We were in Maui for a 4 week vacation in February 2009. We went down to the docks in Lahaina to investigate the various sportfishing options and found that the "Start Me Up" was the only vender displaying many freshly caught tuna. Since we love seared tuna, we decided to book with "Start Me Up". I called on 2/24/2009 to book a trip for 2/27 and was told that there was a 48 hour cancellation policy, but I was not advised that I would have to pay for any fish I caught as noted by other reviewers.
The next morning [2/25] my companion awoke with eye pain and blurred vision. Less than 24 hours since I booked and 44 hours prior to the scheduled trip [ 4 hours short of the 48 hour cancellation policy], I called the "Start Me Up" office to ask if we could postpone the trip until we could secure an eye examination to determine if the ocular complaints were of a serious nature. The response was a lecture that we were jeopardizing the fishing trip of others who were also booked on the boat. As a result, I agreed to call the office later in the day after the eye examination. Fortunately, the eye complaints were not vision threatening and I advised the office that we would keep the booking for 2/27. I called the office the next morning [2/26] since the news indicated small craft warnings for the next several days and it was very windy. I was told that the boats had gone out that morning and were expected to embark on 2/27 also. We decided to go down to the docks on 2/26 to inquire about the success of the returning boats. The crew said the weather and fishing were horrible and that if we were planning to go the next day [2/27] we should "bring a snorkle". The person at the dock desk suggested that we postpone the trip until the following week when the weather was predicted to improve. He called the office and was able to change the trip to 3/3/09. I was very surprised at the ease of postponing the trip since I was given the previous lecture about postponong and cancellation. I then paid for the trip.
The evening of 2/26 we received a call from home to advise us of a family medical emergency and we had to arrange for a return to the mainland on the evening of 2/27/2009. The morning of 2/27 I went down to the dock and cancelled the 3/3 trip [less than 24 hours since I paid and more than 48 hours until the scheduled trip]. I was told that my credit card would be credited for the cost of the trip.
When I did not receive the refund, I called the office several times and left messages with no response. I then disputed the charges with my credit card company who eventually ruled in favor of "Start Me Up" since they were told by "Start Me Up" that I was advised that if I cancelled at any time after changing the trip to 3/3/09, I would not receive a refund. This was false. I could have kept my original reservation for 2/27 morning but was allowed to change to 3/3 without penalty or additional lectures.
Beware of "Start Me Up" business practices!