How bad did I get taken?
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Thread: How bad did I get taken?

  1. #1
    Senior Member YBW's Avatar
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    How bad did I get taken?

    I'm going to try to make a very long story as short as I can. I dropped my bike off at this shop in Dec 2016 to have some fabrication work done (seat frame, shock mounted, tank mounted and painted, there were other things I had in mind but those were the big three). Not wanting to accrue a bill I won't want to pay, I ask the owner if I can leave a $400 deposit with the bike and he can let me know when its used up and we will see where things are at. He agrees and I drop off the bike the next day. The owner then explains that since they do automotive restoration (which they do very well) and don't do bikes very much, he can't really give a solid estimate.

    I say, no problem, by the time we are $400 in, we should have a lot better idea of what the overall cost will be, and we can decide how to move forward at that point. He has me sign a work order showing I left a $400 deposit and has a few of the things I want done itemized at $55 a piece because he doesn't know how long any of it will take. Fast forward a few months and I haven't heard anything so I touch base, and he says they have been busy and actually his neighbor will be doing the fab work while he works on the tank. Ooooook well whatever gets the job done right? Over the next year or so I check in and really not a whole lot has been done (tank was stripped, seat frame was mocked up with 1/4 inch rod) but nothing super big. I ask if I can just come get the bike since my local place had become available again and he says they will get cracking on it. I check in a month later and sure enough the seat frame is half done. It looks good and I ask him where we are cost wise.

    He never replies, so I assume we must not have hit the $400 mark yet. Fast forward again to last week and he sends me pics of the bike done. I arrange to pick it up on Saturday and we meet up. The work looks good, and its just what I wanted so no complaints there. Then he hands me an invoice for just under $400 and tells me my deposit took care of that. I'm like "great!" and he tells me that his neighbor has an invoice for me. Now I should have assumed what happened was going to happen by the way the guy was kind of quiet. He hands me a bill for almost $1700

    I tell him we have a problem because I told him to call me at $400 and there is not way I'm going to pay $1700 more dollars. He says too bad, and I tell him I will give him $600 now, take the bike, and we can talk about the rest. He refuses and says no matter what happens he has to pay his neighbor, but I'm not getting the bike til I fork over $1700, so I leave. Once I get home I send him the screenshots of his agreement of the $400 and my inquiry regarding where we were on cost to which he never replied. Now he says he remember that but I knew it was going to be over $400, then we go back and forth for a day and a half about at which point he was going to call me to let me know the cost was getting out of hand.

    Multiple times he says he doesn't do "blank check work" yet won't admit that he should have called me at the $400, or at the very least the $700 (which what was reflected on the work order if you added up all the items). He says I knew $700 was the minimum and that it would go up from there. I tell him I just want to settle it in small claims court because I am confident I am in the right. He then goes at every length he can to convince me not to. I talk to my lawyer and he says we have a slam dunk and that really I don't have to pay squat. (not that you use lawyers in small claims anyway). I offer him the $600 again because I'm trying to not be unreasonable but he refuses again. That night I realize that his company gave me an invoice that shows paid in full, while his neighbor's invoice is the one outstanding.

    Now its Monday morning and he says he's filing a lien on my title as we speak since he knows I'm set on going to court. I tell him to check with his lawyer first, because he has no legal right to file the lien since he was paid in full, and that his neighbor needs to file it. He tells me to not drag his neighbor into this and I tell him sorry, since he invoiced me he's the one I have to deal with. Then he tells me his going to "undo" the work they did. I tell him he can't restore the bike to the exact condition it was when I dropped it off, so he might want to check with his lawyer to make sure its not destruction of property. I then call the sheriffs department.

    They let me tell the story for 15 min and at the end say, its really cut and dry he is in the wrong, but we can't do anything (I asked if they could just pick up the bike and keep it in evidence til the whole thing gets sorted out). Then I start texting the neighbor, and the owner of the shop replies claiming that I'm threatening his neighbor because I told him I call the sheriff's office to inform them of the situation. Finally the neighbor calls me and says, bring me the $600 and get this bike out of here. I picked it up and took it to the actual bike shop I plan to have help me with the engine assembly, told the guy the story and he tells me I should still sue. I told him I'm just happy to have it over with and he says he doesn't see more than $400 worth of work anyway.

