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Old 03-05-2009, 08:47 PM
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Looking for auto-body guy who ripped off my Dad for $500

Hi everyone,
The other day my dad was at the food lion when a guy came up to him and said he could fix the dents and bumper on my dads car. I had temporarily wired the bumper up. This guy said he was an auto body repairman and had a van that said something like that. He asked for $750. and they agreed on $600, this may be ok if it is all the way to finished paint. Well the guy fixed the bumper and put about $10 worth of bondo on the fender and said he would be back when it is warmer. My 79 year old dad gave him the whole $600 dollars and the guy gave my dad a number that is disconnected at this time. And that is the last he has heard from the guy so far (about a month). Ok I already went off on my dad for being kind of stupid for giving all the money to this guy that he just met when the job was like a fifth done. I have the guy's name (on check he cashed) but no address yet, and he might show back up....but I am kind of cynical about that so I am starting to hunt him down and see what is up. I went on the court web site here in va beach and found he had a ticket and was due in court today. I just missed the guy as he got the court to dismiss his charge expired registration charge by showing the officer he got it fixed . I don't know what he looks like or I would have been able to confront him and get the guy to sign a contract or something I could hold over him. This is all verbal so I am not sure what legal recourse my dad has. Any way thanks for your time and any advice . I am going to post this as a thread later and include picture of my dads car and this guys name. <!-- / message --><!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: ad_showthread_firstpost_sig --><!-- END TEMPLATE: ad_showthread_firstpost_sig --><!-- sig -->
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This is all the guy has done, the bumper was hanging a little so I say he has done a $100 at most. The guys name is Anthony Merchon, so beware anybody offering body work in parking lots.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:14 PM
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i live here in va beach but i never heard of him. thank for the reply. i was able to lower the pan and rotate my crankshaft by hand (with the plugs out) and saw the bottom of all my rods and none of them were messed up like i thought they would be. but i noticed alot of slack in my timing chain and saw a post that that could cause knocking noise. i'm pulling the front end apart tomorrow to see if i can see where it was hitting. wish me luck. i sent a friend request thing but i'm new to this site and am still figuring out how to get around and all that. thanks kyle
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:09 PM
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hey kyle, if you wanna join the VA chapter, follow the thread title "how to join the va chapter" that is the 3rd thread from the top! thanks, and welcome to fte!
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:33 PM
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Unfortunately Eric thats an nold scam and I've never
seen anybody get one of these guys.
Without anything in writing there really isn't anything you can do.
I've redone a few of these kinda jobs here in MD and try to work
with the person that got ripped off and fix it the rightway.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80351 View Post
Unfortunately Eric thats an nold scam and I've never
seen anybody get one of these guys.
Without anything in writing there really isn't anything you can do.
I've redone a few of these kinda jobs here in MD and try to work
with the person that got ripped off and fix it the rightway.
Yeah I have had a guy come up to me when I was up in Arlington in a home depot parking lot and had some damage on my truck the guy would'nt give me a card or number and I just asked to wind up the conversation cause I am not have work done on anything by somebody out of the blue, but my dad was an easy mark I supose.
I am not going to give up looking for this guy, not going to waste a lot of time with it but I bet I find him if he stays in this area.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSG VA BEACH View Post
Yeah I have had a guy come up to me when I was up in Arlington in a home depot parking lot and had some damage on my truck the guy would'nt give me a card or number and I just asked to wind up the conversation cause I am not have work done on anything by somebody out of the blue, but my dad was an easy mark I supose.
I am not going to give up looking for this guy, not going to waste a lot of time with it but I bet I find him if he stays in this area.
Understand that Eric, most the time the time they finish it by painting right over the bondo with a spray bomb.
Good luck in you search. I know its a ways to come but if I can help you with the car just let me know
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:53 AM
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Man I hate that for your dad.Take it easy on him(79).My dad passed away a few years ago and it still hurts.Now I tempted to come over there and you and I go on search and destroy mission for this guy.I got some kim folks in VA beach that I had'nt seen in awhile.I'm just over here in Martinsville VA and about 4/12 hours away.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:38 PM
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Man I hate that for your dad.Take it easy on him(79).My dad passed away a few years ago and it still hurts.Now I tempted to come over there and you and I go on search and destroy mission for this guy.I got some kim folks in VA beach that I had'nt seen in awhile.I'm just over here in Martinsville VA and about 4/12 hours away.
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Thanks for the offer but we don't have enough info on this guy yet, and acording to my dad he said he would be back when the weather warms up ( yeah right ) but with patience I will track him down.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:25 PM
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That sucks, I know my location says Norfolk, but I really live in Chesapeake, VA. Can your dad remember anything that was on the van? How old, make, color? That could help.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:35 AM
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Update on this f...ing crook

