• Report: #785709

Complaint Review: J&J Autoworks

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  • Submitted: Thu, October 06, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, December 22, 2012

  • Reported By: Mike G. — Honolulu Hawaii United States of America
J&J Autoworks
740 Ahua St Honolulu, Hawaii United States of America

J&J Autoworks - James Thomas - Jay Thomapson TOTAL RIPOFF, AUTOBODY AND PAINT SCAM, ADVERTISED TO TAKE MILITARY MEMBER'S MONEY, LOW QUALITY, NOT CERTIFIED Honolulu, Hawaii

*Author of original report: Good luck!!!

*Consumer Comment: J&J Autoworks got me too...

*Author of original report: After finding that he damaged my vehicle he moved it off his property to an undisclosed location

*Consumer Suggestion: To help prevent..

*Author of original report: He forged my signature in an attempt to not let me take my car.

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My business relationship began with James Thomas on approximately 15 Jul 11 when I had a wide body kit from Extreme Dimensions ordered through him, he claimed to be a distributor, talked up how well the body kit would fit and that it would take about 10-14 days for installation and paint. I wanted to keep the paint OEM and he sold me on his painting prowess and skill with custom paint jobs that were "show quality". He also stated since I was in
the military I would get a 30% discount, found out later that he advertises 35%, I paid him $2500 immediately for the kit and got things rolling. We agreed that the remaining $6500 would be paid half when the job was started and half when finished. He told me that I would receive picture and phone updates on how the job was coming and that
lots of people are impressed with his communication. We also agreed that the job would start on 15 Aug and pick up would be 5 Sept. [continued below]....
..... When I showed up to drop off the car on 15 Aug I gave him about $700 of the first half of
payment because I didn't have cash on hand for his excuse of "he had gone over his limit with the credit machine and the fees were going to kill him".

I stopped back by the shop about a week and a half later with the rest of the agreed upon 1st payment and he was nowhere to be found his shop was locked up and looked abandoned. After a couple of emails and 5 or 6 phone
calls, right before I went to the cops for my car, he emails me that he had a family emergency on Maui and that is what he was taking care of and to roll up the balance of the first payment with the final payment. Another few
days pass and I finally make contact with him for payment like promised, at the time of the agreed pickup, I got to the shop on 2 Sept 11 and he isn't even close to being done with my car, it looks the same as it had the last
two weeks. I express my concern and he tells me that it will be done and I will be impressed. A week goes by, no phone calls about the status of the car and I drop by, the car looks like he spent a couple of hours trying to
fit the body kit, but then got frustra ted and moved on. He stated that he was having issues and there might be some damage on the car that hindered getting it to line up right, I told him to do what he needed, but the original body kit was ruined from damage sustained on the boat ride over and I didn't want that put back on. He told me that he would get it fit and again I would be impressed this was 8 Sept, three days over. I paid him therest of the $6500, ($4970). On 13 Sept, 8 days past delivery, I dropped off lights for him to install since the car was not done and back for me to
install them, he had issues with installing the lights and lining up the body kit, this took another week. Again after no calls or emails on how the car was doing, I drop by and no one is in the shop, I call him with no answer and I cannot leave a voice message. I get with him on 15 Sept and the car still looks the same except for a fender mocked up with sheet metal screws. I point out the fitment problems and he says he is working it. I step up my visits, during and after work hours to check on the car and take pictures.  On 20 Sept he tells me that my car needs to have the frame straightened to make the kit line up correctly, supposedly this is done.   
                                                                                                                                          
he tells me that he will dedicate all his time to my car and get it out to me by the end of the month. I show up more times on 22, 24, 26 Sept and each of the times my car is either out in the street or in front of the shop while he is working on another car. On 26 Sept he tells me that he is ready to paint and it will be done on 30 Sept and points out that a back window was shattered and replaced, but not retinted. I tell him that I expect that the window be retinted to the same darkness as the rest. I stop by on 30 Sept and the car is not ready, he tells me 3 Oct, he calls on 2 Oct and pushes the date to 5 Oct due to weather. When I show to P/U the car, the paint was cracked and bubbled and looked very low quality. There was a hair in the paint and the filler that he used to shave off my emblems was not flush and seamless. The window IS NOT retinted, rear bumper was warped, and the whole car looked like something a high school kid would churn out for a couple hundred bucks at the school autobody shop. I walked in and of course again Mr. Thomas was not to be found, I told the worker that was there that there was paint coming off, hair in the paint and that I would be back on Friday to pick it up if the discrepancies were fixed, but that was definately NOT what I paid for. This was the email I sent him that night.

