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Discussion Starter #1
I hesitated posting this for some time giving them full benefit of the doubt, but I think the story should be told.

In regards to Mr. Scott Loeser, principle of Auto Customizing Inc. of 7681 Dixie Hwy in Louisville, KY (502) 935-1415‎

On the 12th of November, 2008 he purchased one Area 451 cruise control using a credit card. This transaction went fine.

On the 7th of April, 2009 he asked for another one but asked if a check would be alright and that he would cut and send it "immediately". I agreed since we had done business successfully before. Even though he said he would pay it immediately, I accepted that it might take a month to see it.

On the 7th of May, exactly one month later, he phoned looking for a 3rd unit. I said it couldn't be sent until payment was received for the last one. He expressed sincere-sounding surprise that I hadn't received the funds and put me on hold. He then said he thought that we sent it COD and I told him we've never shipped anything anywhere COD so he was mistaken. He then said not to worry and he would ensure a check be cut right away including the amount for the 3rd one and could I please send it by FedEx Priority directly to the nearby Smart Center because that's where he was doing the install. Because it was being shipped to the Smart Center I thought that lent credibility to it and agreed to ship.

No payment ever came. I followed up dozens of times. After the first few, I could never get in contact with Mr. Loeser again by phone or by email. Seeing no other recourse I enlisted the help of a collections agency, but Mr. Loeser has simply been ignoring them as well.

I can understand that this economy is bad and many businesses have gone under, but that isn't the case here. Auto Customizing Inc. is still operating and should be able to pay their debts.

I can understand if they weren't happy with my product, but I offered the choice to send it back without penalty. They had already sold them and the products were installed in customers' cars. They profited. I get stiffed.

It turns out, from discussions with the dealership, that all three units were installed at and/or by the dealership. I believe the dealership probably paid Auto Customizing Inc so I have no reason to fault the dealership in this. I believe it is simply a case of Mr. Loeser and/or Auto Customizing Inc. brazenly stealing 2 cruise controls plus expensive shipping costs from me.



So please beware.

Thank you.

- Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestions. I just now submitted a complaint to the BBB but I'm not sure if it is really applicable as the form they have is really geared toward the purchaser filling it out, not the seller (in other words I'm not sure BBB handles business-to-business complaints?). Worth a try though.

Police I'm sure would require I complain in person. I wouldn't even know how to begin with an Attorney General.

I'd love to get paid for the product obviously. Failing that though, I mostly just want people to know the name. I'm not sure if its pronounced "lowzer" or "loser"... pick whatever you think more appropriate. From that BBB info it looks like they also operate at 225 W Highway 131 Clarksville , IN 47130 and use the name "Auto Boat Upholstery Company" as well as "Auto Customizing" (both about as imaginative as they check scam).

If anyone local can get him to pay up I'll split it with you! Heck, make a video of it and you can have it all (well, after the 20% I'd owe the collection agency regardless of how it gets collected).
 

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man this sucks you as a seller and the BS you go about getting your money. My father in law has a precast Concrete company and has people owing (spelling) 10's of thousands of dollars from 2 yrs ago and some even more resent. a Collector has be contacted and the first one did nothing for a yr and the other one just got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I'm starting to wonder what's worse... the guy that stiffs me the money, or the collection agency that takes the 20% on easy collections and ignores the tougher ones. :)
 

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I would put pressure on the Dealer to collect the past due charges from him. Afterall, they sold the cruise control units and had him install them on their premises. The dealer should go directly after their outside contractor by filing a police report, suing him in small claims court and then executing on the judgement to collect payment. I think you would also have a valid claim against the dealer, as well. I would put both of their names on the complaint if the dealer doesn't assist you in collecting this debt.
 

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Since it sounds like two of the units were never paid for, are they "stolen goods" and as such can be recovered by the police (if they choose to pursue this matter?) Does that make the dealer and the end user guilty of accepting stolen goods?* :)


*not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.
 

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I would put pressure on the Dealer to collect the past due charges from him. Afterall, they sold the cruise control units and had him install them on their premises. The dealer should go directly after their outside contractor by filing a police report, suing him in small claims court and then executing on the judgement to collect payment. I think you would also have a valid claim against the dealer, as well. I would put both of their names on the complaint if the dealer doesn't assist you in collecting this debt.

I feel for you. As a dealership employee (non smart center), we 'sublet' business each and every day. If one of the vendors we use is 'stiffing' their supplier, I can assure you that we would drop them in a heartbeat.

