This page provides the language of the New Jersey Deceptive Practices Concerning Watercraft Repair Regulations – New Jersey regulations regulating the repair of vehicles.
“Customer” means the owner, or any family member, employee or any other person whose
use of the watercraft is authorized by the owner.
“Director” means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
“Repair of watercraft” means all maintenance and repair to such watercraft, its engine or motor, but excluding lubrication, oil changes, installing light bulbs, and other such minor accessories and services. No service or accessory to be installed shall be excluded for purpose of this rule if the Director determines that the performance of the service or the installation of an accessory requires mechanical expertise has given rise to a high incidence of fraud or deceptive practices or involves a part of such watercraft essential to its safe operation.
“Watercraft” includes but is not limited to any craft, boat or vessel, powerboat, sailboat, motor sailer, mono hull, catamaran or trimaran, documented or registered (if required) in the State of New Jersey or by any other agency having authority to document or register watercraft.
“Watercraft repair dealer” means any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of performing or employing persons who perform maintenance, diagnosis or repair services on any watercraft, its propulsion system (internal combustion or electrical, inboard or outboard) or the replacement of parts including, but not limited to, hull planking, fiberglass sections and standing rigging, and shall include, but not be limited to, boat dealers, repair shops (fixed, mobile or marina) and marinas where such maintenance, diagnosis or repair services are available. Excluded are those persons who engage in the business of repairing watercraft of commercial or industrial establishments or government agencies, under contract or otherwise, but only with respect to such accounts.
13:45A-23.2 DECEPTIVE PRACTICES: WATERCRAFT REPAIRS
a) Without limiting the prosecution of any other practices which may be unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., and to afford customers of watercraft repair dealers similar rights and protections afforded to customers of automotive repair dealers, N.J.A.C. 13:45A-7.1 et seq., the following acts or omissions shall be deceptive practices in the conduct of the business of a watercraft repair dealer, whether such act or omission is done by the watercraft repair dealer, its employees, agents, partners, officers, or members, or by any third party who performs such service at the request of the watercraft repair dealer.
1) Making or authorizing in any manner or by any means whatever any statement, written or oral, which is untrue or misleading, and which is known or, which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known to be untrue or misleading.
2) Commencing work for compensation without securing one of the following:
i) Specific written authorization from the customer which states the nature of the repair requested or problem presented; or
ii) If the customer’s watercraft or any part thereof as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-22.1 is presented to the watercraft repair dealer during other than normal working hours or by one other than the customer, or in other than distress circumstances, oral authorization from the customer to proceed with the requested repair or problem presented, evidenced by a notation on the repair order and/or invoice of the repair requested or problem presented, date, time, name of person granting such authorization and the telephone number if any, at which said person was contacted.
3) Commencing work for compensation without either:
i) One of the following:
(1) Providing the customer with a written estimated price to complete the repair quoted in terms of a not-to-exceed figure; or
(2) Providing the customer with a written estimated price quoted as a detailed breakdown of parts and labor necessary to complete the repair. If the dealer makes a diagnostic examination, the dealer has a right to furnish such estimate in a reasonable period of time thereafter, and to charge the customer for the cost of diagnosis. Such diagnosis charge must be agreed to in advance by the customer. No cost of diagnosis which would have been incurred in accomplishing the repair shall be billed twice if
the customer elects to have the dealer make the repair. Should it be necessary to haul the watercraft and or transport it to the repair facility where the maintenance, diagnosis or estimate is to be made (in all but distress circumstances), charges for such hauling and/or transportation shall be disclosed in advance and itemized separately on the estimate or invoice; or
(3) Providing the customer with a written estimated price to complete a specific repair, for example “repack stuffing box”; or
(4) Obtaining from the customer a written authorization to proceed with repairs not in excess of a specific dollar amount. For the purpose of this subchapter, said dollar amount shall be deemed the estimated price of repairs; or (5) If the customer waives his right to a written estimate in a written statement, signed by the customer obtaining from the customer oral approval of an estimated price of repairs evidenced by a notation on the repair or invoice of the estimated price of repairs, date, time, name of person approving such estimate, and the telephone number if any, at which such person was contacted; or
ii) If the customer’s watercraft or any part thereof as defined in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-22.1 is presented to the repair dealer during other than normal working hours or by one other than the customer, obtaining from the customer either:
(1) A written authorization to proceed with repairs not in excess of a specific dollar amount. For the purpose of this subchapter, said dollar amount shall be deemed the estimated price of repairs; or
(2) Oral approval of an estimated price of repairs evidenced by a notation on the repair order or invoice of the estimated price of repairs, date, time, name of person approving such estimate and the telephone number, if any, at which such person was contacted.
