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Advice needed on how to deal w/poor vendor

Mike Kegs

Active Member
#1
Community,

Start off with a preface that I know I'm not the first to deal with this kind of situation, not looking for sympathy-just advice on how to move forward.

I was excited in January 2017 when i dropped off my project truck for some updates to the cage as well as a rear four link. Pic below at the business the day it was dropped off.
IMG_2569.JPG


Fast forward 13 months. 13 months of countless texts, phone calls, and business visits to check on progress. I was told constantly that they were about to start fab, or my project would be the next after some big SEMA build they were working. Unfortunately, I ran out of patience-and asked the shop owner to hand over the build. Below is a picture of what I received in return.

54016435546__1A2F6EA1-BD97-4A21-82AA-C58DAD0D6245.jpeg
IMG_3963.JPG


Work was estimated to cost $7500. I paid $5000 up front. Last conversation I had with the owner was that most of the 5k was gone in the teardown and planning/blueprinting. He has yet to produce an itemized invoice for where the $5K went. His only offer was some steel he said was bought for the build. Of course i don't want raw metal, i would like a partial refund for the mess I'm left with.

What would you do? Eat the project as a complete loss? Litigate? Any advice? Located in Texas if that helps.
 

43mod

Well-Known Member
#2
I would be shocked if there was an actual plan. it looks like they cut things and did some grinder cleanup . get an estimate from another shop for what they would charge for the destructing done and small claim them for the balance. other than that you gun crazy Texicans sure seem to have a lot of brush fires .
 
#3
I would ask the shop what their offer is on making you whole because it appears they really overcharged you to take your truck apart.

Did you have a contract? Or at least texts or emails that show a deadline?

Props to you for not disclosing the shops name (yet).
 

randy68

Well-Known Member
#4
If you don't get any satisfaction, I'd ask them if they'd
like to meet my cousin Vinnie........
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
#5
I think at this point you just pick up your pile of parts and take it somewhere reputable. $5k is an expensive lesson, I’ve had them before as well.


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#7
B.S. you dropped your truck off to get linked and that’s how you got it back 13 months later? Went in a running driving truck came out in pieces. When I say pieces I mean a skeleton. Doesn’t add up to me. I would be furious


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Mike Kegs

Active Member
#9
Thank you all for the help so far.

-Yes, I have a receipt for the deposit that describes scope of work.
-I will grab up a few local shops to see what their quote would be to do the same level of work.
-It was a roller project minus motor and trans. First photo is at the shop
-The business is an actual LLC. They came recommended in the area.

What really chaps me up is that he couldn't even show up on the day we agreed for me to come recover the project (sick day). Since picking up the truck, I have tried calling and texting asking for the itemized receipt for the work performed so far.....so far no response. I will try a certified letter next to try and get a response.
 
#10
Really curious what these "SEMA" projects that took priority look like. Sad deal, hope everything works out.

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Mike Kegs

Active Member
#11
If any of you are business owners, and wouldn't mind providing an estimate of what you would charge to completely disassemble a rolling chassis-I would be forever in your debt. I would need the quote to be as complete as possible. Thank you in advance for any quotes you help with. Email quote: kegleyedu@gmail.com
 

slvrbullet

Well-Known Member
#13
Wow I would be furious. Take him to court for your money back and the cost to have the truck put back together to its original state. That is straight malicious. I sued a paint shop because they did a terrible job and they would not give me my parts back. When I got the parts back the intentionally damage the parts, so I brought them back to the court and the judge ripped the owner a new one and gave an order for more money than I requested.
 

Mike Kegs

Active Member
#14
I received a text reply to the certified letter I sent. He stated he is going to try and make it right. In the letter I asked him to settle by 31 days post receipt of the letter. So far I haven't heard from him again since I sent the letter. If he doesn't settle, should i use a lawyer for small claims court? Or is the process easy enough to navigate on your own? Than you all again for the insight!
 
#15
I received a text reply to the certified letter I sent. He stated he is going to try and make it right. In the letter I asked him to settle by 31 days post receipt of the letter. So far I haven't heard from him again since I sent the letter. If he doesn't settle, should i use a lawyer for small claims court? Or is the process easy enough to navigate on your own? Than you all again for the insight!
I would consult with an atty and spend a few hundred bucks doing so. You obviously have a decent case but you don't, I don't, and likely nobody here knows what it is worth.

In some cases legal fees can't be part of the claim (which sucks for you) but in some states they can. I have no clue what the deal in Texas is.

For sure meet with a lawyer and find out the real deal and if there is a value in hiring him. Maybe get a second opinion also.

facts-

The guy with the best lawyer usually wins.

Lawyers are expensive because they are worth it.
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
#16
Here is all you need to know about taking this a-hole to court. "Small claims court" has been abolished, but rather cases are heard by the Justice of the Peace. No lawyer necessary, in fact I don't believe you can have a lawyer represent you. However, it still might be a good idea to get some legal advice. I do know that the more documentation you can produce about all of your conversations, i.e. texts, emails, voicemails, and certified letters, the better off you are.

I would personally sue him for every penny you gave him. Because not only did the owner of this shop not do what he said he would, you now have a bigger mess on your hands. Did you take time off work to deal with the pick up the truck? Now you have to find a shop willing to piece everything back together and start over, which will probably cost more money in the long run than he was originally going to charge you.

Consumer Protection - Filing in Small Claims Court
 

Steve Marolda

Well-Known Member
#18
Going to court is a waste of time. He might be an honest guy but with too many problems. He has spent your money and has no way to finish your truck. At this point a win in court means nothing. He's got nothing to give and nothing to take.The only thing to do now is to retrieve all your parts and make a new plan.
 
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