Shop "trouble"...any advice?

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Some businesses can not say no to any work that comes in the door, the answer is always yes, and I can have it done by that deadline, no problem just trust us. I had that problem at a marina I docked my boat at. I hadn't paid anything towards the repair. After a while I threatened to take my boat to another marina for the repair, and to pay for future dockage at that other place. He got going real quick then.
 

bunnspecial

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Its your situation and your decision but my unsolicited recommendation is for you to get your head out of your 4th point of contact and look at this whole thing objectively without all the emotional baggage.

HE has made his decision and position crystal clear and in no uncertain terms. ( he has been consistent)

You need to stop making excuses and turn off your "suspension of disbelief" and handle this appropriately like you would with any other vendor.

Its the definition of insanity at this point.

Well, since you've spent the thread criticizing my attitude on it but not actually offering advice, what would you do?

BTW, I am at the point of taking action but I don't know what I can/should do to make this happen. I quite literally CAN NOT get in contact with them at this point. Phone calls, texts, Facebook messages(sent when he's online on Facebook BTW) aren't being answered. Voicemails on the shop phone and his personal cell phone aren't returned. I do not have the means now physically to visit the shop. It's 300 miles away, and I can't make it before a couple of weeks.

I really want to just show up there with a tow truck to take it. Frankly I'm at the point of this causing me an unecessary amount of anxiety given that I'm getting NO answer. I'm wound up in a knot about it, and I'm afraid that the fact that I can not get any communication whatsoever means that it's more than a "tuning issue." I don't want to take the car unless it's fixed, but I don't know how to make them fix it.

I really, really just have no idea what to do when I can't get in contact with them to even communicate a firm deadline.
 
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Well, since you've spent the thread criticizing my attitude on it but not actually offering advice, what would you do?

No, not criticizing- just pointing out what you already knew in your heart but didn't want to face ( otherwise you wouldn't be so stressed-you would be flat out angry). I didn't offer advice because you were not interested in hearing any ( or ready)

I do share your worry that he "knows" something and is deliberately attempting to avoid dealing with it but I have to point out that this is yet to be proven so don't let it guide the thought process (yet).

What I would do is contingent on exactly what "deal" or agreement you have with him ( this would include any warranty or performance guarantee) and where you are on the financial scale of monies invested versus monies outstanding.

One way or the other, the first thing I would do is retrieve the car and get it properly diagnosed by a disinterested 3rd party. ( theres a reason you should NOT attempt that at this point)

Pending that answer would dictate what my next step would be.
 
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OP, at some point you mention a manager at this shop. Maybe you should ask for his help before you seek legal advice. Obviously all other incentives have failed. At the very least another compression test is called for.
 

bunnspecial

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OP, at some point you mention a manager at this shop. Maybe you should ask for his help before you seek legal advice. Obviously all other incentives have failed. At the very least another compression test is called for.

I mentioned the manager, but his relationship to the shop is...you might say convoluted(like a lot of things with this shop) and I don't think that's actually his title. I don't think he's employed by the shop, but rather just does his "Work from home" job from the main office in the shop but also steps in to do book-keeping, answer phones, etc when needed. He's also the associate pastor for the church that operates out of the shop(yes, that really does happen) and overall I would say is probably the owner's best friend. The more I tell about how this shop is run, the more I realize I probably couldn't even make this stuff up for how convoluted the organizational structure(or lack thereof) of the shop is.

BTW, one other point of contact will be to send that guy a message on Facebook tomorrow and see if he can get anything. At this point, I just want an answer as to what's going on with the car.

Back over the summer, they did hire an honest to goodness shop manager who does do all the things you'd expect including having this uncanny ability to keep the owner on task and not get distracted. She's out now on medical leave.
 

bunnspecial

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Okay, finally just a minute ago got some communication(yes, at nearly 10:30 at night, an answer to a Facebook message sent this afternoon)...just don't have any information.
 

gathermewool

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I don't know why, but I keep reading this whole thread in an Irish accent, with a friend of young Donny's friend owin' ye a favor and not knowing how the Facebook works, truly. Also, 300 miles is NOT too far for a stop-in! I used to drive that far to see a good-looking girl on work-nights for crying out loud! She wasn't worth half as much as your car!
 

bunnspecial

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I don't know why, but I keep reading this whole thread in an Irish accent, with a friend of young Donny's friend owin' ye a favor and not knowing how the Facebook works, truly. Also, 300 miles is NOT too far for a stop-in! I used to drive that far to see a good-looking girl on work-nights for crying out loud! She wasn't worth half as much as your car!

I use to regularly make this 300 mile drive-I did get married in October, and I didn't make this move blindly, and the shop was one of the first places to know when I'd decided for good(back in May). I've been there and back today.

