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ddcottrill
03-27-2010, 12:26 PM
This is a story of a golf cart experience I have recently had here in the villages. I think it is important to let others know about that experience. I recently purchased what I was told was a 2007 Club Car DS. The cart turned out to be a 2005 refurbished Club Car purchased from a golf course. I called the guy I purchased it from, Mark Castonguay, and confronted him with this discovery. He told me that he would not return my money nor take the cart back. Yes I do have a bill of sale, with his signature, and I plan to take him to small claims court to reclaim my money. From the time I met this fellow I was supplied with deceiving information and outright lies. Buyer beware!

HERE IS SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION!!!!!

There is a bit more to the story than I originally posted. Originally I received Marks name from a neighbor who had a positive experience with Mark. The neighbor has impeccable integrity so I called Mark and asked him if he had any carts for sale and he stated he did. I went right over to his house and drove a 2005 Club car he had for sale. The unit was a great value a $2200.00 and I gave him the entire amount on the spot because when I arrived at his house there was another gentleman looking at the unit. He asked me to write the check to his mother, and I did. He drove the unit to the back of his house and promised to deliver the cart on Monday first thing. Monday came and no call from Mark. I called him and he told me that the cart wouldn't start and he brought it back to the person he bought it from to repair it. He said he would call when he heard back about the repair. He never called me back so I called him again. He stated that the unit was not worth fixing and that he was going to pick up a much nicer one the following day and that it was a 2007. I went over the following day to take a look at it and he told me the price was $2650.00. I agreed to the price and told him I would pay him the additional $450.00 when he delivered the cart. He said he would deliver it the next morning. He called me the next morning and said he had the cart on the trailer and would deliver it only if I gave him $450.00 in cash. He said because my check was an out of state, bank of america, check that he would need for me to give him cash. After hanging up I checked online to see if the $2200.00 check, I had written to his mother, had been cashed and it had. He dropped off the cart, I had him sign the bill of sale for the 2007 cart I believed I purchased, I gave him the remaining $450.00 and he was on his way. The cart was a bit slower than I liked and I had a repairman come over to look it over and thats when I found out the cart was a 2005. That, my dear friends, is the rest of the story you already know.

I would appreciate any input from anyone as to what other media I could use to alert those in the villages of this scam artist. And that, my dear friends, is the rest of the story!!!!

herbaru
03-27-2010, 12:36 PM
This is a story of a golf cart experience I have recently had here in the villages. I think it is important to let others know about that experience. I recently purchased what I was told was a 2007 Club Car DS. The cart turned out to be a 2005 refurbished Club Car purchased from a golf course. I called the guy I purchased it from, Mark Castonguay, and confronted him with this discovery. He told me that he would not return my money nor take the cart back. Yes I do have a bill of sale, with his signature, and I plan to take him to small claims court to reclaim my money. From the time I met this fellow I was supplied with deceiving information and outright lies. Buyer beware!

Is Mark Castonguay a dealer or a private seller?

Russ_Boston
03-27-2010, 01:17 PM
May not be what you thought so you would have a case.

But, just wondering, does the cart run well? And is there a way that this could have been discovered when you purchased? I just want to know in case I go buy a used cart. Thanks.

784caroline
03-27-2010, 04:43 PM
If this was a private sale its no different than a used car sale...and your last statement sums it up "BUYER BEWARE"....you have no legal case. Im not certain what your argument is.... it was a 2005 refurbished instead of a 2007? A private seller is under no obligation "legally" to disclose anything AND Most resellers buy their carts from golf courses or cart manufacturers and refurbish them...that is not unusual. Just curious what is the basis of your legal case.....and what is the problem with the cart???????

I hope you present your legal argument in more detail than your first posting.

Pturner
03-27-2010, 05:11 PM
If this was a private sale its no different than a used car sale...and your last statement sums it up "BUYER BEWARE"....you have no legal case. Im not certain what your argument is.... it was a 2005 refurbished instead of a 2007? A private seller is under no obligation "legally" to disclose anything AND Most resellers buy their carts from golf courses or cart manufacturers and refurbish them...that is not unusual. Just curious what is the basis of your legal case.....and what is the problem with the cart???????

I hope you present your legal argument in more detail than your first posting.

DD, I am curious. Did the bill of sale state that the cart was a 2007? I would think that the two-year difference in age would affect the market value of the cart and what you might have been willing to pay. Perhaps a different cart you had considered would have been a better buy under the circumstances. I don't know the law, but perhaps false "disclosure" would be treated differently than non-disclosure. If the facts are as you stated, I don't blame you for seeking recourse. Please let us know how things works out.

