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Old 04-01-2017, 06:37   #1
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Beware

Just an FYI...

If you happen to come across a website: www.uscgdocumentation.us, beware. While they pass themselves off as an arm of the United States Coast Guard NVDC (even going so far as introducing themselves as USCG Documentation Officers), they are not - and they will steal your money! PM me for the story.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:48   #2
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Re: Beware

Sadly there have been few of these sorts of sites for UK gov departments like passport and driving licences.

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Old 04-01-2017, 11:34   #3
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Re: Beware

Pays to read the small print at the bottom of the page first sometimes.
Quote:
Copyright 2016 U.S. VESSEL DOCUMENTATION | All Rights Reserved. U.S. Vessel Documentation is NOT the U.S. Coast Guard or the National Vessel Documentation Center; we are a third party agency that handles USCG Documentation processing to NVDC.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:14   #4
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Re: Beware

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Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Pays to read the small print at the bottom of the page first sometimes.


I fully agree. However, do you read every bottom-page disclaimer of every site that you visit or do business with. Sometimes decisions are made in a hurried way...also, nowhere in their "disclaimer" do they mention that they will charge you for services that are not performed - as was our case. We have been waiting for 4+ months for a "priority" handling of our COD - which we paid a fair bit of $$ extra for.

Where is that in the fine print?
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:51   #5
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Re: Beware

No, no, no. Once again, the whole point of a forum like this is to share information. If you have information to share, then share it. If you don't then why would you even start this thread?

PMs should be for private conversations between two people, when the information is not going to be interesting to any other forum users, or when personal details are going to be involved that should not be made public. Since you have invited anyone at all to PM you, obviously the latter situation does not apply. Since the information would obviously be of interest to other forum users, the former situation also does not apply.

So, if you have information to share, then share it by posting it here.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:55   #6
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Re: Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven Odyssey View Post
I fully agree. However, do you read every bottom-page disclaimer of every site that you visit or do business with. Sometimes decisions are made in a hurried way...also, nowhere in their "disclaimer" do they mention that they will charge you for services that are not performed - as was our case. We have been waiting for 4+ months for a "priority" handling of our COD - which we paid a fair bit of $$ extra for.

Where is that in the fine print?
There is no "priority" handling of USCG registrations or changes, as far as I know. And it does take quite awhile. I updated mine this year to reflect some changes and it took like 3 months.

Anyway, the URL should be a dead giveaway that this is not as USCG site since it's not .mil or even .gov.

There are ton of these "facilitators" for everything from passports to DMV/MVD paperwork and they thrive because they dump money into SEO/advertising and Google does a poor job of highlighting the fact that their first search result is pretty much always an ad. It looks close enough that people just click on through.
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Old 04-01-2017, 15:51   #7
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Re: Beware

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There is no "priority" handling of USCG registrations or changes, as far as I know. And it does take quite awhile. I updated mine this year to reflect some changes and it took like 3 months.



Anyway, the URL should be a dead giveaway that this is not as USCG site since it's not .mil or even .gov.



There are ton of these "facilitators" for everything from passports to DMV/MVD paperwork and they thrive because they dump money into SEO/advertising and Google does a poor job of highlighting the fact that their first search result is pretty much always an ad. It looks close enough that people just click on through.


Wrong. There very much is a "priority handling" request at the NVDC. After a 4-month fiasco with the broker, I was able to expedite our documentation exchange with a 48-hour turnaround.

You are correct about the "dead giveaway" in that it did not have a .mil or .gov TLD. However, when one gets in a hurry and uses Google to find a phone number, one does not always pay the necessary attention to said TLD. Further, when the company in question introduces themselves as USGG Documentation Officers (just as they do at the actual NVDC), it lends a legitimacy to their enterprise.

My mistake in thinking, originally, that they were and arm of the NVDC does not excuse the fact that they took money for a job they failed to perform. That was the ENTIRE point of my OP!
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:06   #8
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Re: Beware

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
No, no, no. Once again, the whole point of a forum like this is to share information. If you have information to share, then share it. If you don't then why would you even start this thread?

