MDL Dispute Background

The lead Up

I bought my SeaRay 200 Select in 2003, I Bought it with the proceeds (Ironicaly) from settling a court case with Norwich can see the details of that case here,

this was settled (Out of court agreement case sealed) in the high court chancery division in front of three Law Lords, I ran a website about that case, Norwich union eventually paid a significant sum to have the website taken down in addition to the out of court settlement. I Paid 17,000 for my boat in 2003  Between then and 2020  I have maintained her myself , and shared the joy with family, friends, Customers and Suppliers. She has racked up 500 hours on the engine and been mostly reliable. In 2015 I put her in the DryStack at MDL’s Saxon Wharf, the  cost was about 220 per month, which I considered fair given the excellent service they provide. To be clear I have no dispute or grievance with the service that MDL and the staff have provided. Around 2019 I got stuck in Brazil during Covid so between 2019 and today December 2022 the boat has only been used once or twice and therefore we have not used MDL’s services other than storage during that period although until February 2022 we happily Agreed to pay the Full dry stack Rate. In June 2021 I lost my primary source of income, we struggled to pay all our bills and because I am now 61 it’s been hard to replace that income. By February 2022 we started to fall into arrears with MDL and whilst we paid what we could by the end of February 2022 those arrears stood at about 2 months dry stack fees or GBP 555 Its worth noting that since 2015 we had actually paid over 100 months of fees.

So here we are at February 2022 with no job and 2 payments owed to MDL ! (In the documents section you can find all the supporting material)

Who Did What

Around February 2022 I contacted MDL and explained my predicament, Simply put I couldn’t afford the MDL fees any more, so I wanted to clear some of the Debt, and the full outstanding balance that would have been about GBP 500 as soon as the boat was sold or over the next 5 months. 

At that point and until several months later MDL ignored my offer, and ignored multiple other communications trying to resolve the matter amicably.

During this period I also arranged to collect the vessel so that I would not incur further charges and MDL could mitigate their situation.

From this point on MDL refused to allow me to collect the boat, and essentially have prevented me from selling it, collecting it or using it.

We offered several times to go to arbitration but MDL consistently refused Arbitration.

Between February 2022 and Approx October 2022 MDL failed to regularly communicate, but they did decide to keep on charging for something that they new I couldn’t afford, couldn’t pay couldn’t use, and couldn’t reach an agreement with them.

Where We are Today

Several week ago MDL issued a final demand and letter Before action, they suddenly decided to start communicating and now seek to Recover GBP 5,200 this appears to bei mostly for charges after Feb 2022 (We dispute this amount and believe it to be closer to 3600 1600 of which we admit. We then started communicating with Shoosmiths, All correspondence from Shoosmiths is shown elsewhere on this website, but the jist is, we don’t care why you didn’t pay, we don’t care that you tried to resolve the matter in February, we aren’t prepared to mediate, and we refuse your offer to settle the debt in full based on the stated arrears at February 2022, instead we intend to arrest the boat and sell it. The logic behind this is hard to understand,  The boat would probably sell at auction  for 5K to 7K  they will incur legal fees, and alienate the industry. But their attitude is we’ve got your boat you couldn’t pay we don’t care! Or perhaps their solicitors realise that they will be the only winners .Anyway shoosmith stated that they  will take steps to arrest the vessel and proceed to sell it on the 20th December (Today), So I said id tell the whole marine industry about MDL and their attitude. So please enjoy learning, read all the documents and dont make the same mistake I did which was believing that MDL cared about its loyal customers. As we go thru the legal process I will keep you all updated

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