Has anyone had a bad experience with a custom builder? Right now I'm on the verge of suing a custom builder for 1) theft by deception, and 2) misapplication of entrusted funds.
To summarize- Last April I ordered a frame from a well-known builder, who recently restarted his business after taking a break. I was the first order at the time, and he articulated that completing the frame would take a few weeks. A few weeks later he contacted me, saying that the "frame was built and ready for powdercoating," and he charged the remainder of my credit card. I waited approximately one month for the frame to arrive, and when it didn't, I contacted him. He back-tracked by saying that the rear triangle was not completed because he did not have the adequate tooling. But in the same email he told me that the issue was resolved and that he was "looking forward to finishing up and getting her out to you hopefully this coming week."
I waited several weeks and when it didn't arrive, I contacted him again. He said that the rear triangle issue still wasn't resolved. He also forgot if I ordered disc or V brake tabs! Overall, he attributed the delay to personal financial problems. In return, I expressed my dissatisfaction in a proper tone because my credit card was charged before he was able to complete the order.
He responded by shutting down all lines of communication. I filed a complaint with the BBB, but he did not respond to them. After numerous times of trying to get in contact, in November he finally said that he would reimburse me in the full amount. Unfortunately, in the email he refrained from setting any sort of timeline for a refund. He said that "there should be absolutely no reason for you to contact me at all, so donít, otherwise there will be harsh circumstances."
As of now, I have not received a payment. I am frustrated because on his Twitter account he mentioned that he was starting a production line of a certain frame model!
Right now, what are my options? He refuses to respond to my emails or phone calls.
At this point, I am reluctant to sue because he is in another state. There is also no incentive for him to show up at court because he has my money. I do not want to fly across the country and have this happen. Also, since his company was previously liquidated in 2006, he might have creditors waiting in line, so there is no guarantee I'll see my money ever again.
If you have any advice on how to resolve my issue, please let me know....