Talk Host
03-27-2010, 07:32 PM
If this was a private sale its no different than a used car sale...and your last statement sums it up "BUYER BEWARE"....you have no legal case. Im not certain what your argument is.... it was a 2005 refurbished instead of a 2007? A private seller is under no obligation "legally" to disclose anything AND Most resellers buy their carts from golf courses or cart manufacturers and refurbish them...that is not unusual. Just curious what is the basis of your legal case.....and what is the problem with the cart???????

I hope you present your legal argument in more detail than your first posting.


Are you sure of this? I think that if, even a private seller, misleads you by providing absolutely false information about the deal, a court would rule in favor of the buyer. The law usually protects the consumer from false and misleading advertising. Or, am I wrong.

Pturner
03-27-2010, 08:24 PM
Are you sure of this? I think that if, even a private seller, misleads you by providing absolutely false information about the deal, a court would rule in favor of the buyer. The law usually protects the consumer from false and misleading advertising. Or, am I wrong.

TH, I hope you are right. The situation described is an injustice.

The Great Fumar
03-27-2010, 08:55 PM
If you have any paperwork , such as a bill of sale that states the unit is a 2007 that you can introduce in Small Claims Court then you've got him....
Its like a selling a car with the odometer turned back , Judge might turn case over to district court after awarding you your money back........

I'm not a Judge but I play one on TV...

champion6
03-27-2010, 09:19 PM
And is there a way that this could have been discovered when you purchased? I just want to know in case I go buy a used cart. Thanks.Here's a handy reference. This page explains how to determine what year a golf cart was manufactured: www.buggiesunlimited.com/SerialNumberLocator

Russ_Boston
03-27-2010, 09:27 PM
Thanks for the link!

Army Guy
03-28-2010, 06:53 AM
I agree, you definitely have a case. It also should be pretty opened/closed at Small Claims.

Army Guy

handieman
03-28-2010, 09:09 AM
I think I'm in the minority here on this subject but heres my opinion.
2005 vs 2007 to me is no big deal, especially in Club Cars. That frame and body style has been built forever it seems to me. Possibly it was a 2005 remanufactured in 2007 so it was a miscommunication. Usually fleet cars dont get remanufactured till they are 3 yrs old but who knows on this one. The BuggiesUnlimited formula for determining the age year of the cart is simple and the buyer could have done some homework beforehand. (not being critical, just saying). By the way look on the top of the battery terminal to determine the year of the battery. You should find a 05, 06,07 etc.
Bottom line of my thoughts here is, if your happy with the cart, like the performance, color, etc etc and your feel you paid a fair price (remember that the difference in the used cart price between 05 and 07 is minimal) then big deal, relax and put it out of mind and mark it up as one of lifes little annoyances.
jus sayin
:beer3:
Handie

784caroline
03-28-2010, 09:10 AM
A private sale is vastly different than a dealer sale. Playing devils advocate, DD states he was told it was a 2007..OK the seller made a mistake...the year may even be in the Bill of Sale or is it just a serial number. A private deal offers no warranty. The fact that this cart was a refurb from a golf course should be no suprise unless the bill of sale states NEW. Even if the year (2007) is listed on the Bill of Sale, how do you prove that the "Private" seller was aware the year was something other than 2007. DD probably bought this cart for approx. $3000. If DD went to small claims, he would be lucky to get a couple hundred dollars asssuming he could prove the seller willfully was fraudulent. Otherwise the courts would view this deal as a transaction between 2 willing partners.

If the seller was a dealer, the transaction takes on a differnent perspective for the dealer should have known what year cart he was selling. Burden of proof would be less for the buyer, and DD would have a beter case in court. If the seller claims to be a private seller, a good strategy would be if you could show the seller bought a number of these carts from a golf course, rehab'd them and is now selling them (a number of them) to the unwitting public. What makes a person a private seller vs a dealer?? Does he have a license to sell multiple carts, Is he collecting sales taxes. There are otherways to skin a cat if the guy is a real crook.

However if this was a one time deal between private individuals, I still say its buyer beware. I mean champion6 found a way to identify what year a golf cart was manufactured...why didnt DD do the same thing?

I learned a long time ago, do not let your emotions or what you think should be right guide you in the wrong direction. You need FACTS and more FACTS along with some basic knowledge of consumer laws to prove your case in court.

mrdills
03-28-2010, 09:14 AM
On Club carts there should be a tag stating the year of the cart, if he told you it was a 2007 and you have that in writing and it was a 2005 rebuilt you might have a case. I know they rebuild carts all the time.

