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.
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.
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.