I sent this company parts from my motorcycle to be chromed in January of 2009. These parts were to be finished in chrome and black chrome. The owner, Paul Carnes, agreed to complete the work. While he did say that this was "new territory", he never gave any indication that the work I requested would be a problem. He never attempted to redirect me to any other business to get the work done, saying instead that he would be able to take care of it.
A few months later I got my wheels back. The chrome was horribly pitted. You can see an example here: http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/8982/dsc03845.jpg There were also lots of other defective parts- such as chrome flaking off bolts and holes in the chrome on the stainless steel windshield frames such that you could see the copper underneath.
Then I discovered that he had sent me the wrong wheel back. [continued below]....
..... This is for a Honda VTX 1800 N, which as a 17" front wheel. Paul sent me an 18" front wheel, which of course will not work. It was then clear that the wheels had to go back and after that point his entire attitude changed. I was accused of inspecting parts with a microscope and rejecting every single part he sent me (which wasn't even remotely true). Paul lied to me repeatedly about the status of my parts and who was doing the work on them. He never once was even remotely close to a deadline for parts to be delivered.
It is now 15 months after I sent him the initial shipment of parts. The work was paid for in April of 2009- just shy of $1800. I finally got a replacement set of wheels, but they are far from good quality. I am still missing many parts- the windshield frames and brake rotors which I returned to him as defective, and control switch housings (black chrome) and $50 (retail replacement cost) of bolts for the engine that were to be standard chrome. The switch housings and engine bolts were sent to him in early July 2009. 9 months later I don't have those back either.
In the latest email I got from him, Paul said, in part, "Any parts acquired to try and assist. Any monies paid out to try and assist. Has been stopped. Emails have been sent to cease any and all assistance immediately." So, it is now clear, by his own words, that he intends to steal both my parts and money. The retail replacement costs of those parts, in addition to the money paid to get the chrome work done, is several hundred dollars. I don't know about Kentucky, where his business is based, but in IL, any theft over $300 is considered a felony. Paul Carnes has committed felony theft. I have been in contact with another member of the VTX community whom Paul has stolen $1200 from in the form of core deposits that he refuses to return.
Please, do yourself a favor, if you are in the market for custom motorcycle work or chrome parts, avoid this business and any dealings with Paul Carnes. He is now threatening to sue me because of posts I have made detailing the truthful account of his shady business practices on various forums. Well, Mr. Carnes, this is not 1939 Germany, and like it or not we have a little thing known as the 1st Amendment in the US. I gave you every chance and then some and then some more to make a reasonable attempt to resolve this. You chose your criminal path, and this report is just one of many consequences. I have complete records of every email, PM, and internet post related to this all saved on several hard drives. I can back up everything I have stated here. There is actually even more to the story that would make anyone just shake their head and wonder how this guy is still in business.