JohnN
03-28-2010, 11:30 AM
I did small claims court in Illinois (and won *proud smile*).
There was a limit then (long time ago) of $500, so check on the max claim.

Maybe you can get the max back, and keep the cart if you like it otherwise?
Good luck however it goes

ddcottrill
03-29-2010, 05:43 PM
There is a bit more to the story than I originally posted. Originally I received Marks name from a neighbor who had a positive experience with Mark. The neighbor has impeccable integrity so I called Mark and asked him if he had any carts for sale and he stated he did. I went right over to his house and drove a 2005 Club car he had for sale. The unit was a great value a $2200.00 and I gave him the entire amount on the spot because when I arrived at his house there was another gentleman looking at the unit. He asked me to write the check to his mother, and I did. He drove the unit to the back of his house and promised to deliver the cart on Monday first thing. Monday came and no call from Mark. I called him and he told me that the cart wouldn't start and he brought it back to the person he bought it from to repair it. He said he would call when he heard back about the repair. He never called me back so I called him again. He stated that the unit was not worth fixing and that he was going to pick up a much nicer one the following day and that it was a 2007. I went over the following day to take a look at it and he told me the price was $2650.00. I agreed to the price and told him I would pay him the additional $450.00 when he delivered the cart. He said he would deliver it the next morning. He called me the next morning and said he had the cart on the trailer and would deliver it only if I gave him $450.00 in cash. He said because my check was an out of state, bank of america, check that he would need for me to give him cash. After hanging up I checked online to see if the $2200.00 check, I had written to his mother, had been cashed and it had. He dropped off the cart, I had him sign the bill of sale for the 2007 cart I believed I purchased, I gave him the remaining $450.00 and he was on his way.
The cart was a bit slower than I liked and I had a repairman come over to look it over and thats when the truth emerged. The rest of the story you already know.
I would appreciate any input from anyone as to what other media I could use to alert those in the villages of this scam artist. That my dear friends is the rest of the story!!!!

Hawkwind
03-29-2010, 07:19 PM
Hummm. About now I would be checking the serial number with the police hot sheet.

784caroline
03-29-2010, 09:41 PM
Just curious ...if do go to court (which I dont recommend) who are you going to sue.....the guy that signed a bill of sale or his mother who you wrote the check out to. For a contract to exist their has to be an exchange of funds between both parties. I hope the bill of sale had a Dollar figure and receipt of funds included in its language.

Pturner
03-29-2010, 09:52 PM
Hi DD,
It sounds to me like you might have overlooked some red flags, which of course, are always more apparent in hindsight.

Hawkwind has a point about checking to make sure the cart wasn't stolen. I think that's where I would start. You didn't say whether the Bill of Sale stated that the cart was a 2007. If so, you could at least ask law enforcement whether there could be any misdemeanor charge. Maybe "theft by deception"? I doubt it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask and would at least alert law enforcement to the guy.

Small claims court? I don't know what it costs to file, but probably not much. I guess it's a question of whether it's worth the aggravation. I doubt you would get anything more than the difference in value between and '05 and an '07. A judge might say it's a case of buyer beware, but who knows?

It sounds like perhaps this man buys and sells golf carts regularly. I don't know whether he has or needs a license, but it might be something you could ask the county business license office about. Come to think of it, you might also want to check with The Villages Deed Compliance office-- 352-751-3912. He is not allowed to operate a business from his home.

On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the cart, you might just chalk it up to experience and forget it-- other than making sure it wasn't stolen.

Thanks for the alert, and let us know how it all comes out.

tony
03-30-2010, 06:25 AM
If I were dealing with this man, I would meet him in person and ask for my money back and return the cart.

If he declined I would explain to him that my next stop would be with the IRS. He did ask you to write a check to his mother for some reason.

Send the IRS a letter and you may get a 10 percent bounty.

Explain to him, too, that you will also be check to see if he is required to have a business license.

Tell him that you will be talking with the Sheriff about this transaction.

Maybe he will change his mind. If not, follow through on all those.

otherbruddaDarrell
03-30-2010, 07:39 AM
If I were dealing with this man, I would meet him in person and ask for my money back and return the cart.

If he declined I would explain to him that my next stop would be with the IRS. He did ask you to write a check to his mother for some reason.

Send the IRS a letter and you may get a 10 percent bounty.

Explain to him, too, that you will also be check to see if he is required to have a business license.

Tell him that you will be talking with the Sheriff about this transaction.

Maybe he will change his mind. If not, follow through on all those.

