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BEWARE OF Corvette City Denver Co.\ Gary Steffens

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
After my post Monday and comments from a few people, I deceided to call Gary Tuesday morning to talk with him to clear up my concerns. Gary answered and was very short, and said he was sending me an email and to check it out.

I recieved a very long email full of excuses. He had been informed of my posting by some friends, and was upset. Ironically, I received a very long email with lightning speed, but couldn't get an estimate from him in two weeks. I called him after reading the email to discuss my concerns, in particular getting a written estimate for cost and time-frame, which he has continually said he would provide but never did. I also addressed the problems we have had communicating and suggested that instead of him telling me he would start on it "right away", he should give a day or amount of time before beginning. He agreed. He again said he would send the email with estimate, which never came.

After much contemplation, I decided that Gary and I were not compatible and would not be able to work together on this project. I called him this morning out of courtesy to let him know I was coming up to Denver from Albuquerque to pick up the car. When I arrived, my car was sitting outside by the street, unattended. Most, not all, of the parts were put in the car, with the windows down. I went to the office door and it was locked and lights were off- at 3:30 in the afternoon. I went to the shop door,which was unlocked. Walked inside and yelled out for anyone. No one answered or was visible. I walked to the back, and yelled out again, but no one was there. I went back outside and I began loading the parts into the trailer. There was a woman standing outside the business next door, who asked me if I worked there, and I stated it was my car. She then said she couldn't believe they just left it out there with no one around. I asked an older man who was there if he could help push the car into the trailer, and we couldn't get it in alone. Another man from another business came over to help. They all expressed that they couldn't believe the car was left outside unattended as the neighborhood is not the best. There were also 3 other Vettes sitting outside, one with driver window down. Once I started strapping down the car, I noticed that the rearend cross-member had what appeared to be paint stripper all over, which caused the powder coat to peel and bubble. I would hate to think this was deliberate.

I cannot believe the unprofessional behavior of Gary, and I am glad I found out so early in the game that this is his character. No amount of excuses can explain what happened today. It was simply vindictive and childish behavior. I will be posting pictures of the damaged powder coating, my car sitting unattended by the street and other 3 corvettes sitting outside unattended. I am very concerned now that I had better take my engine in to a local shop, to have them take the engine apart to be sure nothing was put into the engine, just to be safe, based on the damage to the powder coating. I can't imagine someone deliberately trying to ruin an $18k engine, but all bets are off at this point.

I hope this does not happen to anyone else. This experience has taught me to be very cautious when selecting a shop, especially when it is 7 hours away.

Chuck
 

calmal

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
10
Location
Denver, Colorado
Corvette
1985 bright blue Coupe
Thanks for the warning

I live in Denver, where is this shop located? I am a new vette owner. Although I am currently using a different shop for my services, I want to be sure to stay away from that one.:mad
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
I live in Denver, where is this shop located? I am a new vette owner. Although I am currently using a different shop for my services, I want to be sure to stay away from that one.:mad


6863 E 48th Ave
Denver, CO 80216
(303) 762-8388

Also goes by Corvette Masters.
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
Here are couple of pics.

Powdercoating now blistering and Peeling



More Peeling



More on Trailing arm



Three other vette sitting outside unattended, one with window down



My vette sitting next to the street, windows down, parts inside, no one that works for him anywhere around. The lady in the pic was nice enough to ask if I worked for them since I putting parts in the trailer. I told her I was the owner. Still anyone could have been loading and saying they were the owner. She was amazed no one was there also.




Just no excuse for what happened. I plan on have the local Chevy dealer take off the oil pan, valve covers, and maybe intake to make sure that nothing was tampered with. I hope it was just an accident on the powdercoating and nothing else is wrong. My bother is an attonery and has recommend an independant person to inspect it as then cost to repair will out way any court cost to seek any monies for repairs, granted I get my 2500 back.

I guess it could have been worst.

Chuck
 
S

steemin

Guest
Chuck,
That really stinks..
In my opinion if you are in this type of business you must have a passion for the cars you deal with. Clearly these folks have no emotional connection to Corvettes.
Good Luck and I hope everything works out:beer

Scott
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
Messages
5,979
Location
SouthCentral Ontario
Corvette
www.67HEAVEN.com
Am I surprised?