"Jay,
 I stopped by about 415 and you were out. I will come back on Friday because there was some issues that need to be fixed on the paint before I pick up. They were almost to numerous to list, but there is a hair on the passenger's side in the paint, some abnormalities on the driver's side bumper above the light, there was an indention where the dodge emblem was, the hood doesn't seat properly, the bumper sticks out of the wheel well where it should be flush with the rest of the body, the paint is cracking on the seam above the driver's side tire, the rear bumper has ripples in it, there is severe gaps in the paint where the primer is showing through along the edges of the doors and the corners of the body work, the rear window that was not retinted to the darkness of the rest of the back windows and the safety sticker is voided. I am just overall disappointed with the quality of work. I know I recieved a discounted price, but I don't think this was worth $6K.

Mike"
He responded with a dismissive "go ahead and stop by tomorrow morning so we can get on the same page"
I will update about the meeting on Friday, but I have started searching for quotes to fix his work and it seems that the other auto body shops are WELL AWARE of him, his quality of work and business practices. One guy even told me "based on the amount of damage he did to your car will be how much we will quote you, we will have to see the car, he uses some shortcuts and hides them pretty well" My other searches have turned up several complaints through other sites and warnings on car forums about his business, to which he spams the forum with his "satisfied customer" guise.  I wish I had found these before and not gone purely on how much money I would have saved.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/06/2011 05:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/JJ-Autoworks/Honolulu-Hawaii-96819/JJ-Autoworks-James-Thomas-Jay-Thomapson-TOTAL-RIPOFF-AUTOBODY-AND-PAINT-SCAM-ADVER-785709. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
3Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Good luck!!!

AUTHOR: Mike G. - (United States of America)

Good luck to you. I sued by we settled out of court. He will try to bully you into a straight refund. Do not let him go that easy, it will cost you more in the long run to fix the damage he caused, I am still fixing my car and cannot get it safetied or registered here because the body parts he destroyed are expensive to ship to the island so I have been piecing the car back together off scavenged parts to get it good to ship back to the mainland. I used Charles Lotsoff as my attorney. He's fast, smart and deals with consumer fraud. My only regret is that we settled and I didn't take him to court or pursue him criminally, but my wife started to have serious medical issues so that took precedence over this action. If you need a witness or help please don't hesitate to contact me. goentzelm@gmail.com. Good luck and aloha. Mike
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#2 Consumer Comment

J&J Autoworks got me too...

AUTHOR: sharky808 - (United States of America)

Wish I saw this forum before hand. Ive been dealing with jason since january 2012. My story is similar to everybody elses. I dropped my car off on October 10th and just received it back today December 21st. My car had not even been completely painted as was agreed upon. It had dings, dents, rubbish in the paint on the areas that was painted, screws everywhere,overspray on my rims, interior and engine, the list goes on and on. I'm actually going back there tomorrow to demand a refund. I gather he'll give me a hard time as he did everyone else. Hopefully he'll be smater than that. I'm not military, I'm Hawaiian born and raised on the island. I got sympathy for anyone that got ripped by this guy. If he does not agree I'm going to sue. If anyone else is in lawsuit now or in the works, I'd like feedback if possible. Good luck....
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#3 Author of original report

After finding that he damaged my vehicle he moved it off his property to an undisclosed location

AUTHOR: Mike G. - (United States of America)

It has been a busy week, I was notified on 11 October 2011 that my car was parked outside his shop, and appeared to have red paint all over it. (the pictures are attached to this) My wife stopped by to take pictures of the car and he came out of his shop and started harrassing her while she was taking the pictures. He stated that we were never going to see the car again, he was going to come over to our house..and he knows that our daughter lives with us and recites our address, when it seems that the threats are not affecting my wife, he steps it up with I am going to make sure you leave and never want to come back, my wife turns around approaches him and asks if that is a physical threat or what is he going to do, he backs down and says I am going to call the police because you are on my property. He calls the police when she goes back to taking pictures. The police arrive and the officer chastizes him for hurling the threats, because he claimed to only want to cause problems for us with the police, (my wife and I are Military Police officers in the US Army) The police officer asked him if that car was our vehicle and he says yes and the police officer tells him that we are allowed to take pictures of our property. On Wednesday it was moved. Now a week later after several attempts to get the location of my property, Mr. Thomas' lawyer tells me that it is in fact in an undisclosed storage faciliity and that they DO NOT have to inform me of when the car was moved or where it's present location is. I have had an offer into them for three days now to settle and no word. I still have not received a hard copy of the phony receipt from the lawyer, that has been two weeks.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

To help prevent..

AUTHOR: Pink89 - (United States of America)

I think your story is so on point and I believe that James Thomas is full of lies and ridiculous stories.

