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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:30 PM
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That's what really floored me. Anyone who knows me knows I don't take that. I work at a bar 4-5 nights a week and am constantly warding off jerks and putting them in their place. I probably should've ended the phone conversation there, but instead told him "Man to man, I'd appreciate it if you'd just be honest and tell me that you were frustrated and meant what you said not knowing I was there," but he stuck to his story. I am a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't rip him a big one...maybe I'll have that opportunity tomorrow if he starts getting hostile, otherwise I'm going to try and take the high road and be calm, cool and collective - collecting my car being the first priority. Thanks again for your advice and support.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroJoeG View Post
Already called a tow truck and made arrangements to call him in the morning. He can't be there first thing but said he could pick it up in the morning at some point. I plan on going in earlier than 8 and telling him I've decided to pull the car because I don't want to continue butting heads and having any further problems. I'll tell him in person, that way he can't accuse me of not "manning up."

This guy has put a sour taste in my mouth and I don't like him any longer, so I don't need to taint my restoration by continuing to do business with him. As a funny side note - I met him because he hired me through the local news station to shoot and edit his video commercial. I saw the quality he was doing and went with him for my own repairs. Have been giving him business for over a year. What a jerk...
Been on both sides of this deal- you've been given good advice to get out asap and don't look back. Also, don't always expect others to have your sensibilities as far as politeness goes (thank-you's and such). But thank-you's aside, never do you have to put up w/the rest of it.

Do yourself a favor and keep your cool and don't get violent. You can only lose in such a situation. I don't mean lose in a fight- I mean the possibility of a lawsuit or even God forbid get shot, etc.

Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:07 PM
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i don't think it's any skin off your back if you don't "put him in his place." (just my opinion---i am not very good at human relations......) Because he's miserable and is going to stay that way regardless of what you say to him.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:18 PM
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Been on both sides of this deal- you've been given good advice to get out asap and don't look back. Also, don't always expect others to have your sensibilities as far as politeness goes (thank-you's and such). But thank-you's aside, never do you have to put up w/the rest of it.

Do yourself a favor and keep your cool and don't get violent. You can only lose in such a situation. I don't mean lose in a fight- I mean the possibility of a lawsuit or even God forbid get shot, etc.

Good luck.
I've been practicing martial arts for years and the number one thing I've learned is never attack unless someone attacks first. That being said, I would never get physically violent with anyone unless I was cornered. Being on his property, I have to be careful. I'm sure he doesn't want a fight, but he'll probably mouth off. I just want my car and to leave as peacefully as possible. Hopefully it won't be a nightmare. Thanks for the well wishes.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroJoeG View Post
That's what really floored me. Anyone who knows me knows I don't take that. I work at a bar 4-5 nights a week and am constantly warding off jerks and putting them in their place. I probably should've ended the phone conversation there, but instead told him "Man to man, I'd appreciate it if you'd just be honest and tell me that you were frustrated and meant what you said not knowing I was there," but he stuck to his story. I am a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't rip him a big one...maybe I'll have that opportunity tomorrow if he starts getting hostile, otherwise I'm going to try and take the high road and be calm, cool and collective - collecting my car being the first priority. Thanks again for your advice and support.
You handled it well, confrontation with a jerk only leads to him blaming YOU for all his troubles.

Brian
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroJoeG View Post
I've been practicing martial arts for years and the number one thing I've learned is never attack unless someone attacks first. That being said, I would never get physically violent with anyone unless I was cornered. Being on his property, I have to be careful. I'm sure he doesn't want a fight, but he'll probably mouth off. I just want my car and to leave as peacefully as possible. Hopefully it won't be a nightmare. Thanks for the well wishes.
Don't lower yourself to fighting, I too was a boxer for years and wouldn't think twice to knock someone out attacking me. But it NEVER turns out well for the first guy to throw the punch. Go in there acting as you have, in other words BETTER than he is and you will win, it's free entertainment for you really.
My brother told me years ago that little trick when dealing with jerks, it's free entertainment, it works well for me.

Brian
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:31 PM
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Don't lower yourself to fighting, I too was a boxer for years and wouldn't think twice to knock someone out attacking me. But it NEVER turns out well for the first guy to throw the punch. Go in there acting as you have, in other words BETTER than he is and you will win, it's free entertainment for you really.
My brother told me years ago that little trick when dealing with jerks, it's free entertainment, it works well for me.