Absolutely not. :mad
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
Chuck,

I wish I knew about your predicament earlier, for I would have accompanied you north bound and help you retrieve your vehicle. This should not ever happen!

I can also help you with either a reference on engine work or help you with your own engine.

Your welcomed to e-mail me any time.
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
Chuck,

I wish I knew about your predicament earlier, for I would have accompanied you north bound and help you retrieve your vehicle. This should not ever happen!

I can also help you with either a reference on engine work or help you with your own engine.

Your welcomed to e-mail me any time.

GerryLP,

Thanks for your offer, I am only looking at the Chevy dealer as to have someone independently look at in case it was tampered with. My brother is an attorney and recommended it in case it does end up in court. I had worked on cars since a kid but body work is out of my realm. The rolling chassis was complete except driveline.

I see you are in Rio Rancho if you ever need a hand or would like to check out my car, let me know.

Chuck
 
D

Dirtfarmer

Guest
It sounds like you did the right thing by going and getting your Corvette.


Now for this...
:hijack

Is there any way for us, as the ultimate hub of Corvette news and information ;) , to shine some light on these types of operations? Recently there have been a few posts related to shady businesses and I'm wondering if there's a way for us to warn each other. A rating system like ebay has for sellers? I don't know if it would work or how problematic it would be but it seems like a good idea on the surface. ;shrug Maybe one of the admins can weigh in on this idea.

Hijack Over.



Anyway, I think you were smart to separate yourself from this guy Chuck. This is supposed to be a fun hobby, not a lesson in business ethics.

Good Luck from here on out.
 

firstgear

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
1,895
Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
Here are couple of pics.

Powdercoating now blistering and Peeling



More Peeling



More on Trailing arm



Three other vette sitting outside unattended, one with window down



My vette sitting next to the street, windows down, parts inside, no one that works for him anywhere around. The lady in the pic was nice enough to ask if I worked for them since I putting parts in the trailer. I told her I was the owner. Still anyone could have been loading and saying they were the owner. She was amazed no one was there also.




Just no excuse for what happened. I plan on have the local Chevy dealer take off the oil pan, valve covers, and maybe intake to make sure that nothing was tampered with. I hope it was just an accident on the powdercoating and nothing else is wrong. My bother is an attonery and has recommend an independant person to inspect it as then cost to repair will out way any court cost to seek any monies for repairs, granted I get my 2500 back.

I guess it could have been worst.

Chuck
Powder paint will not come off very easily. My guess is that the part was not prepped correctly to begin with. I work for a company that makes powder application equipment and know first hand how tough powder paint can be when applied over a substrate that has been properly cleaned and prepped before coating. That is what I think the problem is with your powder paint application.
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
Powder paint will not come off very easily. My guess is that the part was not prepped correctly to begin with. I work for a company that makes powder application equipment and know first hand how tough powder paint can be when applied over a substrate that has been properly cleaned and prepped before coating. That is what I think the problem is with your powder paint application.


Your right, it is not suppose to come off easy. That's why I would think it would take a paint stripper. The crossmember was done at one shop and the trailing arms are from Tom's Differential. Everything from Tom's has been Top Quality. So what would the odds be that both were not prepped right? I don't know. Maybe.

Also have the pattern like something was spray on at the same time. That might be hard to explain in prep when both were prep in different locations and different times. Now if I take the motor apart and something is wrong there I will definately think is was tampered with.

But I am open to any explaination somebody might have. Maybe it was an accident, anything is possible. If I knew they did that on purpose we would be going to court. I am sure he would not want to handle it the Marine Corps way. But I don't know how it happened so it is just something I will have to fix.

Leaving my car out unattended is definately not explainable.

Chuck
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
Is there any way for us, as the ultimate hub of Corvette news and information ;) , to shine some light on these types of operations? Recently there have been a few posts related to shady businesses and I'm wondering if there's a way for us to warn each other. A rating system like ebay has for sellers? I don't know if it would work or how problematic it would be but it seems like a good idea on the surface. ;shrug Maybe one of the admins can weigh in on this idea.

