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Old 09-11-2013, 04:34   #1
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Ripped off by vendor

Ok, well my wife and I are aboard our new to us yacht and I'm feeling a little miffed. We live in one location, the boat is in another, the vendor another and the boat broker yet another. We settled last Friday and the vendor had agreed to put all the inventory items listed in the contract on the following Sunday. I rang the yard the boat is in on the Thursday afternoon prior to settlement and the manager said "Oh yeah, the owner is here now doing something with the outboard". I thought that was a bit strange as the dinghy outboard has not been touched for nearly a year and was to stay with the boat. I assumed that he was just a little mistaken, but alarm bells rang with me a bit, mainly at the mention of the outboard and the now previous owner being there on the Thursday and not the Sunday as originally planned. This latter point is important, because we put off coming to the boat last weekend until this weekend because we would have missed the PO placing the items on board anyway (and we had advised the broker of this). I was actually spurred on to request on the settlement day that the broker withhold a portion of the payment in trust until we viewed the vessel but he assured me quite emphatically that there would be no problem and if anything was missing just give him a call. In fact he said the owner had advised him just that morning that everything had been placed onboard and yada yada yada...

Well you guessed it; we roll up today and the outboard is gone and only a couple of inventory items were on board. Of course the wife went after the broker like a terrier after a rabbit and he is "following it up". I'm guessing moneys have been distributed by now and we're screwed but I reckon there must be some legal avenue like a small claims tribunal we could utilise (we'd be talking about a few grands worth of stuff, I guess)

Any burgeoning legal eagles out there got a suggestion on a suitable course of action?
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:45   #2
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

if your in iran you could have his hands chopped off....

people will need to know where you are....
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:29   #3
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

If the items that are missing are in your contract and the outboard was removed after you settled....would the previous owner now be considered as stealing your property....you could contact the police to find out what your rights are. You have a witness to who removed what and when.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:46   #4
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

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If the items that are missing are in your contract and the outboard was removed after you settled....would the previous owner now be considered as stealing your property....you could contact the police to find out what your rights are. You have a witness to who removed what and when.
Pretty much.

You bought those items, whether they're on the boat or not. If you have pictures of them and someone saw the owner take them, I think you're in a good position. It doesn't really matter if he took them last week, tomorrow, or six months from now. If he trailed the boat away itself it's not like possession beats out the contract.

I'd contact the seller's broker (or "the" broker, if there's only one) and tell him to put the items back in 48 hours that you purchased or you're filing a police report.

At 48.001 hours, take your paperwork, photos, and names/contact info of everyone and call the police department (that the boat and owner is in), and report the theft.

Even if they don't just drive over there and tell him to give the stuff back, that police report is what you'll need (in the States, anyway) for any future litigation.

Just don't roll over on it. Be clear, have a path that ultimately gives you back the things that are rightfully yours, and let the owner correct the problem along the way before it escalates.

I'm not an attorney but have a laymen's understanding of the law and have seen some boat legal problems in the US.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebWench View Post
If the items that are missing are in your contract and the outboard was removed after you settled....would the previous owner now be considered as stealing your property....you could contact the police to find out what your rights are. You have a witness to who removed what and when.
+1 the broker assured you all was there. The marina saw the PO on the boat (trespassing?) , items are now missing. Seems a solid case for a police report. I'd contact the broker and request his presence as a witness when you have the local PD at the boat to file a complaint about the stolen items.

I would give them a few days to return the missing stuff in working order before pushing the issue.

Reinforces the decision some make to move the boat the day you take title. It makes it clear to all that ownership has changed.

Not an attorney, just dealt with a lot of them.....
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Old 09-11-2013, 13:01   #6
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Thanks guys. We're in Australia. I think we're the victims of a low budget grift which will be no big deal if it doesn't get resolved, but I'm annoyed enough to spend some effort persuing the matter. I just wonder were the broker stands in all this having made emphatic promises on just this very issue.

Just waiting now to hear back from the broker today. I do have to say however that the brokers have been fantastic to deal with (at least before they got our money, lol) but the vendors have given me the impression, unfairly or otherwise, that they couldn't lie straight in bed.
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Old 09-11-2013, 13:19   #7
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

Report the missing items as stolen, and tell the police where they can find the broker and the PO. This sh1t is deliberate, so Ph*ck them.
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Old 09-11-2013, 14:09   #8
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