I agree with you Tony. The very 1st step is to meet with him and ask for a complete refund.
The price of the cart appears very reasonable.........makes you wonder how many he sells.

bkcunningham1
03-30-2010, 07:55 AM
ddcottrill, if I am reading you correctly you'd just like to get the word out about this incident so other buyers can beware. Here is a link to the state of Florida's Seniors versus Crime website which is administered through the Florida Attorney General's office. I'd give them a call and get suggestions from their volunteers on what you can do to remedy this either financially or emotionally.

http://www.seniorsvscrime.com/

Pturner
03-30-2010, 09:46 AM
If I were dealing with this man, I would meet him in person and ask for my money back and return the cart.

If he declined I would explain to him that my next stop would be with the IRS. He did ask you to write a check to his mother for some reason.

Send the IRS a letter and you may get a 10 percent bounty.

Explain to him, too, that you will also be check to see if he is required to have a business license.

Tell him that you will be talking with the Sheriff about this transaction.

Maybe he will change his mind. If not, follow through on all those.

I agree with Tony on meeting in person to seek the refund and letting him know what other avenues you would pursue. If no satisfactory resolve with seller, I like adding the IRS to the list of agencies to contact, in addition to sheriff, business license office and Villages Compliance office.

redwitch
03-30-2010, 10:04 AM
If I understand you correctly, you basically bought the cart sight unseen and then did not have the cart checked out. You just took the seller's word on everything. I give Mark credit that he didn't sell you the "bad" cart and allegedly refused to sell it to anyone. I doubt he knew (or cared) about the history of the cart you purchased. It sounds like he buys from others and then resells and does as little work as possible to refurbish them.

At the very least, you should have taken the cart for a ride before agreeing to purchase it. Unless I know the owner of the cart, I have the cart checked out before purchase. And that's even if I am purchasing from a supposedly reputable dealer unless I'm given a warranty.

Regardless, getting a cart less than 10 years old for less than $3K is a pretty good deal. I doubt a judge would give more than the option to return the cart and get some of your money back, less rental value for the time you have owned the cart (going rate in TV is around $300/month).

But you've certainly gotten the word out and maybe made some of us think about what we want to look for before purchasing a used cart from an individual.

Tom Hannon
09-30-2010, 04:40 AM
Hi DD. Why not copy your complaint from this TOTV thread and all 24 postings. Tell the dealer, the word is out and if need be- you can make it spread. Also tell him, many people are interested in the final outcome and it would be beneficial to him that everything was worked out. PS: I like Tony's suggestion about the IRS.

Bryan
09-30-2010, 05:04 AM
I agree with Tom. This all happened in March, now it is October (well, almost). What was the final outcome? Did you go to Small Claims? If so, how did that turn out. Curious minds want to know! We see a lot of problems start in this forum but don't always learn the final outcome.

Tom Hannon
09-30-2010, 05:12 AM
Hey Bryan. I agree with you. Problems reported. Solutions never answered. As we all know- "There are usually three sides to every story." The accusers side, the defendants side and something somewhere in between. Perhaps we should have a jury hearing on TOTV. The two parties can state their case and GracieGirl can be the judge. (Move over Judge Judy. Let Gracie Girl take over.) With jurors such as Redwitch, Russ and CathyI the verdict will be a fair one.

784caroline
09-30-2010, 08:50 AM
Tom

Great idea...Im not certain what side I would take...plaintiff or defendant..but I could work with both sides and work as a "devils advocate" to make certain the facts of the case support the emotions, time, and keystrokes involved.

Since dd (the original poster) only has 2 posts since joining TOTV in 11/09..I doubt we will ever find out how this issue was ever resolved....if he did go to Small Claims court and was successful, Chances are he would have already reported back.

Bill-n-Brillo
09-30-2010, 09:11 AM
Tom

Since dd (the original poster) only has 2 posts since joining TOTV in 11/09..I doubt we will ever find out how this issue was ever resolved....if he did go to Small Claims court and was successful, Chances are he would have already reported back.

I sent him an e-mail (via his profile info) to ask whatever became of the situation. Let him know others here were interested as well. Hopefully, he'll post an update!

Bill

Tom Hannon
09-30-2010, 09:47 AM
Good thinking Bill. I'm curious to his reaction.

dalecrenshaw
09-30-2010, 01:13 PM
This is an interesting blog....since the same thing happened to us this past summer, with the same guy. He told us it was 2 years newer than it actually was and wanted to paid in cash. We didn't think it that unusual for a private party to want cash since he didn't know us and that's the way alot of private sales are arranged. We found out later, that the cart was older than he told us. I agree, that he probably doesn't have a license to do business and is also avoiding paying income tax since he wants to be paid in cash. He has 2 locations that he works out of...his own home and his parents home. I know this since we met him at his home to look at a golf cart, then he took us to his parents home to look at a couple of more. We also know of another person in the Villages that had the same experience with him.