PMs should be for private conversations between two people, when the information is not going to be interesting to any other forum users, or when personal details are going to be involved that should not be made public. Since you have invited anyone at all to PM you, obviously the latter situation does not apply. Since the information would obviously be of interest to other forum users, the former situation also does not apply.

So, if you have information to share, then share it by posting it here.


Sorry if this comes across as crass, but I wanted to simply warn others not to make the same mistake as I did. I am not necessarily trying to trash the company's reputation entirely. As such, all of the details of the experience I had are not necessary for such a warning. Since I am unaware of the set of rules you allude to for posting, I think I'll leave it as-is.

If you want to know all of the minutiae, which is detailed at length in several emails, I would prefer to disclose it in a more private setting since the correspondence also includes information about myself and my vessel that I don't typically disclose publicly - hence the PM request.
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:08   #9
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Re: Beware

So what's the moral of the story? You need to pay better attention when you go to a website and enter your credit card info?

Sorry you got ripped off. What did they charge you?

Also watch out for people sending you emails that you are about to get a bunch of money, for only a small fee.
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:20   #10
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Re: Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven Odyssey View Post
I fully agree. However, do you read every bottom-page disclaimer of every site that you visit or do business with. Sometimes decisions are made in a hurried way...also, nowhere in their "disclaimer" do they mention that they will charge you for services that are not performed - as was our case. We have been waiting for 4+ months for a "priority" handling of our COD - which we paid a fair bit of $$ extra for.

Where is that in the fine print?
I just look at the URL.

If there is no ".gov" in the URL, you can be sure that it is someone collecting additional fees for doing something you can do yourself directly and cheaper.
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:20   #11
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Re: Beware

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
So what's the moral of the story? You need to pay better attention when you go to a website and enter your credit card info?

Sorry you got ripped off. What did they charge you?

Also watch out for people sending you emails that you are about to get a bunch of money, for only a small fee.


I guess paying better attention is a start. However, I did not use the website for anything other than the phone number. The transaction was completed over the phone and through email. By the way, all of the emailed documents were "lifted" from the actual USCG NVDC website - including the Terms and Conditions, which even included the USCG "logo" or seal, as it were.

The total cost of this "exercise" was a little shy of $500.00. COD document exchanges (we had a change to our hailing port) are a bit more expensive. And then there was the "priority" service charge. Ironically, the NVDC does not charge extra for priority handling, but you do need to have a valid reason for the expedited service - which we did.

I'm not sure I appreciate the last sentence in your reply. I'm not some rube that fell for the Nigerian Prince scam, so the insinuation falls a bit short.
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:22   #12
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Re: Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
So what's the moral of the story? You need to pay better attention when you go to a website and enter your credit card info?

Sorry you got ripped off. What did they charge you?

Also watch out for people sending you emails that you are about to get a bunch of money, for only a small fee.
Exactly!
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:23   #13
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Re: Beware

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I just look at the URL.

If there is no ".gov" in the URL, you can be sure that it is someone collecting additional fees for doing something you can do yourself directly and cheaper.


You are correct. No .mil in the TLD. However, when you are in a hurry to find a phone number because you are using INMARSAT, some things get missed.
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Old 04-01-2017, 16:25   #14
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Re: Beware

Might be good if the subject was a little more specific about what we are been warned about...
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:09   #15
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Re: Beware

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Originally Posted by Raven Odyssey View Post
...the correspondence also includes information about myself and my vessel that I don't typically disclose publicly...
Yet you invited everyone on a public forum to PM you, with the offer that you would share all these details.

Sorry, but I just do not "get" the thinking behind going onto a public forum, offering a very vague (though fairly damning) criticism of a company, and then saying that you will only share the details in a PM.

I'm really not trying to "pile on" here, and I hope you don't feel like that is what I am doing. Nonetheless, if you have details that you would be willing to share in a PM with a complete stranger, then why not just post them here? Once again, the whole point of a forum like this is to share information. Why not share?
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