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Old 01-09-2007, 11:01   #1
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My O/D is being held hostage

by an incompetant or otherwise incapable mechanic.

Six weeks ago we had a local mobile marine service remove our outdrive for what we thought would be a simple repair. An upper seal and drive bellows. There was no other indication of any other damage. This was the first week into our holidays.

Two phone calls over the next two weeks were not answered. I had to go to the mechanics house to wait for his arrival to ask what whas going on. First I ask to see the drive and it's ripped down into parts. I didn't authorize this. Then he gives me a long song and dance story about needing "special order" (which I didn't authorize him to purchase) parts from Chesapeake (I know where the Chesapeake is) but apparently from what I could discerne it's the N/A HQ for Volvo Penta. He says they don't stock them because they haven't sold a set of bearings in 4 years. Ok,
I'm cheesed our holidays are screwed. So I give him another week.

Another week passes. Six more phone calls unanswered. I go there again. He's really starting to BS me now about these special order bearings having to go from Chesapeake to Vancouver then to him. Hmmmm? Ok if they're really special order I can deal with that and wait. Another week. More phone calls unanswered.

In the mean time I contact two major US online VP resellers. Both indicate that parts are in stock and can be overnighted to my pick up location in upstate NY.

Hmmmm? I contacted two VP parts resellers near hear. Same story, in stock and available. I'm starting to think I'm being put in a position to be robbed or worse. Two more phone calls. Second one I get him on the phone. Last week he was waiting for shims. This week he still needs another bearing. Hmmm? Alarm bells are ringing loud and clear now. I get the distinct feeling that he's in trouble with his VP parts suppliers and can't deliver the repair.

During one of our conversations he says the special order parts can't be returned. I never heard of that having bought millions in marine spares for CCG over the years. A restocking fee? Sure. I'd eat that just to get out of the deal with this guy. I don't want to see anyone get stuck with parts they can't sell but I'm a freakin' marshmallow. You know? I don't mind supporting local small businesses and don't even mind paying a small premium if the service is good. Now this happens and I'm bitter and have a dreaded feeling it's going to get worse.

I'm going to retrieve my O/D on Tuesday, with Police assistance if required. I'm done trying to be a nice guy and a good customer but this is enough. We'll see how this all plays out next week.

Oh yeah, I'm not the first guy he's done this too. I heard rumours of his reputation and now I know them to be fact. First stop Tuesday, get the O/D, second stop Police, third stop Lawyer's office.

Stay tuned this may turn out to be one hell of an adventure!
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:30   #2
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Really sorry to here this being a member of the marine industry. But how come you used him anyway after hearing rumors of problems?
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Old 01-09-2007, 15:13   #3
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I'm asking myself that same question Chuck.

He serviced our o/d the first year we got the boat (2002), that was my only other dealing with him and it went fine, off, fixed, back on in 3 days and fair price.

We don't have a whole lot of choices around here, sadly. I was hoping that he being a mobile operator (comes to me) could do it as quickly as the last time. Big mistake.

I don't mind helping (patronizing) a local business no matter what it's for as long as the service or product is good, like I said I don't even mind paying a small premium. I'm seriously going to have to rethink that policy.
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Old 01-09-2007, 18:19   #4
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I hope all the best for you on this adventure!! I really hate hearing about crap like this. I just don't understand why people like this even exist. It takes, by far, more energy and stress, to be a jerk then to just do the job right from the beginning. It always amazes me how much trouble people tend to spend on being unfair or crooked. If people spend this much time and energy into being good honest people, the world would be 300 lights years further!!

It's also sad that it only takes a few people like this to give a lot of people in that industry a bad reputation!! It's a shame and please do keep us posted on the situation. Again, good luck and hopefully it won't get any more stupid then what has already happened.
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:17   #5
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hopefully it won't get any more stupid then what has already happened.
Thnx Shadow

The sad part is it's his family who'll eventually pay the price for his poor business practices. I know his wife, I grew up living beside her grandparents. She's not totally w/o blame either. She handles the phone calls and perpetrates the lies. There's no way she doesn't know what's going on. It's sad.
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:20   #6
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Bring a box and good luck.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:30   #7
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What really puzzles me is his motive. What does he stand to gain? Gouging me for parts that weren't needed if indeed he actually ordered and installed them? Sold off my used parts to another sucker? You would think it'd be in his best interests to fix the drive as quickly as possible if indeed he's as busy as he says. A small business usually gets customers by word of mouth. You'd think he'd want to protect a good reputation and not foster a bad one. I just don't get it! What does he stand to make by doing this to me or anyone else?

I just don't get it.
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"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
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Old 02-09-2007, 16:30   #8
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My point exactly knottybuoyz!! It takes so much energy and stress to keep these lies straight and hiding and spinning these webs of lies. It takes nothing to do a job right and well and you will get respect by your customers and more business by word of mouth..

