My experience With Geared Restoration - Defender Source
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Old November 9th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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My experience With Geared Restoration

DefenderSource Community,

I have been putting this off for a few weeks as things seemed to always get in the way of sitting down and writing this review. After seeing Cheri’s post last night I felt this had been put off long enough. The purpose of this post is to allow others some insight into how Geared Restoration(Ash aka Andrew Heller, Brian Napier) work and so that they can then make an informed decision on whether or not to send their truck and money to Geared. Rather than hijacking Cheri's thread I feel this deserved one by itself in case anyone has questions.

To start, I have to say that my first experience with Geared two years ago was good. They did the work that they were contracted to do in a timely manner with good craftsmanship. I had them replace a rusted out bulkhead along with some other minor repairs. Only one electrical issue was created in the bulkhead swap that wasn’t there before, but minor in nature. Only later did I learn that Geared was doing this work while they continued to work at SafariHP, which I would not have been ok with. I was told they had quite SafariHP. Steven set that story straight a few weeks ago and said that the work on my truck was done at a house he was renting to Ash.

This past May (2015) I sent my truck back down to Geared to have a new rear cross member installed, new LED lights for the entire truck, new tub caps, etc. What happened the months that followed is the most unprofessional experience I have ever been through as a customer.
I was contacted by Ash (Andrew Heller) in early July where he explained that he incorrectly parked my vehicle at the painter and it was towed. He called several more times explaining he needed me to sign a limited power of attorney allowing him to get it out of hoc. Being a little over an hour away and him assuring me everything would be taken care of I went ahead and sent the paperwork to get it handled.

It took nearly three months later for me to learn that Ash had blatantly lied to me. The reason my truck was in hoc is because Ash had received a DUI driving my truck in downtown Orlando at 1 am. Ash receiving a DUI is his personal business but him driving a customer’s truck and getting a DUI is an entirely different story. To be perfectly clear, I never gave permission for anyone at Geared to be driving my vehicle outside of best business practice by a restoration shop or mechanic to make sure it runs properly. I am sure quite a few people on this site heard about Ash getting a DUI, for anyone who was wondering what unlucky customer that must have been, that would be me (due to personal info on the report I am not going to publicly post the DUI report with my info on it). If someone doubts the authenticity of my story or doesn't believe that it was my truck in the incident then you may send a private message where I will gladly provide the supporting documentation)
In my opinion this was akin to stealing someone’s truck. So after getting arrested for a DUI Ash decided it would be better to lie to me and have me sign a power of attorney under fraudulent pretenses. I am still contemplating filing charges for the fraudulent power of attorney and the fact that basically using my car at 1 am without permission is basically stealing someones vehicle.

Once I learned about this incident I immediately contacted Brian Napier, who by the way was the only one I dealt with from Geared for the most part. I gave Brian every opportunity to come clean before confronting him that I knew what happened. After five months of my truck sitting in the shop for what I had been told would be roughly one week’s worth of repairs once the parts were in and after my truck was used in a DUI, I had enough. I explained to Brian that he had two weeks to get it done or that I would be picking the truck up. He assured me that it would be done as close to the timeframe given as physically possible. Roughly two weeks later I received a text explaining Geared would need another two weeks to complete the repairs. So now we are pushing nearly a month past the date of our discussion to complete a week’s worth of repairs. Reluctantly I initially allowed the extra two weeks. That was until I began receiving phone calls from other Geared customers.

The calls began with other customers asking if I was experiencing delays and the signature lack of communication that Geared is known for by all of us unlucky enough to have sent our trucks to them. At that point we all realized we were getting the same BS stories while nothing was being accomplished on our trucks. This is when I learned about several customers whose trucks had been at Geared for 18 and 20 months respectively.

Two calls in a few days are what did it for me. The first call was from Cherie who said she confronted Ash over the DUI in my truck. His explanation to her was that I knew about it because I was ‘riding shotgun’ at the time. Another blatant lie. The second call came from Rob who posted earlier today and explained that Ash did deliver his truck. Rob explained to me that while the truck was cosmetically nice it ran worse than ever and would need to go to a shop to correct some of the issues caused by Geared. He also mentioned that when delivering the truck Ash drove up with a hand gun on the dash and we all know how shallow the dash’s are in a defender. So we can only guess Ash’s motives for delivering a customer’s truck with a handgun on the dashboard.

I sent a text to Brian that evening letting him know that I did not want my truck touched and it needed to be delivered back to me with all of the parts that I purchased or I would be showing up on the following Monday morning with the Sherriff’s department. This was approx 4 days before the due date.

My truck was delivered as promised. It barely runs due to an idle issue that it didn’t go into the shop with. Parts were missing from the list but Brian had agreed Ash would bring the difference in money. The morning of the delivery Brian assured me Ash knew exactly how much to bring. He didn’t bring the money, we did get it settled and he went to an ATM but he wasn’t happy about it.

