Usually, I find myself taking on some real scoundrels. Horrible landlords. Deadbeat squatters, cheating car dealers. You know. This one is a lot different. Let’s call it “Operation Debt Payment” because I had to take on the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
Ed and Donna Ferry contacted us. They have a plumbing business in Great Neck and did two emergency jobs for the nearby academy last year. There was no hot water in a couple of dorms. Twice Ed and Donna sent crews right over. But they still haven’t been paid.
It’s not all that much. A total of $675. But it’s a year and a half and Ed and Donna say they’re just getting the runaround.
“I never expected to not be paid by a place like that,” Donna told me. “It’s just really the principle.”
“They’re saying that the paperwork was not processed properly,”Ed explained. “On their end and that’s why we can’t get paid…We still haven’t gotten paid and that’s why we said, Help Me Howard.”
OK. So now I’m engaged in a bit of scuffle with one of our service academies. The Merchant Marine Academy is like West Point and Annapolis and the other United States service academies. Only it trains men and women for our civilian and defense shipping needs. Graduates have to do some military service.
Anyway, I went over there with Ed and Donna. A helpful guard put us in touch with a spokesman, Bob Benson. He took the couple behind closed doors for a few minutes for some peace talks. And pretty quickly, the Merchant Marine Academy accepted Ed and Donna’s peace terms.
“I cannot believe that how they responded once they saw you walking up there with that camera, “Ed told us.” Within 20 minutes when we got back to the office they called us on the phone and paid us. After a year and a half.”
We’re glad to help. You know, it’s deeds not words. We agree with the Merchant Marine motto.