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Old 12-02-2017, 07:42 AM   #1
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Wow. These slimeballs are good! (Documentation)

Even though it has been discussed here and I am well aware of the issue, I got all the way to entering my credit card for COD renewal before noticing in the fine print of a check box that I was paying a private service company not affiliated with the U.S. government.

They purchased the top Google spot when you search for "vessel documentation center" and their site looks just like a slightly revamped and improved NVCD page. They even come up first if you google "NVDC".

Be sure you go directly to:

National Vessel Documentation Center

and don't use Google as a shortcut to find it.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:15 AM   #2
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I received their "Notification" in the mail because my renewal is indeed coming due.

The letter has changed quite a bit from the original, and is now quite clear that they are a third party service provider. Clearly all the complaints have had a positive effect in cleaning up the worst of the deception, at least in the mail where there are actual laws about such things.

Here are some excerpts from the letter:

The title is "Vessel Renewal Courtesy Notice"

"This is a courtesy notice only. Marine Documentation Center, a private firm, has assisted thousands of boat owners in applying for and obtaining US Coast Guard Certificates of Documentation as well as other documentation"

"You may use our services to renew your USCG registration...."

"Use of our process requires payment of a service fee in addition to the government required application fee"

"Notice of obligation; this is not an invoice. You are under no obligation to utilize our firm's service."

At this point, I'd say this is no worse than then constant deluge of warranty expiration notices I get for our cars from third party companies trying to sell me a service contract on the car, or a service contract on my furnace, or whatever other stuff they are peddling.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:29 AM   #3
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Here is the screen shot of a Google search for "NVDC". All the first entries are them. I knew the real NVDC recently revamped its web site and address so it was a bit easier to be taken in.

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Old 12-02-2017, 10:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
Here is the screen shot of a Google search for "NVDC". All the first entries are them. I knew the real NVDC recently revamped its web site and address so it was a bit easier to be taken in.

Yes, the first three all clearly showing they are ads. The real NVDC doesn't place ads. Also, the fourth one, the real one, with an address .mil

There are millions of advertiser tricksters out there in every area and one must be alert to it at all times. Read carefully. Look carefully where you're headed.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:53 AM   #5
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Keep in mind the very high percentages of boat owners who just don't care, spend more than this when they stop at Starbucks.

Combined with the fact that most people just don't read anymore.

They're raking it in!
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:16 AM   #6
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Read carefully. Look carefully where you're headed.
And never do anything as important as a COD renewal while having your first sips of coffee.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:05 PM   #7
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And never do anything as important as a COD renewal while having your first sips of coffee.
Well, not a coffee drinker but there is something to be said about time of day and condition when conducting business transactions. Never do any of them after starting evening drinks either.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:02 AM   #8
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Handle all my CG doc paperwork myself soup to nuts ....call first get confirm then seek guidance ..works 100 percent time ...avoid phoney baloney folks ...can't be lazy get with it and think !
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:09 PM   #9
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I went to the site and committed on their live chat. I asked why do I want to pay you when I can go directly to the USCG to renew? Response: Live Chat is currently down. Please visit later......
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:30 PM   #10
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Not really related to the thread but since this Documentation company keeps popping up:
As an FYI, there’s a lot of effort required to keep your company’s website at the top of any search engine results. Constant monitoring - usually by a paid 3rd party - managing & predicting our “keywords” that could match the content of their website. Basically it’s not always about paying $ directly to Google, Bing, etc. although that’s available. When companies do pay, a little “AD” icon shows up next to the website result so you know. (Thats big bucks, BTW.)
In fact Google is pretty good about monitoring websites and making sure they aren’t playing games with their search words. (Such as using a competitor’s name as one of their search word triggers)

I guess the private Documentation company is spending a lot of money on this one way or another. Capitalism is alive and well.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:50 PM   #11
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I guess the private Documentation company is spending a lot of money on this one way or another. Capitalism is alive and well.
They are all buying ads to appear at the top, not depending on SEO.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:24 AM   #12
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I got my scam letter yesterday. My renewal is due this month.

I have been out of the loop for a couple of years and am wondering how renewal works now?

Do I automatically get a renewal form from the CG like I used to? If not, what is the renewal procedure?

From the website in post #1 here it looks like a renewal fee has been implemented. How is it paid?

Thanks
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:28 AM   #13
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http://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DC...-09-113141-707
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:51 AM   #14
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I got my renewal from the CG last month. Went online to the CG website and renewed. Gt the new COD in about a week. They take credit cards. Cost $26.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:23 PM   #15
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Got my scam letter too yesterday. I called them and took awhile for them to pick up. I requested they take me off of their mailing list. He tried to sell me on their service.

I asked why should I pay them, when I can do it online and for only $26. The process is most complicated he stated, I could be fined if I screw it up. I again requested they take me off their mailing list. He replied he would do so.

If you read the letter, it states they are a private company at least 3 times.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:31 PM   #16
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This is a different one from what I got and most of these threads are about.
The letter I got was from a company in CA, even though the return address is WVA.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:20 PM   #17
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I got that same Billings, Montana letter today too. Shredded it. I do wonder how they build, harvest, or buy their mailing database. I hope the Natl Doc Center isn't selling it to them.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:34 PM   #18
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I got that same Billings, Montana letter today too. Shredded it. I do wonder how they build, harvest, or buy their mailing database. I hope the Natl Doc Center isn't selling it to them.
It's a public database. No need to buy anything.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:58 PM   #19
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Yes, just like voter registration and land ownership DBs.

Not sure how DMV is considered too private.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:51 PM   #20
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Mine too came from Montana...my first clue.
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