    I can't say I necessarily agree with that, but now I'm curios to know what it likely would have cost me to get the work done at a different place (to say nothing of the year plus wait and all the headache). I will put before and after pics, let me know what you guys think. I thought $1000 all told wasn't bad?
    Elvesus likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member YBW's Avatar
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    Before and after dropping it off.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by YBW; 04-25-2018 at 07:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member YBW's Avatar
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    Also, the tank had quite a bit of work done. The old petcock stem was removed and patched, and bungs were installed on both sides of the tank. Then custom mounts were put on the tank and the bike to hold the tank just where it needed to be, since there was really no way to utilize the factory mounting configuration.

    Like I said, overall I am happy with the work, it was just a massive pain and I am wondering how much I overpaid.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by YBW; 04-25-2018 at 06:58 AM.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Gastone165's Avatar
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    The local motorcycle shop here charges $100.00 an hour. After you drop your bike off you’ll get a call or two where they try to pad their hours and get you to agree to extended inspections, installations, or additional repairs. You really have to stay on them and watch carefully.
    If you go by the rate of $100 per hour, how many hours do you think they actually spent working on your bike? The year long wait is partially your fault by letting them get away with it.
    1972 Yamaha DT 175, 1974 Kawasaki 125, 1976 Suzuki TM 250, 1979 Yamaha 750, 1977 Husquvarna 360, 1979 Husquvarna 250, (2) 1980 Suzuki RM 400’s, 1971 Husquvarna 400, 1983 Honda V65 Magna, 1987 Suzuki 230 Quad, 1987 TW200, 1990 TW200, 1996 Honda XR 650, 1998 Yamaha 300 King Quad, 2000 Harley Davidson Heritage, 2006 Kawasaki KLX 250s, 2007 Arctic Cat 650 Quad, 2010 Polaris Sportsman 850 Quad, 2006 Yamaha Grizzly 660 Quad, 2002 TW200, 1995 TW200, 2008 TW200, 2016 TW200.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    What an ordeal. I couldn’t view your pics, but at least you got your bike back. If you like it and ride it for years, a thousand bucks will seem insignificant.
    01 SOLD
    96 SOLD
    89 restored SOLD
    89 (restoration in process)
    05 (restoration in process)
    03 SOLD
    04 in great condition

  7. #6
    Senior Member YBW's Avatar
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    I agree about the wait, and in all fairness I did tell him he could use it as fill in work. Also, true, if the bike turns out good I'm not going to sweat the extra money I might have paid. The fabricator had me billed for 37 hours, which I have no doubt that he worked on it for that long, but he REALLY went about it an inefficient way, which is why it took so long.

    I tired to stress to the owner of the shop that the inefficiency is a big part of the reason he should have checked in with me, I could have told right away that he was going about it the wrong way instead of racking up 37 hours on a 10 hour project.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Smitty Blackstone's Avatar
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    And THAT my friends, is why I do EVERYTHING myself.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Nicoradv's Avatar
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    YBW, edit that post with the images so they display.
    Delete the links in there and do it again
    BillPacific likes this.
    If a bike is plated, it's suppose to be ridden, not hauled on a trailer.
    2002 DR650SE, 2001 TW200

  10. #9
    Senior Member Elvesus's Avatar
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    I had to think twice about hitting 'like'. Of course I don't like what happened - what a miserable experience. I do like that you shared the story. It's a reminder that we have to be vigilant whenever we hire anyone to do work for us. I'm glad you're happy with the outcome.
    John in Nanaimo

    2013 TW200 - with Shinko 241 front tire, Rox 2" anti-vibe risers, Polisport Touquet handguards, homemade wind deflector, Manracks utility rack

  11. #10
    Junior Member heirhead's Avatar
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    37 hours of fabrication?
    Did you tell him that over billing is a serious crime.
    Just saw that on the Firm. Hope you got kissed! Coming from certified welder/fabricator.
    Now that you are over it, ride the piss out of the bike, have fun, never recommend.
    Lesson learned for you and thanks for sharing. I do not live close but curious, why you did'nt mention name of shop?
    So many do there own work, might be good on Forum some place to have a list of shops, whether the treated you bad or good
    with a small story explaining things, like reviews on FLEABAY. Just saying.
    Happy riding,

    hh
    wwm

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