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Old 09-12-2012, 19:42   #46
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
I'd take it further,

It's more work to have to do a transaction in person. Particularly when you are having the phone call anyway and then have to do a second transaction.

And cash-only is much more expensive as well, because you have a lot of labor cost to deal with it, not to mention dangerous if there are mid to large amounts involved.

So I'd say they are stupid and lazy
No, they've been burned! See my first post. I've had it happen to me too many times when I was running my business. You get some great reasons why they can't make in person, and you want to bend over backward and accomodate them, so you take the card over the phone.

Then 2 months later the card company charges you back for the transaction and you realize you've been played.

As a business, unless you are specifically set up with the card company to do telephone sales or online e-commerce, you MUST have a signed receipt for the sale or you will automatically be charged back if the customer contests it. And by contest it, all they have to say is " don't remember this charge. Can I see a copy of the signed receipt?"

Without it, you've been suckered!!
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Old 09-12-2012, 20:50   #47
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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When I stay at a hotel I pay when I check out. Is it something different in CA?
No you don't. they take a print of your CC when you check in, so that if you skip they can charge the card.
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Old 09-12-2012, 21:15   #48
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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California signs say it all. Yes, that second one does say End Road Work. The second pic is on a random lawn in San Francisco.

I don't know why, but the helicopter in the second photo makes it so much better.
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Old 09-12-2012, 23:03   #49
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I don't know why, but the helicopter in the second photo makes it so much better.
Thanks, I missed that! To funny.

Truth is I had some good times in Cali, especially north of the Golden Gate. But the taxes, laws, and higher-than-average number of rude people are pretty hard to disprove. Sooooooo many beautiful places though....
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:15   #50
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Thumbs down Re: So many rules in So Cal!

I hope Maritime & Roads NSW Australia don't get wind of this thread. The could use So Cal as a model to justify passing even more insidious rules and regulations! At the least it seems to be the way things are going over here.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:58   #51
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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... threatening to impound your boat may have seemed a tad draconian.
I think "a tad draconian" is an understatement to be honest. What was probably a matter of dollars owed and then threaten to impound a boat! Talk about using a "big stick". I have just made up my mind that I will be unlikely to buy a boat in SoCal now.

I visited San Francisco in 2001 and found the bus drivers to be very unfriendly. Conversely, at Pier 39 I accidentally left a day backpack on the floor with my wallet, video camera, passport etc etc in it. I wandered away from it taking photos with my still camera and forgot all about it. By the time I returned it was gone. I eventually found my way to a security kiosk at the front of Pier 39. I couldn't believe that a Chinese worker had seen my bag and handed it in. Not a thing was missing! Had that been South Africa, I wouldn't even have seen the bag again, let alone anything in it.

So far I have been to the USA 3 times and generally found people in the North to be more welcoming. I even found people on New York subways to be quite friendly, although the one guy I spoke to told me they are less friendly in the Winter lol.

My wife and I will be back in the US in March for about 9 days (Florida), so hopefully even the customs folk will be nice.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:49   #52
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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Yes, and how onerous that one of them is that you are expected to pay for the services you use in a timely manner. The unmitigated gall!

I am quite sure that you would have made good on your obligation and come back and paid the balance of your debt. Or not. Either way, how the hell is the marina supposed to know what your intentions were? You are a transient, on your way to parts unknown. I wonder how many times the harbor has been burned by other sailors who conveniently "forgot" to pay their bill by the agreed-upon date, and then simply sailed away, never to been seen again? Yes, threatening to impound your boat may have seemed a tad draconian. But once you are gone, their options for collecting from you probably essentially vanish. Of course they're going to enforce the slip rental agreement and it is absolutely unreasonable to expect otherwise.
You didn't get it. They apologized profusely and offered to pay on the spot by telephone. They were not complaining about paying, they were complaining about the attitude, and I understand and agree with them.

Getting a boat and crew ready to go to sea is complicated enough that it is easy to forget to do something like go in to pay for an extra night. It happened to me, in Weymouth, a couple of years ago. I remembered mid-passage, and called up the harbormasters, who just laughed, and said, don't worry about, just pay the next time you come in. I mailed them a check. Similar story in West Bay -- except I didn't forget -- there was noone around to pay when I left at 06:00. I called them and the reaction was exactly like in Weymouth.

I've spent a fair amount of my cruising life sailing around Florida. I've never had an encounter with any authorities -- just lucky I guess. But I do know that sailors there regard the Coast Guard, DEA, "water cops", and other floating authority with a great deal of trepidation, and nearly everyone has some horror story or another to tell.

It doesn't need to be like that. Over here, well I can speak at least for UK and French coasts, it's completely different. Every port is more friendly than the next, harbormasters are welcoming and always helpful, the Coast Guards talk to you as if you're a friend, a fellow mariner, or at least, a valued customer, and not like you are a criminal until proven otherwise.


I don't know where we (Yanks) went wrong, but we definitely did.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:04   #53
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

To give a concrete example of the attitudes over here:

I got into a really bad storm in the middle of the Channel crossing from Cherbourg some years ago (never ignore those gale warnings), and had to divert to Weymouth, arriving in the middle of the night. We were exhausted from fighting the storm, and just tied up to the first thing we saw and fell into bed.

