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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 43
OP Offline
Hello all. I thought I should not wait to get home to write about this component of our trip. On our first day here (saturday) we rented a golf cart from the island tours company located at the big pink island grocery. We did so because they offered a 10% internet discount. This morning we were headed to town from Victoria house when a dog started barking and chasing us then proceeded to try and attack my husband who was driving. My husband veered right and hit an embancement and the golf cart tipped on it's side. The very nice locals who were around came and picked us off the ground and turned the cart upright. I though we should immediately go to the tour company/grocery store to inform them of what happened, since we bent the roof and one of the wheel fenders was torn off. when we got there the manager called a guy out to give us an estimate of what they would need to charge to fix it. Remember the only obvious damage is minor cosmetic, we drove the cart the rest of the way and it ran perfectly. She comes ut to say the chasis is cracked and that the cart is basically useless from that point on, that they would have to part it out, she then told me a new golf cart costs $20,000 belize dollars. I asked to see the cracked chasis she showed me something undrneath that was covered in mud and there was no visible crack. I told her I don't see any crack and she replied well its covered with mud? Well if it's not visible how did she know it was there? This made me really nervous and she called the police to file a report. When they came the police flat out told us to get a second opinion because these guys are scam artists, we weren't the first ones this has happened to and to NOT pay them any money. I got into a taxi (cesars taxi and truck company. He took me to pick up a mechanic he knows named ohsman. Ohsmon came and gave us an estimate of 780 belize money plus a little more for labor. The manager came out yelling saying he doesn't want anything fixed he wants it all to be new. We then went to file a police report ourselves. They were shocked at the prices the island company were quoting us. The girl manager showed up and stated they would take $12,000 belizean dollars to fix the cart. The police advised her anything over 5,000 she would have to sue us and she said ok. The police removed the copy of my credit card the company had and told them they were NOT allowed to charge my card any money. The police then started their own investigation and called a well known mechanic to reevaluate the cart. The police mechanic gave an estimate of $1000 dollars, which is just a little more than what our mechanic said. Meanwhile I went back to victoria house to check for any charges, and sure enough she ran my card twice the 1st for $6000 dollars and the next attempt was also for $6000 which american express declined without talking to me first. Anyhow, we are set to go to court on friday to settle this once and for all. I want to mention as soon as the owner of victoria house heard what had happened to us he went with his own mechanic to look at the cart and to talk with the owner of the store. I thought this was incredibly gracious of him. I'll write a complete trip report later just a warning to those who are coming here, I strongly recommend you find a more ethical company to place your business with.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,294
WOW! Thanks so much for posting this as it is unethical! Luckily my cc only has like $500USD left that I can charge! Ok but seriously - that is awful. Thanks for posting this.

Let us know what happens after court.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,770
Sorry to hear about your bad experience Sandra - hope the rest of your vacation was awesome and helped to make up for it. I echo TQ - let us know the outcome.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood!
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 991
Wow...hubby and friends were coming home from the gym and they were stopped by a guy in front of the island supermarket who said they were "crooks" in there. Hubby looked at the golf cart in question and said the damage was minimal, yes, the roof was bent and the frame around the windshield would have to be replaced, but it was drivable, and not too bad. It's good to know that this forum allows us to warn eachother of the unethical people on the island. Besides, they sell black we don't buy food from them, either. Good luck on getting this resolved.

Live so that when you arise in the A.M, Satan shudders & says..
'Oh sh t..she's awake!'
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28

Don't quote me on this....but if hiring a vehicle using your credit card, it usually means you have free insurance for the vehicle you are driving.
(hire companies usually forget to mention that when selling you their insurance package).

You might want to check your credit card details. ie can depend on whether silver/gold plat/ plat + etc etc. As carts are the rental vehicle and as gas powered are considered vehicles you might be able to use that with your Credit card company...if so the hiring company is gonna be SOL wanting $12k.

I'd also be looking at whether you signed a waiver or was even given the chance to buy insurance. (I have no idea what the rules are in Belize for vehicle hire btw)

Hope your CC will cover for you or court find the vendor over the top.

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 625
spl Offline
canbrit- my positive guess is that you have not acutally ben to Belize before. Its not like the states or even canada or even britian for that matter. think similar to a third world county. its Belize!

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 477
Oh man Sandra... I feel so bad for you! I saw your cart as I passed a few times today in front of Island Supermarket and all it looked like to me was roof damage. I was with VH's mechanic (Mathias) when he and the owner were discussing your situation. WOW, I heard the $12000bz figure. Simply crazy. Glad to here you got the right people involved to make sure their extortion scheme was somewhat unsuccessful. The fact that they charged you credit card w/out consensus between parties is criminal. Not that I had been but I, for one, will never rent from nor recommend these guys ever again. Thanks for the heads up...

Last edited by KnckrBckrNYC; 09/27/07 08:27 AM.
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 43
OP Offline
Thank you for all of your support. The community support has been unbelievable so far. Bobber, thanks for that link, I am going to print it out and take it with us to court! knckerbckernyc, the owner of victoria house has been so kind to us sending his own mechanic down and speaking with the staff on ou behalf. I am just simply amazed with this little island thanks to all of you for your prayers. I'll keep you posted on the proceedings.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,429
Their whole strategy is based on a Harvard business case I once read.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
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