I was wondering if you wouldn't mind making a Yelp review to help informer others. Yelp is a very popular go to website amongst a lot of people in Hawaii and it also shows up in the top links usually when a google search is done.  You might also have to review a few other restaurants or businesses so Yelp knows you are a legit reviewer.
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#5 Author of original report

He forged my signature in an attempt to not let me take my car.

AUTHOR: Mike G. - (United States of America)

This afternoon I went to J&J Autoworks to talk about how he was going to rectify my problems with his work on my car. I came inside and had to get him out of his office with "Hey James we need to talk about the car" he looks at me and threatenly said "yeah we're going to talk about it alright, have a seat". I declined and brought him out so I could show him the damage he caused to the car, every problem and discrepancy is made to look like my issue is about looks not quality of work, when confronted with the HAIR in the paint, he says "no that is a layer of clear, it is supposed to do that sometimes" when confronted with the way the fitment of the body kit is he plays it off with "so your saying you don't like the look of the kit on the car" I clarify that the kit is not the issue it is the fit, I told him that the company informed me that the kit sometimes needs to be shaped and finessed into proper alignment and had he called them they would have walked him through it if he was having issues. He then twisted my words to "see you even admit that you called the company and they told you it didn't fit right, I did what I could" I continue to show him the other issues and problems and he hid behind that he wasn't at the shop when I was to pick up the car and that he couldn't believe that I would put in complaints about him. We go into the office to talk about how to rectify the problem and he tries to bully me with a picture of the 25th ID website and my Division commander and tells me that he is going to call this person to get me to stop talking s**t on him. I tell him take it down that doesn't scare me because I have already lodged a complaint through the Army because I fail to see where he gave me a discount. My wife comes into the office from taking some pictures of the car adn he yells at my wife "this doesn't concern you I am not talking with her in the office" I informed him that my wife co-owner of the car, co-owner of the bank accounts which you have been paid on and that he didn't have a problem when my wife stopped by to pay him and check on the car and that she would be in the meeting. He says that he is not in agreement to that and we are harrassing him and we are to get off his property, at which time I ask for my keys to my car that I have rendered proper and full payment for, he told me call the cops he wasn't giving up the car because he wasn't going to let me take it unless I signed a release and stopped my Better Business Bereau report and took down the comments on his google advertisment, I told him that was not what was going to happen and he tells us again to leave. We left and called the police, when the police showed up to take my keys he shows them a reciept for some work done on the 26th of September in the amount for $2200 for some labor charges for installing lights and $1500 for some frame work with a bad forgery of my signature. Even worse he would not give me a copy of the reciept when I asked for it replying with "option 1, you can make all this go away if you sit down in the office and sign a release, take the comments down and tell the Better Business Bereau that this issue was resolved or option 2, the hard way we fight it out in court. I have been nice and now you are on my bad side" Everytime I ask him to tell me that we could resolve this with a full refund minus parts and tax and he pays the difference on getting the car fixed correctly he says "one time" "two"  like I am a little kid that he is trying to bully into some agreement that was not good. I ask him one final time, "if I did owe you $2200 why would you be so cool just to shred that and let me walk away with the car on my signing a release" He tells the cop we are done he wants the hard way and I want him out of my shop. As I walk back to my car after the cop leaves he yells to me, "Hey Mike come back we can work this out", like he is the good guy getting messed over by me. I leave to go to the other body shop to let them know that it will be a while before I can drop off the car to have it appraised and in the 10 minutes he calls me twice, hangs up on me both times, when he can not get me to agree and then tells me that he is moving my car to storage and that his attorney will be in touch on Monday and threatens me with "I have 4 witnesses(refering to his employees) to you and your wife threatening me, harrassing me and telling me that bad things were going to happen to me if I didn't give you back your money and your car, I don't know who you thought you were talking to" He hung up after I told him I will let it go if he refunds my money and publically admits that he made a bad business decision to forge my name on a reciept. No less then 5 minutes later someone claiming to be an attorney for him calls and asks my side of the story, I tell her what transpired and how her client kicked my wife out of the shop, refused to talk business in front of her, even when he was informed she was part owner of the car and that he refused to give me a copy of a reciept that he forged my name on. She apologized for his actions to my wife and that shouldn't have happened, told me that she would get a copy of the reciept and that she would get all copies of what proof he said he had of my failure to pay him and that I tried to get him to rush my car including his accounts of the checks that bounced and that is why he made me pay cash. I am seeking legal assistance through the Army Legal Assistance because of his propencity to bully and harrass using the Military chain of command. I would also like to get in touch with the other lady that made a complaint on him, because she would be an asset to my claim and future lawsuit. 
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