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Old 01-06-2022, 05:24 PM   #1
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Fake Documentation notice

Got my fake USCG renewal notice today.

I know there will be some on the forum that will say it's a legit service using a 3rd party vendor. I don't buy it. I also sent them a letter requesting they remove my address.

Go to the "official" USCG online site:

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...tation-Center/Click image for larger version

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Old 01-06-2022, 06:07 PM   #2
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Yep, same letter as the one I received recently. At triple the actual cost. Funny, I used Google street view to look at the address -- strip mall in Fairfax, VA.
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Old 01-06-2022, 06:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
Got my fake USCG renewal notice today.

I know there will be some on the forum that will say it's a legit service using a 3rd party vendor. I don't buy it.
Which are you not buying? That they are a 3rd party company offering a service? OR that 3rd party companies aren't legitimate businesses?

If the latter, do you have examples where someone paid them and didn't get their vessel documented?

I agree you can just as easily go directly to the Coast Guard. Nothing on that doc looks like it's trying to trick you.
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Old 01-06-2022, 08:29 PM   #4
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I totally agree with Shrew. it is a legit service, and you will pay triple the cost for the service provided if you are new to boating. New boaters have a lot of information available to them through a lot of boating Forums.
No excuse for ignorance these days.
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Old 01-06-2022, 08:40 PM   #5
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I've bought two boats this year. The first one, I did the documentation myself as it was already documented and just needed a change of owner on the certificate. Easy, apart from USCG being six months behind in their paperwork. Cost was $425.

Then, when I bought another boat under similar circumstances the broker practically insisted I use a professional service to do the documentation work. I was charged $750 and still don't have any document some four months later.

IMO just do it yourself.
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Old 01-06-2022, 09:01 PM   #6
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The Brookers will always insist to a professional ($425 - $750) to make sure that the boat is transferred to your name for lability (I guess). I believe the issue here is the renewal that you can do yourself directly on the Coast Guard website or to have some else do it for you for a price.
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Old 01-06-2022, 09:09 PM   #7
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I have no heartburn at all over a third party service and heck, I'm a capitalist, charge fourteen times the real cost if you can get it. Free market. What bugs me (and others) is that they make themselves look official with a seal and name and web address that looks like www.nvdcvesselrenewal.us (or similar). One of the sites (I won't link it here lest I advertise for them) only discloses they're not a gov't agency if you click the little "disclaimer" link at the bottom of the page, and the site even offers links to the military and other federal operations to reinforce the impression they're official. It's not the service that's bothersome, it's the phony packaging.

If these services were titled "Joe's Boat Documentation Service" and didn't package themselves like a gov't agency, we'd never have these threads.
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Old 01-06-2022, 09:09 PM   #8
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when i got mine i viewed it as a reminder to login and renew online.
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Old 01-06-2022, 10:27 PM   #9
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Like Magna6882, the third party service offer came prior to the USCG reminder, so got me moving. Thanks to other similar threads, realized after careful scrutiny, not USCG, and agree with others, they really try to make it look like a government deal, tad low IMHO. FYI, can do online for 1 year renewal now, after 1-22-22, site says can do 5 year on line. Initially was after January 1 but delayed. Also found out if expired more than 30 days, another form and $84 more bucks!!
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Old 01-07-2022, 12:29 AM   #10
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This is a new subject for me. How do the 3rd parties get your info? Does the Coast Guard sell off your data or is data on a documented boat public domain?
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Old 01-07-2022, 02:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by magna 6882 View Post
when i got mine i viewed it as a reminder to login and renew online.
The one time I did that, my renewal period was reduced by 2 months. Do not renew too early.
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Old 01-07-2022, 08:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction;
Got my fake USCG renewal notice today.
Fake? I don’t think so.
Illegal? Apparently not.
Questionable presentation? Perhaps.
They do offer and deliver a legitimate service and it can’t be too misleading; you spotted it.