Brian
Great advice! Being the better man doesn't necessarily mean being the louder one, the tougher one or the one with the best insults. It's the one with sensibility and control over one's self. That's what I was taught a long time ago. It's easy to forget that when you get fired up.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroJoeG View Post
I've been practicing martial arts for years and the number one thing I've learned is never attack unless someone attacks first. That being said, I would never get physically violent with anyone unless I was cornered. Being on his property, I have to be careful. I'm sure he doesn't want a fight, but he'll probably mouth off. I just want my car and to leave as peacefully as possible. Hopefully it won't be a nightmare. Thanks for the well wishes.
Good way to look at it. Attitude is everything. Hopefully this will make the next shop seem just that much better after his way of doing "business"!

(BTW, no more "Thanks" necessary for me. )
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:43 PM
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i've posted this before, but i think it's really good advice, which unfortunately i have not been disciplined enough to follow recently...............

How to Deal With Crappy People Altucher Confidential

How To Deal With Crappy People, PART TWO Altucher Confidential
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:11 PM
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i've posted this before, but i think it's really good advice, which unfortunately i have not been disciplined enough to follow recently...............

How to Deal With Crappy People Altucher Confidential

How To Deal With Crappy People, PART TWO Altucher Confidential
A great read! This helped immensely. Thanks for sharing

Check out this addition: The Crappy FAQ: All Questions Answered About Crappy People Altucher Confidential
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:33 AM
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I'd step back a moment..
allot here are cheerleading you.. and if for a few facts, I would be also.. telling you to move your car out..
but........................
1) it was a FRIDAY.. and he might have been behind, or plum forgot you where coming..
2) everyone has a bad day, and not say'n what he did/said is ok.. almost every bodyman/mechanic has called a customers car a p.o.s. when the owner is out of earshot..
3)they are letting you document the build with photo's and watch.. 2 things almost no shop is going to do..
4) if his work was questionable , you'd not be documenting it.. thats for sur

the shop might be busy, and rolling a car in and out can get old,, remember he has to make money, are you paying storage fees as you car sits waiting on you to be there to watch??

again I'd step back.. and look at the whole picture..
has he been rude the whole time?
has he been more than fair with allowing you to fick and choose when they work on it so you can be there to watch?
take the good and the bad and look it ALL over..
most cheerleading you to remove the car, would never EVER allow you to watch and document the work.. and take up shop space waiting on the next time you're aval. in their shop.. most would have no choice as their insurance coverage wouldn't allow it anyways..
if he's been a rude son of a gun from day one.. then ya pull it..
from the sounds of it.. he's got busy and as anyone with a car in a bodyshop can tell you.. you get pushed off to the side.. in the bodywork world, this is called paintjail...
I'd after mow'n over the whole deal.. go talk to him.. ask if ,now not a good time to slow the shop down as you document the build.. cause you ARE slowing the build down..
think this over long and hard.. before you pull it out.. only you know the full and complete story......

I wonder how many that replied to thread that own a shop or work at one, that let you watch and document the work.. and have the car collecting dust waiting on your aval.??
now if he's charging you storage fees, then take above and forget it..
the misquote on the engine machining.. only he knows why he through that # out..
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:28 AM
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Bottome line is some people just don't care my brother got messed around the same way kinda but he lost his 74 Pontiac Formula reason being to owner ofthe shop went to prison so when my brother found out about it they moved and his car was nowhere to be found he lost all sorts of new parts he quarter panels, doors, fenders, bumpers, and so on the only thing he kept was the motor and that's because he picked it up to work on it oh the car was a 4 speed with a rear dics brake set up.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by E.Furgal View Post
I'd step back a moment..
allot here are cheerleading you.. and if for a few facts, I would be also.. telling you to move your car out..
but........................
1) it was a FRIDAY.. and he might have been behind, or plum forgot you where coming..
2) everyone has a bad day, and not say'n what he did/said is ok.. almost every bodyman/mechanic has called a customers car a p.o.s. when the owner is out of earshot..
3)they are letting you document the build with photo's and watch.. 2 things almost no shop is going to do..
4) if his work was questionable , you'd not be documenting it.. thats for sur

the shop might be busy, and rolling a car in and out can get old,, remember he has to make money, are you paying storage fees as you car sits waiting on you to be there to watch??