In the US I think if it is over a certain value that is stolen it goes from something simple to an offense that could have jail time. I would find out what the law is where you are. Just call your local police dept. and ask what to do. You are talking about stuff valued at several thousand dollars.
The broker usually represents the seller and is compensated by the seller. If the seller does not deliver what is promised it would be something for the small claims court. The fact that at the time when the outboard was removed the boat was technically owned by you makes this an out right theft. The stuff they were supposed to give you but did not....that you need to take up with the broker...ask for that stuff in your contract or money from him to compensate you.
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Old 09-11-2013, 14:21   #9
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

I believe in Canada it is now about $5,000.00 before you see the officer stop yawning as you file your report.
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Old 09-11-2013, 14:26   #10
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

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I believe in Canada it is now about $5,000.00 before you see the officer stop yawning as you file your report.
It was the same in the US when I filed one for a guy who smacked our stern. We had no evidence (other than the damage), no suspect, and not even a time of the event other than a two week range.

But when you contact an insurance company or pursue litigation they're going to rely heavily on the police report, photos, contact info, and evidence.

To be honest I'm sure most cops would rather be locking up rapists and murderers than helping us with our stolen yacht accessories, but I don't get to pick and choose everything I do for money so my sympathies run shallow.
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Old 09-11-2013, 14:49   #11
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

Sorry to be bitter and twisted but I'd suggest putting a dollar amount on what has been lost and if it's something you can live with just forget it. Life's too short and maybe you got a real good deal on the boat.

If it's a significant amount of money then or you can't forget it then all of the above may have some validity.

There's the risk that the broker has his money and now has better things to do, the police are not going to be all that impressed with a (to them) complicated transaction that went wrong with no evidence that the PO was involved and it could all drag out for years or even decades.

Maybe call the previous owner, tell him what was missing from the boat and ask for the items that were in the inventory, follow up with a letter, report to police and file in the small claims court?
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Old 09-11-2013, 15:26   #12
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After buying my boat I found a few pieces missing that had been listed as part of the sale. I called the broker. Turned out the pieces had been sold on eBay. The prior owner purchased replacements and all was well.
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Old 09-11-2013, 15:27   #13
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

I agree with the police report. If there is a licensing agency for the broker report him too.
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Old 09-11-2013, 16:04   #14
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

our previous owner was a kleptomaniac too we found out but as we had the boat delivered and had no inventory check at handover, we lost out. Bar Steward took the 25mm signal flare gun and flares kit, a DVD player and VCR that were wired in, an 'emergency 120VAC pump, a VHF transceiver, the good fenders and lines were replaced with dirty old stuff. He even took the AA batteries out of all the shelf lights in the main cabin. the aerosol signal horn went missing as did the whistles from all the PFds. Even the adjustable whisker pole vanished, as did the horseshoe lifebuoy.

I know he thought we bought his boat 'for a steal 'price but heck if I had known that the radar, plotterand speed/depth instruments were all faulty as well then he would not have got as much as he did get.

What goes round comes round so I hope his new boat sinks and the emergency pump he stole fails to work along with the VHF when he calls 'Mayday.

I have bought and sold many boats over nearly 50 years, mostly in Europe , and never experienced this kind of stuff which has shaken my faith a bit in my fellow boaters, at least over here in the USA. This is our second USA purchased boat and the first one was from an honest boater that we were pleased to meet up with after the sale and buy him and his wife dinner. I have kept in touch with many of the good folk who bought my previous boats through the years and years later still get Xmas cards from many of them, one even sent me a carved wooden half model he had made himself from the original design plans, mounted for a wall display that had pride of place for years in my office.

We re just now getting close to completing the refit (albeit the boat is only 1998 so not old) and really now just want to move on and enjoy our new toy,. The sellers broker will get no recommendations from me, quite the reverse as I will go out of my way to let others know to steer well clear of any of his offerings.
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Old 09-11-2013, 16:14   #15
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Re: Ripped off by vendor

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Sorry to be bitter and twisted but I'd suggest putting a dollar amount on what has been lost and if it's something you can live with just forget it. Life's too short and maybe you got a real good deal on the boat.

If it's a significant amount of money then or you can't forget it then all of the above may have some validity.

There's the risk that the broker has his money and now has better things to do, the police are not going to be all that impressed with a (to them) complicated transaction that went wrong with no evidence that the PO was involved and it could all drag out for years or even decades.

Maybe call the previous owner, tell him what was missing from the boat and ask for the items that were in the inventory, follow up with a letter, report to police and file in the small claims court?
The police report isn't about the police; they probably won't care. But anything you want to do after that will be saying "did you file a police report?" or "what's the police report number?"

It's the distinction between a disagreement and the first step towards criminal prosecution.

Even if your house gets robbed the police tend to be rather blase about the whole thing but some cop is not going to be the arbiter of relevance to me.
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