Is it something to be aware of as a costly alternative to the USCG Documentation Center? Sure, but it’s no more fake than the “assembled USA” Harley Davidson, the street market Rolex or most of the everyday purchases made at Dollarama.

The internet is full of such business, here’s another one:
https://www.esta-application.com/esta-application/

Caveat emptor.
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Old 01-07-2022, 09:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by soin2la View Post
Fake? I don’t think so.
Illegal? Apparently not.
Questionable presentation? Perhaps.
They do offer and deliver a legitimate service and it can’t be too misleading; you spotted it.

Is it something to be aware of as a costly alternative to the USCG Documentation Center? Sure, but it’s no more fake than the “assembled USA” Harley Davidson, the street market Rolex or most of the everyday purchases made at Dollarama.

The internet is full of such business, here’s another one:
https://www.esta-application.com/esta-application/

Caveat emptor.
Not fake.
Not illegal.
Questionable presentation? And then some.

These are bottom feeders who count on the uninformed or overly busy to mislead them into paying multiple times the going rate for a service. Yes, caveat emptor absolutely applies. But I wouldn’t extend the courtesy of lumping these price gougers in with legitimate businesses. The fact that the internet is full of grifters is part of the problem.
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Old 01-07-2022, 09:08 AM   #14
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Nothing wrong with the service per se, they're not much different than a boat broker, realtor, etc. Just assisting you in making a purchase. If your had a difficult case, say first documentation of an old boat with many prior owners, going from pleasure to commercial endorsements or the like, you'd probably need a service. But I bet these imposters couldn't/wouldn't do those.
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:05 AM   #15
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So is this any different than using a broker to help buy a boat ??
Your basically paying both for a service.
Both are about as shady IMHO....

Just stirring the pot......
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99;
These are bottom feeders who count on the uninformed or overly busy to mislead them into paying multiple times the going rate for a service…The fact that the internet is full of grifters is part of the problem.
The internet has been with us for thirty years. Grifters and the uninformed have been around since commerce began.

The internet just produced a broader field of uninformed and gave the grifters better access to them.
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Old 01-08-2022, 08:28 AM   #17
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The internet has been with us for thirty years. Grifters and the uninformed have been around since commerce began.

The internet just produced a broader field of uninformed and gave the grifters better access to them.
No problem with your first two points, but there are ethical and unethical practitioners of the professions you list in point three. The ethical don’t use fine print buried at the bottom, fake official-looking seals and blatant misdirection to gouge people. These guys do.
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Old 01-08-2022, 08:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by angus99;
No problem with your first two points, but there are ethical and unethical practitioners of the professions you list in point three. The ethical don’t use fine print buried at the bottom, fake official-looking seals and blatant misdirection to gouge people. These guys do.
You’re arguing with yourself here and are exercising your right to a narrow focus.

In your earlier post you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99;
These are bottom feeders who count on the uninformed or overly busy to mislead them into paying multiple times the going rate for a service

I recommend “Dirty Money,” especially the episode on Volkswagen, one of those upstanding, ethical companies you point to.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7889220/
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Old 01-08-2022, 09:15 AM   #19
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You’re arguing with yourself here and are exercising your right to a narrow focus.

In your earlier post you said:




I recommend “Dirty Money,” especially the episode on Volkswagen, one of those upstanding, ethical companies you point to.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7889220/
Think you’re misunderstanding. I didn’t cite any companies—just noted that there are some. So in your view are there no ethical companies? And your notion of a broader focus is . . . Volkswagen?
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Old 01-08-2022, 10:08 AM   #20
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These companies are not doing anything illegal, but they are very deceiving with very "official" looking letterheads and websites.

I almost paid one $35 to change my mailing address until I did some more searching.

I may have to use one eventually to put my boat ownership into my trust. The actual Coast Guard website is not very user friendly.

I'm tempted to just drop the documentation and register the boat with the state. It's simple and only $10 per year.
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