I am the owner and publisher of a Florida magazine and required being bonded out of jail due to having inadvertanly missed a prior hearing on a traffic court case. I regrettably utilized Mike Smith of Al-
While on bond, on October 15th, 2008 I was expected to appear before a meeting of the Tri-County Bonding Association at the invitation of it's President, to provide a presentation to it's members (63 bondsmen including Mr. Mike Smith of All-Star Bail bonds of Orlando, Florida who I had paid $5,200 to bond me out) to offer an advertising directory for the association within our magazine. As our magazine is a legal periodical we had been given written permission by the Orange County Jail to have our magazine distributed to inmates of the jail. This would have meant that for the members of the bonding association, the directory containing their phone numbers would have been available to the inmates for their use. Mr. Smith (I have since been informed) was in disagreement with this, as it meant that the directory would have placed all the area bonding companies on an even advertising playing field (so to speak) which may have meant a loss to his business, as his company has been in existence longer than many others and is more often utilized by virtue of it's reputation.
Obviously, Mr. Smith made the unfortunate decision that it was in his financial interests to simply prevent my providing the expected presentation to the association. I had in fact called him that morning to ensure that he would be present to support these efforts, not having known of his hidden agenda.
Having just arrived appropriately outfitted in my finest suit and with Ms. Burnworth in tow (being the magazine's co-owner and managing editor) with contracts and my speech in hand, Mr. Smith handcuffed me and took me to his office, where he proceed to lie to us by stating that I was being surrendered back to jail because an agent of his insurance company had traveled to my residence and determined that I no longer resided there (being a claim the insurance company themselves will verify for you as simply untrue). Prior to my being driven over forty miles (in handcuffs and a waist-chain) and surrendered to the Brevard County jail, Mr. Smith informed me that his actual cause for surrendering was additionally done as a favor to my previous bondsman who is his longstanding friend, with who I had had a disagreement. That same bondsman I later learned was the same bondsman he had contacted and used to walk the bonding paperwork through at the Brevard County jail when he first bonded me out (eight days earlier), as Mr. Smith's company is located in another county (Orange County). Contrary to popular belief, when one pays a bondsman to be bonded out, the bondsman may not merely pick up back up and turn you back into jail UNLESS you have violated the conditions of the bond contract - which in this instance I HAD NOT. The instance desribed above, where a bondsman turns a client back in without justification, prior to the conclusion of a case is known in the industry as "slamming."
Apparently Mr. Smith and my previous bondsman had already decided to improperly surrender me at the time they first made contact with one another concerning me, and the matter of the magazine's issuance being against his financial interests, simply settled for him the most beneficial occasion to surrender me back to the jail, while attempting to improperly retain the premium.
We have since this time regained a credit on our credit card for the amount Mike Smith had refused to return to us, by our having successfully disputed the charge. HE is also presently ujnder investigation by the Department of Financial Services for the State of Florida - the agency which regulates bondsmen.
Moral of the Story... Beware of Mike Smith of All-Star Bail Bonds of Orlando Florida - he's a creep. I instead recommend xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx who I have found to be honorable and trustworthy.
Merritt Island,, Florida
U.S.A. sorry, allowing you to give a competitors name would instigate others to just file against their competition, to only come back later to suggest their company, ..plus, if you post a competitors name more than likely they will show up on search engines as a Rip-off! - - your comments on this policy are welcome. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report. In this case we removed an alleged competitor's name