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  #61  
Old November 10th, 2015, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilburner View Post
The license also allows you to perform vehicle mechanical inspections, so it's kind of a big deal. I think a lot of states have motor vehicle inspection stations, but I don't know what training the inspectors have.
Getting an inspection license in Va is pretty simple. You have to work in a shop for two years (two years of school can count as one year of shop experience), take a short written test, and take a practical exam which is just inspecting a car in front of a state trooper. I think NY is just a written test, but I haven't tried to get my inspection license here yet.
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  #62  
Old November 10th, 2015, 07:41 AM
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Curious how you found out your truck was involved in the DUI? That had to be some shocking news. How long was it impounded?
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  #63  
Old November 10th, 2015, 08:14 AM
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I know there are all sorts of bad bad bad experiences.
Anyone who does not do their wrenching will have them.
Every shop will have them.

This probably doesn't apply to author of this thread directly, but it does resolve issues before they happen:

I don't know where the arrogance and sense of customer entitlement comes from. People sometimes think if a shop fixes a wheel bearing on a 25 year old vehicle, they are responsible for an engine knock. The power game of a customer to never be satisfied is a downward spiral for a shop, especially when that customer is a lawyer. These shops need to take parts money up front and bill weekly with a list of itemized labor tasks accompanied by pictures of what the labor was spent on. The customer has one week to pay, then work stops until the shop gets a check. After 2 weeks the vehicle gets at the end of the line and the next project gets the mechanics/fabricator's attention. After 2 more weeks you start charging storage. Put the burden on the customer so they cannot corner you and talk shit about you. Very simple and easily managed. Works extremely well. Also prevents the shop from funding other projects with money paid up front by a customer. There are shops out their who "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" and once this hole is dug they can't climb out of it. The monkey needs to be on the customers back financially, not the other way around. An hours pay for an hours work without firm fixed fee estimates. Yeah give an estimate, but explain that it is a estimate guesstimate only, again not firm fixed fee.

This protects a shop who suddenly is confronted with fuse boxes with bad connections and PO wiring mods with the same color wire spliced into 20 different places for example, unexpected rust, blah blah blah. It also protects the customer.
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  #64  
Old November 10th, 2015, 09:02 AM
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Agree with the below business model. That said, what is the recourse for missed dates, prolonged delays, "at paint" for more weeks than expected? Until shops develop and adhere to your suggestions fully, which I would predict very few do, this pattern will continue.

Minute one, in any business, manage expectations accurately for time and cost. Provide real time updates on progress and adjustments in regard to time and expense. None of these "X shop fucked me over" threads appear to demonstrate the shops managing their businesses in your suggested fashion. Do not by default blame the customer, blame the shop. They are the "professionals."

ECR does exactly as you suggest: Your place in line is approximately 18 months, you will pay X up front, once the build has started, we will document directly and on face book the progress and realistic timeline for the actual work. There is a reason that they have a 2 year wait and top $$$ builds. They are the definition of professional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
I know there are all sorts of bad bad bad experiences.
Anyone who does not do their wrenching will have them.
Every shop will have them.

This probably doesn't apply to author of this thread directly, but it does resolve issues before they happen:

I don't know where the arrogance and sense of customer entitlement comes from. People sometimes think if a shop fixes a wheel bearing on a 25 year old vehicle, they are responsible for an engine knock. The power game of a customer to never be satisfied is a downward spiral for a shop, especially when that customer is a lawyer. These shops need to take parts money up front and bill weekly with a list of itemized labor tasks accompanied by pictures of what the labor was spent on. The customer has one week to pay, then work stops until the shop gets a check. After 2 weeks the vehicle gets at the end of the line and the next project gets the mechanics/fabricator's attention. After 2 more weeks you start charging storage. Put the burden on the customer so they cannot corner you and talk shit about you. Very simple and easily managed. Works extremely well. Also prevents the shop from funding other projects with money paid up front by a customer. There are shops out their who "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" and once this hole is dug they can't climb out of it. The monkey needs to be on the customers back financially, not the other way around. An hours pay for an hours work without firm fixed fee estimates. Yeah give an estimate, but explain that it is a estimate guesstimate only, again not firm fixed fee.

