Report: #1087089

Complaint Review: Sea Tow

  • Submitted: Tue, September 24, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, September 24, 2013
  • Reported By: Mark — Milton Florida
  • Sea Tow
    1700 Hummel Ave. PO Box 1178
    Southold, New York

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

This concerns an incident that occurred on 15 September of this year. I was out on the boat with my Son, Son-in-Law and Grandson when I had a mechanical breakdown less than 1/2 mile from the public ramp I put in at. It was around 6pm and getting dark. My insurance company, Progressive, took my phone call and transferred me to Sea Tow. I was told on the phone by the Sea Tow representative that he could not help me until I purchased their yearly membership. Being in the position I was, with a 4 year old on board, I felt I had little choice. I was then told that the tow would cost $300.00 per hour starting from when their boat left the dock and ending when their boat returned. Again, based on my situation, I felt I had little choice.

My insurance would cover $300 and I figured it would be another $300 that I was more than willing to pay to get to safety. I gave my position to the representative and waited for a call from the Capt of the tow boat. Approximately 20 minutes later I received a call from the Capt and repeated my coordinates and was told he was on his way. As we waited, my Grandson joked that we should have swum to the shore, built a shelter and killed some animals for food... He is amazing. About 1.5 hours went but when I heard a boat throttle down about 500 yards away. It was quite dark by then. I got a phone call from the Capt that he was at the coordinates I had given. I flashed my docking lights and he spotted us. He came alongside and hooked to my bow and off we went. Took about 30 minutes to get to the ramp. The Capt took us right to the ramp with impressive dexterity.

He remained tied to us while he filled out the invoice. It took awhile and the lighting was poor and everyone was tired. He handed me the paper to sign as he told me the total would be One Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen Dollars. One Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen Dollars One Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen Dollars It kept echoing through my head. I was so dumbstruck I couldn't say anything. I imagined the response I would get from my wife when I told her. Sure, she would be glad we were safe, but One Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen Dollars would be missing from her X-Mas account. The same Grandson who had been so brave on my disabled boat had no idea Santa Clause would short him because of this. I checked my back account on Monday, sure enough, Sea Tow wasted no time deducting their fee. I can't blame them for that, I would do the same thing.

Tuesday came and went, as did Thursday, Friday and Saturday and each day I waited for the mail to bring my Welcome Aboard package for my Brand New Yearly Membership to Sea Tow. It did not arrive. On Sunday, 22SEP13, I used the contact us link on the local Sea Tow website and asked them how they could be so fast to take my One Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen Dollars yet so slow to mail out a package. On Monday I got a call from a number I did not recognize. I don't answer those calls. Capt John Ward had called saying he was not sure why we had not received the welcome aboard package since they made sure it was mailed out on the 16th. Perhaps, as he said, it was lost in the mail.... I got the package, the envelope, today. It is postmarked 23 September 2013.

In it I found a Welcome Aboard letter from Capt John Ward, a Sea Tow customer survey, a pretty yellow sticker to mount next to my boat radio and a copy of a receipt for... wait for it... One Thousand Two Hundred Nineteen Dollars What I do not understand is why I was charged $300/hr as a member of Sea Tow? One of the responses to this post said that the benefits would be active within 24 hours of signing up. I also do not understand why the representative didn't bother to tell me they were located so far away from where I was broken down. I certainly do not understand why Capt John Ward would claim the package was lost in the mail. It would have been more believable to say his dog had eaten it. The Welcome Aboard package also says that I can get a $10.00 discount on my next annual membership by referring a friend. I promise you,I will not be getting the Ten Dollar discount.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/24/2013 07:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Please remove this report

AUTHOR: Mark S - ()

I would like to recind this report. I made it in haste and in anger.

I hold no ill will towards Sea Tow.


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#2 Author of original report

Sea Tow

AUTHOR: Mark S - ()

I have requested that this report be deleted. 

I apologize for causing any grief to capt. John ward or his employees. 

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

A Response from Sea Tow

AUTHOR: Sea Tow Services International Inc. - ()

In this situation is it clear from the customer’s initial and subsequent posts, as well as his phone conversation with our Vice President of Operations and Capt. John Ward, that the hourly rates, the cost of a membership for future incidents and an estimated time of arrival and length of the service were all shared with him prior to Sea Tow leaving the dock to assist him.  This customer accepted service on those terms and also stated that the service provided by the Sea Tow Captain was excellent.   At the end of the tow he signed the invoice agreeing to the charges and did not express any displeasure regarding cost to the Captain on scene (see invoice posted by customer). 

It is  correct that the cost of on-water assistance by Sea Tow, or any other provider, is expensive when you are not a member.  Had the customer purchased a membership more than 24 hours prior to this incident the entire tow would have been free.  Now that he is an active member should he have another similar unexpected incident any member services provided would also be at no charge.

We are sorry this customer is unhappy with his situation.   This is a good example for others on the value of having a Sea Tow membership in place before you need it.



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#4 Author of original report

and the RIPOFF continues

AUTHOR: Mark S - ()

Just got a call from some schmuck at their corporate office. Capt. John Ward was on the line also.

Not only do they not care about how much they charged me for this service, they told me they would not even consider cancelling my membership and refunding at least the $169.00

Thank You Sea Tow. At least you will get some free advertisement from everything I post.


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#5 Author of original report

Still no contact from Sea Tow

AUTHOR: Mark S - ()

I have contacted their corporate office, posted on their FB page and sent email to the local office and still have not heard from this company.

They cannot answer why they forced me to buy a membership, took my $169.00 for a Gold Card, then charged me $300/hr for a tow. 

I am about to post this complaint to every fishing and boating website I can find. 

Great customer service Sea Tow!

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