I have seen to many comments in Cheri's thread about owner's needing to communicate better with the shop. Communicating with Geared is next to impossible, they rarely answer the phone/text/email when you attempt to contact them. If you take care of your customers and provide the service in a timely manner then communication is typically never an issue. It only becomes an issue when you aren't being treated like a person who is paying a whole lot of money for someone to work on your truck. Too many options out there of people that are knowledgable in these vehicles and willing to treat customers correctly. It's a small community.

My only goal for this entire post is to hopefully prevent others from making a very costly mistake. I would bet more people come forward after this post.

Moral of the story: If you want to risk sending your truck and money to Geared Restoration then do so with fair warning. It will take far longer than promised, it may not run correctly when you get it back, that is if you get it back.
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  #2  
Old November 9th, 2015, 03:29 PM
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Oh shnap. This is really terrible.
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  #3  
Old November 9th, 2015, 03:32 PM
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Indeed.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Glad your truck wasn't wrecked. Inexcusable actions for sure.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 03:40 PM
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Fooked.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for posting.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 03:48 PM
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I am thrilled to have my truck back for sure and happier still that it wasn't wrecked. One of the things I learned over this journey is that Geared isn't licensed or bonded in the state of Florida. Apparently a shop has to be bonded for insurance reasons and they are not. One more reason not to send your truck, if they screw up and wreck your car while driving drunk there isn't insurance to pay for it!

After all this hit the fan a month back we started looking into them and found this record. Grand larceny and armed robbery.

http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/A...eller_1928233/
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Old November 9th, 2015, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpfish82 View Post
I am thrilled to have my truck back for sure and happier still that it wasn't wrecked. One of the things I learned over this journey is that Geared isn't licensed or bonded in the state of Florida. Apparently a shop has to be bonded for insurance reasons and they are not. One more reason not to send your truck, if they screw up and wreck your car while driving drunk there isn't insurance to pay for it!

After all this hit the fan a month back we started looking into them and found this record. Grand larceny and armed robbery.

Andrew Heller Mugshot | 11/21/06 Florida Arrest


Damn, he's a kid.


Sorry about your trouble, but thanks for posting.
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  #9  
Old November 9th, 2015, 03:55 PM
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well this just went downhill F A S T
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  #10  
Old November 9th, 2015, 03:59 PM
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edit



.
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Just a few miles from 4x4 access!
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  #11  
Old November 9th, 2015, 04:07 PM
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Wow and you guys were all worried about Cheries grammar!!...holy cow.. sorry you went through this but thank you for letting us know.
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  #12  
Old November 9th, 2015, 04:07 PM
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Here's all 3:

Mugshots - Mugshots.com -Search Inmate Arrest Mugshots Online. Arrest Records, Criminal Records, Official Records
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:08 PM
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Wonder how many additional rigs/projects are in the shop now. This news will impact cash flow. For startups and other companies working on a thread, need to parley the deposits on the new jobs to fund and complete the prior jobs. Impact on the new jobs means .... well, get your rig out of there.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:15 PM
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One of those is from last month. Is that related to the first one in June?
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:15 PM
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Hair color is "bro"... that's hilarious.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:18 PM
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Anybody wondering how he even got a job with safari to begin with? With a criminal record that is. DUI is one thing. Armed robbery is another.



Wasn't there a thread where a partner accused him of being a thief?

He seems like a nice guy on the board and emails we have had. This stuff is insane.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
One of those is from last month. Is that related to the first one in June?
I just Googled his name and found that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf View Post
Anybody wondering how he even got a job with safari to begin with? With a criminal record that is. DUI is one thing. Armed robbery is another.



Wasn't there a thread where a partner accused him of being a thief?

He seems like a nice guy on the board and emails we have had. This stuff is insane.
Ash worked at Safari on and off for like 4-5 years. I don't know if Peters knew about the first arrest. Hell, I didn't even know about it until recently.

That would be me. I left Geared a little over a year ago for many reasons, some have been posted in the past 24 hours. I found out Ash had linked his Geared Restoration email to his personal PayPal and had sold used parts from a customer's truck. People sending money thought they had paid Geared but it went to his account. He frequently drove customer's trucks using their fuel, and was actually pulled over in another Defender Source member's truck while visiting his parents last year.

He has lied to me and this forum about a lot of stuff. That NAS intake plenum hose a lot of people here have been waiting for isn't getting made anytime soon. He said on the forum that the manufacturer has been taking forever to get the tooling made causing these months of delays. But the reality is the 3D scan he had done on the stock one to get tooling made from wasn't even done until last month. Call Sean Ciervo at Teak Isle Manufacturing to verify that, 407-656-8885.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
One of those is from last month. Is that related to the first one in June?
Looks like a new charge two weeks ago. Hopefully not in a customer's vehicle!
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:28 PM
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Two DUI-related convictions in one year does not bode well for his personal freedom.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgreenspan View Post
Hair color is "bro"... that's hilarious.
I LOL'd at that too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf View Post
Anybody wondering how he even got a job with safari to begin with? With a criminal record that is. DUI is one thing. Armed robbery is another.
In 2006 he was 18 and in high school...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
Looks like a new charge two weeks ago. Hopefully not in a customer's vehicle!
I was wondering if that is just from the sentancing or something like that.
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