again I'd step back.. and look at the whole picture..
has he been rude the whole time?
has he been more than fair with allowing you to fick and choose when they work on it so you can be there to watch?
take the good and the bad and look it ALL over..
most cheerleading you to remove the car, would never EVER allow you to watch and document the work.. and take up shop space waiting on the next time you're aval. in their shop.. most would have no choice as their insurance coverage wouldn't allow it anyways..
if he's been a rude son of a gun from day one.. then ya pull it..
from the sounds of it.. he's got busy and as anyone with a car in a bodyshop can tell you.. you get pushed off to the side.. in the bodywork world, this is called paintjail...
I'd after mow'n over the whole deal.. go talk to him.. ask if ,now not a good time to slow the shop down as you document the build.. cause you ARE slowing the build down..
think this over long and hard.. before you pull it out.. only you know the full and complete story......

I wonder how many that replied to thread that own a shop or work at one, that let you watch and document the work.. and have the car collecting dust waiting on your aval.??
now if he's charging you storage fees, then take above and forget it..
the misquote on the engine machining.. only he knows why he through that # out..
You know what, you are asking some very good questions, and you have a good head on your shoulders. Looking back on what has been said here, you could be right, but it sure seems like the guy has been a horses ars from early on. He is NO businessman that is for sure. He reminds me of a guy a friend of mine worked for. This guy was a very well known custom painter in the area. He told people HE did all the custom paint, while in fact others in the shop were doing it. He literally went and got my friend out of the booth when he saw a customer pull up and took the paint gun and continued painted so the guy would see HIM painting his car! Funny thing was he screwed it all up and the car had to be reshot, this was a full on candy apple gold! That car was eventually pulled out by the owner who came with a car trailer and a car load of thugs to be sure there was no resistance.

I have been doing this a long time and I have seen both sides. I have a customer who has some mental problems and is VERY annoying. He comes by and calls over and over while the car is at the shop, weeks before and weeks after. He calls over and over with very stupid questions. But you know what, HE IS PAYING MY HOUSE PAYMENT and putting food on my families table, so I treat him with respect and SUCK IT UP. He is a wonderful guy who has some issues, I will take the time in my life to deal with those issues.

Businessmen who are "too busy" on a friday don't know how to schedule and are thus bad businessmen. I have been there, I have been a bad businessman, I know the routine. But every circumstance is a little different and we don't know a lot and we have given advice when we should get answers to the questions you have asked. But on the same note, red flags are red flags, how long do you wait?

Would I let someone document the work, GOD YES! First off, it's their right, there is NOTHING I could say other than YES, come on in! Do I encourage it, YES.

Brian
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:46 AM
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Here's an article I wrote on the subject years ago.

Brian


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>

Confessions of a body shop owner.
By Brian Martin


“Anybody know of a good body shop in (enter your city name here)?”, “How do I get my body shop to work on my car?”, “My car is being held for ransom!”, or just simply “Body shop Blues”. I’m sure you have all seen topics similar to these posted. Gentlemen, my name is MARTINSR and I was one of those dirty rotten bastards that would keep your car ten times longer than I promised.

For the guy not doing his own body work or at least not all of it, he is at the mercy of the body shop. It is not a nice position to be in. In fact, it can go down as one of the low points in your life. I have seen horror stories that would make your hair stand on end. A long time customer of mine (he owned about 60 cars and usually had a few in shops around the area at all times) had a car that was held as evidence in a murder. Yep, it had blood splattered on it when one of the shops owners killed the other with a baseball bat!

The following is my generalization of restoration shops that I have owned, seen or worked at. There are exceptions to the rule. Please don’t beat me up if I have rolled your shop into the mix when you are an exception. But, if you do see yourself, I suggest you get down to your neighborhood junior college and take a course or two in business. One of the great myths is that we each think our business is so unique, we can’t learn from a “regular” business class. Well after much instruction and exposure to the business side of things I can tell you, business is BUSINESS. Whether you are running a liqueur store, a cat house, or a body shop, they are all exactly the same. Sales are SALES, period.

So, we can agree a body shop is a business, being a good body man does not make you a good businessman. Restoration shops are usually owned by good body men, not good businessmen. It is very hard to make money doing restoration work, it is very easy to make money doing regular collision work. The business man makes his money doing collision work and tells all the customers with restoration work to go to Joe’s Body shop down the street, he does the restorations. Joe loves doing what he is doing, but seldom makes much money. He is an artist, a true master at his craft. Joe sees things at what they can “become”, not what they “are”. When Joe sees a car he doesn’t see the time it will take to make it the show winner he knows it will be, he only sees it as the show winner. I really don’t believe he means to lie to you when he says it will be done in a month, he is looking at through rose colored glasses, his vision is altered. Like a woman forgets the pain of giving birth, so does Joe when he gazes upon the beautiful car he has carried for nine months (or longer). And when the next rust bucket rolls in, he has forgotten about the hundreds of hours needed, he only sees a luscious rose garden.

