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  1. #1
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    My bad experience with a custom builder. I need help!!!

    Hey everyone,

    For those with legal experience and/or have dealt with custom builders, I need your advice!

    Right now I'm on the verge of suing a custom builder for 1) theft by deception, and 2) misapplication of entrusted funds.

    To summarize- Last April I ordered a frame from a well-known builder, who recently restarted his business after taking a break. I was the first order at the time, and he articulated that completing the frame would take a few weeks. A few weeks later he contacted me, saying that the "frame was built and ready for powdercoating," and he charged the remainder of my credit card. I waited approximately one month for the frame to arrive, and when it didn't, I contacted him. He back-tracked by saying that the rear triangle was not completed because he did not have the adequate tooling. But in the same email he told me that the issue was resolved and that he was "looking forward to finishing up and getting her out to you hopefully this coming week."

    I waited several weeks and when it didn't arrive, I contacted him again. He said that the rear triangle issue still wasn't resolved. He also forgot if I ordered disc or V brake tabs! Overall, he attributed the delay to personal financial problems. In return, I expressed my dissatisfaction in a proper tone because my credit card was charged before he was able to complete the order.

    He responded by shutting down all lines of communication. I filed a complaint with the BBB in Sacramento CA, but he did not respond to them. After numerous times of trying to get in contact, in November he finally said that he would reimburse me in the full amount. Unfortunately, in the email he refrained from setting any sort of timeline for a refund. He said that "there should be absolutely no reason for you to contact me at all, so donít, otherwise there will be harsh circumstances."

    As of now, I have not received a payment. I am frustrated because on his Twitter account he mentioned that he was starting a production line of a certain frame model!

    Right now, what are my options? He refuses to respond to my emails or phone calls.

    At this point, I am reluctant to sue because he is in another state. There is also no incentive for him to show up at court because he has my money. I do not want to fly across the country and have this happen. Also, since his company was previously liquidated in 2006, he might have creditors waiting in line, so there is no guarantee I'll see my money ever again.

    If you have any advice on how to resolve my issue, please let me know....

  2. #2
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    Based on the overall disorganization and lack of tooling he said was holding him up, I bet the frame would have been a piece of crap anyway.

    What kind of "harsh circumstances" could he possibly mean??? Take a hit out on you?

    I recently went thru a similar situation (not bike related)...I kept bugging him and eventually got most of the $$ back...sometimes about all you can do is walk away with your sanity. If it comes to that, I think others would thank you to name the builder here.
    whatever...

  3. #3
    underachiever
    Reputation: misterdangerpants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schanson2
    ....and he charged the remainder of my credit card.....

    ....my credit card was charged before he was able to complete the order.....
    Contact your credit card company. You should be able to file a claim and get your money back.

    I've had unpleasant experiences with parts (more than 2 months late) and a frame (7 month build time), though got everything.

  4. #4
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    who is it? why are you protecting him?

  5. #5
    You wanna go ridin?
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    Thats rough man. Have you contacted the police? Maybe see what they say. I would maybe also talk to a lawyer but there it can get pricey to the point where you spend more than you lost.

    Does the company begin with a K?

    Best of luck.

  6. #6
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    Don't think you can not tell us who it is after that story.

    Good luck with the CC company; that would definitely be the first thing to try, now.
    This computer system is not intended for use in the operation of nuclear facilities. -Mac

  7. #7
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    1 - Contact your credit card company and forward any correspondance to them. 9 / 10 they'll step up and refund your cash.

    2 - Let the community know who this guy is. No need to bad mouth him just stick to the facts. I'm looking for a frame guy now.

    3 - If you're semi local to him at least contact the local police and seek some direction.

    4 - The BBB in most states has NO authority to do ANYTHING!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiesmith
    who is it? why are you protecting him?
    Hey bro.

    I was advised not to disclose it over the internet because it might hurt my case. But if you personal message me I'll let you know more.

    Peace

  9. #9
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    I vaguely recall something similar going on here last year in a now closed and deleted Thread where the builder and his girlfriend actually responded to the accusations. Made for some 'light' reading for sure.

    As was mentioned above, I would go through your Credit Card Company and supply them with all the documentation. I went through a similar situation not too long ago and my account was credited with a simple phone call-but I acted on it rather quickly and didn't let it drag out for several months. Most CC's have some sort of protection for these situations...well, they did. Who knows now with all the mess going on with Credit Cards and all the changes occuring.

  10. #10
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    Contact your CC company asap, you only have 30 days to dispute charges from the date of the charge. Thats total BS and hope you get your money, and you should.
    The Dropnzone
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  11. #11
    Birthday Collector
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    Contact your Credit Card company, but DON'T call this a disputed charge - it will fall under the 30-day criteria. This is a "failure to provide goods or services" situation, and there is not the same time limit with this - though check your CC company's policies on this and how they handle it. A "Disputed Charge" is a charge that you either did not authorize, or an amount that differs from what you authorized. As a "retailer" that was authorized to collect CC payments, the builder pays a percentage of the collected fees to the CC company to bill you using their credit service. The seller signs agreements that they will provide the service, goods, etc... in return for collecting the payment from the CC company. Part of the fee that they pay, and the interest charge(s) that you pay for your CC should cover insurance in the event that the product was not delivered, didn't perform as advertised, etc...
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living
    http://www.endlesscyclesonline.com

  12. #12
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    Always read this before choosing a custom builder...

    I'll be along... eventually.

  13. #13
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    Man that is a bummer! I think I who it is and I would have hoped he would have changed his strategy for the come back. But I guess not. If I am right, I know SOOO many people who have been burned by him!

  14. #14
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    Frame issue Update

    He tried to file criminal charges against me!!!

    A few weeks ago a Sheriff called to inform me that I was accused of violating California ß 653m. The statue reads as follows-

    (b)Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device, or makes any combination of calls or contact, to another person is, whether or not conversation ensues from making the telephone call or contact by means of an electronic communication device, guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.

    Upon review, the California DA's office decided not to pursue the case because this pertains to a business transaction, and I have always been professional in my inquiries. Is this guy trying to scare me away? I cannot believe he would resort to such a desperate action. Since then, I have contacted the California DOJ and filed a formal consumer complaint. I hope this leads to a solution.

  15. #15
    Birthday Collector
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    Did you contact your Credit Card company, and what was their response? At this point, I personally would almost consider it a PSA to post this builder's name and information, if he has really stooped to this level - just to make sure others don't get trapped in the same situation... Just my .02
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living
    http://www.endlesscyclesonline.com

  16. #16
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    Well I guess the gloves are officially off! Now you contact Judge Judy or Judge Mathis and put the bastard on TV.

  17. #17
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    The credit card company could not help. 60 days had elapsed between the time he charged the remainder of my CC. Up until that time I was led to believe that the frame was on its way.

    I hope I get reimbursed soon because I do not want to be deprived of another riding season!

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