Another Scammy Luthier - Legal Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Webmaestro, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    Over a year ago I hired a luthier to build a guitar neck for a project I'm working on. Usual story: this guy came highly recommended by some fairly notable guitar players (even guys here on SS.org). Really nice guy, very communicative in the beginning. He quoted me 4-6 weeks for completion, and based on our interaction via email, I trusted him.

    As part of the project, he asked me to send him my prized Ibanez RG1527 neck to use for measurements, which I did. I was essentially having him make an exact copy of that neck. No invoice. No contract. All I have are my email threads with him and my shipping receipt for the neck I sent him.

    That was well over a year ago, and about 8 months ago he completely stopped communicating with me. Stopped returning emails. Nada. Zip. I've even told him he can abort the project if he wants to and just send my neck back. Even offered to pay shipping.

    In hindsight, pretty stupid of me. I know this, which is why I'm asking the question: what are my (legal) options? He's in another state. Do I call his local police? Should I speak to an attorney and present all the email-only evidence?
     
  2. Skyblue

    Skyblue SS.org Regular

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    I'm not sure if it helps at all, as I'm no official source on law AND I'm from a different country, but here we have a section in the law referring to agreements done without a contract. Basically, if the two of you reached a clear agreement, at can be considered a contract.
    If possible, try and consult a local lawyer, but I believe you can claim pretty easiley there was an agreement between the two of you that he broke. You can try and ask police officers in his state if the police can assist in some way in this- I'm not sure how it works for you in the states.

    But again- these are legal matters, so check everything thoroghly before acting.

    Good luck! Sucks to hear about something like that.
     
  3. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    I don't know man, that doesn't sound very pretty.
    With no invoice or anything formal, the argument could easily be made that he had no obligation to return the neck to you, and if you haven't heard from him in months now, it might make getting something to happen even harder. All I can think of is what Sky said; try to see if there is anything that you can use to hold him accountable for your stuff. Maybe consult with a lawyer about what is applicable since he's in a different state.

    Although honestly, and it sucks to have to say this, it really won't be worth it for one neck. It'll probably cost you more to get it back than it would to replace it, and even if it doesn't, the stress would probably make up for it. I'm so sorry dude, that's terrible.
     
  4. downburst82

    downburst82 SS.org Regular

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    Are you able to find him on the usual social media sites (facebook,Instagram etc). Does it seem he is still working/alive?
     
  5. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    I've thought about this too, and you have a very good point. I have a 2007 RG1527 body setting here, neckless. I could probably get another used neck on the 'bay for $200 - $300, but RG1572 necks are extremely rare. Last time I saw one was 4-5 years ago, and haven't seen one since (and I've been watching).


    Yep, he owns a custom flooring company (that's his day job). I know his mailing address, forums he chats on (and he's very active), his photobucket account, etc.

    He's alive and active... just won't communicate with me anymore.
     
  6. austink

    austink SS.org Regular

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    You could definitely take him to small claims court in his local area. It is pretty easy to file stuff.
     
  7. downburst82

    downburst82 SS.org Regular

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    Have you tried calling him? If not definitely try that first it should tell you alot, either he's faced with the problem cant really escape and you guys makes arrangements for you to get your neck back...or he hangs up on you. At least you know a little better where you stand either way.
     
  8. M3CHK1LLA

    M3CHK1LLA angel sword guardian

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    i'd see if there are any other customers who have are in the same situation as you. contact them and devise a plan. maybe someone lives close to him and can pay him a visit.

    heck, use your facebook, twitter, etc and see if you may have some family or friends or friends of friends etc that lives near him that can pick the neck up.

    be sure to let him know you are trying to get it back even if he doesnt answer...at least give him a heads up. you may just get the ball rolling again.
     
  9. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    Call his flooring company. If you don't get him by being honest, pretend to be a customer who wants to speak with him (as in a customer for the flooring company). Hopefully in this scenario a secretary/employee answers the phone, so you can get somebody to call him over to the phone. Then he'll be inclined to answer because he'll think you're a flooring customer and you can ask him then.