OK so through a little reserch I discovered that the criminal I am looking for has a business license in va beach. Mobile Auto Body.... Anthony Merchon is the guy. I had my dad file a complaint with the commonwealth attorney's consumer complaints division in the hope of them knowing his actual address. We heard back yesterday from the investigator that his lawyer ( I have been doing business or years and havn't had the need for a spokes lawyer yet, even with a DUI I said F..k a lawyer and got the same outcome with that money saved. ) Anyway through his lawyer he says that paint was'nt included in the aggreement, well it was but I would just be happy to see this morons attempt to finish the bondo application and sand it down and get it ready for primer. If you look at the pictures of the work done it is obvious this is not worth $600 which this guy got with his promise of returning to finish the job. This guy is supposed to show up possibly to finish some of the work. And when he does I am going to ask him how he feels about ripping off my elderly dad who's only income is a social security check and just had heart surgery and has to pay out of pocket deductable cost for like 15 different medications. If this motherf..ker so much as twitches the wrong way I am gonna break him in half and commence sanding on the bondo with his face. I might actually need a lawyer after all.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:26 AM
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I am not a lawyer (IANAL).

At least now you have an admittance of some sort of agreement- "up to, but not including paint". I'd say go for a partial/$500 refund, and never let this crook touch the car again. Your consumer complaint may preclude your immediate right to go to small claims court (and with your Dad's condition, he's probably better off letting the Commonwealth's complaints division handle it- small claims court will wear you out).

Oh, and file complaints with the BBB and the local chamber of commerce (and/or wherever he got his business license from). You could probably put a (be honest and stick to the facts here) post up on Rants & Raves on Craigslist (and Yelp, and other popular business/service reviews websites)- be careful to avoid a libel/defamation lawsuit, since this guy already has a lawyer. If you don't get anything out of him, the public still has a right to know about your experience, and that negative PR could be far more damaging to him than paying you $500.

Look this auto body guy up on the Virginia Courts Case system: (http://wasdmz2.courts.state.va.us/CJISWeb/circuit.html). See how many lawsuits he's been in, and what the outcomes have been. He could be a con-man, and his lawyer could be in on it and receiving kickbacks, etc..

Good luck! Fight the good fight!
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for the advice, I have been using the court site already and just missed this guy in traffic court a while back. He has a lawyer because he does have some civil cases, one he just lost for $4500. I doubt we can get any cash out of this guy so I am ok with him at least showing up to try and apply enough bondo to get closer to where I will take over and fix it. My dad got an actual est. and they said the correct method would be to replace the fender. I am going to harass this guy in the legal manner you have suggested and not loose it like I alluded to above ( I liked writing that though ). If I was still an alcohol drinker I would have probably lit this guy's van on fire for a start and deepending how long before I was arrested terrorized him and anyone in close proximity, but hey you gotta grow up sometime.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:42 PM
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I've been burned a few times, I totally know where you are coming from. . .

I don't really have any kind of legal advice except "Don't kill him if you find him"

If you are interested in just replacing the fender give me the year, make, and model and I will keep my eyes open when I go to pick n' pull. And if you want to use them (or want help) I have some sur-form tools, putty files, and sanding blocks
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:28 PM
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If you are interested in just replacing the fender give me the year, make, and model and I will keep my eyes open when I go to pick n' pull. And if you want to use them (or want help) I have some sur-form tools, putty files, and sanding blocks
ThankS, I am going to see what happens with this guy and then just see how it will come out with the bondo. We got a guy who will mix us up the paint and clear coat....although my dad said he will want $80 for that. Man automotive paint is expensive when I have looked for single stage brands..like 2 to $400 for a gallon. I really don't care that much what his car looks like, he will probably hit something else anyway. I should just blast the whole car rustoleum industrial white. I am still holding some anger at my dad for trading an 85 f150 I gave him for some raggedy honda or some other piece of junk a few cars back.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:27 AM
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Well after a quick visit to this guys house where I taped a letter to the side of his vehicle asking if he was going to fix the car or would like to have further "action" taken against him, he saw me out an upper windaow and tried to ask what this was in regard to wherupon I muttered read the letter and F__K you as walked off. He has replaced the fender and the car looks much better, not all the way right but not bad. So I am going to call this case closed.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:27 AM
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