Better Call Behnken: Men owed thousands for boat, title, in Palm Harbor consignment shop nightmare

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s happened again, another consignment shop nightmare.

One, 20-foot Pontoon boat, but two men are on the hook for it. That’s what happened after a consignment deal went bad.

In early March, Rick Weaver paid a total of $24,000 for the boat, taxes and registration, but he never received the title and registration.

That’s because the Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor, where he bought the boat on consignment, failed to complete paperwork. The seller of the boat didn’t receive a dime for the boat at first. In fact, he tells 8 On Your Side he had no idea his boat had even sold.

“I was not told the truth,” said Joe Svoboda. “I want my money.”

The two men turned to 8 On Your Side for help. Weaver said he couldn’t get answers from the shop, so he tracked down the previous owner himself. He found that person had not been paid.

Together, the men confronted the salesman and ended up with a $7,000 check to pay off a lien last week. It is has not yet cleared the bank. If it does, the owner would be due another nearly $13,000, he said.

A salesman at the shop told 8 On Your Side this was a paperwork problem and nothing sinister. He said it will be taken care of as soon as the title is clear.

“We haven’t been here this long, being crooks,” said James Laden, the salesman. He couldn’t explain what went wrong, but finally said someone “dropped the ball.”

The boat shop has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau, and there are similar complaints, many of which have been settled. Laden said the shop is working to fix the poor BBB rating.


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