This protects a shop who suddenly is confronted with fuse boxes with bad connections and PO wiring mods with the same color wire spliced into 20 different places for example, unexpected rust, blah blah blah. It also protects the customer.
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  #65  
Old November 10th, 2015, 09:34 AM
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It's funny people scoff at ecr prices and talk how can they charge x for installing a cage or x for paint, then these threads pop up about the better value shop. These threads are basically commercials for why you would go with them.

Penny wise pound foolish.
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  #66  
Old November 10th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjahx View Post
Agree with the below business model. That said, what is the recourse for missed dates, prolonged delays, "at paint" for more weeks than expected?
Not to get in that situation to start with, but once there, who knows.

Hypothetical example below:
So we take an up from payment of $20, $30K or $40K (has the customer lost their mind).
Then we add immature business person who suddenly has more money than they have seen in a long time or worse ever seen in their whole life in one place...
And they think:
My troubles are over:
I am payday rich!
Instead of buying the parts and drawing down on an escro labor account, they use the money to expand the operation.
Lets buy some extra parts and a few things for my own project, but this is a cinch, I'll make it up along the way and still make so much money.
Add in a 6 pack and a few joints or both and the hole is dug.
Then another big job comes in.
The hole is deeper, then another, and your shop help quits, and you have to have the Appendectomy, you get the flu, and your parts shipment is seized by customs, your wife leaves, whatever.

Tell me this has never happened, please please please say it's not so.

I have no idea if this has happened to any particular shop or person, but what I can tell you when I worked construction my last summer during college laying concrete, many of the workers would get paid Friday and want to burrow money on Monday.
Why???
Because they were broke and still staggering because they spent every dime on the weekend party and there was no food in their house for the 5 children they had at home.

Being a sensible custodian of other peoples money is a responsibility that not everyone can handle with strong business maturity, but you read about lack of it over and over again.

Again I am not saying this applies to any particular shop or person, but I imagine it's happening to a few right now somewhere somehow.
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  #67  
Old November 10th, 2015, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf View Post
It's funny people scoff at ecr prices and talk how can they charge x for installing a cage or x for paint, then these threads pop up about the better value shop. These threads are basically commercials for why you would go with them.

Penny wise pound foolish.

aint that the truth!
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  #68  
Old November 10th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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I found out my truck was involved in the DUI arrest when someone tipped me off because they recognized my license plate number. I then got a call and he asked if I saw the Yeah, my stomach definitely dropped and turned over.

I agree with the business model as well which is why I paid for parts up front and wanted to pay the next 1/3 after the painting was done. This is the part I still do not understand, why let my truck sit for 5 months? One month in they had all the parts they needed and a check to cover the cost. At that point they had nothing invested. The only thing they would need to invest is their time and labor to get the next part of the project done. Once the truck was broken down, rear cross member installed and other small parts they would have had the second check which would cover the cost to paint the parts. The check to cover their labor and profit would have been handed over at delivery. Simple process.

Instead my truck is being used as someones personal ride for months.

I do take offense to Rdavisinva's post regarding customer entitlement. I feel like not only myself but the handful of other people have been more than patient waiting on Geared to work on our trucks. I didn't even bother the guys other than an occasional (every other month) update text in the first 4 months. Shame on me for trusting a shop that I had used before. Shame on me for being patient with a shop that I sent my $30K truck along with a $10K work order. The only thing I feel as a customer I am entitled to in this situation is to have my truck worked on in a timely and professional manner without having to worry if my truck is being used in a crime. You are absolutely incorrect when you say that anyone not capable of installing a rear cross member or painting a truck should expect problems like this. If I brought my truck to your shop and you told me I should expect issues simply because I am not wrenching it myself, then I would drive away. People are experts in some areas and not in others. I know my limitations and I want the truck done right which is why I brought it to people who I thought were professional.
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  #69  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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any idea what kind of mileage was put on the truck? Call Stephen at Safarihp the guy is about as solid as they come.
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  #70  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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Frankly I woulda showed up with a trailer and a subpoena after 4 months of nothing, but I'm a dick.
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  #71  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:07 AM
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The odometer is working because the speed cable is broken. That was one of the big items on my list from the first time I took my truck to Geared that they never fixed. In my previous posts I mentioned they aren't always the best at attention to detail and the odometer was just another item to add to the list.