Right now, it's a lot logistically to pull off. I do have a full time job after all. My schedule is pretty light today and I could have conceivably gone-except that my wife's Jeep is in the shop(big surprise on a 2018) and she has my car today. I really don't even have a way to get there today. There's also the fact that it's close to the end of the semester, and I have a lot that has to get done today.
 

gathermewool

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I use to regularly make this 300 mile drive-I did get married in October, and I didn't make this move blindly, and the shop was one of the first places to know when I'd decided for good(back in May). I've been there and back today.

Right now, it's a lot logistically to pull off. I do have a full time job after all. My schedule is pretty light today and I could have conceivably gone-except that my wife's Jeep is in the shop(big surprise on a 2018) and she has my car today. I really don't even have a way to get there today. There's also the fact that it's close to the end of the semester, and I have a lot that has to get done today.

I can totally understand that. I’m in shift work myself, working the swing shift currently. I wasn’t joking, though. While I was young in the above story I still wouldn’t hesitate to drive 300 miles to take care of the business you need to take care today.

The rest was just me tryin to lighten up the thread with my terrible sense of humor.
 

bunnspecial

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After much decision and more run-around and dodging answers, I have reached a decision.

A little while ago, I drafted a letter stating the following:

1. The agreed upon work
2. All money paid so far
3. The various agreed missed deadlines
4. That I will be coming at 9:00AM EDT on Monday, Dec. 20th to retrieve the car. I stated that if the car is operational, I will pay any remaining balance, and that if the car is not operational I am prepared to retrieve the car in as-is condition.
5. If I do need to tow the car, I stated that I will pursue legal recourse to have the car fixed properly at a shop of my choice

I closed the letter by stating that I have faith in the quality of their work and wish for this to have an amicable resolution so that we can preserve the existing relationship.

A friend is currently reviewing it, and if all looks good I will mail it in the morning. I will mail it certified mail, restricted delivery(only the addressee can sign for it, so I know it arrives in his hands), return receipt. Of course I will be following through on that. I have spoken with someone else with a flatbed trailer who will accompany me to the shop on that date.

Hopefully this course of action provokes completion of the car. If not, I'll get it to my parents' house and assess what to do from there. If it's truly a "tuning problem" as they've maintained in the most recent concrete communication, I can't imagine not being able to sort it myself. There's only so much that can go wrong with a car this simple after all. If not, I'll evaluate what to do. I might rent a U-Haul, flatbed it home with me, then pull the lump and evaluate it myself or have a reputable MG engine builder go through it.
 
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After much decision and more run-around and dodging answers, I have reached a decision.
Let me commend you on a very well thought and crafted solution.

I hope this will be resolved amicably but I don't think so because I don't think this guy has been honest with you for a reason- I hope I am wrong.
 
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Considering how much trouble you have had getting any kind of communication out of the shop owner in the past, what is your plan if the Certified Mail letter comes back as undeliverable ?
I think a good investment would be to pay for an hour of a lawyer's time and come up with a strategy to recover the car asap.
Before the shop declares bankruptcy and locks the doors.
 
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Any friends back in the hometown who could show up unannounced at the shop and maybe help you figure out what’s going on?
 
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Considering how much trouble you have had getting any kind of communication out of the shop owner in the past, what is your plan if the Certified Mail letter comes back as undeliverable ?
I think a good investment would be to pay for an hour of a lawyer's time and come up with a strategy to recover the car asap.
Before the shop declares bankruptcy and locks the doors.
Bad situation - but agree with this. If the guy is in trouble he will dodge anything that shows up certified or registered. You can try, but be ready with a plan B, because he may drop a mechanics/shop lien (or whatever they call it in your state). Even if it is unjustified, that is something else you have to deal with. And if you need an actual tow in a small town, I doubt the driver will do much to help once a local shop puts a lien on the car.

I'm just a guy on a message board, but if you are at the point of sending a letter - you need to speak with a lawyer.

Good luck.
 
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Before sending a letter, definitely consult with a lawyer. The last thing you want is to send a letter, and then have the shop retaliate by throwing some sort of mechanic's lien or storage lien on the car and trying to sell it out from under you claiming they weren't getting paid or something. It could turn nasty really fast. Hopefully you have itemized invoices from them for all of the work done so far showing proof of payment.
 

bunnspecial

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After running it by a college friend who's a lawyer licensed in Kentucky(my home state, and where the car is) he said there were some holes and suggested having him write it if I wanted to go that route. The holes he pointed out were in an unofficial capacity, but said he wouldn't bill me a ton to draft it and send it.

On his suggestion, I have communicated my firm intention to retrieve the car on Dec. 21s at 10:00AM via a message on Facebook that was acknowledged with an "I think I know the problem with it and will get right on it, so that's no problem." At least communication is sparse but open. My received advice now is that if I do attempt to retrieve the car and for whatever reason am not able to, then we can work on getting it back.

Fortunately if we were to end up in arbitration/court, I at least have written and acknowledged Facebook messages discussing timelines and amounts paid, so I have that on my side if he retaliates. I'm afraid this may end up in court, but so be it.
 
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