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Old 05-25-2007, 03:30 AM   #1
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Fishy RV repair guy?

I hired a RV repair guy to put in new appliances in my 71. The local RV dealer gave me his contacts and as I am in the boonies and he does mobile work it seemed like the best solution. So far so good. This guy recommended replacing all my appliances with new, and in fact says he won't even work on the original apliances because he doesn't want to get blamed when they break down again. OK, neither will any of the RV dealers in 100 miles work on them, I checked. He was supposed to have the work done last week but the refridgerator was backordered from his supplier. It happens. Next he was supposed to get it done this week. He said a small repair he was working on for someone else turned unexpectedly major. That has happened to me too. He then suggests I bring the trailer to him and he promises I can still have it Saturday for Memorial Day weekend. OK. I call him to tell him I'm leaving and will call him for directions when I get to Albuquerque. 15 minutes later he calls me back very apologetic and says to me "my sister just called me and told me my mother's dying. I have to go to the hospital" I'm just starting to get a little concerned. He either has my new appliances or my $2800. Maybe this is just a string of bad luck (caca pasa) or maybe he is stalling, or maybe he's scamming me. I did a check and found he has a couple of DUIs from the 80's and 90's but no fraud I can find. Also nothing on him from the local Better Business Bureau. Maybe his mom is really dying and I don't want to overreact, not yet anyway. If he is legit I don't want to alienate him. These RV repair guys are a might touchy. It's a little too early to call in the FBI. But, anybody have any suggestions about getting my ducks in a row at this point?

PS. I did get a receipt for the money I gave him so far, which was just to cover the cost of the appliances
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:46 AM   #2
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IMHO, it is difficult to determine what his situation is at this point. It could just be a string of unfortunate events for him. On the other hand, it could be a scam too.

From reading your post, it looks like you already paid for everything in advance (i.e., $2800) or was that just a deposit? Do you have a signed contract or signed receipt or anything that shows you gave him $2800 in exchange for purchasing/installing appliances? Worse case scenario, you will eventually have the cashed check from your bank so if you do need to take him to small claims court, you would have a case with just the cashed check.

I would give him a week (to mourn his mom) and then follow up again with him.

Good luck and let us know how this all pans out.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:00 AM   #3
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Marshall,

Sounds like your mobile tech is stalling. These things have happened to me during the course of business, but I ALWAYS stay in touch with the customer to keep them fully informed of these types of situations. My reputation is built on solid communications with my customers and on-time appointments.

I think that you should give him one more shot at doing your work. A week or two should be sufficient 'grieving time'. After that, either get your money refunded or get your appliances. I'm sure that he isn't the only mobile tech in your area, and almost any dealer will install new appliances.

Patience is a virtue but keep the guns loaded and ready for action if necessary.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:08 AM   #4
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In central Fla. cash in advance is about a 50/50 proposition for ever getting your work done. Once they have the bucks it is work done when and if the contractor/repair person pleases. Laws are weak and difficult to get enforced. Best of luck. I'd call the RV dealer that recommended this guy and suggest it reflects on their reputation as well. Maybe they can lean on him. At least he answers your calls.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:12 AM   #5
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Hey Marshal,

If the deal goes south you might consider doing the work yourself. I have had everything but the water heater out so far in the Trade Wind. I'm not a mechanical guy but most of it is straight forward. The big adavantage (money issues aside) is you will know your coach better and if something goes wrong on the road you will be better prepared to deal with it. I figure its all part of the ride..

Good luck
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:42 AM   #6
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Damn the appliances, camping ahead

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna

From reading your post, it looks like you already paid for everything in advance (i.e., $2800) or was that just a deposit? Do you have a signed contract or signed receipt or anything that shows you gave him $2800 in exchange for purchasing/installing appliances?
I have a signed receipt for the $.. I only paid him for the appliances. The deal was he gets paid for the install afterwards.

By the way, I don't have any appliances or water, but I do have a toilet, and I'm going camping this weekend
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
By the way, I don't have any appliances or water, but I do have a toilet, and I'm going camping this weekend
Good for you! Enjoy!
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henw
In central Fla. cash in advance is about a 50/50 proposition for ever getting your work done. Once they have the bucks it is work done when and if the contractor/repair person pleases. Laws are weak and difficult to get enforced. Best of luck. I'd call the RV dealer that recommended this guy and suggest it reflects on their reputation as well. Maybe they can lean on him. At least he answers your calls.
I never request CIA for parts purchases, but I do require the customer to sign a work order. In FL, that constitutes a contract and allows me to place a mechanic's lein on the person's RV if they decide that they don't want to continue with the work or they just refuse to pay when it's completed.

BTW: I've never had to use it yet!
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
I never request CIA for parts purchases, but I do require the customer to sign a work order. In FL, that constitutes a contract and allows me to place a mechanic's lein on the person's RV if they decide that they don't want to continue with the work or they just refuse to pay when it's completed.

BTW: I've never had to use it yet!
That would have been difficult as the work on the trailer as planned was to be on my property.

I did a little more checking on this guy. He is not a fly by night gypsy, he has been in the area for a while. The Better Business Bureau has nothing on him. Neither does the state Consumer Protection Office. Nothing criminal has shown up except 2 DWIs in the past 20 years, one dismissed. Assuming a good rep is a professional asset, I can use that as a hammer if I need to.

I talked to some cop friends of mine. If it really gets bad, after I have sued the guy in small claims, it becomes a criminal case.

I am still guardedly optomistic it will work out short of getting nasty, so I am giving this guy the benfit of the doubt and try to keep a positive relationship as long as possible.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:26 PM   #10
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:36 PM   #11
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Hi,

"He then suggests that I bring the trailer to him." [Post #1]

"That would be difficult as the work on the trailer as planned was to be on my property." [Post #9]

With a mechanic's lein, it does not matter where the trailer is located, the law would be on his side.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:58 PM   #12
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If you paid for the appliances they are yours. If he has more 'emergencies' demand the appliances or your money. If his BBB record is clean tell him there will be a spot on it if you are not satisfied. And a toilet, camp stove and ice chests work well in an Airstream. Still better than a tent. Enjoy the weekend.

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Old 05-25-2007, 11:58 PM   #13
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I think you should go with your gut and trust your instincts. There is a reason he is putting you off. Do you know where he lives? Maybe it's time to make a house call and find out where your fridge is. I bet you he is not at his mothers.

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Old 05-26-2007, 06:12 AM   #14
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Do you have access to the obits in his area? Pick up a paper and find the obit to confirm the death or call the town/city hall in his town. They will have a record of it. At least if you confirm the mother's death I would think you would feel alot better about this.

I also agree with a previous post of asking for your appliances. Good luck and let us know how you make out. Stuff like this is stressful.
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