I agree with 'Smart Bob' in that you should contact the 'brand principle' at smart center Louisville and explain the situation. Tell them that you have no complaint with them but that you are simply informing them of the situation and ask if they have any additional phone numbers or contacts for this "Auto Customizing".

You might also contact one of the local TV stations, as they usually have reporters that love stories like this and will take a crew with cameras to the business. They'll do a story on this thief and tell others in the area to 'beware'.

As for the Attorney General, check the web....search for Kentucky Attorney Generals Office: Fraud Division. I'm sure they'll have an 'online form' for you to file.

Don't let up until you get your money OR this THIEF goes to jail.

Best of Luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all. I appreciate the support and suggestions.

I understand putting pressure on the dealer may sound logical, but obviously I have to be careful with that because I need to continue doing business with them and, as I said, I really have no reason to think they've done anything wrong and from their perspective are they even involved? Asking them to do my dirty work is asking too much I think. I did call them already and explained the situation just to inform them, and the manager there said I could expect a call from Mr. Loeser "shortly" - implying that he would call him on my behalf. That call to me never came. Perhaps I should politely follow up.
 

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If you can document all this, run it past someone from the Louisville District Attorney / Prosecutor's Office. Seems to me there was intent to defraud, which makes it criminal, and they may take it. At the very least one call from the DA's office will likely get you your money. Good Luck.
 

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When I bought my Smart from SCL They told me that their primary form of communication is email so try emailing the service manager the whole story too. Best of luck I hope this thief gets put away.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Response from BBB:
Dear Steven Morehouse :
This message is in regard to your complaint submitted on 9/19/2009 12:00:00 AM against Auto Boat Upholstery Company. Your complaint was assigned ID 7987810.
Your complaint is not of the sort handled by the Better Business Bureau.

Unfortunately, we can not process (or report) complaints concerning collections issues (please see below) - your complaint will remain on file, however.
Sorry, thanks,


The BBB does not handle complaints about the following:
  • Employer/employee disputes, including those involving contract labor.
  • Complaints regarding matters that are subject of a court filing, or that have been adjudicated.
  • Complaints against government agencies unless the government operates a utility and the complaint involves administrative matters such as billing.
  • Complaints against individuals who are not engaged in a business (e.g., a person selling a personal car through a classified advertisement).
  • Complaints alleging discrimination or violation of similar statutory/constitutional rights.
  • Complaints alleging criminal violations by company employees except for complaints alleging theft by company employees while performing services.
  • Complaints raising issues concerning the competency of doctors, dentists, licensed therapists, veterinarians, and lawyers. We would handle billing disputes that do not involve underlying competency issues.
  • Complaints that challenge the validity of local, state or federal law. For example, we would not accept a complaint against a cable company seeking a change in rates set by law. We would accept a complaint against a cable company alleging that its charges were inaccurately computed in accordance with applicable rates.
  • Complaints that are solely based on the consumer's dissatisfaction with a company's prices.
  • Third party complaints

  • Collections issues, where one firm is trying to collect monies due from another. Unfortunately, it is beyond the Better Business Bureau purview to handle collection disputes or cases in which a company is owed money by another individual or company. You may wish to contact a collection agency to further pursue this matter.

  • If your complaint concerns damage done by a company you didn't do business with, we suggest you contact your insurance carrier for assistance with matter, they may be able to help you get this resolved.
  • Other complaints that do not concern a marketplace issue
  • Complaints must be filed timely-generally within one year, unless there is a warranty issue involved.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Regards,
The Better Business Bureau
 

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"Collections issues, where one firm is trying to collect monies due from another. Unfortunately, it is beyond the Better Business Bureau purview to handle collection disputes or cases in which a company is owed money by another individual or company. You may wish to contact a collection agency to further pursue this matter."



So, I take it that from THIS paragraph that they won't touch your complaint.

I guess next stop.....Louisville Police OR better yet, a local Louisville TV Station.
 

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"On the 12th of November, 2008 he purchased one Area 451 cruise control using a credit card. This transaction went fine."


You say the first transaction was billed to a credit card. Can you bill the OTHER TWO to that credit card as well??

I sure as heck would give it a try.
 

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If the checks were sent (or said the were sent by Postal Service,that would also constitute Mail Fraud and the postmaster Genreal could get involved as that is a Federal crime, as well as going across international lines, they may get involved anyhow.

Never had much faith in the BBB. go with the Attorney General for that state.

If all else fails, maybe we can send a delegation of smart cars to surround the building and honk our horns untill he pays up....
 

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Probably should be all Black smart cars...


Maybe you could put a lien against the property, or something. I have heard of auto shops doing that to repo a car for payment of a repair bill.
 
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