I sincerely hope your office may assist me to resolve this matter.
In April, 2007, my father died suddenly.
He was in the process of restoring an 1959 Dodge Pick-up that has been in our family for over 40 years. Dad was planning on giving it to my sister as a gift.
When he died, the pick-up was nearly completed; a new engine had been rebuilt and installed along with a power steering unit and power brake booster. In fact, all that need to be done at that time was hooking up the linkages such as brakes, transmission, fuel lines, etc.
Basically, it just needed to be put back together.
Dad lived in Portland. I live in Seattle. I felt it best o find a mechanic shop closer to my home rather than keep it down in Portland. I chose Buffalo Restoration in Puyallup. I see now I made an enormous mistake.
When I handed over the pick-up to Buffalo, I told them I wanted to spend roughly $7000 and that I thought the work should take roughly a week or two to complete. That was in the early part of June.
It is now nearly and Buffalo not only still has my vehicle but the also claims the cost is well over $20,000.
Buffalo refuses to give any estimate of time or explain any needed work. In fact, they had me waive my right to an estimatean error I truly regret.
Buffalo refuses to answer any of my questions about the project in writing. When I ask them directly, I am told they are not sure; they will get back to me, or other evasive answers. All the managers will tell me is that they want roughly $2000 a week for questionable charges.
A couple of examples:
Buffalo connected a steering linkage that is now unable to turn. They claim this is my fault because I asked for the original wheel.
Buffalo spent nearly 45 hours, at $80 an hour installing unnessessary and unasked for brake lines.
Then, Buffalo spent 15-20 hours bleeding the brakes. Bleeding the brakes should take roughly an hour.
Then, they informed me they would have to send the vehicle out to a brake shop because they could not fix brakes!!!
On top of that, no one can explain why they installed new brake lines or even why they took out the fuel tank while doing it (?).
One of my personal favorites; BR charged me for 45 minutes to locate the dipstick on the engine!
In addition, to hourly overcharges, I have discovered that I have been charged two or three times for the same part. Or even better that Buffalo ordered the wrong part and sent it back to the vendor without crediting my account.
They have installed unnecessary parts or parts outside the scope of work. I have asked for receipts from vendors and outsourcing partners. Buffalo has not allowed me access to those documents.
The list goes on and on.
I have spent the past several weeks asking, demanding, answers in writing as I believe is within my right as a consumer. Buffalo will not give me any answers and tells me I need to come down for a face-to-face meeting and pay new invoices. I have asked them to stop work, yet get another invoice. I ask them why and they tell me they had to finish it. We could not leave it.
I tell them I will not pay any more invoices until questions are answered yet continue to receive more invoices now with storage and financing charges. They refuse to answer any question either over the phone or in writing. All they will say is that I need to come down face to face to discuss anything and pay these outrageous invoices.
The fact is that on the occassions I did come down face-to-face, the managers, Bob Hoober and Carol Peterson, who met with me could not answer any questions. I was told they do not have time to check the "techician's" work. Any questions I asked during these face to face meeting were met with evasive or unknowing answers.
Now, they claim that it is my fault because I did not meet with a technician during these face to face meetings.
I have already paid them over $16,000. They claim I owe them nearly $7000 more.
In June, I asked for Buffalo Restoration to link up the brakes, steering, fuel line, transmission, ignition, radiator hoses.
Six months and $16,000 later, the brakes are inoperable, the steering is incorrect, the fuel line is unassembled,the transmission is incomplete (because they do not know how to rebuild a push-button transmission. Buffalo wanted to send it out to a transmission shop), the ignition does work after they charged me for several incorrect and unnessessary parts, the radiator has a hole in it after they had it tested by an outside shop.
I spoke with the owner, Bob Newgard, who told me the invoices may or may not represent the work done and that is just the way it is.
I have an email from the manager's telling me that they really have no idea what the technicians do while working on the vehicles--yet, it was the manager's who advised me about the work completed and kept telling me the project was nearly complete. BR never had me speak with a tech, just the managers.
I have asked Buffalo for a refund in the amount of $11,000, roughly the amount of what I believe to be fraudulent charges. I have asked them to answer my specific questions numerous times. They have refused several times.
My Father died in April. All I wanted was BR to fulfill Father's wish. Instead, BR has refused to answer any questions, except by the Attorney General's Office. They have cost my family and I literally thousands of unnecessary dollars. They refuse to allow me to pick up the vehicle unless I pay their questionable at best invoices. As winter approaches, I know it is not being stored properly (inside). At the moment, BR is holding the truck hostage.