    And if that elaborate ruse doesn't work but if you manage to keep him on the line, you could threaten legal action (Even if you haven't even looked up an attorney yet, it'd be an illicit threat but that could be enough to at least maybe get the neck back).

    And then, if you actually want to try and take this guy to small claims court, find an attorney. But you could pay the attorney the price of another RG1572.

    EDIT: https://www.facebook.com/BauerGuitars/ Looks like he put a hold on all of his activities because he had a kid back in January. Which, in doing so he neglected to tell you so you could figure out what to do with your neck.

    I suggest you contact him by whatever means necessary, then I'd start looking into small claims court unless you're willing to cut your losses and find another neck. I'm not an attorney but since these necks are fairly hard to find and from a certain time frame I'd say it's fairly unique, giving you something to work with if you want to take legal action. He was responding to people talking about his lack of time due to the baby as late as February.
     
  10. Ebony

    Ebony Drums

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    Jeez, he has a family and he screws people over on the internet un-anonymously?!
    Imagine the day he f*cks with the wrong guy...

    If all communicating attempts fail and it boils down to legal action, it is a matter of whether you want to punish him or not. Because monetarily you'll probably go backwards.
     
  11. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Psycho, dont engage

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    That's what happens when you put your neck out on the line.....









    :lol:


    if I were you, id follow him home from his job.
     
  12. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    Just to be very clear...

    https://www.facebook.com/BauerGuitars/

    ... is NOT the luthier-in-question here. I found that Facebook page as well and I'm about 99% sure it is NOT the "Bauer" I'm working with on my neck.

    I say this because the person I'm working with has a photobucket page with hundreds of photos (of everything from family to dogs to guitars), and none of the guitar work on that FB page looks even remotely similar the work shown on the Photobucket page.

    Between his Photobucket account and all the in-depth emails we exchanged in the beginning, I feel like I know him well enough to be pretty certain that these are two completely different luthiers.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Usually the threat of legal issues turns these guys around without ever making it to court.
     
  14. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    First off I am sorry to hear about this. I feel bad and this is some BS.


    OP sometimes you just need to be that guy. Definitely not worth it for a guitar neck, especially now that you have made it public.

    But on a more direct note, you need to put him on blast. Do not hide who he is.

    This guy screwed you over and is in the bottom 10 of the lowest of the low, these people need to be put out of business and I feel you should warn others of who not to deal with.

    I cannot give any legal advice but I would get a free consultation from an attorney.

    As others have said though, is it really worth it? If you have the extra money IMO the only reason it would be worth pursuing would be to put a little shame on him in the public eye.

    Anyway long story short if it were me today, I would file a complaint with the BBB and say the "neck" was a piece of flooring that you paid for and was never delivered. I would also spam his website, facebook and post his personal name, address and company info on every forum that I visited warning others about him. That would also hit on any google searches so anyone in the future looking to do business with him will know that he is a scammer.

    That is what needs to be done imo, eventually these people will go OOB and will not be able to screw anyone else over except for themselves.
     
  15. Behindthesun

    Behindthesun Pumpkin Assassin

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    How'd you go man? Any progress on the return of your neck?
     
  16. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    No, I just haven't had the time to pursue anything. I've started watching ebay and also posted a WTB thread here for a new RG1527 neck. I'm probably just going to move on.

    Another lesson learned, I suppose.
     
  17. Webmaestro

    Webmaestro Ibanez Fanatic Contributor

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    A long-overdue update.

    I finally found another RG1527 neck, so I'm back in business. My original neck, and the luthier who stole it, are both still completely MIA.

    Despite Ben Eller's recommendation, do not, under any circumstances do business with Eric Bauer (and be aware--there's more than one luthier out there named 'Eric Bauer' so before you lynch anyone, be sure you're lynching the right guy).
     
    cip 123, tedtan and Hollowway like this.

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