I don’t normally like to talk about other people and can usually let things go if I feel I have been ripped off and just move along. But I have a situation where I just can’t seem to shake. The hard part for me is that when this happened I was on fire, the powder coat bug had bitten me bad and I spent a lot of money building an oven big enough to coat the parts I was planing to build and was in the process of then choosing what powder system to use. This was in 2005 and there was not as many powder supply and equipment dealers around and most everything was geared to the great big operations.
One day while I was searching I came across a company that was advertising to the small batch shops and I decided to give him a call. I had an el cheapo gun that I had been playing around with and I ordered some powder from them along with some other stuff to get me going. Over the next several months I bought a lot of stuff from them and had decided that now since my big oven was complete I would go ahead and buy me a nice gun setup. I liked the idea of a cup gun because it is so easy to change colors and I started to talk to these people about what they had. At the time they were in the process of building their own brand of gun and had one that was pretty cheap but for some reason I didn’t like it and their next gun was in the 800.00 range but that too didn’t appeal to me and then they told me about this gun that they had just started to sell and they really liked it but they were more inclined to sell their own brand but if I was interested they would send me some info. I got it and that setup was exactly what I wanted so I decided to buy it.
I was so happy when I got the package until I opened the box and saw the suit case. It had powder and dirt all over it and looked like it had been used as a basket ball in a Harlem Globe Trotters show. I opened the case and right away I saw a couple cracks in the plastic face plate and I felt sick and was wondering what kind of trick these people had tried to pull on me. I got on the phone and called them and asked what the hell was up. At first the lady said there must be some kind of mistake and they sent to wrong on out and she would get her husband to call me back. I waited 3 days with no call from then so I called back and asked what was up. Her husband was not around but she promised me he would call back. Three days later I called back and that time he did come to the phone. He told me first that he had tried out the unit like he does with all the guns he sells and that was the reason it had some powder on it. I asked him about all the scratches and the cracks in the plastic cover and he said that was normal wear and tear. I said maybe so if I had bought a used item but but this gun was supposed to be new. Then he told me that it was a demo unit and I said I didn’t buy a demo unit and I wanted a new one and this time I want the pleasure of using it the first time. After all I had paid $1350.00 and I did expect it to be new not a demo.
After several calls back he finally told me to go ahead and use the gun and he would send me another one when the next one came in. I paid for this with a credit card and by now the 30 day claim period was about over and wanted this to be settled before that time was over. I told him I would send it back for credit and then when the new one came in we could start all over. He said no, that wouldn’t be necessary just go ahead and get some use out of it because it would only be a week before he would have another gun and he would ship it overnight as soon as he got it. I didn’t want to go this route because I didn’t want to use the gun and them someone say I had screwed it up and then I couldn’t send it back, but I said ok. I waited 2 weeks and didn’t hear from them so I called and was told they were on back order. I waited a couple more weeks and they were still on back order, I asked when they was going to be off back order and they said a couple weeks. This went on for several months and it became obvious that they had ripped me off. By then the lady on the phone had changed from a really nice helpful person to one that was short and to the point and when I asked to speak to the boss she would just say he was not able to get to the phone and this went on until one day the web site was gone and they were not answering the phone. I tried for months to get in contact with them and finally just gave up. The really sad part was that when I went to use it the **** thing would not even work.
I called the Red Line people and told them what had happened and asked about how my warranty would work and they asked me who I got it from and that they would have to take care of any warranty issues. I told them that would be great if I could get in touch with them and they asked who they were and even offered to help me out if they were a problem. They said they would rather me go through them first though. When they asked who they were and I told them, after a long silence, they said they are not even a dealer for their guns and I must have bought a used gun and in that case there was no warranty in that case. I mean, they were nice and all about it, they even told me they would take it in and get it working….for a fee that is and I told them I had had about enough of this so thanks but no thanks.
This was in 2005 and after many problems over the next several years I had put the powder coat business on hold and at this point I had about $30.000 tied up in all the equipment I had bought and the ovens I had built. Fast forward to just a few months ago an one day I was thinking about closing my boat business and taking up where I had left off with my dream of having a powder coating shop. I still had all my contact businesses saved in my favorites folder and I started looking for power and equipment supply places and one thing led to another and low and behold one day I came across this site that had the same name as the people that ripped me off and after about a month of thinking about it I decided to e-mail them and see just what they may have to say.
Now I realize it had been many years since I bought this gun and the possibility of them doing anything about it was slim but I figured I would at least get the satisfaction of confronting them about it and see what they might say. The thing that made me write to them was their new web site and how they were advertising their business as A, “Christian based company” and I just wanted to see just how far their Christian values went. As it turns out that seems to be just a talking point and a way to drag in new customers.
I wrote them and to my surprise he even wrote back. However he told me there was nothing he could do for me because it had been so long. I wrote him back to explain why and he didn’t respond, I wrote a couple more times and finally he responded back with a bunch more lies about how something like this could never happen and I should have gotten it straight back then and not wait 7 years and expect him to do anything. I explained that he was the reason it never got fixed and it took this long for me to find him and now that he was a big Christian businessman I was just wondering if he would like to get this matter off his mind so that it wouldn’t follow him to hell when he died.
I didn’t really expect to get much out of him and all I wanted was a simple excuse for why this happened and even told him so. I never asked him for anything I just wanted to give him a chance to explain and maybe a little discount off a couple orders would be nice if I decided to buy from him again. In his favor he finally did offer me 50 bucks off one of his new guns they are pushing now but he killed any chance of me taking him up on it when he basically called me a liar when he said that I had gotten a new gun if I had even bought a gun from him in the first place. I thought about this for a long time and while it has been a long time I still have not forgotten about it and now after giving him a chance to come clean and he decided to just flip me off.
I hate doing things like this by taking it to the internet to get back at him but I look at it like this. I know they had some problems back then and where it probably was a matter of bad timing when I decided to do over $1700.00 worth of business with them on this one order but bad times of not if they would pull this back in 2005 what’s to say it could not happen again. My only hope in all this is for some other poor guy that is on fire to start a new powder coat business at least gets a chance to know who’s out there that is trying to get your money so beware of who you deal with and ask questions. Back then there were not as many people like Eastwood and others that were really catering to the small batch coating people but now there are lots of them out there but you still need to check out who you are dealing with.