Some sites I have been to have a Vendor Feedback section. Good or Bad

It is helpful when you can do a search on the business name and see customers experiences and gives the vendors a place to reply. They set it up so the Vendor can recieve an email notice to any post.

Just a thought.
 

paul67

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
1,113
Location
Ontario, Canada
Corvette
1974 convertible
Why would you go to a shop seven hours away? I must have missed something obvious. There are shops here (expensive, I admit) within 1/2 hour.
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
Why would you go to a shop seven hours away? I must have missed something obvious. There are shops here (expensive, I admit) within 1/2 hour.


Paul67,

I am in Albuquerque Nm. I have not found a shop that will install a 6 point roll bar and do custom fiberglass work. I have a ZL1 Ramjet that I wanted a cold air induction system made into the hood, Extended fenders but pulled out like Rich Bellvue's (sorry if I misspelled the name)Rich's 66. After talking to the fiberglass guy at Corvette City it sounds like I should go with a front spoiler to keep the front on the ground. :D The closest shops that I have found to do the work are either Phoenix Az, Austin Tx, or Denver Co. I would love to find a local one that I would be able visit on a regular basis.

Do you know of any? Looks like you are in Canada, is that right?:D Thats more then 7 hrs. For some reason we don't have anyone local into the resto mod scene or will to do non-insurance work.

Chuck
 

IH2LOSE

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Messages
3,908
Location
We Will All Meet Again
Corvette
1966,and a 1962 thats almost complete
I am sincerly sorry for the troubles your having, these things are supposed to bring joy and satisfaction to our lives.

Dont know the shop or there buisness practices enough to comment on them but I can comment on your pictures

looks like what ever may have been splashed onto the metal parts is also on the tire.

Almost looks like the left rear tire could have ran over a container of something and splashed it up onto the metal parts.

Best of luck finding a new shop to complete what you have planned
 

paul67

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
1,113
Location
Ontario, Canada
Corvette
1974 convertible
Thanks for the reply. I thought it was just a paintjob. I am not aware of custom shops in this area that do that kind of work. But then again, I have never looked for that type of expertise.
 

Wilkinshc

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
242
Location
New Mexico
Corvette
1965 Coupe
You will not believe the response to my request for refund!






Here is his response:

Date: 07:32 AM MDT, 04/13/2007 From: CorvetteMasters@cs.com Add to Address Book Block Sender Allow Sender To: cwilkins@farmersagent.com Subject: Re: 65 Corvette for Charles Wilkins Allow Subject [FONT=arial,helvetica]Charles,

[FONT=arial,helvetica]I was stunned fo find out that you picked up your car and went in to my body shop and took your seats without informing anyone you were here. I guess that speaks of your integrity! I had a set of 4 fenders made for your car, you had to move them to take your seats, what are your intentions in respect to my expenses to have your fenders made and the expenses my credit card company will charge on your Visa deposit? [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica]I'm not sure where you, or we went wrong on this project, but I guess you were right as far as us being able to work together![/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica]Let me know what you feel is fair! [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica]Gary[/FONT]

[/FONT]





My reply was:


Date: 09:52 AM MDT, 04/13/2007 From: "Holcey Wilkins" <cwilkins@farmersagent.com> Add to Address Book Block Sender Allow Sender To: <CorvetteMasters@cs.com> Subject: Re: 65 Corvette for Charles Wilkins Allow Subject
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mr. Steffens,[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I called and spoke to you directly Wednesday morning, April 11th and notified you of my plan to drive up the same day to pick up my car. When I arrived, your office door was locked. I can only assume that you purposely left my car, with many parts inside it, outside unattended as just another display of your unprofessional and childish behavior. I made several attempts to find someone in your building, but suspiciously no one was anywhere to be found. As I said, the office was locked, I then went into the shop door,which was unlocked. I walked inside the doorway and yelled out several times. I then walked to next opening and yelled out into the back, but no one answered. There were NO machinery or tools running, the lights were off and the place was deserted. I walked back out and saw my seats, which were sitting 2 feet from the door. I did not touch anything else on your premises. I then had to ask two of your neighboring businesses to have people help push my car into the trailer. There was a woman standing outside next door who saw me pull up and witnessed the unfolding of these events and spoke to me. It appears to me that you deliberately left the building so as not to have anyone there when I arrived, forcing me to load my car by myself, and avoiding any discussion of refund or confrontation with a dissatisfied customer. Furthermore, in regard to you leaving my vehicle outside unattended, as a business owner, you should be aware that you are responsible for the protection of my property while in your care. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In regard to your statement that you fabricated the fenders, when I spoke to you on Monday evening I asked you for an estimate for the full amount of work, and also requested a quote for purchasing the fenders, and having you install the roll bar only. At no time during any of my conversations with you or Scott did anyone state they had fabricated the fenders, or were in the process of making them already. Nor did we ever discuss having fenders ready for me to pick up. In fact, when I called you Wednesday morning to let you know I would be coming, you had a one sentence reply, "Whatever. Come get it." It is strange that no one mentioned these were done, considering I have been calling almost daily asking about progress on the car. I think the more important question here is how a person can pull up in front of your business, park a diesel truck pulling a 24 foot trailer in front of your office, walk inside your business while no one is there, spend half an hour getting people in your neighborhood to help load a vehicle (which is supposed to be in your care) into a trailer, and you are not even aware of it. I also took pictures of damage to my car while in your care, specifically, peeling and bubbling of the powder-coated frame on the differential crossmember, frame and trailing arms, which had to have been caused by a chemical. I cannot say whether it was an accident or intentional.[/FONT]
I expect a full refund of my $2500 deposit credited back to my Visa by tomorrow. If necessary, I will file litigation for restitution for my expenses incurred traveling, and recoating of the frame. Also, due to the extreme lack of care shown to my vehicle while in your posession, I am also taking my engine in to the local Chevrolet dealer to have them partially disassemble the engine to check for any suspicious materials inside. Rest assured, if anything is found inside the engine or transmission, I will be seeking restitution for that as well[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]. If nothing is found wrong with my engine and transmission, I will be satisfied with my $2500 refund, and we will never have to communicate again. I am simply appalled by your lack of professionalism and based on your account of the situation, your severe detachment from reality.[/FONT]
Charles Wilkins



Can you believe this guy? Yes 67Heaven I know you can. :D

I can't wait for this to be over!

Chuck
 

JimVette

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
176
Location
gulf Breeze Fl
Corvette
1992 Red ZR1
You will not believe the response to my request for refund!






Here is his response:

Date: 07:32 AM MDT, 04/13/2007 From: CorvetteMasters@cs.com Add to Address Book Block Sender Allow Sender To: cwilkins@farmersagent.com Subject: Re: 65 Corvette for Charles Wilkins Allow Subject [FONT=arial,helvetica]Charles,

[FONT=arial,helvetica]I was stunned fo find out that you picked up your car and went in to my body shop and took your seats without informing anyone you were here. I guess that speaks of your integrity! I had a set of 4 fenders made for your car, you had to move them to take your seats, what are your intentions in respect to my expenses to have your fenders made and the expenses my credit card company will charge on your Visa deposit? [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica]I'm not sure where you, or we went wrong on this project, but I guess you were right as far as us being able to work together![/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica]Let me know what you feel is fair! [/FONT]

[FONT=arial,helvetica]Gary[/FONT]

[/FONT]





My reply was:


