CHARLOTTE, NC -- A day on the lake is great, if the boat starts, but for most of summer 2013, Bill Gibson's pontoon… didn't.
Gibson says, "And when we went out the first time after getting the alternator belt, it was making so much noise that we were afraid to drive it anywhere, so we turned around and brought it back."
Bill had the boat repaired at Lakeshore Marina on the west side of Lake Norman in Denver, but after paying $8,200 for repairs and what he thought was a new engine, the boat still didn't run.
"We didn't get anything close to what we paid for," Gibson told us.
The Gibsons sent NBC Charlotte their invoices, on which the state tax caught our eye. It says 8%, and it's listed on all of them. Problem is, the state tax is 6.75% in Denver. When the NBC Charlotte I-Team questioned this charge, the owner, Darryl Gibson, who is no relation to Bill, said it was a typo. When I questioned the same typo on four invoices, he then said it was a computer glitch they fixed, and offered to refund them some money. Tonight the NC Department of Revenue is now looking into it after we asked them about the tax error.
"We talked to him and he finally decided to pay us the money we spent on the sales tax," says Gibson.
And while the Gibson's are happy they got almost $500 back, they still want to be reimbursed the $4,000 they had to spend at another marina to fix what they say Lakeshore should have fixed the first time. Darryl told me they had a warranty and should have brought their boat back to him for him to repair it.
Gibson says, "After 20 hours on this engine and it still didn't work, we just lost faith in what he would do."
Lakeshore, which had an F rating from the BBB, www.bbb.org recently changed its name to the "The River Rat," but county documents show Darryl Gibson was Lakeshore Marina, and is the River Rat. In fact, Darryl Gibson asked NBC Charlotte not to run these stories, saying he'd give the Gibson's their $4,000 back, but only if we just dropped it.
The Gibson's don't expect to see any of that money and supported us running these stories. As for that NC State tax issue, the Department of Revenue told us they can't comment on any investigation they have in progress, but we'll be sure to follow up when they're done. All our calls to the River Rat since our first story haven't been returned.