other than point you in a direction. If they can't, this is the time to talk to an attorney, local to Buster's. A company we acquired years ago had an issue with an erroneous transfer to an ex-employee. We sent legal notification and he got an attorney. He then quickly made arrangements with us as I believe his attorney informed him that by keeping it he was committing a criminal act. With transfers and bank transactions this often goes beyond civil. A local attorney will know what crime might have been committed. Bringing an issue of crime into the picture is quite likely to get faster response than just civil. Assuming he should know he was paid in error, he's committed some form of interstate fraud.
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Old 21-04-2015, 06:46   #8
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Thanks for all your info!

Flying to New York is not really an option for me as I can not afford to stay there for any length of time.

mstrebe.....Is there any way that you know of that I can submit my claim to the small claims court that you talk about without having to physically turn up?

I also assume that hiring an attorney will gobble up all the funds and make it excersise not economic....the money may get returned in the end but it would all go to the attorney!

By the way....what it Yelp?

John
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Old 21-04-2015, 08:47   #9
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Duckworth View Post
Thanks for all your info!

Flying to New York is not really an option for me as I can not afford to stay there for any length of time.

mstrebe.....Is there any way that you know of that I can submit my claim to the small claims court that you talk about without having to physically turn up?

I also assume that hiring an attorney will gobble up all the funds and make it excersise not economic....the money may get returned in the end but it would all go to the attorney!

By the way....what it Yelp?

John
Here is the NY small claims procedures.
https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/p...msHandbook.pdf

And, yes, you must go there for a case. The expenses involved for you in small claims would be sizable. Per that document, the limit on small claims in NY is $5000.

Hiring an attorney to actually take the case to court would very likely end up costing you 40-50% of the money to be recovered, but if you got a judgement, then those fees likely would be charged to the defendant as well. Still, collecting then is the issue.

I would still follow up on the criminal aspect of what has happened and perhaps engage an attorney for advice on an hourly basis, looking at something like 5 or 6 hours for $1000-$1500 to advise, perhaps write, etc., but short of litigation. Then if litigation does seem to be the only option, discuss that further.
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Old 21-04-2015, 09:12   #10
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Duckworth View Post
I also assume that hiring an attorney will gobble up all the funds and make it excersise not economic....the money may get returned in the end but it would all go to the attorney!

By the way....what it Yelp?

John
Yelp is an American website that rates businesses, mostly restaurants, but these reviews are not encouraging:
Buster’s Marine Svce - Broad Channel, NY - Yelp
You probably shouldn't say anything else publicly until you decide if you're going to go after him.

It sounds like you have all your documentation in order, you should be able to find an attorney that will review your case and advise you of your options. Likely, it would go something like this:
You pay your attorney to review the case and write a letter.
If they don't cave on that, you pay your attorney to file a lawsuit
If they don't cave on that, you can walk, but frankly I'd rather the blood sucking lawyer get the money than the scumbag business owner.

It might end up costing you 10% of your $10k, but $9k is better than $0
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:03   #11
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

bummer, in CA, small claims court has a way for you to recover actual damages (your 10k) plus damages. Also, lawyers can only advise but not appear in court to argue your case. My thought would be that damages would include living expenses incurred while researching and travel.

Your only option maybe to sue the pricks.

Good luck...if I was in NY, I would help anyway possible...but I live in CA.

Can anybody in NY help John?

I think BandB, above, is spot on.

Can any body in NY offer some pro bono?
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:08   #12
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Does anyone know if Buster's Marine is still a viable company? Is there business solid? Are the owners/managers on drugs?
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Old 21-04-2015, 10:23   #13
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Contact the New York police white collar crime office
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Old 23-04-2015, 14:46   #14
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

Sorry to hear of your troubles with Busters Marine, Unfortunately there are more and more marine outfits that think we don't see what they are about. Besides you paying them top dollar to 'learn' while on the job, they will rip you off one way or anotherv- you can bet on that. Beware boaters, and stick together.
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Old 23-04-2015, 15:42   #15
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Re: Buster's Marine....a problem vendor?

If the business has any property which can be attached such as real estate, inventory, bank accounts, receivables, etc. you have a good chance to recover what they owe you plus all your reasonable attorney fees and court costs. Most likely your attorney can research that online before they proceed. But you would have to risk spending more good money on litigation before you see a dime from them.

As far as filing - in most jurisdictions you can do it by mail and only show up at the hearing. In many, if not most jurisdictions, you would not even have to show up if your attorney or representative shows up with an affidavit from you about the matter. Just as attorneys for utilities companies show up to collect debts without anyone else from the company present. But you do have to have all your paperwork proving that they owe you $$ lined up and unassailable in case these people show up and dispute anything.

Good luck.
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