Like I said few make a living at restoration or hot rod work. The biggies that you have heard of like Roy Brizio or Boyd Codington all make money with other ventures, not the rod shop. The first time I visited Brizios shop this was very apparent. The rod shop is about 5000 square feet sitting in the middle of a 50,000 square foot building. The rest of the building is Brizios manufacturing business. It is all non auto related by the way. The rod shop is a hobby, I don’t doubt for a second he makes money, but it is a hobby none the less.

So when you go looking for a shop to do your car you have to remember this, you are most likely going to be dealing with an artist. If you think the business end of it is going to go smooth, think again. If you build yourself up and believe everything, you are in for a BIG let down. If you set yourself up for less than that you will be much better off. I suggest getting ready for MUCH, MUCH less and then you will be happy when it only takes five months instead of the ten you got ready for. If he said one month and that is what you are planning, by the time five months rolls around you are ready to kill someone.

These are HUGE generalizations but I have found a few signs that may help you in picking out a shop. If nothing else they will help you understand who you are dealing with.

1. If there is more than one car sitting in the shop covered with dust, this may be a bad sign. If you have been around body shops much you know that dust build up is like the rings in a tree, you can tell by the layers and colors how many YEARS it has been sitting. If there is a car that is being used for storage of misc. boxes and things, bad sign. My brother used to joke that I should bolt a vice on the fender of the car, at least I could get some use out of it! Coyly ask “Cool car, is that yours?” if he says “Naw, it’s a customers”, BAD SIGN. If there are ten stalls in the shop and six have dust covered cars in them, RUN. I shouldn’t have to tell you this one, but if there are guys hanging around with beers in their hands, RUN.


2. How many stalls does he have? I have found that the real restoration/rod shops seem to have only room to have three or four cars at a time. If you only had room to work on three cars, you are going to be damn certain they get out so you can have room for the next. One of the most successful custom shops I have ever seen was a little four stall shop in Pittsburgh California. It is the famous (well at least on the west coast) DeRosa and son Customs. Frank has been around since the fifties making show winning cars. He and his son Frank Jr. do the same today and do it FAST. They a neat, little and clean shop. If you have seen the 2001 DuPont calendar they did the “Cadster”. It was only in the shop for a few weeks. By the way, it doesn’t have DuPont primers on it like the calendar says, Martin Senour primer was used.

3. Does he look at your car like they do at the McPaint shops, you know, all jobs all colors the same price? If he doesn’t take a good long look at the car taking notes, he has no clue what he is doing. He is looking at the car with those rose colored glasses. Every single panel should be examined and noted for the amount of hours needed. If he just looks over the car without doing this he is surely going to be WAY off. If he is way off on how much he is charging you, what incentive does he have to work on it?


So let’s say you have a shop you would like to bring it to, you really need to case the joint. Turn into a stalker and keep an eye on the shop. You know for months that you are going to need a body shop. Watch the shops for months. Drive by during business hours and see if they are actually open. Many of these guys (remember they are not good businessmen) take their open sign as sort of a guide line. If it says 8:00 to 5:00 it is more like 9:15 to 2:00 then 4:25 to 7:00, they can’t get your car done like that. See if any cars leave. If you go by there and see the same cars sitting there and many little jobs going in and out, BAD SIGN. I have to tell you, those little money making collision jobs are dang hard to turn away. If I had a million hour job sitting there and it was the 28th of the month I am going to set it aside for the $800.00 job I can do in two days to pay the rent.

If they don’t allow you to walk around and check the place out, be wary. Look at the paint dept, does he have a booth? Is there junk and open cans all over? Is there many different brands of paint? This is usually not a good sign, he buys anything he can get his hands on. This is many times the sign of a “junior chemist”, they guy that mixes products and doesn’t follow tech sheets.