------ Follow up post added November 10th, 2015 10:08 AM ------

My truck has been sitting in the garage for the past month because I am a little gun shy to send to any shop at this point.
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  #72  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
I know there are all sorts of bad bad bad experiences.
Anyone who does not do their wrenching will have them.
Every shop will have them.

This probably doesn't apply to author of this thread directly, but it does resolve issues before they happen:

I don't know where the arrogance and sense of customer entitlement comes from. People sometimes think if a shop fixes a wheel bearing on a 25 year old vehicle, they are responsible for an engine knock. The power game of a customer to never be satisfied is a downward spiral for a shop, especially when that customer is a lawyer. These shops need to take parts money up front and bill weekly with a list of itemized labor tasks accompanied by pictures of what the labor was spent on. The customer has one week to pay, then work stops until the shop gets a check. After 2 weeks the vehicle gets at the end of the line and the next project gets the mechanics/fabricator's attention. After 2 more weeks you start charging storage. Put the burden on the customer so they cannot corner you and talk shit about you. Very simple and easily managed. Works extremely well. Also prevents the shop from funding other projects with money paid up front by a customer. There are shops out their who "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" and once this hole is dug they can't climb out of it. The monkey needs to be on the customers back financially, not the other way around. An hours pay for an hours work without firm fixed fee estimates. Yeah give an estimate, but explain that it is a estimate guesstimate only, again not firm fixed fee.

This protects a shop who suddenly is confronted with fuse boxes with bad connections and PO wiring mods with the same color wire spliced into 20 different places for example, unexpected rust, blah blah blah. It also protects the customer.
If shops would stock ALL parts to do a build none of this would be a problem.
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  #73  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
Call Stephen at Safarihp the guy is about as solid as they come.
A sound solid peach of a guy.
They don't come any better than Stephen!

------ Follow up post added November 10th, 2015 10:16 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason1st View Post
If shops would stock ALL parts to do a build none of this would be a problem.
If shops were able to stock all the parts to do a build, Jason you wouldn't need to buy ham.
You'd just catch the pigs as they flew by.

------ Follow up post added November 10th, 2015 10:19 AM ------

Jason Weddle at Performance Rovers is also excellent.
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Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)

"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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  #74  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post

If shops were able to stock all the parts to do a build, Jason you wouldn't need to buy ham.
You'd just catch the pigs as they flew by.
Why aren't they able? Is there something about this industry that makes it different from all others?
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  #75  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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Rob, that's a great way of operating, but this case is totally different. It's like the loser from Urban, there were countless cases from his past bad business practices brought up but was greeted and embraced by this community and look how that ended. This case is even worse as that Ash has blatantly stepped over the line by using this vehicle for his own personal use (and then getting a DUI while driving it) and if you think that's the only one he did that with you need your head examined. There's almost a desperation from people looking for shops to restore these and the pond scum is floating to the top taking advantage of this.

This business is typical of someone who saw dollar signs but had or has absolutely no clue on how to run a business and then factor his issues and past…recipe for disaster.

Cher, is your husbands truck the we did the engine swap in AZ on...
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  #76  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason1st View Post
Why aren't they able? Is there something about this industry that makes it different from all others?
Yeah. It attracts criminals consistently.

