The $500 Jump-Start
On Thursday, what began as an overnight (boating) trip turned into an aquatic financial nightmare.
Ready to return, we pulled up anchor, put the key in the ignition and (found out) the battery was dead, due to a bilge malfunction.
Hot, sweaty, exhausted and frustrated form attempts to signal faraway boats, we called Sea Tow, a local company.
With no other available funds, we gave the "Captain" our debit card information, as there was money in our bank account for our mortgage.
My husband didn't ask the price; we were desperate, and this was an emergency.
The "Captain" arrived, railed on about insurance companies and acted like they were his rival, although in the event of a boating accident, he sure wouldn't pay for damages incurred.
It seemed like an effort to divert our attention from what he was about to do.
He figured out the bill and said, "OK, $250 an hour for 1 1/4 hours of tow-boat time, and your yearly membership fee of $169, totaling $481.50, for a quick jump-start, with no towing involved."
We were shocked senseless.
Later, when we arrived home, we called up Sea Tow to ask him why he would charge so much.
He said if a person is already a member, charges are free each year, and that in the past five to six years, policies required him to charge the second whopping amount.
"We'd love to just help everyone for free," he said. "That's our goal."
A word to the wise: Even if you charge up your battery before you leave, or if all seems well, bring a battery charger along with you, or you may end up in the boating twilight zone.
Mr. And Mrs. D. German, Melbourne