Bill-n-Brillo
09-30-2010, 07:07 PM
FWIW: My methodology on buying - or selling for that matter - anything such as a vehicle is to generate a formal Bill of Sale noting what is being purchased/sold (make, model, year, VIN, miles), purchase price, sold free of all encumbrances (no lien)/title is free and clear in the name of the seller, buyer and seller names and addresses, and the description of anything else that goes along with the deal. Both parties sign and date and both parties keep an original. Never had anyone refuse to do it. If they do, then the deal would certainly be off.

I've never had to resort to doing anything with one after the fact, though, but it's nice to know I've got it in case there's ever a question about the terms of the deal!

Bill

Indy-Guy
09-30-2010, 10:18 PM
I would think there are several ways to go after this guy. First I think there are two or three of you that have posted that the same thing has happened to each of you. First all of you need to get together with all paper work that you have about the purchase.

On this site it has been mentioned that there is a local place where seniors can go if they feel that they have been scamed. I have either seen it here or in the Daily Sun. I don't know where you could reach these people but perhaps another poster may be able to help us. But it is important that all of you go at the same time to talk to these people.

The two homes that he is operating out of are they in The Villages if so it is in the coventents that you can not operate a business out of your home so all of you need to go to code inforcement.

If he lives in Lady Lake you need to notify code inforcement of the situation and the same with the County code inforcement for the County he is operating out of.

Get ahold of your local county or city commisioner and ask him for advice. You will find out if he or she is worth your vote next time.

You may also want to talk to someone in the Sales Tax division of the State. You may end up pay Sales Tax on your purchase but again they will go after this guy.

Your are a tax payer and these Commisioner's and State Employees are what you are paying tax's for so get some bang for your buck. Go to a commision meeting if needed.

These are some ways that you can make his life miserable.

But it is important that you go in numbers rather than just one person going in and complaining.

Just my thoughts.

Bill-n-Brillo
10-03-2010, 11:15 AM
I sent him an e-mail (via his profile info) to ask whatever became of the situation. Let him know others here were interested as well. Hopefully, he'll post an update!

Bill

FYI: Haven't heard anything back from the OP via e-mail. Will post info later if I do receive something.

Bill

dadspet
10-04-2010, 09:24 PM
Club car puts a sticker (about 2" by 1" or so) on the passengers side that states the year and week the cart was manufactured in. Its pretty easy to find the year of your cart from the sticker. If you can't find it any dealer can easily show you where its at. I think most other mfg carts have a similar sticker someplace. If that sticker isn't there "beware".

Locating the Serial Number for club car
The serial number of each vehicle is printed on a bar code decal mounted either below the passenger side cup holder or above the accelerator or brake pedal (Example: PH0901-123456, as shown to the right). The two letters at the beginning of the serial number (1) indicate the vehicle model. The following four digits (2) indicate the model year and production week during which the vehicle was built. The six digits following the hyphen (3) represent the unique sequential number assigned to each vehicle built within a given model year.

48 Hour Blinds
10-05-2010, 03:08 AM
i would not buy from somebody with no address .. all these people that work out there house .. remember no address no service .. FLY BY NIGHTS. look at all the lanscapers and window treatment co. here today gone tommorrow .. and no signs on there vehicles. does that tell you something ..they will say anything to sell a job BUYERS BEWARE............

l2ridehd
10-05-2010, 04:39 AM
This cart was a great price for what it was. Sometimes if the deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. It is very easy to see what used carts sell for and what each year costs. A new cart Villages ready is around 10K. Take a 1K depreciation for each year of age down to around 3K to 4K. Then it's all about condition of the cart. If electric, how old are the batteries. If gas, how well does it run and handle. Clutch noise and brakes, tires, condition of covers and windshield. A cart 7 or 8 years old might be worth $1500 or $4500 depending on condition, features, remaining useful life. Almost any cart that still runs OK and is Villages ready is worth $1500 to $2000. I would rather have an 02 Club Car in great condition with new batteries then an 05 that is all banged up, ripped curtains and old batteries for the same money.

You need only 5 things for a valid contract. Date of the transaction, name and address of the buyer and seller, description of the item, (year, make, model, mileage/hours if known) consideration or price paid, and signed by the parties to be charged. Two copies with one retained by each party. Always get a minimum of these 5 things when you buy or sell anything.