Probably because there is a significant portion of people who buy these trucks and have deep pockets and a strong desire for something that's perceived as unobtainable. This creates an environment and attitude where people throw a lot of money around and either they are super trusting individuals or they simply turn a blind eye to a lot of issues because they want it so bad.
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  #77  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf View Post
It's funny people scoff at ecr prices and talk how can they charge x for installing a cage or x for paint, then these threads pop up about the better value shop. These threads are basically commercials for why you would go with them.

Penny wise pound foolish.

As a guy who doesn't wrench on his own truck, much less drive it, posts like this terrify me.

Will be saving more of those pennies.
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  #78  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongosd2 View Post
Rob, that's a great way of operating, but this case is totally different. It's like the loser from Urban, there were countless cases from his past bad business practices brought up but was greeted and embraced by this community and look how that ended. This case is even worse as that Ash has blatantly stepped over the line by using this vehicle for his own personal use (and then getting a DUI while driving it) and if you think that's the only one he did that with you need your head examined. There's almost a desperation from people looking for shops to restore these and the pond scum is floating to the top taking advantage of this. This business is typical of someone who saw dollar signs but had or has absolutely no clue on how to run a business and then factor his issues and past…recipe for disaster. Cher, is your husbands truck the we did the engine swap in AZ on...
Yes that is Ron's truck still running and the blown engine is still sitting at Geared .....picking up that as well
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  #79  
Old November 10th, 2015, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bjf View Post
It's funny people scoff at ecr prices and talk how can they charge x for installing a cage or x for paint, then these threads pop up about the better value shop. These threads are basically commercials for why you would go with them.

Penny wise pound foolish.
A lot of people can't deal with waiting almost two years to get their vehicle worked on. By and large, PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE MECHANICALLY SOUNDS VEHICLES AND ARE NOT BUYING THEM IN USUABLE RUNNING CONDITION. If you use a company that has a two year waiting period you need to plan ahead and treat sending it in like a 90,000 mile service. It's going to cost you, but you know it's coming.

Going out on a limb and probably going to piss people off with this next comment... From what I can tell, most people buy shitboxes that are broken within 3 months of purchasing them. By broken I mean straight fucked and requiring a massive overhaul to fix apocalyptic rust and resolve a impending engine failure or a catastrophic engine failure that's probably tied to equally fucked transmissions and transfer cases. Then there's the added desire to make their vehicle look the way they want it.

If people were content with patina and dents, they'd be able to focus on what matters on these vehicles, solid frame/bulkhead, and good underpinnings. i.e. the shit that you can't see from the outside. How many trucks sell for $40k plus because they have a shiny paint job that's actually garbage overspray on EVERYTHING?


Instead, people have a desire to get what they want right now and go with these shops because they are there. Pictures look good because of shiny paint. Work ends up terrible because it's all a sham.
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  #80  
Old November 10th, 2015, 11:13 AM
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I guess I should preface this by saying I am not a felon and am licensed to carry in 34 states. I was arrested while in high school by an overzealous police officer, and then almost immediately released and the charges were dropped. It was a stupid situation.

As to the DUI: It was another stupid situation that I handled in the worst way possible. I have a lot of regrets about the way it all unfolded, however my biggest is that I wasn't upfront with the customer. I drove the 90 to our painter's at the end of the day to get his thoughts on a full respray, then met a local customer up the road for dinner. We had too many drinks and I should have known to leave the truck parked, but the two mile drive home seemed too easy. After it was all said and done I was so incredibly ashamed of myself I had no idea what to do, and the thought of telling the customer exactly what happened was absolutely unfathomable at the time. In my haste I took what I thought was the easy way out. It ended up being arguably the biggest mistake I've made in my life, and one that could very well cost me this business. There aren't enough apologies in the world to correct the situation, and it has been a very hard life lesson on doing the right thing, despite how impossibly daunting it may seem.

I don't really know what else to say. I'm going to keep my nose to the grindstone fulfilling obligations to those customers who have had enough faith in myself and this company to stick around through this ordeal, and see where things go from there. Regardless of the outcome, I'll remain extremely grateful for the experiences and relationships, good and bad, that have come from this community over the years.

-Ash
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