4) Failure to provide a customer with a copy of any receipt or document signed by him, when he signs it.
5) Making false promises of a character likely to influence, persuade or induce a customer to authorize the repair, diagnosis, service or maintenance of any craft or its propulsion system.
6) Charging the customer for work done or parts supplied in excess of any estimated price given, without the oral or written consent of the customer, which shall be obtained after it is determined that the estimated price is insufficient and before the work not estimated is done or the parts not estimated are supplied. If such consent is oral, the watercraft repair dealer shall make a notation on the repair order and the invoice of the date, time, name of person authorizing the additional repairs and the telephone number called, if any, together with a specification of the additional parts and labor and total additional cost. The watercraft repair dealer shall obtain the consent of any customer before any additional work not estimated is done or parts not estimated are supplied.
7) Failure to return replaced parts to the customer at the time of completion of work, provided that the customer, before work is commenced, requests such return, and provided that the parts, by virtue of their size, weight or other similar factors, are not impractical to return. Those parts and components, that are replaced and that are sold on an exchange basis and those parts that are required to be returned by the watercraft repair dealer to the manufacturer or distributor, are exempt from the provisions of this section.
8) Failure to record on an invoice all repair work performed by a watercraft repair dealer or for a customer, itemizing separately the charges for parts and labor, and clearly stating whether any new, rebuilt, reconditioned or used parts have been supplied. A legible copy shall be given to the customer.
9) The failure to deliver to the customer, with the invoice, a legible written copy of all guaranties, itemizing the parts, components and labor represented to be covered by such guaranty or in the alternative, delivery to the customer of a guaranty covering all parts, components and labor supplied pursuant to a particular repair order. A guaranty shall be deemed false and misleading unless it conspicuously and clearly discloses in writing the following:
i) The nature and extent of the guaranty including a description of all parts, characteristics or properties covered by or excluded from the guaranty, the duration of the guaranty and what must be done by a claimant before the guarantor will fulfill his obligation (such as returning the product and paying service or labor charges); and
ii) The manner in which the guarantor will perform. The guarantor shall state all conditions and limitations and exactly what the guarantor will do under the guaranty, such as repair, replacement or refund. If the guarantor or recipient has an option as to what may satisfy the guaranty, this must be clearly stated; and
iii) The guarantor’s identity and address shall be clearly revealed in any documents evidencing the guaranty.
10) Failure to clearly and conspicuously disclose the fact that a guaranty provides for adjustment on a pro rata basis, and the basis upon which the guaranty will be pro-rated; that is, the time, the part, component or item repaired has been used and in what manner the guarantor will perform. If adjustments are based on the price other than that paid by the customer, clear disclosure must be made of the amount. However, a fictitious price must not be used even where the sum is adequately disclosed.
11) Failure to post in a conspicuous place a sign informing the customer that the watercraft repair dealer is obligated to provide a written estimate when the customer physically presents such watercraft to the dealer during normal working hours and, in any event, before work is commenced except in distress circumstances. In addition, copies of any receipts or document signed by the customer, a detailed invoice, a written copy of any guaranty and the return of any replaced parts that have been requested must be provided. The sign is to read as follows:
“A CUSTOMER OF THIS ESTABLISHMENT IS ENTITLED TO:
1. When a watercraft, its propulsion system (internal combustion, electrical, inboard or outboard) or any part thereof is presented during normal working hours, and in any event before work begins, a written estimate price stated either:
(A) PRICE NOT TO EXCEED $ and given without charge; or
(B) As an exact figure broken down as to hauling, transporting, parts and labor. This establishment has the right to charge you for this diagnostic service, although, if you then have the repair done here you will not be charged twice for any part of such charge necessary to make the repair.
(C) As an exact figure to complete a specific repair.
2. For your protection, you may waive your right to an estimate only by signing a written waiver.
3. Require that this establishment not start work on your watercraft, its propulsion system (internal combustion, electrical, inboard or outboard) or any part thereof until you sign an authorization stating the nature of the repair or problem if you physically present the watercraft here during normal working hours.
4. A detailed invoice stating charges for parts and labor separately and whether any new, rebuilt, reconditioned or used parts have been supplied.
5. The replaced parts, if requested before work is commenced, unless their size, weight or similar factors make return of the parts impractical.
6. A written copy of any guaranty.”
12) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a watercraft repair dealer to provide a written estimate if the dealer does not agree to do the repair.
13) Any other unconscionable commercial practice prohibited pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.
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