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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
In the mean time, here's the text of the letter I have detailing the state of the bus when I took it away in order to speed up the process by shifting from a one man band to a team of four.
To be fair, some of the previous delay was down to me having to send money at intervals, but we reached a point where my man's business model (take on several projects to secure cashflow and work on all of them part time) meant it wasn't going to be finished anywhere near on time ...
The letter's author had taken great pains to dissuade me from having him complete the work ... because HE has some integrity!

"Dear Mr ..........
With reference to Volkswagen Motor caravan bearing VRM ........., please find following my assessment of your failed restoration project. I speak in my capacity as a classic VW restoration specialist with much experience in these matters.
My initial assessment of your vehicle was conducted through the link you sent me to a photo-bucket account linked to a fairly well known local ‘VW Specialist’.
If I understand things correctly, he had your vehicle for an extended period of time and you were making staged payments for parts and labour when he demonstrated, via photos in this account, that he’d completed certain tasks or areas of repair work.
Having spent around two hours studying these pictures I began to feel that serious errors were being made.
In my opinion the job was not one that should have been undertaken in the first place and, at best, would be extremely difficult to finish off to any satisfactory standard.
My observations from the pictures included, but were not limited to the following points.
RHS rear wheel tub had been fitted in the wrong position.
This had a knock-on effect to the position of the battery platform and the rear corner.
Many areas of repairs were started, but none finished.
Those that were started clearly needed cutting off and starting again.
The routine jobs (inner and outer sills, cargo floor, rear wheel tubs, rear arches, battery trays and corners etc) all appeared to the untrained eye to be complete, but in fact were far from finished.
The areas of extensive corrosion, such as the roof gutters and roof edge support had largely been ignored. Given that this area is one of the most critical and difficult to repair, surely this should have been fully assessed at the onset of the repairs?
All of these suspicions were confirmed when in Feb 2017 we took delivery of your vehicle and undertook a detailed inspection.
In addition to the above, the following issues were identified.
Inner and outer sills fitted in wrong position.
Incorrect cargo floor supplied, unfitted. (Item supplied was cheap split screen panels, not the correct Type 2 ones that retail at about 4 times the price).
Both rear outer arches not attached to wheel tubs or rear corners.
Rear corners and battery trays incorrectly fitted.
RHS rear wheel tub installed too far back in van.
Top-hat floor supports welded in incorrectly.
Front bulkhead repairs welded in too high, on both sides.
Corrosion around tailgate aperture ignored when should have been repaired with full d-posts and full height rear corners.
Expensive LHS rear wheel tub butchered for small sections when specific cheap repair parts could have been purchased instead.
My suspicion is that the RHS tub mistake had been realised at this point and given the lack of cargo-floor reference points, your restorer did not favour his chances of ‘guessing’ where the second rear wheel tub went so opted for not fitting it at all.
Multiple small sections of front cab steps and front wheel tubs had been cut-out, when time should have been spent removing the panels by drilling spot welds, ready for full replacement panels to be fitted in conjunction with the front end restoration requirements.
Wiring loom had been cut through rather than being removed or working around.
Area under fuel tank was extensively corroded – no efforts had been made to address these areas
even though the van had spent some considerable time on its side having areas stripped, repaired and
painted.
Sliding door aperture was incorrect (owing to poor fitting of outer sill) and sliding door would not
operate on its runners.
Sliding door parts were also missing, even though there was no reason for them to have been removed from the door.
I’m afraid to say that the workbyou have paid for is some of the worst I’ve ever seen.
In my opinion, the van was never restorable for less than £60,000.
It needed extensive donor body cuts to fix the front end, back end and the roof.
It also needed every available VW repair panel and many custom
parts.
Whilst I’m sure if money was no object, we could have saved the vehicle for you from the on-set, once a vehicle has undergone so many bad repairs, restoration becomes virtually impossible and the costs spiral.
There was no area of repair work that passed for restoration standard work and sadly, I doubt much of it would even have passed for basic MOT standard repairs.
I feel that an experienced restoration company would have guided you in the right direction from the off, rather than trying to restore a vehicle that simply wasn’t viable.
I have voiced my concerns to the person responsible for your repairs and his response was to ask if he could come and have some ‘time in the workshop with us, so he can see what he’s doing wrong’.
Sadly, I do not feel this is appropriate.
My recommendation was that the vehicle defects were documented and be broken up and written off, for practical and safety reasons.
The outfit who you initially instructed is known to work alone and run multiple restorations side-by-side.
I employ 3-4 staff as this type of work physically can not be done single handed, and we never have more than two large restorations on the go at any time.
The outfit you initially instructed is known for his poor workmanship within the trade, and I am not the first person to raise issues with him.
I have sent you a short video highlighting some of the defects on your van. Please feel free to use it as you see fit.
I am happy to stand by the opinions expressed here and in the video I’ve sent you.
I wish you luck with your current projects and I hope you are, to some degree, compensated for the shocking work you have paid for by the person responsible for those repairs.
Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me on ..........."
 

