The problem is it’s difficult to know what action to take. I’ve tried the following:
1) be super nice, and see if they’ll feel sorry for me and delivery. This had some initial positive response, but short lived.
2) apply social media pressure by “outing” them. This also had some positive response, but usually the luthier doesn’t give a shit about public image by that point.
3) threatening to involve the police. He goe pissed and threatened me.
4) try to sue. I never followed through, because even if I won, if he doesn’t pay me back, then I have to sue AGAIN to get payment. And then again, etc. It’s very difficult to get someone to pay via lawsuit. Abs expensive in time and money.
5) offer to take the work in whatever state it’s in. That didn’t work, because someone who’s not interested in working on something also isn’t interested in taking the time to box it up, and drive to the post office.
The one thing which MIGHT have worked is showing up at the luthier’s house abs make it clear I am not above violence and vandalism to him or his family. That would likely work. But, as it turns out, I AM above violence to him and his family, and I am not that coordinated or strong.
So, honestly, the best thing we can do is band together and make sure no one we know dumps money into one of these losers. That’s really about it.
i identify with this entire thought process. i have gotten to the point where i will no longer tiptoe around these situations. there have been some many times i have now been in this situation, not just guitar builders but Kickstarter projects, other online orders etc.