As it turns out, we were tied up to pontoon for the harbormaster's launch. When he came in the next morning, he had to raft up to other boats. I went in and apologized, and explained about our bad Channel crossing, and he just laughed -- we are a harbor after all -- our main purpose and first duty is to provide refuge in bad weather, he said. He refused to even be paid for that night.

I had to leave the boat there to go back to London for business, and came back with a crew to take the boat home. I forgot that winter hours were in effect and the harbormasters' office closed at 17:00, and we arrived after hours. Without keys -- I had left them.

I didn't know what to do or whom to call, eventually got the Coast Guard, who gave me the home telephone number of one of the harbormasters (not the one who had helped us before). This one was having his dinner, but he got in his car and drove down, opened the office, and gave me my keys.

Now you can't say -- So California has so many boats, they don't have time to be friendly. Nonsense -- there are a lot more boats here than there are in California. Weymouth, where the 2012 Olympics sailing events were held, is not a sleepy little place, it is a popular and often very busy port, with fishing fleets, Condor ferries, and commercial traffic on top of hundreds of sailboats. Nevertheless, people here go to the trouble of doing their work with a personal touch, with friendliness and helpfulness. It's a matter of culture.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:53   #54
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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The problem businesses have with taking credit cards over the phone is that without the signature of the cardholder, the cardholder can just challenge the charge on his card statement. The card company will ask the merchant for a copy of the signed sales receipt to prove the charge is valid. When the merchant can't provide it, since it was over the phone, guess what happens next?
The sheriff turns it over to collections just like anybody else would do. I work at a large retailer. We don't like to do it, but we do. We sign for them 'via phone'
It's never been a problem in my store, but if it is it's no different than somebody using a stolen card. Dishonest is dishonest.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:59   #55
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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No, they've been burned! See my first post. I've had it happen to me too many times when I was running my business. You get some great reasons why they can't make in person, and you want to bend over backward and accomodate them, so you take the card over the phone.

Then 2 months later the card company charges you back for the transaction and you realize you've been played.

As a business, unless you are specifically set up with the card company to do telephone sales or online e-commerce, you MUST have a signed receipt for the sale or you will automatically be charged back if the customer contests it. And by contest it, all they have to say is " don't remember this charge. Can I see a copy of the signed receipt?"

Without it, you've been suckered!!
Ok, but when I go in personally on the first day, and want to stay for 3 days, they have every opportunity for me to sign something, or check id or whatever.

Making me present myself within a short time window every day, and pay with cash or check is definitely not normal.

AND while you are right about setting up for phone sales... That's not really a big hurdle for most businesses, especially the county sheriff. I work in a retail store, we get a better rate on in-person but that's not even an issue now because they can charge a processing fee.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:00   #56
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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Originally Posted by harmonysimone View Post

When we were in Newport Beach we forgot to pay for a couple of extra nights by check out time last Sunday.
How do you leave your boat "for a couple of extra days" not knowing you need to pay? This isn't a video you forgot to take back to the store, this is your BOAT! If you were suppose to have left Sunday what was it Tuesday when they called you?

If I understand you were suppose to check out on Sunday and left the boat and a couple of days later the marina called you. They did you a favor by calling you! They could have just chained your boat to start with and charged you the fees when you got back. You knew about the cash requirement etc now didn't you so lets not bame them.

Everyone can jump on the trashing the officals band wagon. But this was the boat owners fault and the marina did them a favor by calling them DAYS later to give them a chance to correct the problem, saving the owners money. Then the boat owners say how unreasonable it was because it messed up their plans because of their own actions!

I would bet the offical took grief on the phone from the boat owner over the favor they were doing for them, which saved the boat owner money!

How about instead of crying about the officals you be a responsible person instead and take ownership of your actions?
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:08   #57
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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You didn't get it. They apologized profusely and offered to pay on the spot by telephone. They were not complaining about paying, they were complaining about the attitude, and I understand and agree with them.
You bring up a good point and it remided me of why I even went to newport in the first place. We were at Avalon on Catalina Island, and we had a transmission/driveline problem and couldn't make it back to del Rey without a lot of trouble so we made for Newport because it was a beam reach.

Then when we got there, I don't remember if it was like 3 days, or 5 days limit, but I do remember the weather was turning and there was a small boat advisory coming up and I explained the engine wasn't working I was told quite rudely that if couldn't get it fixed I'd have to set sail in a storm or they would impound the boat.

Sorry but the OC Sheriff Harbor Patrol is REALLY unfriendly.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:22   #58
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

Rules and Regulations are proliferating - strange rule implementation can be found in the most unlikely places:

At 2500' in the Cascade Foothills - many, many miles from any road or trail a motorized vehicle could use - think of the shock for the poor bike riders, horseman, and hikers!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:46   #59
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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California signs say it all. Yes, that second one does say End Road Work. The second pic is on a random lawn in San Francisco.
California (Los Angeles County) even prohibits playing volleyball, frisbee, football.... on the beach during the summer.......
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:29   #60
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Re: So many rules in So Cal!

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---Yes, threatening to impound your boat may have seemed a tad draconian. But once you are gone, their options for collecting from you probably essentially vanish. Of course they're going to enforce the slip rental agreement and it is absolutely unreasonable to expect otherwise.
At any of the many marinas I've had experience with on the East coast threatening a customer with impounding their boat in that type of situation would most likely have gotten you fired.
Of course most of those marina employees aren't sucking at the government teat.
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