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The "restorer" You went to has a long history of failed projects & a reputation for fleecing elderly & vulnerable clients.
He also on a fairly frequent basis tells his victims that He's so upset about the whole thing that He's on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Another old chestnut is that He can't give You any money cos he's got a wife & kids to support.
You don't really need to go into every single exchange of messages between Him & Yourself, I know who You're talking about & Would encourage You to at least give His location as a warning to others. Sadly I can't see You getting any money out of Him though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The "restorer" You went to has a long history of failed projects & a reputation for fleecing elderly & vulnerable clients.
He also on a fairly frequent basis tells his victims that He's so upset about the whole thing that He's on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Another old chestnut is that He can't give You any money cos he's got a wife & kids to support.
You don't really need to go into every single exchange of messages between Him & Yourself, I know who You're talking about & Would encourage You to at least give His location as a warning to others. Sadly I can't see You getting any money out of Him though.
Thanks for posting.
I like to think I recognise this person, BUT,
Would you confirm who you're referring to by private message please?
If this thread eventually becomes part of a naming exercise I need to know that every observation or description is in fact about the right person.
The "coverage" of that exercise would be BIG and I don't want the wrong people being caught up in the "s***storm".
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
A quick update for everyone who has pushed the viewing figures for this thread to over 1000 in one week ....
We are now three days on from me sending a revised offer to this person.
I have returned to the original figure of £10,000, (out of over £15,000 paid) with a time frame of three months, as opposed to about £5,000 over 100 weeks and attached to an all encompassing gagging order and no admission of wrong doing etc, which is the latest response I had a week and a half ago ... and which triggered this thread.
When I receive a response to my latest offer I can decide where this thread will turn.
Your continuing comments and information are most welcome in the mean time.
 

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This sounds awful! Please don't let other people end up in the same position as you are in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
This sounds awful! Please don't let other people end up in the same position as you are in.
It's not great!
I'm aware of my "responsibility to the community" but have to admit to still wanting to protect my own interests.
I can therefore go one of two ways, depending on what I next hear back from this guy:

1) Gratefully accept his payment and then keep to my word on not being proactive about naming him, but at least offer to confirm who it is if I get a PM from someone looking to get work done, who names him first. ("Would you recommend X?" ...
"Yes"/ "No" / "Don't know")

2) Be told the same old same old by him and therefore name names online, in such a manner that I can still take him to court.

Make sense?
 

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I do hope that you are doing all this in writing to the other party - and keeping copies for your own file. (In case you do decide to go to court, it will show due diligence on your part)
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I do hope that you are doing all this in writing to the other party - and keeping copies for your own file. (In case you do decide to go to court, it will show due diligence on your part)
Thanks.
I sent him a link to this thread, and it's all in "writing" on email and Whatsapp, so "copies" made at the time of sending.
At the moment the priority is to establish once and for all that he will not pay, as opposed to cannot pay (he said both in his latest reply).
I've offered to contract in to not making any further claim, or encouraging others to do so, but he wants a "no admission of guilt" deal and a total media blackout ...
I've just sent my last attempt at opening his eyes to how much better it would be all round to just pay me back.
If he does I would only be "not recommending" him if I get asked about him by name privately after this thread has been seen,
and there would be no need to drag him through the courts.
The alternative is the fact based "outing" campaign!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
No final reply yet.
I'll be looking to make this a national alert by the way, (contacting all the local clubs for example) as I don't want there to be any "wriggle room" if this guy is named.
I wouldn't put it past him to relocate in order to make a new start ... but then I've been turned cynical!
 

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so I read the whole lot and now know that someone paid a lot of money for a lot of work and isn't happy, what a waste of time, if your going to moan then name the garage etc so others can avoid,
 
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