If you have decided that this is the shop you want to go to, help the poor guy. You “suggest” to him how you want to go about the money part. This is the ONLY way you should do it believe me. Don’t give him a deposit and leave the car. This is darn near a guarantee that your car will be sitting for weeks while he uses that money to buy parts for a high profit collision job or simply pay a long standing bill. Which then leaves your car sitting there with no incentive to work on it.

Here is what you need to do. Tell him that you want to do only ONE of the things on your car, at a time. You want to get a price for all of them maybe so you know what it is headed, but do only one at a time. You will pay him for one step at a time. Not because you don’t trust him, but because YOU are bad with money and that YOU don’t want to leave him hanging after the car is done with no money to pick it up.

This way it is more like he is in control and made the decision. Then you negotiate the time it will take for each step. Let’s say you have patch panels to do on the front fenders. You agree that he will have them done at the end of the week, and that they will cost $200.00. He has something to work for, he knows he will get the money and he actually does it. You go see him on Friday see the work done and give him the $200.00. Then you pick another thing to do. Just as if you were doing these things at home, break them down into bite sized pieces so he can swallow them. If you go in there and find that he hasn’t done it or he has done poor work, you can then say “I am sorry to yank your chain, I don’t have any more money, I just lost my job” and take the car, no body owes a thing. If he does not want to do this, you really need to start rethinking your choice of a shop. Either this or variation of this should be fine with him. If it is not, something is wrong.

If he really wanted to make money he would be doing this. The first restoration job I ever did where I really felt I made money was done just this way. It was a little ’58 Bug eye Sprite. I had decided that something had to be done or I would fall into the same trap as before with a car sitting forever. One of the first shops I ever worked at was a full on restoration shop. It broke the rule and was pretty big, with four full time employees. Every car had a time card assigned to it. When you worked on the car, you punched in. Then each month (these were HUGE frame off restorations on 30’s and 40’s vintage Fords) the owner would receive a bill with the times worked. If they couldn’t pay, the car left, period. The guy made money and I finally got smart (after about 12 years in business) and followed his lead. I put a sign on this Bug Eye and would post the hours I spent on it. I told the guy to come by each week. Now, when the guy came in and saw only two hours were spent, he was not very happy. That was a heck of an incentive for me right there I will tell you that! It worked great, I actually got paid for every minute I worked, unlike most restoration projects. And he actually got the car back in close to what I said. It was still late, but not ten times as late as I had done before.

Another thing I highly recommend is to take plenty of photos of the car, really detailed photos. When you drop the car off leave him a copy of them. Letting him know you have a copy. Not threatening like “I am doing this so I can prove you lied to me” more like “I can’t wait to see how different it is and you can have these before shots to show future customers”. Which is true, it is just not the only reason you are doing it. If he is doing a full on restoration for you, I HIGHLY recommend parts like chrome and interior be taken home after he removes them so they don’t get stolen or damaged. You need to have a very close relationship with the shop, if these visits make the guy edgy, you really need to find another shop.

If you have the attitude that you are genuinely interested in how this work is done, not how he will do YOUR car, but just in general. You will find that he will be much more likely to “show off” his talents than if you go in there like an untrusting customer.

Along with these photos you want a VERY detailed work order. Run like the wind if he has no work order. Still run if he has a work order that says “fix dents and rust” as the repairs being done. RUN, I say. You need to have a fully detailed work order, not for legal reasons (wink, wink) but for your own records to show the wife where all the money went. The “wife” is a great way to get things done. You need to come look to see what is done because the wife wants to see. Bring her in there, she has an excuse, she knows nothing right? So you bring her in to see what magic this guy is doing to your car so she can understand why it costs so much. Bring a friend when you drop the car off, be sure he hears everything that is said. Let him or her help you make the decision on leaving it there. Sometimes YOU too can be looking through rose colored glasses. If someone else says they have a bad feeling, LISTEN to them.

There are few things that can compare with returning to a shop to find the place is locked tight and the mail is piling up on the floor where the carrier has dropped it through the slot. I have seen it, it really happens. The good news is it is rare, just take your time and find a shop where you feel comfortable.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:21 AM
boatbob2
 
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Huh ???

When an AVERAGE (not all) body shop tells you they will lower the hourly rate by $10.00 per hour,that is B--- S---,they can just add (and a LOT of them do) a couple of hours to make up that $10.00 discount.i like to use the local 1 or 2 man shops that have a good reputation,ask around,there are many of them,i would take 3 or 4 of my buddies,and a wrecker and go pick up my car,that guy is an A-- H---,
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