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-   -   Maritime Documentation Center (https://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/305850-maritime-documentation-center.html)

eherlihy 12-09-2017 08:45 PM

Maritime Documentation Center
 
I just received an official-looking envelope from the Maritime Documentation Center, 100 24th St W Suite 1-1028, Billings MT 59102. Inside was a letter indicating that my vessel's documentation is set to expire and that for an additional fee, this organization was willing to renew my certificate of documentation.

WOW! What a service!! Just think that I can pay this private organization $75 and fill out their form and thereby not have to pay $26 and sign the form that the USCG sends me every year.

I thought that you all should know.

(What a friggin' scam...) :hothead

chuck53 12-09-2017 11:06 PM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
First time I've heard about this company. There have been many threads here and other boating forums talking about US Documentation Center in Cal charging $75.

capta 12-09-2017 11:31 PM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Ain't that the 'Merikan way though. Selling folks something they can do for themselves, for three times what it would cost them to do it. But hey, it is legal.

elliowb 12-11-2017 12:41 AM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capta (Post 2051309194)
Ain't that the 'Merikan way though. Selling folks something they can do for themselves, for three times what it would cost them to do it. But hey, it is legal.

It might be worth it. I've been trying to get a response from the NVDC for nearly a year. I hear nothing from them for several months, then "we couldn't read one entry on your PDF file, send it back in with this correction" I look at my copy of the PDF and it's fine, but I redo it, rescan it, send it back in. Then they go silent for another couple of months. The NVDC needs some housecleaning, or so it seems.

chuck53 12-11-2017 10:32 PM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Just so you know....these documentation service companies do not get a free pass to the front of the line. When it comes to the CG Doc Center, it is strickly, first come, first served.

elliowb 12-11-2017 11:18 PM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chuck53 (Post 2051310922)
Just so you know....these documentation service companies do not get a free pass to the front of the line. When it comes to the CG Doc Center, it is strickly, first come, first served.

I'm sure that what you say is correct. I was saying that more out of frustration and with 'tongue in cheek.' Coincidentally, my documentation just arrived in the mail today! There's a coincidence for you. Or does the NVDC read Sailnet......

It is missing the year completed and the place built, which were on my previous documents, but at least I'm documented again!!! Now I'll be able to do that trip up to the Georgian Bay next summer.

-- Bill
Belle Voile
PSC 34

MitchK 12-11-2017 11:25 PM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Just a couple of months ago, I almost got taken by these people. I had just purchased a documented vessel, and was new to the USCG documentation process, and while doing a web search, stumbled upon their web site. So I started filing out their online form, then remembered that the previous owner had given me a copy of the USCG form in the stack of paperwork. Anyway I got the form and finished filling out the online document. When I went to figure the cost, it was over $450.00! I had seen some of the paperwork in the packet that had some prices, and so I took another look. Anyway, after looking at the "Official" USCG documents, the cost should have been a little under $100.00. Did a bit more research, and discovered a statement on the USCG site kind of warning about these types of companies. Needless to say, I deleted the online form data, printed out the USCG form, wrote the check and mailed it off. The paperwork was received buy the USCG a few days later, and now the wait starts. On one of USCG sites, there is a link to a list of the types of paperwork that is being processed, and the current date range. I checked a little while ago, and they are up to Sept 7th for transfers. My paperwork was received on Oct 6th, so its getting close. These people really should be required to put a LARGE statement on their main page stating they are not the USCG. Personally, I believe it is very deceptive.

Minnewaska 12-12-2017 08:10 AM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
When looking for them online, I found a Newswire that was issue in Los Angeles. I suspect it's the same company we've heard of there. I have to believe there is mail fraud here, as they use naming and logos to make the recipient think it is the USCG NDC.

I suspect their (lame) argument is they actually provide a service. It may not be one that adds any value, but they do provide what they claim. I think I recall the one in CA would also provide for multi-year service, whereby they automatically renew for you each year. The user would otherwise have to do it themselves annually. Now that the USCG provides an online renewal service, this feature is no longer added value.

If they can't be taken down for mail fraud, the real fix is for the USCG to STOP forcing annual renewals for a fee. If it was free, no one could get away with ripping folks off (as easily). I say, charge what you need to charge for the initial docs, extend the renewals to 3 or 5 years and allow for the renewal to be free, if done online. Money grab bureaucrats stopped reading a few sentences ago.

chuck53 12-12-2017 10:27 AM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnewaska (Post 2051311082)
When looking for them online, I found a Newswire that was issue in Los Angeles. I suspect it's the same company we've heard of there. I have to believe there is mail fraud here, as they use naming and logos to make the recipient think it is the USCG NDC.

I suspect their (lame) argument is they actually provide a service. It may not be one that adds any value, but they do provide what they claim. I think I recall the one in CA would also provide for multi-year service, whereby they automatically renew for you each year. The user would otherwise have to do it themselves annually. Now that the USCG provides an online renewal service, this feature is no longer added value.

If they can't be taken down for mail fraud, the real fix is for the USCG to STOP forcing annual renewals for a fee. If it was free, no one could get away with ripping folks off (as easily). I say, charge what you need to charge for the initial docs, extend the renewals to 3 or 5 years and allow for the renewal to be free, if done online. Money grab bureaucrats stopped reading a few sentences ago.


Yes, they will be happy to renew for you for the 5 years....for $375. Or you can do it every year yourself for $130.
Is this fraud? I'm sure they had a battery of attorneys to go over everything to make sure they are on the (barely) legal side of the law.

Intentionally misleading? Absolutely. Their business model totally depends of boaters thinking they are dealing with the actual CG. And they do a very good job making boaters think that.

Best way to stop this...spread the word.

eherlihy 12-12-2017 11:17 AM

Re: Maritime Documentation Center
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chuck53 (Post 2051311202)
Best way to stop this...spread the word.

And that, my friend, is EXACTLY why I started this thread.


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