Date: 09:52 AM MDT, 04/13/2007 From: "Holcey Wilkins" <cwilkins@farmersagent.com> Add to Address Book Block Sender Allow Sender To: <CorvetteMasters@cs.com> Subject: Re: 65 Corvette for Charles Wilkins Allow Subject
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mr. Steffens,[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I called and spoke to you directly Wednesday morning, April 11th and notified you of my plan to drive up the same day to pick up my car. When I arrived, your office door was locked. I can only assume that you purposely left my car, with many parts inside it, outside unattended as just another display of your unprofessional and childish behavior. I made several attempts to find someone in your building, but suspiciously no one was anywhere to be found. As I said, the office was locked, I then went into the shop door,which was unlocked. I walked inside the doorway and yelled out several times. I then walked to next opening and yelled out into the back, but no one answered. There were NO machinery or tools running, the lights were off and the place was deserted. I walked back out and saw my seats, which were sitting 2 feet from the door. I did not touch anything else on your premises. I then had to ask two of your neighboring businesses to have people help push my car into the trailer. There was a woman standing outside next door who saw me pull up and witnessed the unfolding of these events and spoke to me. It appears to me that you deliberately left the building so as not to have anyone there when I arrived, forcing me to load my car by myself, and avoiding any discussion of refund or confrontation with a dissatisfied customer. Furthermore, in regard to you leaving my vehicle outside unattended, as a business owner, you should be aware that you are responsible for the protection of my property while in your care. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In regard to your statement that you fabricated the fenders, when I spoke to you on Monday evening I asked you for an estimate for the full amount of work, and also requested a quote for purchasing the fenders, and having you install the roll bar only. At no time during any of my conversations with you or Scott did anyone state they had fabricated the fenders, or were in the process of making them already. Nor did we ever discuss having fenders ready for me to pick up. In fact, when I called you Wednesday morning to let you know I would be coming, you had a one sentence reply, "Whatever. Come get it." It is strange that no one mentioned these were done, considering I have been calling almost daily asking about progress on the car. I think the more important question here is how a person can pull up in front of your business, park a diesel truck pulling a 24 foot trailer in front of your office, walk inside your business while no one is there, spend half an hour getting people in your neighborhood to help load a vehicle (which is supposed to be in your care) into a trailer, and you are not even aware of it. I also took pictures of damage to my car while in your care, specifically, peeling and bubbling of the powder-coated frame on the differential crossmember, frame and trailing arms, which had to have been caused by a chemical. I cannot say whether it was an accident or intentional.[/FONT]
I expect a full refund of my $2500 deposit credited back to my Visa by tomorrow. If necessary, I will file litigation for restitution for my expenses incurred traveling, and recoating of the frame. Also, due to the extreme lack of care shown to my vehicle while in your posession, I am also taking my engine in to the local Chevrolet dealer to have them partially disassemble the engine to check for any suspicious materials inside. Rest assured, if anything is found inside the engine or transmission, I will be seeking restitution for that as well[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]. If nothing is found wrong with my engine and transmission, I will be satisfied with my $2500 refund, and we will never have to communicate again. I am simply appalled by your lack of professionalism and based on your account of the situation, your severe detachment from reality.[/FONT]
Charles Wilkins



Can you believe this guy? Yes 67Heaven I know you can. :D

I can't wait for this to be over!

Chuck

I had a simular incident with a local Goodyear dealership and damaged lwps sensors when I bought new tires. I had Amex stop payment and went to small claims court and got every cent I asked for. I didn't stop there. I filed a complaint with the Better business bureau. OSHA, fire dept., the local EPA every agency I could think of to cause them as much grief as I could. When all was said and done 6 months after the claims settlement they fired the store manager and asked me to please contact the BBB and inform them that they had paid me in full and there was no longer an issue.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
Messages
5,979
Location
SouthCentral Ontario
Corvette
www.67HEAVEN.com
I'm afraid our friend has gotten so far away from remembering the importance of business-people telling the truth, as well as keeping their promises, that he probably doesn't understand why people get so upset with his behaviour. :eyerole

If he looks back on his last several years in business, I wonder how many upset customers he can remember? If he's honest with himself (if that is still possible) he may begin to understand that his word can no longer be considered his bond.

It could have all been so different. :eyerole
 
6

65-to-00

Guest
Please, please, please .... do not ever file a complaint with any agency as a mechanism for revenge.

We have quite enough to deal with already, and while you are laughing at how you screwed them up for a few hours by making them deal with me keep in mind that someone reporting a real problem got neglected while I was acting as your personal "avenger".

BTW .... on the downside for you may be a complaint for harassment.

If you left your name with OSHA, and I am quite suprised that they even went out (if you didn't?), did you get a follow up "call" from the investigator? I sure don't work for OSHA, but when six agencies show up on bogus complaints there may additional follow up. You are the reason that many agencies won't even respond without leaving a valid phone number or tracable e-address.

Just as an aside and on topic; the "crinklng" of the coating does look like the work of paint stripper and though I am not familiar with powder coatings, I'd still wager a guess, that if there was enough surface contamination at the shop of origin, that would have been noticed right away, not after the parts had been installed. That appears to be a lot of crinkling ... !!
 

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