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Old 10-17-2012, 12:29 PM
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PabloCruise PabloCruise is offline
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Default Dilemma; Chat or Tech?

Hi all, I have a conundrum that I could use your help sorting out.
Thanks in advance for weighing in.

I got the seats for my 40 recovered. Someone at work said they knew of a reputable auto upholstery guy in Loveland (they had not used him, but heard he had a good reputation) so I talked to him on the phone briefly and based on the conversation I brought the driver’s seat over for an estimate to put a new cover on the seat.

The guy said $200 per bucket, I thought that sounded acceptable. I asked him if he could straighten the frame while he was in there, as the DS seat back was tilted in towards the center of the vehicle since I got it from the PO. Upholsterer said he could not start on it for a week and I said no problem as I am working on getting the 40 painted, and was not in a hurry. I asked him if he gave a discount for cash, and he said no.

The guy finishes driver seat, so I bring him passenger seat. I take a look at seat he finished and it looks okay. He says he has the passenger cover all made up and it shouldn’t take him long to do pass seat, I say fine.

Upholsterer calls to say they are all done and to come pick seats up. Now I have a delay on my end with holding a sales meeting at work, and then my Dad coming to visit. I didn’t worry about his week delay, so I don’t sweat a week delay on my part. I go to pick up seats (with my son) and as soon as I look at them, I am confused as the seat belt latches are on the right side of the seat for both seats. Hmm… So I figure out which is driver seat based on adjustable track underneath and deduce that he put the latch on the wrong side for passenger seat. Latches are also affixed to differing hardware between the two seats. So now I am curious, and start looking at the seats. Upholsterer says he does not know why I am looking at them so closely? Then says he will move seat belt latch to correct side. I notice on the passenger seat where the cover goes underneath the upright bracket that the hole in the cover for the bolt is too large and you can see the foam underneath, so everytime you would flip the seat back to put stuff in the rear, you would notice the hole. I point this out, and he says there is nothing he can do about this. Really? I ask him if he made the cover himself? Yes. So then he had control over size and location of hole, so there is something he can do about it – put the correct size hole in correct place.

At this point I decide I want to get my 5 year old son out of this guy’s shop and pick things up with upholsterer one-on-one. I say I’ll take the driver seat and we’ll reconnect on the passenger seat. He asks if I can’t take them both? I point to my little Honda Civic and say no. We go to his desk, I drop $300 cash in partial payment and he acts all pissy asking why I am not going to pay for the whole job now? Now it really feels like time to load up the kid and get out of there, so we do.

I call the guy the next day and tell him the passenger seat doesn’t meet expectations. He starts telling me he has been in business for 30 years, and he does not know what my problem is, but tells me I have a real problem, my seats are old and I better come and pick the passenger seat up or he will throw it in the trash. WTF?!? I just say that I did not expect to pay for a new cover and then have a hole in the cover to see the foam. He says he will patch the cover, and then I better pay him and we will part ways. He says he does not want me recommending him to anyone (no worries there) because anyone I recommend will be like me, and he does not want to deal with anyone like me. I am dumb-founded; this kind of customer service would kill me and the company I work for. I am almost speechless. I agree that we should part ways after he patches the side panel.

In the meantime, I notice he applied tax to the entire amount on invoice. I thought you were only supposed to tax parts and materials, not labor, correct?

Upholsterer leaves a voicemail saying he re-did the side panel, I can pick up the seat, and he would prefer the balance paid in cash. I go to shop, side panel looks much better! I am relieved. I decide not to push the tax issue, and I tell him I’ll settle the balance with plastic since he did not indicate a preference for cash up front. He agrees to take plastic for the balance.
I get home, leave the seat in my car, and have a good night, relieved that the seat issue is resolved.

Get up this morning and decide to take Cruiser seat out of my car before heading to work. Go to take seat out and the headrest slides completely out – no latch on the headrest what-so-ever. Wow. Go and check driver seat, same deal. Head rests are in there by gravity only. No latch for headrests present inside either seat. Wow… I feel like a dumb-ass.

I figure I have a few options:
1. Do nothing – let it go
2. Direct confrontation – call the guy and rip into him for not telling me that he messed up the headrest latch and then didn’t tell me
3. Call that credit card issuer and dispute the charge for balance
4. Call the BBB and complain
5. Call the CO state Department of Revenue and register a complaint about his taxes
6. Some combination of the above.

Any opinions? Advice?

I am really disappointed. I love how fun it is to have a Cruiser, work on it, take my son out in it. This has been a real bummer to save up $ for seat covers (after driving it with ripped originals for years) and then get shafted.

Thank you for any insights you may have.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:55 PM
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PabloCruise PabloCruise is offline
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Okay, now that I see how long this post is, I doubt anyone is going to want to read it.

At least it was therapeutic to write it. Maybe I am making too big a deal about this?

I'll figure out how to handle this.

Anyone have experience with the headrest latches?
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:25 PM
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I'd call him and tell him the new seat repair looks good and if he has your latches. worth a try...

I can see the frustration....... /
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:41 PM
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Yeah, I wouldn't let it go TJ, I agree see if he's got the headrest latches somewhere.

Also reiterate there's no problem not referring your loser friends to his business, you don't know that many people anyway, outside of CO4x4, Pirate, iH8Mud, CLC, Horsetooth, and RS... but that's just a small group of dead beats, outside of that small circle he really doesn't have anything to worry about.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:25 PM
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TJ, agree with what Marco said. No harm done. Start out just asking if he has them
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:10 PM
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PabloCruise PabloCruise is offline
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Sounds good, start off on a neutral tone.

Thanks all!
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:13 PM
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PabloCruise PabloCruise is offline
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Does anyone know anything about the head rest latches on these seats?

When I looked in, it looks like they are way down in there. I am not sure you are getting at them without getting under the seat cover.

Still bummed he left this out of the conversation.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2012, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakman View Post
Also reiterate there's no problem not referring your loser friends to his business, you don't know that many people anyway, outside of CO4x4, Pirate, iH8Mud, CLC, Horsetooth, and RS... but that's just a small group of dead beats, outside of that small circle he really doesn't have anything to worry about.
and all those "few" people have several cars and most are 1980's and older...

on a side note i have done upulstry before.. if the latches are still in the seat i can take the cloth off and try to fix his FUBAR and re-install the cloth.. i dont have a sewing maching so i cant modify anything..
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:41 AM
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Not sure what you mean by "way down in there". I can't tell by the diagrams, but I'm thinking they sit above the cover by means of a grommet, and then extend down into the seat to some other attachment point?

This sucks - botching up the headrests is worse (to me) than a mistake in the side cover....
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:05 AM
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I have reupholstered 2 sets of late FJ40 seats. Releasing the headrest latches is a pain - especially on '78-and-earlier. Installing them isn't hard at all. Be VERY SURE you install the latches correctly. I installed them incorrectly on my 1980, because I followed SOR's directions, which were only correct for one side (those headrest have a locking mechanism). No matter the year, look closely at the headrest shafts and the inserts and study before inserting the plastic piece, as removing it later is a ton of work.

As for the big picture, what's your heartburn factor? I can't imagine you'll get any real satisfaction out of this guy. Polluting his BBB rating might be the best you can do. Over the years, I have found more surly/attitude-ridden upholstery shops than cheery ones, sadly.
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