I'm with you, I just don't get it!!! I can never work out or figure out ignorance and blatant lies!!
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Old 04-09-2007, 16:51   #9
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Hijacked O/D - Update

I retrieved my O/D tonight. I maintained my composure and dealt with this as professionally as I could. Here's what I got back after 7 weeks of waiting.



Excuse the mess in the truck.





Two boxes of assorted "USED" parts. Oh yeah there was a box of old bearings too. I'm checking the p/n's on them to see if they actually came out of my drive.

Wait, wait!!! Here comes the best part. Now a lil' history on me. In 1985 I began managing a large inventory of highly technical spare parts for one of Canada's most advanced small icebreakers. In 1992 I moved to Ottawa as a Senior Project Officer of Logistics and one of the projects I worked on was a National Spare Partes Inventory System for all CCG Ships. So, long story short I know an "Aftermarket" bearing from an "OEM" bearing. I also know how to spot counterfit parts. Look what I got installed as "Special Order" parts from the Chesapeake VP warehouse?????



Another with inserts so you can clearly see they're SKF bearings not VP.



When I was about to leave he looks at me with big sad puppy dog eyes and says: "What about paying for the new parts?". I responded: "When you submit an itemized invoice I'll discuss it with my lawyer and get back to you." He never said another word. I jumped in my truck and took off.

So other than 4 new bearings (aftermarket SKF's) there were no other new parts in the boxes. No new seals, no new shims, nothing!!!

All this after 7 weeks of waiting and agonizing. Oh yeah get this. He gave me some other BS story about not being able to get the drive shimmed properly (no new shims there he was using the old ones) and that the seal wouldn't seal (well no wonder he was using an old seal) DUH!

I can't wait to see the invoice!! My laywer is kinda anxious to chew into this one too! Stay tuned it ain't over yet!
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Old 04-09-2007, 16:57   #10
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If that guy has half a brain (I suspect that's ALL he has) you won't ever see any paperwork. Evidence, you know.

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Old 04-09-2007, 18:12   #11
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Well at least you got your stuff back without any real problems, especially physical. You should have perhaps taken his picture so you can post his face around to warn other people to avoid this con-artist.

On a more funny note, HELL, I could've given you the exact same service and a box full of parts for free within a 2 day period.. Just let me know when you want things dismantled and left for dead... (I just wanted to lighten up the mood)

Please do keep us informed on what the lawyer is going to do with this guy and his business.. But, I am glad you got your stuff back.. !!!
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Old 04-09-2007, 18:41   #12
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Well at least you got your stuff back without any real problems, especially physical. You should have perhaps taken his picture so you can post his face around to warn other people to avoid this con-artist.
Ya know Shadow, I'd rather let the ijjit wallow in his own ignorance. I'm sure with his business model he won't be in business much longer.

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On a more funny note, HELL, I could've given you the exact same service and a box full of parts for free within a 2 day period.. Just let me know when you want things dismantled and left for dead... (I just wanted to lighten up the mood)
Hell nuttin'! I coulda done that to the drive myself! Probably the only part of the boat I don't have any knowledge of, at least enough to cause more damage!

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Please do keep us informed on what the lawyer is going to do with this guy and his business.. But, I am glad you got your stuff back.. !!!
I'm glad I got it back and what a relief. I don't care what it costs now to get it fixed but I want it fixed right. This is what you get for trying to support a small home town business. I know I'll pay a premium for the repair but at least it won't be going to him.
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"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
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Old 04-09-2007, 18:45   #13
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I feel the same way. I always try to support the small business man and his family but when this kind of nonsense happens, you have to keep asking why bother!! At times, I just don't mind paying more for the corporate fronts as I know that it will get done and if something happens, I have a chain of command to complain to.

At least you are back in control now of your parts..
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Old 05-09-2007, 00:30   #14
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Probably the only part of the boat I don't have any knowledge of, at least enough to cause more damage!
Sounds like an excellent time to remedy that!
I have a theory that only 10% of the people in any given profession really know what they are doing, another 30% usually get by with a vague, nebulous idea of what they are doing, and the rest somehow manage to perpetuate their existence on pure BS.
For this reason I have learned how to do an awful lot of stuff myself - am scared of the odds when taking it somewhere. Just hope I never need brain surgery.
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Old 05-09-2007, 00:38   #15
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I hate to say this is not an iscolated occurance. I worked for a guy with similar business ethics. After he burned everyone for their parts deposits, burned me for $900 in payroll, and went off to get stoned, you would think his karma would catch up. Not a chance. He got sent to Motorcycle mechanics school on the government's tab, but that was not enough. He cried poor, and they paid his rom and party money while he was in school. He was then guaranteed a job in a dealership. I might also add that his banker wife, legally seperated, but still living together, had more money than god, but since they were legally seperated at the time, her income and assets were not concidered. Then there are the thousands of dollars in past due acounts to small family part suppliers that never got paid. It just never ends. Have to agree Rick, at least you got your parts back.
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