Lutz couple paid for a boat that did not exist, company withheld refund check for months

Both the money and the boat disappeared

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - A Lutz couple gave a Pinellas County Boat dealer a deposit on a new pontoon, a boat that our taking action reporter Jackie Callaway found never existed.

The consumers in this case, Charles and Melinda Clark, say months after they put down a substantial deposit, they discovered there was no boat.

Chuck Clark loves his new boat but this pontoon is not the vessel he ordered. Their contract shows the Clarks put a $13,000 deposit down on a custom boat back in May.

The Clark's claim Gulf Coast Boat Sales never delivered the boat and never explained why.

But the manufacturer, Fiesta Boats, confirms they told Gulf Coast Boat Sales the boat design was unsafe and they refused to build it as noted on the Clark's paper work.

In July, Chuck wrote a formal letter demanding his money back, and by August, he hired an attorney.  But still, they received no refund.

After reading over the Clark's contract, I contacted the owner of Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor and asked about the $13,000 deposit.

The next day, the store returned the full amount to the Clark's attorney. In an email, the general manager explained, "The manufacturer we placed the Clark's order with was ultimately not able to fill the order we placed...upon the owners return from vacation, the Clark's deposit was promptly refunded in full."

Other options for Chuck Clark include filing a complaint with the office of Pinellas County Consumer Protection (727) 464-6200  and/or the Better Business Bureau.

 

 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments