It is hard to believe a company would treat their clients this way but the following story is absolutely true.
I contacted Stillwater Marina in April of 2007 to inquire about their Splash N Stack Dry stacking service. They store your boat on a shelf in a pole shed. Upon request they use a forklift to place your boat into the St. Croix River. They put it back on the shelf when you are finished using your boat.
We paid our dues of $2995.00 but were told they would not accept our boat until the first weekend in June. We used other marinas on the river, paying daily launch rates, throughout the month of May.
When we were able to use the service Stillwater Marina complained that they were busy and may not be able to have our boat ready each time we requested. However, the boat was always in the water when we arrived.
In March, 2008 I told the office manager, Teri Kampmeyer that we would not be using their services this year. I stated at that time that we would remove the boat after the fishing season opened in the middle of May. She said that would be fine.
We attempted to retrieve our boat on June 1. We were told they were too busy. On June 4, Teri Kampmeyer called me stating I owed $25 per day from May, 1, 2007, until I picked up the boat. At this time she stated I owed $875. She reduced the amount to $775 because we had attempted to retrieve the boat on June 1.
Teri Kampmeyer told me to Look at the contract no less than 6 times during our two conversations. Stillwater Marina charges $25 per day when clients do not renew. When asked why she didnt mention this policy to me in March when I told her of my intentions to leave she stated she didnt have to because I should Look at the contract.
The fact that Stillwater Marina uses look at the contract as their mantra to justify unknown or unfair charges to their customers is symptomatic that the marina uses unethical and predatory policies.
I stated that we bought an annual contract and were not allowed to place our boat until June of 2007. Since the cost was not prorated our contract was still in force when we attempted to receive our boat on June, 1, 2008.
Teri Kampmeyer stated that last year was too long ago for her to think about so she would not look at her records to see when they accepted our boat. No kidding!
They would not take my boat off their shelf until I gave them a credit card. They also stated that they would charge me $25 per day for every day that I didnt give them my credit card number. As it is they shook me down for $775.
What Stillwater Marina did to me amounts to extortion in its clearest definition.
Ex*tort"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Extorted; p. pr. & vb. n. Extorting.] [L. extortus, p. p. of extorquere to twist or wrench out, to extort; ex out + torquere to turn about, twist. See Torsion.]
1. To wrest from an unwilling person by physical force, menace, duress, torture, or any undue or illegal exercise of power or ingenuity; to wrench away (from); to tear away; to wring (from); to exact; as, to extort contributions from the vanquished; to extort confessions of guilt; to extort a promise; to extort payment of a debt.